The Rad Trad has two cars: let us call the newer one the Radmobile and the older one the Crapmobile. The Radmobile is only a year old but in fifth gear makes a high hissing noise. The dealer told the Rad Trad that the Radmobile needs a new transmission, which is fine with his Tradiness because the car is still under warrantee. On the down side, he is stuck with the Crapmobile, a ten year old junker with such bad brakes the Rad Trad dare not take it on the highway. This meant the Rad Trad was unable to attend the Melkite Divine Liturgy and instead had to attend a Pauline Roman Mass 15 minutes away.
The parish has a reputation for doing the Mass "reverently," the common term both "conservatives" and "traditionalists" were using five or so years ago. Discussion has evolved (progressed?) to consideration of the ceremonies and texts and chants of the old rite, the 1962 rite, and the new rite. Yet this parish, with all respect for the very kind priest, seems indicative of what a slow, half-interest reform of the reform might look like. The Mass was certainly not an "Oratorian high Mass"—with 19th century polyphony, priests dressed as deacons, Roman vestments, large chunks of Latin, and an ad orientem consecration. No, it was a low Mass celebrated versus me, polyester vestments, and lay ministers of communion.
So why the reputation for reverence? Well there was no sign of peace. No music at all is probably better than what the neighboring parishes do, where you will hear such hits like "Lord of the Dance." The readings were the ones assigned. Between the readings, psalms, alleluia, Gospel, and sermon the lector sat down for a minute or more of silence (the Rad Trad fought hard to remain awake). The purpose of this is almost certainly to foster reflection and meditation on the readings of the Mass, to allow the faithful to commune with God in some quiet. Yet, is this not an arbitrary way of effecting reverence or peace during the Pauline liturgy? To "build in" periods of reverence? The Canon in the old rite, even at a solemn high Mass (provided it was not an obnoxious polyphonic piece with a 3 minute Sanctus and 5 minute Benedictus) was more or less quiet. What strikes the Rad Trad as qualitatively different here is that in the old rite the silence was the culmination of a single action, the various parts and prayers of which are bound by song and chant. At this Mass it was action, break, action, break, action, break, sermon, break, offertory, break, Eucharist Prayer > 1, break.... To create reverence in the Pauline liturgy without resorting to old music can be futile because most of the Mass is talking, not singing. Disrupting the talk makes the Mass all the more fractious than it ceremonially already is.
At a parish with only 200 in attendance and 3 persons—2 lay—distributing Communion under one kind, communion still took ten minutes or so. The entire low Mass, low attended, took 55 minutes. An old rite low Mass is about 40 minutes, a high Mass 70, and a Divine Liturgy 75 minutes. Yet all three of those feel much quicker and more expedient because the mind and soul are immediately enveloped in prayer (though that is often difficult at the old low Mass depending on the setting).
The practical implications of this are astounding. When this parish has its 1962 Missa Cantata one Sunday a month they usually pick up 50 or so faithful, but the demographics shift dramatically. At the Pauline liturgy half the congregation could immediately collect social security and the young(ish) half is a mixed bag: many come well-dressed, some do not, some are little children, a few families, and many are middle aged. At the 1962 Mass I would guess 75% of the congregation is under 50, most under 40. There are many enormous families (3+ kids, some with 5+). Young men and women come from neighboring towns and schools on their own initiative, too. I do not know what the difference is in the collection plate, but the parish priest ought to realize where the future of his church lays.