Friday, February 20, 2015

IN THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS, JUST HOW DOES THE CHURCH (CLERGY AND LAITY) RECOVER A SENSE OF WONDER (MEANING OF COURSE, RECOVERING WHAT WAS LOST IN THE REVISION OF THE MASS AFTER VATICAN II)

Pope Francis has made it abundantly clear that the revised Mass after Vatican II lost a sense of wonder, the allurement to the sacred and that this wonder needs to be recovered. The only way to do this is to see where this wonder was is in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Pope Francis has emphasized the obvious lost on so many bishops and priests:  the"extraordinary form of the Roman Rite", one that was approved following the Second Vatican Council. Thus, it is not deemed a distinct rite, but rather a "different form of the same right".

 Yes, this is the Ordinary Form of the Mass celebrated in a way that recovers the sense of wonder lost after Vatican II and what Pope Francis desires to recover, wonder, in the presence of God and the ability to contemplate it!

1. Seriousness about the Liturgy, choreographed with a sense of art, not robotics, and well rehearsed to the point of being natural about it all. This of course refers to the sanctuary itself. This can easily be recovered in the Ordinary Form with attention to detail, the vestments, altar servers' dress and how lay readers and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion dress, walk and comport themselves. It also means nice and clean altar clothes and accoutrements.

2. The laity in the assembly or congregation must recover a sense of wonder in the presence of Christ in the Church building especially in the tabernacle properly and centrally located in the sanctuary. Hushed silence welcomes people to use the church building precisely for what it is meant, to escape the noise of the world and the profane and encounter Jesus contemplatively in prayer before, during and after Mass!

3. Recover ad orientem at the altar for the Liturgy of the Eucharist or at least the traditional altar arrangement with the six candles and central crucifix facing the celebrant.

4. Recover kneeling for Holy Communion and the proper way to receive Holy Communion in the hand as the Anglicans have done for decades. Promote the dignity of receiving on the tongue as well and allow for intinction as is done by the Bishop of Rome!

5. Encourage both external and interior participation in the Mass and choose chants and anthems that are doctrinally sound and in keeping with the Latin Rite's tradition of chant.

49 comments:

Gene said...

Short answer: The Church doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Your altar wears clothes? Dior? Chanel?

Maybe you're confusing your fairy tale with "The Emperor's New Clothes"...?

Anonymous said...

You can't recover a sense of wonder in the Ordinary Form of the Mass because the Novus Ordo is exactly what has destroyed the faith of millions of Catholics. Go into any Novus Ordo parish and the atmosphere is like that of a circus. Go into a Traditional Catholic church and you will experience silence, reverence and people that actually believe the Catholic Faith as ir has alwys been taught. Go back to the Missal of Pius V or John XXIII, whatever you want to call it, but go back to the Tridentine Missal

John Nolan said...

I have just finished reading an article by Fr Daniel Horgan, who has spent many years in Japan and who learned to celebrate the Old Rite Mass in the wake of Summorum Pontificum. I would urge everyone to read this article, which appears in the latest edition of 'Mass of Ages', but in the meantime here are some extracts. Regarding the EF rubrics:

'As I became accustomed to offering Mass in the Extraordinary Form, I began to understand the place of the precise rubrics. In prescribing the manner in which I bowed, held my hands, and directed my gaze, the rubrics were focusing my whole attention on the mystery I was celebrating. My attention was not fractured between addressing the congregation and performing the ritual. My attention is entirely on the mysteries I am re-presenting. Every actor knows that when they are absorbed into their role on stage, the attention of the audience is magnetically drawn by them. Similarly, in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the more the ministers are absorbed into their liturgical role, the better the attention of the congregation'.

Fr Horgan first arrived in Japan in 1979. Western missionaries were enthusiastically applying the new liturgical norms, including the replacement of Latin with Japanese - 'The celebrant's spoken words were now claiming the attention of the congregation, and ritualistic action was reduced to a minimum'.

He goes on to make this telling observation:

'This was the prevailing understanding of "inculturating" the liturgy in Asia. But it represented the imposition of Western notions of informal "community worship" on a people whose society was already group centred and who were neither comfortable with nor comprehending of the informality and "table fellowship" focus'.

