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Reverence, Silence & Respect In Parishes


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[size="3"]Hello,

I just returned from Mass at my local Parish. There and like in many Churches I've been to, the reverence, silence and respect is awful. You'll find people just chatting away in Church, before and after Mass. Walking by Jesus in the Tabernacle, totally ignoring Him. People wearing t-shirts, jeans, short-shorts, tank tops, etc. This is the House of God, and this is how Catholics are treating it? I don't think many realize the severity of this problem.

[/size][left][size="3"]Pope Pius XII [1939-1958] said, "Mankind is losing its sense of sin." Pope John Paul II [1978-2005] said, "Mankind has lost its sense of sin."

I've been to a few Churches, (mainly those with an order, or a regular Church at daily Mass), where it is treated as it should be. But come Sunday or Saturday Vigil Mass at the typical Church, it tends to be awful.[/size][/left]

[size="3"]The FI friars have on the door to at least one of their Churches a notice about proper clothing to be worn in entering, and it quoted things the Blessed Virgin said about impurity in dress and how severe they are. I was very happy to see a Church with such a posting. Sadly, in one mainly active female order I've been to, they barely spent any time to themselves in prayer before Mass, during Mass many would pop up and be doing other things, and right after Mass, they didn't take time for thanksgiving, rather they quickly ran to their apostolate. And there is no reason for that, they had workers around that could do it in the meantime. It was horrid.



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[size="3"]How have Churches you've been to been? Do you know of anyone doing anything to change this condition?

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[size="3"]Here is an AWESOME article about reverence, silence and respect in Church, by Father Fox:

[/size][url="http://christianfami...nceinchurch.pdf"][size="3"]http://christianfami...nceinchurch.pdf[/size][/url][/left][left][size="3"][/size][/left][left]

[size="3"]Also, the main website [/size][url="http://christianfamilyoutreach.com/pamphlets/reverenceinchurch.pdf"][size="3"]http://christianfamilyoutreach.com[/size][/url][size="3"] is an outreach that gives out pamphlets for people to spread to parishioners, friends, family, etc. to try to bring about a change. Great idea! I think number one, our own change but be a powerful witness to others.[/size][/left]




[left][size="3"]Quotes from the article:[/size][/left][left][size="3"][/size][/left]
[left][size="3"]"My house shall be called a house of prayer." And He added: "You have made it a den of thieves."[/size][/left]
[left][size="3"]The Church building is a sacred structure devoted to divine worship of God. [b]It is not a social hall. It is [/b][b]not a place of entertainment. [/b]The Catholic Church, especially when the Most Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the tabernacle, is the HOUSE OF GOD. We go there to worship, to participate in the greatest act of worship possible, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which perpetuates Jesus' Sacrifice on the Cross. This is infinite worship. This infinite act of reparation in God's House demands reverence on the part of all who enter.



[/size][/left][left][size="3"]The highest and greatest reverence is due the Holy Eucharist. Since the degree of reverence we owe corresponds to the dignity of the person, when it comes to the House of God, and the Holy Eucharist in the tabernacle, the dignity of the Person we speak of is One who is INFINITE, God Himself. Therefore, the greatest reverence we can give is reserved for JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF in the Holy Eucharist.



Just before entering the pew, one should genuflect. ....


[/size][/left][left][size="3"][b]Whenever you pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament (Jesus) in the tabernacle, you should also (thoughtfully) genuflect. ....[/b]



[/size][/left][left][size="3"]Thus, after we enter the church pew we should spend time kneeling in prayer, at least for a short time,...



[/size][/left][left][size="3"]We should always arrive at church with enough time to [b]recollect ourselves[/b] before the Mass begins. This reflection will help us to understand that it is truly our Lord and Savior who is present on the altar.



[/size][/left][left][size="3"]Those minutes before Mass are [b]NOT a time for socializing[/b]. We should remain silent, in a spirit of adoration. Visit Jesus Christ, not those sitting around you. The tradition of the Catholic Church is to retain a silence in reverence for the House of God and the REAL PRESENCE of Jesus Christ...



