So, church. This business of having sacrament meeting last. Yes, some of you have heard of my annoyance with this practice that has become a common meeting schedule and yet is largely unnecessary in many of the wardhouses come each Sunday. In my own uneducated opinion, that is.
Yes, I understand that in some crowded meetinghouses it is helpful to have one or more of the wards attend their other meetings first and attend Sacrament meeting last. You know, after the kids get cranky. After they've been sitting down on folding chairs for an hour and a half. When lunch time is approaching (for those of you unfortunates on the 9 am schedule) or when nap time is approaching (for those of you on the 11 am schedule) or when berserk time is approaching (for those of you who thought you lucked out on the 1 pm schedule). Yeah, helpful.
But I don't really understand. I mean, the priesthood meets in the chapel for the first hour. What's the difference if the rest of us just meet in there, too? Who would we be inconveniencing?
But, some of you may say, other scheduling conflicts arise of which you know nothing about, you soap-boxing diatriber. To this, I say, "Yes, but that's not actually my point anyway."
"Why bring it up?" you ask.
"It's my blog. Duh."
So, the real point is that having Sacrament meeting last encourages a trend that increases exponentially each Sunday, the sea of scripture cases strewn on pews, this insane need to SAVE YOUR SEAT. I don't know why this is. Like maybe if I sit in the front pew, I'll be the first to go to heaven. Like maybe if I mark my territory with the scriptures of every member of my family, a few jackets, and my primary bag for good measure, maybe I won't have to pull out my claws when the Finklestein's try to park their dirty butts on MY PEW. MY PEW!
The thing is, it's just not Christlike, right? I mean, I have been in wards where you literally could not sit on a bench in the chapel if you (or a member of your family) did not leave Sunday School fifteen minutes early to spread out the stadium blanket in the chapel. The more people do this, the more people have to do this. The only Christlike people in the congregation are sitting in the overflow area straining to see. And let's face it, people, if you can't see nothin', the eyes drift closed and zzzzzz......off to sleep in a lousy folding chair.
Thing is, I'm much more comfortable in the overflow so I can sneak out with the kids when lunch time hits.
Thing is, I am SO taking a fringed stadium blanket next week, maybe an umbrella to protect me from the elements, and a cooler full of snacks. Because that's what seat saving does to me on Sunday: the standing up, the waving, the calling "Over hear, my fellow Finklestein!" the strategically placed white shirted CTR6s sitting six spaces away from their tights-clad-dress-over-the-head sisters sitting another six spaces away from their roving-eyed parents. How many spaces do they need? Who are they looking for? It makes me feel like I am hunting for a piece of grass in the park at the fireworks: like I should be carrying a cooler and snapping glow sticks onto my kids so I don't loose them in the dark and maybe pushing everything on earth except for a child in a stroller over a grassy knoll.
Actually, should anyone from my ward accidentally read this, our current ward is probably one of the best I've seen for not participating in seat saving that I've been in in a while. They were probably chided or admonished some time in the recent past.
But that brings up another point, and that is that everyone has their own pew so they don't need to save one. You don't really notice this unless you are new in a ward. I have been new in a lot of wards and it's always sucky to sit anywhere because you know you're in someone's seat. You just don't know whose. You don't know who is casting furtive glances at you wishing you would just disappear. All in the name of worshipping, though.
It's human nature, I know, believe me I know, to be habitual about things like this. I'm SO guilty of it myself. When I was in school, I'd walk into a classroom the first day and sit three rows from the far right side of the room and three rows back from the front. This was a really comfortable position in almost any classroom, making it easy to both look at and see the teacher and to take notes with my right hand. So I guess it's completely possible that each family has a particular reason for the pew they have claimed as rightfully theirs.
But, I have been speaking on this subject too long. To sum up: DON'T SAVE SEATS IN THE CHAPEL ON SUNDAY. IT'S STUPID.