Sunday, January 30, 2011

pew on you...

... I did the unspeakable! I sat in someone's "reserved" seat at church! Scandalous.


Art attribution.

They exist in every church, that person who sits in the same spot every week. God have mercy on your soul if you happen to accidentally sit in their pew.

33 comments:

Faith said...

Well, my parish is not THAT particular. But our pews have little engraved plates on them that state dedications that the money for the pew was donated by the "Smith Family in Memory of their daughter Jane." And I know that the Smith Family tries to sit in that particular pew, if they can--usually 7:30 AM Mass.
Perhaps that was the reason?

Karen said...

You're not in my parish so it's ok. But, if you ever find yourself in my parish, stay away from the inside end of the 10th pew on the St. Joseph side. It's mine. Of course, I won't totally freak out as long as I can sit somewhere in the surrounding area. (Standard deviation of acceptable pews is 7th to 12th.)

Dan said...

I make a habit of being a creature of habit.

Mirjam said...

I thought that problem like this is a hungarian feature. :) Funny :) Like your blog! :)

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

In our church, they move the pews around so no one does this. Also, half the "pews" are actually just chairs.

But Italians often have this weird thing, even at the Trad Mass, of standing through the whole Mass. (They're heathens, what can I say). They will do this often after having taken up position in a front pew...just to make sure that everyone around them knows they're at Mass and in Their Spot, standing because, well, you know, we're an Easter People... or some damn thing...

I've got to learn the Italian for DOWN IN FRONT!

...and start shouting it loudly enough that people think I've got Tourettes.

(Yes, I hate this country...)

3puddytats said...

The Protestant have the sanme issue..
My Presbyterian Church growing up was exactly the same...although we had interlocking wooden folding individual chairs with VERY nice padding....How DARE any sit in a certain person's chair..you sure got the look..

What made it even worse was that THESE SPECIAL chairs were right on the inside aisle...so if you wanted to (or HAD to) sit in the middle because there were no other chairs (kinda like a Southwest flight), then you had to climb over everyone and their STUFF--purses, etc on the floor because the nature of the chairs wouldn't let you stick anything underneath them, and being a Protestant church with no kneelers the chairs were VERY close together...

That's when you get in the habit of getting to church about a half hour early...

Sara

Owen said...

This is my artwork. It has always been my artwork. - Well, it's not mine but I did want to provide the missing proper attribution http://www.cartoonchurch.com/blog/ :)

Denita said...

I prefer to sit in the front pew at my Latin Mass close to the altar so I can be less distracted. If someone were to sit there, I hope I would be gracious enough to sit elsewhere and not complain.

Lee Strong said...

Join the choir - then you don't have to worry about sitting in someone else's place!

Owen said...

@Lee, having been in church choir (though many, many years ago now) I can attest to the fact that THAT is not an automatic out.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Simple solution. Get rid of the pews.

The Crescat said...

Owen, thanks for the art attribution. John... right!

Nan said...

I have the same problem at daily Mass; someone occasionally sits in my place. I don't go to the same Sunday Mass all the time so don't have reserved seating there.

Julie said...

In my church, the middle pews are taken by large families. These families include grandparents and several children, so you get the idea they've held these pew positions for at least a couple of generations.
The "wing" pews on the sides are always occupied by us singletons--those who are not married, or who are married to non-Catholics or non-church-goers.
During the "Our Father", our situation is emphasized as the entire middle part of the church holds hands for it, and we, of course, do not.

Owen said...

We have four long rows, two wide middle and two side wing things. My family sits anywhere in the middle front anywhere between the altar rail (there but not used) and the first pillar. The only thing that matters is that we are in the main row on the "right", our right, because that's the side priest serves from - so we can avoid the EMHCs, thankyeeverymuch) and I promise you, we do not hold hands wid no body during the Our Father and during the Sign of the Peace we keep to ourselves then too.

Josephus Flavius said...

Once sat in a family's pew as we were early (surprise to us too). They arrived a few minutes later and just stood behind us with constant staring. I took some kids to the bathroom and came back to see purses and bags in my previous spot. I took the message and move somewhere else.

Christie said...