[/size][/left][left][size="3"]If you are in a church where silence before, during or after Mass is not observed, then [/size][size="3"][b]obey[/b] the directives of the Church and the traditional spirit of reverence. Then, hopefully, by your good example, others will be reminded that this is the House of God. [color="#ff0000"]Our faith in the REAL PRESENCE and the reality of the [/color][color="#ff0000"]Mass as the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is weakened [/color][color="#000000"]when we do not observe reverential silence and the spirit [/color][color="#000000"]of adoration. [/color][color="#ff0000"]Faith in the REAL PRESENCE may even be destroyed within us [/color]when the House of God becomes a social hall for visiting, rather than for reverential praying and adoring. [color="#ff0000"]It is important to remember that the [/color][color="#ff0000"][i][b]graces we receive are in direct proportion to our love and reverence[/b][/i]. Consequently, [i][b]our disrespect at Mass [/b][/i][/color][color="#ff0000"][i][b]diminishes graces[/b][/i] and, if willfully done, could be a sacrilege. [/color][color="#ff0000"]Disrespectful actions have also caused many of our [/color][color="#ff0000"]youth to lose belief [/color]in the Real Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist.


[/size][/left][left][size="3"]It does not take great imagination to understand how the holy angels would be [b]horrified[/b] today in some parishes where reverence is lacking.[/size][/left]


[left][size="3"]We should not simply "hear" the Mass but [b]"pray" the Mass[/b], and that requires effort on our part. You don't accidentally give God reverence; it requires effort.
[/size][/left][left][size="3"][/size][/left][left][size="3"][/size][/left][left][size="3"][/size][/left][left][size="3"][/size][/left][left][size="3"][/size][/left][left][size="3"][/size] [/left][left][size="3"][/size] [/left][left][size="3"]After the Gospel sit down to listen attentively to the homily. If our hearts are open to our Lord, Jesus will speak to each person in some manner.[/size][/left][left][size="3"]

[/size][/left][left][size="3"]It is possible for the body to be moving and our minds be asleep or somewhere else. We must always be mindful that we are offering to God the Father, the same Sacrifice offered on Calvary.



[/size][/left][left][size="3"]To handle or receive the Sacred Host without proper reverence and adoration is not only disrespectful, it is the serious sin of sacrilege. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, (Now Blessed Mother Teresa) seeing the irreverence and abuses, which has crept into the liturgy, felt it was due to Communion in the hand....There have been abuses reported too frequently. Hosts, thought to be consecrated, have been found in pews, on the floor, or even in song books.[/size][/left]

[left][size="3"]Thus, I urge readers to reverently receive Our Divine Lord in Holy Communion on the tongue as the safest manner to protect the reverence we owe to the REAL PRESENCE of Jesus Christ who comes to us in the Eucharistic Banquet.[/size][/left]
[left][size="3"][/size][/left][left][left][size="3"]The sacred Host may be swallowed when one has returned to his pew, if not before. Then one should immediately [/size][size="3"][b]kneel [/b]in prayer, reverence, and adoration.[/size][/left]

[/left][left][left][b][size="3"]When Mass has ended, (and one should not leave before it has ended) [/size][size="3"]it is ideal to remain, at least a short time, in silent thanksgiving.[/size][/b][/left]
[left][size="3"][/size][/left]
[left][size="3"]Talking within the church as the congregation files out, leads to attitudes of forgetfulness that this is the HOUSE OF GOD.[/size][/left]

