Friday, October 5, 2012


This week Monsignor Manners is stumped.  Mrs. Fenner is of no help, I cannot find anything in my books, and I've even written to Miss Manners who no longer personally responds to letters because of the high volume of requests she receives and so suggests that we keep an eye out in the paper should she be able to respond.  So I though I would turn to you and see if you have any idea on this fine point of invitations.
When it comes to invitations it seems that no matter how much my resources may vary on details, they all agree on one thing: Someone must do the inviting.  But what if that person is a juridical person such as a parish?  For example, "we" will soon be having the dedicatory blessing and concert of our organ and wish to specifically invite certain persons who have given to the project.  So who invites them?  Does, "The Parish of Saint Sebastian" invite the persons who make up the Parish of Saint Sebastian to St. Sebastian Parish?  (This is why I do not like people standing up at the beginning of Mass and saying "Welcome to St. Sebastian" or "Please join us for . . ." who is welcoming whom?  Is this not their home just as much as it is yours?  Who is saying "Please join us?"  Who is the "us"?  A privileged inner circle?)
Perhaps I am too sensitive on this matter.  Perhaps it is de rigueur for a juridical person to invite the people it represents to an affair that the juridical person is hosting.  Anyway, I am waisting too much time on this.  What is your thoughts on the matter?  You input would be helpful.
Monsignor Manners


melody said...

Wow, Father. This is incredibly insightful and considerate. It is true that, to the average pew sitter, there does seem to be a "privileged inner circle." Sometimes, it is the fault of the sitter for not stepping up, but sometimes it is because there is a lack of care. I appreciate so much the fact that you see this and are taking pains on what seems to be a small matter. You love your parish family, that is clear.

As for advice? I don't know. How would a family member invite the rest of the family for a party? ("Hey. Burgers and brats at my house. Five o'clock. Be there?") Maybe the context and attitude are more important than the wording? Or maybe a "y'all come!" would work.

Or perhaps the invitation could be from YOU, Father. No privileged few there. Just a loving Father inviting his family back home for an evening to celebrate a family milestone.

Karen said...

I know with a variety of events that happen at our parish the "invitation" so to speak comes from our pastor so an announcement in the parish bulletin or a mailing from the parish will be phrased in such a way that says Fr. ___________ invites you to such and such. So perhaps the invite to those who contributed to the project should read: Fr. V on behalf of the Parish of St. Sebastian invites you to attend the dedicatory blessing and concert for our new organ. Of course, there really isn't anything wrong with using "please join us."

Michelle said...

"Join the celebration for..."

"Join our celebration of..."

Carey said...

I was thinking more along the lines of "on behalf of the parish of St.Sebastian, the whatever was in charge commitee (or you Father V) would like to invite you...." but the other suggestions would work too!

Anonymous said...

I can see your concern, Father, but it's probably not that big a deal. After all, you have a k of C chapter that sees no problem in confining 400 households to their homes on a Saturday morning so they can run a 5K race. I doubt if many are concerned with social correctness in the Parish.

Anonymous said...

Don't be concerned that the parish would be inviting the parish. If my sister were being married, my father would be inviting me to her wedding (all the same family). If I were writing the invitation, I would put the names of the priests in the upper right corner and upper left corner of a traditional rectangular ecru invitation. I would use traditional wording, beginning:
The Parish of Saint Sebastian
requests the pleasure of your company(that second part is all one line)
then how ever you want the invitation to read, with formal spacing, ending with date, time and address.

In my opinion, an invitation signals an "event" so it's best to respect that event with formality, not folksiness.

Hope this helps your quandry.

Anonymous said...

Oh, just rethinking this, perhaps I would say, "honor of your presence" because the event is in a church. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

how about somethink like

As a member and contributor of St. Sebastian Parish you are invited and encouraged to attend the dedication of our new organ blah blah or

As a member of St. Sebastian Parish and contributor to our Organ Project etc

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