Before Mass Silence


I have always liked showing up to mass an hour and a half early.
Rosary is at 11:30 am. Mass is at noon.
Large church. Only an older woman in last row is usually there.
I read during this time. But a woman in her mid 70s soon arrives
and then a man in his mid sixties. Like clockwork.
They talk. Not a minute of pause between them. Not loudly.
He’s proud of it too, once saying “ I started up this tradition”.

They used to arrive at 11:10 am or so.
Now they are there at 10:30 am.
They talked today…obviously…one had a colonoscopy…etc …it’s just frustrating.

Can anyone sympathize with me ?
I usually sit in the 5th row. Today, I got up, and sat in the last row of the church. It didn’t help. Only difference, I could see them. As if they were on a park bench by the pond. Right up till rosary starts.


Could you move to a more quiet area?


It’s a very human problem, for which alas, there is no quick remedy. It’s one reason why I like a setup where the tabernacle is in a side adoration chapel, like at our abbey. It’s a hushed, quiet and beautiful place adjacent to the nave of the conventual church, but separated by a thick brick wall. And given its nature, the people that turn up there before Mass are the “hard core” faithful who love to pray and meditate before the Blessed Sacrament, and for whom the sign that says “SILENCE” is taken very seriously indeed. It’s my favourite place before Mass or when I have some time to kill in the abbey.

If that’s not possible, and if it’s a large church, I’d experiment with sitting in different places.

Or you could buck up and issue a very loud “SHHHH!” I have done it myself more than once as have others.


Could you bring along some earbuds and play some nature sounds to block out the noise? Or some other form of white noise. Or perhaps some sacred music.


I can empathize. Prior to mass should be a time for quiet reflection and to align our minds to our Lord and comprehend what we are about to partake in… which is Jesus’ physical presence in the Eucharist. It is not a time for idle chit chat. Let that be part of post mass conversation.


Personally, I prefer silence and stillness.


Perhaps it would be worth having a chat with your priest and ask him if he could remind everyone that silence should be observed in the church - maybe by mentioning it when reading the notices or by putting something in the newsletter?

Is there a parish room that could be opened before / after Mass for people to socialise?


I do too, but if Bobby Joe keeps going on about what his wife is cooking up for dinner tonight then I’d probably choose the white noise :joy:


It’s is something I come across in most parishes round my way tbh. I usually just pray in my pew and kind of blank out what’s going on around me only noise I am still kinda tuned for is the bell ring at the beginning of mass, but I do like 15-20 silence to empty my head of the outside world before mass. I think for some it is a social thing to do have a wee chat before mass could be with older parishioners that they maybe don’t see many folks over the course of the week so feel inclined.


The older lady is actually a helper Eucharistic minister.
The man - he always does one of the decades of the rosary.
To go SSSHHH ! - made me to smile.
I have been going there for six years.
Today…they got the best of me.
I got inner angry, just slightly.
It thus sadly unbalanced me.

Such is life.


When he broke open the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. ~ Revelation 8:1


I generally move seats if it’s really disturbing, but I have also been training myself to pray and focus on God even in the noisiest settings, so that I can be praying while standing in line at the post office, or with someone’s kid making a racket in the pew behind me at church.
You can get yourself into a state of concentration that you don’t even notice this stuff. It’s a useful skill to have.


Yes ! I’ll be looking forward to that day !


What do you mean by this? You do understand that Catholics are Christians? That Catholics are followers of Jesus?


Lost today is the value of sacred silence. Our church is getting noisier every year. That is the consequence of horizontal worship.


It’s pretty obvious from this and your other posts that you are strongly anti-Catholic. That doesn’t fly here. We go to church.


I sympathize with you. I like silence myself. My church is usually quiet but I’ve been in others where it’s so loud you’d think you were in a tavern. It’s sad when you can go to a movie theater and the people waiting for the movie to start are quieter than the people in church before Mass.


This is a very sad response. The talking is irreverent and an offense against religious piety which is a gift of The Holy Spirit. One can “fellowship” with these two by instructing them on how their talking is inappropriate in a place reserved for reverence and prayer.

Your judgement that the poster does not have a personal relationship with Jesus is a spirit of pride. Your relationship with Jesus fills your soul. That is a good thing and not of your doing, it is a gift from Him. Do not take it for more than it is. It is not a confirmation of your beliefs and the way that you worship. It is not a confirmation on your being right about all doctrine and religous practice. Go back to that spirit that you had when you got saved, that spirit that allowed you to accept The Lord into your heart. That brokeness and willingness to learn and be led is the “poor in spirit” that will lead you on the way through the rest of the beatitudes.


I go about 45 minutes early for the silence and prayer time. I sit with and older widow and find she is so lonely. We share our prayer requests and brief pleasantries. Another widow comes over and sits for about five minutes. This is about ten minutes before Mass. I’m torn because I love the silence, but also feel the need to show love to my neighbors. They are lonely and have prayer needs.


In my opinion, there should be only silence before mass. Even the rosary, if prayed, should be a silent devotion as not to disturb others who are praying… Silently.

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