Struck by how prayerful people find the TLM I thought I would try an experiment.
I had Mass for children from our school, Years 4 and 5 today, 9 and 10 year olds, yesterday we had session in school looking at the Eucharistic Prayer, I got them to list all those we pray with and for during the Eucharistic Prayer, they had the text of EP 2. They shouted out: angels and saints, the Pope our bishop, the clergy, the departed, us, other believers. I was trying to get over to them the breadth of the Church and that the Eucharistic Prayer was actually prayer and they were expected to pray really ernestly during it.
This morning at Mass during the sermon I got them to repeat what we had learnt yesterday, and also to list everyone and evrerything else we should pray for. They came up with what you might expect: peace, love, help, I tried to tie them down to specific things and people, family, friends, deceased members of their families etc. I told them that in the other way we celebrate Mass (the Usus Antiquor) there is great deal of silence, and it is in ancient language, so people can pray quietly for everything and everyone they are concerned about.
The Experiment: It was our normal weekday Mass, with the normal congregation. There was no singing at Mass, except I sang the per ipsum but I said the Eucharistic Prayer as quietly as possible, barely above a whisper, except for the Consecration* and words like angels, saints, Mary, Pope, Bishop, clergy, departed brothers and sisters, there was and tangible, prayerful silence, just before communion I told them briefly to pray especially for those things they had already been asking God for.
The children are normally well behaved when they come to Mass but today I thought they actually prayed. I suspect it was the first time they had actually be told how to pray at Mass, maybe it was the first time the adults had been told. I don't know if it was the novelty of saying Mass in this way, I hope not, I would like to think it was that they were able to see the Mass as prayer.
I ended Mass by saying, "In this parish we care for asylum seekers, we feed the hungry but the most important thing we do is pray for people in the way you did this morning, thank you for doing that".
*The rubrics say that the words of consecration, "should be said in a clear and distinct voice", presumably it is possible to say the rest quietly. Spirit of the Liturgy by J Ratzinger, actually suggests this.
Nota BeneNo dancers are ever involved in liturgy in this Church, nor were their massaged in this experiment.