This is the second installment on a series on reforms from the Reformation that we enjoy today.
Prior to the Reformation, worship was in Latin, no matter the native language of the people. Most did not understand what was being said and were unable to participate in any meaningful way in the mass. Any singing that was done was also done in Latin and by a choir. There was little, if any, lay participation in the service. The people were passive observers. Those of us who were raised Roman Catholic and are old enough to remember the Catholic Church prior to Vatican II may well remember that time.
With this reform came understanding of the service and of the gospel because of hearing it in the vernacular. German chorales and hymnody were also written for use in the service (with parts sung by the people) so that by still another means the Word would be declared and more easily learned by parishioners. Worshipers moved from being passive observers to active participants.