[/left][left][size="3"]Sunday Mass is not a time for T-shirts and jeans. The House of the Lord is never a place to appear in clothing, as one may see on the beach or at sporting events.
[/size][/left][left][size="3"][/size][/left][left][size="3"][/size][/left][left][size="3"][/size][/left][left][size="3"][/size] [/left][left][size="3"][/size] [/left][left][size="3"]It is truly gratifying to see girls and ladies throughout the land rediscovering the reverence associated with wearing the veil in church.[/size][/left]
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[size="3"]Source: Fr. Fox - Reverence in Church[/size][url="http://christianfamilyoutreach.com/pamphlets/reverenceinchurch.pdf"]
[/url][url="http://christianfami...nceinchurch.pdf"][size="3"]http://christianfami...nceinchurch.pdf[/size][/url]
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[size="3"]The part that stands out to me the most is that [color="#000000"][b]graces we receive are in direct proportion to our love and reverence[/b]. Keys to growing in our relationship. [/color][/size][/left]

Edited by JoyfulLife
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This thread has become so odd - if rather entertaining - that I cannot resist adding a very funny memory. In her best-selling book, "Karen" (1950s, when women still had to cover their heads in ch

If jeans are unacceptable for women, are they also for men? Also: tank tops and other sleeveless shirts, t-shirts (tight, torn, and/or with problematic illustrations or slogans), shorts, etc. Let

I remember being at a TLM at Rouen in Normandy, a lady entered with a mantilla. My (very) trad friend  whispered to me "that's how you spot the american tourist." Same at Chartres, you could spot the

Here's something that my pastor posts in the Sunday bulletin just about every week once summer rolls around:

[quote]
[b]Appropriate attire for Mass[/b] -- Now that the hot weather of summer is upon us, take the time to think about the appropriate way to dress for Mass. Are shorts of any type, but especially short-shorts, appropriate for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Have we become too casual in the way we approach Mass? Notice how our protestant brothers and sisters dress for Sunday church. Most often they put us Catholics to utter shame![/quote]

When I first read that, my jaw literally [i]dropped[/i]. Then immediately after I think I squealed in delight at such unexpected boldness!

This pastor is also quite adamant about maintaining reverence, silence, and respect within the main church. It shows in the way he celebrates Mass and seems to really spread throughout the rest of the congregation. In many ways I think they way the priest celebrates Mass helps to "set the tone" for everyone else. Little things can often have a big effect, even though we may not be aware of it.

In addition, I've been seeing more people wear chapel veils! At first it was only me for sometime, and then soon enough -- blessed be God! -- I'm not alone anymore! At first first, I felt super self-conscious about it, but little by little God eased me into it. And somehow, He inspired others to start veiling, too! I thought that was really nice of God. ^_^ (Though I do realize people aren't veiling "because of me" :lol: but I am grateful that I'm no longer the Lone Veiler. Haha!)

In another parish I went to during university, the pastor would occasionally say things in his homilies about proper Mass attire and about silence in the sanctuary. There used to be a sign before entering the main church which said, "This is God's house. Please keep a prayerful silence." or something like that. In that parish, there are also now guidelines on how various ministers (aka lectors, offertory and gift bearers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, etc) are to dress. Personally, I think it'd be nice if those guidelines could be made for the entire congregation.... I like this sign I saw in the Philippines:

[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v124/sadora/Philippines/Philippines%20Part%20II/Image159.jpg[/IMG]

:twothumbsup:

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Good article.

LOL @ the above picture! Except that I wear sandals... I wonder if those count as "slippers"? ^_^

I :love: silence because God is silent. Once I read (probably when I was reading about Carthusian spirituality) that the Holy Trinity dwells in perfect silence - God has only spoken one Word - Jesus. That meditation has stayed with me, and I find a reverent atmosphere that encourages interior silence makes me more aware of God's presence, and I'm more free to worship Him. Even at a High Mass with singing, there is still a silence that pervades everything.

