Some parishioners (whom I love) were recently telling me that I just have incense at Mass and chant and "ad orientem worship" and nice vestments because I like them.
This is SUPER CRUCIAL...
I do not LIKE incense (outside of Mass). I have never used incense outside of Mass. Ever! If I LIKED incense, wouldn't I use incense on my own?
I don't LIKE chant (outside of Mass). I do not hardly ever listen to chant outside of Mass. I listen to way more classic rock and way more blues and folk music than I do chant. If I just happened to LIKE chant, wouldn't I listen to it all the time outside of Mass?
I do not LIKE nice vestments/clothing (outside of Mass). If I LIKED that stuff, I'd wear nice clothes outside of Mass.
And this is where I think a generation or two has REALLY failed the Church - the only way they can think is in terms of "what do I personally like?" They think this way themselves, and when they see a priest celebrating Mass a particular way, they assume that if he's doing Mass a certain way it is because he's adding in the things he just happens to LIKE.
STOP THINKING THAT WAY PEOPLE!
We have to start thinking non-selfishly and non-narcissistically again. The ONLY proper question is "WHAT WORKS IN THE MASS FOR THE SALVATION OF SOULS?"...what attracts people?...and do those things...even if you don't happen to like it!!!!!
When the guys (that I really like) were complaining to me, I told them "Fellas, I love you, but when I came here there were 3 masses a weekend with 30 people at each one. That means 90 people coming to Mass a weekend. We gradually started doing Mass differently, and we now have 300 people coming. Gentlemen, you and I are going to come to Mass in the middle of a cornfield without music, without vestments, etc...BUT YOU HAVE TO ASK: "WHAT WILL ATTRACT THE PERSON WHO IS CURRENTLY NOT HERE?"
The Church, in her 2,000 years of wisdom, KNOWS what works in terms of a celebration of the Mass that draws people in. She has told us over and over and over again.
But as with so many other things, we've started breaking from that body of wisdom simply for the fact that it isn't what we personally like.