Okay! Made it to an 8 AM Sunday Divine Liturgy. My thoughts:
1) It was…extremely short. Surprising, right? They normally run about an hour and 15 to two hours. This was 45 minutes!
Why? The Priest spoke/sang very very fast. I (mercifully) had a book to follow along with so as far as I could see he didn’t miss anything, and he gave a fine homily. I have nothing bad to say about him. It was just fast. I believe it was because he had another Mass to get to about a half hour away after that one.
2) There were no hymns, because everything is a hymn. Literally, EVERYTHING but the homily is sung. This included the Bible readings. The whole Liturgy is basically one long song.
It is…pretty great! I liked that part of it a lot. The whole embarrassment of you being the only off-key singer along with that one old lady while everyone else is red and silent? All gone. Great stuff! People need to feel good about participating, not embarrassed.
3) Yes, lots and lots of incense. Made my eyes water slightly, but it sure smelled good.
4) No sign of peace. God is good indeed.
5) No holding hands during the (sung!) Our Father. See above.
6) I caught the lack of a filioque in there. No, I did not forget.
7) No kneeling! That’s replaced with bowing. Kneeling is specifically a sign of repentence, not of respect and submission. So no kneeling. It was mostly standing with brief periods of sitting.
Overall experience: 10 of 10, would pray again. Us Latins should make the trip at least once.
Next up: I need to find a Latin Mass. That’ll be interesting.