Why Be Still & Silent at Mass?

When Holy Mass is properly celebrated there are moments in which the voices of both priest and faithful become si­lent. The priest continues to officiate as the rubrics indi­cate, speaking very softly or refraining from vocal prayer; the congregation follows in watchful, prayerful participa­tion. What do these intervals of quiet signify? What must we do with them? What does stillness really imply?

It implies above all that speech end and silence prevail, that no other sounds — of movements, of turning pages, of coughing and throat-clearing — be audible. There is no need to exaggerate. Men live, and living things move; a forced outward conformity is no better than restlessness. Nevertheless, stillness is still, and it comes only if seriously desired. If we value it, it brings us joy; if not, discomfort. People are often heard to say: “But I can’t help coughing” or “I can’t kneel quietly”; yet once stirred by a concert or lecture they forget all about coughing and fidgeting. That stillness proper to the most beautiful things in existence dominates, a quiet area of attentiveness in which the beautiful and truly important reign. We must earnestly de­sire stillness and be willing to give something for it; then it will be ours. Once we have experienced it, we will be astounded that we were able to live without it.

Moreover, stillness must not be superficial, as it is when there is neither speaking nor squirming; our thoughts, our feelings, our hearts must also find repose. Then genuine stillness permeates us, spreading ever deeper through the seemingly plumbless world within.

Once we try to achieve such profound stillness, we realize that it cannot be accomplished all at once. The mere desire for it is not enough; we must practice it. The minutes before Holy Mass are best; but in order to have them for genuine preparation we must arrive early. They are not a time for gazing or for daydreaming or for un­necessary thumbing of pages, but for inwardly collecting and calming ourselves. It would be still better to begin on our way to church. After all, we are going to a sacred celebration. Why not let the way there be an exercise in composure, a kind of overture to what is to come? I would even suggest that preparation for holy stillness re­ally begins the day before. Liturgically, Saturday evening already belongs to the Sunday. If — for instance, after suitable reading — we were to collect ourselves for a brief period of composure, its effects the next day would be evident.

Thus far we have discussed stillness negatively: no speech, no sound. But it is much more than the absence of these, a mere gap, as it were, between words and sounds: stillness itself is something positive. Of course we must be able to appreciate it as such. There is sometimes a pause in the midst of a lecture or a service or some public function. Almost invariably someone promptly coughs or clears his throat. He is experiencing stillness as a breach in the unwinding road of speech and sound, which he attempts to fill with something, anything. For him the stillness was only a lacuna, a void that gave him a sense of disorder and discomfort. Actually, it is something rich and brimming.

Stillness is the tranquillity of the inner life, the quiet at the depths of its hidden stream. It is a collected, total presence, a being all there, receptive, alert, ready. There is nothing inert or oppressive about it.

Attentiveness — that is the clue to the stillness in question, the stillness before God.

What then is a church? It is, to be sure, a building having walls, pillars, space. But these express only part of the word church, its shell. When we say that Holy Mass is celebrated “in church,” we are including some­thing more: the congregation. Congregation, not merely people. Churchgoers arriving, sitting, or kneeling in pews are not necessarily a congregation; they can be simply a roomful of more or less pious individuals. Congregation is formed only when those individuals are present not only corporally but also spiritually, when they have contacted one another in prayer and step together into the spiritual “space” around them; strictly speaking, when they have first widened and heightened that space by prayer. Then true congregation comes into being, which, along with the building that is its architectural expression, forms the vital church in which the sacred act is accomplished.

All this takes place only in stillness; out of stillness grows the real sanctuary. It is important to understand this. Church buildings may be lost or destroyed; then everything de­pends on whether the faithful are capable of forming con­gregations that erect indestructible “churches” wherever they happen to find themselves, no matter how poor or dreary their quarters. We must learn and practice the art of constructing spiritual cathedrals.

We cannot take stillness too seriously. Not for noth­ing do these reflections on the Liturgy open with it. If someone were to ask me what the liturgical life begins with, I should answer: with learning stillness. Without it, everything remains superficial, vain. Our understand­ing of stillness is nothing strange or aesthetic. Were we to approach stillness on the level of aesthetics — of mere withdrawal into the ego — we should spoil everything. What we are striving for is something very grave, very important, and unfortunately sorely neglected: the pre­requisite of the liturgical holy act.

