Two Americans are touring Europe, and are scheduled to arrive in France Sunday afternoon.
However, they arrived several hours early, and had little to do on Sunday morning while everything was closed.
“Well,” one says to the other, pointing to a nearby Cathedral, “Why don’t we attend Mass?”
“Sure,” replies his friend. “But we don’t know how the French pray and we can’t speak French!”
The first guy thinks for a minute. “I have an idea. We’ll pick a guy in front of us, and whatever he does, we’ll do.”
His friend agrees. They enter the church, sit close to the front, and choose a guy.
Fifteen minutes pass, and their plan is working well.
Thirty minutes, no issues.
By the time forty-five minutes pass, they’ve gotten used to the routine. Suddenly, while everyone is seated, the priest says something in French and the gentleman they chose stands up. Without thinking, the two Americans stand up as well.
The church bursts into hard laughter.
Realizing that no one else is standing up, the two Americans sit down quickly, before deciding to just leave in embarrassment. They wait for the Mass to end, and then approach the priest, who happened to speak English as part of his vocation.
“We’re really well-meaning people – we don’t speak French and just chose some guy to imitate while praying,” one says.
The priest chuckles. “Ah. You’re probably wondering why everyone laughed at you?”
“Yes,” replied the other American.
“Well, you see, I announced the Baptism of a child… and asked for the father of the child to stand up.”