Last week, I mentioned the Cry Room at church and also that I didn't immediately take to it (nor like the name of) but had an overall positive experience at Mass. That made me start thinking that the cry room isn't such a bad idea after all.
This week, I'm back to feeling offended by it. Firstly, by the concept of the Cry Room and secondly, the name that its been given.
The first thing that irked me a little was the big message projected on the wall at the start of mass that asked parents to take all disruptive children to the Cry Room. I just felt that they shouldn't have used the word 'disruptive' since the message was probably targeted at younger children and they are programmed to be inquisitive and noisy. Still, I didn't spend much time thinking of it and joined the other outcasts in the Cry Room.
At the start of mass, there were 7 under twos and 12 adults in a room with capacity for maybe 20 adults. There was a little noise in the room but nothing major. I noticed that mass started about 15 mins late, just as it did last week and worried a little that Aaron's good behavior may not last the extra 15 mins that we'd have to stay.
After the homily, an additional 5 or 6 children between the ages of four and six came into the room. Now it got a little bit more noisy but still nothing that I wouldn't expect in a room with 13 children.
The next thing I knew, a warden came into the room and actually asked the parents of the 'noisy children' to take them outside. Aaron wasn't one of those but I immediately said "The sign says to bring the disruptive children IN HERE. Why are you kicking them out of the church?" And he ways "Father says so".
Now, I don't know if the priest really gave that instruction but I do hold him accountable. These children are the future of the Catholic Church. Last I checked, our members are dwindling....
How do you expect to nurture their faith if you kick them outside?
How do you expect their parents to teach them about going to Mass if you kick them outside as well?
Why call it a Cry Room if you're not allowed to cry (basically make noise) in it?
Why start Mass 15 mins late? Every second counts when you're talking about a child's attention span.
OK. Sorry for the long post today ranting about the church but....I'm really bugged by it! I think the Cry Room should be scrapped and children and parents be released into the congregation. The kids will explore a little and make some noise but they will learn. I'm sure no parent will allow a full on tantrum to take place during Mass so....let them decide when to take the kid out.
Matthew 18:3 "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."