There are so many rude actions of people out in public. Unfortunately, it's so common most of us have gotten somewhat used to it. However, there is one place where people need to focus on being polite at all times, and that is at church.
Worshipers need to be able to focus on what they are there for, not be exposed to bad behavior. If you aren't sure whether or not you're an offender, you probably are. Here's a list to check before you go to your next church service or mass.
Wear Heavy Perfume
First of all, quite a few people are allergic to fragrance, so be considerate of them and don't put it on. Secondly, if everyone wears his or her favorite fragrance to church, the combination of a bunch of different scents could be toxic.
Church is not the place to clip your nails or apply your makeup. The place to do that is at home … before you go to church. It can be very distracting to hear the snip-snip of a fingernail clipper or the scratching sound of an emery board in the pew behind you. If you break a fingernail during church, wait until after the services to take care of it.
Stand When Everyone Else Sits (or Vice Versa)
No, this is not a silly game we are playing when we stand to recite a verse or sing certain hymns. There are reasons we stand up or sit down during service. If you aren't sure of why, ask your pastor or one of the church leaders. In the meantime, avoid calling attention to yourself by following along.
Take More Than One Seat in a Crowded Church
If there are enough empty seats at your church, go ahead and spread out. Put your coat and handbag on the spot next to you. However, many churches are crowded during certain services.
If you see the sanctuary filling up, remove your personal items and let someone else have that place. You can put your handbag on the floor beside your feet or hold it. Hang your coat over the back of where you are sitting.
Wear a Big Hat or Anything Else That Obstructs Someone's View
If you love big, floppy hats, that's fine. Just don't sit on the front row at church if you're wearing it. Take it off so the people behind you can see the pulpit, or sit in the back.
Before you go to church, find out what time it starts. And then do everything in your power to arrive on time. If, for some reason you're running late and can't get there before church starts, discreetly slip in through the back door and find a seat in the back.
Talk During the Sermon
Unless someone's hair is on fire or someone has just fallen and can't get up, don't talk during a church service. People are there to worship, not listen to a side conversation. Wait until after the service is over before starting a conversation with someone.
Text or Talk on the Phone
Put your phone on silent—or better yet, turn it off—before you walk into the sanctuary. Talking and texting during church is rude. The only thing that's acceptable to do on any electronic device is turn to the scripture verse in a Bible app.
Display Romantic Affection
Attending church with someone you love romantically is wonderful and sweet. It's always nice to have similar spiritual views as the person you love. However, you should refrain from all public displays of affection. Wait until you leave the church to smooch.
Take a Nap
Unless you have a medical condition, such as narcolepsy, stay awake and pay attention. It's appalling to see people stretching out to recline in the pew and taking a nap. And if you snore, it's even worse.
Lose Control of Your Children
If you choose to bring babies and toddlers to church, sit in the back so you can remove the child if she gets squirmy or cries. Some churches offer "children's church" where they learn a spiritual lesson on their level. Other churches welcome the whole family for the general assembly but offer a "cry room" where parents can bring their little ones to a soundproof room that has speakers.
Remember Where You Are
Don't forget that you are in church to worship, not socialize, give yourself a manicure, nap, or do anything else that is distracting. Show respect for other worshipers by learning church manners and following them.