Monday, June 26, 2017

Babies & Toddlers At Holy Mass

A parish with no crying is a parish that is dying.  Personally I could care less what someone without any children thinks about how distracting my children are during Holy Mass.  My wife and I do our best to keep the little ones in line and the baby goes to the back if he starts crying.  What I have learned over the years is that my children are not that distracting and bringing them every Sunday is the right decision.

I used to marvel at how a family of 6+ children could manage to sit quietly in the front pews during the long quiet Latin Mass.  In Novus Ordo land the front pews were mostly empty.  I would like to pretend that the large families sat in back but honestly I did not see families with more than 3 or 4 kids when I was younger - maybe they were leaving the babies and toddlers with the grandparents!?  Either way no example existed in my life for what to do or what to expect. 

Now I have 6 children going to Holy Mass every Sunday and for the most part they behave.  Long gone are the days of dragging the 3 year old back into the pew.  Long gone are the days of dragging the 5 year old to the stairwell for a stern talking to.  The older children set the example for the younger ones it seems and we as parents have done this before.  We don't always get to pray all of Holy Mass, the kids don't always behave.. but they do most of the time now.

Like most Catholics we sit in the same spot every Sunday.  We are surrounded by other younger large families with young children.  I never notice their kids crying or misbehaving - though I know they do cry and misbehave!  When the kids in front of me start bouncing around it makes me smile, I don't let it upset me.  The idea that disruptive children ruin Holy Mass seems to be a modernist error.  Holy Mass is not all about me, sometimes I don't get to pray, sometimes I leave embarrassed and frustrated, but I wouldn't have it any other way.