Katrina Fernandez has one of those posts up that makes you want to cheer and staple to the doors of a church.
Kids are already told every day in school their self esteem and self importance is more valued than being literate. Now they get to come to mass and have Fr. Well Meaning reinforce this narcissistic behavior too. Forget that other guy. What’s his name. Oh right. Jesus.
It was so bad these masses began to embarrass my son. He sang in the choir because it gave him joy and he liked expressing his love of God in this manner. He’s wanted to serve the mass since he was old enough to talk and the choir was the only way he could do so until he was old enough to be an altar server.
His, and my own, final straw was when Fr. Well Meaning made the kids stand up, before the final blessing, and receive a round of applause for their “performance”.
Oh, and the parents of the other kids in the choir. Seriously folks? I can see taking pictures of your tikes first time singing. But showing up at mass every single time with a camcorder!? Performance, indeed.
Yep, yep, yep, to all of it, but I have to jump on that last point about applause, every freaking week, at the end of mass for “the music ministers.”
Hello — if this is “ministry” then it is not about the musicians and their “performance,” and it should not be applauded as though they’d provided entertainment breaks. Should we applaud the ushers? Should we applaud the priest and deacon?
I keep waiting for one “music minister” — just one — to announce before mass, “we appreciate the sentiment behind the applause, but really, it’s not what we’re here for, and we really wish you would just sing out with us during the recessional, and then make your thanksgiving. The applause really is not appropriate.”
So far, I haven’t heard anyone say something like that, but if they won’t, I wish the pastors would. Too often, and always meaning well, our priests facilitate the increasingly annoying and unavoidable clap-clap-clappiness of mass. Let’s clap for the children who went downstairs to hear the Word! “Yay!” Let’s clap for the musicians! “Yay!” Don’t forget the greeters! “Yay!”
It’s obnoxious and it completely belies the idea of selfless service, which I am sure really IS behind the actions of all who volunteer their time.
Look, kids aren’t stupid. They are spiritually capable of so much more than ‘Jesus loves me’ and ‘Shine, Jesus, Shine”. They are also fully capable of understanding that the mass isn’t about them, but that Other Guy. Jesus. And they are happy to have the focus on Him.
They really are. We really should stop condescending to kids, and we should certainly stop trying to convince them that they’re the center of the universe. It’s not good for them. Or us.