Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

teachermom2834

Catholic Mass question

Recommended Posts

I've been attending mass for 35 years and this is kind of a silly question. Our parish does not have people assigned to bring up the gifts at the offertory. The ushers just ask a family prior to mass (I feel like this has been the case at every parish but one we attended might have had some kind of schedule). I would say my family might be asked to do it once a year on average. But different people every week, pretty much.

Well, we have been at our current parish three years and it seems as if this is our JOB. We are asked to do at least 50- 75% of the time. It is as though the ushers look for us first and ask us. Then, if they don't see us they might as someone else. Craziest thing is it doesn't matter what mass we attend. We have now been asked three times in a row at Saturday night mass. We are regulars but hardly well known or anything. These ushers that pounce on us (about four different ones seem to ask us so not always the same people) don't even know our names. There are many many families at mass that could do it. 

It all seem so silly. This is weird, right? Generally it is supposed to be different parishioners asked to participate, right?

I always told my family it wasn't the kind of thing you say "no" to. But one time about six months ago when we had done it about 4 out of 6 weeks, I told the guy "we're willing to do it but I think people might be getting sick of us...maybe someone else would like to?" That got us a couple weeks off. 

It is distracting. My family spends the ride to church thinking up outrageous things we can do so they won't ask us. My 15 yo was an altar server tonight and when he saw it was us again he started laughing. My friends are always laughing when we go up. It has gotten silly!! (And there isn't normally alot of laughing in mass...tonight the priest was giggling and I don't know why...maybe he thinks it is funny too or he just saw that we were having a moment with our son the altar server??) We could sit in the balcony but that doesn't stop them from stopping us as we are walking in to ask. If we get by them at the entrance they find us in the pews. We've moved around sections and they still find us. LOL. 

I joked with my friend tonight that I can't figure out how all these masses are happening all over the world without my family to bring up the gifts. 

Thoughts? Am I right to think this is odd?? Does the same family do it every week at your parish? Can we say "no"? 

We did decide tonight we would start arriving late. I HATE being late to mass. But it has gotten that weird. 

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They probably have most people say no, so when they see you, they ask. They know you’ll do it and do it well. Just refuse for a few weeks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just look sorrowful and whisper, "I, I . . . can't!" 

They will assume you committed an interesting sin and don't feel worthy. The next week, you can just sadly shake your head when you see them approach . . . 

  • Like 3
  • Haha 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All joking aside, yes, that is weird. You can definitely say no, as many times as you desire (sorrowful expression optional). 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, katilac said:

Just look sorrowful and whisper, "I, I . . . can't!" 

They will assume you committed an interesting sin and don't feel worthy. The next week, you can just sadly shake your head when you see them approach . . . 

We have thought about that approach. Also considered just taking a tumble tonight and figured that would end it. Lol

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our church, the ushers bring up the gifts during every mass.  I had forgotten that other churches do it differently. That's weird!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Noreen Claire said:

In our church, the ushers bring up the gifts during every mass.  I had forgotten that other churches do it differently. That's weird!

I have seen that too in the past. Maybe I should turn the tables and walk in and ask the usher to take up the gifts. Lol.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could you say "Oh, thank you so much for the opportunity, but we had our turn last week.  I don't want to be greedy, and take all the turns!"?  
 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not Catholic here... but this seems like something I'd bring up with the priest or with the worship committee or... whoever or whatever body would make sense in a Catholic church. I think it's totally fair of you to say, look, we don't mind doing it sometimes but at this point, this is making us uncomfortable. You need to come up with a new system.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would probably start hacking up a lung whenever they tried to ask and covering my mouth with a handkerchief.  "I'm sorry ::cough cough:: what were you saying? ::cough cough:: I can't hear you...".

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, scholastica said:

They probably have most people say no, so when they see you, they ask. They know you’ll do it and do it well. Just refuse for a few weeks.

 

Why would someone say no?  I mean, I get why teachermom would because this situation is just weird, but why would someone say no to being asked a few times a year? It's a honor, and it's not like it's hard work.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would phrase it differently or address it with the priest or someone else in the church that might help organize these things. 

Instead of saying people are sick of us/we’re hogging turns I’d make the focus on the others... “oh I think more families need to get involved.” It’s the same thing but with the focus maybe more on them than you. 

How are they able to approach you every Mass? Do they attend ALL Masses or do you have like 6 ushers that ALL ask you and have no idea that the other ushers are doing the same? They could be oblivious that although they asked you 3 weeks ago, another usher asked you last week. 

I don’t know how it’s organized at one of our churches. Another it’s been spur of the moment before and I did not like being approached last min. Like literally right before needing to walk up the aisle. Now I haven’t been involved in a long time and would like ds to have the opportunity to help. Maybe be an alter server sometime. We’re going to attend that one more this year. 

I imagine if someone says no it’s because it may feel like public speaking. Loads of people get nervous. I, for one, may be nervous that I’m not dressed up enough or something. Once in a while I wear jeans because I have limited dress clothing that fits. 

Generally speaking I agree it is an honor and not something you’d say no to but in this case it’s getting to be silly and you don’t want to be giggling in Mass. This thread made me laugh, though.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since it's different ushers asking, I would tell them, "No thanks, we've already done it several times recently."

If it were the same person making the decision, I would think you wouldn't be asked so much... so I would not feel bad declining in this way.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I am from a small parish. I'd say there's about 4 families that bringing up the gifts rotates through at the Mass we generally attend. Sometimes the same family does it for weeks on end. If the ushers can't find a family/person, they do it themselves.

