I get annoyed by those videos which show the Old Rite and compare it with worst examples of the New, never do these video makers compare it with better examples. In our parish for example the same chants, the same polyphony, the same orientation, was used for Old Rite Corpus Christi on Thursday and for New Rite Corpus Christi on Sunday, even to the disconsternation of a visiting priest the same Byrd Mass.
I am pretty sure that today we celebrate the Old Rite in a certain modern style which only liturgical purists might possibly have done in the past. An obvious example is the readings are invariably heard, and read in such a way that they should be understood, even at Low Mass. There are plenty of stories of the Old Rite being celebrated in a way that would horrify many today. A story from here, tells of a priest who had forgotten his false teeth sent the server to get them, who brought them covered on a silver salver, the priest took them turned to the congregation and put them in his mouth. Again in the period of the Liturgical Movement there was plenty of experiment, especially once the dialogue Mass was allowed in the 1920s,
That being said the Old Rite gave a very different complexion to the relationship between priest and people. I was recently sent a questionnaire about how I see leadership in the Church. It is always a concept I feel uncomfortable with, in many ways I suspect it is a very modern question. It might be interesting if FOTA prepared one of their excellent papers on it. My own feeling is to paraphrase Cardinal Winning, "The Catholic Church [in Scotland] has one leader, and that is not me, it is Jesus Christ". Rather than "leadership" in the past we most probably would have spoken more about obedience, whether it was of a simple priest, a bishop, or even pope.
Anyone preparing to celebrating the Old Rite first of all has to learn a different way of being a priest, he has to learn to be a servant, like the Centurion's servant "to come here, and go there". The Old Rite is very prescriptive about how the priest moves, where moves, how he uses his body, where he looks and even where he directs his eyes. The control over his body and movements results in a control over his mind and thoughts. The thing is that the rubrics are freely available to any ten year old who can read Latin or anyone who has a copy of Fortescue, O'Connel and Reid, or the like, this is important in as much as it democratises the liturgy and leaves the priest open to accountability and able to be judged on his obedience to the demands of the Church. In fact the heart of the spirituality of the Old Rite is one of being under obedience, the obliteration of the individual, to the point where in a large Church, with a number of priests one is often uncertain which priest is celebrating Mass, it is often just hair colour, or body shape that enables one to distinguish who is the celebrant.
The lack of liturgical choice, except to endeavour to do more perfectly what the Church demands is an important factor in the traditional spirituality of a priest. If one couples his liturgical congruence to a congruence to the mind of the Church with a traditional understanding of a priest's theology to constantly subject his intellect to the mind of the Church, together with traditional priestly asceticism, one ends up with a very different attitude to what is often referred to as 'leadership'.
I can't help thinking that when priests 'lead' we end up with all kinds of disasters, when they obey (Christ and his Church) then they build his Kingdom. It is John the Baptist, isn't it? "I must decrease, he must increase". What is rather frightening is that to those who believe the contents of the video, even if in a less Italianate and exuberant form, is what the priesthood is about are quite incapable of understanding what the great master's of priestly spirituality are saying. The Old Rite is divisive and subversive.