Rorate Caeli

Celebrating Mass ad orientem: video

Some time ago I posted in this blog the Position Paper produced by the Una Voce Federation on the celebration of Mass ad orientem - facing East, with the priest having 'his back to the people'. It remains one of the most explosive issues in the liturgical debate. Increasing numbers of priests wish to celebrate Mass facing liturgical East, even in the context of the Novus Ordo, under the influence of the very trenchant positions taken on the subject by a number of scholars, including Pope Benedict . Pope Benedict's pre-pontifical book 'The Spirit of the Liturgy' compared Mass 'facing the people' to a 'closed circle', whereas it should 'open out' towards the Lord.

Such priests face increasingly desperate resistance from superiors and radical liberal members of the laity, who no longer have any real arguments but have come to see the issue as one of symbolic importance. As indeed it is. Will we turn the clock back? Will we make what happens in Catholic churches look like an act of worship, with the priest offering a sacrifice to God on behalf of the people, and not like a cosy chat over a coffee table?

Because of this resistance, worship ad orientem continues to be largely limited to the Traditional Mass, and it falls to those attached to the Traditional Mass to demonstrate and to defend this manner of celebrating Mass. In this short video, produced by the Latin Mass Society, we are doing just that. It's me in the video.

Video below: