Esteemed citizens, welcome to the monthly meeting of the city council, elected by you, empowered by you, and dedicated to the mission of protecting and serving you and your interests. In doing the people's business, we ask all in the room to be mindful of the highest principles of democracy.
Silence has its place. Being alone with one's own thoughts at a funeral for a moment is a good thing. All the mourners have special memories of the deceased and their relationships are individual. I want silence when I'm trying to read. I want silence in the operating room so my surgeon and the technicians can focus.
Silence is good, but it's not a suitable substitute for public prayer.