A Young Father Meets the Old Mass

My discovery of the Traditional Latin Mass, now known in the wake of Summorum Pontificum as the “extraordinary rite,” was a slow but logical process rooted in a lifelong desire for a liturgy that was sensible, sacramental, and enhanced by the trappings of orthodoxy.

The journey began in a small, rural parish in Pennsylvania attended largely by converts and accompanied by folk music. It deepened through my involvement with a religious congregation that augmented their spiritual life with Gregorian chant, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and an approach to contemporary liturgy that was somber and reverent. In college, I flirted with the Byzantine rite, finding the ad orientem posture of the priest refreshing, the incense welcome, the deeply scriptural sense of ritual satisfying.
During our engagement and the early years of marriage, my wife and I were drawn to a parish that celebrated the novus ordo in a more traditional way, employing the use of Latin, incense, ad orientem, polyphony, and chant. Our wedding Mass was celebrated in this manner as well. But it wasn’t until we moved to Arizona in 2004 that we finally made the commitment to the classical rite, with an indult granted to St. Thomas Apostle parish in Phoenix by Bishop Thomas Olmsted.
My first exposures left me feeling disinterested and confused. Raised completely within the novus ordo, I found the older form inaccessible and foreign. But after I grew in my understanding of liturgy, what was once impenetrable became desirable, appealing, and remarkably comfortable. My wife — who had never professed a specific religious faith prior to her conversion to Catholicism — was even more drawn to it than I was.
The first two years we spent with the ancient and venerable liturgy were like a honeymoon. Babies were born and baptized according to the older form. We dove into our missals and learned to appreciate and understand the beauty of the Mass that was familiar to so many of the Church’s beloved saints. I undertook a spirited defense of my newfound love for traditional liturgy both online and in gatherings of family and friends.
We eventually moved back to Northern Virginia in 2006 and began attending Mass at St. Mary, Mother of God, in downtown Washington, D.C. As our adorable infants grew older and louder, however, I spent less and less time with my missal in prayer and more time in the narthex of the Church in some sort of parent-child version of a cage match.
For many young parents who have discovered tradition, this is where the love affair breaks down. Not a few of us already have to drive long distances to get to an extraordinary rite Mass. Add to that a couple of screaming toddlers, an older parish without a cry room, an usher that gives you the evil eye when your child makes a noise before you can mete out swift parental justice, and the added length of the liturgy itself, and suddenly the silence and solemnity that was so appealing to your deepest Catholic sensibilities becomes an obstacle to being spiritually nourished by Mass at all.
Too many Sundays as I’m showing up ten minutes late after a break-neck drive from 30 miles away, I find myself muttering, “I don’t care. Why do I do this?” Too often after spending an hour-and-a-half on our feet with children who want to bang on radiators, make multiple trips to the bathroom, and smack us in the eyes with their flailing hands and juice cups, we’re tempted to skip out early and ditch the last Gospel or the prayers after low Mass — things we used to find significant and even beautiful. Not having grown up with the old Mass, it has yet to become second nature to me. Without being able to really pay attention, I can easily get lost and feel displaced, and that leads to a lot of frustration, Sunday after Sunday.
In these moments I consider the alternatives — go back to the novus ordo or don’t go to Mass at all. Obviously, the second choice is tempting to parents engaged in an epic test of endurance with their offspring, but not acceptable for a Catholic. The first choice, on the other hand, is something my wife and I simply find distasteful. I’ve spent a very small proportion of my life as a traditional Catholic, and an even smaller fraction of that time fully able to take advantage of the beauty of the ancient liturgy. And yet this has been among the most spiritually enriching periods of my life. There are times when my frustrations obscure that fact, but I’m never divorced from it. Everything I love about the traditional Mass is what will inevitably keep me from leaving it, despite my difficulties.
I grew tired some time ago of the debates over the validity of the novus ordo. The Holy Father has maintained it as the “ordinary form” of the Church, and I won’t presume to know better. What I do know, however, is the power of the older form; I may not be able to see or hear as much of the sacred mystery as I could when attending a novus ordo, but I take consolation in knowing that the priest is fulfilling his role on my behalf, as God intended him to do. I don’t need to see the flight deck to trust that the pilot can fly me safely to my destination, and I don’t need to be aware of every gesture at the altar to know that the priest’s offering is effecting my salvation.
As my cousin, a priest, once told me: “It’s a mystery — if you know everything that’s going on, something is wrong.”

