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Letter to Editor

Letter to the Editor: On Church Etiquette

November 21, 2017

To the Editor:

Thank you for your continuing coverage of the Church and its issues, but I would like to point out the level of rudeness during church services that seems to be getting out of hand. Since when is it appropriate to start a conversation with the person sitting next to you and take out your phone and show pictures of your grandchildren while the Divine Liturgy is going on? Or to answer your ringing phone and begin a long explanation of why you can’t talk right now when the people are going up to receive Holy Communion? The constant murmur during the service shows a level of disrespect that I think should be addressed. And it is not from young people or children who are not used to going to church, the talkers are mostly grown-ups who should know better. Or is that they reach a certain age and the rules no longer apply to them?

The priests who say something are then accused of having a temper, but what else can they do if they don’t say something? Should the rest of the people in church have to shush the talkers through the entire service? It is not fair for those of us who came to worship in peace. The lack of respect is troubling. Also, for those who would like to chant, they should please sit up front close to the chanters and not give a personal performance in my ear, especially if they feel the spirit, but the Lord did not bless them with the best voice. The chanters are trained and do wonderful work, why would anyone want to hear someone chanting off key? Some consideration please for those with sensitive ears.

When the babies cry out, they can’t help it, but adults should know there are rules when you are in church. Parents should, of course, pay attention to their children when they’re misbehaving and take them outside instead of continuing to disrupt the service. When did we forget how to behave in church? If I ever spoke during the service, I would get a look from my parents and that was it, but who is going to give the look to the senior citizens who are chatting away while the priest is trying to explain the readings from the Bible?

Persephone Grigoriou

New York, NY

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