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Author Topic: Proper Post Communion Behavior  (Read 7241 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tamara
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« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2008, 04:15:04 PM »

Sure it is... in the early Church they used to throw out the catechumens and bar the doors before the Creed.  That's pretty hardcore.   Wink
I don't think anyone was getting thrown out. They knew, as catechumens, when it was time to make their exit. Anyway, we aren't discussing catechumens. Most of the catechumens in my parish are very peaceful.  I have been Orthodox my whole life so I would say the problem usually occurs with those of us who are cradle Orthodox. Some were never educated properly in the faith. They view the communion line as a chance to shake hands with their buddies or extended family members. They might chatter away during the entire communion. I have seen it all. And Palm Sunday can be a zoo if you have many members who are originally from Jerusalem. The reason why that feast day is so chaotic is because of the way they celebrate it in the Holy City. Also, services in Jerusalem can last for hours and I was told the folks tend to come and go during that time. So the cultural traditions from the old country, which are being brought here, might seem out of place.


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Anyway, I usually see this happen in very big churches (and I have never been to an Antiochian church bigger than maybe thirty people, I swear) and I know at least one of those big churches has resorted to tactics like this to keep people coming from outside from disturbing Liturgy.
I am in California and I have been to various Antiochian parishes up and down the state. I have never heard of or seen a church that locks the doors.

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That sounds nice.  Would you mind sharing some of these gentle tactics? 
He would use his sermons to explain the meaning of the Divine Liturgy, the Eucharist, preparation for the Eucharist, proper etiquette for church behavior etc. In other words, he spent a few years educating them. He would remind them before Holy Communion, to reverently line up and to save their greetings for one another at coffee hour. His whole demeanor toward everyone is one of patience, kindness and love. He accepts each person where they are at on the road to salvation and tries to work with them from that point. His patience and perservence have paid off but change did not happen overnight. It took years. However, he never gave up.

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If I have understood the online gossip sites correctly, it seems the bishop in that diocese has been ruling it like a feudal lord, abusing everyone who questions his authority.  There's no question in my mind that Bishop NIKOLAI is gon' git it from the synod, but I don't think what I've brought up even remotely compares to what he did there.  I'm not talking about excommunicating people because their baby's legal name isn't a saint's name, I'm just interested in keeping the Communion distribution peaceful for the people who want to partake in peace.   The priest has a duty to protect the chalice and pretty much anything he can do to preserve the peace is okay by me.

Well, I was trying to warn folks not to get too zealous for peacefulness in church because I think Bishop Nikolai's goal was to do the same. He became so zealous about it that he would scold women with small children and babies for making too much noise. I think one of the saddest sounds in a church is the LACK of cooing babies and happy sounds of small children. What that lack of sound means is you have a dying church.

Bishop Joseph (my bishop) once told us the story about a woman who kept smacking her toddler during the Divine Liturgy so he would stop making noise. After the third time, the bishop couldn't stand it anymore and he stopped the Divine Liturgy and walked over to the woman. He begged her to stop hitting her small child. He told her he didn't mind the hearing the sounds of his little voice during the service. He shared with us how worried he was that the child would grow up to hate the church because of poor treatment he received while he was in the service.

« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 04:21:51 PM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2008, 04:45:36 PM »

I don't think anyone was getting thrown out. They knew, as catechumens, when it was time to make their exit.

I'm just citing this as precedent for not allowing anyone to enter during certain parts of the Liturgy.

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I am in California and I have been to various Antiochian parishes up and down the state. I have never heard of or seen a church that locks the doors.

I specifically told you that I was not talking about any Antiochian parishes anywhere, and pointed out that I couldn't possibly be talking about an Antiochian parish.  And I definitely didn't say any parish I knew locked their doors, I was referring to something else I had mentioned.  Don't assume that because my jurisdiction is Antiochian that it's the only jurisdiction I have anything to do with.  I play on the OCA, ROCOR, and GOARCH playgrounds too.

