I am just as quick as the next person to show my appreciation for a performance I have enjoyed and/or want to show support for what went into the performance. (It could be courage, practice, time, etc.)
Tonight we got to play handbells for a going away party. I LOVE playing bells. It is especially fun when my husband and I get to play duets as the pressure is low and the joy is high - we have fun doing it and others see that joy. I am glad they enjoy it, even a small fraction as much as I do, and I understand showing that appreciation with applause.
However when we play during church I have a completely different reaction to applause. (It really isn't about when I play as I have a hard time with all applause during church, but I am thinking about it tonight because we were asked to play again on Sunday.) Why this dichotomy about applause?
When I play during a worship service I am playing as an act of worship. I am not performing for anyone, therefore I do not feel that applause is the proper response. Shout an "Amen!" if you have to do something to respond, but let's keep it about worship and not about those we are worshiping with.