Jan 1, 2011

Is it ok to talk in church?

Be Quiet in Church    
Scripture Verses: “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath" (Ex 20:8). “... where is My honor ... where is My respect?" (Mal 1:6) " ... for this castle (Temple) is not intended for man, but for the Lord God.“ (1Chron 29:1)

A generation ago this would be a ridiculous question. Children were taught that talking in church was disrespectful toward other persons praying and to the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the tabernacles of Catholic Churches. Adults for the most part reinforced this by their own actions; by not talking unnecessarily themselves: in other words by example. Talking was in whispers and limited to short phrases like “Shh !”,  “Sit still”, “I have to go to the bathroom”, “ I feel sick”,” the choir sang that hymn beautifully!” etc.

See Also: The Chattering Classes Are Us

In the 21st Century things are different. Before the beginning of Mass as people come into the church it is common in most Catholic Churches in the United States to see some of the following…
    * People have forgotten how to properly genuflect and bless themselves upon entering the pew. Perhaps we are hesitant about showing our respect for our Redeemer in the Tabernacle?
    * People enter the church and see a friend, they stop over say Hi and stay awhile and talk even if the person was kneeling and praying.
    * People sitting in the pew turned around talking to the person behind them without regard for the persons next to them.
    * Parents letting their kids talk about school,
    * Husbands talking to wives about dinner, what needs to be done at home,
    * People gossiping, discussing their health.
At the end of Mass the church is likened to a movie theater at the end of a movie. People are stopping in aisles to talk in small groups making people walk around them. Some come over and sit down next to a friend and start to talk out loud even if the person is holding a rosary and is kneeling. High volume discussions about the football game, work, laughing or “how are you feeling” even if people are praying next to them. Many churches have a gathering area for this.
Senior Citizens are often the worst, have they forgotten what their parents taught them? What will today’s children learn from their example? Does it matter anymore, or have we gotten so accustomed to self satisfaction that this is now the acceptable norm? Actually people probably don’t realize that they are being rude, they are not trying to be disrespectful, but our culture today has taught that it is “all about us” God is probably not bothered by the noise, but how about the people wanting to pray? Don’t they have the right to pray in church and be alone with God? The fact is that we are supposed to be in church to worship Him. Can this behavior be defended? Let’s talk about it.  POC.  Bob, SFO