I don’t travel much on weekends, but occasionally I find myself in a church where some announcer (lector, songleader, or priest) welcomes me. I appreciate the thought. Even in the rare non-Catholic service I might attend, I strive to make myself at home: singing the songs, responding vocally when prompted, closing my eyes and praying when I can.
For my current parish, I’ve given our songleader a brief script in which the welcome’s emphasis is placed on visitors and newcomers. Earlier this summer, one of my people did a little improv and welcomed “everybody.”
Now, my wife disagrees with my hrrumph and says that it is nice to welcome everybody. On the other hand, I lean to the notion that if parishioners have any kind of ownership, this welcome is misplaced.
Sit in the purple chair and play Solomon between nice and grumpy. Welcome parishioners? Guests and noobs only? Or word it somewhat differently to make nice before Mass begins?
For Catholics who attend Mass weekly, I suspect the scripts – however worded – are background noise.
Another approach I’ve seen is for the celebrant to thank visitors and regulars, as it were, in brief remarks during the concluding rites.