Are we meant to be spectators at Mass, simply watching and listening to what is happening? On the contrary, “Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, §14). But what does “fully conscious and active participation” mean? Is the Church asking everyone to find a “role” at Mass, either reading, serving or distributing Holy Communion?continue at Philip Kosloski
Quite the opposite. Here is what the Church means when she mandates that all the faithful actively participate in the liturgy.
Immediately following the Second Vatican Council, many sought to implement this principle of “active participation” but few knew exactly what it meant. At the time various bishops, priests and laity “misunderstood [it] to mean something external, entailing a need for general activity, as if as many people as possible, as often as possible, should be visibly engaged in action” (Spirit of the Liturgy, 171).
Be careful though, we been told the greatest sins of participation at Mass are "stoic expressions."