The Bishop of Aberdeen, Scotland, has issued in interesting pastoral letter about the need to reclaim, indeed, “create” silence and, through silence, prayer. The bishop, Most Rev. Hugh Gilbert, OSB, was once a monk and abbot of Pluscarden Abbey. He really gets silence.
He does not shy from the “third rail”: babies.
He makes a few great points along the way. Here are a few:
… There can be no real relationship with God, there can be no real meeting with God, without silence. Silence prepares for that meeting and silence follows it. … ‘Two people talking stop forty people praying.’ … ‘If deep silence has a hold on what is inside us, then into us too the all-powerful Word will slip quietly from the Father’s throne.’ …
Here, however, is a point that could use more thought:
Now often there is talking up to the very beginning of Mass, and it starts again immediately afterwards.
“Hmmm”, thought I (silently, of course) as I read this.
Not only does the noise/talking precede Mass and follow Mass but in many cases noise/talking continues through the whole of the Mass as well. Certainly talking does, in the Novus Ordo. It’s talk talk talk talk talk talk talk straight through. No?
I think the Bishop is right about this undoubtedly golden subject.
I suggest that, to help recover and create silence, we have far more celebrations of the Extraordinary Form.
I suggest that we diligently petition Rome to provide an Ordinary Form option for a silent Canon.
Even if the option might be for just a silent Roman Canon/1st Eucharistic Prayer, that would be helpful. We have options here, there, and everywhere for so many things in the Ordinary Form. Why not that also?
The rest is – as you know – silence.