Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Talking loud in Church before or after Mass
Talking loud in Church before or after Mass QUESTION from Kathie Côté April 23, 2001
Please send me information re:being quiet in Church and not talking out loud as is done in our parish Church, both before and after Mass and sometimes during Mass. When I say talking, I mean general conversation, not pertaining to the Liturgy.
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on May 12, 2001
Dear Mrs. Kathie Côté,
Sure, I'd be happy to talk about talking in church. Common sense demands that we refrain from this activity, that is, unnecessary chatter that is common in most parishes. I see two things wrong with it.
First, most obviously, it is an offense against charity. When many people are present before or after Mass, most should be praying. When others are chatting about the weather, sports, or whatever, it is most distracting. Since church is a place of prayer, those that are trying to pray have the right to pray without unnecessary distraction.
Second, our churches are places that are set aside for sacred activity. Everything that happens inside a church is done for the glorification of God, whether it be Liturgy, private devotional prayer, religious teaching, or liturgical rehearsals and choir practice. This is why we do things differently inside a church. We have sacred music, sacred vestments, and other sacred events that immediately tell anyone visiting that this is a sacred place. Chatting is not a sacred activity, and can be done anywhere else. It does not belong inside a church.
If a particular parish has a problem with noise, I think that it would be wise for the pastor to occasionally remind his congregation of these two points.
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