Well…regarding doing something in hopes that others will follow, that plays a part as well. Not just among those currently attending Mass, either, or even just among those who are Catholics at all. Between the stereotype among some Evangelicals and others that Catholics aren’t well-versed in scripture and are lax, polls which suggest many Catholics disagree on Church teachings about things like abortion, contraception, and homosexual relations, as well as the Real Presence (this in particular is heartbreaking, and I pray it isn’t true), and secular media not doing us any favors, it’s important for all of us to invest ourselves in upholding the teachings of the Church, and to lead by example.
If you don’t practice what you preach by doing the right thing, others will see no reason to take their faith seriously. If you aren’t willing to make sacrifices for your faith, you won’t be encouraging anyone else to do so. I would never criticize any individual person for what they do or fail to do, because I do not know what is in their heart. As a whole, though, if, say, Mass attendance is significantly less on Ascension Thursday (which is not moved to Sunday in my diocese), hardly anyone is coming to confession when it’s offered on Saturday, and virtually 100% of people are going up to receive on Sunday…it’s extremely likely that at least some of those people know they are supposed to attend Mass on a Holy Day, chose not to do so, and went up to receive our Lord anyway. That’s concerning for a number of reasons (although, like I said, I cannot and will not presume that any individual person has done this.)
Same thing with confession in general. The number of people that come to confession on Saturdays compared with the number of people at our parish is infinitesimal. It’s miniscule. Granted, it’s available by appointment anytime. I just wish more people would make more frequent use of the sacrament, because it’s really important - not just in forgiving past sins, but receiving the grace necessary to keep from sinning in the future (I don’t know about any of you, but I really don’t like confessing the same sin over and over). I am definitely not in a place to tell people they need to go to confession more often (or even that they SHOULD). I can only control what I can control, and pray for the intentions of those who are struggling with some aspects of their faith.
EDIT: In many cases, the people might just not understand just how serious sin is, particularly sins that THEY don’t regard as being that bad. Everyone (well, pretty much everyone) know that things like murder and stealing are very bad. But, people might think “I won’t go to hell if I masturbate/use artificial contraception/eat meat on Fridays during Lent/skip Ascension Thursday Mass and don’t repent”, because those things are all very much considered acceptable in our society as a whole.
“God loves the humble, hates the prideful.”
I wouldn’t say that God hates the prideful. He loves the prideful and wants them to stop being prideful.