From a reader:
I have complained on your blog and to this forum in
the past about their practice of vigorously applauding the choir after the communion “meditation”/song. Sometimes this song is even secular opera piece. After the applause, the choir just blinks back (they are stationed behind the priest and altar, next to organ and a piano). I am waiting for the day when they take a bow/curtsy! In researching this issue of concern to me I noticed on the parish website the results of a “parish survey” in which the question of their “custom” of applauding the choir was put to parishioners. The majority apparently voted in favor of continuing this custom at Mass which is not termed Mass but rather instead a “ceremony”. This survey was conducted in 2008. Is there precedent for doing liturgy according to results of surveys?
This is what Joseph Card. Ratzinger – now Pope Benedict XVI said about applause in church:
“Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. ” (Spirit of the Liturgy p. 198)
It is foolish to make decisions about liturgical worship based on surveys.