whoops sounds like it will take one of us oldies to answer this one, you young whipper snappers don’t remember when the Mass was in Latin, all you saw was the priest’s back, and he was surrounded by a flock of acolytes fluttering around with incense, bells and what-not, entertaining but for someone on the elderly side, perhaps from the old country, who did not have the advantage of 12 yrs in Catholic school to learn Latin, full active participation was a pipe dream. The responses were made in Latin by the altar boys, who represented the congregation, in any case.
The choir sang the Gloria etc, but not in any setting that the laity were encouraged to join in, and there might be, if you were lucky, one hymn everyone knew, that was for congregational singing rather than choir and soloists.
Us youngsters had our St. Joseph or St Andrew missal to follow along, or perhaps were part of a youth choir, but the oldsters had not much to do apart from muttering “Et cum spiritu tuo” from time to time. they either prayed from their prayerbook or with a rosary.
You have know idea what that lovely old person in the back row is doing with their rosary so don’t make a judgement. Contemplation is just as “active” participation as taking an “active role in ministry” as EMHC, or doing all the singing, moving and responding. Someone who has been saying the rosary for years, and is immersed in the sacredness of the Mass and sacraments - MIL comes to mind - is probably more deeply participating in their contemplation, aided by their rosary, than many of us who are fussing with children, flipping through the missalette, or rushing around ministering. Please do not judge, you have no idea how well any one else is praying.