To the editor:
Thank you for all the marvelous reading material in the June monthly Catholic Courier, for all the old categories and especially for the many new ones!
I offer my sympathies to Joanne Lepkowski who finds the church before and after Mass too noisy for prayer (June 2, “Discipline key to more vocations”).
But she doesn’t mention “Thank God we can call out our responses loud and clear during Mass.” The altar boy used to rattle them off for us — and in Latin! And doesn’t she rejoice at being heard as we all say the beautiful Gloria, or sing it? And how sensible and marvelous to hear the full congregation call out the articles of our faith in the Creed so loud and clear. These are very real prayers!
As for the talking and visiting before Mass, it is at the very least a human and natural practice to greet our partners in faith. Something is missing if we have no friends here. Years ago we may have considered the church as being run by the priests and nuns. Now I believe we realize it is also ours, to clean and decorate and fill for the purposes of worship. On Sunday we come for the Mass, and at the first sound of the opening hymn, our private talking stops.
After Mass, again, the natural and human reaction is to say goodbye to our pew mates and friends near us and to seek out others on our way out with messages or good wishes. Did we ever end Mass in silence? This is a beautiful sound. I hope it will always follow Mass and I hope it always did.
One suggestion which may help Ms. Lepkowski — for a quiet prayer time some people come a half hour early. The greeting noises do not start for another 15 or 20 minutes.
Josephine C. Lavin
South West Street