you not know where you are?
You are at the foot of the Cross with Jesus Christ hanging upon it!
That is why it is called The Most Holy SACRIFICE of the
During and especially after Mass ...
If you applaud at Mass or immediately after Mass, you
completely fail to understand where you are and Who is
Consider this: somehow you are
transported 2022 years ago and you are standing at the very foot of
the Cross with Mary, Mary Salome, and the Apostle Saint John. They
are weeping inconsolably. The Blood of Christ, dripping from every
wound and laceration inflicted upon Him, falls onto the hands of His
Mother, Mary. They are devastated …
But you are not. You clap your hands gleefully,
applauding the greatest and most gruesome crime in all history. In
fact, you are sprightly playing your guitar, banging on your piano,
and singing stale and banal songs as Christ is in His agony before
This is possible on two accounts, and two accounts only:
You do not know,
understand, or comprehend where you are.
You are not of a
sound mind (non compos mentis)
Only under one of these two
conditions would you applaud in the face of Christ’s
But the reality is this:
• On the Altar (not a
Protestant “table”, but an Altar of Sacrifice) during the
Canon of the Mass 1 the priest confects and
transubstantiates the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of
Yes! The bread actually
becomes Christ’s Body hanging upon the Cross! The wine
actually becomes Christ’s Blood, dripping down His Sacred
Body from every wound and laceration.
Really and truly! — not
figuratively. Not symbolically. Not in mere remembrance.
It is His
wounded flesh and His copious Blood
being crucified before you upon that sacred Altar of
YOU ARE, IN FACT, AT THE VERY FOOT
OF THE CROSS!
And you applaud??? APPLAUD???!!!
You should be trembling.
Let us look at this more closely. Most people would agree
that applauding during (or after) the execution of a criminal
would be — let us say, not in good taste and terribly
inappropriate no matter what his crime or number of crimes.
will witness his execution. In fact, you may be capable of sprightly play your
guitar, and/or bang on your piano, and singing utterly banal songs
as he is being lethally injected or electrocuted. Even in
secular society it would be unacceptable — even
condemned as outrageous! You would be vilified and ostracized
— as well you should be.
If it is inappropriate to do these things during (or
after) the execution of even the vilest criminal — why is it
appropriate with Jesus Christ during (or after) Mass. He is
Innocens Patri: The Innocent of the Father. Sinless.
HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY CLAP OUR HANDS
IN APPLAUSE FOR HIS CRUCIFIXION? Either during Mass or after
Should you be clapping your hands? Is this what you are
capable of doing in the very Presence of Christ crucified on the
“Absolutely not. It’s most inappropriate and it’s the
responsibility of the pastor to make sure that the
congregation understands this. The choir is not singing
as a matter of entertaining anybody. They’re singing to
worship God. We don’t clap for prayer. We pray”, says
Father Vincent Serpa O.P. at Catholic Answers.
Pope Benedict XVI was absolutely and unequivocally
clear about this:
“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
At my own parish I have witnessed not just the applause
solicited by the priest himself! — who actually
encourages this blasphemous and certainly profane response
from the congregation, urging them to clap for merely
parenthetical figures present during Mass:
The choir and the
(often miserable) music it produces.
A Soloist within the
The Altar “Servers” —
mostly girls — the term “Servers” being “correctly” neutral
in a nod to a profane genderless and Feminist agendum now
popular (indeed, de rigueur), at Masses. The ushers
Where is Christ in the mix?
It is such a profane conclusion (the word “profane” understood as
“relating or devoted to that which is not sacred or biblical;
secular rather than religious.”) to something sacred — that is to
say, the gesture of clapping or applauding is totally secular,
mundane, and unrelated to worship. It is, however, completely proper
to entertainment …
Why this final focus on man, instead of God? All those listed
above — wittingly or not — call our attention away from Christ … to
themselves. It is noteworthy that in response to the applause heaped
upon them, each properly bow in turn … as befits entertainers and
their audience — not God and His worshippers.
Lately, I have even begun hearing hoots and whistles from the
congregation … and how few remain to give prayerful thanks to God
for His sacrifice on Calvary which we have witnessed this day!
How much more can we secularize the Mass? With the whimsical Francis
micromanaging the Church, I’m afraid much more …
1 The Canon of the Mass is the most sacred part of the Mass, and
it begins with the “Epiclesis” — or the calling down upon the Holy
Ghost to transform the bread and wine into the actual Body and Blood
“Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down Your
Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us
the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.”,
and ends with the final Doxology: “through Him, with Him,
and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor
almighty Father forever and ever. Amen.”
3 Joseph Ratzinger Collected Works:
Theology of the Liturgy
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
Printable PDF Version
Comments? Write us:
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum
Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power, and
yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.”
Copyright © 2004 - 2022 Boston Catholic
Journal. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise stated, permission
is granted by the Boston Catholic Journal for the copying
and distribution of the articles and audio files under the
following conditions: No additions, deletions, or
changes are to be made to the text or audio files in any
way, and the copies may not be sold for a profit. In the
reproduction, in any format of any image, graphic, text,
or audio file, attribution must be given to the Boston Catholic