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He would use his sermons to explain the meaning of the Divine Liturgy, the Eucharist, preparation for the Eucharist, proper etiquette for church behavior etc. In other words, he spent a few years educating them. He would remind them before Holy Communion, to reverently line up and to save their greetings for one another at coffee hour. His whole demeanor toward everyone is one of patience, kindness and love. He accepts each person where they are at on the road to salvation and tries to work with them from that point. His patience and perservence have paid off but change did not happen overnight. It took years. But he never gave up.

Hey, good for him and them.  That's wonderful that he was able to help them after they had been taught incorrectly.  But I'm talking about people who do know better and choose not to follow basic etiquette at a time it is most called for.

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Well, I was trying to warn folks not to get to zealous for peacefulness in church because I think Bishop Nikolai's goal was to the same. He became so zealous about it that he would scold women with small children and babies for making too much noise. I think one of the saddest sounds in a church is the LACK of cooing babies and happy sounds of small children in a the church. What it means is the church is dying because they are no young ones left.

Bishop NIKOLAI is not zealous for peacefulness in the church, he is... somebody... who would do well to be shipped off to a monastery.  Comparing me to him is really premature.

Again, I didn't say mothers have to shut their kids up under penalty of death, but surely you know that when a kid is screaming his head off and won't stop, most mothers prefer to take the kid out to try to calm him, and that is totally fine, and I specifically said that I wasn't going after them.  And anyway I wasn't talking about howling kids, again, I'm talking about adults who know better and choose to come late and disturb other worshippers.
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« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2008, 06:50:18 PM »

I'm just citing this as precedent for not allowing anyone to enter during certain parts of the Liturgy.
But there is no precedent for locking baptized members out of the church. That was my point. We don't even lock the catechumens out anymore.

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I specifically told you that I was not talking about any Antiochian parishes anywhere, and pointed out that I couldn't possibly be talking about an Antiochian parish.  And I definitely didn't say any parish I knew locked their doors, I was referring to something else I had mentioned.  Don't assume that because my jurisdiction is Antiochian that it's the only jurisdiction I have anything to do with.  I play on the OCA, ROCOR, and GOARCH playgrounds too.

You are right. You didn't mention any church. My mistake. The idea was your own. Sorry.

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Hey, good for him and them.  That's wonderful that he was able to help them after they had been taught incorrectly.  But I'm talking about people who do know better and choose not to follow basic etiquette at a time it is most called for.
You are assuming they know better but we can't really read other people's minds. I think most of us would assume that Orthodox Christians coming from the middle east would know how to behave in church. But unfortunately that is not always the case. Perhaps the people you mention need a refresher course in case they have forgotten. Sometimes folks just need a simply reminder to stand reverently in the line and to save their small talk for after Divine Liturgy.

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Bishop NIKOLAI is not zealous for peacefulness in the church, he is... somebody... who would do well to be shipped off to a monastery.  Comparing me to him is really premature.
Well, I still believe locking the church doors is a harsh measure to take. But you are right. I should not have compared your ideas to the tactics of Bishop Nikolai. Please forgive me.

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Again, I didn't say mothers have to shut their kids up under penalty of death, but surely you know that when a kid is screaming his head off and won't stop, most mothers prefer to take the kid out to try to calm him, and that is totally fine, and I specifically said that I wasn't going after them.  And anyway I wasn't talking about howling kids, again, I'm talking about adults who know better and choose to come late and disturb other worshippers.

I never said you did. I was just sharing a story about my bishop to give you sense of the gentleness I have been exposed to in clergy from the middle east. I used to be very hard on people who were late or who disturbed my concentration during the Divine Liturgy. But I no longer feel that way anymore. The humility of these clergyman have taught me to be patient.
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« Reply #48 on: April 03, 2008, 11:32:07 PM »

But there is no precedent for locking baptized members out of the church. That was my point. We don't even lock the catechumens out anymore.

