In my last post: In Which I am Asked Not to Come to Mass . . . by a Priest, I mentioned that I would like to fill all cry rooms in the country with cement.
You guys noticed. And some of you wondered why.
Hannah said: I’m confused – what is it that you hate about cry rooms?
Here’s my response:
I’ve never been inside one where families were making an attempt to participate in the Mass. I have experienced children loudly playing with baskets of noisy toys and parents chatting in full voice about their plans for the weekend.
I think when you tell people they don’t qualify to be a part of the actual community of believers, they act like it.
But if a cry room exists at that church I’m likely to be given zero tolerance for teaching my children to behave in Mass out in the real church. “We have a place for kids, you should be in it,” is often the attitude in those parishes. But I don’t want my kids, even my toddlers, to learn that the Mass is playtime. I want them to learn to participate.
I also think we should try to see every person who comes into that church, be it a noisy child, or a moaning special needs person, or an old man loudly complaining to his wife about why the priest won’t speak up, as part of us — part of the body of Christ. Not as someone else’s problem that we shouldn’t have to be bothered with. That we should shut up in a special little room where we can pretend they don’t exist.
I just keep coming back to the fact that the Mass is for God. It’s for what God would like not for what we would like. God made children and special needs people and the elderly and I feel certain that he wishes them all to be welcome at his Mass. It’s his party and he invited everyone.
So, I figured that would take care of any confusion.
But then Kim of on our way today said she goes in them — ON PURPOSE. I was shocked.
So I thought perhaps we could have a discussion. Leave a comment, or if you have a blog, write your own post on it and link it up here. I know some bloggers are participating in Jen’s 7 Posts in 7 Days: An Epic Blogging Challenge, so here’s a topic for ya!
Speaking of link ups, here’s What I Wore Sunday — when we attended Mass at a church that likes families, and we sat in the second row, and I didn’t have to take anyone out. Frankie babbled some (a lot) but he never got too loud, except during the recessional hymn which he REALLY belted out. He was complemented by Mass-goers on his singing efforts all the way out.
|I think most of this stuff is repeats. Dress: Target Maternity (already starting to get short, yikes!), Sweater: Anthropologie, Belt: ModCloth, Shoes: Zappos, Necklace: my Grandmother’s pearls, Earrings: from the Amalfi Coast on our last trip to Italy (the same place poor Jenny was vacationing when she was driven home to Rome by feverish youngins, ARGH!), Bump: 21 weeks, Baby: Frankie|
|And my photographer, Betty! Dress: gymboree, shoes: Target, watch: Target (And wow, has getting watches for my two big kids made a difference this summer! Now I can tell them at what TIME to do things or be home. And they do it! Awesome.)|
And for those of you looking for some closure on what I decided to do about daily Mass . . . I plan to start attending a different parish. We’re only here for the summer anyway, this is an established pattern of behavior for this particular priest, and frankly I don’t like the idea for myself of going somewhere I’m not wanted.
Most of the commenters recommended the humility and obedience of continuing to attend the same Mass, sitting in the back. And that sounds lovely, especially when paired with the suggestion of really trying to win this priest over. But I honestly don’t think that’s the right move in this particular case. The priest will have my prayers, but I think we were perhaps unwelcome by the parishioners as well. As I’ve looked around at other parishes I think I’ve found a different Mass that would work with my schedule, and I think it will be better for me to have a fresh start.
I have also, as a couple of you recommended, sent a letter to the Archbishop — since I don’t think he follows my blog.
I really look forward to reading your comments and posts. If you do link up, please put a link back to this post on your blog, and remember to link to the particular blog post about cry rooms, not just to your blog’s homepage. And if you’ve written on this topic before, feel free to link that up. It doesn’t have to be brand new, you can edit it to include a link here and you’re all set!