December 12, 2011

Re: Mass should not be changed even for hugs (WCR letters, Nov. 28).

Children going to visit the priest during the Offertory started spontaneously some years ago when a child wandered down the aisle and climbed the steps for a closer look at the priest.

Not long after that, small baskets were placed on the steps surrounding the altar, and the congregation was told that these were for children who were prepared to give some of their allowance, the money to go to a children’s charity.

It was a lovely idea and children old enough and brave enough to venture from the safety of the pew eagerly deposited their coins and had a brief, cherished word with the priest before returning to their family.

Unfortunately a few years later, a parent accompanied a child too young to make this journey alone. This gradually led to the current queue of adults with babies and tiny children, too small for allowances, and so the intent has been lost and the practice has become rather disruptive. Sad.

Sally Carline