Arius was thrown out, Nestorius was thrown out - heretics are by definition baptized Christians - not physically of course, but they were ejected from the assembly.  And in those days, people who had repented after committing certain sins were only allowed to stand outside the church for a time, begging for the prayers of the believers going into the church.  They would do this for years before even being allowed to pass the doorway, and that was only the first step to reconciliation.  Communion, or being present for it, is not a civil right.

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You are assuming they know better but we can't really read other people's minds. I think most of us would assume that Orthodox Christians coming from the middle east would know how to behave in church. But unfortunately that is not always the case. Perhaps the people you mention need a refresher course in case they have forgotten. Sometimes folks just need a simply reminder to stand reverently in the line and to save their small talk for after Divine Liturgy.

I didn't grow up going to church myself, but I thought staying quiet during a church service would be a no-brainer.  I am not going to pass judgment on the spirituality of anyone, regardless of where they are from or what they have been taught at church.  I'm talking about basic etiquette:  most people understand that they ought to be quiet while a lecture is being given or a movie is being shown, even if they don't always put it exactly into practice.  A concert hall can refuse to seat you if you arrive after the grace period.  Why shouldn't a church service be accorded the same respect and protection, if not more?  None of this is to belittle or ignore the spiritual aspect of flapping one's jaws during the service, but you said yourself that I can't read someone else's mind.  And I want to add that it's not anyone's place to do anything this drastic without the priest's approval and a really dire situation being at hand.  I'm already used to just ignoring the noisy myself.

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Well, I still believe locking the church doors is a harsh measure to take. But you are right. I should not have compared your ideas to the tactics of Bishop Nikolai. Please forgive me.

God forgives and I forgive. 

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I never said you did. I was just sharing a story about my bishop to give you sense of the gentleness I have been exposed to in clergy from the middle east. I used to be very hard on people who were late or who disturbed my concentration during the Divine Liturgy. But I no longer feel that way anymore. The humility of these clergyman have taught me to be patient.

My concern is not borne directly out of impatience, but out of concern for inquirers and visitors, people who, in their innocence and newness to Orthodoxy, might be quite put off by "that church where everyone talks during communion", or perhaps your weaker brothers and sisters who might be led into sin by someone's gossip.  If it's not about something crucial for Liturgy to continue, or a life-or-death situation, what reason is there not to keep it inside for ninety minutes?
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« Reply #49 on: April 04, 2008, 12:16:56 AM »

 O Lord and Master of my life,
Grant not unto me a spirit of idleness,
of discouragement,
of lust for power,
and of vain speaking.

But bestow upon me, Thy servant,
the spirit of chastity,
of meekness,
of patience,
and of love.

Yea, O Lord and King,
grant that I may perceive
my own transgressions,
and judge not my brother,
for blessed art Thou
unto ages of ages.
Amen.
-St. Ephraim
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« Reply #50 on: April 04, 2008, 01:02:15 AM »

We don't have this problem during the Eucharist, but during the blessing/dismissal it can get fairly loud.  Father has posted a few NO TALKING announcements in the bulletin but not everyone reads it.  He's also actually shushed people during the blessing.  Heck, I've even shushed people (albeit from the choir loft so no one, except other choir members, knew it was me. Wink)  Obviously, there's exceptions to be considered.  But in most cases people should understand that it's not acceptable to be talking.  I know, I know, you can't force folks to be reverent but this isn't an insurmountable problem. 
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« Reply #51 on: April 04, 2008, 01:21:09 AM »

Arius was thrown out, Nestorius was thrown out - heretics are by definition baptized Christians - not physically of course, but they were ejected from the assembly.  And in those days, people who had repented after committing certain sins were only allowed to stand outside the church for a time, begging for the prayers of the believers going into the church.  They would do this for years before even being allowed to pass the doorway, and that was only the first step to reconciliation.  Communion, or being present for it, is not a civil right.

