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Friday, 21 August 2009

"The church isn’t supposed to be a place of stuffy silence, it’s where people meet and ‘be church’!"

Or so one suffering soul was told when he complained about the din in Church.
Much commiserating on a thread at Fr Z's.

A suggestion from one poster -"I also like to recite the Leonine prayers after Mass. An organized recitation of the prayers after the Mass would also serve to 'usher' the chatterers outside—I’d wager few people are so far gone that they’d continue to stay and chinwag during public prayer in church."

I bet I'd take, a bet I'm afraid he'd lose -- we had an anointing of the sick after Mass in the nave, and Father asked not once, but thrice for quiet from the pockets of people who stayed to visit with friends after the dismissal.

One woman looked at him smiling and then blithely continued, with no diminution in volume.

Of course, if our ministers ordained and otherwise acted as if a respectful and reverent refusal to participate in inappropriate conversation and activity were a quotidian necessity, rather than a special-occasion thing because this particular time he had something churchy to do -- well, he might have had more success.

Of course, not everyone on the thread was sympathetic: "There is ample time to pray in solitude or silence throughout the week, even before the Blessed Sacrament."

For some of us, who are fortunate indeed.

But I know people whose church is shuttered and locked as soon as it can be cleared after Mass on a Sunday, and virtually all the time during the week.

But HERE'S a ray of Son-shine, from one poster:My parish has had this long-term problem, and last Sunday, Father delivered a fire-and-brimstone homily about respect for the Eucharist. He covered the chatter before and after Mass, asking people to take their conversations out to the lobbies. He asked people to refrain from applauding the choir after Mass. He reminded people of their obligations to go to Confession and be in a true state of grace if they wish to receive the Eucharist. And he encouraged people to consider following the Holy Father’s recommendation and receive the Eucharist kneeling.
And it was very quiet after mass, with many people staying to kneel in prayer. I’d never have believed it possible in that parish, but prayer and a good priest can make profound changes.

So, a pastor can make a difference.
But I'm not a pastor, and neither is the poor original letter-writer.

So me, I'd suggest the family sing.
Something loud and prayerful.

Really, as loud as their family can manage, while still remaining prayerful.

The Solemn tone chanted Te Deum, maybe?

When people first started being rude with their shrill cell phone conversations, if they were too close to me on the subway, or in a store, from time to time I would retaliate by warming up or even singing.

I could vocalize up to an e above high c, (an f if I'd already warmed up. Which I hadn't. ;oP)

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