Silence at designated times in the liturgy is very important in helping everyone to participate fully. Silence helps people to recollect themselves, to reflect, to meditate and to pray in their hearts. The following times are designated for this form of active participation - within the penitential rite, after the invitations to pray, at the conclusion of a reading, at the conclusion of the homily, and after communion.
A brief silence immediately before beginning the celebration is also commendable, to help the gathered assembly reflect on the actions they are about to carry out. This is best achieved by allowing time between the announcement of the liturgy's beginning and the commencement of the entrance song or antiphon.
Often a period of silence precedes a liturgical song. It is important that music ministers allow adequate time for the silence and not begin the song prematurely. This especially applies to the invocations of the penitential rite, the songs after the readings (responsorial psalm, Alleluia and Lenten acclamation), and the optional song of praise after communion.