MERGED: Applauding after Mass Poll / Why?


In some parishes, immediately after the final note of the recessional hymn, people break out in spontaneous applause. Does your parish do this? In an effort to understand the reason they are clapping, I’m inviting comments.

Thank you for your charitable response.


In our church it sounds as tho they are doing this in appreciation of the choir or song group.

But I have noticed that this applause is getting weaker and weaker as the weeks go by.


They don’t do this in my parish unless the Pastor asks for it, which is usually after a Baptism or on a very special occasion, and it is always after Mass during the announcements. We never applaud the choir or musicians.


The choir will get applause on two occasions in our parish:
After Easter Vigil final hymn
And after Joy to the World at Midnight Mass

It’s hard to restrain the joy.

The priest will sometimes initiate clapping if an anniversary couple receives a blessing. This is at the end of the Mass prior to the recessional.


I’ve lived in a number of cities, and noticed that this really varies by parish! In the more formal and traditional parishes, applause would have been unthinkable after Mass! Many people stayed to pray- and everyone else left silently. There was plenty of conversation- but it was all outside of the church. However, in two parishes I attended, there was always spontaneous applause after Mass! One of these parishes didn’t have a choir- only a cantor- so it definitely wasn’t for the music. I always interpreted the applause as an exclamation point to the wonderful experience of receiving Jesus in the Word and in the Eucharist. It always seemed to be a joyful ending to the Mass that occurred after the priest reached the door of the church. I actually never thought about why people were clapping- and it really has never bothered me. In those parishes that had applause, it just seemed to fit. :shrug:


Yes, it’s very weird. We have a quite orthodox pastor who observes liturgically correct Masses. Now our music is some OCP folk dreck but some traditional hymns as well. But we invariably get a round of applause after each and every Mass. Several years ago, on Ash Wednesday, I approached the pastor to see if he could help me put an end to it. I explained that it made me, as a choir member, feel very uncomfortable because I was not putting on a performance to be applauded. But he explained that it is just the assembly expressing their joy and thanksgiving to God and he would not be discouraging it. So I have to put up with it.

In my visiting parish, the applause only happens when the CEOs are there (Christmas-and-Easter-Onlys).


And here’s what our beloved Pope Benedict had to say about the matter:

“Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. Such attraction fades quickly - it cannot compete in the market of leisure pursuits, incorporating as it increasingly does various forms of religious titillation.”

– The Spirit of the Liturgy


The only applaus that occurs in our parish is as someone else mentioned, after a special blessing for a couple’s anniversary, RCIA folks during Rite of Acceptance and then again Confirmation at Easter Vigil, but other than that, maybe some very rare thing. No general applaus (clapping) is done at all. It sounds strange.

Thankfully our Pastor is very orthodox with the Mass!


I don’t think it is spontaneous. I think it is mistaken applause. Spontaneous applause would only happen once. If this is happening multiple times after mass, it is not spontaneous.


Pope Benedict didn’t like it.


It seems the line is located at applauding “in” the liturgy, as opposed to after the liturgy?


I’ve been to many parishes and it is true that some do and some don’t.

As for the reasons, I’m sure that varies. I think a lot of it is just going with the flow. If that’s what the parish always does, people will clap just as a matter of routine.

If people were applauding for Jesus and the Sacred Mysteries, I would have less of a problem with it. I’d venture to guess, though, that if you took a poll of people after Mass and asked why they clapped at the end, you would get a lot people shrugging their shoulders and admitting they really hadn’t thought about it before.

Then again, if you took a poll of people after Mass asking why they stood of knelt at certain parts of the liturgy, you would probably get the same blank stares. Lots of Catholics just don’t think about the reasons behind the actions of the liturgy. And if you don’t give it much thought, it’s not very likely you will know the difference between what liturgical actions are part of the Mass and what actions are just some tradition that crept into the parish experience over the years.


Sure wish our Pastor would address this,the laity are known to breakout in applause,before after and at timesDURING Mass ,in appreciation for the choir::eek:


If you are not applauding for Christ when He comes in the flesh to be received into your body, why would you applaud for the singers?


No offense, but the Mass has ended, and why disdain for unbridled joy? Was is St Teresa who said, Save me from the grim faced Christians? Wanting to put an end to it seems like something Saul would have strived for prior to his conversion!


Only in one parish I have attended has there been applause and it was always after the
Mass in appreciation for Music a few times a year. It seemed fine to me at the moment, but it was not excessive.


I agree.

I belong to a parish that applauds at the end of Mass. While I know the pastor and the music director are not fans they have apparently decided it’s not an issue they wish to address.

I belong to the choir and I don’t applaud, whether I am singing or not. But I remember one Sunday when I was not singing with the choir that a mother near me --who had obviously done a good job instructing her child on proper Mass behavior-- admonished her non-clapping to child to applaud because that was what we do when in Church. :shrug:


The only times our parish regularly applauds is after a Mass at which the children’s choir sings.

But our adult choir, which has only about ten people, is really, really good, and I’m always on edge after a particularly brilliant hymn that people will applaud.


No, my parish does not clap at the end of the recessional hymn.


I can appreciate that sentiment – and I hope that unbridled joy really is the source – but most any parish I have been at where there is clapping, it is done just as much by rote as sitting, standing, and kneeling. The only time I’ve seen unbrdled joy as the cause for applause at Mass was on the Easter Vigil after people were baptized. That I have no problem with. :slight_smile:

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