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What do you think when you see somebody walk into church late? Anything at all? How about perpetually late people?

There's one family at my church that is late every single Sunday. I feel bad that I think anything at all and I ask for forgiveness almost every week because I know I'm judging them when they do it and that's not my place. I just feel that it's rude and disrespectful. It's disruptive to everybody already there who are trying to listen because they never sit in the back when they come in late either they walk up towards the front and ask somebody to move over or let them in the pew. It's like they can't be bothered to get up a little earlier so they're on time like everybody else. I mean if they are going to be late they could go to the later Mass. I'm so not a judgmental person in general but for some reason this just bugs me. Your thoughts?


Asked by Anonymous at 1:54 PM on Jul. 5, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • "It's like they can't be bothered to get up a little earlier so they're on time like everybody else."

    Try to think nice things instead of assume the reason they are late is because the can't be bothered with an alarm clock.... think things like.... Maybe the Dad works second shift and the Mom waits for him to get off work so they can come as a family..... maybe the mom works right after church so they can't come as a fmily at the later Mass either. Who knows... even it those things aren't true, tell yourself that they have good reason.

    Yes, if you are a very punctual person, I can see how someone else being tardy could be irksome. The way I see it though is showing up late is better than not showing up at all….

    Mass..... you must be Catholic??

    Answer by VeronicaLee at 2:07 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • My first thought was this family is late for EVERYTHING they do and don't think anything about being late for church, too.
    As for disrupting the service by not just sitting in the back, either they are insensitive people, or they WANT to be noticed.
    Sort of like a child will act up for the attention, if he is perpetually ignored. Any attention is good attention...even being punished, etc.

    Whatever their reasons, I would ask a deacon to head them off and direct them to sit in the back whenever they are late in the future.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:07 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • Mass..... you must be Catholic??

    Yes, I am.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:09 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • I am going to a non denominational now, but was raised Catholic.

    My Dad would have been so bothered by the family you describe, that he probably would have marched right up to them at some point and make a rude comment.... He was SO punctual. I am too... to me "being on time" is ten minutes early!

    Answer by VeronicaLee at 2:11 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • I guess I really don't think about it that much. You are always going to have late people. Of course they are missing out and they are distracting as they try and find a seat while we are worshiping, but I guess I am used to it. I don't really pay attention, because at that point I am trying to focus my heart on the Lord.

    I guess you should just pray for them and see if God will convict them and motivate them to get there earlier, because it is better for them. Don't judge them though, they are not your servants but God's. It is up to Him to work in them.

    Maybe they just have a more laid back personality? Some people are just late for everything. They don't worry about stuff. My husband has many Hawaiian friends and they always joke that they are on Hawaiian time (they are always late for everything, LOL).

    But pray for God to bless them and that they will have a desire to get there on time so they don't miss out!

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 2:12 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • OP here: Thanks for the fresh perspective ladies. I think I posted this because it was bothering me that it bothered me, lol, if that makes sense. Good points, good ideas.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:15 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • One more thing. Please try not to give them "the look" when they walk in late. I always see people in church giving other members the disapproving looks. I think that is way more wrong than coming in late. It makes other members feel unloved and then they will not want to come to church and hear the word of God.

    That is what the Pharisees did, and Jesus rebuked them. We can't hold people to our own standards (not in the Bible - like "Thou shalt be on time for service"). We need to love each other. If you feel like you need to let them know, you should ask your pastor to address it. I know our pastor would never be okay with a church member scolding someone for being tardy, It is not their place, they are not a leader. And a leader should only act when they are told to, otherwise you could misrepresent the ministry.

    I am not saying you give them the "look" but if you are really upset about it, you might be tempted to.

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 2:18 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • I am Catholic as well. When we were younger we were that family and it irritated me! I was tired of walking into Mass as the first reading was starting. We wouldn't leave our house until 5 min AFTER mass started! We started getting ready when some people were already sitting in the pew. Our church is crowed so finding seats wasn't always easy and we had to stand at the side looking for enough seats for 6 people. I agree, how hard is it to get up 10 minutes earlier. What is worse this is the 11 am Mass we are talking about! I understand my parents worked hard and all but come on, you are talking 3 hours later and 20 minutes closer that where you have to be during the week.
    If I complained I would get yelled at to shut up. I would tell my mom how embarssed I was to walk into church every week late. She told me too bad, if the parishners didn't like it they could leave. It was so bad I just quit going for a long time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:30 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • Let me ask you this... what does Jesus think about this?

    For me, I would just be happy they got there and got to worship with the rest of the family of God.

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 2:35 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • _cont form anon :30_
    As I got older, got married and had kids I felt a strong call to God to return. I tried other denominations but the Catholic Church felt right to me. I learned my lesson and I have left for mass 20 minutes early. It bothers my children so I have learned to calm down. We leave between 15 and 10 till, Church is about 5 minutes away and they can sit for a few minutes and pray.

    I also sit in the first two pew every week. most the people who come in late sit in the back pews and sneak in through the back doors. I know what it is like to be a kid in" that late family " and not have any control over it. Honestly, i think the adults need to take control of the situation. If you live in an area like I do, there are several Catholic masses to pick from. How hard is it to pick a time and make sure you get there in time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:37 PM on Jul. 5, 2009