There are a few opinions on this thread and no consensus. Maybe one of our Fathers here can provide some insight.
This is certainly a sad commentary on our culture and the state of many of our parishes when people consider listening to a recording as a way of dealing with all the noise in church. I do NOT consider listening to an mp3 player as the answer. The answer is SILENCE ! !
This can be somewhat achieved by ear plugs. But the better solution is for the pastor to educate the parish in the necessity of becoming interiorly silent by being exteriorly silent in order to be open to whatever the Lord wants to tell us. I also believe that the music ministry ought to limit it’s practicing to another venue. The faithful are gathered in Church to celebrate the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection. They need time to focus. Besides, the church is a sacred place—unlike any other. There simply is no better way to show reverence for the Lord’s presence than to become quiet.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.