When I was a kid, I once asked my mother why we don't applaud the special music singer in church.
The answer I received was because applauding gives the glory to the singer, not to God. When people sing in church, it's an act of worship. They don't do it to seek attention, or to draw praise for themselves. So, we treat their song as such. An act of worship, rather than a Las Vegas stage show.
All this, of course, has changed in the last 30 or so years. People applaud in church all the time now. I don't. I still treat the singing as worship, and not entertainment.
Applauding in church seems to be the thing to do these days. I just grit my teeth and bear it, and attribute it to the same loss of solemnity and reverence that says it's OK to wear shorts and flip flops to church. This new attitude of treating God as a buddy and a pal instead of the Almighty King Of Heaven.
The church I attend applauds everything. They even applaud the announcements from time to time, which I find to be utterly ridiculous. Laughable, but still tolerable.
But when you get to the point where you are applauding baptisms, well, that's just going a little bit too far. I mean, baptism is a serious thing. It symbolizes death, burial, and resurrection to a new life in Christ. It's a commitment, not an award. You're starting a new life, not winning an Oscar. Yet, that is exactly what applause reduces it to. An award. A prize. An "oh goody goody". It deserves better than that.
Can we please get back to treating worship with reverence and respect?