Monday, October 19, 2009

Whooping In Mass

Q - Is it appropriate for an Aggie, or anyone for that matter, to make a "whooping" sound while inside the Church? I have attended St Mary's Church a few times and have witnessed this on more than one occasion.

A - Thanks for the question.  Before I get into my answer, I would like to let everyone know what your question is about.  Texas A&M is a school full of traditions.  One of the traditions is what is called a "whoop".  This is when an Aggie wants to show approval or excitement about something.  Only juniors and seniors have the privilege of whooping.  You will hear Aggies whooping after yells (we don't have cheers at A&M) or any other time someone is excited.  It also happens at St. Mary's in the place of clapping.

I highly recommend you read these two posts about distractions / problems in Mass.  I think they get to the same issues as whooping and they give my philosophy on dealing with issues such as these.
1 - Holding hands during the Our Father.
2 - Clapping during Mass.

1 comment:

Roz said...

You have sense. I'm with you on whooping and applause, with one exception.

Our decidedly non-applausive parish was treated to a stunningly beautiful rendition of an unusual Ave Maria last Sunday. It was profoundly moving for me, and as I found out later, for many there. At the end, some scattered applause broke out because, as human beings, when we experience something like that, we want to express something.

So, I'm not a proponent of applause as an expression of support, except perhaps as a charitable response to a choir of young children. But most of us Americans are significantly impoverished when it comes to expressiveness in response to God. (Oh, for a surge of the shouted "Amen!" in Catholic churches, though that's probably too much to hope for.) Yesterday, only that scattered applause showed me that my response wasn't an individual thing but a shared response from the worshiping community, and that enriched it.

So I vote for "applause when you absolutely can't help it."