I have been going to the same parish for a couple of years. All of the sudden, people are clapping after Mass has ended. What the heck is this about?
Some people started that at our parish this past Sunday and it is not something we usually do. I saw the group who started it and did not recognize them so I hope they were just visitors and that this too shall pass.
That’s really weird.
I can understand that people have appreciated the beauty and power of the Mass and they want to convey their thankfullness to the celebrant… but clapping is inappropriate. It’s not a concert or a play! A brief chat with the priest in the breezeway will suffice.
It is a local tradition to show thanks for the cantors/singers and other musicians. Some parishes do it, some do not, I feel it is a good thing to help keep the community spirit of the parish and it does help recruit more people into the music ministry which sometimes can be very hard to do.
Yuck! I would never like such a display. I betcha those musicians feel the same way. Once in a great while, the priest will give a word of thanks during the announcements and after an unusually grueling Mass (if Mass can be grueling). Even then I feel like crawling in a hole.
At least they wait until the mass is over. You should count your blessings. In my parish, they clap after the homily…
That makes sense.
It is unfamiliar to me because my religious background is that you don’t clap at worship services, ever, for any reason. I never saw this happen at a Mass until Pope Benedict’s visit to the US, and people clapped and cheered after Mass had ended. Maybe that is what started this new trend?
Thanks Jon for the correction. Things can always be worse.
While I can understand and sympathize with wanting to ‘appreciate’ the choir, etc., and to ‘foster community’ --come on, there are better and more appropriate ways than clapping in church. Community should not be made ‘higher’ than the one in whose honor they are doing what they do. . . and I do think that the over-emphasis on ‘people’ and the de-emphasis of the sacred nature of the worship space is a problem. I know Pope Benedict has spoken of the matter at least privately.
Having a notice in the bulletin thanking the members of various groups for all their work–donations to Catholic Charities in their name as a ‘thank-you’ and blessing, even waiting until after Mass, when everybody is over at the parish hall or outside the church proper having the near-obligatory coffee-and-donuts and then clapping there --all of these are ways to ‘foster community’ and to give appreciation that will not blur the sense of the sacred or cause distress to others. And yes, it does cause distress to those who, while appreciating the time and talent of others, find it disruptive of Mass if this happens during, or even though it might ‘technically’ be over, find that it intrudes as I said into the ‘sacred space.’
Now if I were saying that ‘people shouldn’t clap or acknowledge others at all, before, during or after Mass’–you could fault me for not caring about ‘community.’ But that isn’t what I’m saying. I’m saying there is a time and a place, that there are behaviors which, themselves praiseworthy (clapping and acknowledging the gifts of people) are not appropriate to certain spaces (sacred ones, like the inside of a church–even if ‘right after Mass.’ ) Yes, acknowledge the gifts of others–but do it at the proper time and place.
“Whenever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of the liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment.”
-Pope Benedict XVI
"…when we come to Mass we don’t come to clap. We don’t come to watch people, to admire people. We want to adore God, to thank Him, to ask Him pardon for our sins, and to ask Him for what we need.”
-Cardinal Arinze, head of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
I don’t understand the whole “clapping” thing at any point before, during, or after the mass.
My wife puts it well. She says clapping at mass is like being at Calvary during the crucifixion with your back turned to the cross and clapping for some guy who’s only narrating the event.
I thought the mass was supposed to be solemn! My buddy brought his wife to church a few weeks ago. She had not set foot in a Catholic church in over 30 years. The clapping (among a whole slew of other liturgical abnormalities) really turned her off, so to speak. That’s too bad.
In my church one time the Rector introduced a visiting co-celebrant (a Bishop) who was celebrating his birthday that day and in the congregation was a bus load of his friends and family. This introduction was made at the beginning of Mass. People clapped and clapped and I was outraged. I had wished that the Bishop had stayed in his own church to celebrate his birthday.
On another occasion after Mass had ended the Rector introduced a group from a nearby military facility; he called out two of the group who were soldiers and people clapped for them and the choir sang “God Bless America.” Even though the Mass had ended I still didn’t like this show. It made it difficult for people who wanted to remain behind to pray and thank God for the blessings they had received in the Mass.gopray2:
Strange, that is exactly what has kept me from being in that ministry!!
It says in your profile that you are a life-long cradle Catholic, so am I and I know, and you know, that that is not suppose to be done. The traditional thing to do after Mass is to kneel down and pray a prayer of thankfulness, not clap for someone.
You must also know that we were never to clap unless the Priest led the clapping, and since he is out of the buliding by the time they are finished playing and singing, obviously he isn’t leading it.
The whole purpose of not clapping is to keep in mind that it is Jesus that we are suppose to be in silent prayfulness before His Real Presence. I find the clapping and whooping it up to be very distracting to my prayers.
I find these rare and special circumstances alright.
This would be the ideal solution.
A handful of people here say “amen!” after the homily. I find it odd because this very group of people considers themselves to be very orthodox.
Is it possible that the clappers were just glad the service was over?
Clapping is pretty childish to do at Mass and shows a complete misunderstanding of what the Mass actually is.
Would you clap for someone at the foot of the Cross at Calvary?
Is the Mass the same Sacrifice? If you are Catholic and believe then you have to agree that it is the same Sacrifice or you reject the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross which is united at every Mass.