UPDATED! PRESS HERE! I HAVEN'T READ THIS LECTURE GIVEN BY CARDINAL RATZINGER IN 2001, BUT I KNOW THAT I MUST AGREE WITH HIM IN ALL HE SAYS. PLEASE READ IT AND COMPARE IT TO WHAT I HAVE POSTED BELOW!
One of the things that really confounded me (and makes those who hate the EF Mass already, blazing mad) is that the 1962 missal nor any other missal preceding it does not have in the missal the "Rite of Holy Communion" for the laity!
I thought to myself, certainly the laity have been receiving Holy Communion since the time after the Last Supper when laity actually participated in the early home Eucharistic celebrations. Keep in mind by the time the 12 Apostles receive Holy Communion, they are priest since Jesus not only establishes the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper but the ordained ministry (Holy Orders) by which it is perpetuated until the Lord returns. Obviously both of these sacraments develop after Pentecost and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
So why does not 1962 missal not have the Rite of Holy Communion explicitly in the missal (although the Tridentine revision of the 1965 missal does)?
Because of the exclusive emphasis of the Sacrificial aspect of what the Mass "memorializes" to the exclusion of the Paschal Meal as a sign of the "eternal feast or "wedding banquet" of heaven" which is the "resurrection" component of the Mass when both are emphasized.
It is clearer though in the 1962 missal that in order to complete the sacrifice (as in the Old Testament priesthood and sacrifices) that the priest must consume the "holocaust" or what is sacrificed in the "temple" where the sacrifice takes place (the holy of holies). He does so on behalf of the people who "wait outside" and benefit from the priest who represents them before God in these sacrificial offerings and consumption.
Thus in the pre-Vatican II configuration of Churches which is a modification of the Eastern Rite (Orthodox) configuration of churches, there is an altar railing or rood screen (similar in intent to the Iconostasis in the East) that creates a separate "holy of holies" for the priest as he offers the sacrifice and consumes it to complete the sacrificial worship on behalf of the people whom he represents before God.
In the post-Vatican II bid to show forth that all baptized beleivers share in the one priesthood of Christ but in different degrees (clergy and laity) the taking away of altar railings and the oemphasis on the "communion of the laity" sharing in the priestly role of the ordained priest become clearer.
But there is a danger in this also. That there is a blurring of the roles of clergy and laity in the "sacrificial" aspect of the Catholic Mass. And in fact this law of prayer in post-Vatican II praxis as led to a new and perhpas dangerous "law of belief" the "clericalization" of the laity in the life of the Church and the "laiziation" of the clergy in the life of the Church. This has serious consequences for Catholic orthodoxy at Mass and in the general life of the Church.
The 1962 missal while not having an official ceremony for the laity's communion was corrected in the 1965 missal and subsequent missals and needed to be.
But keep in mind in the Old Testament time of sacrificial worship, after the priest consumed some of the holocaust, what remained was brought to the "laity" outside of the temple in a joyous sacrificial meal!
This occurred beyond the altar railing in the 1962 missal and still occurs beyond the iconostasis in Orthodox divine liturgy.
The point is that the sacrificial aspect and the Communion aspect need not be diminished but should be seen in proper context of the ordained priesthood and his role in the completing the sacrifice and how the laity share in that!
It has implications too for style of worship and music that is selected for these two very different aspects of the one Mass which needs to be recovered in the revised Roman Missal.