Fr Horgan goes on to say:

'While the Japanese have achieved a high level of refinement of the ritualistic aspects of their culture, esteem for form and ceremony, both in public and in private, pervades all Asian cultures. To the Asian mind, ritualised gestures express courtesy and esteem, whereas informality and easy familiarity betray lack of respect'.

Fr Horgan also notes that the Japanese bishops and priests acted as agents for this latter-day Western cultural imperialism. In part this was because many of them had received their liturgical formation in post-Conciliar Europe and America but I suspect they also saw how secular Western cultural values were being eagerly embraced by the population at large (out of a population of 120 million, only half a million are Catholics).

The Sri Lankan Cardinal Ranjith is reviled by Western liberal Catholics for his perceived 'reactionary' attitudes, but he knows more about the cultural milieu in which he operates than they do.


Anonymous said...

Yikes.....John Nolan (though he will almost certainly deny it) agrees with what I said yesterday....It's all about acting. Are there acting...drama classes in seminaries? Perhaps there should be. Maybe John could be a drama professor.

Anonymous said...

And REALLY...y'all have long, long, long ago beat this poor old horse to death. He's lying stone cold stiff on the ground and you can't seem to stop flailing away. At least, though, he can't feel it.

JBS said...

I think the key to understand things with Pope Francis is the practice of competition. In the USA, we've discovered that a combination of free markets, stable currency and limited government allows for the "spontaneous" creation of a wealthy society. Similarly, the competitive nature of American religion has generally permitted the "spontaneous" growth of religious interest. The Catholic Church in the USA was late to understand the latter, but learned the value of religious competitiveness by the second half of the Nineteenth Century, thus securing the prominence of Catholicism in America (e.g. Protestants watched Fulton Sheen).

Pope Francis, on the other hand, has never experienced the value of competition outside of sports. Therefore, he understandably views economic competition through the lens of sports: there are only winners and loosers, but no overall gain for everyone. Similarly, his religious experience is one that drives him to see competing sides within the Church as harmful to the good of souls, rather than seeing the "Father MacDonald's" and "Pater Ignotus'" of the Church as genuinely and effectively competing for souls.

Anonymous said...

JBS, in the "wealthy society" that you speak of, the richest ONE PERCENT have wore wealth than the bottom NINETY PERCENT. There are indeed a few very wealthy people but we are getting farther and farther from a wealthy SOCIETY. The gap is growing.

JBS said...

Anonymous,

Where do you get these figures, and what moral significance is there in them?

John Nolan said...

Anonymous

If I say that the priest is acting in persona Christi, or that the Mass is a sacred action, then perhaps you can grasp the point that the verb 'to act' (Latin: ago, -ere, egi, actum) has meanings other than the thespian.

But then, given the general tenor of your posts, probably not.

Anonymous said...

They came from Wikipedia.

About the "moral significance", are you SERIOUS?

Anonymous said...

John: Here, again, is the quote you posted. Here's what I'm talking about. "Every actor knows that when they are absorbed in their role on stage, the attention of the audience is magnetically drawn to them."

Sounds a bit like the thespian to me....or maybe you're saying that the priest acting "in persona Christi" is kind of like a Christ impersonator. (I've seen Elvis impersonators too...although they more often call them "tribute shows" now.)

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Wealth and poverty have moral components, yes.

It is not from your own possessions that you are bestowing aims on the poor, you are but restoring to them what is theirs by right. For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. Thus, far from giving lavishly, you are but paying part of your debt. St Ambrose

While an immense mass of people still lack the absolute necessities of life, some, even is less advanced countries, live sumptuously or squander wealth. Luxury and misery rub shoulders. While the few more enjoy very great freedom of choice, the many are deprived of almost all possibility of acting on their own initiative and responsibility, and often subsist in living and working conditions unworthy of human beings.
Gaudium et Spes – ‘Joy and Hope’ (1965), paragraph 63

“If someone who has the riches of this world sees his brother in need and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17) It is well known how strong were the words used by the Fathers of the Church to describe the proper attitude of persons who possess anything towards persons in need. To quote Saint Ambrose: “You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his. For what has been given in common for the use of all, you have arrogated to yourself. The world is given to all, and not only to the rich.”
Populorum Progressio -’Development of the peoples’ (1967), paragraph 23

Faced with the tragic situation of persistent poverty which afflicts so many people in our world, how can we fail to see that the quest for profit at any cost (unfettered or unregulated capitalism) and the lack of effective responsible concern for the common good have concentrated immense resources in the hands of a few while the rest of humanity suffers in poverty and neglect? Our goal should not be the benefit of a privileged few, but rather the improvement of the living conditions of all.
Pope John Paul II,
Lenten message 2003

Gene said...

