“I believe that it is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction...to the Lord who comes, in those parts of the liturgical rites when we are addressing God." - Cardinal Sarah
This change ought not to be misconstrued as the Bishop “turning his back on the faithful,” as if I am being inconsiderate or hostile. Such an interpretation misses the point that, by facing in the same direction, the posture of the celebrant and the congregation make explicit the fact that we journey together to God.
While the priest’s “ad orientem” posture may seem unusual at first, with repeated exposure many people find that the “ad orientem” celebration allows them to enter more deeply into the prayer of the Mass and to focus more intently on the mystery of Christ’s Real Presence – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity – in the Most Holy Eucharist.
"I was there with Jesus, at Calvary, and nothing else mattered. It was an Ad Orientem, Novus Ordo Mass at Christmas and I’ll never forget it."
This common orientation helps us to turn our focus back to God. As our Lord Jesus tells us “For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” We turn our faces toward him in hopeful expectation.
The celebration of Mass in an Oratory, found in Manuscript from the Ninth Century
Dipiction of one of the first Masses in Americas being said
Fr. Jones at his First Mass
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