Clapping at funeral

Is it alright to clap for the deceased person at the liturgy? A person giving the eulogy asked everyone to stand and give the deceased an ovation. I have heard that two Popes have been against this practice of clapping in church at all. Some claimed that the request compromised their beliefs.

We should never clap in church.

Further, it’s very inappropriate to give the deceased an ovation at a funeral Mass. The purpose of the funeral Mass is to pray for the forgiveness of that person’s soul. Clapping hardly does this.

[The only time clapping is appropriate is at an ordination when (by ancient custom) the congregation expresses it’s support of the candidate.]

So which is it? We should never clap in church or there is a time when clapping is appropriate?

I can think of one time I sure wanted to clap at a funeral!!! :smiley:

Whenever I hear clapping at mass I wonder if John left out something

When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Did I miss the part where everyone clapped, yelled BRAVO! and ENCORE! :rolleyes:

It is also appropriate when someone is being baptized, Confirmed, or married, as well.

I have a difficult time imagining what would possess someone to clap at a funeral though, unless they had become utterly deranged by grief and sorrow.

No, it’s not appropriate at those times either.

The ordination ritual does not have clapping in the sense of applause–it is a way of the congregation expressing its “approval” of the upcoming ordination.

If that is the case, then wouldn’t it be the same for those either being baptized, confirmed or married? I recently attended a confirmation where the bishop asked everyone in attendance to clap afterwards in order to show our support and encouragement of those recently confirmed. In that sense it also wasn’t “applause”, but us approving these boys and girls being confirmed.

In regards to clapping at a funeral, whether or not it’s allowed, it just seems inappropriate at mass.

Well, frankly no. There is a difference. There is an ancient custom of “approving” the candidate for ordination which goes back before seminaries. This was the local community expressing the fact that the candidate was qualified to be ordained.

The ordination ritual specifically calls for this to happen. No such rubric exists in the other sacraments. That in itself is an essential distinction.

It’s one thing to follow the rubrics and perform the ritual as the Church defines it, it is quite another thing to add something which isn’t there.

We should never applaud anyone in church (and remember at ordination it isn’t applause), because we are in the presence of the Almighty, and our focus should be entirely toward Him. To put it another way, it’s simply rude to give applause to each other when we’re in God’s presence.

Thanks. I understand. So, ordination is the only time the rubrics actually call for “applause”. That explains why during the bishop ordination I attended there were rounds of “applause” while he blessed everyone in the cathedral during the mass immediately after he was ordained. I actually thought it was a little rude of the people especially when there was chanting by the choir. It just continued and continued. But now, I know the reason why it was allowed to continue.

Otherwise, no other time is it ever to happen. Maybe all these priests and bishops need a little refresher, then, for all the other sacraments.

How is it being rude to praise others for the good they have done? Jesus said, “What-so-ever you do to the least of my brethern, you do to me.” Does that not include the praise that we give to others? We are always in God’s presence and we should be mindful of that in everything we do whether in church or out.

At the end of Mass, Our pastor thanks a visiting priest who has been with us all week for helping out. And when the bishop comes, he always thanks the bishop. We acknowledge our support for them by clapping. I think it is important that we show our love and support for our priests, particularly in these times when there is so much negative publicity in the secular media about our Catholic priests.

Your biblical quote has nothing to do with the topic being discussed…

The only worthwhile praise will come from God for the good they have done. In the context of Mass (at the foot of the cross) our praise of someone means nothing. Your last sentence is the most profound with that understanding.

Your post doesn’t make sense to me. How was my last sentence “most profound with that understanding” of what you wrote?

First, as to your last sentence, I must unfortunately agree. Apparently, so did Pope John Paul II, which is why he gave the Church Redemptionis Sacramentum. The problem is that those who ignored the Church before the instruction, likewise continue to ignore the instruction.

Again, it is not “applause” it is an expression of approval, an “endorsement” of the candidate, if you will. It is a way of telling the bishop that the candidate is worthy of the order to which he is about to be ordained. It is not done to honor the candidate, as such.

But it should be done when the rubrics of the ordination rite call for it to be done, and not when the newly ordained is giving a blessing; that is rude. The problem with something like this is that someone gets the bright idea to start clapping during the blessing, and instinctively everyone else just starts clapping along too.

The Byzantine ordination ritual actually does a much better job of conveying what is realy happening. Here, there is no clapping. The bishop, clergy, and people all shout three rounds of the word “Axios!”–he is worthy.

What would be the contrary Greek exclamation if a particular candidate was not deemed worthy? For that matter, what would be the contrary form of expression in the Latin rite?

Note that the Rite of Sending of the Catechumens and/or Candidates to the Bishop includes a provision for the celebrant to ask the community’s approval for that action. Applause/Acclamation is the usual way of expressing that approval.

In Greek, it would be “Anaxios”

In the Latin usage, I don’t know what it would be. Silence perhaps?

And to anticipate the next question, I don’t realy know what would happen (or is supposed to happen) if the congregation expresses its disapproval. The ritual more or less presupposes that by the time he reaches that point, the candidate is indeed worthy. If not, I don’t know…

It does? It’s not in the printing that I have; at least I’ve looked and can’t find it. Please provide a paragraph number because I am unable to find it.

I’ve read numbers 530 and following, and while they do indeed say that the community is asked to express it’s approval, in #138 this is done by answering the priest’s questions with the words “they have” and “we do” There’s no mention of clapping, or anything else.

As it says “express approval” and there is no specification as to how. The verbal responses are for sponsors and RCIA team; nowhere does it specify this for the whole congregation. As I said, applause has become the custom in those places with which I am familiar. I have heard no objections.

The congregation isn’t making those responses; those are the Catechumens and their sponsors. The congregation then expresses its’ approval, after these words have been spoken by the Catechumens and their sponsors. In my area, too, this is normally done by clapping.

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