“Ad Orientem Et Versus Populum”

20 Nov

Okay, I’m very used to it at the Tridentine Latin Mass and Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. I was listening to Fr John Zuhlzdorf, known as “Fr Z” & his blog, “What does the Prayer Really Say”.

Ad Orientem is when the Holy Sacrifice of The Mass, with Priest and Congregation, are facing “Liturgical East”, that is “Awaiting Christ’s Second Coming”, which is said to be coming via the East. This practice is always seen at both the Tridentine Latin Mass and the Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, as the Priest, “In Persona Christi”, offers the Sacrifice to God The Father.
This “Ad Orientem” practice, requires a Crucifix showing “Jesus Christ Crucified” on the Main Altar. The portable Altar may be used in Ad Orientem practice.
This is also encouraged at the Novus Ordo Mass, known for the portable Altar.
For, as Fr Z put it, that when Mass is offered Ad Orientem, the Focus is wholly on Christ in the Sacrifice. The Mass then has a Sense of Mystery, which is as it should be. Jesus Christ is the Actual Performer in the Human Form of The Priest.
With “Versus Populum”, the Priest is tempted to think that he is the Star Performer. I am not comfortable with the Priest looking toward the Congregation, even after 45 Years. It has been said that with the Priest facing the People, that the Mass closes in on itself. This observation was made by both Fr Z and by a former Protestant Minister, who was one of the 6 Protestant Ministers who helped shape the Novus Ordo Mass, and was later a Roman Catholic Priest, Fr Max Thurian(d. The Feast of The Assumption, August 15th, 1996).

Fr Z thinks not highly of Communion In The Hand, nor standing, in the Roman Rite.  Adding bad catechisis to the mix and people started to doubt the Corporeal Real Presence.

Kyrie Elaison!



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