But we aren't dealing with heretics.We are dealing with ignorant, baptized Orthodox Christians. I realize that many years ago, the church was much tougher with communion practices but honestly, do we really want to return to those times? We can romanticize the past or we can live in the present.
If our clergy held us to the same standards as years past, I think most of us would find ourselves outside the church doors for various sins. Frankly, I think the church is doing the right thing by encouraging people to take Holy Communion. In my lifetime, I have seen the Orthodox Church in America flower and produce fruit I could never have imagined. More folks are fasting, attending services, and studying their faith seriously than in years past when no one would approach the altar.  I believe part of the spiritual awakening (evangelization programs, IOCC, OCMC, OCN, Ancient Faith Radio, Project Mexico, Hogar Raphael, etc. etc.) is due to more of us taking Holy Communion on a regular basis. 

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I didn't grow up going to church myself, but I thought staying quiet during a church service would be a no-brainer.  I am not going to pass judgment on the spirituality of anyone, regardless of where they are from or what they have been taught at church.  I'm talking about basic etiquette:  most people understand that they ought to be quiet while a lecture is being given or a movie is being shown, even if they don't always put it exactly into practice.  A concert hall can refuse to seat you if you arrive after the grace period.  Why shouldn't a church service be accorded the same respect and protection, if not more?  None of this is to belittle or ignore the spiritual aspect of flapping one's jaws during the service, but you said yourself that I can't read someone else's mind.
I am not disagreeing with you that folks should stay quiet in the church but is it really that awful? How loud are they?
Can you move closer to the altar so it won't annoy you so much? When it used to annoy me I would move to the front of the church because the talkers usually sat or stood in the back. I honestly think if the priest made a consistent effort to ask people to save their chatter till after the service it would begin to have an effect. The priest can set the tone.

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My concern is not borne directly out of impatience, but out of concern for inquirers and visitors, people who, in their innocence and newness to Orthodoxy, might be quite put off by "that church where everyone talks during communion", or perhaps your weaker brothers and sisters who might be led into sin by someone's gossip.  If it's not about something crucial for Liturgy to continue, or a life-or-death situation, what reason is there not to keep it inside for ninety minutes?

Again, I do not disagree with you but there is not much we can do about it. I remember when I would become annoyed I would try to get people to be quiet during the service but they would just look at me as if I was from Mars. We could lock all the doors and enforce codes of silence but real change only happens in the heart and most people will change if they are approached with love and kindness.
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« Reply #52 on: April 04, 2008, 02:04:18 AM »

But we aren't dealing with heretics.We are dealing with ignorant, baptized Orthodox Christians. I realize that many years ago, the church was much tougher with communion practices but honestly, do we really want to return to those times? We can romanticize the past or we can live in the present.
If our clergy held us to the same standards as years past, I think most of us we find ourselves outside the church doors for various sins. Frankly, I think the church is doing the right thing by encouraging people to take Holy Communion. In my lifetime, I have seen the Orthodox Church in America flower and produce fruit I could never have imagined. More folks are taking fasting, attending services, and studying their faith seriously than in years past when no one would approach the altar.  I believe part of the spiritual awakening (evangelization programs, IOCC, OCMC, OCN, Ancient Faith Radio, Project Mexico, Hogar Raphael, etc. etc.) is due to more of us taking Holy Communion on a regular basis.

Again, I think you misunderstood me.  I'm not at all about telling people whether they should commune or not, and I'm not about liturgical anachronism for the sake of anachronism, just citing precedent.  Although I am glad to see people approaching the chalice more than four times a year, the former practice did come with a sense of holiness and gravity for when people did partake.  St. Mary of Egypt communed once or twice in her whole life, and look at the fruit that bore.

Also - many heretics were probably ignorant too, and I hope God had mercy on them because of their foolishness, but they were still subject to the same anathemas as the ringleaders.

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I am not disagreeing with you that folks should stay quiet in the church but is it really that awful? How loud are they?
Can you move closer to the altar so it won't annoy you so much? When it used to annoy me I would move to the front of the church because the talkers usually sat or stood in the back. I honestly think if the priest made a consistent effort to ask people to save their chatter till after the service it would begin to have an effect. The priest can set the tone.

This isn't about me, but someone bothered by chatter might not be able to tell among strangers who's going to talk and who isn't when picking a place to sit/stand, and moving would be especially difficult if the church in question has pews. 

