Applausing in Mass


I find I am getting irritated at the end of Mass and then feel guilty about it…

Before the dismissal the priest always says…

I’d like to thank the Choir. … ‘applause’
and the ushers…… ‘applause"’
The readers…… ‘applause’
The Children for being here…‘applause’
The Sacramental Ministers…‘applause’
Our very fine Altar server… ‘applause’

Then we get to the dismissal…

I feel this is ridiculous and over the top, why not just simply say… I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in todays celebration or similar. I leave Mass feeling guilty for feeling irritated at all these in my opinion excessive rounds of applause… thoughts go through my head such as ‘lets all jump up and down’ shouting great job… Bring out the Cheer leaders!

OK that’s my beef… Your thoughts please :slight_smile:


The exact thing happens at the end of Mass at my church and I am uncomfortable with it. The choir is not performing for me. The readers are not reading for me. The ministers and altar servers are not there for me. They are all there to serve and glorify the Lord, in my opinion, and I feel uncomfortable applauding for them like they are actors putting on a Broadway show for me. And then I feel grumpy and mean spirited for feeling that way because they do take time and effort to make the mass meaningful for me.


I don’t like it, either. So why don’t we do something about it and write our bishop? I’m going to look up the USCCB contact and write to all the U.S. bishops. I’ve always thought that clapping detracted from the solemnity of the Mass, especially at Christmas or Easter.


A good explanation.

I too dislike applause at Mass.


Same here


Don’t applaud but don’t be angry, either. Talk to your pastor about it.


Honestly, as a lector (who used to also be in the choir and be an altar server), I was always embarrassed at receiving applause after a Mass. Usually, though, in my exiperience, applause for the ministers usually only occurs at Christmas & Easter - primarily to thank them for all the hard work they did to prepare to help the congregation in prayer for these highest holy days of the Church. It’s a lot of hard work, and it’s the congregation’s way of saying, “We appreciate all the hard work that you did to help us pray.”

As for clapping for other reasons, though - IMHO, clapping is very appropriate when receiving people into the Church in baptism, and some songs (especially in Spanish) are traditionally clapped to.


It depends on the context. Clapping for a performance draws away from why it is being done in the first place, which is worshiping God. Clapping for a happy event is an act of fellowship. The former weakens the act of giving praise; the later reinforces it.


In our parish we applaud a child after his/her baptism to welcome the new member of our congregation. We also applaud the children during the family mass when they return from their liturgy class and tell us what they have learnt or drawn during their lesson.

To my way of thinking it is unreasonable to applaud the members of the choir, the Eucharistic Ministers, the meet and greet members. What about the ladies who make the tea after the service? What about the church cleaners? What about the flower arrangers?
What about the ladies who run the little shop selling rosaries, prayer books etc? And what about the members of the congregation who are very elderly and ill? Should they not be applauded for making the effort to come to mass? Every member of the congregation participates in the mass in their own way. I do readings at mass. I would feel embarrassed and humiliated if I were applauded. I only read because I know that I have the ability to read clearly and well so consider it my duty to do it as and when required. Having the ability and the opportunity to do it is its own reward.


Do not like it at all, either.
Just my two cents. I’m a hand shaker during the sign of Peace, a hugger (after Mass, not during the sign of peace) and if it’s a Charismatic Mass, I just might even raise my hands during song, but nope, not a clapper.


I don’t like clapping either. It detracts from the solemnity ot the Mass.
I don’t really like to hold hands during the Our Father either. I don’t even enjoy the sign of peace.

I guess the musicians and the cantor and the eucharistic ministers and altar servers and the choir and the ushers are very necessary, but maybe a small announcement in the bulletin every week to those who help might be okay.


I agree. We are not at a concert.


Thank you all so very much :smiley: for taking the time to respond. I was feeling so guilty, last week I decided not to ‘participate’ in the clapping. As I left I felt angry with the Priest for making me feel this way… Not a good space to be in…

I think I’ll take the advice and write to the priest and bishop and say how I feel :confused:


Psalm 47 says “Clap your hands, all peoples; acclaim God with shouts of joy.” So you could argue that clapping in a service could be ok but this applause I think should be directed towards God. I’ve not seen anything in the Bible about applauding each other.

It makes me think of a Pentecostal church I’ve been to a few times where applause, dancing and Christian rock entertainment is the norm. I agree with others that clapping is not right. It would detract from the solemnity of a Catholic service.


You’re talking about that. We had to stand up and clap because the local team had won their match the previous evening.


For me, it can be disturbing and find it unnecessary unless the applauses are directed to God or as part of giving some beats in a Spanish song (like someone mentioned). When it is not directed to God or while signing, I just put my hands together two times without sound to seem like I’m applauding, or I just don’t do it.


I do not worry about this. In my church, the applause is a minimal distraction, compared to the organist at the end of mass (who I believe must get upset by not being mentioned), as out comes the loudest ‘arrangement of keys’ at the end of the mass - feeling something similar to the ending of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s requiem (the stressful bit). Anyway, I believe this is the organists time (to shine), which otherwise might have been more harmonious, had the organ(ist) been included in the applause during mass. :yup:


Every week is excessive, but I’m not going to get to concerned for big masses. Giving thanks at the end of the Easter Mass, I won’t do it but won’t complain about it. Ordination Masses (not where it is called for) I have no issue with.

There are more pressing issues than applause in Mass to fix.


Mass is not the place to single out and give honor or praise to people. People are there for (1) Adoration (2) Contrition (3) Thanksgiving and (4) Asking for what they need.

The parish hall is for other things.


Yes, the Hispanic culture is big on clapping to the beat. But as we allowed for all-vernacular in the liturgy and music, this should be no problem. Unfortunately it tears some parishes apart.

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