Applauding the choir

Does the congregation at your parish ever applaud the choir after Mass? They do it once in a while at my parish, and I’m ambivalent about it. On one hand, I think it’s nice to show appreciation for the choir, but on the other hand, it’s not a theatrical performance.

Well, speaking as a member of the choir, I personally could do without it. Makes it feel more like a performance than an ministry, which actually makes me more nervous about being up there.

The congregation (what remains to the end of the closing song, that is) always applauds after every Mass and since we got our new music director a couple of months ago, the applause has gotten louder and louder, so I would say they’re applauding for us in the choir.

Once or twice they have applauded after a song during Mass and once or twice Father has invited the congregation to applaud.

I disagree with it entirely. There is to be no–I repeat–no clapping during Mass. I didn’t even clap for the veterans when they gave them a blessing on Veterans’ Day weekend. Why would clapping for the choir be OK?

I believe that clapping for the choir is wrong. The choir has a ministry of praising God. Part of our worship. I sang in the choir in an evangelical church a few years back before I became catholic. Very often the congration would clap and it made me feel as if they were applauding our performance. I would much rather it would have the effect of moving them to go deeper in praise to God.

I’m in our parish choir and at first I was embarrassed by applause. In fact I didn’t even want to be in front of people, I wanted us to be in the choir loft. :wink: But, come to find out, it’s monsignor’s way or the highway. :eek: So, eventually, it came to make no difference to me. :shrug: It’s not appalling to me that the people applaud after Mass. The choir is a ministry, true. However, it’s also music practice and, yes a bit of performing as well as trying to give true feeling and deliver the meaning of what we are singing. Sometimes it’s inspired, sometimes it’s more of an effort to do some of the music. Our choir director is an inspired professional musician of a high caliber. There are two semi-professional singers among us who give strong support to all of us. Personally, I try to be inspired, sing to the Lord and project that inspiration. I am not always successful in doing so. :o Therefore, the very least I can do is stay on key and know what I’m doing so the parishioners in the pews might glean some inspiration from what we’re doing. If they applaud, it’s their way of saying they appreciate what we did, and I for one am not going to fault them for it.

Did you thank ALL the veterans in that Mass in some other way?

Leaves me to wonder if anyone applauded at the Last Supper when they sang their hymn. (cf.Matthew 26:30) “Then after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

Yes, there is applause at the end at my church. I don’t think its necessary, but it happens. :shrug:
What I really don’t like is clapping while we’re singing more upbeat hymns… that happened during school masses. Our choir director told us not to clap along, and that the students were discouraged to, but everyone still claps, even some teachers.

The fact of the matter is that the Mass is not about thanking or praising anybody but Him–whether the individual be a veteran or not.

There are very few occasions when clapping is warranted at Mass, and even if Andrea Bocelli made a guest appearance as your cantor, clapping for music is never appropriate. If it is a baccalaureate Mass, a wedding, or perhaps your pastor’s 50th anniversary of ordination, it would be acceptable. Musicians should be heard and not seen.

If the congregation wants to show appreciation for the music ministry, let there be a second collection at the end of Mass, and applaud in that way.

If we wish to show appreciation, we could pray for the choir, offer them words of encouragement, sing along with them etc. Applause associated with the liturgy tends to be used for support, such as when the Bishop-elect is presented to the Church. It doesn’t seem so appropriate to applaud the choir regularly for a good Mass sung.

I am a Choir Director…

it makes me cringe when we get “exit applause”

At my parish, there has been clapping after the end of our 10 AM Mass for the choir, the past few times I’ve attended it. I’ve also heard clapping after the pre-Mass meditative music. That irritates me even more, because it implies (to me, at least) that the music was not aid to prayer but a performance to be listened to. (It’s also rarely, if ever, played on the organ, and rarely, if ever, sacred music.)

If they clap for the choir, why don’t they clap for the lector or reader if he or she proclaims the Scripture readings well? Why don’t they clap for the altar servers? For the priest?

I’m not a fan of clapping in a liturgical setting.

In the United States, applause/clapping is the way to say a corporate “Thank you.”

