Why We Sit in the Front Pew

By Gaby Smith

I think one of the most terrifying moment of a parent’s life is sitting in the front row with your child at Mass.
Trying to explain to a small boy to sit still and pay attention at Mass (which can be very confusing to a child) takes skill.
I’ve come to terms that sitting in the front of the church is the best way for my son to pay attention. We’ve had moments where he was so wiggly that I felt like everyone’s eyes were on me, judging. I could cry I was so embarrassed.

In the front rows, I can point things out for him easily and explain what the parts of the Mass mean and why we do it. I’ve started to see his attention span last longer in the front pews of church. He sees the priest, the altar servers and the readers.

We’ve learned to follow along in the book, when to stand, sit and be silent.
As a parent, I’ve learned to keep this consistent for our Sunday Masses. We’ll walk up, sit in the front rows and go through the Mass. He isn’t perfect and a lot of the times he has a lot of questions about what the priest is doing during Mass (which is great!).

I’ve learned to not shoo him off and tell him to be quiet in Mass but explain to him why we do what we do.
So, put on your badge of courage and make your way to the front pew at Mass. Even if you’re with your spouse that day or alone, do it anyway and silently explain the Mass to your child or children. They will start to understand why we as Catholics love celebrating the Eucharist.

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