The Audience Chats Loudly Until the Lights Come Down and the Show Starts . . . in Church
The other Sunday I was sitting, as is my habit, in church looking through the lectionary readings, looking up the hymns and reflecting/pondering their words and praying, using the prayers in the inside cover of Lutheran Service Book. Behind me I heard an ever growing level of chatter and conversation, some of which I could hear. It was not conversation about the worship service about to begin, but chatter about a whole host of wholly irrelevant things. It is a shame that a long practice in the church of reverent silence before the Divine Service begins has fallen so far out of use. Frankly, in many congregations, the time before the service begins sounds more like what you experience before a live show begins in a theater, conversation and so forth. Even when the prelude begins, this does not apparently give people a clue that something special is about to happen, it only encourages them to talk more loudly. Not good. I would encourage folks to consider changing their habits.