Edit: we're not sure what's going on in a nave where there's a lot of idle chit chat before and after Mass, but it's probabaly not holy. The Sisters of St. Joseph Crandolet, even as they were declining in the seventies used to whack us and give us severe looks for talking before and after Mass. This is probabaly before Father Whackadoodle had instilled a sense of celebration and secular merriment in their minds. This article is long overdue:
[Liturgy Guy] I remember the general quiet and stillness associated with test taking back when I was in school. Everyone understood the necessity of maintaining silence in order to allow for each student to achieve his or her best possible results. Teachers for their part facilitated this by establishing an atmosphere conducive to learning through limiting noise and movement.
Schools of Prayer
What do you experience when you participate in the Holy Mass each Sunday? Do you enter into the sacred, thereby experiencing the same comparable stillness that you would expect to have in a classroom at school? Is noise and motion minimized so that concentration and silence can be maximized? Does your parish allow for the necessary environment that is conducive to deep prayer?
In his 2001 Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Inuente Pope St. John Paul called for our christian communities to become “genuine schools of prayer”. He continued:
Learning this Trinitarian shape of Christian prayer and living it fully, above all in the liturgy, the summit and source of the Church’s life…is the secret of a truly vital Christianity, which has no reason to fear the future, because it returns continually to the sources and finds in them new life. (NMI, 32)