Silence
Silence

Silence is to be observed at various times during the liturgy, namely before Mass to create a reverent atmosphere, at the Penitential Rite, during the Liturgy of the Word, before the Opening Prayer, the Prayer over the Gifts and the Prayer after communion, and for a time after communion.

Silence in a church with a full assembly is a virtual impossibility; an atmosphere of quiet rather than of stone cold silence is much more attainable and desirable. The silence we strive for before mass is different from the quiet experienced when we are all asked to pray together, yet silently.

A communal silence is full of sound; those of people settling in the pews, arranging hymnals, opening missalettes, pulling down kneelers or putting them back up, small children with their needs and little protestations. 

Silence during the readings is one in which we focus our attention to the message being proclaimed. God is speaking to us in the here and now, we are not only being quiet we are engaging in active listening.

Silence after we have all received communion is different still. We are satisfied having sung and prayed the whole Mass, and need a little time now to quietly commune with the Lord.     (January 15, 2006)

For more please see: What are the Appropriate Times for Silence?

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