Thursday, October 7, 2010

THE PROBLEM WITH CRY ROOMS? YES, BUT ALSO WITH CHURCHES! YIKES!


I saw this post on another blog and reprint it here. It concerns the "problem" with cry rooms, but if that isn't enough, look at the picture of the cry room above, but then look at the interior of the Church and then think, "THE PROBLEM WITH MODERN CHURCHES!" Can you detect the altar? Look for the tabernacle, I think it is to the far left of the picture, but off the "platform" where the altar is located. Look at all the music stands and microphones and the placement of the choir--these have more prominence than the altar, if one could see it. Actually, compared to the church, the cry room is magnificent and allows adults to cry out loud after looking into this mangled church! Also note what the writer below says about the number of young adults and well-behaved children at the Extraordinary Form of the Mass that he attends, but I suspect not in this Church.

The Problem with Cry Rooms
by: Laurance Alvarado

Today is the one year birthday of my youngest foster child. Over the past five months, I've marveled at her growth, her vice-like grip on anything I'm trying to read, and her amusement as she's discovered how to walk. And even though she's become far more vocal over the past few weeks, I've also really enjoyed attending Mass with her.

During a retreat several years ago, the retreat master dedicated time on the "family and the Mass." One thing that still stands out was his perspective on cry rooms, which is that they've done more harm than good regarding the acceptance of the family in our Church. In addition, allowing children to have carte blanche behavior in a partitioned, dedicated room tacitly condones poor manners and lack of respect for the Eucharist.

We attend the Traditional Mass and there's no cry room in the space to which we're relegated. Even if there was, there wouldn't be enough room for all the kids and babies in attendance. But, what's remarkable about this Mass -- and we may be unique -- is that there's rarely a need for a parent to step into the foyer with a screaming or ill-mannered child. I continued to be impressed with the respectful behavior of all the children in attendance -- which includes my 5 year old, who normally acts like every waking hour is "open mic night."

I'm sure there are strong feelings pro and con regarding cry rooms. I'm just now at the point where I can appreciate the discipline instilled in children by requiring them to pay attention at Mass. This is far more important than a little peace and quiet.

Of course, I may completely change my mind as the little one enters her terrible twos...

3 comments:

Paul said...

Cry rooms make me tremendously sad. As a Church, we supposedly value children as gifts from God, but we relegate them to a soundproofed booth, so we don't have to hear them. We want them to grow up with a love and respect for the Mass, but we isolate them from it. Someone in this equation is lying.

By the way, I have no children, am not particularly fond of crying during Mass, but would NEVER consider my slight discomfort reason to turn the little ones away from our Lord.

Robert Kumpel said...

1) When my oldest was a baby until we moved away from our home town when she was 5, we attended daily Mass. The church had a small cry room and, for those first 3 years, I was darned grateful for it. I don't know how much other people would have been bothered by her, but I was terrified of my children bothering others. At age 4, she behaved well enough to stay in the nave for the entire Mass, but when her younger sister was born, it started all over again.

Then we moved to Georgia we ended up at a church with no cry room. Instead, they did a children's thing at the beginning of Mass where they escorted the little ones out for a while for their own "special" service--I didn't like it. As far as those younger than 5, it was strongly suggested that we put them in the nursery. I didn't like that either. So, I'll take the cry room. I couldn't shake the feeling that they didn't want kids in the church during Mass. Not much chance of teaching them under THOSE conditions.

Regarding your introductory comments Father, I couldn't agree with you more. Modern church architecture is an abysmal failure. I have been in too many churches where it took an expedition to figure out where the tabernacle was, and too often, it was removed in some special "adoration chapel" (modernist code for "get Him outta here!").

The worst thing about modern church architecture (and modernism in just about every other area of Church life) is that it is so boring. Empty, vacant, churches leave us feeling empty and vacant. Yes, yes, I can hear the idealists telling me that I shouldn't need all that art to actively participate in the Mass, but think about it: Even as adults, most of us find our minds wandering at some point in the Mass. The "Our Lady of Perpetual Vacancy" type church just gives us more room for wandering. But traditional churches filled with lots of art always give us visual reminders of WHY we are there and WHAT we are participating in. It never fails to return our thoughts back to God. And it also makes going to Mass far more interesting for children. Just ask my kids.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Many Catholic churches look like protestant churches even BAPTIST AND EVANGELICAL CHAPELS.