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I definitely agree that immodest dress is a problem at Mass, but the aspect of this that strikes the deepest chord with me is the lack of reverent silence before but especially AFTER Mass. Recently I was blessed to spend a period of time in Rome, and while Mass attendance may be down among Italians, proper dress is more strictly enforced, open churches can be found around every corner, and most churches offer 3-5 daily Mass times. Even though I was there as a student at a secular university, I would almost have to go out of my way not to come upon a daily Mass at some point in my day. One of the most beautiful practices that I found myself drawn to while there was an extended thanksgiving after Mass. I would say that in an average daily Mass of about 25 people, half would drop to there knees as soon as the priest left the altar, and the rest would very quietly and respectfully genuflect and then immediately leave the church or else pray at a side altar. I grew so accustomed to the quiet and normalized prayer after Mass that when I came back to the States, that was one of the first things I noticed was painfully absent in my parish Sunday liturgies. Thankfully, when I go to daily mass I'm able to stay a while after to pray on my own, but there is a communal Rosary that begins immediately after Mass. I certainly don't want to imply that praying the Rosary is a bad thing, and I'm sure that my parish enjoys tremendous blessings as a result of the daily devotion, but I do miss the silence. Sundays are an entirely different story. People start filing out of their pews as the last hymn is playing, but rather than making a bee-line for the doors, everyone has a tendency of gathering in small groups, chatting excitedly, and catching up with friends. It is so noisy and everyone is pushing past each other in search of acquaintances that I find it just about impossible to pray at all after. In fact, most weekends I have hard enough time managing to genuflect on my way out without getting trampled by hordes of people. I suppose I could just bring the distraction and frustration to prayer, so maybe I'll start working on that. All I know is that it makes me incredibly thankful and a little nostalgic for my beautiful time in the Eternal City, and I pray for the day that everyone will drop to their knees after the final blessing (or else leave the rest of us to pray in peace!) [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif[/img]

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Back when my parish had Masses that used very contemporary music played by a band the attire and manners of people were definitely sub par. Loud talking before and after Mass, and sometimes during, and clothing that was less than modest. Now with the regular Sunday Mass most people are dressed more modestly but in particular after Mass people chat rather loudly while still in the church. I used to do this myself so I don't see myself as any better but instead I pray for those who do talk.

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I am at times guilty of wearing jeans to Sunday Mass. :paperbag:

This past Sunday the noise after Mass was terrible. I was trying to pray my thanksgiving and there were two moms standing right in front of me, just chatting away. :(

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[quote name='TeresaBenedicta' date='02 August 2010 - 01:54 PM' timestamp='1280771658' post='2150974']
I am at times guilty of wearing jeans to Sunday Mass. :paperbag:

[/quote]

I, too, am guilty of this, TB. :sweat:

Granted, I've been trying to up my clothing collection since having arrived home. :lol: I finally have some decent dress slacks! :hehehe:

But usually for daily Mass, I wear what I'm planning on wearing the rest of the day -- usually dark jeans, but I'll switch out a t-shirt for a nicer casual dress shirt and then change back to the t-shirt when I get back. :unsure:

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[quote name='laetitia crucis' date='02 August 2010 - 03:07 PM' timestamp='1280772449' post='2150983']
I, too, am guilty of this, TB. :sweat:

Granted, I've been trying to up my clothing collection since having arrived home. :lol: I finally have some decent dress slacks! :hehehe:

But usually for daily Mass, I wear what I'm planning on wearing the rest of the day -- usually dark jeans, but I'll switch out a t-shirt for a nicer casual dress shirt and then change back to the t-shirt when I get back. :unsure:
[/quote]

You do better than me for daily Mass! I'll often be found in whatever I'm wearing for the day, which is usually jeans and a t-shirt/sweatshirt. :thumbdown:

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I wear jeans to Mass especially in winter. :cold: In summer I wear a blouse and dress slacks or a decent t shirt and capris. When I visited Carmel I regretted wearing jeans and a t shirt back to the airport because next to the nuns I felt veeeeeery inappropriately dressed. By secular standards I looked normal for traveling but I suddenly felt like I should have worn something a bit nicer :sweat: Something with a longer sleeve at least. Oh well lesson learned if I ever visit any nuns ever again! Sorry if that's off topic.