In many situations, e.g., a crowded Mass filled with families, small children, and the elderly, it is impractical for all of these folks to make their way to the front and say “Thank you” to each and every member of the choir, the director, and the instrumentalists. Applause is an appropriate way for the congregation to express their thanks to those who have sacrificed their time and donated their talents to serve the Lord Jesus and His children.

Although the Sacrifice is sufficient and praise-worthy without music, music does help to make the experience of the Mass more real and vital and emotional for most people.

In the story of the ten lepers, only one leper returned to say “Thank you” to Jesus. Jesus did not condemn the leper, but rather, praised him. It is GOOD to encourage each other, to be courteous and charitable and kind to each other. I cannot understand how so many of you twist something good into something bad, and how you can ascribe evil to good. We used to have an expression in the Protestant church–“They see a demon behind every tree.”

In the U.S., where uncivility and rudeness is the rule rather than the exception, I think that ANY expression of the good old-fashioned phrase, “Thank you” is right and wholesome and charitable.

What better place to say “Thank you” than in a Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, where we come to give thanks to Jesus for His sacrifice and to receive Him in Holy Communion even though we deserve nothing but death?

Giving thanks to our brothers and sisters in Christ who we can see and hear helps us to learn to give thanks to the Lord God, Whom we do not see or hear.

Those of us who play and sing the music of the Mass do so ONLY because Jesus has given us the talent to do so. JESUS is singing and playing through us, using our voices, our hands, our feet, our minds–when you applaud us, you are really applauding HIM!

We could all use a lot more tangible expressions of love. The last few months have been pretty bad for me, between work and other involvements where love is hard to find and people are all too-ready to give me the finger instead of a round of applause. I have been depressed and discouraged all too often. It is a wonderful encouragement to me when someone thanks me for my music, either through their words or their applause. It means the same thing–“Thank you.” Good words, appropriate for Mass, because love is what the Mass is all about.

Jesus Christ has commanded us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. To love each other, to say thank you to each other, does NOT take away any of the glory that belongs to the Lord, but rather, GIVES Him more glory. When Christians love each other, it demonstrates the POWER of the Sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

Finally, if it doesn’t seem to bother the priest, why does it bother you? Isn’t HE the ordained authority in the local parish? Share your concerns with him. I’ll bet he’ll say something similiar to what I’ve said in the above paragraphs.

Applause is one of the most irreverent things that can be done during Mass, IMO. I hate it when people act as if the choir is singing for them or their enjoyment; the songs are for God. If you want to clap, go to a concert. If you wish to compliment the musicians, do so quietly after Mass.

This is just one of the many ways people are making the Mass less solemn and special.

I don’t think there is anything wrong since it occurs after the mass. However, it is another move towards entertainment instead of reverence as would be with chants.

Do you only say “thank you” to people when they “entertain” you? Of course not.

There are many reasons to say “Thank you,” either through words or clapping. E.g. perhaps a song has touched a person’s heart in such a way that they are now closer to God and more docile to His Will for their lives. That’s not exactly “entertainment.”

Applause is NOT the same as a “compliment.” Applause is a way for the entire congregation to say, “Thank you.”

Since when is saying “Thank you” to someone the same as giving them a compliment? It’s not!

And since when is saying “thank you” a sin?

Since when does saying “thank you” make the Mass less solemn and special?

I assume that the anti-applause folks never says “Thank you” to the priest for his homily after a Mass?

Or never says, “Thank you” to the usher for conducting them to a seat?

It would be hypocritical for an individual to say “Thank you” when you do not believe that an entire congregation can say “Thank you” corporately. If saying “Thank you” is wrong, then it’s wrong for everyone, singles and congregations.

And if you truly want the entire congregation to queue up and wait for a half hour or so to say “Thank you” to each and every choir member, the director, and the instrumentalists, well, I personally think THAT practice would make the Mass less solemn and special, not to mention make it difficult for the NEXT Mass on the schedule to ever get started. And frankly, as a pianist, I really don’t want to shake hands with several hundred people after every Mass!

C’mon, the way some of you are talking, applause is equal to doing a nekkid dance.

I never do, and if I were in the choir, I wouldn’t want anyone to.
I would be singing to /playing for God, not you.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit