So well said:
I imagine a Protestant walking into many Catholic churches feels unwelcome. A Catholic walking into a Protestant church feels barraged. But there is more. I do not mean to criticize Catholics or Protestants here (I aim to describe general patterns).
I believe that the reason Catholics are not as social when they gather for Mass is that there is a sense of the sacred in church, and a sense that the right thing to do is to quietly pray. There is surely no intention to make visitors feel unwelcome. [Emphasis
Similarly, Protestants are not trying to make visitors feel uncomfortable. Quite to the contrary, they are simply making clear that visitors are welcome.
I wonder, however, what impact this difference in the ritual has on the communitarian sense of Protestant congregations and without arguing against a sense of the sacred, I wonder whether the sense of the sacred works against community bonding in Catholic congregations.
Food for thought here.
Mark this for proposed 3rd part of this little book, “The Interior Life.”
The new mass was “a bitter trial,” said novelist Evelyn Waugh.
In 1965, Evelyn Waugh wrote to the archbishop of Westminster of the growing tide of liturgical changes: “Every attendance at Mass leaves me without comfort or edification. I shall never, pray God, apostatize but church-going is now a bitter trial.”
The prominent Italian Catholic literary figure Tito Casini went further in 1967, publishing the provocative tract La tunica stracciata (“The Torn Tunic”), with a preface by a curial cardinal. He virulently took to task the cardinal charged with implementing the reform, Giacomo Lercaro, for “a perverted application [of the council] detested alike by Catholics and non-Catholics, believers and unbelievers, in the name of piety, unity, concord, art, poetry and beauty.”
Lercaro’s adept secretary, Fr. Annibale Bugnini, would describe Casini’s work as “defamatory” and as a “poisonous attack on the liturgical reform and on the conciliar renewal generally.” As the New Yorker of September 9, 1967, reported, Pope Paul VI was not pleased.
Casini and Waugh had a point. What began to happen to the Sacred Liturgy of the Western Rite of the Catholic Church in the 1960s (or perhaps earlier), and which led to the production of brand-new rituals produced to meet the needs—almost self-consciously—of that ethereal entity “modern man,” was perceived as madness by many, and caused distress to a great number of faithful Catholics.
How the cookie crumbled once these reformers had done their work.