Christ mandated: "My house (churches) shall be called the house of prayer to all nations." Yet, what do we witness today in far too many of our churches. In such settings, a surrounding conducive to individual prayer, devotion and reflection is practically non-existent. The so-called dictate of "the full and active participation of all the people," has transformed the "house of prayer" with its holy, reverent, solemn and prayerful environment to that of "gathering" halls with its attendant accruements of welcoming, introductions, hand shaking and hugs, conversation and worldliness with some ritual inserted to assure meeting the Sunday obligation.
The holy sanctuary set aside and prominent, incorporating the altar of Christ's sacrifice and the tabernacle preserving His real presence, has always rightfully been revered and treated as a holy space (read Moses before God in the burning bush). Now we witness the sanctuary and sacristy, before and during Mass, as the "people’s activity center" with men, women and children, in every form of profane dress, flowing to and fro, all "actively participating" in "ministry," of course.
Most all of this extraordinary lay activity is neither mandated by the Church nor essential to the