Silence in church

Hopefully, this is the best spot for this thread.

My family and I attend mass every Sunday and all holy days of obligation, and have been going to the same church for about 10 years now, although every now and then we attend the CC where our children go to school (it’s more convenient for us to go to church in our home town, than to the one where our children go to school). Our work schedules don’t allow us to get to weekday mass, although I try to attend adoration once a month (when it is offered). This is generally when I can find a peaceful quiet moment to pray…

So, as I try and raise my children, I expect them to be respectful of the church, thus when we arrive early for mass, we kneel and pray in silence. We do not chit-chat or talk. After praying, we sit silently, awaiting respectfully for the mass to begin. However, at least in this church, it would seem that most of the folks like to believe that the time prior to mass is social time, including one of the pastors, and it gets noisy, and sets a bad example for my children which makes it more difficult to enforce silence (although I’d say my kids are a lot better at it than most of the others there).

I know that not all churches are like this, and the one where our children go is markedly better, and long ago it was more common that masses were quiet solemn occasions to be with Christ, and to reflect inwardly, but it seems that some of the CC’s are becoming more like “Protestant hour”, where this is the norm.*

I realize that all I can do is pray about it and realize that everyone else has flaws just like I do, but it bothers me, because I don’t want to listen to everyone socializing when they shouldn’t be, especially while I’m trying to pray.

Just curious to know if other CC’s are becoming the same way and if it bothers you?


*Edited note: I used to be Protestant and while I don’t mean in any way to disparage Protestants, to my recollection, I don’t recall silence being standard.

So, now it is “Protestant” to speak to others in Church?! :eek::mad:

I can die now, because I have heard everything!!! :rolleyes:

I understand that some people expect total silence, but really, I think you are setting yourself up for a lot of heartache.

In years past, when we attended Mass in our neighborhood, with the people we worked with, went to school with and socialized with on a daily basis, no one had any need to talk in Church.

Today, when we live further away, don’t have neighborhood schools and our communities are via the internet, sometimes the only human interaction some people get, especially the elderly, is in Church. Do we really want to take that away from them?

Now, I am not advocating a “circus-like” atmosphere, but people come on people- let’s have some compassion & common sense and stop labeling everything the I don’t like as “Protestant”!!

You can speak to one of the pastors, even if they also talk, and ask them to mention it because it is normally a necessity when one should talk in the sanctuary, because of the Eucharist. Maybe your family can sit closer to the Blessed Sacrament, if it’s not located behind the altar table, and see if that’s more quite

Of course, we can talk morw outside in the vestibule or outside the church, or if there is a basement where there is a meal served after mass, then that’s the place to socialize.

Now I’m not saying that we become Jansenists, but we can certainly try stop useless talking.

Please, I clearly stated that to my own memory, this was the norm for all of the Protestant churches I attended. I regret the mistake of even mentioning that because it really isn’t relevant, and is clearly not an indication of anything negative of Protestant churches or people. The point was that in other CCs I’ve attended in the past, some have maintained a good deal of silence and reverence for the locale.

We have a huge church, and I’m talking about full-fledged loud conversations, by numerous people, within the church area, not the narthex. If people want to converse and catch up, why does it have to be done in the church? Within the Eucharistic chapel, which is located in a more secluded room behind the altar area, this is always quiet when I go.

This happens in my parish. Several groups of adults arrive early for Liturgy and spend the time chit chatting at full volume in the pews

I feel the same way. I read something from St Padre Pio that he wanted there to be silence in church (except in absolute necessity ). When people are talking, Our Lord is there in the Tabernacle but ignored. It is also very difficult to pray when people around you are talking.

I have noticed this too that it is becoming more prevalent. The one exception I see more is the Latin Mass, there is more silence there and easier to pray after Mass.

If people around are talking, there is not much we can do except keep praying and try to remain patient / charitable

In my church it’s often the sweet older folks who greet each other and chat a little, and, because they are hard of hearing, they don’t whisper. I try to give them a pass because a quiet whisper is not possible for them. I tend to be more disturbed by a rehearsing choir before Mass. It’s very hard to pray with that going on.