If I could pick any place to stand during liturgy, I would be hunkered next to the iconostasis the whole time so that I can hear the priest; in a big church I still can't understand the priest half the time, regardless of what anyone else is doing.
 
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Again, I do not disagree with you but there is not much we can do about it. I remember trying to get people to be quiet but they would just look at me as if I was from Mars. We could lock all the doors and enforce codes of silence but real change only happens in the heart and most people will change if they are approached with love and kindness.

I know, but to me, the idea of not doing anything about it at all in the name of "not judging" is like saying, "if you don't like pollution, don't breathe".  I thought we were not islands unto ourselves:  that we are partly responsible for each other's salvation, not just our own.  Just like our priests are here to lead us and care for us, as a royal priesthood ourselves we share some of that responsibility.
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« Reply #53 on: April 04, 2008, 12:06:37 PM »

Again, I think you misunderstood me.  I'm not at all about telling people whether they should commune or not, and I'm not about liturgical anachronism for the sake of anachronism, just citing precedent.  Although I am glad to see people approaching the chalice more than four times a year, the former practice did come with a sense of holiness and gravity for when people did partake.  St. Mary of Egypt communed once or twice in her whole life, and look at the fruit that bore.
St. Mary of Egypt lived alone in the desert. She was an exception and not the rule. We are living in the world.

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev wrote:
"We should not abstain from the Lord’s communion just because we consider ourselves sinful, but rather hasten to it even more for the healing of soul and purification of spirit, with such humility and faith so that, considering ourselves unworthy of receiving such grace, we might desire more the healing of our wounds. Otherwise it would be impossible to receive communion even once a year, as some do…who so esteem the dignity, sanctification and salvific effects of the Heavenly Mysteries that they believe that only the holy and blameless should receive them. It would be better to think that it is these Sacraments that make us pure and holy by their imparting of Grace. Truly these people show more pride than their imagined humility, since they consider themselves worthy of them when they commune. It would be much more correct if we communed every Sunday for the healing of our infirmities, with the same humility of heart through which we believe and confess that we never can worthily approach the Mysteries, rather than…believe that we become worthy of them after the passing of a year."

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Also - many heretics were probably ignorant too, and I hope God had mercy on them because of their foolishness, but they were still subject to the same anathemas as the ringleaders.
But my point was that the Orthodox Christians we are speaking about are not heretics. So there is no reason to treat them as such.

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This isn't about me, but someone bothered by chatter might not be able to tell among strangers who's going to talk and who isn't when picking a place to sit/stand, and moving would be especially difficult if the church in question has pews. 
We live in the world and we aren't always going to have perfect circumstances for prayer during the services. Sometimes I have little children and babies hunkered around my feet. They make noise, as children do, but I still try my best to stay focused on prayer. In all honesty, even when I attended the church with all of the chattering, it wasn't incessant. It happened during certain times.

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If I could pick any place to stand during liturgy, I would be hunkered next to the iconostasis the whole time so that I can hear the priest; in a big church I still can't understand the priest half the time, regardless of what anyone else is doing.
Why are you unable to understand the priest? Does he speak too quietly?
 
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I know, but to me, the idea of not doing anything about it at all in the name of "not judging" is like saying, "if you don't like pollution, don't breathe".  I thought we were not islands unto ourselves:  that we are partly responsible for each other's salvation, not just our own.  Just like our priests are here to lead us and care for us, as a royal priesthood ourselves we share some of that responsibility.
I tend to agree with the prayer Username shared with us a few posts back. But what do you think we should do to alleviate the problem?


« Last Edit: April 04, 2008, 12:24:42 PM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #54 on: April 04, 2008, 01:26:39 PM »

I agree.

But we must pray for each other.

The smokers are in need of special prayer for many obvious reasons.

Good fervent prayer will help to solve this problem in a kind way. The clergy must also be clear as to the proper behavior from each person especially with regards to respect of the church grounds.

