"Now conveniently in rear rows!"

Our lives are filled these days with modern conveniences.* One more and I'm headed straight back to the 12th century. Anymore, etiquette is dictated by these boons of technology.

As an example, upon arrival at church, one should turn off the cell phone. Taking calls in the Confessional is generally frowned upon--even if you are the priest.

Another point of churchly etiquette was brought up in a bulletin from Florida I recently perused. It asks that late arrivals during Mass take seats in the back rather than create a disturbance and distraction by walking down toward the front via the main aisle. Unfortunately, every Sunday Mass (and not a few daily) I've attended, the last four rows are packed with early arrivals. The only spaces left are from the front back.

Apparently, if one sits way in the back, Father can't use his priest-vision to see the dark deeds of one's heart. Also, a lot of this last row thing, I think, started with Jesus' story of the Pharisee and the publican. The Pharisees, now being wise to how things work, sit in the farthest rows to remind all that they are holy by being humble enough to sit in the last rows.

So with the folks attempting to avoid priest powers, those reminding others of their final destinations, the young parents with squalling babies trying to escape other young parents with squalling babies in the"cry room," the ushers playing poker and talking baseball while waiting to take up the collection, and, of course, old poots like me who need the shortest limp to the restrooms, those last rows would give a sardine claustrophobia.

* Convenience: (old middle Wendish) noun. 1. A source of exasperation. 2. A blot on the face of technology. 3. an excuse to pay 100-150% more for an item.

11 October 2010: Feast of St. Peter Tuy. Day did not exist in Italy, Portugal, Poland, or Spain because of implementation of Gregorian calendar 1582, sack of Wexford by Cromwell 1649, Battle of Valcour Island in Lake Champlain 1776, J.E.B. Stuart loots Chambersburg, Pennsylvania 1862, Vatican II begins 1962.

1 comment:

  1. I love it! It's so true. I sit with the choir, and watch the church fill up from the rear forward. You've also got the folks who come early to stake out end seats, and sit on opposite ends of the very longest pew, so no one can sit in the middle. Then they heave a heavy sigh when a family arrives and needs those 14 middle seats!