If you give a poor person a hundred thousand dollars, in six months they will be poor again. They need jobs and supervision so they can learn about financial responsibility and budgeting. There is a reason why wealth ends up in the hands of certain classes. Of course we should care for the poor and give money to good charitable causes. But, taking it from the successful and responsible and giving it to the wastrel class is economic and social suicide. The poor need to be given the opportunity to work.

The National Park Service puts up signs that say, "Do Not Feed the Animals because they become dependent on the handouts and will stop foraging and hunting for themselves." Meanwhile, another branch of government gives out billions in welfare checks every month. Go figure.

JBS said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh,

Thank you for these excellent quotations from our well-established Catholic social teaching. However, they are not relevant to the present discussion. Anonymous apparently believes that the variations in wealth among Americans is proof that economic competition is more harmful than beneficial (although she has a hard time expressing herself coherently). Therefore, the question is not whether the rich should give to the poor (Catholic Tradition insists that they should), but whether or not competition in economics and religion is beneficial.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous

Try looking up 'analogy'. Or ask Fr Kavanaugh - he has a good line in them, involving classic aeroplanes.

And to borrow a phrase from Her Majesty's Antipodean subjects, don't come the raw prawn with me, mate.

JBS said...

John Nolan,

"Actor" is a well-established word in philosophy, physics, law, etc. indicating a person or thing that initiates an action, so you need not defend your use of the term. Only willful ignorance would prevent someone from understand you.

Anonymous said...

JBS, you're making things very complicated. I'll speak slowly and clearly...You said that our system of gov. and econ. allows for the spontaneous creation of a wealthy society. My only point is that we do not have a "WEALTHY SOCIETY". We have a small elite group of VERY wealthy people (1%), but we do NOT have a wealthy society.

newguy40 said...

Both versus populum and vernacular encourage chattiness and the focus on man rather than God.

For the rest of what the Father suggests, meh... Go to latin and ad orientum and I'd be willing to say you've made a start on the rest of his items.

On the other hand, I don't think the Church can remain either or oon EF and OF. One will eliminate the other.

JBS said...

Anonymous,

The average US American lives better than the global average (check the UN website, not Wikipedia). If you have more than you need to survive, then you're wealthy. The fact that my neighbor makes ten times more money than I do does not make me poor. I work with Mexican citizens who don't even speak English but make enough money in the USA to feed, clothe and house their families comfortably, and to provide them with cell phones and plasma TVs.

There's no way ninety percent of Americans are in poverty.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

JBS - I think you are reading into Anonymous' comments what MAY or MAY NOT be there. At least I didn't read a condemnation of competition in Anon's remarks.

Better to ask, "Anonymous, do you mean to say that the variations in wealth among Americans is proof that economic competition is more harmful than beneficial?"

John Nolan said...

JBS

Here are some more statistics for Anonymous to chew on. The richest one per cent of the population have more money than the other 99 per cent. The richest 99 per cent of the population likewise have more money than the remaining one per cent. And a staggering one hundred per cent of live births result in death.

I notice you refer to Anonymous as 'she'. Is this based on actual knowledge or is it an inference based on Anonymous's inability to think logically?

Marc said...

I read this and thought it might be nice to copy it for the group's consideration:

God does not ask for advocates, who can raise the value of Christianity with their words. He asks for believers, who will show through their flawless life the power of Christ.

The best defense of Christianity, as well as its worst defamation, is derived from the life and works of those who allege to be believers.

Many speak of Christianity by the meter, but they live it by the centimeter.

The difference between fanaticism and faith, is that faith can be explained without becoming outwardly furious. Fanatical people are those who shout loudly, just to hear the voice of their own echo.

Who is the fanatic? The person who does not change their opinion, nor do they change the issue.

