Christmas brings out the occasional mass goer and our local church was thronged on Christmas morning. As our parish priest launched into his sermon [a long one] in front of his largest congregation of the year, a mobile phone began to ring loudly and insistently from the pew behind mine. A number of people looked around in irritation. An older gentleman began to systematically pat down his various pockets. Eventually, to sighs of relief, he found it. Not being familiar with mass phone etiquette, I charitably assume, he did not hang up. We were instead treated to a quick conversation in a stage whisper:
“Hello, Julie…No, I’m at mass…. No you’re alright, go on… and a happy Christmas to you.”
I told this story to my sister. “That’s nothing,” she said, “one Sunday at our church a phone rang while Sr. M was doing the first reading. In time it became clear that it was her phone, ringing from her pocket on the altar. It didn’t really matter though as most of the congregation is quite hard of hearing.”
O tempora o mores etc.