The Armchair Liturgist: Women at the Doors

We encourage our hospitality ministers to stand outside the church doors before Mass to welcome worshipers.

One of my people reported her sense that some of our older parishioners–men mainly–seemed less comfortable with a woman holding the door for them.

A person who senses this (and I’d be inclined to trust this perceptive woman’s insight) might be able to tell if door-opening was welcomed or not. But that input surprised me a bit. My inclination is to be sensitive to what puts an incoming parishioner or visitor at ease. The church door is not the optimal locus to battle the sexes.

What do you think? Do you have people–ushers, greeters, hospitality folk, or even staff members greeting people outside the doors? And if so, has any reader encountered feedback along these lines?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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6 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Women at the Doors

  1. Eb says:

    Some of us were taught to pray as we open our own church door.

  2. Charles says:

    When we opened our fourth parish in the merge the then pastor insisted upon a group that functioned as hospitality/greeters in addition to a well-formed new crew of ushers over the four Masses there. They open doors, greet, pass out and collect worship aides and, I think, do a very good job of representing all of our parishes. And, of course, the practice has spread to the other parishes, particularly to the mother church where it was needed.
    They don’t represent by chatting up the folks or whatnot. I minister exclusively at the mother parish, but when I visit the new church those folks have their stuff together.

  3. Jim McCrea says:

    Our main door (the one that 99.9% of parishioners use) is under cover and is left open before mass.

    The greeters are inside and say hello to people, direct them to where the name tags are issued and give them a bulletin. After mass starts, they also direct people to where available seating exists. There is one cardinal rule: no sitting down when serving as a greeter …. stand up and make your presence known.

  4. Charles says:

    Fine, brother Todd, if you entreaty your readership to engage your combox with the regular feature of “Armchair Liturgist,” and a few of us actually care to respond and there’s radio silence from you like SETI deals with daily, then why bother on each of our accounts. I must admit that I suspect a certain amount of passive-aggresive hubris permeating most of your posts of late.
    It disturbs me.

    • Todd says:

      Hi Charles. I hope you are recovering from your bronchitis and finished up your Colloquium strong. I’m not sure what prompted your diagnosis on this post. I knew a priest who once remarked, “You’re just so passive in an … an … an aggressive sort of way.” It was all I could do to just nod. I wanted to reply, “Drat! All this time I’ve tried to be aggressive in a passive way.”

      I thought this was one of the most benign posts I’ve done in the past week.

  5. Oh, I just prolly had a little grumpy cat on, Todd, sorry.
    One of the best colloquiums evah. Getting bronchitis at a second colloquium was maddening, but thanks my wife, doc and CVS, got a zpak on board and sang at every Mass.
    Andy Motyka gave a breakout on folding propers into St. Normal’s that I swear you would have enjoyed. Fair, balanced, gave credit to HHJ et al where credit was due, and was very pragmatic. And he’s a great guy to boot. He represents Hoosier hospitality, speaking of the topic, perfectly.

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