Posted by: Christine Johnson | May 26, 2006

No parish on earth needs a special dispensation or indult to offer Mass in this way.

Ma Beck over at the WardWideWeb talks about a homily on Ad Orientem. I have been feeling that I really want to see this orientation lately. I’ve never been to a Mass celebrated that way (except in the Byzantine parish I attended in Williamsburg, VA, on vacation). But the pictures sometimes give me chills.

When I was younger I would think that it was not good to have the priest with his back to the people. But that is just not the way we should think about it. It’s not that he has his back to us, but that he has his face towards Jesus with us. Besides, no one says that the people in the front pew have their backs towards the people in the back pew, right?

I am starting to really think that we need to return to this position. There is a strong link to Temple worship from the Old Testament in it, as well. To me, it only further highlights that the Catholic Church is the fulfillment of Judaism. (In the Old Testament, the priests would stand on the porch of the Temple, outside the Holy of Holies – which is what our tabernacles are – and face, with the people, towards God as they offered the sacrifice. Ad Orientem does the same.)

Yes, I definitely would like to see more parishes return to this. I’d love to see it in person, too. That, and more incense! Always more of that! Oh, yeah, and the bells. I’d like them back, too, please. Our parish still has them, but they are used by the choir for augmentation during certain portions of the Gloria.

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