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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Church Etiquette for Dummies.

As an uber-cool, club-hopping, midnight partying, forever socializing person that I am, one of my much-envied weekend activity is waiting outside the church for two hours in the scorching sun while the son is at Catechism. By the way, I don’t know what is club-hopping or midnight partying and if checking Instagram for the 137th time in one hour counts as socializing then yeah I am forever socializing.

To be honest I am not a regular church goer. My partner-in-crime (legally addressed to as husband) does not believe in the concept of going to church to pray. He says he wants to retain whatever peace that is remaining. I don’t disagree completely and I don’t agree also because in marriage we are not supposed to agree with each other. It is sinful.

Image Courtesy: Here
When I was younger (I'm still young), our grandparents taught us to dress conservatively while going to church. My Mom always wears her new sarees to the church first. All people in church were dressed either in sarees or salwars or tunics that were appropriate for a place of worship. Now if you see, times changed drastically. People arrive at church in their luxury vehicles with a statue of Jesus stuck in the front (which needs immediate cleaning because it is starting to look like Che Guevara) and makes a grand entry in a black t-shirt with a picture of a beer bottle right there in front captioned “Beer is Life”. Inside the church, at every 100 meters there is a small board that says ‘God sees you’. I am not sure whether these people see the board (or a mirror).

So yesterday I had to pick my son fifteen minutes before the mass was over and drop him at a birthday party. Oh yes, that is a sin and I am a sinner. He is just six, it’s not like he was on his knees and talking to God from the subconscious.  In my defense, I am sure God will agree that it is better this guy leaves the mass. He is that guy whose pranks distract everyone. His Catechism teacher rolled her eyes at me as if I was Satan. “You can take him when the mass is over” she said strictly, pointing to my son who was winking behind her and making few other kids laugh. I pleaded ‘Ma’am we have to go somewhere, it’s very urgent” (otherwise we won’t get cake ;-)) and she was burning with fury. So this is a Catechism teacher with a zero tolerance. I now know why I have to literally drag my son to church on Saturdays. This is the exact opposite of how the scriptures have to be taught and practiced.

Once you exit the church there is a 45 minute wait for traffic to clear until the main exit. This is a ground for cut-throat competition because either you go first or ensure that others don’t go. The priest said something about patience but what does he know- he does not drive and travels in chauffeur driven cars. Priests often give us marriage advice also. You should see the hues evolving from myriad facial expressions in the congregation.

Then there are others whose phones do not have a functioning silent mode. In my knowledge Charles Babbage would have invented the concept of silent mode in the 1800s. The intention of bringing the phone or keeping it in full volume inside the church is something we have to ask God in fasting and meditation. I am sure He also will not be able to comprehend such complicated psychological behavior.

I am not holier than any one of you to lecture about church etiquette but I really think that keeping a gadget away and dressing better is not as hard as trying to get your car out of the church premises.

Spread the word!