Trouble keeping the sacristy quiet before Mass?

Fathers, do you have trouble keeping the sacristy quiet before Mass?  Too much random, unfocused chatter irrelevant to the sacred action about to take place.

Old sacristies would have a large sign calling for…


I may have found something to get the point across even to the illiterate.

An interesting wall sculpture.  Available HERE



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. millercr2 says:

    In my daughter’s Nuptial Mass last Saturday, we had a stellar young choir (age 20-25) starting the pre-Mass songs, with a stunning Ave Maria, at our local historic church with 250+ people. Unfortunately, there were many chatting in the pews as well as in the back, so I, father of the bride, went up and down with my finger shushing, for very least to hear the incredible voice, and obviously most importantly, for the silence necessary and due reverence for the Holy Nuptial Mass. In this culture, people need reminding. People understood once they realized what they were doing, but too bad they needed reminding.

  2. AA Cunningham says:

    “Let all flesh be silent at the presence of the Lord: for He is risen up out of His holy habitation.” Zacharias 2:13

  3. hilltop says:

    In the Arlington Diocese (VA) there were altar BOYS only prior to the arrival of the now previous Bishop. We boys had our own dressing “sacristy” across the hall from the actual Sacristy. We would vest in whispered silence, then cross the hallway, and wait outside the Sacristy door. We waited for instructions from the Priests. We never entered the Sacristy unless called to do so which was extremely rare. Maybe once a year. Laity we’re forbidden anywhere nearby. Mass preparation is serious, prayerful work and we did it well. The Priests were our example.

  4. Cafea Fruor says:

    Ah, churches in general, and not just sacristies, have gotten to be too noisy. It is a rare occurrence when one can walk into church and actually pray in silence before Mass or after Mass. Before Mass, it’s people chatting each other up in their pews, rather than taking their conversations outside, or perhaps the choir practicing and chit-chatting/giggling (this is worse at some parishes than others). After Mass, it’s more socializing and/or the immediate commencement of various recited devotions, which are great in themselves, but which do not allow for any post-Communion silent thanksgiving.

    My previous parish before I moved was blissfully quiet before and after Mass. The pastor intentionally designed the new church with a very large vestibule designed for indoor talking space, and then, once the church was built, he would kindly ask any chatters to take their conversations to the vestibule so that those who wished to pray could have the silence to hear the Lord. He would also ask that any vocal devotions not begin until 10-15 minutes after Mass so that people could make a proper thanksgiving and enjoy some quiet. The pastor really sets the tone, and that tone really speaks to people–it helps us inwardly tune into the fact that the Real Presence is there, that we are here primarily to converse with Him, and true conversation requires the ability to listen.

  5. teomatteo says:

    Interesting sculpture. Two cents: Have your dentist/assistant carefully take an impression of your (lubed) face, then have them pour it up in plaster and then paint it ‘bronzy’. Hang it in sacristy per the above (Remove biretta prior to impression- and keep your eyes, of course shut).

  6. prayfatima says:

    Love it, love it!!

  7. JustaSinner says:

    Funny, no noise problems before Mass where I’m at. Children noises/baby noises, yes, but that’s not a noise nor bothersome. Isn’t the sound of children music to God’s ears?

  8. A quiet atmosphere in a church before Mass in general is one reason I gravitated towards the TLM over the past couple of years, and something I might add has nothing to do with any of the charges levelled against TLM attendees in the recent motu proprio. Have I seen quiet outside the TLM? Of course, and not rarely, so it can be done if people simply want to do it. The TLM was more reliably quiet before and after Mass, though. Perhaps the sacristy is one place where the right attitudes can start.

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  10. Fr-William says:

    The uncontrolled lack o silence, I believe, is a product of television (what is now called TV). Talking in the midst of any and all TV programs is normal. The motion picture theater used to be quiet, but now it is not so. And churches buildings are a part of the constant chatter.

    I see a helpful reversal of this chatter by an personal announcement prior to the beginning the Liturgy…an announcement by a real person that requests silence.

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