SPLIT: Celebratory applause at Mass okay?


#1

[quote="JMarquez, post:194, topic:345301"]
In fact their was celebratory cheers and applauding.

[/quote]

That brings up another issue. At one time there was an unwritten law that one shouldn't do or say anything that would draw applause in church as the focus should be on God all the time and not ourselves for even one quick second. It seems like public displays of affection do draw an excessive amount of attention, whether it's intentional or not.


#2

[quote="ProVobis, post:1, topic:345557"]
That brings up another issue. At one time there was an unwritten law that one shouldn't do or say anything that would draw applause in church as the focus should be on God all the time and not ourselves for even one quick second.

[/quote]

I have been at many Masses when the Bishop asks everyone to applaud the priests or the other bishops present. The Bishop even leading the clapping. (I have seen this same practice with three wonderful bishops.)

While I know many people would say something negative about this, I will trust my Bishop and continue to follow his lead at such times.


#3

[quote="RoseMary131, post:2, topic:345557"]
I have been at many Masses when the Bishop asks everyone to applaud the priests or the other bishops present. The Bishop even leading the clapping. (I have seen this same practice with three wonderful bishops.)

While I know many people would say something negative about this, I will trust my Bishop and continue to follow his lead at such times.

[/quote]

The ordination Mass actually calls for the applause of the congregation as part of the rite. In other cases, applause is appropriate when it is spontaneous and heartfelt.

e.g. I attended a 100th birthday Mass for a Sister that taught at my wife's school. As she entered the Church (as part of the academic procession), she was given a standing ovation. To me that is appropriate applause. Or when a priest is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination; totally appropriate to applaud and cheer.

What is inappropriate is regularly asking the congregation to applaud the organist, the choir, etc., for routine performance.

God Bles


#4

While I know many people would say something negative about this, I will trust my Bishop and continue to follow his lead at such times.

I'm sure the Pope probably doesn't mind applause either. What's your point in relation to the OP?


#5

aaa


#6

Our pastor came in at the end of mass recently to inform everyone (during the "announcements" time) that, despite the rumors, our parish school would not be closing its doors.

There was much applause for that! :dancing::clapping:


#7

This raises the question of why we go to church on Sunday. The first and only reason is to worship God. (remember Him?)
If the presider, priest or bishop makes an announcement that calls for applause during mass, this detracts from the original purpose.

Last Sunday three infants were baptized during mass and of course the congregation applauded. The question that came to mind was: whom are they applauding? Not God, because He doesn't need it. Not the infants, because they are infants and don't know. Maybe the parents for wanting to baptize their children, but why would this be deserving applause? This is our Catholic obligation.
This was a glorious occasion that called for rejoicing, but somehow I felt that the folks were congratulating themselves, applauding themselves and how wonderful we/they all are.

There is a time and a place for everything. Sunday worship is a place and time to worship God and not us.


#8

[quote="Ontheway, post:7, topic:345557"]
This raises the question of why we go to church on Sunday. The first and only reason is to worship God. (remember Him?)
If the presider, priest or bishop makes an announcement that calls for applause during mass, this detracts from the original purpose.

Last Sunday three infants were baptized during mass and of course the congregation applauded. The question that came to mind was: whom are they applauding? Not God, because He doesn't need it. Not the infants, because they are infants and don't know. Maybe the parents for wanting to baptize their children, but why would this be deserving applause? This is our Catholic obligation.
This was a glorious occasion that called for rejoicing, but somehow I felt that the folks were congratulating themselves, applauding themselves and how wonderful we/they all are.

There is a time and a place for everything. Sunday worship is a place and time to worship God and not us.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#9

[quote="Ontheway, post:7, topic:345557"]
This raises the question of why we go to church on Sunday. The first and only reason is to worship God. (remember Him?)
If the presider, priest or bishop makes an announcement that calls for applause during mass, this detracts from the original purpose.

