Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Like, what's with all the fellowship bullshit at Mass?"

"You don't feel welcome? Why bother going then? I don't go to Mass with expectations of being the center of attention and accolades for just showing up. I don't expect to have some special welcoming committee glad handing me when I walk in. I don't need to be hugged or have my hand held throughout the Lord's Prayer. I don't want to have to stop and chat after Mass while I'm trying to make my thanksgiving. I'm not there to party."

I have the hugest crush on Mr. Nelson.


Terry Nelson said...

LOL! What an elegant post title. Thanks Kat! I'm laughing so hard.

BurgoFitzgerald said...

Although all "the crazies", as Kat put it at Abbey Roads, were chased to Terry Nelson's site, this crazy came here to comment on the photograph posted over at Kat's crush's site.

If that is a real snapshot taken at a mass and not staged in anyway, I have to say that those two people really do need God's help in more than one way. I feel sorry for such people who are either so a) starved for attention, b) narcissistic, c) lacking in common sense, d) needy or e) all of the above.

If I was to experience this first hand, the only reaction they would get from me (and no one should kid himself or herself that these two people did this for any other reason than making a statement or causing a reaction) is I would probably roll my eyes, expel a long suffering sigh, and pray for God to give me more strength, more patience, and more desire to actually live another day amidst my "brothers and sisters in Christ".

I might also take a page from Mr. Nelson and mutter, "Grow up."

I know that people vomit out the pablum that "Jesus doesn't care how you come to receive Him. He's just happy you are there!" I just really cannot believe that Jesus didn't at least HOPE that we would TRY to make even the smallest effort to be MORE than we are.

The Digital Hairshirt said...

Still . . . it's nice to have someone see you and say, "I'm glad you're here."

Because it IS home . . .

Thom, SFO said...

Courage. I do not think it means what you think it means.

The Crescat said...

Yeah, Digi... but it's not our house. It's His. It's the same as if I came to your house and treated you like you were privileged to my presence.

It's poor manners in each case.

Anonymous said...

So agree. It is His house and homage should be paid to Him. By the way, I have a huge crush on Terry too. What's up with that!?

Christopher Lake said...

Insofar as Terry was making this point in relation to "gay masses" (Lord, have mercy!), I completely agree with him. Also, just in general, I have a huge problem with Masses in which the people are understood to be the focal point rather than God.

With all of the above said though, I do think that there can be a problem with coldness at *some* Catholic parishes. Maybe it is just my experience, but when almost everyone is out the door and heading for the parking lot either before, or very soon after, the last song is sung, I have to wonder, is that really what God wants for parishes? When people can go to the same parish for years and still feel like strangers there, is that how things are supposed to be in Christ's Church?

I'm not saying, of course, that people don't need to make an effort to get involved, and to get to know people themselves, in local parishes. Obviously, we can't just simply wait for people to come to us and get to know us. However, it is a fact that in some parishes, there is a deficit of genuine Christian "familial" love. During the Mass is not the time to express that love, normatively-- but it should be expressed.

Anonymous said...

Love the title! I feel the same way. We treat going to Mass the same as any other event, it's supposed to be all about US!

Well, no, actually it's supposed to be all about HIM. As in, HIM in the Eucharist and us there to celebrate our ability to participate and worship.

If I wanted all the Welcome Wagon stuff I will go to a Protestant church.

Christopher Lake said...

The Mass is all about God. Mass is not "social hour." We are at Mass to worship God, not to chat with each other.

However, as a former Reformed, Calvinist Protestant who went to Protestant services that were *very* focused on God, and not ourselves, I have to wonder, why can't we have the proper, reverent Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, *and* genuine Christian fellowship, *after* Mass, at least sometimes?

Maybe it is just my unfortunate experience, but after almost a year back in the Church, I do understand why at least some very God-focused Protestants, who simply long for in-person fellowship, can find Catholic parishes to be "cold" (and I don't mean at Mass itself, which again, is not the time for conversations).

Fr. Tom Miller said...

The Church often presumes that the community that regularly celebrates the Eucharist knows itself outside of the Mass. I think that has been a presumption for centuries and until recent times a fairly safe one. While Mass is not a social hour, it acknowledges a social reality (the assembly) and to remain in the dark about your fellow parishioners so that one can privately worship the Lord free from the hassle of your neighbor can be as damaging as turning Mass into the carnival of fun. Granted those who neglect or abuse the Christo-centric nature of Mass are easier to spot than those who view their neighbor with disregard. BTW - my first time commenting here. Always enjoy the site.