Stand and Greet

I recently received a copy of an article asking the question: “Should your Church stop having a Stand and Greet time?” The general opinion of those asked seemed to be that it should stop; it is bothersome and even unhygienic. It appeared that many people not only dislike this “Stand & Greet” but they even dreaded it. Some people claim to be shy and didn’t want the contact. This reminded me of a recent debate about handshaking between teachers and students. I read an interesting opinion defending the practise.

Today's Society

Our society and culture continues to become more and more closed off. We can make our purchases on line from home without stepping into a store. We don’t need to go to the cinema to watch a film. Thanks to podcasts, we don’t need to go to the university to attend a lecture and when we are underway, we often times have headphones in our ears which is a signal of “I don’t want to be bothered”. We rarely write letters and much of our communication is electronic. Physical contact seems to become less and less. Of course it is not a “must” that we greet each other or offer our hand. Each person should decide for them self how and which kind of contact they desire.

To Think About

In Good Shepherd’s, this “Stand & Greet” is not a liturgical part of the Mass. However, we believe it’s a welcoming gesture, one that can be embraced or ignored. Jesus welcomed others and was not shy about his desire to have contact. We find Jesus in our neighbors and the people around us. When we open ourselves to them, we open ourselves to Him.