 

By

Steve Skojec serves as the Director of Community Relations for a professional association. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he earned a BA in Communications and Theology. His passions include writing, photography, social media, and an avid appreciation of science fiction. Steve lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Jamie and their five children.

  • Marty

    I am still afraid to take my five and three year old to the Latin Mass. They are of course public schooled 🙂 and when I see the homschooled kids in the size order adn not speaking a word I get too nervous to bring my own.

    While, I would love my parish to offer a N.O. similiar to those EWTN and Fr. Rutler, I do not expect that too soon. I am blessed to have a Latin Mass close to home.

    Great article thanks.

  • Mike

    Steve wrote: I may not be able to see or hear as much of the sacred mystery as I could when attending a novus ordo, but I take consolation in knowing that the priest is fulfilling his role on my behalf, as God intended him to do. I don’t need to see the flight deck to trust that the pilot can fly me safely to my destination, and I don’t need to be aware of every gesture at the altar to know that the priest’s offering is effecting my salvation.

    I personally find it much more frustrating to be in the narthex in the back of the church at the Ordinary Form than at the Extraordinary Form. When at the Extraordinary Form, I can keep an eye on the sacred movements of the priest and internally participate through prayer, even as my little ones are wrestling to get out of my arms. Maybe it’s the Latin, or the silence of the Low Mass, or the Ad Orientem worship, but it just feels like I can participate just as “actively” from the back as up front paying full attention. I don’t need to hear/understand every word or action to understand that the priest is offering up the Sacrifice of the Mass and to unite myself to that.

    Since the emphasis in the Ordinary Form tends to be more on the external participation, I find that I feel I’ve missed more of the Mass when in the back.

    Just my 2 cents, for what it’s worth.

  • Mark Scott Abeln

    When I became Catholic, I went to a Novus Ordo parish within walking distance. Even though I was learning as much as I could about Catholicism, it wasn’t until I went to the old Mass in Latin (with a very knowledgeable friend who always kept me synchronized with the Missal) that I finally “got it”.

    From what I’ve read, Catholic churches were traditionally noisy places because of all of the kids, and so praying private devotions during the Mass was nearly a necessity.

  • Hilarity

    I was told by people who went to the Mass in the Olden Days that the kids didn’t come. They weren’t brought to Mass until they were of an age to be able to keep quiet.

    But I’ve been to quite a lot of SSPX Masses, and they have kids at it who are usually very quiet and attentive. Infants, I believe, were not taken to Mass. The other thing they used to have in the Olden Days were families that had two parents. I have been told that they would spell off, one staying home with the kids who were too young to be taken to Mass.

    The all-inclusive-everybody-goes-no-matter-what thing is kind of a post-VII thing, as far as I understand it.

  • Joseph Susanka

    As a (mostly) young father, I have experienced Narthexial Frustation in spades over the past 6+ years. However, I find that it has much less to do with the rite (or form) being celebrated, and much more to do with my own pervasive distractibility.

    Sure, the fact that I am less familiar with the Extraordinary Form, (as well as the fact that I have lost nearly every shred of Latin I picked up during my college years), means that I am far less likely to know where I am when I look up from my cute, noisy distraction. But this lack of familiarity certainly isn’t the cause of my distraction. (It does cause me to be more aware of it, though. And that’s probably a good thing.)

    I find that the best solution to this problem is experience, and am greatly pleased that we have been able to expose our kids to a wide range of rites and forms. We have the opportunity to attend the Extraordinary Form weekly, as well as weekly, devout celebrations of the Ordinary Form in both English and Latin. Plus, we have recently begun to attend a monthly Byzantine Rite mass, as well.

    Though it is often suggested that “familiarity breeds contempt,” I have found the exact opposite to be true in liturgical matters. I have great hopes that my children will have a “well-rounded” liturgical sense, and will therefore be less susceptible to these sorts of distractions than I.

    There is a fair amount of familiarity yet to be reached, however. During our Extraordinary Rite Mass a coupe of weeks ago, my second son asked: “Why is Father Drew talking in Spanish?”

    When I explained to him that it was Latin, he responded: “Oh. When Father Cook says Mass, he uses real words.”

    Ouch.

    (Of course, my eldest son’s reaction to the ad orientem posture of the priest made up for it. “If Father going to say the whole Mass facing that way? Cool!”)

  • mike

    Dear Steve,

    You may want to try the EF @ St John in McLean @ noon Sundays every week – there is a cry room.

    m

  • Diane

    Hilarity:

    I discovered the secret to quiet and still children at Mass, but it must begin at a very young age. I think there’s hope for parents of older children too.

