I write this entry with both laughter and disbelief. A few months ago, some parishioners were grumbling about seating arrangements in the Church now that we've merged with three other congregations. I remember asking if something so petty was legitimate enough to actually be discussing during a ministry meeting. Folks were adamant that such a "problem" really existed and it needed to be addressed so folks felt validated.
I shook my head and simply removed myself from the conversation after I pointed out that such a bewildering "problem" wasn't a "problem" so much as a self-centered and childish act that had no place in a Church.
Anyway, I attended Mass today and slipped in slightly late (just as they were about to rise for Mass to start). So, trying to be as discreet as possible, I asked a gentleman to move into a row so I could slip into the pew. He very obviously didn't want to move for me, and actually eye-balled me for a quick minute. Then, after seeing I wasn't leaving, he begrudgingly slid over the few inches so I could take my seat.
I sat next to him for most of the Mass, feeling all of his anger bouncing off me. I was absolutely incredulous that I was sitting next to an adult who actually harbored resentment because of a seating arrangement. I'm still a little shocked. Anyway, just before the Creed, the Parish Council was asked to stand and make their way to the front of the Church for a blessing. I stood and walked up with my council members from the two pews ahead of me (which were filled) and accepted the blessing from Father. As I walked back and took my seat, the gentleman had averted his eyes in embarrassment.
See, he realized that I kinda "had" to take the seat he had inadvertently taken from me anyway (not paying attention to the "reserved" sign that was across the pew). I was supposed to be where he was, but because that was his "normal" spot, I guess he didn't care and felt folks should situate themselves around him. *Shakes head*
I absolutely cannot believe that.
Anyway, after the blessing, I simply moved towards the middle of the congregation (where I typically sit) and enjoyed focusing my attention away from such a childish person.
I still can't believe that folks can be so ridiculous when it comes to sitting in a pew at Church. He had the ENTIRE THING open. To move in a few inches caused THAT much of a problem for him? You simply have to be kidding me...
This is why I tend to sit in the middle of a pew when I enter a Church. I don't want to force folks to step over me, to wiggle around me, or to feel funny asking me to slide over for a family of four. I simply think ahead to the needs of others, and if the opportunity presents itself where I am able to slide over to share seating, I'm only too happy to thank the Lord for such a blessing.
Note to self: Go over pew ettiquette with the kids on Tuesday night... lol.
We once had something like that happen. It was Christmas midnight Mass. We had gotten there very early and were in the front pew. Another couple had sat with us such that the pew was pretty filled. Maybe there was room for 1 more person but not much more than that. An elderly couple came in to the church, came up to the pew and said, "We sit here every Sunday," and pushed their way in and sat down. Of course we made room as best as possible but we couldn't help but think they might need this Mass more.
11/14/2011 01:48:39 am
So true. A lot of people want to be on the end so they can be the first one out when Mass is ended.
We have this happen at our church a lot. I have even seen people REFUSE to slid down. When my 2 kids were really little, I liked sitting on the end because I knew that one of them would have to go to the potty. But I would always slide down if someone asked.
4/4/2016 07:09:23 am
I learned to love the middle of the pew. I typically go to 7:30a.m. Mass, which is lightly attended, but full of end-huggers. One winter morning, after comfortably settling into the end of a pew, a family of late comers decided I was the best one to ask to shove over. Fine. I picked up my purse, my coat, my scarf, my gloves, my Bible, and moved in. But wait, one of their kids had been straggling. They needed a little more room. Not only was this now a disruption to me, but also to everyone around us as we all had to readjust ourselves, twice. But, once we all got settled, I looked up and realized I had a great view from the middle as no one sits there! Also, as I was new to this parish, the older members who expect to sit in the same seat every Sunday, don't feel threatened by my sitting in "their" seat. And late comers are always grateful they can slip in quietly. But, the best part is I know I can really settle in for Mass and have rows and rows of unfettered view.
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