It is becoming increasingly difficult these days to contemplate the significance of the Holy Eucharist during Mass because of loud music during Communion.

This is not to disparage the invaluable contribution of the choir but rather to suggest improvements so that the experience of the Mass for the congregants can be further enhanced.

Though the Mass is a thanksgiving ceremony, joyous and celebratory in nature, there should not be an over-exuberance in music so as to eclipse the contemplative component, which is equally important.

Ideally, the music during Communion should be sufficiently toned down to provide a tranquil ambience to facilitate contemplation on the real presence of Christ.

With very few congregants participating in the hymn and the vast majority with heads bowed and eyes closed, I can only surmise that many are struggling to shut out the distracting music to treasure a poignant moment of union with our Lord.

There is a profound moment during the consecration of the sacred host when the silence is almost deafening as the congregation is fully absorbed in reverential worship.

The sacred space after receiving Communion is, in my opinion, equally deserving of silence and should be preserved from the intrusion of loud music.

The constant reminders that “only Catholics are allowed to receive Holy Communion” is a pronouncement of a fundamental doctrinal difference between Catholics and Protestants.

What sets us apart from our Protestant brothers, who believe only in a “symbolic presence”, is our faith in the true bodily presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

In this Year of Faith, let us treasure our Catholic identity as believers in Christ’s sacramental presence in the Eucharist and re-evaluate the role of the music ministry in re-establishing the quiet, contemplative element of Mass.

The music ministry should complement, not compete with, the Mass. In a secular world inundated by the culture of noise, let us restore the sanctity of “Sacred Silence” to our Holy Mass.

Joseph Chng

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