GIRM paragraph 45
Watching some news programs is very interesting. While the anchor is talking, there are scripts running, pictures flashing, and sub-screens with other faces patiently waiting to interrupt and talk. If the main message is boring you, there are constantly other visual things to occupy your mind. It would be ridiculous (though probably very beneficial) if the news anchor would say something like, "That last story has a lot of implications for how we are forming ourselves as a culture and what it means to be a human being and how we should treat each other. Let us take a moment to quietly reflect."
There would be a unified remote control button pushing across the nation.
Yet that is exactly what we are asked to do during the Mass. It is very counter cultural. For those who can practice it, it is very life giving - almost essential. For those totally plugged into the modern lifestyle and can feel as though, in every moment that is passing, something inside of you dies. But it is NOT a moment of rest. It is a time of liturgical work.
Priest tell people all of the time that there are no passive roles at Mass. The person praying as a baptized priest in the pew is not doing less than a lector or altar server. When we attend Mass and pray, making our offering, we are fulfilling a real role in the offering of the sacrifice.
But what happens when the celebrant says, "Let us call to mind our sins," or "Let us pray," and then doesn't give the silence to call to mind those sins or to recollect what it is that needs prayers? How might something in homily be contemplated for a moment if we just go on to the next item? How much more deeply might we grow in Christ if, after communion, we spend a moment with Him instead of rushing to the closing prayers?
Silence is difficult. It is a discipline. And like all disciplines it requires work. Liturgy IS work. Priests need to provide that time for that ministry that is the outcropping of silence.