The Curt Jester describes -- whoops! I mean, SHARES -- his experiences while visiting at another parish:
The Mass was said by an Irish priest who started with what I guess you could call a census (people never learn from King David). "How many of you are from out of town?" pretty much everybody raised their hands. "How many of you are from outside the U.S.?" He then proceeded down the isle extracting country of origin from a number of people who raised their hands. We are no five minutes into the Mass. Next it was "How many are married over 50 years please stand up." Followed by encouragement for applause and then "Stand up if you are a grandparent" Here he inserts mandatory joke about them being free babysitters." Then we had the "everybody introduce yourself to the people around you ." I had heard of this practice at some parishes, but never had to suffer through this false bit of community that has everybody glad handing the other (I though this was reserved for the Kiss of Peace). We are now ten minutes into the start of Mass and we haven't even got to the confeitor yet.
Then, the killer question-slash-reality check:
Now if priests are going to act like a Vegas lounge act can I also be a heckler?