My husband and I like to get to Mass early in order to have time to prepare for Mass and get some extra prayers headed into our day. It is not always an easy task especially on Sundays. It sounds more like an audience getting ready for a performance than Catholics readying themselves for the Sacrifice of the Mass. There is the rattling and shuffling of the Sunday bulletin as people sit back (not the least worried about people who might be kneeling behind them) and rustle through the pages turning to their spouses to make remarks or bring things to his attention often out loud because ‘Mass hasn’t stated yet, right?”
There have been times when someone starts applause over the least thing that happens to tickle their fancy and the ‘sheep’ join in regardless of whether they really know what is going on.
One tends to start longing for the quiet before Mass when people enter in anticipation of being with our Lord rather than greeting friends and waving across the church to include those sitting too far away.
From the Our Father on, you muse over the lack of awe and piety you would think would be evident as we are facing the Real Presence on the altar. It doesn’t seem to happen as we have to fend of ardent hand holders at the Our Father and the people scampering here and there to shake hands with people they just saw coming into church earlier. They seem to put more into the person-to-person greet-fest and forget Who is now truly present.
As Saint John Chrysostom says, “Nothing so becomes a church as silence and good order.”