I sang (subbing for a colleague in my choir) at two Catholic church services this weekend: Maundy Thursday and the Easter Vigil on Saturday night. In past years, I've gotten into the services more, but the music director did a perfunctory job (just making sure we knew the notes, running through the pieces a couple of times, but without trying to inflect them with any expressivity at all. The other singers didn't help much.). As a non-religious person, music is the only "in" I have to these services, and if the music is not exciting, I feel let down, like everyone's been participating in an uplifting experience that I've missed (which is true).
Part I, b:
My housemate's (lapsed) Catholic boyfriend may or may not have been upset that the church let non-Catholics sing in the choir. Especially non-Catholics like me who thought it was disappointingly uninspiring and said so loudly, once I got home.
One of my vegan housemates has a Polish mother. She came over to the house on Saturday and accosted me cheerfully: "Oh, [Kermit], you're an omnivore! I brought over a hardboiled egg wrapped in garlic leaves (?) and a little piece of kielbasy. I'm bringing them to church tomorrow to be blessed, but I thought I'd drop off a bit, so you're welcome to eat them!"
All I could think was: gee, lady, I'm glad you didn't waste any of the blessed food on me.