Over at Commonweal there have a series of snapshots of parishes around the country. It’s fascinating stuff and provides lots of anecdotal evidence of what is happening liturgically in parishes on a typical Sunday.
The reporters are sharp-eyed and notice lots of interesting details. One thing comes through loud and clear: music and preaching are the make-or-break elements for many people with regard to their experience of worship. Is it because Catholics have become de facto protestants, for whom the miracle of the Mass is secondary to the subjective experience music and preaching can generate? Or is it that music and preaching are the chief variables, that the ritual of the Mass itself is more or less followed faithfully in most places, and so it is taken from granted, even though it might still be be essential?