Proponents of the virtual Second Vatican Council assert that the Council was all about breaking down barriers. Before the Council, in the Dark Ages, the faithful existed simply to “pray, pay and obey”. Now, after the Council, the faithful are called on to assert and insert themselves into the liturgy like never before in countless made-up “ministry” roles. The Berlin Wall of the altar rail was torn down and the sanctuary opened up, becoming a stage for a host of actors to take on their liturgical roles. After all, this is what the Council was referring to when it spoke about the need for “full and active participation” of the faithful, right? But what did the Second Vatican Council really mean?
Unfortunately, the word [participation] was very quickly misunderstood 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. … The real liturgical action, the true liturgical act, is the oratio, the great prayer that forms the core of the Eucharistic celebration, the whole of which was, therefore, called oratio by the Fathers. ~Pope Benedict XVI, The Spirit of the Liturgy