Input Needed: What Do You Think?
In my parish, we have introduced, in the past couple of weeks, the practice of inviting the congregation to stand up and greet/introduce themselves to their neighbors in the pews before Mass begins.
The way it works is this: the cantor stands up at the cantor's lectern and says something like: "Welcome to St. Joseph Catholic Church. As we begin our celebration, let us rise and take a moment to greet Christ in one another." After a minute or so of this, the cantor then announces the opening hymn and the processional begins.
I should point out that this practice was not introduced at my behest. I'm just the associate here. The idea behind doing this, as it has been explained to me, is to foster a greater "sense of community".
I would like to get your reactions to this. I'm sure some of you are in parishes where this already happens, or have visited such parishes. Do you like/dislike it? Do you think this is a Good Idea or a Bad Idea? I'm especially interested in knowing why you think so.
I have an opinion on this matter, but I will hold back on voicing it here until I get some feedback.
This isn't a "poll" in the sense that I'll announce "56% of respondents think X", with the implication that if a majority think "X" then that's what we ought to do. But I am interested in knowing what you think and your reasons for your opinion.
I invite all of you to please respond in the comments section below, or by E-mailing me. I'll sum up what I think the best arguments are, and weigh in with my own opinion later...