Two American men 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 of a solution. “We’ll pick out 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 no one else is standing up, the two American men leave in embarrassment. They wait for the Mass to end, and then approach the priest, who spoke English.
“We’re 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 man.
“Well, you see, I announced the Baptism of a child… and asked for the father of the baby to stand up.”