Silence and the Word

We have discussed stillness in the presence of God. Only in such stillness, it was contended, can the congregation fundamental to the sacred ritual come into being. Only in stillness can the room in which Holy Mass is celebrated be exalted into a church. Hence the beginning of divine service is the creation of stillness. Stillness is intimately related to speech and the word.

This article is adapted from Guardini’s Meditations Before Mass.

The word is a thing of mystery, so volatile that it van­ishes almost on the lip, yet so powerful that it decides fates and determines the meaning of existence. A frail structure shaped by fleeting sound, it yet contains the eternal: truth. Words come from within, rising as sounds fashioned by the organs of a man’s body, as expressions of his heart and spirit. He utters them, yet he does not create them, for they already existed independently of him. One word is related to another; together they form the great unity of language, that empire of truth-forms in which a man lives.

The living word arranges itself onion-like in various layers. The outermost is that of simple communication: news or a command. These can be conveyed artificially, as they often are, by the printed word or by some sound-apparatus that reproduces human speech. The syllables thus produced draw their significance from genuine lan­guage, and they answer specific needs well enough. But this superficial, often mechanical, level of words is not yet true speech, which exists only in proportion to the amount of inner conviction carried over from the speaker to that which is spoken. The more clearly his meaning is embodied in intelligible sounds, and the more fully his heart is able to express itself, the more truly does his speech become living word.

The inmost spirit lives by truth, by its recognition of what is and what has value. Man expresses this truth in words. The more fully he recognizes it, the better his speech and the richer his words. But truth can be recog­nized only from silence. The constant talker will never, or at least rarely, grasp truth. Of course even he must ex­perience some truths; otherwise he could not exist. He does notice certain facts, observe certain relations, draw conclusions and make plans. But he does not yet possess genuine truth, which comes into being only when the essence of an object, the significance of a relation, and what is valid and eternal in this world reveal themselves. This requires the spaciousness, freedom, and pure recep­tiveness of that inner “clean-swept room” which silence alone can create. The constant talker knows no such room within himself; hence he cannot know truth. Truth, and consequently the reality of speech, depends upon the speaker’s ability to speak and to be silent in turn.

But what of fervor, which lives on emotion and emo-tion’s evaluation of the costliness and significance of things? Doesn’t fervor flow more abundantly into speech the more immediate the experience behind it? And doesn’t that immediacy remain greatest the less one stops to think? That is true, at least for the moment. But it is also true that the person who talks constantly grows empty, and his emptiness is not only momentary. Feelings that are always promptly poured out in words are soon exhausted. The heart incapable of storing anything, of withdrawing into itself, cannot thrive. Like a field that must constantly produce, it is soon impoverished.

Only the word that emerges from silence is substan­tial and powerful. To be effective it must first find its way into open speech, although this is not necessary for some truths: those inexpressible depths of comprehension of one’s self, of others, and of God. For these the experi­enced but unspoken suffices. For all others, however, the interior word must become exterior. Just as there exists a perverted variety of speech — talk — there exists also a perverted silence — dumbness. Dumbness is just as bad as garrulity. It occurs when silence, sealed in the dungeon of a heart that has no outlet, becomes cramped and oppressive. The word breaks open the stronghold. It carries light into the darkness and frees what has been held captive.

Speech enables a man to account for himself and the world and to overcome both. It indicates his place among others and in history. It liberates. Silence and speech belong together. The one presupposes the other. Together they form a unit in which the vital man exists, and the discovery of that unit’s namelessness is strangely beautiful. We do know this: man’s essence is enclosed in the sphere of silence / speech just as the whole earthly life is enclosed in that of light /darkness, day / night.

Consequently, even for the sake of speech we must practice silence. To a large extent the Liturgy consists of words that we address to and receive from God. They must not degenerate into mere talk, which is the fate of all words, even the profoundest and holiest, when they are spoken improperly. In the words of the Liturgy, the truth of God and of redeemed man is meant to blaze. In them the heart of Christ — in whom the Father’s love lives — and the hearts of His followers must find their full expression. Through the liturgical word our inwardness passes over into the realm of sacred openness which the congregation and its mystery create before God. Even God’s holy mystery — which was entrusted by Christ to His followers when He said, “As often as you shall do these things, in memory of me shall you do them” — is renewed through the medium of human words.

All this, then, must find room in the words of the Liturgy. They must be broad and calm and full of inner knowledge, which they are only when they spring from silence. The importance of silence for the sacred celebration cannot be overstressed — silence which prepares for it as well as that silence which establishes itself again and again during the ceremony. Silence opens the inner fount from which the word rises.

