Sunday, May 29, 2011

Applause and Mass

There is clapping DURING Mass (in recognition of some person or persons) at least once a month at my parish. It makes me want to cringe. Hopefully I stand very still and do not let the horror show on my face. The applause is disruptive enough to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which is a re-presentation of the Holy Sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
I do not want to heap my obvious disapproval onto the situation. I just want it to be over and done with so we can get back to focus on our Lord.
Now . . . clapping for the choir or cantor? Well, unfortunately, that happens after every Mass at my parish and it makes me very sad.

There is a great post about this over at The Journey: Almost Not Catholic.

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI said this:

"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liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment."

I know this is a backwards introduction Brent's great post over at The Journey: Almost Not Catholic but here is my comment.
I agree, agree and agree some more. And, since I am at my dining room table I am giving you a hearty round of applause!  ;-)
My family and I stand very still when clapping breaks out in or after Mass. Sometimes I think people feel were are cold fish. I sometimes wish they would ask why we do not clap. I hope our love for Christ would pour out in our answer and they could understand why we do not join in on praise for some kind of entertainment or "appreciation of human achievement".

The 1st and obvious reason we do not participate in applause is, as you stated, -- Mass is for and about our Lord.
The 2nd reason is that it seems very wrong that some people are celebrated and esteemed and congratulated and/or thanked when, in reality, there will be many left out.
Do we take time to thank the janitors, the people who volunteer time to keep the grounds clean, the men and women who run the nursery or those who take the Holy Eucharist to the sick? Do we get emotional and heap praise on the ushers or the readers?
Our Holy Father said it beautifully - thank you for that quote!

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