One of the fascinating dynamics of my religious life in recent years has been my questioning of doctrines that I received and took for granted in my early training. Here's a convoluted path to an example.
On one of the evenings over the Christmas quiet, another friar and I watched the movie Black Robe. It's one of his favorites. One of the things I always note in the film is the way the Jesuits baptize with just the tiny amount of water that will stay on a fingertip or two.
It reminded me of one of the doctrines I was taught early in my religious life, which suggested that we had inherited a minimization of the symbolic riches of the sacraments, and that this needed to be strenuously and energetically corrected. Baptism ought to be by immersion, of course, but if this was not possible a whole lot of water ought to be poured. Altar bread shouldn't be boring wafers ordered from the church supplier, but made at home to look like bread. (Here is inserted the classic gag about the kid who, being tested before his first Holy Communion, said that he could believe that the bread became the Body of Christ, but that he didn't believe it was bread beforehand.) Confirmation shouldn't be a dab of Chrism on the forehead, but oil all through the hair and running down on the collar of Aaron's robes, as it were.
We were taught that the 'symbols were rich' and thus were to presented abundantly and sumptuously. Not that there's anything wrong with that as a principle.
On the other hand, why would someone believe that with a paltry few drops of water he was baptizing in a way that was in no sense deficient? I think, because the efficacy of the sacrament was believed in, and was known to be unrelated to what was made of the 'symbol.' The danger of placing a lot of emphasis on the sensual and conscious experience of the 'richness of symbol' is that these things can become a focus. Performance and showmanship can get to be too important. Is this not also the funny clericalism that is the danger of the Mass celebrated versus populum? (Which is not to deny that the Mass celebrated ad orientem doesn't also risk certain clericalisms.)
The GIRM does say that the "meaning of the sign demands" that the bread offered at Mass "truly have the appearance of food." (321) On the other hand, my experience says that the concern that altar bread resemble or taste like what we ordinarily have for bread is inversely proportional to the concern for caring for the sacred species after consecration. In other words, the more a group holds up the value of using what they think of as 'real bread,' the less concerned they are about consuming or caring for the Body of Christ that the bread becomes. So what's more important, the sensual experience of the bread or the sacramental communion with Christ?