Talking in church outside of mass?


I’ve always known that you’re not supposed to talk in church during Mass, but what about after the Liturgy is over and everyone is leaving? People (especially grandparents) start talking to my children while we are exiting the pews and going down the aisle. I try to discourage this by pointing to the vestibule or walking quickly so as not to give them a chance to talk in the church, but sometimes they think I’m being rude. Is it OK to talk after church when everyone who was praying is out? What about when we are cleaning the church at other times? The janitor often wants to engage me in conversation when I am dusting the main altar and tabernacle, etc. This bothers me, and I tell my children not to chit chat while we are cleaning. Am I taking this too far?


While it is not as serious to talk in church outside of the Mass or other liturgical services, a sense of reverence for a holy place would seem to suggest that talking should be kept to a minimum. During Holy Week people are often requested to leave the church in silence; it would not be unreasonable to request of your pastor that he consider extending that directive to the entire liturgical year.

When someone wishes to strike up conversation with you after Mass you might smile and say quietly, “Why don’t we move outside?” To someone who wants to talk while you’re cleaning the sanctuary, you might say quietly, “I can’t talk right now, but let’s take a break together later.” The break can then be taken in a social hall, a church garden, or other convenient place outside the church.

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