Again, Amdetsion goes to the heart of the matter and points out that all things in church should be done with a spirit of love, prayer and understanding.   I think a priest, because of his position of influence, can achieve a lot by repeated, gentle reminders.  Corrections by other parishioners don't always turn out well since people think you are trying to push them around without authority.
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« Reply #55 on: April 04, 2008, 02:20:49 PM »

St. Mary of Egypt lived alone in the desert. She was an exception and not the rule. We are living in the world.
But my point was that the Orthodox Christians we are speaking about are not heretics. So there is no reason to treat them as such.
We live in the world and we aren't always going to have perfect circumstances for prayer during the services. Sometimes I have little children and babies hunkered around my feet. They make noise, as children do, but I still try my best to stay focused on prayer. In all honesty, even when I attended the church with all of the chattering, it wasn't incessant. It happened during certain times.

The point of this thread was how to deal with people who are old enough to know better not to make a ruckus during liturgy.  You have tried to rope me into bashing my own archdiocese (which I love and would go to the mat for), people from the Middle East (who I also love), and children (who I adore).  Making joyful noise because it's Palm Sunday, or whimpering because you're a child who doesn't know better, is one thing.  It is patently unreasonable to compare those to people jabbering their way up to the chalice while talking about where they are going for lunch, or someone pushing you off a kneeler because he wants to sit on the other side of you in the pew and didn't think to go around, or a lady who came up behind me during a pannychyda, decided I was not using the service booklet that I was holding and staring intently at, and snatched it out of my hand for herself.  (There was a whole pile of them two feet away, mind you, since I took another to replace the one taken.)  Those are bad manners in any context, and being ticked off by rudeness does not have to be a judgment on their spirituality.

I don't mind telling you that in the secular world, my first instinct to resolve such situations would have involved my middle finger and perhaps some unladylike language.  If it's all right with you, I'd like for there to be ways to thwart this kind of behavior without defiling the liturgy and causing an ecumenical scandal.  And I have been saying all along that anything done ought to be done with the priest's approval and consent, not vigilante parishioners.

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I tend to agree with the prayer Username shared with us a few posts back. But what do you think we should do to alleviate the problem?

If I suggest anything in this context, it makes it appear that I'm going against St. Ephraim the Syrian.  That is a tactic for a debate, not coming to terms with someone else's viewpoint.  That is not acceptable.
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« Reply #56 on: April 04, 2008, 03:07:39 PM »

The point of this thread was how to deal with people who are old enough to know better not to make a ruckus during liturgy.  You have tried to rope me into bashing my own archdiocese (which I love and would go to the mat for), people from the Middle East (who I also love), and children (who I adore).
No, I was not trying to rope you into anything. I was sharing my experiences and what I have learned over the years with you.

 
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Making joyful noise because it's Palm Sunday, or whimpering because you're a child who doesn't know better, is one thing.  It is patently unreasonable to compare those to people jabbering their way up to the chalice while talking about where they are going for lunch, or someone pushing you off a kneeler because he wants to sit on the other side of you in the pew and didn't think to go around, or a lady who came up behind me during a pannychyda, decided I was not using the service booklet that I was holding and staring intently at, and snatched it out of my hand for herself.  (There was a whole pile of them two feet away, mind you, since I took another to replace the one taken.)  Those are bad manners in any context, and being ticked off by rudeness does not have to be a judgment on their spirituality.
I have never had the experiences you have had in any parish of any jurisdiction. Yes, what you have described are very bad manners. Do most of the people in your parish behave this way or is it only a few?

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If it's all right with you, I'd like for there to be ways to thwart this kind of behavior without defiling the liturgy and causing an ecumenical scandal.  And I have been saying all along that anything done ought to be done with the priest's approval and consent, not vigilante parishioners.
Seriously, I would go to your priest and speak to him about it. Let him know who the people are who grabbed booklets out of your hand or who pushed you so he can work with them. You can mention to him about those who talk in line but he may have his own way with dealing with it.
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« Reply #57 on: April 04, 2008, 03:42:34 PM »

No, I was not trying to rope you into anything. I was sharing my experiences and what I have learned over the years with you.

