Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Dipping sauce draws many back to church
In Father Mike Maloney's opinion, the experiment worked with flying colors. In an effort to increase attendance during Christmas services at St Carol's Church, in Mont Clare,PA, the clergy introduced four dipping sauces during communion. "We had ranch, blue cheese, barbecue and honey mustard," said Father Maloney. Ranch appeared to be the holiest flavor for the 5pm mass while honey mustard prevailed at midnight. The AM masses were too close to call.
In the weeks leading up to the Christmas mass, Father Maloney took out a full page ad in the parish weekly bulletin announcing the planned taste experiment. Parishioner volunteer Dana Castanlio explained,"The ads paid off because the masses were a huge hit. We had people lined up outside and had to bring the dipping sauce to them."
Father Maloney shortened his homily, knowing that communion would be exponentially longer due to dipping decisions. "It went very smoothly. Before communion I announced to 'please choose your dip quickly and please no double dipping,'" explained Father Maloney. Each communion line had an additional server to the side holding a tray with all four of the dips in labeled bowls. Wet naps were also available at the rear of the church.
Church members loved the experiment saying that 'it feels so hip and internet-coffee-house-like.' It was such a success that St. Carol's is contemplating filling the holy water bowls near the entrances with a different flavor sauce each week. Sally Fantin, parishioner, said,"Communion was delicious but I would have liked to have seen some salsa." When asked why salsa was not on the menu, Father Maloney hinted that the spices would have been disrespectful and sacrilegious.