Churches are to priests as theatres are to musicians. It’s where they perform, where they deliver their message, where they meet their audience.
And if people like what they say and how they say it, they will come in their numbers to the church, to be comforted, consoled, and inspired, just as people will go back again and again to see a musician they like.
Sometimes – most often in the case of a wedding or funeral, a new crowd might come to the church. They might not know the priest, indeed they might not usually attend a church at all, and as a result they might not be as responsive to the priest and his message as the usual crowd that come to the church.
And just as a musician can read the enthusiasm of the crowd from their responses to each song, I’m sure a priest can equally do so when he hears the responses to each prayer.
But like a professional musician will give the same effort and energy in front of an unresponsive audience as he would with a hometown crowd, a good priest will deliver his message with the same enthusiasm and grace to every group of people, if he feels he is being listened or not.
Everyone responds in different ways to what you have to say. Some will be outwardly very complimentary but will forget about you once the performance is finished , whereas others may look bored during your performance but are actually taking it all in and being genuinely touched by what you have to say.
It’s easier to give a good performance in front of a responsive crowd, but, be you a priest or a musician, it pays in the long run to treat every performance and audience equally.