The reforms of the Second ‘Vatican Council provided a variety in liturgy that we had not had since before the Council of Trent. In our seminary training we were taught about fitting in the various parts of the Liturgy to suit the particular theme of the Mass, whether it be the season, readings or the saint of the day. I have enjoyed doing this, even though it meant some preparation before Mass. I found this to become part of my daily prayer.
But what I have discovered by just being a participant is that the average person in the pew has little chance of influencing the priest, or of having their particular choices used at that Mass. Not only that, but I have found few priests nowadays take advantage of the freedoms offered. No wonder people find the Mass boring! It seems an insult to the reforms of the Council. One pet example is the use of Children’s readings and Eucharistic prayers when children are present. People have told me that everyone benefits when the Mass is aimed at the children present!
And many people like to take Communion under both Species, but in many places this freedom is denied as well. It would seem to me a matter of politeness, that people be offered the choice, not having the decision made for them by the priest celebrant.
The homily is supposed to be a reflection on the readings of the day, not the random thoughts of the celebrant. Those readings taken collectively provide a wonderful scriptural education. We miss out on the opportunity for that education and prayer when the homily is not a reflection on the scripture or is missed altogether. The demands of canon law and various diocesan laws, requiring that only the priest give a homily make it even more imperative that the priest accepts this obligation. How can it be the Holy Spirit’s inspiration when the people sitting in the pew could do a better job than the supposedly inspired celebrant!
It makes me realize the importance of a liturgy committee in every parish. With a committee the priest/pastor can be advised of the desires of the people and the priest would have a resource to use should he be feeling tired or less than inspired! Why not ask the people!
I apologise to the people for us the priests, who too often think it is “MY MASS”!