Skip to main content

Pet Peeves about Attending Church Services

Paul is a retired American expat living in Thailand. Besides being an English teacher and translator, Paul likes languages and most sports.

A Catholic Church Mass Service


Attending Catholic Church Services

My first memories of the Catholic Church and religion carry me back to the early 1950s. At that time, I was attending Saint Mary's Help of Christians Church and School in West Allis, Wisconsin, and also training to be an altar boy. There seemed to be mysterious magic in the Catholic Church at that time, and I enjoyed memorizing my Latin prayers and assisting the priest to celebrate Mass.

Later, I attended different Catholic churches as a boy and even attended Sunday Mass when I was in college. After joining the Navy and getting married, I attended church with my family only occasionally.

In this article, I will not argue the merits of attending church but only comment on my pet peeves below as follows.

Long, Boring Sermons

Very seldom have I heard Billy Graham's evangelical-type sermons which have moved and inspired me. Most of the sermons I hear are rather long and boring. Sometimes on Sundays, it is a struggle to stay awake while the celebrant of the Mass mumbles for almost an eternity.

Non-Air-Conditioned Churches

For a long time, I stopped attending church after my wife almost passed out during one Sunday morning Mass service. This happened in Thailand when the church wanted to save money by using small fans instead of running its air-conditioner during hot and humid weather.

Crying Babies and Young Children

It is very difficult to pay attention to the Mass or pray when distracted by loud crying babies or young children. Only a few parents have the common sense to remove their kids from church when they have a temper and crying fits.

Insufficient Seating

I have always disliked going to small churches where there is insufficient seating. It seems that if you are not 10-15 minutes early, you will have to stand in the aisles or the back of the church during an hour's Mass.

Inadequate Parking Near the Church

Most of the churches I have attended have had very small parking lots. Unless getting to church early, it is necessary to walk sometimes two or three blocks after finding a parking space on the street.

Having to Kneel

During some parts of the Mass, parishioners must kneel. As I get older, this is more difficult to do as well as genuflect. For people like my aunt who have had knee replacement surgery, it is impossible to kneel in church. When I was in the fourth or fifth grade, we were all required to attend Holy Hours every Thursday afternoon. At times it seemed like torture and eternity having to kneel for almost one hour while reciting prayers.

People Who Talk in Church

You would think that most Catholics would view the church as a solemn place for worship. On the contrary, I am very surprised and appalled at the loud talking I hear while the priest is celebrating the Mass.

Can't Hear the Celebrant or Pastor

In some of the churches I have attended, it was very difficult to hear the celebrant or pastor. A lot of the microphones or public address systems are very bad, and half of the time they don't work very well.

Can't Understand the Language of the Church Service

Whenever I attend a Mass in Thailand celebrated in the Thai language, I am extremely challenged to understand everything during the service, especially the sermon or homily. When I taught English at a Catholic School in Thailand, all foreign and Thai teachers were periodically required to attend Masses which were celebrated only in Thai.

People Who Steal from the Collection Box

During the Offertory period of the Mass, a collection box is passed around and church-goers put their offerings into it. In some churches, ushers have a box or basket affixed to a long stick which they move through the pews of the church. In other churches, ushers only have a basket which they request church-goers pass around from person to person. While this latter collection method was going on in Thailand, I spotted a couple of young people removing money from the basket instead of making an offering.


There are other pet peeves to be sure, but these are the ones at the top of my list. My top pet peeve probably would be long and boring sermons.

Pet Peeves about Attending Church Services

Other Pet Peeve Hubs

  • Pet Peeves of an Older American White Heterosexual Male
    In the wake of increasing political correctness and affirmative action, the lives of most older white heterosexual males are not very pleasant. Read about a white heterosexual male's pet peeves .
  • Pet Peeves at Work in an Office
    Working in an office can be interesting and rewarding. It can also be very disappointing and treacherous. In this hub I present my pet peeves at work in an office for over thirty years.
  • Top Eleven Hotel Pet Peeves
    Most of my hotels have provided great accommodations. However, there have been lemons. Based on hotel experiences of almost fifty years, I share with readers my top eleven hotel pet peeves.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Paul Richard Kuehn


Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on August 05, 2015:

Scroll to Continue

Thank God I have never sat through a political sermon. Thank you very much for your comments.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on August 05, 2015:

I also remember attending Mass every day before grade school through the 8th grade. Like you, I attended a public high school and then only went on Sundays. I lost interest in the Church when the big changes were made in the 60s.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on August 05, 2015:

Thanks for your comments. I hardly go to church any longer, too. Perhaps it would be a good idea for getting some inspiration. Thanks for voting up and sharing!

Thelma Alberts from Germany on August 01, 2015:

I´m glad I am not alone with these pet peeves. What annoys me is when the people talk and don´t listen during the Mass. What´s the use of going to the church without listening. The first time I was in the church in my home country Philippines after long years of living in Germany, I was annoyed that the priest preached 2 hours in the Mass that I ended up feeling sick. Then I asked who that priest was because I really didn´t like attending this priest Mass as he was also talking about politics inside the church. I even said to my companion after that, that just in case it would be the same priest again, I would go out after 1 hour. It did not happen though. Gladfully!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 30, 2015:

I loved attending Mass every day before school when I attended parochial school in Wisconsin in the 1950's. I was in public school in Texas so that ended. I feel much like you do about the people talking during a service and to think that some people steal from those donation baskets............I guess they are truly missing out on the whole point of going to church.

moonlake from America on July 30, 2015:

I agree with just about everything you say. Never a problem with crying babies there is a crying room. I can't get close to the church in the winter when it's so cold. I'm not a great at going to church any longer. I know I should, but I believe.

