Things that Go BUMP in my Mind

Knitting, stitching, reading, gardening, cooking--I have no time for any of it.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

The people at my church are sooo cool.

I took both kids (Andy, 4, and Owen, 20 months) to church today.  Now, this may seem like no big deal, but there are two things you need to know about Orthodox Christian services:  (1) the Divine Liturgy lasts for roughly two hours (some priests can get it done in an hour and a half, but Fr. Marcus takes his time and gets it done right, by golly), and (2) since Orthodox children are full members of the church from the moment of their baptism, there is no nursery.  Orthodoxy can therefore be quite ... challenging for those with young children.
 
Which brings me to my point about how much my fellow parishioners rock.  During the course of the service, Owen made a break for the altar twice and tried to scoot out the back door three times.  (This was in addition to the various other shenanigans he pulled that are simply too exhausting to enumerate.)  Each time, one of my fellow parishioners nabbed him and entertained him long enough for me to get there.  Even more amazingly, there were no frowns, no cleared throats, no sidelong glances.  Everyone accepts that having kids in church (and mine certainly aren't the only ones) means that the Liturgy is going to include a certain amount of "holy noise" from the kids.  But, for the most part, this is viewed less as a disruption of the service and more as a normal part of parish life.  Much like no one frowns as someone who sneezes during church, no one much minds if one of the kids fusses briefly, because sometimes, kids get fussy. 
 
Like I said, the people at my church rock.

3 Comments:

  • At 12:28 PM, Blogger Belinda said…

    That's very cool! There's a certain amount of 'holy noise' at my church, too, although RC services are a little shorter. I've never gotten any negative comments about DD, although she personally would rather go to nursery and hang with her friends...

    It's still hard for me, though, when DD acts up, because even though everyone else seems to be cool with it, I still am pretty mortified when she does.

     
  • At 3:12 PM, Blogger Not me said…

    That's great that you've found a church that is so understanding. I always feel awful when my son makes noises in Church; even though he doesn't get dirty looks, it is still kind of embarrassing.

     
  • At 4:01 PM, Blogger Kirsten said…

    Fr. Marcus says that no matter what's going on in the nave, he really only hears his own kids. I'm sure that's not always true (such as the time when Owen pitched a fit over an inadequate juice-to-water ratio in his sippy cup during the middle of the homily), but I think in most cases us moms have built-in amplifiers to the noises our kids make, so our perceptions of how obnoxious they are don't always meet with reality.

     

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