Mass Has Ended… Let’s Talk!

12 11 2008

While visiting my family I was reminded of a cultural difference between mass in Japan, my home country, and worldwide.  Specifically how people act after mass.

At the churches I have been to in Tokyo and a few other cities people quietly leave after mass, or if they do talk they talk outside.  In my home country people stay in the church, in the sanctuary, and talk rather loudly.  People behave better in a library than in a Catholic church these days I think.   In other countries such as France and Italy I have only been to mass at large famous churches, such as St John Lateran, where many at mass are not locals so I don’t know if ordinary Italians or French are quieter after mass than the tourists.

I think if a non Catholic saw how Catholics act, in many but not all churches, after mass has ended they would not have a good impression. If people don’t act as though they are in a holy place then non Catholics would think hey there is nothing special here because people act like there is nothing special here.

People seek something sublime, something divine when they go to a church.  If they wanted a casual coffee shop atmosphere that is what coffee shops are for not Catholic churches.  Some people say the casual atmosphere is to attract young people.  As a young person I can get a casual setting anywhere but when I go to church I want a divine holy setting.  I want people to act accordingly.  I want people to socialize outside.


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3 responses

17 11 2008
jessamine

While I was an exchange student up in Saitama Prefecture, one of the churches I often went to shocked me for the opposite reason. Mass ended and everybody just started turning around and talking to everybody else; they cleared away some of the folding chairs, and sometimes set up a senbei-coffee social gathering right there in church. It was a small church, but they could have used a different space for that.

Then luckily I found another church in Adachi where people were a whole lot more respectful of the sacred space.

By the way, I’m heading out of the remote countryside and up to Tokyo for a week pretty soon, and I want to ask if you’ve found any churches that offer a Latin Mass! (I don’t really expect they would have the Traditional Latin Mass yet, but the Novus Ordo in Latin would be balm from Gilead, too.)

17 11 2008
vee8

Unfortunately I havent found any churches that have a Latin mass in Tokyo. Well there is the Society of St Piu X but they are schismatic and sadly ruled out.

they cleared away some of the folding chairs, and sometimes set up a senbei-coffee social gathering right there in church. It was a small church, but they could have used a different space for that.

Yeah that really is really sad that they couldnt even be bothered to go to another room. I wonder what the people who have sembei time in the church would think of people doing the same thing in the main part of a
Buddhist temple. My guess is they would think it is inappropriate. At least you found a more respectful church to attend.

22 11 2009
susie

Amen. I couldn’t agree more. The “too casual” chatting going on after Mass is a very disturbing trend. It was that way and not doubt still is) in the Protestant/Evanglelical churches where we went for 26 years. I don’t like it. God bless. ~ sjm

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