Is talking in Church disrespectful to Jesus?

At our church, before Mass (if the Rosary isn’t said), but especially after Mass, the “social hour” begins in earnest. People are laughing, chatting, and carrying on such that it is impossible to pray and give thanksgiving to God - I find it quite distracting! I remember from growing up the nuns always taught us that it is disrespectful to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to be talking while in church, except for prayer.

It seems that people have lost the sense of awe of the majesty of God while in church - it’s just another building…I believe that this has coincided with the great loss of faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

If there has to be a social hour at all, it should take place in the parish hall or outside, but never inside the church itself. One should talk as little as possible in the church,and even then only whisper to preserve the atmosphere of peace and contemplation that facilitates prayer for others and helps us to realize the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

Agreed. I love the song, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence - that sums up my feelings…

It is disrespectful to everyone in the parish who is trying to pray. I have noticed this is common amongst the elderly…for them, I understand…some are well into their 80’s…and probably cannot hear well, or they are just so happy to see someone…It is rather endearing to watch. But, for people who are say in their 30’s and 40’s…they should learn to refrain from social talk until mass is through. Just my opinion.

Not particularly. We are in his Father’s house speaking with his brothers and sisters. Surely this is acceptable in your own homes, so why not here?
The parish I attend has, for lack of a better word, a convenor who calls us to center our attention before the liturgy begins. We have a moment of sacred silence. He has admonished us to turn off our cell phones (the excuse given is that they interfere with the sound system) and he says a word or two about the theme of the day’s readings. After a period of silence the cantor or choir director announces the processional hymn. The purpose of a processional hymn is to assist us in centering our minds and hearts on the liturgy in which we are about to participate. All of this gives ample time to collect ourselves.


It would be great if they would use their low wispering church voices for short conversations only and be respectful of those who are praying intently for themselves or others.

Use the Narthex area to talk before coming into the church proper. Talk outside of church also after mass, a lot of folks stay after to offer intentions and common courtesy seems to dictate that you can certainly wait to exit the church before conversing.

Where did our church etiquette go? I miss it.

In our Church the Blessed Sacrament is no longer present in the main church after Mass. Jesus reside in his own special Chapel that holds about 50 or 60 for daily Mass. He is also home there for adoration(exposed) six days a week.

Thus in our parish, I don’t think it is disrespectful to Jesus after Sunday Mass to talk, but as several pointed out it is a real disservice to those who wish to remain in prayer for a while after Mass or who would like a little time ahead of Mass to settle down and get centered. We have a large gathering area in back and a large social hall downstairs, but folks just can’t seem to wait to yak it up. You might say Couth is a thing of the past.

When the Tabernacle is in the Main Church the whole dynamic changes. In the presence of Jesus, to stand around with our backs turned to him to chat up somebody else would be an absolute insult in my estimation.

Don’t be so sure. Christ used whips to drive away those that were disrespectful in the House of God.

Before and during mass, I would think it less than respectful to Our Lord, but afterwards I would think it appropriate since we are called to be one people…and socialization can sometimes be quite unifying.



In short, because you are not in your own home. You are, instead, in a building that has been specially consecrated to God so that it may be used for nothing but sacred functions/actions. Is everyday conversation a sacred action? No. So it belongs outside of the church proper.

Man and wife are also called to be one flesh… but God forbid they unify inside a church! :bigyikes:

When it gets down to it, every action we do can be made holy by offering it entirely to God, but not every action is a sacred action of the sort for which the church has been set aside. Just because a blacksmith’s work can be a prayer doesn’t mean he should bring it inside a temple, and until 40 years ago everyone knew where the line was - roughly, if it wasn’t a liturgy, it wasn’t done in church.

I most certainly am in my own home. My Father’s house is my house because I am His son.
While it is impolite and irreverant to talk to one another during the liturgy, it is much the same as talking while grace is being said. In fact it is exactly the same. It would certainly be disrespectful.
Talking to one’s fellow parishioners outside the liturgy is not disrespectful.


There still needs to be somewhere where it is possible to have some quiet to meditate and collect ourselves. I arrived at church early yesterday to do this since I was feeling at odds and ends in general. It didn’t happen since somebody decided to carry on a long, audible discussion about his stocks and how the economy was doing in general. He could have gone outside. Where was I supposed to go?

Depends if it’s done at the right time.
To quote from Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite By Msgr. Peter Elliott

**#233. The church should be open well before the liturgy for those who wish to pray privately. Silence is the best preparation for the celebration of the liturgy. Apart from suitable music, no intrusion on the people’s right to tranquillity before the Eucharist should be tolerated, for example, musical or choral rehearsals, announcements which could be given later, or distractions in the sanctuary or elsewhere. People may meet and talk before Mass, but in an area set well apart from the place where the liturgy is about to be celebrated.


The Church is a sacred place and as such should not be treated just like your living room, a meeting hall, or a place to socialize.

Aways try to invite a person outside if they want to chat, when you are inside the Church, respect Jesus present in the tabernacle.

In Christ

To deliberately distract others from prayer is sinful. To do so unknowingly is still rude. It seems that in every parish where I attempt to kneel and pray after the closing hymn ends, a group of people will form close by and talk loudly. Sometimes, they even want to talk to me, as if my kneeling posture wasn’t a subtle hint that I’m talking to Someone else.

Talking with other parishioners is part of necessary Christian fellowship. It helps us come closer together as a family and is necessary, but parish halls and narthexes are built specifically for this purpose. If you are invited to an audience with a king or queen, would you be yakking with your friends while the monarch sat waiting? If you’re invited to someone’s home for dinner, would you even think of leaving without thanking your host?

Jesus gave us two great commandments: 1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. These can be termed “worship” and “fellowship” in this context, and while both are necessary, they cannot be done at the same time. Worship God in the Mass with your whole self, then go into the world (or to the parish hall) to love your neighbor.

Then perhaps it might be wise to define what a sacred action is and what an everyday conversation is. When I speak to someone on their way out of Mass concerning their health and how the surgery went, is that everyday conversation? When I ask someone if they have been able to find a job yet and that I will keep their seach in my prayers, is that non-sacred?

Perhaps we can both agree that talking about how Oregon State is doing in the College World Series is not important; but are we not quick to also presume that all conversation is everyday, and not a sacred action?

What you do for the least of my…

Just a thought…

I’m sure you don’t really believe that conversation is on an equal moral footing with engaging in commerce. I seem to recall that Jesus went so far as to call them thieves indicating that their commercial practices were somewhat disreputable. No one on this forum really believes that casual conversation is comparable to the offences that upset Jesus. Remember that He himself was engaged in discussion, teaching and preaching in the Temple while the Temple sacrifice was going on as usual.


I wish I could post this on the doors. I go early each Sunday to say a rosary prior to Mass, and often I cannot concentrate because people from the preceeding Mass are standing in the aisles socializing. A visiting priest was there with them last week. It’s all I can do to not say, “Take it outside”.

I believe the Church sanctuary should be silent, except for public prayer (i.e. the Holy Rosary). I don’t agree with the comments that God wants us to socialize as part of our “unification”. Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple chiding them for “turning the house of prayer into a den of thieves” - has this not happened in our own day? Have we not become callous to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament? Silence is golden - especially in prayer before the Eucharist!

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