There's no reserved seating at our church, except that the choir sits in the back two rows. If you sit in our seats, we're going to smile at you and hand you either a notebook or a toddler. You can sing or hold the babies, you pick.

Margaret Mary said...

We were running a little late a couple weeks ago so my husband dropped us off at the door to get a seat while he parked. Our regular pew was already taken so we literally sat across the aisle. He couldn't find us (so very far away) and ended up sitting by himself.

Mary B said...

I'm in choir and get to see all this craziness. My family (DH and many little, Parents, several sisters BIL's and nieces and nephews) all sit together at 10:30 Mass. We are a loud raucous group because there is always a baby, and always an adult getting up to read, pass the basket,etc.)
Any week we go to vigil mass instead the following morning that whole side of the church is empty.
We are going to have to call in replacements next time.

RJW said...

Assigned seating makes it easier for Father to know who's slacking on the weekend.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

...and never EVER trust Italian nuns either. I was comfortably situated v. close to the front, got there early, was fishing around in my handbag for my paraphenalia and realised I had left my missal at home. So I got up and went to the back to pick up the translation sheet of the day, and when I got back, an entire flock of nuns had stolen my seat!

No wonder everyone hates nuns.

johnkgibson said...

If you don't sit in the same place, God will not know if you have been to mass

The Crescat said...

John, too right! My priest; however, tells people the only way God will know they went to mass is if they tithe.

Therese Z said...

I have a weekday Mass spot and a Sunday Mass spot. I am guilty of walking up to my spot on a holy day, finding somebody in it, and they probably thought I glared at them. I didn't, I was just operating on autopilot and was surprised to find butts in my pew.

Sometimes I contemplate sitting somewhere else, way different, but people would probably lean over and ask me what I was doing sitting there?!

Sister Mary Martha said...

Oh my goodness! this is right up there with the hand holding during the Our Father controversy we have going on in my little blog!

Did you get a kick in the shins, or just the evil eye?

Ann said...

This happened to me years ago while checking out a new parish when I lived in Alexandria, VA.

There I was before mass, kneeling, head down, deep in prayer. I sensed people standing next to me in the aisle. I ignored them, thinking they were waiting for someone to catch up with them. Eventually, one of them tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to move.

Seriously? Interrupt someone praying so you can have your special seat? I didn't go back there.

Azariah said...

Once at a Sunday Mass our large cathedral was practically empty. So I sat down in the pew marked "usher" wondering why the church was so void of people, and wouldn't you know it, right before Mass, the usher came rambling down the aisle and made me get up and move.

Piotrek said...

I'd like to plot pew migration patterns in my church over a long period of time. Donation envelopes would have microchips in them.

Seraphic said...

I sit in the Men's Schola with my husband despite the little sign that says "CHOIR ONLY." I am the only woman back there, and I sit beside my husband, so if some other woman decides to sit in my spot, I am going to be very, very mad.

P.S. Nobody is allowed to sit there while I am gone for the next few weeks, either.

newguy40 said...

Sorry about being late to this thread.

Not only should you not sit in my Pew but you'll be in BIG trouble if you should also park in my parking space.

Lydia McGrew said...

I never knew that Catholics now hold hands during the "Our Father." Wow, the news just gets worse and worse. What's next? Forcing you-all to buddy up?

Joyful Catholics said...

I jus twent through this last Sunday. I was evidently in someone's place on the pew, and she didn't make me move, but disrupted my prayer, stumbled in front of me to get around me, then sat, right next to, and it was a little distracting to say the least. Then she sat right next to me so we had to share the kneeler, when the whole rest of the pew was empty. I like to kneel again AFTER Mass, but got up so she'd not have to wiggle around me. Another couple in our parish actually stared someone down who'd inadvertently sat in "their esteemed pew" and it was really creepy. God bless these 'prickly' types. I mean come on, the other pew directly in front AND in back was empty!!! Sheesh!!

solzemli said...

Believe it or not removing the pews doesn’t solve the problem. You wouldn’t believe the amount of times I have seen parishioners in the Russian church ask newcomers to move because they were “standing in their spot.” Or else they just squeeze between people in hopes of bumping them over enough in order to reclaim “their spots.” It just goes to show that you can take the pews out of the church, but taking the “crazy” out is a whole different ballgame!