How sad it is that earlier today, I attended a concert where there was greater concentration given and attention paid by the audience than by some people at a Mass I attended on Saturday. I am pleased that the performer was given the silence which any musician deserves when performing, but it reflects badly on Catholics who talk to one another during Holy Communion. Not long ago, I heard a sermon given by a priest whom had invited an Orthodox lady to Solemn Mass, only to be told "Your people have no respect for the sacred, Father. They were talking to one another, parents were letting their children run around screaming, and a telephone went off". Unfortunately, that last item is something which many of us are all too familiar with these days.
Decidedly, one of the many things about the Traditional Roman Rite which I love dearly is the silent Canon. There is a very fine homily on this, which was given at the launch of CIEL UK.
Before Christmas, I was blessed with a very beautifully celebrated Missa Cantata. Somebody asked me afterwards: "How long was it?", to which I replied "I honestly don't remember, but there is no passage of time in Heaven, and we were given a glimpse of eternity." This is what the sacred liturgy must be rembered as : a foretaste of the Divine liturgy. Not something which is planned or suggested, but something which raises our minds to Heavenly things. And few things are as effective in this respect as silence is.