Discomfort over clap-happy Mass

DH and I attend Mass at our local church most Sundays. There is a Spanish-language Mass once a month about an hour away that DH likes to attend, since his first and strongest language is Spanish. The problem is…the Mass has lots of clapping and tambourines and stuff. I really don’t enjoy it.

Does anyone else out there ever have to attend Mass done in a style that they really don’t enjoy? Rationally I know it shouldn’t matter, as long as you get to be in the Real Presence you shouldn’t complain, but that is one of the things that drove me nuts as a Protestant and now I have to sit through it again. Ack!

Drives me nuts as well. I avoid it when I can and grit my teeth when I can’t. I figure that that a Mass is a Mass as far as the important stuff goes, but so long as the important stuff is present there’s no reason not avoid pick one that doesn’t annoy you.

Thats why I attend the Latin Mass with all its splendor. Little chance of “worldly entertainment” and you get to focus on the beauty of a formal and dignified mass.

I also like the fact that during communion I dont have to “change lanes” in order to receive the Eucharist from the priest or deacan and I can kneel before Jesus with out causing confusion in the ranks.

Attending mass in a form you find unpalatable just might be an example of the ultimate joy st. Francis talked about. It might be an opportunity too great to pass up!

Peace and all good!

I don’t have the opportunity to attend a clap-happy Mass, but I do get annoyed by the Masses for people who hate singing. I know that it doesn’t take away from Christ’s presence in the Eucharist but it does take away from the experience for me. It gets on my nerves because I’m the type where if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right and if there’s anything worth doing it’s Mass! Seriously, people! Christ died on the cross for our sins and we can’t take an extra 45 seconds and sing his praises in the Gloria like grateful Catholics? What is so important that we have to rush everything along? That’s the end of my gripe.

I totally understand and sympathize with the original poster.

My parish has 3 masses in english and one in spanish. But this past spring at the Easter Vigil, the mass was said 50/50 english/spanish and all of the music was mexican clap/tap/shout. It really ruined the Easter Vigil for me and for a lot of other people as well. At any given time, half the congregation didn’t understand what was being said and none of the english-speakers could sing along.

Next year for the Easter Vigil I will definitely go to another parish.

I have a hard time believing that all Masses are like that in Mexico. Why do Spanish Masses have to be like that here? Couldn’t the music liturgist just find out what appropriate Mass settings are in use in Mexico instead of trying to turn the Eucharist into a Cinco de Mayo celebration? I’m sure they have many appropriate Mass settings to choose from that are authentic to the Spanish language and reverent enough for Mass.

I’m with you, OP. Ever since going to a Byzantine Catholic church, it’s something I haven’t had to deal with, by default, thankfully. If I do go to a Roman service, it’s on the weekday, where there isn’t any singing going on; and no danger of running into the celebratory like activities post mass.

Ugh, I know exactly what you mean. I, unfortunately, do not have a choice since all the Masses around my predominantly latino area are happy clappy. Im latino, and I do not like the clapping or the music. In reality, ever since I came back to the Church 2 years ago, I always felt that there was something wrong with the music and the clapping, although there are a few songs that I like when they are sung. Once, I started learning more and more about the faith, I have had more traditional sympathies in the liturgy than what I have to put up with. Unfortunately I have only attended 1 Latin Mass in my life time, since the nearest parish that offers it is 3 hours away from me. But, If I had an option, I would go to a Latin Mass everyday.

When I was younger, I though it was cool to sing and dance at mass. But I am the type who just can not listen to music without dancing;)

However, now that I am more serious in my faith, I can not stand all the rah-rah-rha-sis-boom-ba at a mass. How on earth can I hear a thing God is saying in through all that noise ! I also think it takes away from the serenity of God and easily can become a wordly place.

However oddly enough, since some people have mentioned mass in Mexico, I remember when I lived there in 1993 going to mass and there was none of that clapping where I went. I was impressed at how devout they were. People kneeling on a hard floor because there where no kneelers. The wasn’t enough room for everyone in the church so people would stand outside the opened doors and kneel on the concrete.


Oh, I hear you, OP! When visiting my childhood parish, where I attended Mass before I was married, the parishioners have a habit of applauding the choir after every Mass. The appreciation is nice, but I think it diminishes liturgical music to a performance for entertainment, rather than prayer. I just choose not to clap. My mother is in the choir and isn’t offended by my approach.

I find the “modern” music grating, but share PPs’ view that the style of the Mass is completely unimportant in context of what is occurring. The way I suppress my distaste for the folksy style services is to admire other parishioners’ enthusiasm and appreciate that they’re fully in engrossed in prayer. And isn’t that a beautiful thing, even if it sounds awful?

I don’t like that type either and we go to a parish with traditional music and such. Read the music documents and General Instruction on the Roman Missal from the Vatican website. There’s quite a lot that goes on at some of the happy-clappy places that really is NOT acceptable but there are people that didn’t bother to actually read Vatican II docs and just take someone’s word for it that “oh, it’s ok, it’s Vatican II” when it is not. I ran into that in Memphis and after reading the documents for myself saw that what was being called ok to do, was in fact, NOT ok to do.

Another cultural difference. It also depends upon the parish itself - I don’t think the Spanish Mass in the more orthodox parish would include a mariachi band, for example, as the non-orthodox parish seems to…

I don’t mean to be harsh, but you married a Mexican. :shrug:

I really can’t stand it when people clap for the choir at the end of Mass. The music should be a prayer even if it is entertaining as well. Since I don’t stand up and applaud people that attend adoration when they leave the chapel I don’t think we should be breaking out into applause after the choir finishes either.

They haven’t been giving us a show, they’ve been accompanying a Mass. The people who do it say "It’s a way to say ‘Thank you,’ " but the proper way to do that is to go up to them after Mass and say, “Thank you.”

They think they are doing a kind thing, but the choir doesn’t want to be clapped for and it disturbs the parishoners who are still praying.

Three times a month you go to Mass that you like, going to a Spanish mass once a month for your husband seems like a right thing to do. Do it as an act of love for him and try not to be too annoyed (or at least do not act on it) for the sake of your husband. Perhaps you can find something you like about that Mass and focus on the positive, because it looks like to me that you are stuck going there for the foreseeable future.

The Masses I’ve gone to in Mexico are not “happy clappy.” They are pretty traditional. I’ve noticed that a lot of my Mexican friends here in the US have gone Evangelical…in fact, I remember noticing there was a thread here on CAF about that shift, though I didn’t read it. Maybe Latino Masses here are trying to cash in on that?

Anyway, I haven’t said anything to DH about the fact that I can hardly stand going, and I don’t behave like a grumpy sourpuss or anything while there…I just had to gripe a bit!

I understand, sometime it is important just to have a place to complain…

Around my area, it’s not clapping to the choir, but clapping with the hymns, especially at the Sanctus.

I don’t want to play the race card or anything or derail the thread, but I don’t see anywhere where the OP mention that her husband being a Mexican. Mexico isn’t the only country that speaks Spanish…just saying. And like I mentioned before, I am latino, my dad is Salvadoran and my mom Mexican.

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