The hippy-dippy rupturism of the past is finally giving way to a more settled and solemn appreciation of the intrinsic majesty of the Roman rite.
A new generation of celebrants is moving past the politicized agendas of the past toward embracing the true spirit of the liturgy.
Or they can seem subtly manipulative, trying to get us to think and believe things about the controversies of the day that are actually more in dispute than the prayer would indicate.
A particular annoyance to me are the prayers that are crafted to straddle some kind of triangulating political position that has nothing to do with the liturgy or doctrine or morals.
Regardless, this much we do know: it is not supposed to be a micro-social hour that encourages people to mill around as if at a cocktail party.
The Missal plainly says that the extension to the congregation is optional.
It is also ridiculously presumptuous for any one person to imagine that he has a better idea than the liturgical text formed from 2,000 years of tradition.
I have my own theory on why it is so common for celebrants to just make things up on the spot.
This happens at the entrance, the music between readings, the offertory, and the communion.
The instructions are very clear: the assigned chant is to be sung.
The older Missal translation dating from 1970 and onward was so casual, chatty, and plain that it encouraged the priest to enter into this world of casual communication.
The formality just wasn’t there to encourage a more sober, careful, and accurate presentation.
If something else was sung, the words were still said by the priest.