Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Churchy Rules

Let’s talk about church etiquette. Growing up, there were certain rules that you were expected to follow when you were in the church building. Some of those rules seem to have changed since then and I’ve picked up a few more that I wasn’t taught, but let’s look at a few.

Don’t Run in the Church Building
This was a big one. I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the risk of mowing some old person down. I don’t see quite as many people yelling this one down the halls these days, but it is still a good one to follow.
Don’t Chew Gum
This one probably got started after someone reached down and got her hand stuck gum. I just remember that Mom had trouble teaching us this one because the woman who sat behind us in church was usually chewing gum.
Don’t Crawl Under the Pews
I can understand it when the church service is going on, but my mother wouldn’t let me crawl under the pews even when we were the only people in the building.
Sit Still
The idea is that you’re supposes to listen to the sermon. At the very least, you shouldn’t disturb others.
Don’t Walk Around During Prayer
Unless you are preparing for a performance that begins right after the prayer, you have no reason to be moving around while prayer is going on. If you were on stage, you can leave the stage if you’re quiet about it, but don’t go very far while prayer is going on. This is to show respect to God.
Don’t Walk Around During a Special
It’s okay during the offertory, that’s part of the reason it exists. Especially when we’re talking about other musicians, it is a show of respect for the performer to wait until after they finish before moving around the building. If you are outside of the sanctuary, stay out until it is over. If you need to use the restroom, hold it.
Men, Stand Up When You Shake Hands
This is one I never learned as well as I should have, but it is a good rule, all the same. Women can remain seated, especially but men should show respect by standing up when they shake hands with someone.
Turn off Your Cell Phone
This one’s new from when I was a kid. Cell phones have a way of disrupting the services. You can go without a phone call or playing games for a while, so turn it off.
I’m sure there are probably more than that, but those are the ones I can think of right now.