We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Add another post on Ad Orientem

Turn towards the Lord!
by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
The esteemed scholar and liturgist Klaus Gamber said that the single most damaging thing that happened in the wake of the Council was the shifting around of orientation at the altar. In The Spirit of the Liturgy, Joseph Ratzinger picked up on Gamber’s work and wrote his own exceptional explanation of the significance of ad orientem worship. He advocated a return to ad orientem worship, but in a way that was peaceful, not like an abrupt way that changes had been imposed on the people of God – changes never called for by the Council Fathers – virtual overnight and without explanations. As a transitional phase, Ratzinger suggested what has come to be known as the “Benedictine Arrangement” of candles and crucifix on the altar. My friend Fr. Lang has a helpful book about Turning Towards the Lord. Over the last few years a growing number of priests (sometimes with the help of, sometimes with the interference of bishops) have been taking their parishes to ad orientem worship. I know one parish where this was implemented, along with the installation of an altar rail. Now, there, virtually everyone kneels to receive Communion on the tongue, parish registrations are up, and the average age of the congregation is plummeting.
Our re-orientation of our liturgical worship of God is of central importance for the revitalization of our Catholic identity.
The revitalization of our Catholic identity – and therefore our ability to influence the world around us – is only possible through a renewal of our liturgical worship. No great undertaking we enter into as a Church (macro or micro) will succeed without it being rooted in proper sacred liturgy, whence comes what we need to initiate and sustain all our good efforts which are pleasing to God.
Read the whole post HERE.

A "can-do" attitude from a priest, a Fr. Bryan, in the combox:
Education and formation is the key. I have already (almost a year ago) placed the altar in the “Benedictine arrangement”. 6 candles and a crucifix on the altar. There was some pushback on that, but it was explained, and now they are used to it. Considering Card. Sarah’s article, I think it is time to begin educating the folks some more, and start working toward the end-goal of ad-orientem worship of Almighty God. Going to take it slow, and explain it well.
Educating the congregation might include: a series of well-worded blurbs in the parish bulletin; theologically rich homilies which invite parishioners to consider the history of Catholic (ad orientem) worship; daily Mass celebrated ad orientem once a week (daily Mass-goers tend to be the most receptive to a solemn ars celebrandi); draw attention to the fact the Roman Missal assumes ad orientem celebration; instruct altar servers how to serve Mass ad orientem and celebrate a Mass for the servers ad orientem; offer take home (on-loan) videos in the parish library.

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