Monday, March 26, 2012

Too Loud in Mass?

Q - A few weeks ago at Mass I sat in front of a woman who was very loud. It wasn't that she was talking to others, but she was almost yelling the responses of the congregation during Mass. I almost turned around and said something to her, because it was so distracting, but thought better of it. What do you think I should have done, if anything?

A - Thanks for the question. I think all of us have experienced such distractions from others in Mass. There can be a number of reasons that someone is too loud during the congregation's parts in the Mass:
  • they don't know how loud they are
  • they want others to notice them
  • they are very zealous about the faith
  • they are naturally very loud
No matter the reason, they can be a distraction for others. For your part, I think it is best not to do anything, but rather, I would offer it up as a sacrifice. We need to set a good example and shushing people or giving them angry looks will not draw them closer to God.

Furthermore, we need to learn that we cannot control other people's actions, but we can control how we react to them. I believe it is best to offer up prayers for those people who distract and annoy us.

Not to those who are very loud in Mass - please realize that you can cause a distraction for others and that it is better to keep your volume on an average level rather than loud. I promise God can still hear you.

I hope this helps.

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Liz said...

agh that's one of my biggest pet peeves when people say the responses louder (and a bit slower) or sing louder than everyone else. unity is key!

√Čamonn said...

Don't forget the possibility of someone being deaf or partly deaf. I remember a very pious celebrant at an EF Mass saying eveything that should have been quiet in quite a loud voice - he thought he was whispering!

Molly said...

I agree that it's best to say nothing, but I too am easily distracted by overly loud responses. I wish I wasn't, but truthfully I get distracted by most anything easily, so I just found a way to solve the problem.

Sit in the front (first couple rows). Sitting in front of those who are distracting tends to be less of a distraction for me.

I actually wish more people with young children sat up front. In my observation (no I don't have kids, it's just what I notice), In most cases, the young children who sit at the front of the Church are better behaved during Mass 'cos they're paying attention and not too distracted.