Many people brawl over religion, write for it, fight for it, say they are ready to die for its sake, but they do not live according to it.

A wise man said of the busy person, who struggles without purpose: "He runs, tirelessly runs, up and down the field, only he forgets about the ball!"

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2015/02/fundamental-features-of-religious.html?m=1

JBS said...

John Nolan,

Well said.

As for your question, I simply infer.

JBS said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh,

Thank you for your clarification.

Daniel said...

This is a "when did you stop beating your wife" question. Those of us who are old enough to remember the old Mass were most likely children when the liturgy changed. Of course, we remember a "sense of wonder," or would like to. Many of us remember a Mass in a foreign language, directed away from us, in which we clearly were not encouraged to take part. I remember the old Italian ladies who said the Rosary throughout Mass because it was something you watched, not participated in. People who attend Mass in 2015 most likely feel a great sense of engagement than folks did in 1965.

John Nolan said...

Daniel,

Round objects.

Incidentally, a Foreign Office official in the 1920s annotated a despatch using the above two words. The Foreign Secretary (Sir Austen Chamberlain) returned it with the comment: 'Who is this fellow Round and what precisely does he object to?'

Anonymous said...

John and JBS wonder 'bout me
Am I a she or a he
It may blow their minds
If one of them finds
That I am "L", "G". "B" or "T"

JBS said...

Daniel,

Why is praying the Rosary during Mass not a participation in Christ's Sacrifice?

If in the Mass you were offered by Christ to the Father, and fed the Food of Heaven, what greater participation could there be?

Since the popes repeatedly encouraged the faithful to follow along with the parts of the Mass, and even instructed the congregation to recite aloud the responses, how were you clearly "not encouraged to take part" in the Mass?

Tony V said...

There seems to be several conversations going on at once here, which is a little confusing, but worth a commendation to the blog owner for letting conversation flow.

To address the question, 'IN THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS, JUST HOW DOES THE CHURCH...RECOVER A SENSE OF WONDER?', the answer is, it ain't easy. The 'OF' is most useful when it is an exception to the norm--a mass for children, for college students, for a Sunday evening folk mass. What power it has comes from it being different to the mass of wonder.

I don't have to tell you that's not the situation today. In fact, we have things backwards. But that's only because the EF was effectively banned. We may say 'it was never abrogated', but we all know that effectively it was. This wasn't done because of 'market forces' (to pick up the economic theme of the alternative conversation here), but because of centralised planning. And the hierarchical church--the Vatican in particular--is hogtied because it simply doesn't know how to admit when it's made a mistake.

Flavius Hesychius said...

I didn't realise bisexuality and homosexuality constituted seperate biological sexes.

Gene said...

I think anonymous is all of the above L,G,B,and T. He has as many sexual identities as he has orifices.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

JBS - The congregation was not encouraged to take part in the mass. The role of the laity was reserved for the responses made by the altar servers. The congregation was, if anything, an afterthought.

Colin Donovan writes:

"In the context of the Reformation the essentialism of the Missal of Pius V makes sense. The emphasis is on the theologically essential participant, the priest, without whose power the Eucharist cannot be confected. The role of the laity, who through baptism is a member of the Body of Christ, tended to be passive. The lay person's role in the effecting of the Eucharist was accidental (in the philosophical sense of not being "of the essence"), though the rubrics required the presence of at least one layman (to complete the sign of Christ, Head and members). As a consequence, the people were left to pray privately, their active role fulfilled by the servers. Put another way, their Mass participation was primarily devotional (the rosary, prayer books etc.), as opposed to liturgical (giving the responses, following the prayers devoutly etc.). One of the key reforms of the Council was to restore the properly liturgical role of the people to them. Even before the Council the trend favored lay missals with Latin-English, and dialogic Masses, where the people give the responses, over praying private devotions during Mass. Contrary to the assumption of many Catholics, liturgical piety is more meritorious than personal devotion. Certainly, the quiet and peace of nearly silent Masses fosters a feeling of devotion; however, objectively, through active liturgical participation we exercise the priestly office of Christ Himself conferred by baptism and thus share in His merit."

