Lambasted for Announcing Reminders before Baptism

A few months ago, I was rather annoyed with a comment I heard from a senior mother-butler. Yes we have mother-butlers assisting during the sacraments and that includes baptism. It was one of the most unexpected remark I have ever heard because, quite frankly, I had the impression I was doing a good, nay, a great job as a commentator in baptism.

This incident happened when I just finished giving the reminders to the attendees (parents and godparents) for the Holy Sacrament of Baptism. Announcing reminders is fairly standard before the Holy Mass and the other sacraments like Baptism.

Tongue-lashing at the Sacristy

So right after announcing the reminders, I returned to the sacristy because, apparently, the officiating priest wasn't there yet. At the sacristy were the mother-butlers, chatting and waiting for the priest to arrive.

Out of the blue, one of them exclaimed "Thank God, you're done with your babbling!" I said, "Excuse me?" She said that she's glad I'm done with my announcements because she finds my reminders repetitive and irritating.

She was the only one talking because it seemed she's the senior mother-butler leader of some sort. I just wanted to take it in stride but her words were quite offensive.

So I asked what, regarding my reminders, did she find so irritating. She said they were lengthy and so unnecessary and that why should I even mind the business of the attendees. I asked the rest of the mother-butlers if they shared the same opinion. Beforehand, I knew they were appreciative of my efforts, but this time they were mum on the subject.

And then the senior mother-butler left. She doesn't stay long because she expects her subordinates to do all the work.

Nature of the Reminders and Announcements

Frankly, I was taken aback, almost speechless. The reminders that I announce aren't even my own. I did not invent or fabricate them. They were compiled from the announcements of other commentators that I observed. And naturally, I repeat them every week because we have baptisms every Sunday. Here are a few of them. (click on titles for links)

  • Do not leave valuables unattended

    One veteran commentator advised me on this. The first time I was commentator I noticed people not part of the sacrament standing and hanging out near the church's side doors. I found it suspicious. Months after I gave the reminders to baptism attendees, these people disappeared.

  • Reminders on picture-taking

    People taking pictures during baptism are a distraction. People with cameras keep moving around. The deacon constantly reminds photographers to refrain when the gospel is read.

  • Use of the guide booklets

    Due to attendees' improper handling, many of the the booklets get damaged. Some attendees even take the booklets when they leave the church. This results in unusable and missing booklets. In the succeeding baptisms, there were inadequate booklets to be used.

  • Locking parked vehicles

    There has been an incident of theft at the parking lot many months ago. The deacon specifically requested that parishioners be reminded to lock their parked vehicles and to remove valuables inside.

Bringing the Matter up to the Deacon

Upon the advise of a fellow lector/commentator, I brought the matter to the deacon's attention on the same day. The deacon was very supportive of me. He knows me and appreciates how I exert extra effort to do a good job. He promised to have a serious talk with the mother-butler. I think he did because things turned up positive thereafter.