    I blogged on this after the light-bulb went on at my traditional parish as I observed how they dealt with their infants and toddlers.

    Read my post: Shhhh…..the secret to quiet and still children at Mass.

  • Diane

    I see the link did not work as planned. Let me try this:

    [a href=http://tinyurl.com/2llxvc]Shhhh…..the secret to quiet and still children at Mass[/a]

  • Diane

    Well, if you want to read the post on quiet children at Mass, you can always go to my website, scroll down until you see a section on Popular Liturgical Posts and select it there. It’s near the top of the list.

  • Beth

    We have several kids too–16-16 months–so we’ve been playing the “wrestling at the chapel” match for years. A few years ago I felt the exact frustrations as you share Steve. Even thought about the “leave them home until they are old enough” solution. But then I got a great sense of peace when I thought, You know, it doesn’t really matter if my whole mind is involved or not. If I get there and pledge to the Lord that I will give Him my best–the best my heart has to offer which desires to worship Him with my whole self; the best my mind currently has to offer which is full participation in the prayers and actions; the best of my strength (which is being used to hold a sqirming 30-pounder), the best the soul has to offer which desires union with Him and knows that right THERE in the Eucharist is where that union will take place. Okay, so, I’m struggling with the kids, trying to block out the stares of others, trying to pay attention and respond….but in the end, the SACRIFICE HAPPENS whether I am paying attention or not and it indeed happens for me.

    Stay firm and don’t give up–by the time they are three they will at least be semi-quiet and by the time they are five—they are themselves following along. It won’t last forever!

  • John Mann

    I recommend that the author attend St. John The Beloved in McLean, VA at the noon Mass. Latin High Mass with a wonderful choir with the Mass celebrated in extraordinary reverence and solemnity. As close as one can get to heaven on earth. As an a bonus you’ll hear, in Fr. Franklyn McAfee, one of the Church’s most gifted homilists. And there’s a cry room.

  • Mark

    Mr. Skojec, there is also a TLM at St. Lawrence in the Franconia/Springfield area of Northern Virginia at 12:30 on Sundays. We have a wide variety of attendees including families with young children so you won’t have to worry about evil eyes. There is no need to worry about cry-rooms; children belong at the Mass with everyone else.

  • Steve Skojec

    I especially appreciate those who have passed along the info and location of these other Masses. I’ve actually been to both St. John the Beloved and St. Lawrence, but what’s toughest for us about those Masses is the time. Afternoon masses with two toddlers is a nightmare scenario. They’re hungry and tired and restless to an extreme degree. Going to St. Mary’s at 9AM seems to be the only option that works, even though it isn’t perfect.

    And John, I’m a big fan of Fr. McAfee. I used to be a parishioner of his in the days before the TLM, when he was at St. Catherine of Siena and offered the most reverent, ad orientem, Latin novus ordo I’ve yet seen. My years at that parish attending that Mass definitively paved the way for my hunger for the classical rite. I’ve still never found a comparable homilist, either. I think I’d pay to hear him speak.

  • John

    Rather than look at the well-behaved, homeschooled children in awe, perhaps those kids could be a model for more discipline to one’s own family.

    A few things that could help would be to arrive early (if one is always running late for a 30-minute drive, perhaps leaving 40 minutes is the answer) and sit in the back pew. Fellow communicants are more forgiving toward a screaming baby when he isn’t in the middle of the congregation.

    Also, there are a host of options in the D.C./Md./Va. area for traditional Latin Low Masses instead of High Masses. Besides the minimized disturbance with a crying baby (music vs. no music), the Mass is shorter.

    Finally, with the many options for traditional Masses now, maybe one parent goes to one location and another goes to a second location? While it would be ideal for both mother and father to hear the traditional Latin Mass together, wouldn’t it be better to go in “shifts” so the parents and the children who are able to attend can concentrate without distraction?

    Just a few thoughts…

  • Holy Water Salt

    Hmmm..

    I have tried to take my children no matter what thir age.If someone gives me a dirty look,oh well.

    I leave when they act up, and come back when they settle down. I let the little ones eat…shh and color. Life goes on. I suggest those who loathe children to sit in the front rows,I am not there : )

    Here’s a great story just happened this Sunday:
    My maniac four-year-old was facing the back and and making “slit-the-throat” gesture at out choir brother. You can’t make that stuff up,he almost fell out of the choir-loft he claimed. The entire choir was laughing…I had no idea till later.

