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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Please, No Applause in the Temple of God!

"I must express a wish...that in church you
 not shout out, that you not clap your hands,"
Fr. Z has a great post today that harks back to Pope John XXIII and his statement about applause in the "temple of God."

We go to a church in Round Rock, TX when we are visiting our son and his family. I love the parish. It's orthodox and whenever I've gone to Confession there it's an edifying experience. It's a huge parish but is surprisingly quiet before and after Mass. There's a pew bulletin that describes proper dress and behavior and offers other good Mass advice. Before Sunday Mass, they keep things quiet by praying the rosary from the pulpit. They often have a dozen altar servers. (Sorry to say there are girls among them.) But... (Does there always have to be a but?) at the end of Mass everyone bursts into applause for the choir. (They're excellent...but really?)

If I were in the choir, I would be sorry. Whatever we do in church, in whatever way we help to make the Mass beautiful, it should all be for the glory of God. I'm not saying that isn't the primary motivation of the choir, but when the congregation applauds the choir receives an earthly reward.

Where would you rather get your reward? From a little bit of applause here on earth? Or from the hands of Almighty God saying, "Welcome, good and faithful servant. You did it all for me."

Anyway, I wish the pastor would put the lid on it. And please, don't join in. There's a place for applause, but it's not in church. Like Pope John XXIII says, "The temple of God is the temple of God."

Don't turn it into a music hall.

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