Something weird happened before Mass started. A guy was at the podium greeting everyone and making a couple announcements. Then he asked for any new people or visitors to raise their hand. The people sitting next to me raised their hand so I did too. Then the guy asked us to stand up and introduce ourselves.
WHAT? Why is he look straight at me? Oh crap - stage fright!
So I stood up and a couple other folks did too. I was the first one to speak and I just said my name, said I lived in Seattle and regularly go to the Cathedral - just visiting this parish for the first time. Everyone else who stood up was out of state visitors. Made me feel like a dork for being the only local newbie.
Then the guy at the podium told everyone that we'd start mass soon and while we wait we should greet our visiting newbies. People are shaking my hand and all that kind of stuff.
I was a pretty freaked out by that whole greet the newbies thing. I had flashbacks to when I would go to a Morman church service with a friend of mine. Whenever I came with her I was vultured over by dozens of people who wanted to know all about me like they'd get Amway points or free Tupperware for converting the new girl.
I hated being swarmed like that and this thing at the Catholic church made me feel a little like that. Other than a handshake and a hello and a nod and a peace sign people left me alone. The lady next to me did hold my hand during the Lord's Prayer but I like that so it was cool. I've never expereienced that newbie greeting thing at any of the other parishes I've been to so it was odd. But once mass started it was business as usual and I could chill out.
Other thoughts about the parish. It is a very modern building with some very modern artwork. I liked it. Put some pictures below. The priest was cool and funny - although there were times I think I was the only one giggling. Not inappropriately, but I guess he said things that only tickled me during the homily. When mass was finished, before the blessing, he cracked a joke about how someone's cellphone went off during the Eucharist. He didn't want to stop and ask who it was...but now he wanted to know "So, who was it?" I don't think anyone admited to it but everyone got a good chuckle.
I am thinking about going back there next weekend. They are having a big to-do because they are getting a new crucifix for the space above the baptismal font. It's going to be a life-sized corpus of Christ and they will have it down at the altar for people to venerate before they hang it up on the big wall. I'd like to see that. But this time I'm not going to stand up as a newbie...cause I'm not new anymore.