DEAR ABBY: Regarding the woman who complained about clapping in church: She should relax and enjoy. Worship doesn't have to be a somber and expressionless experience. The Psalmist tells us, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord."
Black churches are renowned for their dynamic expressions of faith. What's wrong with church members expressing their enjoyment of worship? Amen and hallelujah!
When the choir or soloists use their God-given talents in a worship service, worshipers should be free to express their appreciation. We clap at the church I attend. Yes, there are a few silent types who seem shocked at the vocal majority, but most of us believe there's nothing wrong with showing our appreciation to those who use their God-given musical talents for the rest of us to enjoy. -- NANCY WHITFORD, CHAMPAIGN, ILL.
DEAR NANCY: The majority of those who have written to me about clapping in church approve of the practice, although until recently it was considered improper. I see nothing wrong with thanking talented people with a round of applause for the religious inspiration they provide. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: While I would not care to have a solo or choir selection interrupted, I believe applause is an affirmation of praise from the congregation to God -- another form of the shouted "Amen!" that's often heard in some congregations. -- JACK M. HARDWICK, ARLINGTON, TEXAS