Last week, Matthew at Whapping at a good post on these matters liturgical, giving us some historical perspective:
While more regulations from Rome may help, it's not the ultimate problem, which is the re-emergence of a vital and yet respectful spirit independent of legal technicalities, that which characterized the great liturgical traditions of the Middle Ages. Trent actually put a stop to a lot of that vitality with the suppression of some of the more entertaining medieval customs--though, in all fairness, that life had turned into a sort of absurd and frightneing decadence. But still, something was lost. Indeed, I'd say that what we're facing now in the problems of the liturgical reform are the long-term fall-out of choices made in the sixteenth century by the codifiers of the Tridentine Mass, choices that in many ways were going to have problems no matter which way they went.
Trent sacrificed some measure of vital spirit to the necessary experiediency of centralization, and the results were sometimes spectacular, as with Palestrina, and sometimes just a fifteen-minute low mass, a miracle, but a little one all the same. More recently, we seem to have succeeded in sacrificing both somehow to each other, with even more dire results. I become worried and frustrated when we--and I am no better sometimes--fight to the death over a second confiteor or the problem of what set of Holy Week services to use, when vast numbers of people have never heard the glory of the real Roman Canon, or seen the mass said facing God's east. The reform of the reform does not mean, as Benedict is showing, the denial of the old rite, but it also means we have to prioritize a bit in introducing bits of the old slowly into the new. Push to turn the altars round in the mainstream, push for a Latin Mass whether it's '62 or '70, and the rest may well follow as a matter of course when it becomes apparent that the Mass is no ordinary dialogue between man and man. We must be willing to go mainstream with these things.
What is needed is a sense of balance--a revitalization if not an exact restoration, though probably to the man in the pew, this distinction--and the outward form it may hopefully take--will be very hard to spot indeed. The payoff--and the difference--will be something only discernable in the decades, or even centuries, to come.