A Noisy World Needs More Silence in Our Churches, by John Grondelski

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Gustave Léonard de Jonghe, “Sunday Morning,” 1864 (photo: Public Domain)

The contemporary allergy to silence is, in fact, our malady.

By John Grondelski, EWTN News, May 4, 2023

John GrondelskiBack in 1964, Simon and Garfunkel branded silence a “cancer” that “grows.” Some think they were reacting to the JFK assassination. Perhaps they foresaw a future that was silent, automated and impersonal.

If they did, they were wrong — at least about the silence.

The Italian website La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana (LNBQ) ran an insightful piece Sept. 6 on what it called “walls of sound” and “analgesic noise.” Aurelio Porfiri was reacting to a growing phenomenon in Europe, where churches cannot seem to decide if they are places of worship or tourist sites. He complained about the piping of canned music — usually organ pieces or Gregorian chant — into otherwise empty churches to give visitors a churchy ambience, what we might call ecclesiastical elevator music. LNBQ noted a paradox: there’s a whole lot of chantin’ goin’ on when nobody’s actually chanting or praying, while a whole lot less takes place when people actually assemble for the liturgy. …

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