    Go to Mass.

  • Marie

    A child who cannot get through Mass without eating should be left at home.
    Please don’t bring food into the pews. It doesn’t belong there, and makes a mess. Generations of children have attended Mass without Cheerios and sippy cups (and, at least in my day, without trips to the restroom). Yours can too.

  • Chris

    Marie wrote: Generations of children have attended Mass without Cheerios and sippy cups (and, at least in my day, without trips to the restroom). Yours can too.

    Marie, thanks for the input. However, I think we could all do without the sanctimonious attitude.

    With attitudes like this it is no wonder our Church continues to struggle to attract young families.

  • Claire

    I didn’t see anything “sanctimonious” in Marie’s post. It should go without saying that you don’t bring snacks to Mass, but unfortunately some people are just clueless, especially where their children are concerned. So what should go without saying has to be said.

  • Paige

    I have to agree that the statement that children of previous generations never needed to use the restroom during Mass is sanctimonious.

    We should be encouraging families to include their children at Mass instead of belittling them and referring to them as “clueless”.

    Although food may not be appropriate, there is a nicer way to get that point across.

  • Sarah

    There have been many thoughtful opinions posted so far, and I think it very interesting to hear different points of view and ways of handling the inevitable challenges of attending Mass with youngsters. I do feel, however, that employing terms such as “sanctimonious” and “clueless” is unnecessary, especially considering we desire the same end.

    I am a mother of four young children (with one on the way), and I have to agree with Marie that food is out of place in Mass. If nothing else, it is likely to leave more work for those who clean up after all of us. While there may be many legitimate opinions on the best way to help children experience the Mass, it is important not to lose track of what the Mass is. Greeting the Most High God as He humbles Himself for our sanctification should not, if at all possible, coincide with snack time or craft hour.

    That being said, those who find these distractions the only way to attend Mass as a family should be viewed with charity and understanding, as should those who find children a personal distranction. Both are attempting to participate in the Holy Sacrifice as completely as possible, and our judgement and condemnation of them can only affect our own souls.

  • Tara

    Thank you for your lovely article – and to parents who school their children in the Extraordinary Form.

    I was wondering if any communities attached to the more ancient forms of the Liturgy used the Montessori based method of Religious Education with their children, that being, the ‘Catechesis of the Good Shepherd’? I am attempting to write a report on just this topic – because I think that the method is completely complementary to this Liturgy.

    Blessed Easter to all!

  • Billl Sr.

    As any adult parent over 40 knows, “kids” are different (not to mention times) so you can’t say do this or do that and your child will behave in church.
    I’m long past 40 and I’ve seen families with eight or more kids in church and not a peep out of any of them. I’ve also seen parents bring two siblings and one is quiet and the other is all over the place.
    We made a mistake years ago when parishes were expanding so fast and to keep cost down we chose to go without “crying rooms”. This in turn caused us to allow movement of the Tabernacle to “chapels” and the debate over that is still ragging. This brought us to making the main body of our churches community gathering areas where we could gossip right up to the beginning of mass and long afterwards with the “kids” running through the pews after each other.
    Anyone wanting to arrive early to

  • Ann

    Whenever I find myself getting judgey about the behavior of other people at Mass, I tell myself, that they are here, and they are bringing what they can at that moment. Only, what, 50% of Catholics even attend weekly Mass? The ones who come, they are serious in their own way.

    As far as children, of course the children were always better behaved in the past! And one day when I am old I will say the same thing of mine.[smiley=happy]

  • meg

    Don’t give up Steve – this too shall pass, and in the end your children will love the Mass.

    I actually like the constant din of the sounds of the little children – it makes me smile, it’s very sweet – I guess, too, that I miss my own babies – they have grown up too fast.

    We that are in the throes of raising our children are at a very joyful time of life, perhaps the lovliest time of all – we receive the hugs and kisses and sweet words of our children everyday and it sustains us through our trials.

    In my experience it’s usually older folks who are most disturbed by noisy children. As my mom ages I have more sympathy for the elderly – they’re not just grouchy old people. Many have sufferings we can only yet imagine – aches, pains, fears, lonliness – their children are gone – maybe they’ve lost their spouse – Mass may be their only time of solace, when they pour out their hearts and ask for strength.

    So I guess I’m saying that their feelings should be considered…for what it’s worth…

  • Gigi S

    “It’s a mystery — if you know everything that’s going on, something is wrong.”

