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Hi Fisheaters

Just got home from mass at St. Benedict's here in Duluth, GA and left with a heavy heart.

- The 10:45 Sunday morning mass has a formal choir.
- The conductor is a well known local conductor who also oversees and conducts the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra.
- After each and every mass most parishioners applaud.

Last Sunday at the same 10:45 mass, the priest made a clear statement that applause was not part of the liturgy and also made a reference to church information relating to the topics.

Needless to say some people still applauded while others respected what the priest had said.

During today's mass, the Pastor of the church stated that many parishoners had written to the church complaining and asking that action be taken. They were offended. The Pastor stated that the Priest had regretted his statements and had also said that it was inappropriate that people behave in this way by writing such things.

My heart is heavy at the treatment this priest is getting and that he is working at doing good.

I am in the process of formulating a letter to the pastor of the church in support of this priest and a letter to the Archbishop of Atlanta as well.

I am writing to ask for official references to church documents, letters to support my statement and would certainly appreciate any ideas that you may have.

In Christ.
I'd like to point out that while I sympathize, your heart should be soaring, really.

Be grateful that you have a clergyman who, at least, thinks the liturgy ought to have some reverence.  Applause for an orchestra is entirely inappropriate for mass, but in the scheme of things this is a minor abuse compared to applause during mass for the presider's jokes and whatever other nonsense.  It should still be stamped out, of course.  Prayers for you.

"Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of the liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment.”  - Joseph Ratzinger, Spirit of the Liturgy, 198

If I were to write a letter about it, I'd talk about the idea that the Mass should be focused on Christ, not on man, and that applause turns the liturgy into not only a man-centered thing, but a popularity contest in which egos come into play -- a stark contrast to the virtue of humility -- and that this has serious dangers in terms of catechesis, even aside from the dangers posed to the priest as he works out his own salvation.  A thought from Fr. McNamara,  professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university., via ETWN:

Quote: When applause is neither common nor expected a priest can prepare the homily with greater freedom, both regarding the doctrine he wishes to transmit and the best means of delivery. In other words, although he should always strive to prepare an excellent homily from the rhetorical point of view, not having to worry about applause makes him less subject to the temptation of striving more to please than to instruct and exhort toward sanctity.

Not being expected to applaud also frees both priests and parishioners from the danger of making subtle and not-so-subtle comparisons among priests. Father X's homily received timed respect; Father Y got a standing ovation, while Father Z's preaching on Christian morals got the silent treatment. I am exaggerating, of course, but the point is that any element that might induce disharmony should be avoided.

Another thought:

Second Council of Lyons, A.D. 1274:

Quote: It is fitting that He Whose abode has been established in peace should be worshipped in peace and with due reverence. Churches, then, should be entered humbly and devoutly; behaviour inside should be calm, pleasing to God, bringing peace to the beholders, a source not only of instruction but of mental refreshment. Those who assemble in church should extol with an act of special reverence that Name which is above every Name, than which no other under Heaven has been given to people, in which believers must be saved, the Name, that is, of Jesus Christ, Who will save His people from their sins. Each should fulfil in himself that which is written for all, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow; whenever that glorious Name is recalled, especially during the sacred Mysteries of the Mass, everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do even by a bow of his head. In churches the sacred solemnities should possess the whole heart and mind; the whole attention should be given to prayer.
Ite missa est...  etc. and then applause = not during the liturgy.

However, applause is ridiculous even after Mass
They're probably glad it's over...
We have an amazing organist in our church.  At the end of mass, following the recessional, the organist remains, and plays some classical liturgical piece.  Some parishioners choose to stay behind and listen.  Those who stay behind usually applaud – I see no conflict. 

However, I applaud the Priest for conducting his business in a solemn manner, and perhaps, I’m not sure how long after Mass people are applauding. 

Our baptisms occur during Mass.  As the end of the rite of baptism, we also applaud – but not to any achievement of Man, but rather to welcome the new infant/ individual into the Body of Christ.

Now, I don’t know nuthin’ about proper protocol, so I do as I’m told as long as it seems correct for the moment.