Sunday, October 01, 2006

This Sunday at St. Thomas

Sung by the St. Ann Choir at St. Thomas Aquinas church this noon:

Josquin des Prez, Christe, fili Dei and Ave Christe.

Fr. Harris was back this week, so we were spared the previous week's spontaneous liturgical innovations.

There were quite a few families with young children in the pews, which is a very very good thing indeed. But babies will be babies, and their very noisy presence today -- you often actually couldn't hear anything else but the howling -- brought up that age-old question: when should a crying child be taken gently out of church?

I'd say: if a child can't be quieted in a paternoster -- the time it takes to say the Our Father -- then, out of charity toward other parishioners, one or the other parent should take him outside until he's calm again. I know it's a burden to parents, usually the mother, but if the wailing is allowed to go on for five or ten minutes at a stretch, dozens of other people are going to be seriously distracted from a significant chunk of what is often the only sacred time in their entire week.

I've been a parent, and I've spent plenty of time outside on cold days, jollying my infant daughter into quietude (or not) instead of being inside where it's warm, adult, and spiritual. But that's a responsibility you take up when you become a parent, and I don't think you should force others to share it.