    As my husband, a convert always says, “If it wasn’t a mystery, it wouldn’t be Divine!”

  • SJG

    I have to say I’m a little jealous that Mr. Skojec lives in Bishop Olmsted’s diocese… Olmsted was the bishop of my diocese when I converted, and though I certainly don’t have any problems with Bishop Jackels, I really really miss our former bishop!

  • Mary Rose Maguire

    Steve, I’ve always enjoyed your articles and as a “surprised” devotee of the Traditional Latin Mass, especially enjoy articles that focus on the EFM. When I first returned to the Church, I remember the first time I attended a TLM. It was foreign, but yet beautiful in its silence and “otherness.” I was drawn by the reverence (as many others) and seamless continuity of the liturgy.

    I also recently thought about the “toughness” of Catholicism. I like it! What I mean by “toughness” is that it takes effort to enter in and understand the TLM. Because one has to put some effort into it, I believe new spiritual ground is being plowed. A person is aware when they put forth an effort and as such, will reap the rewards of being attentive and present in the moment. Much more will be spiritually received (and given) when we focus on the liturgy. (Of course this is for those who attend the ordinary form, too.)

    I attend Mass alone since my husband is not Catholic. I also have no children but love them. I wanted to let you know how much it blesses me to see families together at Mass. Within the non-Catholic churches, children are usually whisked away after the worship band stops playing. During the years when I was involved with non-denominational churches, I was slightly bothered by this. It seemed as though an important part of a family’s spiritual life was suddenly torn away because the parents would be experiencing one thing while the children experienced something different.

    I was surprised when I attended a few Novus Ordo Masses in my area and saw they did something similar with the children. Early in the Mass they were dismissed and then they returned around the time for the Offertory. I felt a little sad about it because the memories I have as a child attending Mass with my parents – and being with them the entire time – was part of the binding faith that helped me return to the Catholic Church. Just my two cents.

    Finally, I found some of the activities of a Novus Ordo more distracting to me than any child could be. Even when a child is crying or fussing in the midst of a TLM, for some reason, I’m able to stay on track with what’s occurring at the altar. I’m not sure if that’s anyone else’s experience, but it’s mine. I’m blessed to be in a parish with many young families and I thank God frequently for them. They are the future of our Church. [smiley=happy]

  • Aaron

    That’s some great advice from Robert. I do think a big problem for many kids is that they’re not used to sitting still elsewhere. If they go to school, they may have to sit still there, but a class isn’t as long as Mass, and the teacher’s main job is to keep them distracted. Mass is a rare time when they aren’t being actively entertained or paid attention to.

    We have a lot of young, large families at our FSSP parish, and they’re great to see there. Some are better behaved than others–maybe because we just started a year ago, so most of them weren’t raised in it. It doesn’t bother me when a baby fusses or a kid has to go to the bathroom. (Except the one boy who goes every week during the homily.) I do get irked at the parents who seem oblivious to their kids, though, or who do insane things, like giving a baby car keys to play with. Some things seem like common sense.

    I don’t see any point in giving them a hard time about it, though. That’ll only drive them away, so they can go tell their friends they were right about how judgmental those traditional Catholics are. Better to have them stick around and learn how things are done.

  • mother of 3

    Beautiful article. I am a convert from non-denominational CHristianity, and had the pleasure of attending a FSSP Latin mass for about a year. WE had 2 little ones at the time and mass was never quiet and contemplative for us, but it was certainly extremely important for my spiritual formation. there were many large families there and they were very compassionate about noisy kids, and we did our utmost to keep them still. WE moved, and have a great parish and priest who uses the latin here and there in the NO mass, and the church is old and very reverent. Now we have 3 little ones and one on the way. I usually get this kind of remark from the older (there are many) parishoners:”You are so brave to bring them to Mass. I always came by myself and left them with my husband or mother.” And for the most part I do think other people like to see kids at Mass– our priest does, and my husband and I do what we can to minimize distraction and we feel really self conscious about it. So I really appreciate hearing the encouraging comments about bringing young ones to mass (before they’re “old” enough). I would also like to remind everyone what other have said; people coming to mass at all is what you should be concerned about. Kids might be distracting, but so it the person who doesn’t go up for communion. It distracts me because I’m not mature enough to help wondering if they need to confess something or if they’re a visiting relative who isn’t Catholic and what they think of the mass… the point it, we all get distracted by things, but we are all one body and should help one another. My other point is that not every parent has the option of doing mass in shifts or leaving kids home, EVER. In my house, the kids always go, no matter what– because either I am going with them by myself or my husband is coming with me.

