Friday, November 01, 2013

A moment of silence

As a father of a very young son, I imagine that quiet times shall be few and far between.

I have been enjoying a short time to think, pray and meditate at home but this led me to think - what about at Mass?

In a world full of every distraction - phones, Internet, TV, etc. all competing for our attention it is nevertheless important to have time aside to listen to God and what He might be saying to us. 

One of the reasons I love the traditional Mass is that there is that silence that permeates it. Even in the church we attend where we have a Missa Cantata every Sunday the Canon of the Mass is prayed silently and this is something beautiful and lifts my heart and mind outside of my daily worries, concerns and thoughts as to where Arsenal is in the Premier League.

In fairness to the Ordinary Form of the Mass, there are a number of places where silence is expected but sadly so rarely observed:

1.  "Let us call to mind our sins ..." - I'm not sure about you but it takes me more than half a second to call mine to mind.

2.  After the words, "Oremus" or "Let us pray": How often are we actually given a chance to do so?

3.  After each of the readings - silence is encouraged to allow the Word to penetrate our hearts and minds.

4.  The final Prayer of the Faithful: "Let us pause to bring before The Lord our personal intentions Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer."  Do the readers actually realise what they are saying?"

5.  After communion: The modern liturgy when celebrated with dignity will always include time of silence for our thanksgiving after receiving the Body of Christ. 

If you're a priest, deacon or reader in the modern liturgy, would you please give us a moment of silence?


  1. I have come to the conclusion that in this present age and certainly in the UK, what seems to be a great majority of people are actually afraid of silence. They become paranoid about it. Work places, shops, public toilets (especially on the motorway service areas) restaurants, pubs, gymnasiums, health centres even..... add to that the obsession with blocking up your ears with headphones or small earpieces connected i-phones in order to keep the outside world at bay and continue in the privacy of one's own or for whatever reason and it becomes tempting to believe that the population is becoming more and more insular than. I do not mention above the addition of deep-base rigged cars passing by or loud radios in parks.....even on trains! It is more that sad. It is a deep malaise. The saddest thing of all is that so many fervent Christian believers have forgotten that the church is not a place that HAS to follow suit. I have even been in empty churches during the day (admittedly in France especially) where piped, background music is commonplace, albeit of a 'religious' nature. In short, Silence is becoming as rare and as valuable as Gold indeed.

  2. Yes please! To any priests or deacons, after the bidding prayers, why not give us at least 30 seconds for our personal intentions? We are lucky if we get 10 now. I don't feel like it's enough at all.