Too Loud

Posted on November 20, 2010 by jojimmy.com

There have been some rumours in my kerala catholic community about the level of noise during prayer meetings in our houses.

Some people think praying loudly will bring better benefits and they persuade people for it.

Some others think praying at a lower voice brings more attention to what you say and feel like they are personally talking to God rather than shouting at everybody, so they ignore that first category.

Some people don’t allow having prayers in their houses because they are worried about the noise levels and disturbance to neighbours.

Some other allows prayers even though they are worried, because they cannot tell the first category that they are too loud.

So what’s right? I don’t really know but I believe all of them are not that wrong. Here’s what I think, personally.

Praying is a personal matter – loud or quiet, private or public – there is no general rule. Whichever way gives you better communication with God, is the right way for you.  Some people use high levels of voice to concentrate but for some others it’s a distraction. So people should have the freedom of choice.

Location of prayer is more important than personal choice of sound levels. What is the right place for loud prayers and what is the best place for quiet prayers? Answer depends on what the premises is made for.

A house is not built for prayer meetings, so I personally think it is not suitable for too-loud prayers. Think about neighbours, if they can hear us, we are too loud. Would you buy as house if you knew neighbour is a noisy one?

Some may argue, it’s only a prayer- not a party, some might say it’s only once in a year, some may say neighbours put music louder than us all the time. Prayers or music, if it’s too loud it’s a nuisance, especially when it is in a different language. Once in a year is also not an excuse, one bad experience is enough to ruin the reputation you have been enjoying more 10+ years. Once or twice, a bad thing is a bad thing. What others do is also not relevant – we don’t do everything they do. If they are bad, let them be; we don’t have to do the same.

So where will we pray. I would say, those who want t pray loudly could pray so in places designated for it – in churches or halls. Also if the home owner has no problems, we can pray loudly in their houses too. But as a matter of courtesy, those who want to pray loud must check this with home owner first, while planning the prayer. And for those who want to pray quietly, they can pray anywhere they want as they are not bothering anyone else. If they want very quiet pace for it, let them go there to pray, rather than in a noisy church.

But a balance is recommended for the sake of communal harmony. We all do many things everyday for the sake of social manners and expectations, even if we don’t like to do them.

And finally, if someone who wants to pray loud arrives for a prayer in a house where loud noise is not appreciated, they must remain calm and control their noise. Don’t feel offended if somebody asks to control your sound level. In the same way, if someone who can only pray quietly arrives a noisy prayer place, he/she must cooperate.

Loud or quiet, God will hear your prayers.

This is my personal view only. For my house, as long as the sound does not go beyond my walls, it is not loud. Let common sense prevail.

After all God is not deaf, he can even hear feelings in your mind.

Posted on
Saturday, November 20th, 2010
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JIMMY JOSEPH