At his Wednesday audiences Pope Francis has been teaching about the Mass. On November 15th he gave a teaching on silence before Mass. Here is part of what he said:
Praying, as every true dialogue, is also knowing how to be in silence — in dialogues there are moments of silence — in silence together with Jesus. When we go to Mass, perhaps we arrive five minutes early and begin to chat with the person next to us. But this is not the moment for small talk; it is the moment of silence to prepare ourselves for the dialogue. It is the moment for recollection within the heart, to prepare ourselves for the encounter with Jesus. Silence is so important! Remember what I said last week: we are not going to a spectacle, we are going to the encounter with the Lord, and silence prepares us and accompanies us. Pausing in silence with Jesus. From this mysterious silence of God springs his Word which resonates in our heart. Jesus himself teaches us how it is truly possible to “be” with the Father and he shows us this with his prayer.
We can all reflect upon our own silence and recollection as we approach the sacred mystery of the Holy Mass. I will encourage us as a parish to embrace the silence that the Holy Father is asking of us. You can read the entire text of his teaching here.