Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
You know how Sharia law calls for the hands of theives to be chopped off? Yeah, well my kids know that a similar penalty will be lovingly applied by their father if I ever catch them clapping at Mass.
I have seen clapping too many times to count. Most of you probably have as well. Years ago I had a priest who, post communion, would ask for a round of applause for everybody from the ushers, to the altar persons, to the singers, to the groundskeepers.
Applause in Church is the thing that makes my eyes twitch and my brow furrow, forcing me to harshly pinch the skin on my leg so as to maintain control and not shout as loud as I can, "FOR HEAVEN"S SAKE!! STOP!!"
For me, applause at mass it the most visible sign of the anthropocentric corruption of our worship.
Cardinal Ratzinger famously said in Spirit of the Liturgy, (I think I will make shirts with this emblazoned on the back to wear to Mass)
"Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. Such attraction fades quickly - it cannot compete in the market of leisure pursuits, incorporating as it increasingly does various forms of religious titillation..
Ah. Religious titillation. That seems outlandish!! Well, except for this video making the rounds. This is a video that the Daily News report upon:
"Jose Planas Moreno, or Father Pepe, as he is known, brings flocks of congregants to the Nuestra Senora del Carmen church in Campanilla by clicking his heels and strutting his stuff.
The 66-year-old and female worshippers twirl down the aisles doing the sevillanas, a traditional dance very similar to flamenco."
Religious titillation indeed. The Daily News lede on this article says it all. "It’s a lot more fun than going to Confession."
What does clapping have to do with a Flamenco dancing priest? Read Cardinal Ratzinger above again.
If Cardinal Ratzinger doesn't cut it for you, how about the Saint who called Vatican II? From New Liturgical Movement.
THe fourth Sunday of Lent, John XXIII was once again among the crowd, at Ostia. (about 15 miles to the south-west of Rome.) Thousands of people were waiting for him along the street, in the piazza, in the church. They wanted to see him, to applaud him. They did not know that afterwards, he would rebuke them, in a good-natured way, in his simple , spontaneous, familiar way of speaking.It is time to wrap the clap as a starting point to remove the anthropocentric mentality that has destroyed worship these past 45 years.
“I am very glad to have come here. But if I must express a wish, it is that in church you not shout out, that you not clap your hands, and that you not greet even the Pope, because ‘templum Dei, templum Dei.’ (‘The temple of God is the temple of God.’)