Doing some technical organ sound check, singing new songs before the Mass, etc

Hi all, I am a choir minister in our parish and i have some few questions regarding doing some stuffs before the start of the mass.

Since we are just in a community parish, are we allowed to check the volume of the sound systems, mics etc? Even though some people are silently praying? Specially the volume of the sound of the organ that we use. During weekday mass, we don’t have much parishioners attending than Sundays.

I know the unnecessary noise/sounds that we mustn’t do anyway.

If we are allowed to do that, do we have some documentation regarding that?

Thank you in advance!

Why do you need documentation? Is somebody trying to stop you carrying out these tests that are obviously needed? Better leave the question in the pastor’s hands. He’s the boss in his parish.


The pastor is the boss.

If he wishes you to wait, then, come in 30 minutes earlier.


There’s no “official” answer to that. The Church building is where we come together to pray the Mass. There is a need to balance those who are preparing the physical aspects such as sound checks with those who are preparing themselves spiritually with prayer. My personal view is that those whose prayer can be disturbed by your activities are not praying hard enough. However, you need to seek out the views of your Parish Priest.

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We practice for 3/4 hour before Sunday Mass. We also practice half an hour before funerals and events. Unless we are told not to, that day.
We dont check volumes as they remain static. We turn mics on just before Mass starts. A tap will determine if they are plugged in and on.

Unfortunately yes. The one who stop us always is someone who’s elder than the priest and always with him whenever there are vicariate meetings. Even though our worship ministry head don’t know what to do with her. Thank you for the response by the way :slight_smile: I’ll take the note what you’ve said about deep prayer.

But the problem is, the sister who always keep us stopping us doing that, always complain directly to the priest. Thanks for the response by the way :slight_smile:

I would discuss this with the priest. I guess also there is a difference between a simple quick sound check or a song or two and people running all over the place loudly doing stuff. But the best thing is that you get the priest to take a firm decison and to inform the other individuals who are unhappy. Maybe they think the priest doesn’t approve and you think he approves and as long as he doesn’t provide clarification, there won’t be an amicable solution.

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Our 8:00 AM Sunday Mass ended at roughly 9:00 AM. Since our choir sang only at the 10:00 AM Mass, we practiced between Masses. The bulletin clearly stated that choir practice would begin at 9:12 AM, but as a nod (and Brownie point!) :innocent: to those still praying, the choir didn’t actually begin practicing until 9:15. Any sound adjustments were made at the beginning of practice, although we didn’t have an amplification system. The bulletin clearly stated that we’d stop practice at 9:55, but we usually stopped at 9:50. :innocent: Lol! Parishioners were always bragging on our giving them more silence for personal prayers. We bought so much good will with those few extra minutes!

Perhaps our experience could help you? I do think that any testing or adjusting should be done when it’s least intrusive to praying parishioners, within reason.

When you meet with Father, explain that if the sound is not corrected, the resulting noise will be bothersome to parishioners and dishonoring Our Lord, since you would have no way to sound good for Him. If the priest gives a flat-out “No,” maybe you’d want to consider not singing until proper testing and adjusting could be done? In that case, of no music at all, the priest might say “Yes”?

Perhaps others will have more ideas for you. I don’t know about other countries, but I believe that all US Churches have parish councils. You might enlist their help? Good luck! :grinning:


The General Instruction of the Roman Missal has in n. 45:

“Even before the celebration itself, it is a praiseworthy practice for silence to be observed in the church, in the sacristy, in the vesting room, and in adjacent areas, so that all may dispose themselves to carry out the sacred celebration in a devout and fitting manner.”

In Ceremonial of Bishops , n. 170, at the end of the chapter “Stational Mass of the Diocesan Bishop” it has after Mass, in the vesting room:

“All are to be careful in observing silence, out of respect for a spirit of recollection and the holiness of the house of God.”

Does this mean that babies are banned from churches? Obviously not. But there are provisions made in the Rite of Baptism of Children . The ceremony is described as beginning at the entrance to the church, with questions like “What name do you give your child?” and the celebrant signs each child on the forehead. Then it has:

“42. The celebrant invites the parents, godparents, and the others to take part in the liturgy of the word. If circumstances permit, there is a procession to the place where this will be celebrated, during which a song is sung, ….

43 . The children to be baptized may be carried to a separated place, where they remain until the end of the liturgy of the word.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to the “care of infants” as a reason not to participate in the Eucharist. It has in 2181: “For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.”

[Excerpt from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL). Excerpt from the English translation of Ceremonial of Bishops , © 1989, ICEL. Excerpt from English translation of the Rite of Baptism of Children , © 1969, ICEL. All rights reserved.]

Sounds like time to schedule a sit down meeting with your Pastor.

In general I am in agreement, but that leaves unanswered the question of just how far from the beginning of the celebration silence should be observed. Five minutes? Fifteen minutes? From the time that the doors are unlocked?

This does not seem to be a problem at our parish. We attend the 11:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday mornings, and all of the settings carry over from the 8:30 Mass.


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