Last Sunday three infants were baptized during mass and of course the congregation applauded. The question that came to mind was: whom are they applauding? Not God, because He doesn't need it. Not the infants, because they are infants and don't know. Maybe the parents for wanting to baptize their children, but why would this be deserving applause? This is our Catholic obligation.
This was a glorious occasion that called for rejoicing, but somehow I felt that the folks were congratulating themselves, applauding themselves and how wonderful we/they all are.

There is a time and a place for everything. Sunday worship is a place and time to worship God and not us.

[/quote]

I am going to go on the record as disliking applause before, during or after mass, but I do have a couple of comments and then a question.

The applause in the case of the baptism--is I beleive a guesture of joy over a newly baptised member of our Church. This happens at our Church and I am not a big fan of it but I have never felt that "folks were congratulating themselves, applauding themselves and how wonderful we/they are all"--I find it odd that anyone would think that let alone feel it. Let us also remember that God doesn't need anything from us--even our worship and that is not why we worship him.

Now for the question--what are the ways we can worship God?, Show our love for God?

The peace of Christ,
Mark


#10

[quote="bilop, post:3, topic:345557"]

What is inappropriate is regularly asking the congregation to applaud the organist, the choir, etc., for routine performance.

[/quote]

I agree. I remember attending a Mass in the midst of a snowstorm once and the priest was thanking all the EMHC, readers, and servers for making it to church. It seemed he was expecting an applause of some kind. Fortunately he didn't get one from the rest of the congregation who were obviously left out.


#11

We have a young, enthusiastic priest at our parish (ordained about a year now) who is very orthodox in his preaching, but loves to do the "any visitors, birthdays, or anniversaries" question just before the final blessing.

I personally do not feel the need to applaud someone who happened to come from Indiana to visit her parents and was in attendance at Mass that night. She didn't come from Indiana for the sole purpose of attending that Mass, so what's the big deal? Does she get an ovation at the local restaurant because she came from Indiana to visit her parents and they decided to eat there?

Birthdays and anniversary ovations also annoy me, unless you've hit a milestone number such as your 90th birthday or your 50th wedding anniversary. But making a point to stand up and tell the congregation that your spouse, sister, nephew, etc, will be having a birthday on Wednesday seems to be like a play for attention (especially if it's for an older person and if asked how old, the petitioner answers coyly "Another year older!" just to get laughs.) And sometimes you can tell that the person being celebrated is uncomfortable with the attention and is reluctant to stand and be recognized.

I think applause at Mass (if any) should be reserved for actual accomplishments. Personally I'd rather keep the focus on worship at Mass and save the applause for the rest of us for the coffee hour after Mass.


#12

This thread reminds me of when I was a child and going to church with my parents and Grandparents. Whenever there would be applauding in church, my Grandmother would turn and ask my Mum in Lithuanian (or maybe moreso making a statement) "What is this, a circus?" :p


#13

[quote="MarkInOregon, post:9, topic:345557"]
I am going to go on the record as disliking applause before, during or after mass, but I do have a couple of comments and then a question.

The applause in the case of the baptism--is I beleive a guesture of joy over a newly baptised member of our Church. This happens at our Church and I am not a big fan of it but I have never felt that "folks were congratulating themselves, applauding themselves and how wonderful we/they are all"--I find it odd that anyone would think that let alone feel it. Let us also remember that God doesn't need anything from us--even our worship and that is not why we worship him.

Now for the question--what are the ways we can worship God?, Show our love for God?

The peace of Christ,
Mark

[/quote]

Mark,
I agree with your explanation. It is an expression of joy, and upon reflection, I think it was the way that this joy was expressed, in the middle of Sunday mass, that bothered me.

Your question about how we should worship God is an important one. When I think of the Mass, what comes to mind is the Upper Room and the Last Supper and the sacrifice that the Mass is intended to be. To my mind this is a Christ-centered occasion that calls for solemnity.
We are, after all, in the "real presence" of God.

But then, I think of all those Catholics around the world who express their love for God through song and dance, and spontaneous eruptions of joy. This is their way to worship and show love for God.

So maybe the method is not the issue, but the focus.