That being said, in an effort to encourage others to give it a chance our parish is trying something new out. They purchased a small Jesus fish thing and they put that on the table in the back where the gifts are. Anyone who wants to bring up the gifts can just take it. Theoretically this means the ushers don't have to ask anyone. However, in practice, it's generally still the same families or the ushers doing it. But perhaps you could suggest something like this at your parish. Otherwise just say "not this week" and don't feel guilty at all.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think saying no makes more sense than intentionally arriving late to avoid being asked. It is OK to have boundaries, even at Mass.

"We were asked last time, could you give someone else a turn? We are happy to do it but feel uncomfortable being the family chosen more than once a month or so."

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Daria said:

 

Why would someone say no?  I mean, I get why teachermom would because this situation is just weird, but why would someone say no to being asked a few times a year? It's a honor, and it's not like it's hard work.

Any number of reasons. They don’t feel like it, they have a child who can’t stand to have all eyes on them, they’ve been asked every week for weeks on end, etc. It’s okay decline something even if it is an “honor”.

OP,  I would find a way to diplomatically say no thank you. Please don’t be late to Mass, that’s not good for anybody.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, maize said:

I think saying no makes more sense than intentionally arriving late to avoid being asked. It is OK to have boundaries, even at Mass.

"We were asked last time, could you give someone else a turn? We are happy to do it but feel uncomfortable being the family chosen more than once a month or so."

This. Look at it as a teaching opportunity to teach your kids how to have good boundaries in a respectful way. Maybe this is happening for that reason? Like, maybe someday your kids will be grown and one will be in an awkward, not good situation in a church or other organization and your example today will be how they learn to handle it? I'd be honest, firm, but tactful. "Oh, not today. We've done it so much lately, why don't you see if anyone of the other families would like to be involved?"  Or you could email the priest directly and ask if there could be a new system. At our church it is usually couples celebrating an anniversary or birthday. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that we are on a three week streak I will just mention next week that we have done it three weeks in a row and they could give someone else a chance.   

It is uncomfortable and distracting at this point. There are four different ushers at two different masses that always ask us. I joked last night that the Saturday night usher was texting the Sunday morning guy “got ‘em tonight. You’re going to have to find someone else tomorrow” 

About six months ago one woman (who had asked us several times before) asked us and we said yes. She responded with “have you ever done it before?” and I started laughing. 

Really, I take mass pretty seriously. But this has just turned very silly and distracting. I could dress very inappropriately one week and see if that helps. 

I will say I used to be very uncomfortable doing it (just walking up front carrying something that would be a mess if I dropped) but I have gotten over that by now for sure. So that is one good thing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think by consistently saying "no, we've already done it this month.  We want others to have this special opportunity also" you'll help the ushers learn to consider consciously choosing a variety of people to ask.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Daria said:

Could you say "Oh, thank you so much for the opportunity, but we had our turn last week.  I don't want to be greedy, and take all the turns!"?  
 

 

5 hours ago, maize said:

I think saying no makes more sense than intentionally arriving late to avoid being asked. It is OK to have boundaries, even at Mass.

"We were asked last time, could you give someone else a turn? We are happy to do it but feel uncomfortable being the family chosen more than once a month or so."

 

4 hours ago, happi duck said:

I think by consistently saying "no, we've already done it this month.  We want others to have this special opportunity also" you'll help the ushers learn to consider consciously choosing a variety of people to ask.

We had this problem when my kids were younger.  K always had trouble with attracting attention and would get pretty grouchy.  We were willing to do it occasionally, but I did contact the head of the ushers to consider asking people from all walks of life, not just young families.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, scholastica said:

Any number of reasons. They don’t feel like it, they have a child who can’t stand to have all eyes on them, they’ve been asked every week for weeks on end, etc. It’s okay decline something even if it is an “honor”.

OP,  I would find a way to diplomatically say no thank you. Please don’t be late to Mass, that’s not good for anybody.

 

I guess I can see why there might be a handful of people at Mass who wouldn't want to, but it is hard for me to believe that they are getting no's over and over again, to the point that they must protect themselves by only asking the same person.  I would think that in most congregations there would be as many willing people as unwilling, unless like OP they had been asked to death. 

In both the Episcopal church where I grew up, and the Catholic school masses I now attend, this is something you sign up for, which seems like the most sensible solution. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part of what makes this even funnier is that last weekend dh and dd went on Saturday night and I went with ds on sunday because he had to altar serve. My dd saw a friend with her dad so they sat together. Two little girls and their dads. The usher asked them to take up the gifts. Two men with two children is an unusual configuration at our parish. 

So I tell dh that he is the one that is irresistible to the ushers.  The whole thing would be funny if it was happening to a friend of mine. But it is too annoying to be funny to me anymore (though I laughed when I heard they asked dh when I wasn’t even there)

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Daria said:

 

I guess I can see why there might be a handful of people at Mass who wouldn't want to, but it is hard for me to believe that they are getting no's over and over again, to the point that they must protect themselves by only asking the same person.  I would think that in most congregations there would be as many willing people as unwilling, unless like OP they had been asked to death. 

In both the Episcopal church where I grew up, and the Catholic school masses I now attend, this is something you sign up for, which seems like the most sensible solution. 

I agree that it should be a sign up. That way you know that people actually want to do it. The ushers don’t have to ask people and people aren’t made to feel like they can’t say no. Lots of people don’t want to do it for fear that their kids will mess up, drop something or otherwise embarrass them. Some people just don’t like to be in front of others that way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We carry up the gifts a lot, too. My son ushers (A LOT - it seems like he's constantly needed).  I asked him about this, and he said people say No all the time. I had no idea. I figured most people who were asked would be happy to do it, but no, he said it's extremely common for people to just say a brisk "no" and keep walking. ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...