koko & everything else

koko & everything else

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A LENTEN BLOG REPORT: Alarming Attitude of Today's Mass Goers

I do have a lot of pending blog posts… but I just needed to prioritize this.

Yesterday (March 9, 2011) was Ash Wednesday and for Catholics like me, it is the sign of the beginning of the Lenten Season. And whatever our sacrifices may be, if there’s any, would depend on us. And as one of our practices, we go and attend mass and get “ashed”… (or getting a “cross sign” on our foreheads using ash).

Anyways, I am not religious or even spiritual. I don’t pray everyday and I don’t attend mass every Sunday. In short, I am almost a non-practicing Catholic. But I do believe in God and I try my best to be a good person, not harming anyone and trying to live a fairly decent life.

Disclaimer: I am a sinner as most of us are, and I am not perfect!

But, yesterday, I decided to attend mass for the sake of the occasion as I always do. I think in a year, I just attend mass every Christmas (if I could), new year (again, if time permits), lenten season (another indefinite schedule) and my birthday (if possible).

So based from that, you see, I seldom go to church and attend mass. I pray in my own time. That’s what I do.

Anyways, back to what I am trying to share. Yesterday, when I attended mass, since I seldom attend one, I tried my best to focus, pray and really get into the “praying” mode. But I was bombarded with a LOT OF DISTRACTIONS.

I understand that when attending mass inside a mall or any public place, it is anticipated that there will be a lot of noise. That is why; it’s very challenging to actually hear the mass in clarity. But what bothered me were not the anticipated noises.

The mass-goers were the ultimate distraction!

I’ll just point out a few instances that really, almost, made me walk out. Good thing, I tried to pray and ask God to give me extra patience!

1. The guy beside me had his mobile phone on and loud, for that matter! So whenever there’s someone texting him or calling him, his ringtone kept on playing. It was fine if it was just a simple beep, BUT IT WAS NOT! He had a whole song playing and playing over and over! He could have had the decency to move away or turn his phone into silent mode. But NO! He did not! And I really tried my best to just ignore it and focus on the mass.
2. There’s another guy who came late for the mass with his girlfriend or wife (I really don’t care). Since, the chapel was packed; I was one of the people standing at the back. This guy (who came in late) stood just behind me and kept telling his companion that there were vacant seats in front… OUT LOUD. I don’t really know if he was deaf or he just doesn’t get that when going to mass… you are supposed to be QUIET! And not disturbing everyone beside you.
3. Then came the part where people had to fall in line for the ash. I tried not to get in line at first to give way for the elderly, and other people with some inconveniences (like disability, pregnant women, and even those with kids). But I was surprised with how people acted. Some were trying to cut lines, there’s even one guy who blocked my way to get in line first. I almost thought I was in a marathon. That there was a prize for anyone who get “ashed” first! There was also another woman who called up her friend and “reserved” a slot in line for her. And when her friend got in… they were laughing in excitement as if celebrating. I didn’t get it. The whole sacredness of the ritual was ruined!

These are just some of the things that really got me shocked. I thought the whole essence of going to mass is to be closer to God, pray and celebrate a ritual in sacredness. I am not religious but I know for a fact that when I step in a mass, I am supposed to behave and act accordingly.

I think some people forget why they are attending mass in the first place. Please be reminded that in the place of worship, people should show respect towards the place and to other people who are there to pray. That is why I have much respect to our brothers and sisters in different religions and sects. They know more about how to act and behave when in scared places.

I am also a Catholic, and I really hope that more and more people should re-assess how they are acting in churches and even in little chapels. And for those who are experiencing what I had gone through, let’s try to share these to other people. Maybe all they need is a little wake up call.

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