I played a wedding at our sister parish, St Cecilia, yesterday. They had posted a sign on the doors, something to the effect of “Our air conditioning system needs repair. We understand it will be a warm weekend, so if you need more comfort at worship, neighboring parishes do provide AC.” Our parish’s Mass schedule and that of the parish in nearby Gilbert, Iowa was listed.
It’s about an eight-minute drive across town to get to us, and maybe 15 minutes to get to Gilbert, to the north of us, by county roads. Thing is, our Sunday Mass schedules are identical.
8:30 and 10:30 in my parish and at St C’s. 8:30 only in Gilbert.
There’s been a start to a discussion on Mass schedules in my community, though mainly on weekdays. But Sunday was also raised as an issue. Does it make sense for us to have the same Mass times? It struck me that an elderly or ill person might come to St Cecilia at 8:29 or 10:28 and there would be no way they could avoid missing some of the Liturgy of the Word at one of the other parishes if air conditioning was a serious need.
We’re looking to the day when our three parishes will be served by two priests, not three. At that point, does it make sense to still have aligned Mass schedules? Or won’t it matter much?
When I lived in southern Kansas City, the deanery parishes coordinated Saturday evening liturgy: 4:00, 4:30, 5:00, 5:30. Would that work on Sunday, I wonder?
Sit in the purple chair, my friends, and be the deanery liturgist. Would you coordinate Mass schedules across parish boundaries? If so, what would be your guiding principles, and your ideal schedule? If not, why not?