The Most Embarrassing Things To Happen In Church

In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys discuss the most embarrassing things they’ve done or seen in Church.

Show Notes:

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21 comments on The Most Embarrassing Things To Happen In Church

  1. Andrea says:

    Hi guys,
    Great stories guys! I laughed throughout the entire episode. You are right Fr. Pagano, there is nothing more funny than humor at the most inappropriate time or during the most solemn of occasions. I personally think God has a great sense of humor.

    I went through 12 years of Catholic school. There was a May procession for the Blessed Mother each May 1st. A joyful occasion you would think except for the fact that the nuns had the knack of turning Church celebrations into occasions of solemnity faster than you can say Mother Superior. The annual May procession was no exception. At the time of this story I was an elementary school student.

    As far as formal attire for our May procession the girls had to wear dresses or skirts. The boys had to wear either white or light blue shirts, bow ties and dark pants. We were threatened with doom if we either spoke or giggled while we processed around the entire city block where my church and school were. We were supposed to shine as Catholics. My church also had a school, had a schoolyard, a rectory, a convent, and a parish hall. I called this huge city block of dwellings the usual Catholic sprawl of its time in history.

    I was one of the children who was especially warned to behave as I tended to see the silly side of things and giggled a lot. I was also irreverent enough to tell the nuns and the priests that God had a sense of humor even though they didn’t. As I said to them where would we get ours if God didn’t give it to us? The gift of laughter. The gift of humor. The gift of silliness and absurdity.

    Well, anyway we were all warned and you haven’t been threatened if you haven’t been threatened by a nun telling you to behave no matter what the circumstance surrounding you. Offer your suffering up to Jesus if you have to. Discipline yourself. We lined up behind the statue of Mary and began to march slowly around the block. Behind me was one of the funniest boys in school. He was quick-witted. Just as we were passing by Mother Superior and the pastor of the parish at that time he started to sing “We shall overcome.” I burst out laughing so loud that the entire line broke up after a moment of shocked silence. He kept on singing and I kept on laughing even while the nuns dragged us both out of line and promised that all ‘heck’ would be let loose upon our heads. Our lack of decorum disrupted Mary’s procession.

    Thank you for many laughs during this episode. The other funny story about a church happening occurred when my date and I went to the wrong wedding! We sat on the side of the bride and I kept looking around for the rest of the people we were supposed to meet up with. We were all in our twenties and weddings were happening at least once a month back then. There was a large gang of us who hung around together and group dated. I couldn’t find a familiar face in the crowd and suddenly knew why that was.

    I used a stage whisper to let my date know he screwed up. The people in front of us, who we didn’t know of course, turned around, gave us dirty looks and shushed us. In order not to miss our actual wedding we had to unobtrusively leave the Church and since we were sitting toward the back of the church our escape was managed fairly well thankfully. We laughed all the way to the right Church. This was another incident of a male NOT asking for directions that got us to the wrong church in the first place! BTW, it was a lovely ceremony and a fun reception. Hopefully the other bride and groom and their guests enjoyed their special day too.

    Take care,

  2. Brian J says:

    Imagine the spot light on one older guy singing a lomg note. Right at the end of the note a really loud burp comes out. It took everything in me to hold in my laughter but to this day 20 years later, every time I remember, start cracking up.

  3. Chelsea Beaton says:

    Just some background details to defend myself 😂
    Well…. I used to play a lot of softball my whole life and in my adult life I continued to play ball a couple times a week. So, during the midst of conversion and coming back into the church I was about 28 and starting going to confession for the first time ever. So, I decided to go to confession one day during this time period and I had must of thought I did a really good confession 😂 because when the priest gave me absolution I thought he was giving me a high five so I slapped him a high five 😂 then after I said “yeah, maybe I play a little bit to much softball”. Needless to say I’ve been a work progress for quite sometime now.

  4. I was told of an incident that happened a few years. B 4 I became Catholic. This priest is jovial. Loves to tell jokes. But he takes giving the host very seriously. There was a big wedding that he did.

    A woman in the front role was handicapped and could not get up to receive Jesus. So he went down to her. He handed her Jesus and she tries to take the host and instead it went down the front of her dress. He was not sure what to do. The woman said he could grab the host. Instead he got totally frustrated. Another incident involved me. Where I live has a huge rivalry between 2 big ten schools. Our other priest is a huge fan of school M. Most of us are fans of school B. Every year the rivalry gets tense. The Sr is a huge school B. She will decorate thw offices up and young men in formation cones to our church ans she makes them pledge to her team. I decided ro decorate the Sacristy with buckeyes and the colors of the school.
    I also found a shot glass with the other teams name. So I took the glass and turned it upside down and put a buckeye on top saying the buckeyes will crush you. Kept waiting for him to say something either during Mass or afterwards. 2 weeks go by ans I could nit take the waiting to see what he thought.
    He said you are the one who put those in there? He said I kept Blaming. Sr for doing that and she would look puzzled.

