Fr. Martin Fox of Bonfire of the Vanities has been "blog-hosting" a series of talks on Sacramentum Caritatis. Talk IV, "What Should Mass Be", is the current topic. Fr. Fox provides concise and enlightening explanations for the layman, by giving interesting contrasts on what Mass should be, and what it has become through poor interpretation of the documents of Vatican II.
Here is an excerpt:
Without going into the whole history, it’s fair to say that the implementation of Vatican II’s reforms of the liturgy have been a wild and bumpy and messy business.
A lot of things were done in haste: for example, the translations of the prayers, and so they are now being retranslated. The differences in the new translation, from the old, will reveal the flaws in the first one, we still use.
There was a lot of wild experimentation. We went through a period of very strange things: "clown Masses," home-baked communion bread, with or without honey and raisins, "costume Masses," trying to have Mass as casual as possible, priests ad-libbing the prayers, and so it went. Most of the silliness seems to have gone away, but its still there to some extent. Nowadays, with cell phones having cameras, and the Internet, its no longer just rumor, you can see video of a Mass with an extraordinary minister, distributing communion, dressed as the devil, and the priest dressed as Barney the purple dinosaur.
A lot of things were done without consideration for the faithful; a lot of things were done "in the name of" and in "the spirit of" Vatican II, that the Council never authorized or even imagined.
Now, are you willing to be guinea pigs for this point? I mean, how about I take a little poll here, and have you name things you were told or you believe were mandated by Vatican II.
(If not brought up already) Example: did you know Vatican II said nothing about removing altar rails? Nothing about the priest turning around and facing the people at the Eucharistic Prayer? And—as many folks here have been shocked to learn—the Council never "got rid of Latin." Things like vestments, whether you kneel or stand, what music you sing, how church is decorated, and so forth—all these things people think are about what Vatican II said. In fact, they are more about what people thought Vatican II said. a lot of things were done the wrong way; several things have been re-done, since—and more than once!
Please read the rest of Fr. Fox's excellent post here.
Talks I - III are also available in the archives of previous posts.