Greeting at Mass: let’s talk about this. My associate pastor likes to make a thing of it before the ritual greeting after the Entrance Song.
This morning at Mass, the choir director invited visiting alumni to stand and be noticed. I think people get a little shy about that. Maybe with good reason. I whispered to the priest before the song began, “I think she stole your usual thunder on greeting people.”
What constitutes a good greeting? Is it enough to have a smiling face at the door, handing you a hymnal? Do parishioners need to be reminded of visitors in our midst and be nice to them? Who should do it: the priest, music director, lector, or other person? When should it be done: before Mass, just after Mass starts, or at the “regular” announcement time? Should it be omitted?
I wonder occasionally: for whom do we greet? To give ourselves a good feeling of congratulation that we are giving lip service to hospitality? Or a genuine warmth to people who don’t come regularly?
Bottom line: what do seekers and visitors in our culture really want when they come to Mass?