Around Christmas, I constantly hear parishioners say things like, “Don’t you wish it was this crowded all year?” or “Why don’t they come at other times?” or “I wonder where they are during the other Sundays?”
First – Pray for them! They might not come on the 3rd Sunday during Ordinary time but they ARE coming on Christmas. Pray that the Lord touches whatever is keeping them from joining us on a week-to-week basis.
Second – Anticipate them. Wouldn’t it be great if you could see those folks MORE than a few times a year? Well, here’s the fact, they’re coming – and they’ll be here. What can we do to take advantage of their arrival? Christmas Mass shouldn’t just be a tradition; it should be an experience. It’s one meant for the entire family, to bring the entire family closer to Christ. When the family can experience this season together it will bring them closer.
Third – Greet others. Brag about your parish. Tell them what is going on. Invite them to come back! Let’s make St. Monica a place where people say, “We need to go back there.” How can we do that concretely however?” Some suggestions …
DO make their arrival and stay something special. DON’T look at them as an inconvenience.
DO Smile. DON’T roll your eyes and look disparagingly at them.
DO Say “Oh, we’re glad you’re here.” DON’T say, “Haven’t seen you in a while!”
DO Give up your seat, especially for people who are older or have very small children. DON’T block the entrance to the pew and sigh as you get up to let someone in.
DO point out where the bathrooms, hearing aid devices, parish bulletins are located. DON’T ignore them when they seem to be looking for something.
Finally, DO sign up to help. Good liturgy doesn’t just happen. It takes over 100 people (Lectors, Sacristans, Altar Servers, Cantors, Greeters, ushers, etc…) to make the 6 Christmas Masses at St. Monica special. Consider helping out.