10 Awkward Catholic Moments
Our Catholic faith is so rich and so beautiful. However, we Catholics are quite human. And our liturgies are run by humans and attended by humans. So, that can lead to some very human awkwardness.
Sometimes the best way to deal with uncomfortable situations is to realize that we all experience them and then move forward.
In that spirit, do any of these situations sound painfully familiar?
10. Move along!
You slip into an empty seat on an end pew just as the hymn begins. Then you hear the dreaded whisper “Sorry I’m saving this seat for someone!” You either have to bolt and run to find a new seat before the altar servers come down the aisle, or wait until the procession is done and begin the hunt for an empty spot all over again.
9. The sign of peace dilemma.
You turn to shake someone’s hand, but they turn at the same time in the opposite direction, so you are left facing a back, not a face.
You turn the other way and the same thing happens.
Then, when you finally are facing someone who is facing you, there are suddenly three hands extended and you struggle choosing one over the other, trying not to play favorites.
8. Too loud and proud.
You say the creed loud and proud until you stumble on one of the words from the old translation. You proclaim “one in being with the Father” while everyone else just says “consubstantial with the Father.” Whoops.
7. Should I stand or should I kneel now?
You stand up too soon or stay standing for too long. I find this is most likely to happen around when we pray “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands …” or sometimes at the “Lamb of God” prayer. The slow descent into your seat after realizing that no one else is standing is not quickly forgotten…
6. You miser!
Cringe. That judgment you feel and/or imagine from other parishioners and the usher when the offertory basket comes your way and you don’t put anything it it because you’ve already given online.
5. Baby terror.
Oh look! That cute little baby a few pews up is looking straight at you! You smile and wave at the happy baby only to have the baby become startled and start crying in terror.
4. Your Achilles’ heel.
In line for Communion, you step on the person’s heels in front of you. You apologize in a whisper and try walking slower, being very careful to avoid a repeat offense. You almost make it, but just after receiving Communion, with your head bowed in prayer, you do it again! This time you say nothing, hoping they think it is someone else.
3. Good (Friday) grief!
On Good Friday you go to bless yourself with Holy Water, and then realize there is none. You then genuflect before entering your pew, and in doing so scuff your shoe. Then you kick yourself because the tabernacle is empty today. The one time you didn’t have to genuflect…you did…and now your shoe has a weird unnecessary scuff.
2. Bless me Fa—
You notice a Confession line before Mass! Perfect. You stand in line, and just as your turn comes and you are about to enter the confessional, the priest comes out, and says “Sorry! I have to go to vest for Mass now!”
1. Post-Mass anxiety.
You leave Church and want to socialize, but don’t know who to approach as everyone is standing in groups. Suddenly, someone you know waves and you strike up a conversation. And then suddenly, they see someone they know and turn to say hello, and begin a conversation.
You are left standing by yourself again, feeling more alone than the first round, but you are unable to sneak away because politeness obliges you to finish the conversation with your friend … once they stop talking to someone else ..
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