It’s interesting to see how different the personalities of different parishes, even within the same jurisdiction and region, can be. I was thinking this tonight as we were observing Forgiveness Vespers at Holy Resurrection’s lovely new church. I’ve only known three parishes in any depth: there’s Holy Cross in Flagstaff, where I was so new to keeping Lent that I can’t remember very well what the parish was like — I remember us all prostration to one another on the stone floor of a beautiful old Catholic church downtown, which we had borrowed for the occasion. There is also Holy Trinity Church in Santa Fe, which has the closeness of a family, even for those who have only been there a few months or years, and where there are not only prostrations to be had but tears and hugs and kisses — with a real sense that we’re close enough to have had an opportunity to have offended and sinned against one another in the past year. Then there’s HOly Resurrection in Tucson — I’m not quite sure how to characterize it. You do a metania and kiss somebody’s cheek — we weren’t sure if it was two or three times, and were very awkward. They get things done at Holy Resurrection; everyone seems very nice, rather straightforward, and not at all sentimental. We don’t cry at services. If one were to say that many evangelical churches have an extroverted character to them, though there are introverts who attend them, then Holy Resurrection is of an introverted tone, though there are some extroverts in attendance. It’s got a corporate character that’s solid, dependable, loyal, and faithful, but difficult to get to know very well. Not well enough for forgiveness with prostrations, hugs, and tears.
I’m not sure if that’s a criticism or simply a temperament.