Contrast two ways to begin Mass:
1. Priest, partially vested, walks to the front of the pews with a hand-held mic and introduces himself: “Welcome to St. Joe’s. I’m Fr. Marty. I’m so happy to see you all! Who are the visitors here today?” eager hands go up and he walks to congregants as they sit in the pews, a la Phil Donohue, “Where are you from, sweetheart?” And an elderly lady responds, “I’m visiting here from Ohio. My grandson was just born.” And the Father bellows into the hand-held mic, “That’s wonderful! How much did he weigh? Was he a big boy?” etc etc etc etc until Mass beings at 10 past the hour.
2. A bell. The simple ringing of a bell after a few minutes of collected silence in the church. “Ding, Ding!” All rise. Music starts.
What’s more reverent? What’s more “Vatican II?” What makes a congregation think they are in presence of God? What makes a congregation think that that entertainment is about to start at a Spaghetti Dinner?