Question: When I go to Church on Sunday to attend the celebration of the Holy Mass, I usually arrive twenty to thirty minutes early. During this early arrival, I try to pray in silence. During the past few months, this has been impossible because the men who are responsible for the plate collection, they are continuously socializing in the Church, talking very loudly up until the moment when the Mass starts. Is there a Church rule against this rude behaviour and what can I do to stop it?
Answer: First, of all, no, there is no written rule against talking loud in the Church. But there are unwritten rules against unnecessary talk that surpasses a low whisper, such talks often consisting of socializing and, or gossip. By this, it is meant that:
A) The Church, the building of God, the House of God, the dwelling-lace of God among men, the Holy Temple, is a place of worship, "a place of prayer." [Mt. 21:13] (C.C.CC. # 756) It is unholy to turn the Holy House of God into a man-made place of socializing or gossiping. The House of God, where dwelling the Real Presence of God, must be treated with ongoing reverence.
B) Unnecessary talk in the Church is a total disrespect for one's brothers and sisters in Christ who are praying, against the faithful who seek to grow in their spiritual lives. Talking in the Church falls short of manifesting love, charity, kindness and self-control, these being fruits of the Holy Spirit. [Gal. 5:22]
What can be done to stop people from talking in the Church? You can print this webpage and give a copy to those who disrupt the moments of prayer in the Church. Also, you can either ask those involved to step outside the Church if they wish to talk or you can bring the matter up to the attention of the Church committee or the Parish priest, asking these to educate the parishioners regarding Church manners, either in person or through the Parish Bulletin.