As I wind down blogging on this site, I thought I’d touch on some last topics. Long-time readers likely know my opinions on liturgical burps such as applause, percussion instruments, and lay ministries. So there may be a handful of topics that get some repeat attention this month. And something new, at least today.
We have four semi-retired part-time priests serving my parish. Lots of liturgical things have great variety in practice. The Sign of Peace is one of them. One priest mentions “briefly” when he announces “permission” to exchange peace. But given he’s in many ways typically Filipino, that just means the mean for most American parishes. Our pastor emeritus always comes to exchange peace with the choir.
At my last parish, it was more-or-less a practice for music ministers not to shake, hug, or kiss one another, but go out into the pews. That remains my practice in the new place. I greet pewfolk in my proximity. When I get back to the choir, I just bow. It seems more seemly than shaking five to twenty hands.
A few things …
Public activities in church send a message. People watch. I’m a skeptic on musicians keeping to themselves. We have enough of a challenge to encourage people to join up; they don’t need to see closed groups on public display. Sometime soon I’ll be encouraging my musical charges to get out a bit. After the warm-up prayer in the practice room–that’s a good time to exchange peace. During Mass, let it spread.