I don't like going to church in the evenings. Since I had an appointment with the house developers all morning yesterday, I had no choice but to attend the 6 pm mass. Which is my least favorite time to go to mass. Here's why.
Somehow, at least in our area, the people who attend the evening mass seem to be more casual and less solemn than the early goers. Last night, two pews in front of us sat two families whose teenaged children were all wearing shorts. Shorts
. Call me old-fashioned but I believe this is very inappropriate for church. I used to not see why my father made a big deal of men wearing shorts to church. Now I feel exactly the same way he did.
Meanwhile, the moms of these families were wearing these short dresses that looked like tennis outfits. I don't think they came from a tennis match, but from whatever sport their kids played that afternoon. About ten minutes into the mass, another family with kids piled into the pew in front of these two families, and moments later the mom in this family turned around, realized she knew the families behind her, and they all started giving each other air kisses. In the middle of the frickin' mass!
They weren't the only culprits in my book. As I looked around, I saw a girl wearing a negligee-looking camisole, a guy who was in a tank top, an older lady in oh-so-tight white leggings and a smattering of more people in shorts - from skimpy, sporty ones to mumsy, bermuda types.
As you may have noticed, I get distracted easily. The attire, the lack of sobriety, the lackaidaisical attitude - they all bothered me. It seems that the evening mass is attended by two types of people:
1. those who really prefer ending their weekend with a blessing (I'd say about 30%)
2. those who were so busy with all their activities they just barely had time to squeeze church in at the end of the day (the rest of the flock)
I admit I belonged to the latter category yesterday. However, I dress up for every mass, morning or evening hour, hot or cold weather, and try to pay attention and internalize the scripture as much as I can. I say "try" because it's really hard with the evening crowd. Just in front of us was this couple who were stroking each other. It may not be malicious - the guy's arm was around the girl's waist, and the girl had her arm to her back caressing the guy's arm - but it was so wrong! It affected me so much I almost said something to them. I know hubby would disown me if I did so.
In contrast, the morning crowd consists of families who dress up specifically for church, arrive early and give their full attention to the priest. There are always the bored kids with happy feet or the agitated toddler who starts to cry, but their parents are quick to put them in their place with a stern look, a gentle tug or even taking them outside for a few minutes. Everyone's lively [albeit some are already thinking about the family lunch after the mass] and even the singing is resonant. Although last night's mass had a choir complete with an organist and drummer, the singing was not as fully participated as the early masses (or maybe I was just really blase at this point). Anyway, I was glad when mass was over.
I can't wait to go back to Formal Sundays.