Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mass Angel

The title does not refer to my child when we are at Mass as you can see from almost every Sunday post that I have written. Ryan is a typical toddler who does not want to be contained for an hour at a time. Five minutes? If we are lucky. 
Don't you love my Mass behavior, Dad?! No? Well, here is a kiss to make up for it. 

Over the past few days, both Chris and I have read blog posts that addressed the importance of children at Mass. We couldn't agree more! Even though we err on the side of caution concerning Ryan's exuberance and the rest of the congregation's ability to focus on the Mass and remove Ryan temporarily when you know what is about to hit the altar (does that adaptation of the real phrase make any sense?...bear with me...), we think it is so essential to bring little ones to the public heart of our faith. I'm not going to expand more because Mandi and Christy have already done such a fantastic job illustrating this point. You can head on over to their lovely blogs and have a read. 

So! I was thinking back on all of our Masses since Ryan has banished us from staying in the pew for the whole Mass, and I remembered a few, "Mass Angels," who set my crazy heartbeat of a sweating and terrified-of-fellow-parishioner parent back at a normal beating level of thankful relief. Here are a few gems:

After Ryan's stellar Mass performance at a wedding, I was relaying the story to one of the bride's aunts. She nodded understandingly since she had seven children and replied, "Well, this church is so family friendly, it doesn't even have a cry room." 

My inner reaction was, "Oooooohhh!" I had thought while I was huddled in the cold lobby that the breathtaking church didn't have a cry room simply because it was over a hundred years old when, in fact, they were being incredibly welcome to children by sending the message, "Hey! Don't go anywhere else!" in a much more eloquent and subdued fashion. 

When we were at Mass at one of the older local parishes here in South Bend, Ryan was seriously the only person under fifteen there, and most of the parishioners at Mass that day were my parents' age and older. Ryan was cooing (at increasing levels) as I carried him down the aisle so I could receive communion, and I was mortified. A kind, elderly woman leaned over to me, smiled and whispered, "Just listen to him! He is singing! He wants to sing!"

Mass had just ended at the Basilica, and Ryan's behavior had been a doozy so it was the usual dance of pew --> lobby --> pew --> lobby. The professor who had been sitting in front of us turned around once Mass had ended and told us a story. 

He had gone to Jerusalem for research and was attending Sunday Mass. A local hermit who spent all of his time silently praying in recluse was there as well as a crying baby. After Mass, the hermit looked at our Mass neighbor and declared, "It will be a sad day for the Church when we don't hear babies crying at Mass."

Just this past Sunday at Mass, a well-known priest on campus was behind us in the communion line. Ryan was quite the talker. Afterwards, the priest chuckled, "He must want to be a priest! He wants to talk during Mass!"

Do you have any stories of Mass Angels? 


  1. Oh my gosh, these stories are all so cute! I think the last one is my favorite—maybe you do have a future priest on your hands. :) What a darling little guy!

  2. Oh I love stories like that! I haven't had an angels I can think of specifically, but I never have gotten any evil glares either. We're good friends with one of our priests and when Mikey hears him speak it's as if he thinks "Oh Fr is here! I want to chat it up!" Thankfully he doesn't mind! Another priest always jokes about how babies can only make so many noises, so they do whatever they can during Mass to please the Lord. ;)

  3. See, I just think that the vast majority of people are like that sweet old lady-they love kids at Mass! The others...are just wackos!

    And thanks for the linkage Katrina! And I've been meaning to congratulate you know...weeks! So congratulations!! Yay Babies!

  4. These stories are so cute! I always enjoy reading your posts :).

    I actually have a funny story: when I was a baby, my family was at mass around our vacation house in New Jersey and there was a visiting priest saying mass that Sunday. Apparently, I was giggling and laughing while my grandfather was holding me because my older cousin was making faces at me behind his back (or so I'm told!). The priest interrupted his homily and said, "Take that baby out of the church!" My grandfather was so furious at the priest, I'm told, that he jumped up and took me out into the lobby in a huff. He told me that, at the end of mass, more than 10 people stopped and told him that they were disappointed in the way the priest acted and they were happy to hear a laughing baby in mass! Thank goodness for those Mass Angels ;)

    1. That is crazy!!! I would have been furious and embarrassed! That might have made me say something even though I am the least confrontational person ever. Thank goodness for those kind people!

  5. Yes! Contrary to my post about all the meanies at Mass, we did sit in front of an incredibly sweet older lady a few weeks ago. She talked to Lucia and kissed her and gave her high fives all through Mass to help keep her quiet! Thanks for mentioning my post!