  • sibyl

    Thanks everyone for offering your ideas. I’ve only been to one “extraordinary form” Mass in my life, and found it to be hard to participate in, and not because of my children!

    I am wholeheartedly happy that the EF is no longer frowned upon, and only wish the Novus Ordo Masses were more often as reverent. But part of what helps my children behave is the fact that there are responses, postures, and songs to participate in. And yes, I know that you can participate through prayer and reflection, as at a traditional Mass. But the kids, I think, appreciate being able to follow by the words that they themselves must learn to speak during the celebration.

    In our ordinary form parish, a gem in our city, the pastor encourages families with small children to sit in the FRONT! He does! And this is because being able to see and hear Father closely is so important for them to be able to concentrate. We do just take the child that squawks right out and down the side aisle, as unobtrusively as possible, and although I rarely look, sometimes I can’t avoid seeing the faces of parishioners who see me go. Most smile encouragingly.

    This has always struck me as exactly right for a Catholic Mass. Children, as baptized Christians, ought to be there until they can’t, just like the rest of us. And when a fellow parishioner (whatever the age!) causes a malice-free disruption, the most loving response ought to be sympathetic smiles or charitable ignorance.

    My final thought on this excellent article: as a mother of 6 who has found herself in the narthex on and off since 1998, my experience is that it gets easier! Believe it or not, I find that I have no problem participating, praying, and worshiping our Lord from the back, even though usually I’m bouncing a baby, following a toddler around, nursing, etc. God just took away the frustration entirely. So to all you who are still frustrated, please accept my encouragement! He is probably on the verge of the same gift for you. Persevere.

  • Ken

    It should be noted that the narthex of Saint Mary’s in D.C. is the traditional version of a cry room. The doors separating it from the nave have glass windows, so the sanctuary is visible; there is a speaker for audio; and there are two small pews. Somehow the Church didn’t have to construct formal (always UGLY) cry-rooms for the first 1,950 years of her existence.

    Moreover, John’s comments above are worth reading closely. I can see the quagmire when a High Mass is the only option in a given area, but the Archdiocese of Washington and Diocese of Arlington have between 13 and 15 traditional Latin Masses on a given Sunday. Taking a few moments to determine which liturgy will be a Missa Cantata or Missa Solemnis (as compared to a shorter, quieter Low Mass) before choosing a Mass to attend is a wise investment of time.

  • I am not Spartacus

    Mean old Traddies. Why don’t they just die?

    I mean, who are they to look disapprovingly at a Mom or Dad whose kid is acting at Mass like Ochocinco acts on the sidelines during an NFL game?

    Traddies are badies and I am sure they never had large families their own selves and I am sure they were not able to raise their kids to be quiet at Mass and I am sure that they were never young themselves attending Mass with all of their brothers and sister in a large family and yet were quiet at Mass – or else!!

    As an Irish-Algonquin bornacatholic in a family with one brother and four sisters, I remember going to Mass before I even remember going to Mass and my younger brother and my younger sisters went to Mass from their earliest days.

    We never made a peep.

    And all the other large families in that Vermont town, the Birsksy, The Tracy’s,the Carrolls, the Pignatos etc etc etc had their kids with them and it was always quiet at Mass or Msgr. Nolan would shoot you the crook-eye and you’d pipe down before your Dad would tell you that because you made noise at mass you had to mow Mount Ascutney.

    Cut the traddies some slack.

    Of course they are a might testy. They had their spiritual heritage stolen from them and their teeth are still on edge and you are not the first Mom and Dad on the Planet who have to keep your kids quiet at Mass.

    (I understand one can by chloroform online)

  • meg

    …because you made noise at mass you had to mow Mount Ascutney.

    Ha! An effective deterrent, no doubt…

    One of my friends says when she was a kid, she and her siblings had to kneel on a hardwood floor at home facing the wall for an hour if they acted up at Mass.

  • Sandra in severn

    What worked for my father, my uncles, my mother and my aunts, as well as for me (yep, I’m that old) was to be positioned close enough to SEE what is going on up on the altar.

    I had made my First Communion before all the NO changes were made.

    Let the toddlers SEE what is going on, you might be surprised on exactly how quiet they can become.

  • EMK

    This is the first time I’ve heard of a Latin Rite where you stand for an hour and a half. Grew up between the two and mass was always a sitting/standing/kneeling affair.

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