Monday, June 18, 2007

If Silence is Sacred...

If silence is sacred, why are our Churches so incredibly noisy? My Novus Ordo church has the Tabernacle placed in a side chapel, with glass doors that separate it from the main church. I like to arrive early for Mass so I can pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Even though I close the glass doors, the conversations of the people who sit right outside the chapel for Mass can be heard word for word inside the chapel. Why are they even talking? Do they have no sense of reverence?

Every Sunday seems to be a social hoe down, with people greeting each other in the pews like they are long lost friends. After Mass, our church erupts into a dull roar. Forget about quiet solitude in prayer. People shout and converse inside the church like they are at a party. Do they not remember they just witnessed the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Would they act differently if they were at the foot of the Cross?

How many of you think this problem has to do with the Tabernacle being in a side chapel and not given the place of honour Our Lord deserves in the Sanctuary?

11 comments:

Anita Moore said...

That, and the departure from the scene of yard-stick-wielding nuns in habits.

Karin said...

The Tabernacle in our church is front and center for all to see (no need to search it out), and it is quiet.

I do think that the location of the Tabernacle plays a role in the nose level. Our old church had the Tabernacle in a seperate room, guess what the church had constant noise, but then that is no surprise, IMHO.

Dymphna said...

I really don't like having the Blessed Sacarament in side chapels. It was meant well (maybe) but it comes off as hiding Jesus where we don't have to see Him. Plus, even though the Mass has gotten shorter people seem to love it and being in church less. They can't wait to talk and run up and down the aisles backslapping and handshaking.

Feathered Friends said...

Well, you know where it is in our church pm. but when i went to the NO, everyone spoke even during Mass. the Blessed Sacrament was off the the far left. I don't know what to say about this. It is just sad. that is all.

Manfred said...

I don't think it matters that the tabernacle is behind glass doors. You see, in my parish, it's not really THE holy Sacrifice of the Mass; it's a "celebration of the community around the 'table' of the Lord". Thus, loud talking, cantors rehearsing before Mass; applause for the choir after Mass, more greeting, more loud talking. I think the people really believe that "Jesus understands", since, as one of our priests puts it, "It's all about love." Arrrgghhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

They-don't-believe.

Simple.

Terry Nelson said...

The tabernacle is in the sanctuary at my Church, and it is still noisy at Sunday Masses.

I like to imagine Jesus carrying the cross through the streets of Jerusalem, amidst all the shouting and clamor - that thought helps me to pray when it's noisy.

paramedicgirl said...

Terry, thanks for that thought. I'll have to remember it for next Sunday when I am trying to pray amidst the shouting of parishioners after Mass next Sunday.

Angela Messenger said...

Your priest needs to tell the people to shut their traps and he needs to teach about the Real Presence. And how about getting some "Silence, Praying In Progress" signs?

Terry Nelson said...

Seriously, try to do that, it works for me...also I think of JPII engrossed in prayer amidst all the photographers and crowds - and yet he seemed oblivious to it all.

However, Angela is correct, approach your priest and ask him if he might mention the reverence that is due within the Church, and the need for everyone to recollect oneself before Mass.

The people at my Church actually yell across the Church to friends, waving.

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

They-don't-believe.

Simple.