I would like to address two problems my wife and I and our 10-year-old son encounter every time we attend Mass. We regularly attend the 5 p.m. Mass on Saturday but have also noticed this problem when our needs call for us to attend a Sunday Mass. That is the subject of people talking in church prior to Mass.
Now I am speaking just on behalf of my wife and me, but there may be others who feel the same way. When we enter church we are there to offer thanks to God in prayer and in silence. That is a hard thing to do. There are many people who, it seems, use the occasion as a Saturday afternoon social gathering. I am not just talking about someone who whispers to their neighbor, but those who have conversations loud enough for the whole building to hear. It doesn’t do any good to look at them because they just ignore you. It seems that they simply have no respect for the sanctity of being in God’s house. We teach our son to respect and be silent, but what example does it set when he sees adults not doing the same?
Another problem which occurs quite often is the subject of cell phones going off. It’s bad enough when you hear a normal ring but recently during the consecration of the Sacred Hosts, the whole congregation had to listen to “Sweet Home Alabama.”
Are people’s lives that important that they can’t turn their cell phone off for one hour?