Editor’s note: This article is an excerpt from Romano Guardini’s Meditations Before Mass, which is available from Sophia Institute Press

image: Shutterstock

Romano Guardini

By

Romano Guardini (1885–1968) was ordained a priest in 1910. He was a professor at the University of Berlin until the Nazis expelled him in 1939. His sermons, books, popular classes, and his involvement in the post-war German Catholic Youth Movement won him worldwide acclaim. His works combine a keen thirst for God with a profound depth of thought and a delightful perfection of expression.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Lego Man

    I was wondering what planet this writer is on, then realised at the end the article was by Guardini. He is speaking of the Traditional Latin Mass because silence has been almost completely purged from the New Mass and is in fact virtually non-existent. When moments so arise choirs spontaneously start up for they cannot deal with that ‘awkward silence’.

  • mljobe

    Unfortunately, at our parish, even arriving early isn’t enough. There are always some individuals who think it is perfectly okay to talk and laugh prior to Mass. Even pointed looks in their direction have no effect. Just recently, announcements were added before the opening hymn!

  • anne

    Your comment is accurate, sadly, but it should not be so. It is a mystery to me that people even older than I, who should know better, show so little respect for Our Lord when they enter the church. Too many have forgotten proper behavior, or never learned at all!

  • I’m with HIM

    i like this article so much and do so love the sound of silence. How else can one hear the whisper?

  • loisf

    I so want silence as I enter for Mass but there are people including the Priest visiting and laughing at the door, an usher posted who wants to talk and shake hands, it’s a lot to bear for an introvert like me! I love the early morning Adoration time! 4am on Fridays I love!

  • Magdalene

    The novus ordo leaves little space for silence.

  • Sue

    When I’ve gone to various Catholic blogs to ask why people refuse to take screaming babies & toddlers out of Mass so the rest of us can pray, I’ve been called every vulgar name possible. I’ve been accused of having some kind of psychological problem. So, those of us who go to Mass to pray, to unite ourselves to the sacrificial actions of the Mass in the depths of our hearts, to worship God, to offer ourselves to Him–hopefully, doing all these acts united with those around us & the priest–we are the uncharitable, hateful Catholics. The Tridentine Masses I’ve attended have been noisier than the Novus Ordo because of the many young children present who scream & yell throughout the Mass. Mass has become a socialization opportunity for children, not a time to worship God.

  • Sue

    When a reverent, prayerful priest offers the Novus Ordo Mass, there is much space for silence, especially if it’s a Mass without music. Those are the Masses that provide the most grace for me because I don’t especially care to be at a Mass where I don’t understand the language. We are fortunate to have access to such a Novus Ordo Mass, & it is a taste of heaven because of the silence & reverence.

  • Lisa

    When children yell and scream, they are not socializing, they are being children. I feel like silence is more than just the absence of sound. You can have silence in your heart if you are truly focusing on God and putting yourself in His presence. It is very unfair to expect families with small children to stay home. Or even adults who are mentally disabled in some way. If that were expected of me, I would have missed Mass for the last 14 years of my life. I am one to take my kids out of Mass if they misbehave, but there are times when the whole congregation is silent and then my child acts up. It happens often with children under 5. I have heard other children’s cries while trying to be silent, and even noise from developmentally disabled adults, but am still able to feel the presence of God if I am truly focusing on Him alone. No amount of noise can take that from me.

  • Lisa

    When children yell and scream, they are not socializing, they are being children. I feel like silence is more than just the absence of sound. You can have silence in your heart if you are truly focusing on God and putting yourself in His presence. It is very unfair to expect families with small children to stay home. Or even adults who are mentally disabled in some way. If that were expected of me, I would have missed Mass for the last 14 years of my life. I am one to take my kids out of Mass if they misbehave, but there are times when the whole congregation is silent and then my child acts up. It happens often with children under 5. I have heard other children’s cries while trying to be silent, and even noise from developmentally disabled adults, but am still able to feel the presence of God if I am truly focusing on Him alone. No amount of noise can take that from me.

  • Robert M

    There should be complete silence during Communion and there usually is none. Some sort of music is being played which I feel hampers the Sacred event where people should be able to concentrate quietly communicating with Jesus.

