A church official has called for “abstinence” from inappropriate clapping at Mass, saying that the Eucharist is a “happy feast and a memorial of Calvary”, reported CBCP News.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said that clapping at Mass, “if not nipped early, can rob us of the true meaning of Christian liturgy and worship.”
“Who would have clapped at Calvary? Would the Blessed Mother and John the Beloved have clapped?” Villegas said in a Lenten message issued Feb. 21.
“The breaking of the Bread is a commemoration of the violent death that the Lord went through. Who claps while others are in pain? It is pain with love; yes, but it still pain,” he said.
The archbishop particularly urged priests to refrain from using applause to keep their parishioners alert and awake during the homily.
Villegas emphasized that a “well prepared, brief, inspired and inspiring” homily “has a longer lifespan than intermittent clapping as you preach”.
If there is a need to give a post-communion message, he discouraged the naming of particular persons or groups who the parish wish to appreciate for their work or donations made to the Church.
The giving of appreciation, he added, must be done outside the Mass.
Villegas pointed out that when the congregation clap at an ordination Mass after calling the candidate, the applause is not for the ordinand but for the Lord who calls.
However, he lamented that “this is not the case with many of our applauses in the church”.
Read his full statement here.