I don't know what you do when someone's phone goes off, normally I ignore it, if it goes on for an extended period I make some comment, I tend to scowl if it happens during an exquisite piece of music that others have spent a great deal of time preparing, it is just contemptuous. I have been to the opera where this has happened and the conductor has stopped the orchestra and demanded the owner leave. I am told that at the theatre, it is not unusual for the action to stop until the phone is turned off to the glares of the cast.
Here recently after 30 seconds of ringing, I finally had to turn round and ask for a phone to be turned off, and I suggest they drowned the instrument. Its owner, a sweet lady, thought it was someone else's. That morning we had reviewer from some on-line site in the congregation who obviously hated our style of worship, who mendaciously, presumably for the sake of making copy, said he/she had heard me saying sotto voce, 'and drown yourself too', out Master of Ceremonies drew my attention to the on-line piece, he was standing next to me and heard no such thing, he was shocked by the untruth, in fact he pointed out I was smiling at the time. It is sad that people who obviously 'have issues' tell lies that are placed in a public forum. The lady went into the porch and turned her phone off then came back in, and apologised on her way out at the end of Mass, she did not as the reviewer says 'leave the Church never to return', that again is mendacious, perhaps the editor might like to explain?
I find something cheap about reviewing worship, as some consumer product, as one might review a restaurant or a vacuum cleaner, that is not what we are about. There is obviously some agenda behind the 'review' and it is obviously not a very Catholic one.
There is assumption that Mass or any other service begins not with prayer, spiritual preparation and recollection but chatter. We used to have people handing out newsletters and Mass sheets but people complained, as they seemed to disturb people preparing for Mass, and seemed the main source of pre-Mass chatter, we decided to discontinue the practice, leaving the necessary bits of paper for people to collect at the back of the church for people to help themselves, much as they do at most Catholic church's, for example St Peter's in Rome. I might be biased but like most men I don't want to be engaged in conservation when I enter a Church, in a shop I stop browsing and leave when someone asks, 'Can I help you?'
It is more than indicative in the review that Mass, or I as I would prefer it 'the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass', is referred to simply as 'mass', and although the author is obviously familiar with the vesting prayers, (which would suggest either a former priest or a High Anglican). He/she is disturbed by the presence of a maniple, which perhaps is an indicator of a certain age. I tend to wear what my sacristan lays out, and most young people simply don't know the names of most bits of liturgical haberdashery.
He/she obviously didn't like my sermon, it was about prayer and its effects, especially taking fear away, it was loosely based on Cassian, the Gospel was Jesus asleep in the ship, and yes I did encourage people to take part in 40 Hours, but only as a minor part of what I was saying. I am not sure I 'scold and frighten' anyone but obviously that is what the reviewer felt, perhaps they should listen to Pope Francis' sermons from Sta Marta. I was pleased that although the he/she obviously hated what I said, a handful of people were quite complimentary, one visitor was even kind enough to say she thought it was best sermon on prayer she had ever heard. It was 'dogmatic' but the Catholic faith is dogmatic, 'fluffy' can be got elsewhere.
I suspect the reviewer had an aversion to prayer, I am not sure they actually did stay to the very end of Mass, as they claim. It is my custom I stay at the back of the church to say good-bye, there is only one door, and the mystery visitor, let us not call them a worshipper because the plainly weren't here to do what everyone else is here to do, did not see me when they left and were unable to see the very clear signs identifying our 'Parish Centre' where coffee was served.
From where or what denomination does the term 'pew letter' come from, it is not a term I have ever heard before, certainly not a Catholic term in this part of the world. Anyhow, I am glad he/she enjoyed the music and our lighting fittings, and I am glad we 'scored', according to our MC, the same score as most Catholic churches he and I would choose to attend if I wasn't here.
Perhaps the Ship of Fools might review their reviewers, I don't object to people who disagree with me, or even people who hate everything I stand for but I despise lying, and I am not a great fan of anonymous criticism on the internet, I always put my name to things I write, it is the Christian way. Perhaps too they might review the questions they ask, I would be more concerned that a celebration of the Mass moved me to fall in wonder and worship before the Triune God and whether it caused me to pray for myself and the intercede for the world.
There is a kinder review here, but then Amy came to worship.