Rorate Caeli

...propterea exaltabit caput.

The deciding issue concerning the position of the priest at the altar is, as we have said, the nature of the Mass as a sacrificial offeringThe person who is doing the offering is facing the one who is receiving the offering; thus, he stands before the altar, positioned ad Dominum, facing the Lord.

If, nowadays, the aim is to emphasize the aspect of the communal meal during the "Eucharistic Feast" by celebrating versus populum, this aim is not being met, at least not in the way some might have hoped. The new arrangement has the "meal  leader" positioned at the table, by himself. The other "meal participants" are situated in the nave, or in the "auditorium," not directly connected to the "meal table." ...

The focus must forever be on God, not man. This has always meant that everyone turn towards Him in prayer, rather than that the priest face the people. From this insight, we must draw the necessary conclusion and admit that the celebration versus populum is, in fact, an error. In the final analysis, celebration versus populum is a turning towards man, and away from God.
Klaus Gamber
Die Reform der römischen Liturgie


  1. I am reading Ratzinger's "The Spirit of the Liturgy" for the second time, and it struck me how much he agrees with this present post.

    We need to turn things around.

  2. We also need to get girls of the altar; women off the sanctuary; an end to the vernacular form; an end to so-called intercessory prayers sequences; the end to concelebration; resttoration of communion rails; restoring the altar to where it belongs; use of so-called extraordinary ministers and so on. The priest facing ad orientam is only the beginning of the matter of turning things around. Perhaps then Sunday attendance figures will turn round in the right direction, too.

  3. Again, nothing will change until the Holy Father mandates all Masses be offered Ad-Orientem.

    All the nice writing in the world and the example of good churchmen will have a minimal effect.

  4. As he is not concerned with propagating the TLM personally, the current pope will not be mandating anything of the sort. he knows that many bishops north of the tiber wil go into open schism.

  5. Anonymous7:23 PM

    "As he is not concerned with propagating the TLM personally, the current pope will not be mandating anything of the sort."

    He isn't interested in propagating the TLM personally? What more could he do to please you?

  6. Anonymous8:09 PM

    "Again, nothing will change until the Holy Father mandates all Masses be offered Ad-Orientem. All the nice writing in the world and the example of good churchmen will have a minimal effect."


    But His Holiness' actions (and documents in regard to the TLM) have initiated discussion throughout the Church (at least the Latin Church) in regard to the need to restore Holy Tradition to our parishes.

    Until a few years ago, it was primarily Traditional Catholics who called for the return to Holy Tradition.

    Even many conservative Catholics refused to join Traditionalists in calling for the restoration of Tradition.

    If bishops insisted that we were in the midst of the New Springtime, then how dare those "heretical, Church-hating" Traditionalists claim otherwise!

    Today, however, we hear even non-Traditionalists declare that we need to return to Tradition or at least discuss said matter.

    I pointed out the other day that Archbishop Dolan published recently a wishy-washy column in which he discussed the tremendous importance of "external markers" to religions.

    In particular, he noted that the Church had discarded several external markers such as Friday abstinence during the past few decades.

    His Excellency noted the "bishops of England reintroduced the discipline of abstinence from meat on Fridays.

    After having established the vital importance of external markers to religion, he then stated the following:

    "I’m not saying we should re-introduce any or all of these markers. The toothpaste is probably out of the tube."

    Sadly, after having noted the importance of our all-but-discarded Catholic "markers," Archbishop Dolan turned wishy-washy as noted by his remarks in the above paragraph.

    However, he didn't rule out a return to Catholic markers.

    The important thing is that even Archbishop Dolan as called us to discuss whether we should turn to Traditional Catholic "markers."

    Again, that discussion until recently was confined generally to Traditional Catholic circles.

    Unfortunately, His Holiness has refused to mandate the return to this or that Traditional Catholic practice.

    But His Holiness' actions and words have at least spurred non-Traditionalists to take a look at Holy Tradition.

    Give it time...give it time.


  7. By the way, during one of the public lectures by a well known person from Vatican, the question was asked, is there any ideas, when the Holy Father could decide to celebrate the Holy Mass in Traditional Form. Of course, one of answers was that it is up to Holy Father to decide and this is difficult to predict. However, among other things, it was said, that to celebrate the solemn traditional Papal Mass there are many things missing. The problem is that even some dicasteries, that should deal with this celebration, has been abolished decades ago. Thus, the problem is also technical and legal to certain extent, e.g. the re-establishment of those missing dicasteries.

  8. As one prays, one believes.

    Let's see, if I am staring at the smiling mug of the priest during mass using bugnini's rite, am I going to see mass as Sacrifice?

    If I see the priest offering the TLM ad orientem, am I going to see mass as purely a meal?

    No to both questions.

    That is why only 30% believe in the Real Presence.

  9. B16 has not publicly offered the TLM since SP and his staff denied he has said it privately either. Prior to SP he had occasionally offered it e.g. for the FSSP in Wigratzbad many years ago when a cardinal

  10. Anonymous11:51 PM

    Been to a NO mass lately? I attended a "life teen" mass a couple of weeks ago. I don't see any way it can be reformed, it's so wacky that doing anything is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    What's worse is the people attending are so lost they wouldn't know one change from another.

  11. I am astonished that the restoration of those elements of liturgy that emphasise the markers of pur faith eg ad orientem, altar rails , communion on the tongue takes so long to do. My memory of the 1970's is that the NO was introduced very fast indeed and in a Church that was reputed to be so conservative as to be moribund! I think most of us could guess at a reason why

  12. the NO was in fact introduced by stealth in gradual steps from 1963 onwards. Bugnini stated the need for incremental gradual changes to ensure acceptance of the final implementation by the "faithful". He was well aware of the principles of "change management". A reversal of this would likewise need to be done step by step hence the current approach in order to try and carry people along espec those who only know the NO.

  13. Anonymous8:25 AM

    Cruise the Groove 24 August, 2011 17:16.

    Well said!

  14. Anonymous8:28 AM

    ka, I think you're right!

  15. Anonymous3:35 PM

    Many Catholics dont even know the faith forget about Tradition. They believe being a participant at mass is all the faith they need to know and that annoying no abortion's that the church constantly holds onto.

  16. Fr. Philaret11:14 PM

    It is so obvious that the new DISorientation focuses the entire liturgy on the priest. I recently attended my first NO Mass in years and it was annoying to watch the priest looking at the people and gesturing towards them whilst addressing prayers of God. No liturgical sense whatsoever.


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