CDWDS Annual Study Day: Majesty and Beauty in His Sanctuary

Each year the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments hosts a "study day", more or less around the date of the anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium, 4 December.   I have attended all the conferences so far, I believe. 

This year the theme: Majesty and Beauty in His Sanctuary: Art in the service of the liturgy.  It took place in the Hall of the Synod, as every year.

After an initial prayer by the Prefect, His Eminence Francis Card. Arinze, the Secretary Archbishop Ranjith opened the proceedings.

The first talk was by H.E. Julian Lopez Martin, Bishop of Leon and President of the Spanish bishops’s committe on liturgy.   His talk was to provide starting points: Theological Principles and Executive Norms for the Ordering of Churches.  The talk left me confused.  This came off as the sort of talk one would have heard perhaps 25 years ago.   For example, there was not a single mention of the tabernacle, where it should be or even if there should be one at all.  Zero.   Also, I had the sense that he hadn’t actually prepared the talk himself, since he seems a little unsure as to where he was in the text.  His focus was entirely, exclusively (and I mean that is the sense of "exclude") devoted to celebration versus populum.  He also took a shot at the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.  All along I thought that it could have been cribbed in part from Card. Mahoney’s Gathering the Neighborhood Together, or whatever that was called.  Since he finished his talk early, Archbp. Ranjith opened the floor to questions before the next talk, something really never done in these parts.   In any event there was blood on the floor, and I held the knife, I’m afraid.    But I’ll get to that later.

The second talk was form H.E. Mauro Piacenza who is the Secretary of the Congregation for Clergy.  He was in the news when he was transferred to his new post from the Commission on the Cultural Heritage of the Church.  He is a solid fellow, I can say that.  Among the many sound things he spoke of was the need for Gregorian Chant and a "sacred language", and for the Latin Church he meant Latin.  He stressed the importance that the Council gave to Latin and to Gregorian Chant as well as the documents of the Church and Popes.  He restated the need for a return to seminary formation in Latin and also music and art, etc.  Too much of what is going on now, without that formation is characterized by "bad taste" or "puerile" approaches.  He also said that when Popes ask for things in documents, what they ask for is to be done, not just set aside.  He mentioned Redemptionis Sacramentum explicitly.

After the break for refreshments, which was itself interesting: I was in a small area where most of the main characters were: I met and chatted with Mons. Guido Marini, and spoke at length with both Archbp. Ranjith and Card. Arinze, as well as a few other notables. … I digress…

After the break, there was a talk by a fellow who was in the new recently for a book on the Sistine Chapel, Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer, of the Gregorian University.  While I can’t say I much cared for the rather dreamy talk he gave about interpenetration of the 4th dimension, and all that, he was a fire brand at the very end.  Father was all about new forms of architecture and other artistic forms for churches and liturgy which serve to create in the person a sense of real contact with the sacred, with heaven, etc.  Alas, some of the examples he cited led me to wonder if I was on the same page with this learned fellow.  But at the end of the study day, for the real Q&A period, he was a firebrand.  Back to that later.

Then there was talk by Mons. Crispino Valenziana, of Sant’Anselmo (emeritus of the liturgical institute).  His never ending speech, which Archbp. Ranjith informed him was over the limit by 12 minutes, focused on the parallels of the liturgical reform after the Council of Trent carried out by the might St. Charles Borromeo, and some of the same problems we have today.  It could have been interesting had Father gotten to his points more quickly.  However, he gave some energy to how St. Charles thought it so important that the tabernacle be in the center and that the church and celebration of liturgy had to be ad orientem.  St. Charles said churches had to be oriented to the geographic east.  If that was impossible, he would give permission that they be shifted more sourthward, but never to the west or north.  The focus was the rising sun, because the Church is directed to the Lord who is Coming from the east.

Finally, Cardinal Arinze made a speech.  He returned to the bloody topic raised after the talk given by H.E. mons. Lopez Martin: celebration of Mass versus populum and ad orientem.  His points were these.  First, the Church never forbade celebration ad orientem.  A priest who celebrates ad orientem is not violating any rubrics or laws no matter how surprised anyone might be.  Also, and this was really good, celebration versus populum requires a great deal more concentration and focus for the priest, more focus than many priests have.  Forgetting a proper ars celebrandi they become "priest showman" as if they were on TV.  They become the focus of the action, not the Lord.  Of course, Card. Arinze hit that one out of the park and people applauded.  What he said also raises the question: if it is so important that the priest not become, or be tempted to become, the center of attention, and if many priests simply lack the focus needed to celebrate versus populum as is required, then wouldn’t it be better that there be more celebrations ad orientem?  Effectively what Card. Arinze did was dismantle a major aspect of the first talk, by Mons. Lopez Martin.  As I mentioned before, the talk by the head of the liturgy committee of the Spanish Bishops sounded as if it were from 25 years ago, when any consideration of Mass ad orientem was totally stiffled.

You see, during the Q&A opened by Archbp Ranjith after the talk by Mons. Lopez Martin, I asked him a question which resulted in an exchange.  The exchange was along these lines.  Since recently much more attention is being given to Mass celebrated ad orientem in books and articles, and since we now have Summorum Pontificum, why were you focused exclusively on celebration versus populum? Why no mention at all of ad orientem? Why?  The answer came back that the GIRM says that Mass must be versus populum.  I pounced.  Readers of my articles and this blog know that I have written extensively about his matter, and thus I was able to quote the GIRM paragraph as #299 and I corrected his position saying that the altar must be detached from the wall so that Mass can be said also versus populum, not that Mass must be celebrated that way.  He then seemed to crumble a little and said something about Vatican II and the Church wants the altar to be the center of attention, not the priest.  So I shot back, tennisball-like, the question: Would celebration ad orientem tend then to diminish the personality of the priest better than would celebration versus populum?  He said: You are free to believe that.   At that point I decided not to press the matter.  The point had been made and won.  During the interventions that followed, however, the speakers did add side comments about Mass ad orientem in a favorable light.  As I said above, Mons. Valenziano gave part of his talk to that issue at the time of Charles Borromeo, who considered that so critical a part of the Church’s worship.

I mentioned taht Pfeiffer stepped to the plate.  A woman with degrees in canon and civil law asked a question about where the norms regulating the ordering of churches could be found.  Please note that that was supposed to be the topic of the talk given by H.E. Mons. Lopez Martin.  Archbishop Ranjith therefore gave Lopez Martin that question.  No answer was forthcoming.  He mentioned something about Sacrosanctum Concilium.  However, when someone asked another question, which was passed to Fr. Pfeiffer, Pfeiffer returned to the woman’s point and added that, these days, "the Church seems to be afraid to censure anyone".  His comment won the approval of the listeners.

There were a few more fireworks, but time constrains me.

One last thing.  A fellow asked a rather polemical question, aimed I believe at Bp. Piacenza, about whether we were not confused about the concepts of "il sacro" and "il santo" ("the sacred… the holy").  What was that all about.  Some liturgists who come from the twisted side of the liturgical movement which derailed the good things the liturgical movement emphasize an  immanentist and horizontal view of liturgy.  Those things which are for liturgy (music, buildings, art, vessels, etc.) thus stress congregation and the here and now, the immediate.   Everything is in service of the liturgy, therefore, in a functional way.  That distinction of sacro and santo was code.  He was diminishing a "sacred" sense of things in themselves, a purpose entirely removed from the profane and given to God, and saying that we needed "holy", which is a different concept from "sacred".  He was saying, basically, church buidings are for actual liturgical action, and they must be built and function in that light.  Later, H.E. Mons. Ranjith gave the floor to someone who asked to speak, rather than ask a question.  I didn’t catch the layman’s name, but I got the sense that this is one of the guys from the Cultural Heritage office which Piacenza ran until recently.  He raised the question of what a church building is for?  Is it functional?  That is, is the building serving is purpose only when the liturgy is actually in action?  What if the church is empty?  Does it fulfill its purpose then?  If the point is to have an encounter with the sacred, with mystery, etc., what about the empty church which isn’t in this precise moment used for liturgy?  The idea is that everything about the church build must provide an encounter with the sacred, even when Mass is not being celebrated. 

For me, this also raised the problem of the tabernacle.  Where is the tabernacle?  What is the building for?

This leads to other points and questions.

For example, music is not just ornament or useful.  It is par integrans an integral or integrating part of the liturgy.  It is liturgy in a deep sense.  It communicates something of the awe at transcendence.  Thus, sacred music must aim at more than congregational singing, which never can attain certain levels of artistey and expertise our liturgical action deserves.  Still, in many cases everything for worship, including space, vessels, music, etc., are reduced in a minimalism approach to the utilitarian basics.  Is that what we need? 