Only with the changes in the Church's ecclesiology, notably the rediscovery of the Sacrament of Baptism (not Ordination) as the basis for ministry/mission in the Church, did the role of the congregation at mass become something to be enhanced, fostered, and highlighted.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The laity today may participate to the best of their ability in the EF. Pope Benedict even when cardinal encouraged it. So this is a straw man. However it would be heretical to say that a person who chooses to be passive or pray the Rosary during any sort of Mass is less Catholic or less disposed to the graces available.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"However it would be heretical to say that a person who chooses to be passive or pray the Rosary during any sort of Mass is less Catholic or less disposed to the graces available."

This is interesting. I think it may be mistaken, however.

You've made an assertion, now make an argument to back it up.

George said...


Father Kavanaugh:

"...notably the rediscovery of the Sacrament of Baptism (not Ordination) as the basis for ministry/mission in the Church

I believe that a duly ordained Catholic priest is by virtue of his office has a status above that of any laymen. The lay have their role in the ministry/mission in the Church that is true, but it is not at the same level of those who have been ordained to the Priesthood . I try my best to focus at Mass and am glad that I can respond and participate. The lay person, no matter how fully he or she participates though, cannot function "in persona Christi". Yes, there is no Ordination without the required Baptism previous to it, but it is a whole other level of ministry above that of those who have only been baptized and confirmed.

As far as what Father Mcdonald says, if a person is in a foreign country and attends Mass, even though the person understands none of the language, the graces from participating in that Mass are still available to the person. Now, as far as the Latin Mass, if there are no Latin-English missalettes available, a person may know latin well enough to effectively participate response-wise. Only God can judge a person who attends in such a circumstance and ends up participating in a different way.

Joe Potillor said...

Well, I must say, coming from an Eastern Perspective, we often speak of corporal and cerebral worship.

The Eastern forms are very corporal, so much so that really one can't have proper Divine Liturgy without one person present. (One of the reasons Daily Divine Liturgy is not that common).

The Western forms are more cerebral, that is to say more interior. As such, I do believe that one can be praying the rosary (or insert private devotion here) and fully open to the graces at Mass. It's certainly not ideal and on that I can agree with Fr. K on that.

For better or for worse, I believe the attempt during Vatican II was to re-balance the ethos of the Liturgy between corporal and cerebral...The attempted elimination at Low Mass mentality perhaps failed...

The thing though, for that is that there's an intimate connection between the hymnody and the the Liturgical action. There's a theological unity between the two which is lacking in Roman Praxis.

Perhaps the praxis should be examined, and unity should be brought.

Gene said...

Placing Baptism above the Priesthood not only gets the cart before the horse, it is a very protestant kind of logic.

rcg said...

Gene and The Poster Formerly Known as PI have touched on an important point in all of this discussion. There is a strong egalitarianism streak in many of the liberal positions that blur or remove the roles of laity and clergy that has, IMO, confused both groups. In the pews this has manifested itself in oracular gestures, Signs of Peace that resemble point after celebrations and, notably, the assupmtion of priestly privileges such as blessings of expectant mothers, etc. in the latter case I think it is a good thing for an educated laity to want to bless each other, offer public prayers, etc. however they MUST be in correct form, that is Catholic theology otherwise they could mislead or worse. There are many good Catholic prayers to use to avoid embarrassment or injury. It is only a surrender to vanity that makes us determined to compose them ad hoc.

I first noticed this some years ago when the shortage of priests became an issue. Many people selflessly vaulted the communion rail to help handle the consecrated Host and chalice, lead prayers and songs. If I had to put my finger on why I don't care for the NO, it would be the egalitarianism it has brought to the congregation, including clergy, and Church structure, including the Sanctaury.

George said...

I meant to type in my comment above:

"Latin Mass, if there are no Latin-English missalettes available, a person may NOT know latin well enough to effectively participate response-wise. Only God can judge a person who attends in such a circumstance and ends up participating in a different way."

It is true that a person benefits from the freely available grace of God to the degree the person is properly prepared and disposed to receive them. The workings and distribution of God's grace is something we as creatures cannot know or fathom, but it is up to us to co-operate with His grace. This is not because of any merit on our part or anything we do to cause this to happen. One can dip one's hand in tap water to bless oneself as much as one wants, but it won't have the spiritual effect of blessing with Holy Water. It is not the actions we do that impart any effect but the grace we receive from the means to it God has provided to us. It is possible that even when the flame of God's Love in our soul has been reduced to a tiny ember, the oxygen of His grace can come in and re-ignite it. We need God's grace. Nothing that we do other than co-operating with Divine grace can have any salvific effect.


