Unfortunately yes I have experienced a "service". Here in Japan we have 5 priests for every 7 parishes so once a month there is no priest available to celebrate mass. When the priest is not available a lay person leads the service which mimics the mass up to the readings but stops after the gospel. After the gospel someone will give a personal faith experience speech after which Extraordinary Ministers will distribute pre-consecrated communion keeps since the last consecration a week earlier. There is no daily mass here except for religious sisters at their convent, and those are not available to the laity.
The lay person leading the service does so from the pews and not the sanctuary, so there is no make believe priest. Same banal songs as mass though.
I hate these things and try to avoid them by travelling to the next town on my parish "service" Sunday if a mass is available there.
I imagine it is much the same elsewhere. I understand why they are necessary here. This is an non-religious country and most of the priests are elderly foreign missionaries, mine a 72 year old priest from Ireland who has been here for 40+ years. There just aren't any vocations, and the days of Irish missions are long gone.
Why does this sound sooooo Protestant to me.......you know the Evangelical style Protestantism....?
Indeed it IS VERY protestant at least to my mind, that is why I avoid them. It certainly IS a "replacement mass" as it follows the same order. That said the entire Novus Ordo culture is protestant so really no surprise. Here in Japan they have watered down the liturgy so much that it is unrecognizable. I was told that the Japanese would not understand such "western" concepts as guilt and sin so those terms have been redacted. I asked some of my parish members if they had ever confessed, and nobody ever had. Just before Easter they have some weird protestant like "reconciliation" service where everyone lines up and whispers to the priest his misdeed, then everyone gathers in little groups and bless each other and pray for their forgiveness, and a general absolution is given. I believe that this is totally illicit, even by Catholic standards, but the church here does things its own way.
I live here and really have no choice. There is NO traditional rite anywhere in the country, and a lot of parishes were going Neocat because of the Filipino base until the Bishops here outlawed it. When I first came to this forum I was looking towards Orthodoxy, but that too is very scarce here which makes honest inquiry impossible. The closest community is 2 hours by train away, so I do my best with what is available. At least my priest was trained pre VatII so he does accept my requests for personal confession and doesn't get excited when I call the "Liturgy services" the "phony mass", which he knows that I avoid.
I cringe sometimes at the direction my church is headed. I come from a protestant background, and it seems that as the years go by I am returning to the same type of practice that I left through no choice of my own, at least in the public representation of the liturgy.