I sincerely thank the many who replied to my post.
I’ll try to answer everyone. Since several folks expressed (kind) disagreement, I hope I won’t be thought unkind for arguing my own view a little more, in reply.
You’re welcome. Thank you for your service to Our Lord.
@Mr. Two Cents:
Thank you for your charitable reply. I’d like to seek out the musicians and personally thank them; and in fact on the one occasion that I knew who one of them was, I did so. However, they’re up in that choir loft which has a high, solid rail. Apart from the one person bringing his instrument down the stairs, I’ve never seen their faces. No clue who they are. (It’s a parish of several thousand families, so it’s not like I know everyone.)
Also, you say that a clap is “not appropriate in the sanctuary”; Where is that written? And, I was not standing in the sanctuary—as I understand that term, meaning the apse—but among the pews. (Were you using “sanctuary” in the Protestant usage?) I can well believe “not appropriate in the Mass!” ...but of course I was speaking of a moment when Mass is clearly over, people are already making noise exiting the building. So are you asserting that clapping is not appropriate anywhere within the church? And if so, on what basis?
I quite agree with Pope Benedict’s statement that, “Whenever 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because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of the liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment.”
But, I was talking about after the liturgy is concluded.
Thanks for your reply. You say: “I am a choir member and sometimes cantor and I HATE IT when people clap.” Do you hate it occurring DURING the liturgy (in which case I heartily agree with you) or AFTER, as well? (In which case, is the proximity to the liturgy the source of your objection?)
And of course I quite agree with your quote from the Psalmist: To God be the glory. But—respectfully—be careful not to accidentally sound like a Protestant! I am sure you are entirely Catholic in your outlook; but have you considered that the view that expressing appreciation of one of God’s creatures being faithful detracts from the glory of God is precisely why Protestants object to Catholic veneration of saints and hyperdulia towards Mary? They exclaim “to God ALONE be the Glory!” ...with all worthy intentions, of course. But Our Father is a good Father. He loves it when His children do well, and revels in Mary as His creature par excellance. If Jesus is not offended when we offer hyperdulia to His mother, I suspect He is also not offended when we offer appreciation to His creatures who faithfully use their gifts to His glory. Since they are in Him, this does not detract glory from God: If they are in Him, then it IS a way of giving glory to God.
Thanks for your reply, but does it make much sense to say that clapping after Mass is a distraction during Mass? Is it an anticipatory distraction?
Thanks for your kind reply. My respectful response is twofold:
First, I am not talking about during Mass, but after.
I made that distinction pretty clear in my original post, I thought. But, oddly, you’re not the first who has replied as if I clapped immediately after every song throughout the liturgy (which would of course be utterly inappropriate).
I am surprised that so many seem not to have captured that distinction. Is it common among Catholics other than myself to see the rules for behavior during Mass and after Mass as identical? If there is no difference in our behavior between the two, then how dare we rise up off our knees? (Let alone have the deacon offer a couple of minutes’ worth of purely businesslike announcements!)
Secondly, Mary points to Christ, and that is your job and mine as well. But this, please note, does not mean that a Christian should never say good things about Mary, or express appreciation of Mary, as if hyperdulia to her detracted from adoration of God. (What a Protestant notion!) As I commented in reply to another person, above, Our Father revels in the good deeds of His children. No good father says, “Quit saying good things about my kids, I only want you to say good things about ME!” And Our Father is a very good father.
So it seems to me that there is a time for the admiration of every good thing, to the glory of the One who made them. No less so musicians and their gifts. Our Lord is the sole focus of the Mass; consequently admiration expressed to others, however deserved, is not timely during the Mass. But when Mass is over, and we have not only risen from our knees but the whole crowd is moving to the exit, I think an expression of gratitude towards the musicians is appropriate. And in my parish at least, where they cannot be seen or identified up in the loft, I can think of no better way than to clap. (Unless I were to grab a censer and send smoke signals.)
Thanks once again to all for their charitable replies.