Yeah, dont worry about responding the first few times.
I hope you find a place that encourages the dialogue mass, as silent low masses with the server responding…were a later decadence and part of the problems that led to the Novus Ordo in the first place.
Get a missal, ideally. But the Ordinary (ie, same at every mass) responses and songs…will be in the little red booklet or available online easily, like here:
Try to become familiar with them. They aren’t that hard. Mostly just responding “Et cum spiritu tuo” to “Dominus Vobiscum” and “Deo Gratias” to things. And some of the longer things, like the confiteor, the domine non sum dignus, or the prayers at the foot of the altar (if the people make those in your local version of the dialogue mass)…you can pick up on pretty easily. You’d be surprised. They have a good rhythm, a good flow, they were written so on purpose (unlike clumsy translations…)
But, there certainly isnt as much pressure to respond at a TLM as if your response makes or breaks the essential validity of the Mass (a feeling I sometimes get at novus ordos). Still, an inaudible mass, with people praying the rosary throughout, and perhaps the choir singing elaborate harmonies with the actual words incomprehensible…is not ideal. More tolerable than the protestants would have you believe (because participation is not the essence of the Mass), but certainly not ideal, and part of the rot under the surface that led to the new mass in the first place.
Especially if it is your first time…I would encourage trying to find a dialogue mass. My first TLM was a disjointed, confusing, silent affair…and i was very disappointed. I loved the text itself, had seen it online…and the actual preformance seemed so…out of touch with everything. I was pleasantly surprised when I finally saw a TLM where the people participated actively, but according to their proper role in tradition, and where everything was very engaged and holistically coordinated.
For a first timer especially…walking into a church where the priest is doing one thing up front, the people are praying rosaries or in line for confession, the choir is singing over the priest’s prayers and he isn’t waiting, the people sort of wander up to the front at communion without any sort of orderly procession…can seem very confusing. It certainly disappointed me, everyone seemed in a sort of do-your-own-thing sort of haze.
When I later found the dialogue TLM, even though the people’s responses are few and far apart and not that complex…it was just enough to add a sense of coherence to the whole thing, to make it clear that everyone’s thoughts were on the altar. And being able to hear those parts that are supposed to be heard, really helps too.