We also field the occasional protest that if the weather’s too nice, there’s no coat to mark our early seat. You know the problem, right? Some faithful Massgoer has a favored spot, but when invited they obediently trudge outside into the sun and warm wind. When they’ve waved their palm leaf in the walk back into the building, they discover some latecomer has snapped up their place. Maybe even someone who bypassed the procession.
What do you do? What do you say?
Before you sit in the purple seat of liturgical judgment, I’ll mention what one pastor proposed long ago: invite early birds to sit in all but one section of chairs, and then when people attempted to bypass the walk around the church, the ushers would urge them into a segregated chunk of seating.
Do you suppose that worked?