I didn’t have time this week to watch the next installment of our video course on Lectio Divina. We have been studying “Ad Orientem” and I know many missed this particular article so I thought it would be good to present it again as it summarizes the most salient points of subject:
- No where in the Documents of Vatican II is the idea of the Mass celebrated “Ad Populum” the priest facing the people even mentioned. Therefore, we can easily conclude that this was not an inspiration of the Holy Spirit for good of the future of the Church.
- There is no history of the Mass being celebrated this way prior to 1970. Those who claimed this actually made a mistake and didn’t realize that the people in the ancient Basilicas also faced east and the priest actually did the consecration behind them.
- There are 47 other Rites (manners of performing the liturgy) and in none of them does the priest face the people. When we do this we set ourselves apart and in isolation from our fellow Catholics.
- Since the beginning of the “Missa ad Populum”, there has been a never ending series of grave liturgical abuses on a wide scale never seen before in the 2000 year history of the Church, which has led to an ever decreasing Mass attendance and seriously damaged the faith of many.
- The sacrifice of Jesus is no longer the focal point of the Mass, but the personality of the priest and his constant innovations (licit or many times illicit). Proof of this is how so many people get upset when one priest is transferred or they say, “I go to St. N parish because Fr. N. is so funny and entertaining—I really like him.” So the Holy Mass is no longer about getting closer to Christ and receiving Sanctifying Grace, but rather about feeling comfortable and being entertained. There are even many contemporary Catholic churches built in “Auditorium Style” to facilitate the entertainment aspect.
- The first Easter morning when Peter and John went to the tomb of Jesus after Mary Magdalen reported it empty, the first thing they saw was the rising sun in the East and from that moment on the rising sun began to be linked to the Resurrection in the liturgy. Thus we generally go to Mass Sunday Morning not Sunday Evening (some parishes offer Sunday Evening Masses in addition to morning ones due to pastoral necessities, but no parish may offer only Evening Masses). Thus we have the name EASTer for our Celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection.
- We actually transcend the realm of time at the Mass and get a foretaste of eternity, thus we look to the East for the second coming of the Lord Jesus (Mt. 24,27) and we say in the Mass, “We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your resurrection, until you come again.” It only makes sense that we should all face East and say this together.
To be continued next week. . .