Thursday, September 13, 2007

TO CLAP, OR NOT TO CLAP?

Fr. Erik rightfully points out via his latest post title:
"Note: When musicians are applauded at Mass, something bad is going on."

Then in the post itself, he mentions that a friend of his had visited a neighboring church and...
The choir (music group, whatever you want to call it) was up front and elevated in a prominent place. At the end of Mass, the entire congregation gave them a rousing round of applause. Paul, on the other hand, had to fight back the urge to ask the priest, "Father, the performance was great. When the heck is Mass?"

Don't-cha just love it when people think that the purpose of Holy Mass is to "gather, eat, and be entertained"? I had heard a while back that my predecessor used to pound it into her choir's heads that their work was "performance". Never mind sung prayer. Never mind sung Mass. Simply "performance". Entertain the people. Get your standing O at the end of Mass. It took 26 years before they finally had sent a pastor in his right mind enough to put a stop to such nonsense. (My predecessor lasted 28 years overall! Can you believe it?)

Entertain outside of church for cripes sakes! Sheesh!
Peace,
BMP

8 comments:

Jason Pennington said...

I learned when I was a tiny child (if you can believe that ever was true) that clapping in church was a major NO-NO, regardless what for (in the same breath, my mama taught me also never to turn around in the pew, for this reason I don't pass my viruses to the people behind me when ordered by the well-meaning deacon to "share the piece"). When there is clapping going on, you will see me sitting quietly, waiting for the embarassing moment to pass. Clapping in church is tacky and demonstrates extremely bad manners. Call me Victorian. I will respond with a hearty "thank you."

Brian Michael Page said...

Even at weddings, when they all start clapping after the words "You may kiss the bride", or "It is my pleasure to introduce to you the new Mr. and Mrs. Raoul Breckenridge", I just stand there, hands folded - with a smile for the couple (without the dentures showing, that is), but I won't clap.

BMP

Domini Sumus said...

What about during ordinations when the congregations is expected to give their consent through applause?

Lyn F. said...

Yeah, I agree with that. One of my fellow choristers (new to the parish) was wondering why no one claps after the organist finishes playing his postludes. I told her I wouldn't do that myself, nor do I want any applause after I play my postludes as all of what we do is an offering to God. She called me a Party Pooper, and that at her previous parish, they used to give the choir and the organist a Standing O after every Mass.

c.a. Marks said...

Oh this drives me crazy too. Happens all the danged time at our church. I don't "applaud"

Domini Sumus said...

Every once in a while the parishioners will applaud me and it drives me crazy.

Here is a quote from Ratzinger's Spirit of the Liturgy (198).

"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."

'nuff said!

PhiMuAlpha2681 said...

Applause as consent, in addition to ordinations as noted by Domini Sumus, is also in the Rite of Election.

Jason Pennington said...

I give my consent through dignified silence.