|NLM | SMC 2013 | OF Mass celebrated ad orientem|
The way back to liturgical sanity.
The various "directions" or emphases which occur during the Eucharist Prayer (Canon) are virtually lost because the priest does not provide the emphasis with his voice and/or body to direct our attention toward the living and true God. Why is that? Is it because his own heart is removed from Christ in the Sacred Liturgy? Everybody has their absentminded moments, but it seems that people's attention spans, priests' and people's, are more often no longer than the span of a gnat's.
Ad orientem worship, then, enables people to pray the Mass better than when being burdened by, for example, the constant distraction of observing the priest's gaze flit around the congregation when the Mass is celebrated versus populum or toward the people. Is it any wonder that a priest is inwardly distracted and outwardly distracting when he celebrates Mass facing the people?
Ad orientem worship liberates us from the temptation to exalt ourselves as the source of worship. Ad orientem returns our minds and hearts to the Holy Spirit and helps us recognize that all prayer is the initiative of God. The Holy Spirit carries us "forward" toward the Risen Son.
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves. For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. 1 Cor. 11:27-32God is not bound by His Sacraments (CCC1257). He can and does act in ways beyond the Sacraments only known most fully to Himself. Nevertheless, Christ gave us the Sacraments and He has chosen to be present among us in and through outward signs He has instituted to give grace (BC3:13). Who are we to reject what God sees fit to establish "for our good and the good of all His holy Church"?
The two orientations, the vertical and the horizontal given direction by ad orientem worship, patterns upon the congregation the image of the Cross.
The Normativity of Ad Orientem Worship According to the Ordinary Form’s Rubrics by Dr. PETER KWASNIEWSKI