  5. Mary says:

    Thanks for this hilarious episode! It brought a few memories to mind.
    1) I was in an all girls Catholic boarding school. We were celebrating a feast day. As you know, during a weekday mass there’s only 1 reading. For the feast days, there are two. Anyway, a friend of mine did the first reading and then proceeded to say “Alleluia, Allelu…just kidding!” After realizing that there’s a psalm and a second reading. We all laughed! The poor priest tried to contain himself as well.
    2) My son (4 at the time) got a popcorn kernel stuck up his nose on a Saturday. I could not get it out and my husband said it will come out eventually…fast forward to Sunday mass the next morning. At our former parish, the kids take up food during the offertory for the parish pantry. My daughters came back to the pew but my son was still on the altar. I watched him stick his finger up his nose. Suddenly, for all to hear, “Mom, I GOT IT!” and he ran down the aisle back to us. My husband and I just sank into our pew.
    Thanks for the laughs! God Bless.

  6. Matthew M. says:

    1st Lector experience ever – June 1998 – Mixed feelings of confidence & nervousness stirred as I walked up in front of the entire congregation as just a rising senior in High School. “Good Morning, this Sunday is the Feast of Corpus Crispy”… & on I continued hoping that I said it fast enough so no one would notice. Sorry Lord! 🙂

  7. Gloria M Sweeting says:

    OMGoooshhhh that DellaCrosse story was hilarious! I could picture him doing that!! That was so funny. Thanks for sharing on his expense LOL We love you DellaCrosse! 😛

    All the stories were hilarious! Gotta love holy laughs 🙂

  8. jim says:

    My most embarrassing mistake in Church was when the Priest was offering me the Body of Christ and i didn’t know what to say at the time. Therefore, like a retard, i, merely, replied “Thank you” to the Father who, thankfully, told me “Amen” is the correct response.

    1. FHL says:

      The more compassionate term is Special Needs. The “r” word needs to be obliterated for good.

      From the online Oxford Dictionary: “In the sense ‘less advanced in development than is usual for one’s age’, retarded dates from the late 19th century. It has acquired offensive connotations in recent decades, and terms such as developmentally disabled or having intellectual disabilities are now preferred.”

      Education is the key to end detached or ‘indifferent’ verbal bullying. I don’t expect everyone to be aware of the hurt that one word can cause, but now that you do know, you are culpable for your comments and behaviour. On my daughter’s behalf, I appreciate your time.

  9. Deb Brunsberg says:

    I came back into the Church in 2007 after having been out of it for 35 years. I was 51 years old and not yet confirmed. I was in RCIA and I had made a general confession, but was just getting back into going to confession on a regular basis. I would sit across from my pastor in the confessional as I figured that would require more humility. One day I had made a heartfelt confession and I was crying and I did not have any Kleenex and I could not see any. My pastor was talking to me and I could feel the snot dripping out of my nose. So, without thinking, I wiped my nose on the sleeve of my sweater, like I was five years old. Silence. I looked at Fr. J and said, “I didn’t just do that, did I?” He just smiled. Yea, I snotted on my sleeve.

  10. Sharon says:

    This is my favorite episode to date. I laughed the entire time. Thank you! Laughter is so good for the soul. Growing up, we attended Mass as a family. My mom would sit in the cry room with my younger sister. My dad would sit in the pews with me and my older siblings. One Sunday, my mom and younger sister sat with us in the pew. I am assuming the cry room was full. Now this was back in the 60’s and I think the Mass was still in Latin. My sister and I had these troll dolls that were called “dam dolls”. They were very popular and were small dolls. The reason they were called dam dolls was because they were named after the company. My mom brought some of them to occupy my younger sister during Mass because they were small and could fit in her hand. I decided to take one and play with it too. My sister was about 3 years old and I was about 9 years old. As you know, a 3-year-old can be very demanding and selfish with their toys. So, she yells “give me my dam doll”. She yelled it during one of the silent moments of the Mass. My mother grabbed that doll so fast and threw it in my younger sister’s hands, at the same time, giving me the look of death if I even dared to take it back. As adults we still laugh about it after all those years gone by.

  11. Donna Blaum says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU for this episode…laugh out loud…love your sense of humor…my favorites? the man with his binoculars looking at the Blessed Sacrament; and the other man during nocturnal adoration with his pillow and blanky!!! Too funny…….God Bless you guys for The Catholic Talk Show…may you all have a fruitful Lent.

  12. Martha Karcher says:

    As newlyweds and new parishioners both, my husband and I were welcomed into the parish of our new neighborhood by the priest, during mass, AND asked to bring up the gifts. My husband took the cup and I, the bread that looked like it was kneaded, baked and scored into little sections by Christ Himself. Remember those days of the “friendship bread” like hosts? As I started to walk up the isle I didn’t hold it still enough and it flew off the plate that was some sort of highly polished stoneware that looked as if it had been passed down from the Actual Last Supper. It landed about 10 feet in front of me smack in the middle of the isle, more than halfway up. I was terrified. The priest said something like “You can pick it up, it hasn’t been consecrated!” I thought I was going to die. My husband (and the parishioners) couldn’t contain themselves.

