The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.
These words of St Teresa of Calcutta are a reminder of the importance of silence. The Liturgy Committee of the Department for Christian Life and Worship has produced a document The Place of Silence which explores how silence is an integral part of any liturgical action. It looks, in particular, at the celebration of Mass and how silence is expected in different ways.
Archbishop Bernard has written to the clergy of the archdiocese advising that:
The Season of Advent is a good time to introduce or reintroduce a greater commitment to the value of silence at points in our celebration of Mass, and by way of a prayerful preparation before Mass, in our parish churches, schools, chaplaincies and religious chapels.
At St Nick’s this is something we have been working on with readers and musicians for a while now, but it will be good to reflect on this new guidance and to see what more we might given some attention to.
Graphic from here.