Super-Bowl-Runner-Up-Patriots-Helmet-Tip (ok, say that ten times really quick) to Lyn once again. Here's an idea she got from someone on another board she frequents:
One of my favorite games in noisy churches is to play a prelude that starts on the softest stop then gradually, subtly, grows louder and louder until FULL ORGAN, including the pew-rattlers and party-horns, is roaring full tilt. Then press a piston which retires all the stops except the Lovely Flute Celeste, and oh, what a grand cacophony of chattering, jibber-jabbering, yelling and shouting you will hear from the saintly seat-holders.
And boy, does Matilda Floppenbottum have egg on her face when she is heard shouting full blast to her gossip-partner Hilda Heavinbosum, "I HEARD THAT THE CHOIR DIRECTOR'S DAUGHTER IS ON THE PILL BECAUSE SHE HAS BEEN SLEEPING WITH THE PASTOR'S SON!"
At my last parish, especially at the Saturday Mass, I didn't even have to pull that trick. The "grand cacophony of chattering, jibber-jabbering, yelling and shouting you will hear from the saintly seat-holders" took place no matter what. Not only before Mass, but just as Father gives the "Ite Missa Est" - blah blah blah. It's often a game of "who's louder" between the people in the back pews chattering and the cantor announcing the closing hymn.
OK - here's the enhanced version of the trick indicated above. Do exactly what's in italics (not the bold). BUT - have the recorder on. Then, when you get to hear the gossip, start an anonymous blog and go to town on everything you've picked up on. OK - it's mean, yes. But if the right people pick up on it, it MAY teach a lesson to those who wish to blab within the church proper. :-)
My public service message for the day!