George said...

Joe Potillor:

In reference to your comments below, in what way do you mean? What would be examples of the disunity between the hymnody and Liturgy in Roman praxis? Are you referring to celebrations such as guitar Masses?

"The thing though, for that is that there's an intimate connection between the hymnody and the the Liturgical action. There's a theological unity between the two which is lacking in Roman Praxis.

Perhaps the praxis should be examined, and unity should be brought. "

JBS said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh,

Kindly reconcile what you've said about lay participation prior to VCII with the following from Pope Pius XII (1947):

"Those who are working for the exterior participation of the congregation in the sacred ceremonies are to be warmly commended. This can be accomplished in more than one way. The congregation may answer the words of the priest, as prescribed by the rubrics, or sing hymns appropriate to the different parts of the Mass, or do both. Also, at solemn ceremonies, they may alternate in singing the liturgical chant."

John Nolan said...

The problem with Fr Kavanaugh is that he has no direct experience of the older Rite, has no interest in celebrating it, has stated flatly that it is 'not needed', claims (like the 16th century Protestant propagandists) that the laity were 'dumb dogs', sees no value whatsoever in using the Latin language, and assumes (on very little evidence) that Vatican II inaugurated a radically different ecclesiology and that there was a 'rediscovery' of baptism rather than ordination as the basis of ministry in the Church, thus vindicating Martin Luther.

Colin Donovan may have a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (equivalent to a Master's degree) but he is not a liturgical scholar and his comments on the liturgy are too simplistic and one-dimensional to be taken seriously.

Marc said...

(I am posting this here because it seems to be the most recent post where all the regulars are commenting.)

With the beginning of Lent tomorrow in the Eastern Church, today we celebrate Forgiveness Sunday in preparation. With that in mind...

I want to ask the forgiveness of all the regular posters, any lurkers, and our gracious host for any offense I have given in my participation here. In particular, I have often sought out arguments and attempted to offend and anger certain of you. I sincerely seek your forgiveness and ask your prayers for me.

I want to especially ask forgiveness from Michael Kavanaugh and our host for my arguments with them. Please forgive me.

I hope you all have a blessed and holy Lent. Please pray for me, and I will pray for all of you!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

JBS - There is nothing to reconcile. The passage you quote from 1947 was part of the liturgical renewal that was already taking place - and had been taking place for almost 100 years - before Vatican II.

Had these suggestions been implemented in the GIRM of the day?

Gene said...

Marc, I forgive you, although I see nothing to forgive you for. Fighting for the Church and the Faith do not require apology.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - To be very clear, it is the Protestant Reformers, not I, who have called the laity "dumb dogs." I do not, for an instant, believe that nor have I ever said anything that would lead you to think that I do.

JBS said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh,

Thank you. The Dialogue Mass was common in many countries, and I have some of the old printed aids which were once distributed in my own diocese to enable this congregational dialogue.

The challenge then, as now, was to get the clergy at the parish level to read and implement the norms.

John Nolan said...

In a sung Mass the congregation sang the dialogue responses along with the choir, and joined in the plainsong Ordinary, including the Asperges. Mass VIII and Credo III were indeed overused, because congregations knew these by heart.

The problem with the 'dialogue' Low Mass was that the congregation were encouraged to join in the server's responses to the prayers at the foot of the altar, which in the Roman Rite include the whole of Ps 42 and a long Confiteor where a list of saints is invoked twice, first in the dative case and then in the accusative (all those different endings!) Altar boys were trained in this, congregations weren't.

Also, at this point the server is not answering for the congregation, he is deputizing for the sacred ministers. With a large congregation and the priest at the high altar (as would be the case at a Sunday Low Mass) the dialogue Mass simply didn't work. I remember as an altar boy having to put up with the people behind me stumbling over the Latin as they tried to read in unison the responses printed on laminated card. Since I had memorized them and moreover could keep up with the priest, it was intensely frustrating.

The only solution was to drop Ps 42, put the rest of the prayers into the vernacular and move the altar forward. Which is exactly what happened.