The pre-Mass atmosphere is more like people waiting for a program to begin as they rustle through the program aka the weekly church bulletin. Conversations in stage whispers abound and some people travel from pew to pew to meet and greet with friends . . . the ones they will probably meet and greet with when they exit after Mass.
There is a family that sits a couple of pews behind us and we know them only by way of their young grandchildren. The mother actually brings storybooks to read to them before and one time even during Mass . . . out loud! We think, “How nice for the grandchildren to visit . . . when are they going home!”
One woman goes from pew to pew, sits down and chats at each stopping place . . . out loud with much laughter.
A pastor once explained that attending Sunday Mass begins when you get up in the morning and get ready for Mass. It’s a time to be kinder, more helpful and happy to be heading to receive God in Communion. When you get to Mass, the church should be quiet and peaceful as everyone is taking the time to prepare for the celebration of our Faith to come.