Silence in Worship

Something that is very alien to our world at this time is silence. There seems to be always some noise present. Yet silence is so important in the celebration of liturgy and prayer and also in conversation. Pope Francis says this about silence in the Mass: ‘Many times it is expressly prescribed in the rubrics. The entire eucharistic celebration is immersed in the silence which precedes its beginning, and which marks every moment of its ritual unfolding. In fact, it is present in the penitential act, after the invitation, ‘Let us pray’, in the Liturgy of the Word (before the readings, between the readings and after the homily). In the eucharistic prayer, after communion. Such silence is not an inner have in which to hide oneself in some sort of intimate isolation, as if leaving the ritual form behind as a distraction. That kind of silence would contradict the essence itself of the celebration (taken from the document ‘Desiderio Desideravi’ n.52). Next week we will look at the second half of that paragraph! For the moment let us meditate silently on what and who is presented to us in the celebration of the liturgy!