About Reverence

God is present among us!
Let’s talk loud about the weather!

Your typical Novus Ordo church (not the Brompton Oratory, of course; or any very conservative church), ten minutes to nine on a sunny Sunday morning.

Some people are trying to pray in the pews. They are on their knees, and it is obvious to the most obtuse moron they are praying because they are in a church, before Mass.

This doesn’t interest a group of people, generally rather old, making conversation out loud as if they were in their own living  room and only the scones and cream were missing. They are there in groups of two to four, and chatter like it’s going out of fashion; they do not even make any attempt to – at the very least – keep their voice a bit down.

They obviously see the people kneeling on the pews, and clearly trying to pray; they just don’t care. Much more importantly, they see the tabernacle in front of them, and do not think they should behave any differently than on the fish market.

Were they at the presence I do not say of the Queen, but of one among her more or less unworthy progeny they would be utterly intimidated at the majesty of the event, and would not dare to utter anything else than, perhaps (perhaps!) the most feeble whisper.

But they are, erm, merely at the presence of Our Lord and disturbing a handful of people praying, so they don’t care and go on with their, no doubt, extremely stupid talking until the Mass begins.

This happens, I assure you, with ugly frequency here in Blighty. There’s no saying the priests aren’t aware, because you see every now and then the one or other appearing and checking that this and that is in order whilst the salon goes on unabated. They know, they just don’t care. They seem to think it’s part of some mysteriously discovered “social atmosphere” of the mass.

If you have the patience to wait, you will often notice some of the loudest old women are “involved” in the Mass in some way. They bring the “gifts” (I will write something on this one day) to the altar, or regale us with their own dramatic rendition of the readings 9I must have written something on that), or stand at the side of the priest with the chalice, possibly wondering why you don’t see their halo  but certainly peeved at the way everyone wants to receive from the priest.

They clearly think the mass and the church space belong to them. They might not even be aware  of their astonishing lack of reverence, because they have forgotten what “reverence” is in the first place (only, I think they’d remember if they were invited at Court; but I digress…), but they are certainly aware that they own the place, and will show to everyone they are part of the landscape, which is why not even those kneeling and obviously praying are considered worth of the slightest consideration.


Posted on August 30, 2012, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. HAHAHA!!!! GREAT ARTICLE Mundabor! Not far off from what happens here Stateside! The only difference is that it’s not JUST the OLDER PEOPLE who may suffer from HEARING LOSS and not realize how LOUD they are talking but it’s JUST ABOUT EVERYONE. The few devout people who kneel to pray and remain there for sometime before Mass are usually looked down on by the chatter heads as being inordinatly Holy or trying to SEEM so. (It dawns on me that there WAS a day back in history where it was the REVERSE!).

    In fact come to think of it I have actually witnessed people WAVING across the santuary to others they know as they cup their mouths trying to relay long distance messages of utmost importance such as “HOW ARE YOU?” or “DID YOU HAVE FUN LAST NIGHT?”…..

    This is ONE reason why when I was invited to my first Tridentine Mass and immediatly fell in LOVE…..I’ve never STOPPED going! I found the reverence and LOVE OF GOD that should be there in ALL Masses! Not only that but we are offered about 45 minutes prior to Mass a time of Confession! The other churches I went to had confession only on Saturday prior to the 5pm Mass and for as little as 10 minutes total for everyone and as long as 30 minutes!

    I think that many of the priests here in the States have basically given up on things and now don’t tend to even breech the subject of reverence and Holiness even in their Homilies. I know that this has been one thing I have heard from many priests that no matter WHAT they say from the pulpit they have people right after the Mass ask them things that they JUST TOLD THEM 20 minutes prior in the Homily or announcements. Then they say “why do I even talk?”.

    For these parishes that have been overrun by the irrevernt parishoners (even those that are in leadership roles – which is another thing I love with the Tridentine Mass – NO WOMEN up at the ALTER or women USHERS etc!) I would really LOVE to see Priests who have some real backbone and be a cross between a Padre Pio and Chris Christy (Govenor of New Jersey who doesn’t put up with ANY foolishness!)…..then maybe we could get some LOVE and RESPECT back into our Churches!

    Didn’t Jesus use a WHIP in the TEMPLE and threw people out who were not USING IT AS A HOUSE OR PRAYER????

    • Yes it could be loss of hearing. But I wonder whether they would be so loud in the presence of the Queen?

      I’d say loss of Reverence is actually the main ingredient here.. 😦


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