When I was growing up, the little shul I belong to used to set records for length of services on the High Holidays. Davening was called for 8 am and it would always be the same four or five of us there on time. When services ended at 3 pm (I am not exxagerating) the same four or five of us were there to close up. In between the crowd had swelling to a couple of hundred but as the day passed they generally lost interest and drifted away.
Perhaps it was because the chazan, a genuinely decent talmid chacham with a beautiful voice, really got into the prayers he was chanting. Maybe that's why mussaf always took 3 hours. Or it could have been the rav's excitement at having a full house to speak to which meant a sermon of at least one hour's length.
Fortunately nowadays I daven at the local Jewish seniors' home. The crowd is small, we start late (9:30 am) but we're done by 1 pm and home by 1:30. Yet most piyutim are still said and tunes are still sung. What's the secret?
First, our chazzan is a decent chap who gets very hungry by 11 am. This means that the longer services go, the faster he sings. Secondly, the rav running the services doesn't flatter himself. He knows no one is really listening when he speaks, so he limits his sermon to five minutes or less.
Put that all together and it's quite possible to be home for lunch at a decent hour.
How did yours go?