I’ve felt this way myself but never thought I would hear it described by a relatively young priest who said it in front of my bishop.
I was a part of a committee helping our new bishop discern how best and pastorally to implement Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio.
It was a great meeting and our bishop ultimately knows he needs more information and clarification concerning some of the confusing or muddled aspects of this MP before he acts.
Our bishop asked each of us for our reflections on how to move forward under a new circumstance. For now, the result of that meeting is “let’s wait and see” as the current situation in our diocese with the older form of the Mass will remain until greater clarification can be discerned.
But one of our younger priests who celebrates both forms of the Mass said to the bishop that when he celebrates the EF Mass, he feels like a priest whereas when celebrating the OF Mass he feels like a performer or entertainer. He’s playing to the laity in front of him
WOW! That’s how I felt as a newly ordained priest, especially at the homily time, but throughout the Mass. And that was before I ever celebrated the EF Mass. I was ordained in 1980 and my first EF Mass was September 14, 2007. But back then, I thought that was to be the feeling, that one was like an actor on stage, a broadway stage and each day he acts the same part in the same show although there is improvisation concerning the homily and the solemnity or lesser solemnity of what is performed for the audience but with audience participation.
At my first EF Mass and each one since, I have a profound sense of priesthood, offering worship/sacrifice to God behind the holy of holies (ad orientem facilitating this, as well as an archaic language).
The sense of antiquity is more profound too. It’s palpable.
But that’s the problem with the new clericalism of the new Mass—its the priest’s stage and he is front and center and he opens his arms wide to his audience and prayer become performance, ritual become entertainment and it all hinges on the priest’s personality or lack there of. Not so with the old Mass, not so.