Crying Children in Mass: Common Sense is Relative
Brian Gouveia, Bloemfontein – The question raised in the letter “Why shouldn’t kids be in church” is possibly very pertinent. There is no doubt that children should be introduced to church participation at an early age and be taught the Catholic religion. I, however, have reservations as to the implementation thereof.
I attended a Mass yesterday and had an “unpleasant” experience.
I attend Mass in order to concentrate on the service and homily to gain a message.
Yesterday, however, I had two families in front of me with “overenergetic”, undisciplined children. The distraction was not very welcome because it continued for the entire duration of the Mass.
I did not therefore participate in the service and may just as well have remained at home!
“Name withheld” asks an unreasonable question: “Isn’t a slight distraction a small price to pay?”
All churches do not have the luxury of a “cry room”, which if available should be used, but parents with such small children should occupy the back pews.
This will allow people who want to join in with the service to be able to concentrate and focus on the celebrant.
I do not believe that the parents with these unruly children gain any positives from the service either, because they are busy trying to control the circus! Can the priest even focus correctly with this activity in front of him?
What is needed is merely the simple human gift of “common sense”. Parents should employ it so that their children can learn about their religion and about church behaviour, and in doing so afford other church members the right to participate and experience a fulfilling Mass!
This request is surely “a small price to pay”!