Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mass ad orientem

I found an article on Catholic Culture on the Mass being said ad orientem. It is worth reading.

Well, unless the GIRM is changed, the Liturgy of the Word cannot be said from the altar as it is done in the usus antiquior.  It needs substantial retooling anyways*, so there is hope yet that this might change. At the very least, a bishop might be able to write the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments for permission to say the Liturgy of the Word facing the altar in Masses said in his diocese or country. Hmm. I wonder what could be done to skirt around this provision without doing anything against the law in the meantime.

If the Post-Communion, the blessing, and the 'Ite, Missa est' can be offered from the altar, then why can't the prayers in the Liturgy of the Word be read from the altar? Is it because the priests faces the people on the altar steps for two of those prayers? I don't quite get it, and I think the rubrics for orientation* in the TLM make much more sense. Now, I think that the readings should be facing the people since they do have a didactic function- more so than the rest of the Mass- but from the Epistle and Gospel sides of the altar.

*When I get my hands on the universal GIRM in English, then I will further comment.
Also, I used the word orientation. The word to describe the direction one faces derives from the word that means facing the rising sun, i.e. east.  Q.E.D.  :)

By the way, the Pope celebrates Mass ad orientem in the Sistine Chapel once a year. Is his example not enough?

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