  • Elleblue Jones

    I’ve grown tired of waiting for priests to remind all of us about the need for silence. Now I just turn around and say, “I came to celebrate the life and sacrifice of Christ, if you need to talk please leave the church.” I’m tired of hearing about being charitable because it never works. We as a society have lost a sense of the sacred.

  • kirk

    You made a point to say that “coughing” happens during the silent times, and coughing ends when one is stirred by the music or message. That is not entirely correct. If you want to end coughing during Mass, ask every person attending to leave their fragrance, perfume, aftershave off – for those allergens are a contributing cause of much coughing and/or sneezing when many people are gathered together. I don’t believe coughing and sneezing are easily controlled by the person so affected – whether it’s during the singing or during the silence, the cough/sneeze is uncontainable. I know mine are not controlled by the sound meter. To say otherwise is to ignore other causes. Also, maybe it’s time for everyone to use soft-soled shoes so the communion line will not be so noisy. I say these things with tongue in cheek for the cures undoubtedly will not be implemented – I just wanted to point out different conclusions.

    Silence is beautiful, but God can penetrate the din to reach the heart. If I am so controlled by things I cannot change, I am most completely poor.
    “It is thy very energy of thought which keeps thee from thy God.” [Blessed John Henry Newman]

  • Benny

    I am new to the Church, but this article struck a chord with me with a lot of areas. I learned that the purpose of life is to know Him, love Him, and serve Him (from the Baltimore Catechism). To really get to know Him, I learned that I need to pray. The Catechism (CCC 2705~2719) talks about Meditation and Contemplative prayer, and this article nicely complement how to know Him.

    Fr Guardini wrote “Only the word that emerges from silence is substan­tial and powerful.”, and this really resonated in my mind. Thank you for this article.

  • catholicexchange

    Welcome to the faith and we’re glad this article resonated with you. We’ll keep you in our prayers that you continue to find peace and grow in your faith.

  • PGMGN

    Sadly, the Truth of the above article and its proponents has been obscured, misunderstood, and slandered. Read the diverse opinions and experiences of Alexis Rohlfing right here on Catholic Exchanage. Specifically, ‘Mass is for the Family’ http://catholicexchange.com/mass-is-for-the-family as opposed to ‘Finding God in Silence.’ http://catholicexchange.com/finding-god-in-silence

    Alexis’ articles outline to a tee the desparity between the practical approach and that of striving for the divine. Having read both articles and having lived through very similar experiences, I’d opt to strive for Finding God in Silence every time. But the very nature of the Novus Ordo when executed correctly, that is how it was originally intended, makes for all manner of distraction.
    If you are able to focus despite noise, that is a grace. Others are not so fortunately blessed and need the aids of nature – that is an attitude of or at least a striving for silence. That said, thank you on behalf of the Body of Christ (my small part) for taking you children to mass. And for taking them out when need be.

  • Mike K

    Lisa, I agree. I am the father of 6 kids, ages 10 to 1, and my wife and I do our best to keep the litte ones quiet during Mass. If our children are being disruptive, we take them out of Mass. Babies and toddlers are going to make a little noise, obviously. We don’t take them out at every peep (or that would be more distracting then them making the peep). Even if the noise of kids is a bit of a distraction, remember, what we get out of every Mass is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

  • Me

    I used to attend an NO parish with a fantastic Pastor and exemplary liturgy. It was known throughout the diocese that we had the best liturgy in the area. For someone like me who loves the liturgy and has studied it, it was the next best thing to sliced bread. I soooo miss it. I live in a new city and have a difficult time finding the sense of the holy in any of my local parishes.

  • Patti Day

    When I was a child in Catholic school, we had 9:00am children’s Mass. We filled the church, boys on St. Joseph side, girls on Our Lady’s side. The nun who taught each class (at least 16 nuns plus mother superior) sat in the last row of that class. That’s close to 300 children, and there was very little noise as I remember, because the sisters had eagle eyes. If ever sister had to get out of her seat…well I don’t even know what, something not good. These were not nasty nuns, but holy, mostly young, women who taught us that we were in the presence of Jesus Christ, and we believed it.

