So I attended mass today with my brother and his fiance. (with my Priests permission)
I have to say, I was somewhat surprised, and yet, somewhat not.
It was a parish that used the novus ordo, and thus wasn't entirely "traditional". I was shocked to say the least, when the first hymn that was sung, was "Come Let Us Worship", a Protestant praise-worship hymn I grew up with in the Protestant Church.
However, I quickly got some comfort when we were responding with "Lord Have Mercies" and "Peace be with you" "And Also With You"... But most of the hymns seemed to be Protestant in origin.
We also recited the Creed. I was surprised that they were using "we" instead of "i". (I continued in our fashion) Of course, I didn't say "and the son" when it came to the Holy Spirit.
I was most surprised about communion. (which of course, I didn't go up and receive, though my sister-in-law invited me) First of all, it almost seemed like there was an element of an epiclesis there (that is, calling the Holy Spirit down), though you would have to do a little stretching to make the connection.
Also, I was really shocked to see that it was not the Priest that administered communion, but laypeople. The Priest handed the wafers to each communicant, but the laypeople with the chalices were the ones who would administer the cup to the congregants.
But I will give the Roman Catholic Church credit, I am glad they administered BOTH.
Also, I was shocked to see that they had little girls as altar servers. (The parish had just had a Priest that had been caught in sexual misconduct, so this surprised me more)
Apparently the Priests would also let the helpers consume the rest of the cups afterward. (of course, In our Church, it is only the Priest that does this)
Overall, what shocked me the most, was that it was this one girl (I wouldn't have cared about the sex of the person) who led most of the service and the singing. It almost seemed like the Priest(s) (one Priest, one Monsignor) were just there to provide the sacraments.
There was some comfort at times, and other times, there was simple disconnection. I will say that I can see why so many Roman Catholics are so upset by Vatican II.
Not meaning to offend here, but I sympathize with many of our Roman Catholic brethren out there. I hope and pray the Tridentine Mass comes back into common usage for you all.
My first (and probably last) experience with a Roman Catholic Mass was neither really bad, nor really good. There were good things and bad things. But I'll just say that it helped me cherish our Liturgy, and our services even more.
Although I do agree with you that the liturgy in it's current form may be imperfect, even at times dysfunctional, I think the approach you have taken to criticizing the RCC is misguided. As somebody stated earlier, before we start pointing fingers at how bad the RCC liturgy is or how terrible the Vatican II was, we ought to be continually examining ourselves, ensuring that we keep the way of the Fathers and the Holy Tradition that has been passed unto us. Looking at the Orthodox Church globally today, it is clear that imperfections yet remain and, at times, overrun our Churches. Putting aside any EO/OO conflicts for a moment, the best thing we could possibly do for the RCC is we truly believe something is wrong is simple: pray, pray, and pray. Even today, the RCC is still doing amazing things around the world, being the single largest source of humanitarian aid in many places and serving people around the world. The best we can do is to pray that God would heal these divisions and bring unity to the Church.
Honestly, I can relate to this in my personal life. In the past, when I was consistently attending a Protestant Church for some time, my first instinct was always to say to myself, "Sheesh, this is not in any way how the Church Fathers intended worship to be done. This is not how the Church was meant to be." I would be sitting there, a big ball of discontent with the situation around me. Inside, I was pleading, "Where is the liturgy? Where are the Divine Mysteries?" Soon enough, though, I realized two things. Firstly, I knew I had to sprint back to the Orthodox Church
Secondly, though, was that simply criticizing was not helping anybody; rather, I had to pray! And I think that's the best thing we can do.
Sorry if I offended at all, that is not my intention.