Strangers at Mass


#21

Really? :smiley: Is that because you have a directory openin front of you? :wink:


#22

Wow this thread was busy while I was gone. I couldn’t resist responding to Tim, but I’ll put my other thoughts here.

I love the thought that others at Mass are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Whether i know or recognize someone at mass, I basically consider everyone there at mass my family of faith and not strangers.

The hand-holding thing aside (seems like more people are resistant to hold hands with anyone other than family in any situation than I realized), shouldn’t our parish be where most of our closest friends are found?

I know that we are much more transient than in the past, and of course an adult convert may have good friends from their previous church, but still I think that we should turn our minds to thinking that the parish is “center”. So rather than looking for friends first at work, the gym, or another club, can we find them at Mass?


#23

I don't meet anyone in the church itself, but regularly introduce myself to new people once Mass is over and we are outside. I probably know more than 100 parishioners by name, and my circle of friends is about 95% from my parish and neighboring parishes.


#24

I go to Daily Mass 6-days-a-week and usually see most of the same face there on a regular basis but don’t necessarily consider them strangers. I’m 30 and look quite a bit younger than that so I get a lot of comments like, “Its soo good to see a young man at Mass” from the older folks. I can’t say that I’ve been acquanted with most of the normal attendees but we are friendly towards one another and usually say hi and have some smalltalk every day.

Sunday (or Saturday Vigil) Mass is a different story, it is usually packed no matter what Mass you attend and most of the faces are ones I don’t recognize. In fact it is usually a struggle to find someone I am familar with. After Mass I usually just go and shake hands with the Priest, Bishop, and/or Deacon and head out the door. If I had to label a group of Mass attendees as strangers I would definately do so with the Sunday obligation folks.


#25

Yes.

No. I don’t think my post code should determine either the time I go to church (some have vigil Mass, some don’t, some have Sunday Mass early in the morning, others late morning or noonish; some only have one in the evening and most have only one on Sunday); or the priest whose homily I listen to, or the type of music and service I “have to” listen to every single Sunday. I choose where to go depending on how late I slept, what other programmes or plans I have for the day; also whether I feel like going to a more traditional service that particular Sunday or a guitar Mass. Consequently I don’t know anyone in any of the churches where I randomly go to - except, of course, the Lord. :slight_smile: But that’s OK, too, because He is the only reason I go anyway. I would stop going if He was not there; and as long as He is there all is well. :slight_smile:


#26

Where’s Frank Sinatra when you need him

Strangers at the Maaaaass
Exchanging glances


#27

[quote="clem456, post:26, topic:298362"]
Where's Frank Sinatra when you need him

Strangers at the Maaaaass
Exchanging glances

[/quote]

:whistle::rotfl::harp:


#28

[quote="g_ncl, post:25, topic:298362"]
Yes.

No. I don't think my post code should determine either the time I go to church (some have vigil Mass, some don't, some have Sunday Mass early in the morning, others late morning or noonish; some only have one in the evening and most have only one on Sunday); or the priest whose homily I listen to, or the type of music and service I "have to" listen to every single Sunday. I choose where to go depending on how late I slept, what other programmes or plans I have for the day; also whether I feel like going to a more traditional service that particular Sunday or a guitar Mass. Consequently I don't know anyone in any of the churches where I randomly go to - except, of course, the Lord. :) But that's OK, too, because He is the only reason I go anyway. I would stop going if He was not there; and as long as He is there all is well. :)

[/quote]

I understand that the people at the Mass you ended up at last Sunday literaly are strangers, since you don't attend any particular parish on a regular basis - but, do you think of them as just random other people in the same room as you - or as your brothers in Christ?

And as an aside, how do you keep all those Mass schedules straight? :confused:


#29

I live in a tourist area so even attending the same Mass every week you're going to see a lot of different faces. Then there are the "snowbirds" who aren't here all summer and will be returning soon.

I recognize some faces week to week, and we say hello-but that's about it. My work schedule doesn't allow me to volunteer, I would likely get to know more people better if I did that.


