I enjoy going to Mass. I’m blessed to belong to a church that has two wonderful priests who effectively encourage us to be present not only in body, but also in mind and spirit. As a Catholic, we are also physically engaged in the mass through singing, standing, kneeling, and celebrating the Eucharist. Certainly no moss grows on those actively in attendance. The Catholic Mass for me is beautiful and reverent. It is a time for me to really slow down and find my center.
So what I find distracting to the point of annoyance is when anyone gets up with frequency and urgency during the Mass to fiddle with microphone stands, adjust the volume on mics, or otherwise play stage manager.
The Catholic Mass is not a theater production, folks. If it were, some of those involved missed their true calling.
Couple of suggestions, if I may be so bold(of course I can be bold; it’s my blog):
- Adjust mics and stands prior to Mass. Lectors, musicians, cantors, and priests–take a few minutes to adjust the sound and make certain the equipment is functioning properly prior to showime, er, I mean the outset of Mass. If something kinda goes wrong once Mass starts, quietly and/or discreetly rectify the situation, wing it, laugh it off, or ignore it and move on. For anyone to bustle around like a chicken with its head cut off is downright disrespectful. As of late, too much emphasis has been placed on the theatrical performance that is the Mass. The priest doesn’t play the lead, the musicians and liturgical volunteers are not minor characters, and there needs to be no stage manager.
- Provide extra seating prior to Mass if it’s required–not for thirty minutes after the Mass has commenced. High holidays, baptisms, and first communions are a good indication that extra seating will be necessary.
- If it’s imperative that you must be in charge of something, I suggest making sure the coffee and donuts are out and ready down the hall for the hungry parishioners, post Mass. See if the moms in the cry room need anything. But for goodness sake, sit down.