PARAÑAQUE City, Aug. 25, 2015—A priest from the Diocese of Parañaque has taken steps to discourage the faithful from clapping after Mass, noting that the liturgy has no place for a gesture that glorifies people rather than God.
“Since there is no place for recognizing individual achievements during the liturgy, we likewise recommend our pastors and lay liturgical ministers to refrain from the habit of mentioning the services rendered by particular individuals or groups, such as the lay liturgical ministers, the presence of government officials, or even the presiding celebrant himself,” explains Fr. John Francis Frederick K. Manlapig in a recent circular.
As chair of Parañaque’s Diocesan Commission on Liturgy and Popular Religiosity (CLPR), the priest reminds fellow pastors as well as lay liturgical ministers like commentators, to discourage parishioners from applauding, or leading them to such an action, during and after Mass.
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Manlapig, however, goes on to admit that there are cases when applause may be allowed, especially on special diocesan events, important parish celebrations, feast day of a titular patron, the dedication of the church itself, and others.
“Whereas the act of clapping has no place in the liturgy, it may be argued that this act, which is practiced by Christian communities after the Mass, may well be an expression of thanksgiving for a beautifully celebrated liturgy and gratitude for the grace of the Eucharist that has been received,” says.
“There are occasions wherein the faithful are invited to clap their hands, for instance, when a newly ordained priest is presented to the community by the bishop, or when a newly married couple is introduced by the solemnizing minister, or catechumens as they are received by the parish community during the Easter Vigil,” he adds.
According to Manlapig, in these situations, the applause is meant as an appreciation of the grace received and the growth of the church, not for individual achievements. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)