Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Chapter 52

I have had reason over the last few weeks to keep coming back to Chapter 52 of the Rule of St Benedict.

Chapter 52 On the Oratory of the Monastery

Let the oratory be what it is called, a place of prayer; and let nothing else be done there or kept there. When the Work of God is ended, let all go out in perfect silence, and let reverence for God be observed, so that any brother who may wish to pray privately will not be hindered by another's misconduct.
I wonder why this can't apply in parish churches. It's not about being obsessively neurotic and never saying a word in church unless it is a prayer .... but, if you want to chat, why not outside the church? It's not about wanting to be unwelcoming .... but in the church I want to do something else.

I was recently totally phased - and I do mean totally - by someone who came up to me in church to ask how my week had been. My explanation that "I don't do talking in Church" probably went over more as a put down than as an explanation of why I quite literally couldn't sustain anything vaguely resembling a conversation in the circumstances.

I can't cope!

1 comment:

Kate said...

In our parish, which suffers from excessive talking before and after Sunday Mass, The PP requested on Good Friday, that people observe silence after the 3 o'clock liturgy- which they did.
So,it can be done, but priests are going to have to keep reminding the congregation regularly, until it relearns previous good habits!