A lot of people are skeptical of post-Vatican II, but I believe there’s a need for deep reverence whether pre or post-Vatican II. I get bothered by all the socializing that takes place at a lot of churches I visit before the Mass begins instead of quiet meditation on the divine. Oh, how I kick myself for not joining a stricter monastery when I was a lot younger! But back then I was a staunch Atheist.

My parish is somewhat like this on Sundays, and I’ve been to others where it was more of a problem.

My biggest living hero is a priest named Father Patrick who lives near my parents some 850 miles away. I love what he once said about this sort of thing.

“You know, every day at Mass, the priest has been given the unfathomable right to call down God the Son from heaven, and to offer Him to the Father. We priests present God to you. Every day on this altar, you witness a miracle. An unbelievable miracle that even the angels can’t participate in like you can. And what do you do after this event? You come up to me and say, ‘Father, what are you going to do about the parking?’ You rush yourselves out the door because you’ve got an important meal to eat at Bob Evans. But can I ask you something? What’s your problem? What’s wrong with you?”

I promise, he’s a sweet Irishman whom everyone would love, and I’m paraphrasing him heavily. But I think his “what your problem?” question applies to the non-stop yakking that goes on before the Blessed Sacrament.

What** is** our problem? And I include myself in this, because I’m more of a creep than anything resembling a saint.

I like a quiet Church as well, and yes coming from a Protestant background (27 years) I always remember a lot of talking in the church, definitely not a quiet place of prayer.

So call it what you like, it’s simply the facts as I know them. Perhaps there are many Protestant churches where adoration is possible, but then wait! What are they adoring? They don’t believe Christ is there on the alter, but then wait! They don’t have an alter, so why would they be quiet.

Anyway, I agree with ya!

You don’t have to be adoring the reserved sacrament, be it Catholic or one of the Protestant Churches that also reserve the sacrament, to be quiet and reverent before a mass or service. Been to plenty of Protestant services without the reserved sacrament where folks are quiet and contemplative before the service begins.

I go to the early morning mass on Sunday. Folks are generally quiet and the atmosphere reverent. It may be because we are reverent or we are not awake yet.

Right, but the context of the OP is the Catholic Church, and I’m sure the message has to do with Christ being physically present in any given Catholic parish, and how a bunch of yakking is just so utterly contrary to the dignity of such a place.

Debating whether any Protestant minister actually has the ability to confect the Eucharist is a bit irrelevant here, as is whether or not a particular Protestant denomination has retained the historically Christian understanding of what the Eucharist actually is.

I’m still trying to figure out the phrase “one of the Pastors”. :confused:

Indeed it isn’t relevant, which is why we’re not debating it. The assertion being made was that Protestants don’t have a reason to be quiet before mass/services due to their not having anything to adore. My goal was to counter that assertion since it’s not true that they have no reason to be quiet and reverent before a mass/service. With or without reserved sacrament (regardless of your view on if any Protestants can confect the Eucharist).

It’s possible there are Co-Pastors is it not?

Not sure what you are trying to figure out here? Prior to mass (5-10 minutes prior to start), one of the pastors/priests/fathers (whatever you would like to call them) walks around greeting and chatting with the others, encouraging the talking, rather than promoting the reverence for silence of what we are about to undertake as a congregation.

We have an Associate Pastor at our church. I guess since all of the CCs I’ve ever attended regularly have had two pastors.

In my opinion the Church should be silent and reverent especially before mass as people prepare to celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus.

My apologies, I didn’t mean any disrespect. I guess I should have kept to specific to my old Protestant church.

I think the main idea I’m trying to convey is that…

A. Don’t beat up on the guy because his Protestant experience was not indicative of all Protestant services.

B. Catholics above anyone else need to understand their beliefs, and that belief includes that when you walk into a Catholic Church Jesus Christ is physically present on the alter, show a little respect.

C. People need to start taking others into consideration. How many times do I have to listen to someone’s life story on a cell phone in the middle of a store, how many times do I have to almost die in my car because people are to busy with their “important matters”, and it all starts at church. If you can’t even show a little respect for the people around you who are trying to pray, how much respect are you gonna show on the street?

If we all, myself included, start being more loving towards our neighbors, who knows what might happen…

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