Is it OK to listen to an MP3 player prior to Mass and afterwards as well?

Would there be any problem with listening to to appropriate music (Gospel, Gregorian Chant, etc.) through ear buds prior to the beginning of Mass and after its conclusion to block out all the talking and other noise so long as no one else could hear it?

I was thinking about the person who wears ear muffs/plugs at my parish to block out all the talking and other noise. The ear buds are tiny – hardly noticeable, the players are very small and I could easily and discreetly remove them prior to the beginning of Mass.

I think I might just give this a go.

Try a traditional mass. It is reverent and silent.

If you must assist at a mass in which the talking interferes with prayerful reflection, go for the little foam earplugs. If only you could also wear a sleep mask to block out the visuals!

You mean the Extraordinary Form of the Mass? No thanks. I can do without the harsh grimaces and the downright odd and severe behavior (not to mention the squeaky synthesizer trying to be a pipe organ) at the local EF.

As far as the visuals, I can simply look at my missalette.

Talking and carrying on like a coffee house is odd and severe. But, if that is your preferred scene, then really…try the little foam earplugs. Although the earbuds and mp3 player would blend in with hardly a notice in most parishes these days.

A synthesizer for a pipe organ? Yikes.

Stop trying to derail this thread. If you want to promote the EF go to another forum. I would really like to hear some other peoples’ inputs in response to my actual question.

[quote=Armor of Light;11053908. Although the earbuds and mp3 player would blend in with hardly a notice in most parishes these days.

Really? How many parishes have you visited, then?

OK, Let’s re-cap…

  1. You state problem.
  2. I reply with 2 suggestions.
  3. You reply with reports of negative experience with 1 suggestion and don’t comment on suggestion #2
  4. I suggest #2 again without promoting #1
  5. You get snarky and accuse me of derailing.


We can promote the EF here BTW…it is a catholic forum.

Also, try the earplugs.

Most likely more than you. I’m old.

If you want to know if it’s “OK,” then ask your pastor.

In my opinion, it’s not ok. I know the distractions can be very difficult, but those difficulties could also be edifying if you let them. Pray for more reverence in your parish, and model it yourself. The ear phones would not really be modelling reverence. That’s probably why you’re wondering whether or not it would be ok, because you can guess how it would look to others.

This topic interests me because I have the same issue! The talking before mass is pretty wide spread in my parish, but I do give people credit for showing up early. I like the foam earplug idea. They are pretty unobtrusive and I use them at work, so I can attest to their noise cancelling quality. Good idea and much better than toting an mp3 player around. I can see how that might cause unwanted attention or scandal.

My parish is full of “talkers” as well---- you will not find silence prior to our masses! Drove me nuts, until I decided to do something about it. I joined a ministry that takes place just prior to mass to avoid being in the sanctuary at all! I am sure there are enty of things you could do as well, such as: be an usher/greeter, sacristan, lector, or coffee maker/donut setup, etc.

I learned that if I want silence I either pray at home or go to the church when mass is not taking place.

This one isn’t up to my pastor. While I still don’t understand why some people act so rudely at Mass it is he and his predecessors that allow it. That pretty much disqualifies him in my mind from passing judgement on this matter.

I (and a great many others) have had to endure those distractions for years. During that time I have learned how to focus on the readings, prayers and a couple of decades of the Rosary despite what’s going on around me. (I wonder if I can find a good recording to pray along with in an MP3 file?)

If there is a technological tool that can block out that horrid din and help me to relax I think it bears investigation. I ordered an MP3 player tonight. I sorta wonder if I can get Immaculate Heart Radio inside of my parish church?

Thanks. I was thinking of the fellow in my parish who wears ear plugs and muffs (an old marksmen’s trick) before and after Mass. He is a very low key individual and no one really notices. I suspect my pastor would notice headphones on me so I don’t want to take the chance (or I would have bought some of those Bose noise cancelling headphones long ago). Ear plugs alone aren’t going to cut it for me. Ear buds on the other hand are nearly invisible.

Good music is very uplifting and edifying. Seems to me it’s a great tool to assist with preparing for the Mass even if rude people weren’t making noise.

I have already begun to create a play list. First, my favorite recording of the Litany of the Saints. “Benedictus” by The Priests, All Creatures of Our God and King, etc. etc. My MP3 player should be here to use at Mass a week from this coming Sunday.

I’m sorta excited. All I have to worry about is not singing along. Then again, maybe I will.

To keep to your original question, it wouldn’t bother me to see someone before Mass with ear buds in, depending on what the person was doing. It would be one thing if [s]he had a reverent, prayerful demeanor; it would be quite another thing if [s]he were dancin’ and jivin’ on the pew.

In response to the comment about using a sleep mask to remove visual stimuli (:bigyikes:), I just take my glasses off, and everything becomes a blur.

Edit: I’m thankful to report that we don’t have that problem at our parish.

So long as you remove them before Mass, I see no reason why you could not do this. Some may complain that it takes aways from the “community aspect”, but as someone who has a very crazy schedule, sometimes I need that 15 minutes before or after Mass, and if my head phones allow me to have that time, why should anyone else be bothered by it? :shrug:

Perhaps as long as you keep the player hidden in a pocket or purse and don’t play around with it to switch to a new song, it probably wouldn’t be distracting and causing anyone to think that they can now bring their i-phones and mp3 players to mass to play on.

I see no problem with that. I, myself, have some music and other reflections loaded on my phone for whenever I make a holy hour. “Angels and Saints at Ephesus” is a wonderful set of music to calm the soul and get one ready for Mass.

As an aside; they try to lower the lights at my parish but it doesn’t seem to help at the later Mass. The 1st Mass of the day at 8 am is always a bit quieter - I guess folks are still a bit sleepy :smiley:

I dont think so. You might give the wrong impression.

If you cannot find God in a (noisy) church, what about out in the world?

Write a nice letter to your bishop and, in the meantime, be silent and listen with your heart.

Christus instituerit missam, in vulgari. Quod satis est mihi,:cool:

I think it could go either way. It might help you, but others might be confused by it. I know a guy who comes to Mass nearly an hour early every Saturnday and prays the rosary and the Devine Mercy Chapelet by listenting to it on his headphones while he is waiting for confession. I don’t see anything wrong with that, but once I heard another guy tell his wife, “How come he is allowed to listen to the game?” I’m not sure what responsibility someone has to refrain from doing something that is good and helpful for them in order to avoid other, less-mature people from getting the wrong idea.

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