#30

I have lived in and worshiped at the same large parish (12,000) for all of my 53 years.

It is probably too big in several respects; however, we had two other parishes start up within our geography over my lifetime, so it was much larger and masses were more crowded bacj in the day.

The parish school was 1600 during my formative years. Now there are three other public school districts with so much more (tax) funding and the latest and greatest. Still the school has 700 students K-8.

Because of my veteran status, I either know or recognize a good number of the parishoners, especially those at the mass that my 16 year old son and I frequent most. And now that I will be a catechist starting next week, I should get to know the 8th graders and their families too.


#31

No, they are my brothers and sisters in Christ.

No, but I can explain that :smiley: I am a sacristan in my parish, with responsibilities for both weekday and Sunday Masses. We have three churches and seven priests. I’m one of two “personal” sacristans to the pastor, so I go wherever he celebrates Mass. This weekend, out of the five Masses scheduled from Saturday evening through Sunday, he will be celebrating two at one church (SV) and one at another (SJ). I’ve been assigned to the two at SV while my counterpart has the remaining Mass at SJ. Last weekend I only had the anticipated Mass at the third church (SC); the weekend prior I had a nuptial Mass and the anticipated Mass at SC (back to back :coolinoff:). I can neither predict nor dictate my own Sunday Mass schedule. Sometimes I’ll attend a Mass I’m not serving at in addition to the ones I’m sacristan for, just to have a more relaxed worship experience.

I live in a country that doesn’t have parish registration, so it’s hard to say how many people “belong” to my parish. The parish’s geographic area, however, contains 20,000 people and has no other houses of worship in it besides our three churches—no Protestant churches, no mosques, no synagogues, nothing.

Many of them, yes. And I know a large portion of them by name. More people recognize me than the other way around, but given that I have a high-profile role in the parish that’s probably not a surprise.

Not applicable; we don’t have children.

Yes, I do run into a lot of parishioners while going about my daily business. It takes ten minutes to walk to the post office and back home, but that journey often takes me a half hour or longer due to the number of times I run into parishioners along the route who want to have a chat.

I try to attend Mass once a week at the cathedral (always during the week), and I’m pretty chummy with the people I see often. Occasionally I serve as lector.

I don’t hold hands with anyone at Mass, no matter where I am. :dts:

The parish I belong to is my fifth in fifteen years, in two countries (including two states on opposite coasts of the US). For the first time, however, almost all of my friends come from my parish. I have had some extremely hurtful experiences interacting with secular France, so I don’t even bother now. This is not to say I snub non-Catholics, but I don’t make any special effort to get close to them. In addition to my job as a sacristan, I’m also in charge of the care of SC’s altar linen, have sole responsibility for the maintenance of the rectory’s front garden and do hospital/home visits. I’ve got my hands full as it is.

:rotfl:


#32

Well, frankly… I don’t think about them at all. I enter the church and think about the Lord…

What do you mean? We have a Catholic Calendar published once a year that lists all Churches and all Sunday Masses, so I can look up Sunday Mass times at any church within the diocese. The diocese website also has the same info. Many churches put the weekly bulletin on their websites. And I know the times for the 4-5 churches that tend to be my main choices. When something unexpected happens (e.g. I was planning to go to the 11.30 Mass on Sunday somewhere but a friend phones at 9 and wants to meet up for lunch) then I get on the internet or take the calendar off the shelf and find a Mass somewhere within driving distance that fits in with the day’s plans.


#33

Since I take communion to some home-bound parishioners, I must be at that parish each week to receive the communion to distribute. Although we do attend different Mass times occasionally, I find it works best to fit my day around Mass rather than the other way round.

Anyway, I do notice the people around me in Mass and think of them as more than strangers. Even, especially!, when I am travelling and attend Mass, I feel a kinship with the other people there because we are all Catholics.

This year I attended Ash Wednesday Mass in Las Vegas of all places! The church was full of other people from the convention and the locals coming and going from jobs on the strip. It was like being in a secret club! LOL


#34

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