This is already long, but I wanted to share some notes.   I am sure I will be hearing more reactions about all this in the coming days. 

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17 Responses to CDWDS Annual Study Day: Majesty and Beauty in His Sanctuary

  1. Anglo-Papist says:

    Fascinating Father, thank you.

    It seems, from my humble Anglo-Catholic standpoint, that battlelines are starting to be drawn up. The intellectual and theological arguments are overwhelmingly in favour of ad orientem but one can see that a false pragmaticism as well as outright ‘spin’ are already being employed. It’s certainly happening from the the bishops in England and Wales and the Bishop of Leon seems to be leaning in that direction.

    But so foolish of the Bishop to try to claim the GIRM dictates versus populum. This was knocked on the head by the CDW on 25th September 2000 which declared there was no obligation for the Mass to be versus populum. Our source for that: Joseph, Cardinal Ratzinger in his foreword to Fr Lang’s ‘Turning Towards The Lord’.

    But very interesting to hear this from the very centre of things. Once again, thank you.

  2. Paolo says:

    Lopez Martin went on for ages about the furnishings of the prebiterio and as far as he was concerned there were only three things to be put into the presbiterio: the latar, the ambo and the chair. There was absolutely no mention of the tabernacle let alone a discussion of where it might be placed – be in in modern churches or in old churches. And that despite what the Pope has to say about retention of the High Altar with its tabernacle where they are still extant. Lopez Martin gave the impression of carrying forward a liturgical view long out of date and his recent outbursts on the subject of Summorum Pontificum reflect that.

    While Lopez Martin spoke slides were projected of the most horrible modern churches imagineable: the railway station at San Giovanni Rotondo; Los Angeles Cathedral, Ronchamps, etc.. Both Cardinal Arinze and Mons Ranjith pronounced disclaimers during the proceedings to the effect that they were not representative of the Congregation’s position on art and architecture and indeed did not necessarily have its approval.

    The real star of the day was Mons. Mauro Picaenza.

  3. Father M says:

    Father Z,
    Thank you not only for the post, but for being there and speaking up for so many of us who could not possibly be in that rareified setting. This great struggle for the divine liturgy is being fought on so many fronts and I am deeply grateful to you for continually helping to outflank those who continue to fight a destructive war. Let’s pray the Memorare for His Eminence and with the hope the bloodletting that happened be salutary for those involved.

  4. Fr. Stephen says:

    Is there any possibility of getting a copy of Mons Picaenza hopefully in English?

    Thanks Fr. Z for the trojan work.

  5. Bogdan in Rome says:

    Just how ignorant is Mons. Lopez Martin, the Bishop of Leon in Spain? You would have expected that the head of the Spanish Liturgical Commission would be on top of his subject. Does he not know that an official response was made on the subject of versus absidem in the new Institutio by Cardinal Medina Estevez and published not in Notitiae but Communicationes of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts?

    http://www.adoremus.org/12-0101cdw-adorient.html

    Is it any wonder Spain is in the mess it is!

  6. Myles Bailey says:

    How did I not come to know about this blog until the present time? Wonderful work Fr Z. I hope my Lord Lopez Martin\’s comments are not representative of the Spanish church at large for that would be very sad. On the other hand the growing support for the eastwards orientation in Rome is very heartening indeed. Hopefully before too long we will see His Holiness Papa Bene celebrate the Sacred Liturgy ad orientem. After that who could possibly query the celebration of the Mass of the 1970 Missal ad orientem?

  7. TNCath says:

    Wonderful job, Father Z. I especially enjoyed this entry. How long do you think the fruits of this discussion will eventually trickle down to the diocesan level? As you said in an earlier post, “brick by brick…”

  8. Barb says:

    Yay, Father Z., Yay! I thank God you are able to attend these events in which so many important things are happening and bring back to us your reports. Over the past 10 years I have become “obsessed”, if you will, with our sacred liturgy, desiring to understand as much about it as possible, and to worship in the Extraordinary form. Unfortunately, worship in the Extraordinary form is denied me, but your work gives me hope. Yes, as others have noted, the battle lines have been drawn and there will be a lot more blood on the floor before this is all over. Let it be so if that is the only way to correct the “diabolical disorientation” as Sister Lucia of Fatima called it in the Church of today. Our sacred rites are the first thing which must be purified of all that is fuzzy and downright oppositional to the teachings of the Church.

