When my husband asked me what I would like for Christmas this year, I said, “I would like for our family to attend a Latin Mass.” (I think that will be my response when he asks what I want for my birthday next year.) [Good thinking. Ladies, I'll bet birthdays and anniversaries would work too.] So we’re going to ___. Their website provides guidelines on how to properly conduct ourselves during mass, but I need further guidance.
We have an eight-month old who might get fussy during mass. If this happens, what should we do?
Should we soothe him in our seats? Should we take him to the vestibule? What about during communion? Can we take him to the communion rail with us (we won’t be able to fold our hands in prayer).
“Fold hands in prayer”… I like that. I sometimes wonder if people aren’t thinking, “OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD AM I DOING THIS RIGHT?!?” or “Can’t he go FASTER?” or even “How does he say that long Latin thing so….. [whoops! (tongue out)]…. fast?”
So, you have asked me not only to step on the third rail, but “moon walk” on it.
Fussy babies during Mass.
We all love babies, don’t we? I want to be on record that I love babies.
And many of you will with great fervor chime in to say, “Babies don’t bother me at Mass! I am always really happy to hear babies singing during Mass!”, with perhaps with the suggestion that anyone who doesn’t want to hear your little stupor mundi shatter the windows is a baby-hating … I dunno… liberal, or something.
Indeed, some people really don’t hear the snuffly bundles of joy when they mewl. Mirabile (non) auditu! How they do that, I don’t know. I have no reference point.
A priest stopped at my quarters the other day. I moved to turn of the TV.
He quipped, “I grew up with 7 brothers and sisters. Noise doesn’t bother me.”
“I didn’t”, quoth I.
Noise bothers me. No. Really. It does. (Except when I have the news on and I am also playing through recorded talk radio programs at 2x speed; I can do that… but I digress).
In church? That’s a different matter. NOISE doesn’t belong in church. Remember Screwtape on silence and noise?
Do baby yowlings constitute “noise”? I’ll let you decide. I refuse to take a position or responsibility for any assumption you make about my position! (There. I’m teflon!)
That said, I was amused on Sunday when a wriggling cutie pie somewhere in church decided to respond to the ringing of the bells rung at the consecration: “EyYeyaaahOYYAbibÁyou!”, or something along those lines… right on cue.
Since I have zero experience in calming the infant, except in those occasions in which they become suddenly big-eye fascinated by my low resonant voice, I will turn this over to the general public.
In the meantime, I suggest that you not choose to sit in the very front row or even in the middle of rows. Perhaps a place near the back or near a convenient door is a good idea.
As for coming to Communion with folded hands, don’t worry about that. Babe in arms? Kneel (if practical). Lock down junior’s little searchy grabby arm if necessary. Tilt head back slightly. Open jaw. Extend tongue about an inch. Wait. No “Amen” needed. Father does the rest.
Bottom line: Common sense, respect for others, and let us all be human, whatever age we are.