I remember going to Easter Sunday Mass over at my local Parish. There was an afternoon Mass, so I decided to go to that one rather than the morning Mass.
The church was blocked to the aisles, and every person in the place looked to be South Asian, which surprised me, since I didn’t think we had a sizeable South Asian community in my parish – mostly Serbo-Croatian, Ukrainian, and Filipino.
Then the service started. The whole Mass was in Malayalam. IIRC, I found out that it was the St Thomas Syro-Malabar Mission, just using the Holy Cross church building.
I didn’t understand hardly anything of the Mass – except words like “Amen” for example – but I did know when the Lord’s Prayer was said: even though the language was totally different, the rhythm of the prayer seemed the same.
It was quite an experience. And as I could not understand what was being said, I just tried to follow along with the English OF in my head. And as for the prayers, readings, sermon etc – those things that change every week – I just sat, and tried to “experience” the Mass, to try to realize what was going on on a deeper level without necessarily knowing the words. Kind of like Zaccheus climbing the tree to see Jesus, possibly not being able to understand everything Jesus was saying because he was too far away, but determined to be there anyway.
And I must mention this – I have never had so many people smile and nod to me at Mass.