See? There IS Room For Improvement!

Yesterday I explored some practical steps the Catholic Church could take that would make going to Mass less of a chore.  According to the Associated Press, I’m not the only one thinking outside the box here.  Apparently a suburban Cincinnati parish has established a drive-thru for Ash Wednesday, otherwise known as National Find Out Which of Your Coworkers Are Catholic And Mean It Day.  Traditionally, parishoners attend a Mass during which a cross is drawn on their forehead with the ashes of combusted palms which are also somehow significant.  I don’t really have the whole picture, my family were some serious cafeteria Catholics.  This church is willing to save you the trouble of getting out of your car to get your forehead marked.  From the article:

An Ohio church is offering a drive-thru Ash Wednesday blessing for parishioners pressed for time or reluctant to come inside the church for the Lenten observance.

The Rev. Patricia Anderson Cook of Mt. Healthy United Methodist Church in suburban Cincinnati offered the ashes Wednesday evening for people of all faiths beginning around 5 p.m. in the church parking lot. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Christian season of Lent, which concludes after 40 days with the celebration of Easter, and the faithful traditionally have a smudged cross drawn on their forehead.

Bridget Spitler, the church’s secretary and building manager, said the church had received a lot of positive feedback for offering the drive-thru ashes.

It’s a good start.  The Church really should do everything it can to make worship as convenient as buying a bag full of McChicken sandwiches.

(ABC News)

List of the Week: 10 Ways to Fix the Catholic Church

Add a countdown clock and buzzer: Sure, we all know how long Mass is supposed to be, but to have an actual number on it can really make the whole thing less of a chore to sit through.  If the Father feels like going long on the homily, it’s gonna cost him some recessional rites time.  If he doesn’t get it all in before the buzzer, well, that’s on him.

Put a crossword in the program, and if you finish it before Communion you don’t have to stay for the last song: There will always be the people who attentively listen for the entirety of Mass, sing along to every song, and quietly hope the piano keeps going for all seven verses of the recessional hymn.  Those people are dorks.  Everyone else will likely spend Mass periodically zoning out and thinking about what they plan to do afterward, or what they did the night before, or how ugly the baby in the front row is.  Those people probably aren’t really getting the message, so offer them a carrot – make a crossword puzzle where everyone who completes it has this week’s message or lesson subliminally processed through their head.  In exchange for getting it done, they can go home right after Communion.  I think that’s fair.

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