Voted up and shared.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 16, 2015:

Thank you very much for you enlightening comments. They are so true.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 16, 2015:

Since Vatican 2 in the 1960s, the Catholic Church has changed a lot. I liked the Church during the 50s when I was young and it seemed like a more solemn and holy place to attend then. I'm pleased you found this article interesting and am grateful for your votes, pinning, and sharing with followers.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 16, 2015:

&easylearningweb Thanks for your interesting comments. I will definitely read your hub as soon as I can.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 16, 2015:

I have always tried being truthful and open throughout my life. Sometimes, though, it comes back to hurt me if I comment on a very sensitive subject. I appreciate your comments!

mikeydcarroll67 on June 16, 2015:

For me, I find that there are two extremes in my area: the legalism or the emotionalism. Either you have to follow a bunch of rules or be "on fire all the time." I feel that either extreme is not good and a healthy blend of guiding direction can work well.

C E Clark from North Texas on June 16, 2015:

Evangelists do seem to know just the right moment to pound the pulpit a time or two to wake people up, don't they? It is extremely rude and disrespectful to be talking unnecessarily in the sanctuary.

I recommend those folding chairs with steel frames and fabric bodies that you can put in a bag and carry over your shoulder. Easy to transport and set up so that you have your own chair. I've been considering them lately and saw one on Amazon that boasted it could hold a quarter of a ton in weight!

Very interesting article and I'm sure a lot of people can identify with these peeves. Voted up and interesting, pinned on Awesome HubPages, and shared with followers

Amelia Griggs from U.S. on June 16, 2015:

Hello Paul, Interesting hub! I can relate and I experienced the same, as I was brought up Catholic, except for the donation basket money stealing. In my church, they use the basket on the stick.

I wrote a hub in past which you might like, about the lack of germ control during church rituals. You might find some it amuzing. Here is the link:

I think they should install hand sanitizers in church. Maybe someday! ;-)

Kiss andTales on June 15, 2015:

Thank you for being really truefull and open , I have found that even though people believe and practice other faith, they can not be as open and truthful as you

That takes courage to admit when all is not right.

Thank you for sharing.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 15, 2015:

Thank you very much for your interpretation of the scriptures. It is true that people burden themselves with traditions and ceremonies and don't really concentrate on worship.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 15, 2015:

I am very happy that you found this hub interesting. I appreciate you voting up, sharing, and pinning this article!

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 15, 2015:

Thank you very much for reading. May I ask why church is your one pet peeve?

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 15, 2015:

MsDora, I have no problem at all with your previous thought. Peace to you and I hope you have a great week!

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 15, 2015:

&MsDora Thank you very much for your comments. I'm sure I can find a church which offers fewer pet peeves. I just feel that attending church should be more than just a social gathering.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 15, 2015:

&peachpurple Thank you very much for sharing your views about this hub. When I hear a sermon, I like to be inspired.

Kiss andTales on June 15, 2015:

Well this is a good list I am sure you will have many agree with you, after all your time and worship is supposed to be about you and the most High of all.

Yet somewhere many have lost track of that thought.

And many have burden them self with traditions and ceremonies, If people really look at the scriptures closely

They will find many things practice is of men, not of God.

The cross for example is over done , it is not what Jesus died on , yet people kiss the emblem.

King James Version

Ga 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Even King James admits here a tree one piece of wood

When he in other scriptures uses cross two pieces of wood, error on his part.

There are many other truths to learn and release the burden of traditions and false teachings.

Time and space limits but I will be posting truth.

The Examiner-1 on June 15, 2015:

I was always going and wondering why people got away with sitting there chit-chatting while the preacher was talking. When I was young I used to ask my parents about it, they told that they did not notice because they were listening to the preacher.

That was not the only reason but when I grew old enough I stopped going to church for that, and the other reasons. I voted up, shared and pinned it.


Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on June 15, 2015:

It is interesting to hear about your pet peeves. I only have one pet peeve on my list. It is church.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 14, 2015:

Paul, I think I should have kept that thought to myself. I'm probably addressing it to me also. Peace!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 14, 2015:

Paul, thanks for being honest and letting us know that we are not alone. I bet though, that there might be a church somewhere with less pet peeves to offer, and something interesting that might help you go despite the discomforts. Just a thought!

peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 14, 2015:

i agree with all your pet peeves. It also happens here in Malaysia. I guess all churches have these problems. Honestly, out of 10 time, 8 time I fell asleep when the priest preaches!!

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 13, 2015:

I'm glad you liked this hub, Larry! It's a shame that most of the sermons I have heard have almost put me to sleep.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 13, 2015:

Thanks for your comments and noting your biggest pet peeve. Yes, separation of church and state is the law in the United States.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on June 12, 2015:

My biggest pet peeve is long incoherent sermons. Some preachers are far better at expressing ideas and concepts than others.

Great hub!

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on June 12, 2015:

My biggest pet peeve in my southern, Southern Baptist Church is the politics that get mixed in with the doctrine. Separation of church and state is the law of the land, and the church enjoys tax-free status because of it. Even the Bible warns against adding anything to what is written, but preachers, music directors, Sunday School teachers, and anyone with an opinion, never hesitate to assume everyone who shows up shares their political bent or outright bias.

I continue to attend because I am best able to worship in this tradition, and I continue to learn from the sermons that come 95% from the Bible. I just wish the folks there would accept the fact that every Christian is not necessarily of their political party or shares their view on every issue.

Related Articles