After my brother-in-law and my mother died within seven weeks of each other, and only one person from church so much as acknowledged the losses, including the priests, we decided the church was too big for what our family needed and started shopping. One thing we all agreed about was that there should be energy and something for the kids to keep them involved.
The first church we attended, we walked in the door and past the ushers and greeters, who were greeting one another and ignoring us. Then we committed the major faux pas of sitting in someone else's pew, making the seating off for the entire middle section. Of course we got the "now who are those people" stare. Me, being the person I am, smiled and greeted the stare-ers, but they simply turned away. No one so much as spoke to us except one lady who said, "Come back." Fat chance of that. When you are a racially diverse family, you tend to be a bit over-sensitive of not being made to feel welcome, and at Our Lady of Stepford, that did not happen.
Then we got online and started looking, and EG made some calls. He found a church in the Next Big City which had a strong teen program, a strong youth ministry, and an active music program. We went to Mass, and the two music ministers greeted us enthusiastically and chatted with us after church. We got follow up emails, too. Plus, during the Mass, the young man who got up to read was about 18, stinking cute, with dark hair and eyes and long eyelashes, and wearing a blazer and khakis. Something for Kiki, too. She couldn't tell us about the homily, but she sure could recite the reading.
So we decided to attend this church, at least for a while. Last night, we went to the teen Mass with the kids, and Nita was thrilled: the rock band had a drummer. Rocky was interested: the rock band had electric guitars. I was pleased, as the young people were singing and even dancing enthusiastically, truly celebrating the Mass. But Kiki was the most delighted--guess who was active in this service, wearing his blazer and khakis. My mom-dar went off, as he appears to be truly a nice young man, but I refrained from mentioning that, as I know that mom approval is the total kiss of death despite the hordes of teen girls who apparently agreed with me, judging by their preening behaviors when he sat down. At eucharist, he held the wine right in front of our seats. Kiki kept her head bowed demurely, although I doubt she was deep in spiritual reflection.
After Mass, I looked at Kiki. "Don't say a word, Mom," she said. I didn't, except to mention that I noticed that she had partaken of the wine this week and that I was surprised she didn't loop around the pews for a second pass. And this morning, when I was researching chalices for more ammunition with which to tease her, I stumbled across this quote by St. Chrysostum, ""The table was not of silver, the chalice was not of gold in which Christ gave His blood to His disciples to drink, and yet everything there was precious and truly fit to inspire awe."
I guess I wouldn't dare.