    God bless you, Father. Please, everyone reading this, pray for us who continue to be victimized by clever bishops who are utterly opposed to Pope Benedict’s “Marshall Plan” for the Church.

  9. Fr Ray Blake says:

    “So I shot back, tennisball-like.”
    O.K., your reward then: half of a bottle of the Widow waiting for you in England when we next meet up.

  10. Bogdan in Rome: You would have expected that the head of the Spanish Liturgical Commission would be on top of his subject. Does he not know that an official response was made on the subject of versus absidem in the new Institutio by Cardinal Medina Estevez and published not in Notitiae but Communicationes of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts?

    Yes, you would have thought so, wouldn’t you? He should have known that. You know… we might all

    benefit from reading that text you linked. 

    It turns out I have tangled with this bishop before, but indirectly!

    Here it is with my emphases and comments:

    Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

    Prot. No 2036/00/L

    The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has been asked whether the expression in no. 299 [Exactly what I quoted to him during the conference.  I had the ammunition at hand, because I have blasted away at (mendacious) interpretations of that GIRM 299 many times, both in print in The Wanderer and on this blog.  Here is one entry.] of the Instituto Generalis Missalis Romani constitutes a norm according to which, during the Eucharistic liturgy, the position of the priest versus absidem [facing towards the apse] is to be excluded.

    The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, after mature reflection and in light of liturgical precedents, responds:

    Negative, and in accordance with the following explanation.

    The explanation includes different elements which must be taken into account.

    [Watch what happens next.  The Congregation explains the Latin grammar.  This is both sad and amusing.  It is sad, because people in these positions ought to know Latin.  Amusing because this is a “Vaticanese” butt-kicking of colossal severity.]

    It is in the first place to be borne in mind that the word expedit does not constitute an obligation, but a suggestion [suggestion] that refers to the construction of the altar a pariete sejunctum [detached from the wall] and to the celebration versus populum [toward the people]. The clause [Okay, boys and girls.  Who can tell me where the clause begins?  Julian?] ubi possibile sit [where it is possible] refers to different elements, as, for example, the topography of the place, the availability of space, the artistic value of the existing altar, the sensibility of the people participating in the celebrations in a particular church, etc. It reaffirms that the position toward the assembly seems more convenient inasmuch as it makes communication easier (Cf. the editorial in Notitiae 29 [1993] 245-249), [This is the infamous editorial which revealed the cracks in the Congregation’s edifice on this issue.  I wrote about this at length for Sacred Music but I have the text here.] without excluding, however, the other possibility.

    However, whatever may be the position of the celebrating priest, it is clear that the Eucharistic Sacrifice is offered to the one and triune God, and that the principal, eternal, and high priest is Jesus Christ, who acts through the ministry of the priest who visibly presides as His instrument. The liturgical assembly participates in the celebration in virtue of the common priesthood of the faithful which requires the ministry of the ordained priest to be exercised in the Eucharistic Synaxis. The physical position, especially with respect to the communication among the various members of the assembly, must be distinguished from the interior spiritual orientation of all.  [NB: There is a distinction.  Communication is one thing (perhaps a didactic consideration or an aid to one aspect of “active participation”.  But isn’t the “interior spiritual orientation” really the whole point of Holy Mass?  Which would facilitate that better?  Ad orientemVersus populum?] It would be a grave error to imagine that the principal orientation of the sacrificial action is [toward] the community. If the priest celebrates versus populum, which is a legitimate and often advisable, [That is sure open to discussion now, but this was back in 2000.  See how much has happened in these 7 years?] his spiritual attitude ought always to be versus Deum per Jesus Christum [toward God through Jesus Christ], as representative of the entire Church. The Church as well, which takes concrete form in the assembly which participates, is entirely turned versus Deum [towards God] as its first spiritual movement.

    It appears that the ancient tradition, though not without exception, was that the celebrant and the praying community were turned versus orientem [toward the East], the direction from which the Light which is Christ comes. It is not unusual for ancient churches to be “oriented” so that the priest and the people were turned versus orientem during public prayer. [cf. Klaus Gamber and lately the writings of my friend Fr. Lang.]

    It may be that when there were problems of space, or of some other kind, the apse represented the East symbolically. Today the expression versus orientem often means versus apsidem, [Consider the cliche comment about the older form of Mass, namely, that the priest is “facing the wall”.  Be sure, dear reader, to check yourselves carefully when speaking about these matters.  Do not slip into errors through sloppy thinking or old habits of description.] and in speaking of versus populum it is not the west but rather the community present that is meant.