  I have never had the experiences you have had in any parish of any jurisdiction. Yes, what you have described are very bad manners. Do most of the people in your parish behave this way or is it only a few?
Seriously, I would go to your priest and speak to him about it. Let him know who the people are who grabbed booklets out of your hand or who pushed you so he can work with them. You can mention to him about those who talk in line but he may have his own way with dealing with it.

I explicitly said that I wasn't talking about mine.  Anyway, since your stated advice before was that it was better to ignore this sort of thing rather than tattle, I'm sort of puzzled why you think I should have talked to anyone about it. 
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« Reply #58 on: April 04, 2008, 03:52:26 PM »

We don't have this problem during the Eucharist, but during the blessing/dismissal it can get fairly loud.  Father has posted a few NO TALKING announcements in the bulletin but not everyone reads it.  He's also actually shushed people during the blessing.  Heck, I've even shushed people (albeit from the choir loft so no one, except other choir members, knew it was me. Wink)  Obviously, there's exceptions to be considered.  But in most cases people should understand that it's not acceptable to be talking.  I know, I know, you can't force folks to be reverent but this isn't an insurmountable problem. 

Thank you for posting this.  I missed it earlier.  It reminds me of a parish where week after week they put something in the bulletin to remind people to stay for the dismissal.  One day the priest skipped the announcements and just begged people not to leave early.  Sad
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« Reply #59 on: April 04, 2008, 03:53:15 PM »

I explicitly said that I wasn't talking about mine.  Anyway, since your stated advice before was that it was better to ignore this sort of thing rather than tattle, I'm sort of puzzled why you think I should have talked to anyone about it. 

Until your last post, I didn't know you were being pushed or that people were grabbing booklets out of your hand. That type of behavior is going beyond just chattering and you should tell your priest about those specific incidents. It is up to the priest deal with the communion issues because he is the one who has been given authority to guard the cup and decide who can commune.
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« Reply #60 on: April 04, 2008, 04:29:20 PM »

This past Sunday after the service the choir came downstairs and was singing "Thy cross oh Christ" as folks venerated the cross. Two men standing  on the women's side in front of me were conducting business deals in audible tones -laughing etc. as the choir was reverently singing. For some reason this caused me great pain. If only the entire congregation would stand quietly whilst reverently joining in with the singing at such moments...
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« Reply #61 on: April 04, 2008, 04:43:47 PM »

Until your last post, I didn't know you were being pushed or that people were grabbing booklets out of your hand. That type of behavior is going beyond just chattering and you should tell your priest about those specific incidents. It is up to the priest deal with the communion issues because he is the one who has been given authority to guard the cup and decide who can commune.

But these are just single incidents.  For instance, the booklet snatcher - if she did it every time I went to a pannychyda, I'd go to the priest and ask him to get to the bottom of it.  But since that was the first and only time I've been to a pannychyda at the same time as her, wouldn't it have been okay if I had whispered, "Lady, I was using that", instead of just slinking over to the stack to pick up another book in order not to make a scene?
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« Reply #62 on: April 04, 2008, 07:09:33 PM »

But these are just single incidents.  For instance, the booklet snatcher - if she did it every time I went to a pannychyda, I'd go to the priest and ask him to get to the bottom of it.  But since that was the first and only time I've been to a pannychyda at the same time as her, wouldn't it have been okay if I had whispered, "Lady, I was using that", instead of just slinking over to the stack to pick up another book in order not to make a scene?

You could have said something at the time. I probably would have reacted like you and not said anything because I would have been stunned by it. I guess if she doesn't continue with rude, strange behavior then there is no point. Some folks are just odd or mentally a little touched. If she was elderly I would chalk it up to age-related senility. My own father, who is eighty-eight years old, has said and done some strange things inside and outside of  church. He is hard of hearing which leads him to speak loudly no matter where he is. But he doesn't realize he is speaking loudly.
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