Friday, November 01, 2013



Another new parish tonight, as their Holy Day Mass fit our schedule. Another old church, as evidenced by our tight squeeze in the pew. M was parking the car while Zo and I went in. I knelt to pray and promptly kicked the kneeler of the pew behind us. This is rare for me, although it happens to M quite frequently. I warned him when he arrived, "You're not going to fit!" He knelt, made an alarming face (I think even he was surprised by just how tight it is) and reached back to lower the kneeler.

We have been in many, many churches. I am continually amazed by how uncomfortable the pews and kneelers are, and am reminded of just how fortunate (some would say blessed!) we are at our parish. Even my beloved Abbey church, which I visit almost daily, has horrific pews (they are also too close together, the seats are too narrow, and the kneelers don't rise, making entering and exiting the pews difficult and, to the elderly, dangerous). I hang out in the choir stalls, which are awesome. Unfortunately that's where the monks sit, so they are wholly unaware of just how bad the pews are.

I suppose one could say that pews aren't supposed to be comfortable and that it's a small sacrifice to pay in the name of Jesus. However, when one is more focused on the pain radiating from one's knees, or the task of not kicking the person behind one when kneeling, or resisting the temptation of taking the Lord's name in vain because one is just so stinking miserable, I think it defeats the purpose. We're supposed to be listening to the Mass, right? Talking to God? Not thinking, "Holy shit, my knees are going to effing explode, and I don't think I'll ever be able to get out of this damn pew again!"

Just a few thoughts for the pew designers of the world.


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