  • Sue

    I rest my case of my original point. If children cannot pray & participate in the sacred action, interior uniting with the prayers at Mass, then they are not old enough to be there. I’m sorry, but bringing very young children to Mass is a recent innovation that doesn’t belong there. For many of us with hearing impairments, one scream from a young child or high-pitched music is enough to cause vomiting, nausea, dizziness, etc. for days. Are we, who are adults, suffering adults, in the faith supposed to forfeit our rights as Catholics to be at Mass so babies & toddlers can be there? My family still cannot attend Mass as a family because I can’t attend due to the screaming children. If you take such child out, thank you very, very much. But the majority of parents these days come to Mass primarily for socialization, not prayer. It is impossible to pray in a noisy environment. Lisa, you must be a perfect saint if you can. Most of us are still far from perfection & need the aid of silence. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church does not exist anymore for the salvation of souls. It exists as a place for people to meet, sing together, smile at kids, etc. It is not about the worship of God when everyone is paying attention to babbling little ones. That should take place at coffee & donuts after Mass, not during Mass.

  • Lisa

    Sue, I am sorry that this is a struggle for you, but what about the adults who can’t help making noise? Are those adults not suppose to be there, because some other adults don’t have any tolerance for noise of any kind? It is basically just that it is your opinion that children and noise makers of any kind should not be at Mass. The point is that we are not in Heaven, but in a fallen world right now. Nothing is going to be perfect, not even our worship of the Lord. We will all worship at different points in our journey and with differing levels of capabilities and holiness, but I would never be so bold as to tell anyone that they should not be in the presence of Our Lord at the Sacrifice of The Holy Mass. That being said, there are those who are irreverent during Mass and I think we all should strive for reverence and silence as much as possible, but children are innocent and their noise is not out of irreverence. I get more distracted and hurt when there are adults in the pew behind me talking and making comments about the priest, than when I hear a random noise coming from a beautiful innocent child. I’m sure God appreciates the amount of effort you put into your worship of Him, even if you are not “feeling” it. Your struggle, whatever it may be is worth something. Trust in the Lord and be humble, and understand that it is not us who can measure our “worthiness”. We are never to judge a person’s heart, and it’s seems a little selfish to me that, because someone cannot tolerate the behavior of another person that they would feel that person should not be at Mass. I am not judging your heart and do not mean any offense, I am simply just responding to your typed words and how I perceive them. God bless you.

    Matthew 19:13-15 “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

    14Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”

  • Sue

    Lisa, I have no problem with adults making sounds at Mass. I have no problem with anyone making an accidental sound at Mass. I don’t think anyone does. But, if you read & understand the article by Fr. Guardini, I think you may appreciate my point. There was a time when I was a child when people did not bring small children who would cause distractions to others to Mass at all. Mass was understood as a sacred action & all attention was directed to the sanctuary, towards God. Anything that detracted from that was not allowed. It was one hour of the week that was given completely to God, as best as we can. Don’t we owe Him that much? As the parent of six kids, I can say that, as an at-home mom, I NEEDED that one hour a week of peace & quiet to unite with God & be with Him in the stillness of my heart, united with those around me. Fortunately, at that time, I had access to such a Mass, a Mass that was one of the best-attended in our parish. It was understood that that was the “quiet” Mass–no babies, no music. It was for people with very deep spiritual lives or who had hearing difficulties that prevented them from attending other Masses. Is it really too much to ask that one Mass be reserved for those of us who want to pray the Mass without distractions? In our parish, that would give everyone else 6 Masses to choose from. Is that really too much to ask? And, yes, I resent be labeled a child-hater, or whatever, because I love kids & enjoy them when they’re not screaming. Our kids were taught about the Mass, taught prayers, taught about the saints before they ever stepped foot at Mass on a regular basis. They were very well prepared. And, yes, all 6, ages 16-28 are faithful Catholics to this day. They weren’t forced to come to Mass when very small & try to behave in a way that was beyond their age. I don’t expect small children to behave at Mass because they can’t; they too young to understand. Parents need to be willing to sacrifice in the best interests of their kids & not expect them to pay attention to something for an hour. Their attention span isn’t that long. I don’t think I’m the one with the problem. Sorry. But, Fr. Guardini agrees with me.

  • Sue

    Oh, and by the way, Jesus was NOT in the synagogue teaching the adults when he said “Let the little children come to me.” Let’s stop misusing His Words. When He taught, when He worshipped in the synagogue, He didn’t ask for chaos. He directed all attention to His Heavenly Father.

