I don’t know what you feel, but I was interested by this comment which a friend of mine pointed me to. She’s a lovely warm Roman Catholic. So you need to transpose “Communion” or “Morning Worship” for the Mass.

“Thank you, Pope Francis.

The noise in some of our churches is deafening! Let’s bring back some reverential silence in respect for Our Lord’s presence. It’s lovely to chat with people but keep it to the porch or outside; others may be needing silent prayer or contemplation.
Shhh! Why Pope Francis wants you to stop talking during Mass

“The Holy Father gives us a wake-up call.” (aleteia.org)

My friend added:

“And before and after mass as well! It’s so difficult to pray when others around you are talking loudly to each other, standing up chatting blocking the view of the altar for those trying to pray, standing yapping, laughing, with their back to Our Lord. Talk outside the church…it’s not difficult. Would be nicer for people passing our churches to see people talking, laughing, congregating outside. A family as One!”

It’s a difficult one, isn’t it? Because we want to be seen as a welcoming church and of course children weren’t designed to sit still and silent. However I do recognise the need for stillness before worship and reflection and prayer afterwards. It may be a sign of my age (!), but I increasingly look for quiet within and around a service – something which we’re not awfully good at in this age of background music and noise. We often sing, “Be still.” How often in services are we still and silent?

I’d be interested in what you think.

(Please note: These are very much my own musings. They don’t represent official policy.)

Michael Wenham

(Photo: Catholic Herald)

Categories: Blog


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