From a reader:
Today at Mass, it would seem my very active 3 year old was being a
little too loud with one of his small toy cars (he wasn’t all that
interested in coloring one of his three catholic coloring books or his
illustrated bible or his “Story of Easter” book). An usher approached
me while I am trying to get my son to be quiet and says, “There are no
toys allowed in the Latin Mass.” Then he repeated it again in my ear.
“There are no TOYS allowed in the LATIN MASS.” I put the the toys away
and predictably my toddler started to cry. We had to leave church (and
stand out in the cold) until he settled down. I have to admit this
really upset me. I don’t know if this is a common church policy but I
must admit it seemed pretty off putting. In 3 years of attending Mass
with my child I have never once been scolded for being too loud or for
bringing “toys”. I was wondering if you had an opinion or any advice.
Well! And here we go, leaping toward the third rail.
I think I would have been tempted to respond, “And what part of LATIN MASS gives you permission to walk around church, ignoring the sacred action and reprimanding mothers?”
Without having been there, it is hard to know what to say. But it strikes me that the usher was on pretty shaky ground. Sure, all children at LATIN MASS should look just like the sweet little darlings in the pastel artwork depicting young ones praying head-bowed, pink hands together at their bedsides as a guardian angel hovers over them. That’s what all children at LATIN MASS should be like.
In the meantime, on my planet when little Stupor Mundi is making too much noise, and how much is too much and I am not at all sure, then attentive parents – used to their prodigy’s din at home – takes the diminutive treasure out.
That isn’t always possible and children can be obstreperous. Even at the LATIN MASS! Do be sensitive to noise levels. You might be used to the noise your child makes. Others are not.
Catholic Moms and Dads can jump in here. From time to time we have practical advice on this very topic. Since I firmly believe in the wisdom of the adage repetita iuvant, we can dig into it again.