How do you put out worship aids?
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 991
    Greetings all—
    To those of you who do worship aids:

    How do you put them out? We've tried a few things:

    First, I was putting them in the pews (this was pre-covid) but it took a long time and then I had to collect them from the pews after Mass. At first I was doing a handful at the ends of pews, but people would sit on the ends and block them from anyone else filling into the pew, so then I started spreading them out to every seat. It took forever. I definitely do not want to return to this system.

    Secondly—during Covid—we restricted entry to a single set of doors (we have three entrances, all of which get heavy use during non-covidtide). We set up a pedestal at this entrance as you cross the threshold from the vestibule to the church proper. This has been working really well, because it was as simple as putting a single basket in a single location. We also had separate grey baskets at each door for when people exited the church, so they could recycle them. It's relatively unobtrusive to nestle a basket in a vestibule so people will see it on their way out. It's a different story for ingress.

    In a few weeks, we will be reopening all the other portals, and now I'm looking for a new solution. We do not have enough matching pedestals or baskets for triple entry, so it looks like I will have to purchase something either way. I'm reticent to keep a single pedestal up in the front corner as I'm quite certain that people who come through the west end are not going to traipse up to the front just to get a worship aid; consequently participation will go down, and we don't want this.

    For anyone in a similar situation (and please do not suggest just using projection. Not an option, and not desired.) how do you handle it at your church? Do you have matching baskets? Special pedestals? Something mounted to the wall? Handfulls at the end of each pew? etc.

    I'm open to suggestions.

  • Caleferink
    Posts: 359
    If your basket method is working well for one, it would make sense to me to simply get however many more baskets you need and copy what you do at the one entry to all the others.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 991
    I agree generically. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't a more elegant solution that I was missing. Also, it won't be able to be *quite the same at each portal as it stands now.
  • tandrews
    Posts: 104
    I was responsible for putting them together and printing out 350 copies each weekend. I put them in 3-4 stacks in the ushers' closet in the back of church. By the Saturday Vigil Mass either the ushers or the priest would put them at the entrances to church on whatever was available (music stands, wooden stands, baskets). Ushers would also pass them out personally if they felt so inclined, but it was not required of them. There were recycle bins at the entrances of the church for people to dispose of them after Mass.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,727
    Westminster Cathedral on Sundays. They are dispensed at the back of the central aisle, and you need three different documents, most of the time the ushers bundle them up and hand them out. At the NE side entrance they are simply left on a table. As the west end has three doors and many people come up the side aisles I am always surprised how well it works, despite being an obviously poor way of organising. It does seem that people who want one will look out for it. It is a lot of work between Masses to get things back in order.
  • At Walsingham the Mass Folders are given by the ushers in the narthex to each person who enters. At masses at which there are no ushers, the Mass Folers are placed on a small, square table in the center of the narthex, where each person picks one up upon entering. I know of no other system.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 513
    In my parish the worship aids are listed on the parish website as a pdf download. Because of Covid restrictions they are not distributed at Mass.
  • Serviam,

    Cheekily, I was tempted to reply "I put them out with large doses of well-aimed water".

    In our parish, however, we have booklets available (since we're in an EF apostolate) which persons are welcomed to pick up, and put back, at their own personal desire. I can imagine that it would be more complicated in an OF parish, or in a place where, like Julie Coll's SSPX experiences, congregations sing a wide variety of music.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 991
    I would love to have semi-permanent booklets in the pew backs, but that's not going to be happening any time soon. In fact, at one point I had started collating hymns to make a parish hymnal but that project fizzled out.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 350
    I think [good] ushers handing them out at all the entrances is ideal. If one is a visitor, the usher is right there to kindly answer questions (where’s the toilet; I want to join RCIA; are there low-gluten hosts here; can my kid stay with me; when are confessions....); if one is a member, it’s still nice to be greeted by someone you recognize. And then there is someone actively offering you something, which breaks the habit of people barging right in and finding today’s readings in Breaking Bread and ignoring any other worship aid or hymnal on hand.