#14

[quote="IfYouLeadMe, post:12, topic:345557"]
This thread reminds me of when I was a child and going to church with my parents and Grandparents. Whenever there would be applauding in church, my Grandmother would turn and ask my Mum in Lithuanian (or maybe moreso making a statement) "What is this, a circus?" :p

[/quote]

I laughed when I read your comment. This is exactly how I feel about applause in church.


#15

I just generally don't clap ever at Mass even when others are doing so, because it is so disruptive to my inner peace. It is seriously quite disturbing, like throwing white out all over a beautiful painting.


#16

NO!


#17

[quote="Ontheway, post:13, topic:345557"]
Mark,
I agree with your explanation. It is an expression of joy, and upon reflection, I think it was the way that this joy was expressed, in the middle of Sunday mass, that bothered me.

Your question about how we should worship God is an important one. When I think of the Mass, what comes to mind is the Upper Room and the Last Supper and the sacrifice that the Mass is intended to be. To my mind this is a Christ-centered occasion that calls for solemnity.
We are, after all, in the "real presence" of God.

But then, I think of all those Catholics around the world who express their love for God through song and dance, and spontaneous eruptions of joy. This is their way to worship and show love for God.

So maybe the method is not the issue, but the focus.

[/quote]

Let me start by saying that this post is not directed at you Ontheway.

"We are, after all, in the 'real presence' of God." Yes, and I hear this all the time, and taken to its logical conclusion--we'd all fall down on our faces prostrate before the Lord and never get up, yet we don't. Instead we start thread after thread lamenting that others aren't as reverent as we are and how they are ruining our worship of God. It's I kneel to receive, or I receive on the tongue, or I genuflect and I can't understand how anyone could receive standing, or in the hand or with a bow.

Suffice it to say that any of these expressions of piety and reverence and respect are inadequate and it is silly to play the game of my expression is better than yours--especially when our outward expression is no guarantee of what is in our hearts--which is what truly matters.

Much has accreted to our celebration of the Mass over the centuries, and I think Christ would be disappointed with all of our infighting about it.

We are all called to see Christ in everyone, to be servants as Christ was a servant. If we fail to see Christ in, even, our fellow Mass attendees--are we not in someway failing to worship God and to follow his call? When we are so upset over kneeling or standing, over other GIRM related norms, over the dress of the person six pews infront of us, or that someone was applauded for--haven't we lost our focus on God? Aren't we focusing on our needs rather than God? Aren't we focusing on what we perceive to be others short comings rather than God? Haven't we let these things upset and distact us to the point that we have lost our focus and are failing to worship God? In some way doesn't this make us guilty of what we are accusing others? We are responsible for our focus regardless of what others around us do. We are responsible for what we let upset and distract us.

None of this is to say that there are not things we should be concerned about, or issues that may need to be addressed but rather that we should be careful in what motives we assign, what interpretation we give, what disposition of heart we attribute to those whose expression of worship is different than what we would prefer. We should be charitable until proven wrong.

I can't help but feel that if many members of CAF went to Mass with Justin Martyr--these boards would light up with complaints.

It is our example and our charity and our respectful work on various commitees that will restore the reverence many desire to see at Mass--not our complaints and condemnation.

The peace of Christ,
Mark


#18

[quote="bilop, post:3, topic:345557"]

What is inappropriate is regularly asking the congregation to applaud the organist, the choir, etc., for routine performance.

[/quote]

That is my opinion. Applauding for celebration (this week was my priest's 20th anniversary at the parish, for example ) is fine. Applauding human effort, is not. Still, I will never start the applauding and I will always follow the lead of the priest if he does. One less problem in life to worry about.


#19

[quote="MarkInOregon, post:17, topic:345557"]

Much has accreted to our celebration of the Mass over the centuries, and I think Christ would be disappointed with all of our infighting about it.

[/quote]

I note that there has been a recent explosion of Mass gripes lately. Fortunately, my little corner of the world is much simpler. These issues are irrelevant here, freeing us to get about our mission, because we have a lot of work to do.


#20

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