I recently happened to be at my Church in the evening. I was there for a meeting with my children, but as we were leaving, the Spanish community was just beginning their weekly prayer service. The music was upbeat and full of energy and the people were singing and praising God with their whole bodies. They were full of joy! It was quite a different experience from the one we usually have at Mass. I half-jokingly told my children we may have to start attending the Spanish Mass!
On the same note, Fr. Donald Lapointe of the Springfield, MA Diocese recently took a mission trip to Kenya. In an article for The Catholic Mirror, he tells of his experience of their Mass:
"The poverty among these Kenyans is matched, even exceeded, by the depth of their faith demonstrated at weekly Masses . . . In spite of liturgies that can last three hours or more, with many parishioners sitting outside under the hot sun . . .every moment of the Mass is filled with joy and reverence for God. 'They love to sing and dance . . . for them, it is truly a celebration."
When we attend Mass, we have respect and prayerfulness (at least most of the time), but where is our joy when we celebrate the liturgy? Maybe we could learn something from these other traditions.