    In another parish I was at, the evening Masses on holy days of obligation, and the Saturday BVM were the NO equivalent of Solemn High Mass. The full Gregorian proper was sung by the Schola, the people sang one of the Gregorian ordinaries, and usually everything but the readings was in Latin. We had 100 Gregorian Missals for the people, which sufficed for the early-morning or weeknight at 7p crowd. So instead of constantly printing a massive parallel English/Latin worship aid, I made half-sheets with the order of service and the relevant page numbers for each thing in the GrM. Those sheets were put inside the front cover of the GrM and so the books were distributed at the doors, by ushers when available or on pedestals/tables when not, with a sign saying “you gonna need this; take one”. That worked well and the PIPs sang well, and I think it was good for people to see that the chants actually are part of the liturgy for each specific day, and come out of a special and official book, and aren’t just what the singers like.
  • SponsaChristi
    Posts: 241
    Pre-Covid we just put them in a basket and leave them on a table at the back of the church. Now we don’t use anything.

    At the Anglican-Use ordinariate I sometimes attend has the usher hand the out as you enter.

    I have also seen places post everything online for the attendees to print off. As a parishioner, I’m not a fan of this. Printer ink is expensive.
  • Sponsa -
    Which is the Ordinariate church that you sometimes attend"
    In which province?
    Do you go there often?
    How do you like it?
  • SponsaChristi
    Posts: 241
    St. John the Evangelist in Calgary, AB.

    I don’t go there very often anymore. Now I only go because it’s not under Bishop of Calgary’s authority, so I can receive communion there, but the church is small and under the 15% fire code restriction, so I don’t go very frequently to avoid taking away space from their congregation. (All the Latin Rite bishops in Alberta have suspended communion on the tongue, so our Latin Mass Community hasn’t been able to receive communion for over a year now.)

    I like the church building, but I never was Anglican, so I always feel out of place there, liturgically and spiritually. There’s a different spirituality and tradition. They don’t even pray the prayers of the rosary the same way. I appreciate that they sing all of the hymn verses, albeit painfully slow. I also dislike that in order to encourage the congregation to sing the propers, they don’t sing Anglican Chant, or what the original pastor told me, the equivalent to the chanted propers from the Liber. They sing everything in psalm tone like the simple Rossini propers. The Anglicans have such a great musical patrimony, yet that never came over to the Catholic Church with them here.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Thanks, Sponsa - it is good to hear a Roman's experience of our liturgy. Yes, Anglicans always sing their hymns with much ecclesiastical gravitas - which some people would just call 'slow'. Maybe their propers are from the Anglican Use Gradual?, which we use regularly for the propers (except the psalm) at Walsingham when not using Palmer-Burgess. At Walsingham we sing only the psalm to Anglican chant and the people do it rather well. I began this custom back in Walsingham's early days. One must admit, though, that in England Anglican chant is considered pretty much for the choir and is used for office psalmody - not at mass. It's association with the people is an outgrowth of the 1940 in the US.

    That said, Anglican chant is quite adaptable and works well when sung to propers on festal occasions. I've also heard it very successfully sung with Latin psalmody at EF vespers. Our forum member Felipe Gaspar used to do this frequently when he was at Annunciation here in Houston.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    Well, I also think that the daily office has a much more professional, if not concert-like atmosphere in England; Anglican chant works for that. It doesn't work as well for anything longer. I couldn't imagine singing a full Vespers of five psalms and the Magnificat with Anglican chant instead of the Gregorian tones, particularly not on top of singing the other offices. if it's just Evensong, or perhaps Mattins too, then it's not so much.

    Anglican chant is beautiful, don't get me wrong, but when your office is much shorter and sung by professional choristers, you're going to look at things differently. Plus, the English tradition really goes back to Tallis's execution of short pieces that are more syllabic, even if modern Anglican chant only came about in the eighteenth and especially the nineteenth centuries.

    To the original question though: I much prefer baskets and the like. Ushers should be seen but generally not interacted with except if necessary, and for the most part, that will not include giving people a printed order of service.