  • Danielck

    Too many, way too many people do not sit still and silent at Mass.
    Hacking, obnoxiously. Coughing unnecessarily. Throat clearing
    disruptively. It is the work of the devil and most do not know it. And
    unfortunately most of these folks who cannot control themselves are the
    same ones who support same sex marriage, contraception, the murder of a
    child in its mother’s womb, and folks like Obama, Mandela, many
    pro-athletes and the like. They do not frequent the confessional, and
    consequently receive the Holy Eucharist unworthily. They will never
    benefit from the Mass or the Holy Eucharist until they turn from their
    evil ways.

  • Lisa

    Hi Sue, I’m sorry that I sense some defensiveness in your reply and I didn’t mean to offend you. And I am not here to one up you. I don’t need Fr. Guardini to agree with me. I am simply just expressing a different view or opinion on the matter. Jesus may not have been teaching the adults at the time, but I hardly think that He would tell us to leave our kids home, when He clearly said that the Kingdom belongs to them, and if we are not as such, we will not inherit this Kingdom. Did children Not cry or make noises back then? Don’t you think such people belong at the Mass, where we have the closest thing to Heaven on earth? Mass isn’t just about us. That is one mistake a lot of people make and it’s becomes a dangerous thought, because I have heard a lot of Catholics who had become protestant, because they just didn’t “get anything” out of Mass. The point of Mass for us should be what we can give to God, and to receive the Graces that come from being there and receiving Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. You were very fortunate to be able to attend Mass without your children and have that one hour of peace and quiet that you needed, but there are those of us who would not be able to make it to Mass at all if we were expected to be there without our children. Do you think God would be happy about that? Do you think Jesus would have been offended about a baby making a noise? I have 8 children and it is not easy to get them ready and off to Mass every Sunday. It is quite a sacrifice for me and would be much easier to go by myself. It’s not an option for me. I do it,
    because I love God. If I decided to stay home…it would be, because it was easier for me. Following Christ isn’t about what’s easiest for us. Mass is about bringing everything you have to God every week and worshipping Him to the best of your ability with your Church family. My children are a part of that Church family. I do however have no problem with a priest deciding at his own parish that he wants to reserve one Mass a week just for adults. I never argued against that. I just don’t feel that children should be banned from the Mass and I feel there is a place for everyone at Mass. Have a great day!

  • Lisa

    Oh and by the way. I actually have 8 children, because I love God. If I didn’t want to give Him my whole life I wouldn’t have these 8 children. I really don’t think that He would bless me with 8 beautiful children and then tell me not to come to Mass until they are grown. God bless you.

  • Lisa

    I also found another article, http://catholicexchange.com/contraceptive-sanctuary-bring-your-baby-to-church , from this very same website that clearly expresses what I have been trying to say. Some food for thought, “As far as Catholics are concerned, babies are not merely tolerated. They have a right to be in Church. IF YOU ARE BAPTIZED, YOU BELONG. PERIOD. END OF STORY.”……..
    and even a comment below the article from a priest who apparently agrees with me and wrote exactly what I was trying to express in better words from this article:

    “I don’t see why children should not be at Mass. I do not consider it selfish to bring them to Mass either. If they are causing annoyance to others in Church, let us remember that the Catholic Mass is a place where we bring our pains and annoyances and unite them to Christ’s suffering so that it becomes life-giving. Let the offended ones unite their sufferings with Christ’s self-offering and offer up their annoyances for the salvation of souls. Personally, as a priest myself, I see a crying or fussing child during the Mass as a reminder to speak clearly, louder and give shorter and more direct sermons. Remember Jesus’ words, “From the hearts of babes, you have found perfect praise.” For the love of God, bring our little brothers and sisters to Mass. They belong there.”

  • Philip Sieve

    I agree with the article writer. Some think we need to be clapping and dancing, because it’s a celebration. It is also the holy sacrifice of the Mass, thus not the kind of celebration the world recognizes as such. It’s not an archaic, white thing, either. You don’t see Muslims and Buddhists (and I’m sure not most occultists) dancing around and clapping at their important rites. Guess whose numbers are rising and replacing ours? They may be too much in awe, if taught right who they believe their worship is to and what they believe happens. Maybe we aren’t, because we are trying to be “related to” (most are white, except at certain ethnic-population populated Masses) and not trying to relate to our lord and savior. We were led to the cross easier with the priest facing the same direction most the time (I never experienced that, except at ICKSP and FSSP Masses). If we were taught at school and occasionally as the homily what wonders happens at Mass, like angels above, especially as happens during the consecration, we may not need the crutch of upbeat tunes and misplaced clerical humor in the West and clapping and dancing in places like Africa.

MENU