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  #1  
Old Nov 24, '06, 10:32 am
PyroAlchemist PyroAlchemist is offline
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Default Closing eyes during prayer

I know most Catholics don't do it but is it OK to close one's eyes during public prayer? As a former evangelical I was taught that the correct posture was either standing or kneeling with hands folded and eyes closed. As a Catholic I generally still close my eyes and fold my hands during prayer. I find that it keeps me focused. For several years after I converted, I was a member of a choir that was made up mostly of professional musicians. Since it was just another gig for many of them there often were things going on in the loft behind the congregation that were not conducive to worship. Closing my eyes during all the prayers helped but I eventually dropped out of the choir because I just couldn't stand lack of respect. Sadly, the worse offender was a practicing Catholic.
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  #2  
Old Nov 24, '06, 10:39 am
Prague Prague is offline
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Default Re: Closing eyes during prayer

I have been a Catholic for 62 years, and close my eyes quite often, and find I can focus better when I do.
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  #3  
Old Nov 24, '06, 11:03 am
Reepicheep Reepicheep is offline
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Default Re: Closing eyes during prayer

Certainly it's okay.
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  #4  
Old Nov 24, '06, 10:27 pm
Mike Dye Mike Dye is offline
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Default Re: Closing eyes during prayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by PyroAlchemist View Post
I know most Catholics don't do it but is it OK to close one's eyes during public prayer? As a former evangelical I was taught that the correct posture was either standing or kneeling with hands folded and eyes closed. As a Catholic I generally still close my eyes and fold my hands during prayer. I find that it keeps me focused. For several years after I converted, I was a member of a choir that was made up mostly of professional musicians. Since it was just another gig for many of them there often were things going on in the loft behind the congregation that were not conducive to worship. Closing my eyes during all the prayers helped but I eventually dropped out of the choir because I just couldn't stand lack of respect. Sadly, the worse offender was a practicing Catholic.
There just seems to be a lack of reverence for anything anymore, Nothing is more annoying than the chatter, gum chewing, wild kids, whispering etc at Mass. I think the pastors would be well advised to educate their flock on a regular basis on what is really happening at Mass.
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  #5  
Old Nov 25, '06, 7:20 am
cheddarsox cheddarsox is offline
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Default Re: Closing eyes during prayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by PyroAlchemist View Post
I know most Catholics don't do it but is it OK to close one's eyes during public prayer? As a former evangelical I was taught that the correct posture was either standing or kneeling with hands folded and eyes closed. As a Catholic I generally still close my eyes and fold my hands during prayer. I find that it keeps me focused. For several years after I converted, I was a member of a choir that was made up mostly of professional musicians. Since it was just another gig for many of them there often were things going on in the loft behind the congregation that were not conducive to worship. Closing my eyes during all the prayers helped but I eventually dropped out of the choir because I just couldn't stand lack of respect. Sadly, the worse offender was a practicing Catholic.
I was in the choir when I was young, in the Catholic church, and I was appalled by the constant chatter, talk, focus on music, whispering from the organist to the chorists,etc. Almost invariably, during the consecration she would be giving us direction for the upcoming communion hymn. This dismayed me a lot.

cheddar
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  #6  
Old Nov 25, '06, 8:37 am
water water is offline
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Default Re: Closing eyes during prayer

I like to close my eyes too. However, when I knew I should have my eyes open, then I open my eyes. If there are some people who chitchat during Mass, then I do a quick praying for them and ask God to help them realize what they should be doing inside the church. After praying, I try to let go things that might distract me and continue on with my focusing to the mass.
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  #7  
Old Nov 25, '06, 8:48 am
Lux_et_veritas Lux_et_veritas is offline
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Default Re: Closing eyes during prayer

Closing the eyes during prayer, to me, makes it more likely to focus on God, who is unseen, than if we keep our eyes open during prayer.

In fact, I close my eyes throughout various parts of the Mass to experience the more contemplative dimension in the Mass.
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  #8  
Old Nov 25, '06, 8:54 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Closing eyes during prayer

what does closing our eyes during prayer have to do with general disrespect during Mass, by choir members or others? Nothing. personal preference. If I am a member of a group, such as choir, youth group, altar servers, whatever who is consistently being disrespectful during Mass and disrupting the worship of others it is my duty first to speak to the members and leader of the group, and then to the pastor of no change is forthcoming. I am not obligated to sit still while others are disrupting the Mass. Whether or not my eyes are closed is beside the point.
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  #9  
Old Nov 25, '06, 9:03 am
katy katy is offline
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Default Re: Closing eyes during prayer

I close my eyes during parts of the Mass to help me focus and often during the Our Father to keep myself from doing mental stats on who is grabbing hands.
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  #10  
Old Dec 11, '06, 7:36 pm
birdsofdawn birdsofdawn is offline
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Default Re: Closing eyes during prayer

I sometimes close my eyes, but I don't like to keep them closed for too much of the time. It's nice to be able to concentrate briefly (especially at Sunday Mass, when the crowds are larger and there is therefore more noise), but I really love this family covenant; I don't want to block out the people around me. It's not just what is happening between me and God, it is what is happening between God and the whole Church, I am just a little one who is happy to be a part of the family. I am most 'at home' among the people I love. But then, I'm lucky, I have nice people at church.
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  #11  
Old Dec 11, '06, 8:22 pm
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LilyM LilyM is offline
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Default Re: Closing eyes during prayer

I do it reasonably often, though never during the Consecration at Mass
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  #12  
Old Dec 11, '06, 9:29 pm
Andruschak Andruschak is offline
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Red face Re: Closing eyes during prayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by PyroAlchemist View Post
I know most Catholics don't do it but is it OK to close one's eyes during public prayer?

I don't know about most Catholics, but this RCIA Candidate routinely closes his eyes during public prayer, IF he knows the words. It helps not having all those visual distractions.
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  #13  
Old Dec 11, '06, 9:29 pm
rosarywarrior rosarywarrior is offline
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Default Re: Closing eyes during prayer

I pray a lot with my eyes closed also. At Mass there are so many distractions and it seems if I am not looking my attention is focused more on what is being said. I am aware of all the people around me, as they never stop talking, but somehow I am able to focus on the Mass. Besides what is so special about looking at the back of someones head or watching their kids write on the pews or eat crackers? During the consecration and elevation of the Host and precious blood, I do watch and pray though.
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