Yet according to one distinguished scholar, such disputes are largely rooted not in the liturgical texts themselves, but in contemporary misunderstandings about the very nature of Catholic worship.
Benedictine Father Jeremy Driscoll is a professor at Rome's Pontifical Athenaeum of San Anselmo and the author of a guidebook for non-experts, "What Happens at Mass."
A zealous debunker of what he regards as false dichotomies and oppositions, Father Driscoll rejects a common complaint that the reform has turned the Mass into a communal meal at the expense of its traditional sacrificial dimension, or that it places excessive importance on the faithful instead of focusing on God.
Participation doesn’t necessarily mean doing something. Participation – the deepest participation – on the part of the assembly is following it. The missal of Paul VI is presuming that the people understand themselves – and are instructed in this way – understand themselves to be involved in the ritual action from start to finish. And that their very presence in the church is participation – to hear the Word, to sing the song, to stand now, to kneel now. To receive the Sacrament. That’s participation.