  13. Martha Karcher says:

    This one was truly embarrassing, and not funny. About thirty years ago, my husband and I went to a communal reconciliation at the parish I had attended all my life and had gone to school at grades 2-8. We didn’t have first grade yet, I was told, because sacraments began in second grade. EVERYONE knew everyone else.
    So I sit right in the front row because I am a little hard of hearing and need to see someone’s lips in order to hear them.
    This was in the new days of the priest wearing their own personal microphone. When it came time to line up and go one on one, face to face (which I still don’t like), I was first in line. Since I couldn’t hear well I went into the sacristy with the priest. Thank God, and I mean I really thanked God, Jesus, Mary, and all of the saints , and my Guardian Angel, I didn’t have any mortal sins, and didn’t have anything really bad to confess. The priest asked me some yes and no questions, and the only thing I could come up with was that I was having a really hard time not hating a woman I worked with. Fortunately I didn’t say her name.
    I didn’t know it until I left the church that night, but the priest forgot to turn off his microphone, and the entire congregation heard my confession. I was mortified. It absolutely ruined the sacrament of reconciliation for me. I went when my daughter made her first one, and before her first communion. I make an act of contrition every day, and I have had last rites twice in the past decade. Even though I wasn’t someone that went to confession a lot (I did my twice a year thing) I can’t get over it, even still I pray and pray, every day that Gods forgives me for not going.

  14. Pat says:

    We had a priest once who used to to a Navy Chaplain filling in for our pastor who was on sabadiical. He forgot his mic was on while in the sacristy and let out curse words which were heard throughout the church’s!

  15. Patricia says:

    I was part of a formation group for Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP), which opened with a solemn procession of a few people carrying various objects, one being the Bible. When I was chosen to be part of the opening procession, I was given the “Bible” to carry. Now being a protestant convert and still very much into Bible study, I realized that the “Bible” wasn’t actually a Bible. It was a Bible Dictionary. Not knowing what to do, I waited until we were all seated and prayers were finished. I slowly raised my hand and cautiously told the formation leader what I discovered. She couldn’t believe it, got up and really looked at the book, totally shocked to realize they’d been using this book for a couple years in formation groups. Once she and everyone else was over the shock, everyone began laughing. Since I had a research Bible I’d used for over 30 years, I told the leader that I’d bring the Bible I was given during my CRHP retreat for them to use. So no harm, no foul. But we did have a good laugh about it.

  16. Laurene Ann Lamping says:

    I was raised Lutheran (have since converted to Catholicism) and this happened during one of our elementary school Christmas programs:
    My friend, Stacy, and I were in 5th grade and sang in the Sunday School choir. Her younger sister (probably 2nd or 3rd grade) joined the choir for the Christmas program because we were a small choir and needed more volume. Her sister said that she knew all of the Christmas carols that we would be singing and no one thought to check her out on that. The day of the program we were on stage and Stacy’s sister was in the front row of the choir, rightnin front of the only microphone that we had. As we began the second verse of “Away In A Manger,” her sister belted out, “The cattle are loaded, the baby awakes.” I have never seen a congregation crack up so discretely as that day!

  17. Linda G says:

    I have a story with my Grandma- rest her soul.
    She was an avid Catholic Church goer. Everyday walked to church. She would not dare miss any church activities. The procession of Our Lady of Guadalupe at 5:00am was one of her highlights.. It was always so beautiful, starting with a mass, then process around the block with lit candles. My poor 70+ year old Grandma was a little hunched and would walk swaying side to side. In front of her was a lady with long stringy hair and my Grandma caught her hair on fire 🔥 oh my gosh! Quickly we started putting it out. It stunk so bad like burned hair. Poor lady was missing part of her long hair

  18. Maribeth Keller says:

    Crazy and totally unrelated question… who is the bobblehead on the desk that looks like a referee with a fisherman’s yellow hat on his head?
    I LOVE this show!! I have it on at my desk all day long, anytime I can get more catholicism into my building, I DO IT!

  19. Diane Rodts says:

    This incident would have occurred somewhere around 1970. We were a traditional Catholic family. My dad was a disciplinarian and my mother was a humble saint. Mostly we were lectured for hours on end but the threat of violence was always in the air. Thankfully my dad didn’t believe in hitting girls but on rare occasions my two brothers were disciplined with a belt. Still we were normal kids and occasionally misbehaved. 6 kids in the family ranging in age from 6 or 7 to 17. It was Good Friday-even the public schools we attended dismissed at noon. We changed into church clothes and headed to our typical sized parish for the “Mass of the Presanctified”. We filed into the front pew on the side with the youngest brother on one end and my parents at the other end. We had a deacon, which was a new concept at the time. He lacked the decorum of a priest who had the experience of years of seminary training such that he appeared nervous and fumbling at his duties. So it’s hot. We are standing thru the recitation of the Passion. The deacon must have been the narrator. When he reached the scripture describing the breaking of the legs of the two thieves on either side of Our Lord he said (into the mic) and “they broke the BAGS of the thieves” (instead of legs). We all heard it. The youngest brother started giggling loudly and each of us in succession contagiously began laughing down the row to my dad who was giving the death threat glare. The 6 year old was rolling on the floor which only made it worse. None of us could regain our composure. I don’t remember any harsh discipline after Mass-my dad must have seen the humor in the situation.

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