Comments: opinion

Mark Vernon speaks of his longing for silence in Church. His remarks find an echo in those of us who long for time to digest the message of that peace that 'passes all our human understanding' that we used to encounter - both before and during times of worship together.

The sheer business of people's lives seems to impinge on the little time we allocate to coming together for the purpose of worship - to the extent that the 'Meet and Greet' culture on arrival has taken over from any chance for quiet reflection before the celebration of Christ's Presence in the Eucharist.

And also; the 3 lessons and the psalm so rarely are given an adequate time for reflection on their inner meaning, that mere words can replace our contemplation of God's Word-made-flesh among us.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 24 June 2012 at 2:14am BST

Richard Godwin's interview with Archbishop Williams is excellent. It is good to find a journalist who recognises his considerable qualities in addition to his erudition. I sense, too, that people will miss him when he moves on. No Archbishop of Canterbury has been more wasted on the body he leads than him. He is too good for the job, and the Church of England, as it is now, does not deserve him. Praise God that he will be able to continue to write and lecture in his next post.

Posted by John Bowles at Sunday, 24 June 2012 at 5:37pm BST

I see a Fresh Expression coming on: 'Church with a bit of silence, interspersed by restrained, thoughtful words and decent music'....

Posted by david rowett at Sunday, 24 June 2012 at 7:09pm BST

Silence in church is hard to achieve when a quarter of the congregation is made up of pre-school children. And I for one am glad to see them there, and I know that the reason their parents bring them to our church is that we're not bothered if they make a bit of noise.

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Monday, 25 June 2012 at 8:12pm BST

Have just looked in on your parish web-site, David, and am impressed by the extend of your purview. Blessings, fr.Ron

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 26 June 2012 at 12:50am BST

There used to be (in North Curry church?) a sign in the sanctuary reminding visitors that it was private 'to those in service at the altar going about their duties, to the broken-hearted in need of forgiveness, and to children in their innocence.'

The haligweorc blog gives an interesting comment on the piece, remarking that we can't expect the Mass to provide all we need in a spiritual diet - but by the same token, I don't think that the 'silence' issue is about small people being natural glossolaliacs, but about liturgy which resists silence, seeking to fill it in with music/muzak and music-hall-compère sound-alike, and about the ability of adults to natter, chatter and generally muck about. A colleague of mine in this deanery is renowned for apologising to people in church in case his praying is disturbing their conversation.....

Posted by david rowett at Tuesday, 26 June 2012 at 4:12pm BST
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