I saw this article the other day and throughout reading it I could only think “How did this writer get into my head?” Ever read something like that? It’s rare but just wonderful!
The author gets it right on the money with millennials, probably because he gathered a group of them and asked them what they were looking for. What are they looking for? It’s not what everyone says: contemporary music you hear on the radio, fancy lights, a basketball court as the sanctuary for services during March Madness.
There’s a lot of talk about “consumers” and “catering to convenience” in the Church Blogisphere these days, but there’s something to be said for accessibility and ensuring things are possible. For instance, what are the daily Mass times at your parish? Can someone with a job attend them? My parish has a 12:15pm Mass, and I love attending it. However, when the homily is longer than the average Sunday Mass and I can’t make my 1pm Meeting (even via the phone as I’m pulling out of the parking lot) attending that Mass becomes sacrificing my livelihood. There’s no reason for a 20+ minute homily at daily Mass, or even a 45 minute daily Mass with less than 75 people receiving communion. We don’t have to rush and we can use the longest Eucharistic Prayer if that’s the priest’s preference.
The author writes this: “when a parish is willing to have an early or afternoon daily Mass, it sends its own message: ‘We will sacrifice to meet your needs, rather than demand you sacrifice for ours.'” That’s not bending over backwards to accommodate consumers, instead it’s taking into account the real life challenges of our parishioners and helping faith fit.
My other favorite part of the article is concerning confession, which I’ve written about before. When Confession is only offered for 1 hour a week in the middle of Saturday afternoon (or worse only before the 8am Mass on Saturday morning), you cannot be surprised when the line isn’t full of working young adults and families. It’s already a sacrifice to come stand in line for an hour to go to confession, does that sacrifice need to happen in the middle of the afternoon on Saturday?
Click over to read the entire article, he’s made some great points! Millennials want a place to belong in the Church, invite them in, they’ll adjust to you if you also adjust to them. We’re not that demanding!