Monday, September 6, 2010

Applause at Church

Before Benedict XVI became pope he wrote the following warning about making the Mass into entertainment:
"Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. Such attraction fades quickly - it cannot compete in the market of leisure pursuits, incorporating as it increasingly does various forms of religious titillation."
(Ratzinger, Spirit of the Liturgy).


Abbey said...

Would you say this applies to the end of Mass announcements, and "thanking" the choir, etc.?

Soutenus said...

OK -- so let me say ahead of time that I have fairly strong opinions about this. :-)

I think clapping for any group in the sanctuary is out of place even after Mass.
1) The least of the reasons is that it brings attention to, highlights and thanks just one group. Who thanks (week after week) those who have talents in other areas that selflessly share?
Who publicly applauds the janitor, the deacons, the secretaries, the people who volunteer endless hours to take care of the church and make it clean, comfortable and safe?

2) It also makes the music seem like a performance.
I think that if people really appreciate the choir that much they could:
~~ take the time to send an old fashioned thank you letter to the choir leader and ask that it be shared with the choir.
~~ take snacks to practice
~~ offer to help with set up or strike of the equipment
~~ say something in the piazza, fellowship hall or other public (out of the sanctuary) area

3) Applause can be very disruptive to those who stay and pray. If peaceful silence took the place of applause maybe more people WOULD stay and pray, visit the Stations of the Cross, talk to Mary, light a candle, read their Bible or their missal, or quietly help straighten up the pews.

Our parish does not usually read announcements after Mass and I really appreciate that.
The Mass is ended, go in peace ----

Not - the Mass is ended so let's take care of some announcements. (LOL)

. . . . told you I had some pretty strong opinions on this.

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