So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

FSSP Ordinations - 8am Pacific Time Friday May 26th

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Monsignor Pope on Eastward facing worship.

Monsignor Charles Pope's essay at the National Catholic Register site is well worth a read for lovers of beautiful, reverent liturgy.
A Pastor Reflects on Cardinal Sarah’s Call to Face East Together
by Msgr. Charles Pope
In his affirming promotion of ad orientem worship (priest facing eastward together with the people), Monsignor Pope includes a useful critique of some of the problems associated with versus populum (priests facing the people) worship which is the common (dis)orientation most Catholics encounter.
So the stance of the Eucharistic prayer is outward and upward to the Father, to whom all glory and honor is directed, though, with and in Jesus and in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
But all this is cloaked and, I would argue, muddled when the priest faces the people. At best he can try to look upward as he prays the Eucharistic prayer. But it is odd and awkward to be facing people and at the same time appear to be speaking past them to Another.
So the whole stance of the Eucharistic prayer is currently awkward and backward. Everyone should be looking toward and yearning for the Father and the Lord who comes. But instead we have a closed circle, we are turned in our ourselves and not outward to God at the very moment when he (not we) are the focus of attention.
Thanks to Cardinal Sarah, the number of conversations is once again increasing regarding the renewal of the true orientation of the Sacred Liturgy.

As long as Catholics remain liturgically disoriented, the less effective evangelization will be. Evangelization requires a confident identity in Christ Jesus to support the communication of the Faith. Catholics have been acting against nature, so-to-speak, by worshipping in a way that robs us of our identity, an identity which is founded on right orientation to God. Ad orientem worship is more than outward conformity. It affirms the very nature of the relationship of creature to Creator.

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