A Little Silence at Communion
  • from a recent post: A little silence at communion is a good thing, I think.

    I think so too! And you?
  • I agree completely.

    Even if my choir sings at communion or post communion, we are always silent as the Blessed Sacrament is replaces into the tabernacle. The closing click of the tabernacle doors is the cue for a post communion hymn.
  • RCS333
    Posts: 34
    Complete agreement
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,739
    TLM... I thank God that there is MAINLY silence throughout as I am now attending regularly
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,915
    After the tabernacle door closes we get a minute of stillness on Sundays, and a bit longer on weekdays.
    GIRM 88. When the distribution of Communion is over, if appropriate, the Priest and faithful pray quietly for some time.
    It seems a bit hard on the celebrant to get no respite, we PIPs have time to reflect while we wait for others.
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • After the tabernacle door closes we get a minute of stillness on Sundays, and a bit longer on weekdays.
    GIRM 88. When the distribution of Communion is over, if appropriate, the Priest and faithful pray quietly for some time.
    It seems a bit hard on the celebrant to get no respite, we PIPs have time to reflect while we wait for others.


    I don't disagree. Our parish has a couple of considerations that I would like to get your thoughts on... First, unlike what is done in so many places these OF days where they are simply set aside to be dealt with later, our priest takes time to carefully purify the vessels before retiring to the chair. Secondly, we have a second collection every single week. Continuing the practice of my predecessor, we have used the post-communion music as a "cover" for these activities.
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,915
    We too have music (organ, not hymn) for a second collection, but very few of those, only when required by the diocese. Appeals by visiting missionaries, or similar, get a retiring collection.
    Unfortunately, we have not adopted the purification as required by the current Missal.
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 351
    Last year when on holiday in France we attended Sunday Mass in Avignon. The congregation stood in silence as the Blessed Sacrament was replaced in the tabernacle after the distribution of Communion, then as the door was closed they all bowed. It was very reverent. Does this happen anywhere else? We had never seen it before
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 271
    Here we have the antiphon read at all the non-high Masses, or a cantor sings it. In both cases, I improvise from the end of the antiphon until the celebrant returns to his chair. At the high Masses, the schola/choir chant/sing the antiphon/polyphony; I improvise thereafter until the celebrant sits.

    Thus we have two periods of silence: from the Ecce Agnus Dei through to the reading/singing following the priest’s communion, and then from the priest’s sitting down, until he either gets up for the postcommunion, or reaches for his hymnal, signaling it’s time for the hymn after communion, at the high Mass. In both cases, he determines the length, but the former tends to be 15”, and the latter about the same, depending on how he judges it.

    What’s in between is always seamless and coherent, and ends with organ pp most times of year, or bigly on Easter, as needed. In Lent/Advent, we have only the unaccompanied chanting of the antiphon with psalm verses, which naturally leaves more silence as one has to either end a bit early, or else eat into the silence at the end.

    I find this vastly preferable to the complete silence I sometimes experience elsewhere at unexpected points during Communion. Unless you have a clear leaflet to follow, and know what’s coming up, it feels to me quite jarring to wonder if the musicians ran out of music, if they timed things wrong, when they’re going to start up again, why the organist abruptly quit what seemed like a good improvisation, where 4 more bars would’ve brought it home and matched the action.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,494
    A little silence at communion is a good thing, I think.


    I said it and still believe it. When I took my job nearly 20 years ago, my predecessor treated the mass as if she were accompanying a silent movie. It was almost like she was allergic to silence and thought everything needed accompaniment. I don't time things to the exact second, but finish playing and singing with enough time for some silence after communion. Rarely, something happens that minimizes that silence, but most of the time I can include it.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 814
    Secondly, we have a second collection every single week


    Our pastor has moved the second collection to immediately after the first.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,890
    Unless you have a clear leaflet to follow, and know what’s coming up, it feels to me quite jarring to wonder if the musicians ran out of music


    That's the point-of-view of a musician, not a liturgist. Charles' predecessor--who was 'allergic to silence'--is a manifestation of the "mo'Music" syndrome.

    There's a reason that Cd. Sarah wrote a book about the need for silence.
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • PolskaPiano
    Posts: 164
    Girm states 86 states that (in the OF) the communion chant (I assume hymn as well) begins when the priest take Communion. Ideally the chant or hymn will continue as the PIP receive and end with the last communicant.

    The silent part come after that. Silence is necessary and even specifically called for (as mentioned above re Par. 88). I take great effort to bring the hymn to a close with the last few communicants, so we can observe the all too lacking silence in the liturgy. Perhaps this is a reason why I don't do post communion hymns much.
    Thanked by 1Paul F. Ford
  • PolskaPiano
    Posts: 164
    Viola, in the US, kneeling is prescribed as is our custom, but yes, all continue to kneel in silence during purification and while the Blessed Sacrament is returned to the tabernacle. It is generally the custom for those kneeling to return to the sitting position when the priests returns to his seat after reserving the sacament.
    Thanked by 1Viola
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,915
    "during purification and while the Blessed Sacrament is returned to the tabernacle"
    Surely in both EF and OF the rubrics say any remaining hosts should be returned to the tabernacle before the purification [Ritus servandus X.7, GIRM 163].
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 326
    In the Cleveland Diocese, in the OF, all remain standing until everyone receives communion then you can sit or kneel in silence.
  • Personally I love the idea of a little silence: Especially as I get older, it's what I need to really pray.

    But I'm not sure how to get co-operation from the impatient toddlers who are extremely fidgety by communion. Or the non-verbal intellectually disabled man who attends every second weekend while he's in respite care - he grunts throughout the entire liturgy. Or the older lady with very little English who is audibly saying the rosary to herself from when she sits down after Communion.

    I could tell their caregivers to take them all away. But I'm not sure that is what Jesus would recommend.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW toddevoss
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 814
    Or how about the people who talk during Mass. If there is a moment when the priest is not speaking and the music is not playing, you can hear multiple whispered conversations going on.