Edited by vee8
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It helps to keep in mind that you are meeting Jesus in person when you go to Church. Think of what you would wear on try-out or retreat at a traditional convent or monastery, or you were entering Heaven. I typically see professionals dressing better for their career than parishioners for Church. At least it's only an hour, then you can slip into casual clothes. It's a great thing to work toward and your self-respect and modesty will have an influence of others. :)

P.S. I hate jeans. I hate the way they feel and fit. Ick. But I've come to love simple, flowy skirts and dresses for all day wear. It certainly took me a long time to come to get used to them and like them though.

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[quote name='JoyfulLife' date='02 August 2010 - 06:56 PM' timestamp='1280786209' post='2151109']
It helps to keep in mind that you are meeting Jesus in person when you go to Church. Think of what you would wear on try-out or retreat at a traditional convent or monastery, or you were entering Heaven. I typically see professionals dressing better for their career than parishioners for Church. At least it's only an hour, then you can slip into casual clothes. It's a great thing to work toward and your self-respect and modesty will have an influence of others. :)

P.S. I hate jeans. I hate the way they feel and fit. Ick. But I've come to love simple, flowy skirts and dresses for all day wear. It certainly took me a long time to come to get used to them and like them though.
[/quote]

I think, culturally, it's hard for those sorts of reasons to resonate with me. I accept them, of course, and I do honestly try, most of the time, to present myself as nicely as possible for Holy Mass... but the concept just doesn't resonate very well with me, for better or for worse.

See, to all of what you said to keep in mind, I would never desire to be all dressed up for those occasions. For me, being dressed up is uncomfortable, burdensome, and distracting. I mean-- appearances are important, I do believe that. I never wear immodest or raggedy clothing.

Yes, I get dressed up for work. Yes, I get dressed up for dinner parties. But I don't like it. [i]Especially[/i] the former.

Maybe the problem is what kind of nice clothing I have. It's terribly uncomfortable.

To be honest, I'd rather meet Jesus dressed in rags than in some nice outfit.

One more reason to love the thought of being in habit for the rest of my life!!! Won't have to worry about any of this!!!

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[quote name='TeresaBenedicta' date='02 August 2010 - 07:21 PM' timestamp='1280787685' post='2151119']
Maybe the problem is what kind of nice clothing I have. It's terribly uncomfortable.
[/quote]

Absolutely. With some persistance, you can find simple, modest, loose, soft, long, COMFY skirts, dresses and blouses. Honestly, with what I've found, I put it on first thing in the morning and wear it all day. And there is a wonderul kind of slip for under skirts and dresses... It isn't a skirt-like slip but a pant kind of style that goes to your knees. Very breathable and you don't even feel it.

Here's a photo of them: [url="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rSinhhFTL.jpg"]http://ecx.images-am...41rSinhhFTL.jpg[/url]

Edited by JoyfulLife
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I understand about the lack of reverance and silence due in Church. It bothers me very much when I see people chatting away in Church like it's their own social hall, when they could just as well go to the Parish Hall after Mass and socialize there! I've seen all sorts of clothing choices worn to Mass, as well. :rolleyes: You wouldn't believe it! Halter tops, tube tops, flip flops, shorts, ripped jeans, etc. I understand that not everyone can afford nice dress clothes, but come on people! At least wear something modest and decent! I HATE seeing mini-skirts at Mass. We have one EMHC who loves to wear mini-skirts and, on more than one occasion, has bent over a little too much! :scream: We had the GIRM guidelines for what to wear, but it seems lay ministers keep wearing outrageous clothes. There was even one older lady who chose to serve with bright orange nail and toe polish. I don't mean to pick, but it's kind of hard to focus on the Eucharist when the minister is wearing something so bright.

There is one Church I sometimes go to downtown that is dedicated to Our Lady Immaculate. I love it there. Not only are the parishioners reverent, but there is a sign posted on the door about proper dress and a reminder to turn cell phones off. I would make it my permanent Church if it wasn't so far away and I didn't still live at home. :)

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