As part of our adventures today Tony and I went to church across town from the one we usually attend.
We pulled into the parking lot 15 minutes before Mass was supposed to start; since we had been out and about for a couple of hours, we needed to use the restroom. Tony attended this parish on a fairly regular basis when he was a teenager, so he was familiar with the layout. The bathroom facilities are completely separate from the church. You have to exit the building, walk around to the back side, and go down a set of stairs into the parish hall.
After we had taken care of our business, it was time to go into the church. Tony remembered that the same stairwell we took down to go to the hall would allow us to enter the sanctuary if we went up from the main landing. We entered into the front of the church and picked a pew about a third of the way back.
No sooner had we gotten settled than an elderly gentleman approached Tony and whispered something in his ear. Tony turned to me and said we had been asked to take the gifts (bread and wine) up to the altar. I'm not sure why he picked us, because normally this would be done by a parishioner, but today I took up offertory gifts at a different parish.
I was a little nervous, because different churches do the ceremony differently, but it turned out it was easy. At this church the gifts had been placed on a small table halfway up the main aisle. When we saw the priest leave his chair and stand in front of the altar ready to receive the gifts, we walked back to the table, picked up the cruet of wine and the container of hosts, and carried them up to the priest. He thanked us, and we went back to our seats.