    In the ancient architecture of churches, the place of the Bishop or the celebrating priest was in the center of the apse where, seated and turned toward the community, the proclamation of the readings was listened to. Now this presidential place was not ascribed to the human person of the bishop or the priest, nor to his intellectual gifts and not even to his personal holiness, but to his role as an instrument of the invisible Pontiff, who is the Lord Jesus.

    When it is a question of ancient churches, or of great artistic value, it is appropriate, moreover, to keep in mind civil legislation regarding changes or renovations. Adding another altar may not always be a worthy solution.  [Vaticanese for: “LEAVE THEM ALONE!”]

    There is no need to give excessive importance to elements that have changed throughout the centuries. What always remains is the event celebrated in the liturgy: this is manifested through rites, signs, symbols and words that express various aspects of the mystery without, however, exhausting it, because it transcends them. Taking a rigid position and absolutizing it [This refers to the ideology of celebrating versus populum at any and every cost.] could become a rejection of some aspect of the truth which merits respect and acceptance.

    Vatican City, 25 September 2000.

    Signed: Jorge Arturo Cardinal Medina Estévez, Cardinal Prefect  [Thank you!]

    Archbishop Francesco Pio Tamburrino, Archbishop Secretary

    And there you have it.

    Folks, this Congregation study day, gives you a glimpse into what is really going on in the marble hallways.

    I can hear it now….

    “But Father! But Father!  If the Congregation already corrected the Spanish conference on this issue, why didn’t this Spanish bishop convey the correct information?  You would think as president of the committee he would have this stuff down cold, right?  Father!  What’s the deal?  Did the Congregation not realize what his ideas were before they invited him?  Please explain?”

    The question is a good one.  

    Two possibilities occur to me. 

    First, the Congregation isn’t entirely in unity on this issue.  Remember that in the past I have said that some curial officials would still rather have a photo of Paul VI on their wall for the obligatory papal portrait in each office, rather than the current tenent of Peter’s See.  The biological solution is going to be picking up speed, but it takes time.  So, there are probably some in the Congregation who hold that Mass ought to be always versus populum.  So, they found speaker to express their view at this conference.

    Secondly, sometimes, dear friends in Christ, it is better to allow people to speak their piece in public, so that their comments are on record.  Smile broadly and invite someone to speak their piece.  Once they have spoken, smile and file it away.  Those who don’t agree with His Excellency’s position, might be now very happy that he came to speak.  He exposed his ideas.

  11. Fr. Blake: Is that an invitation?

    How about half of two bottles of the Veuve?

    I had an invite to speak in the UK in February. If I can get a couple more gigs, I might be able to do this. And it would be great to see you again!

  12. Fr Ray Blake says:

    Of course it is an invitation. Two halves or four halves, all for God’s glory. I’ll give you a good dinner too.

  13. EDG says:

    Bogdan and Myles Bailey:

    The Spanish bishops (like all of them, I suppose) are a mixed bag. There are few raving modernists, but many like the Bishop of León, who are sort of foggy VatII burn-outs, mindlessly repeating phrases of 30 years ago.

    This is a particular pity, because the Cathedral of León is one of the most beautiful in Europe. It’s known as the Bella Azúl, because of its magnificent blue windows. The dean of the Cathedral (probably former dean and with the Saints now) was a collector of old vestments, and preserved not only many from the Cathedral’s collection, but collected others from places where the Spanish had had colonies. I was lucky enough to stumble across an exhibit of his collection in the Cathedral treasury about 10 years ago.

    On the positive side, in Spain as in the US, the bad bishops are reaching retirement age and decent people are filling their places. A truly fine bishop is the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Mons Rouco Varela, who has done much to restore the Faith to Madrid, which is a naturally pious city. And much to my surprise, when I was growing disappointed with him for saying very little about the MP and not seeming very encouraging, it emerged that this fall he dedicated a church which he himself had designed and renovated, specifically for the Old Mass. It was refurbished to have the most splendid pre-VatII Spanish altar and furnishings, but it also has modern touches, such as paintings of the new Spanish martyrs from the Guerra Civil. It also has a large congregation every Sunday, and is exclusively for the celebration of the Old Mass (by diocesan clergy and members of the Institute of Christ the King, IIRC). So that’s an encouraging note from Spain!

  14. michigancatholic says:

    Thank you Fr Z, both for being there asking the good questions, and for relating the news to us.

    The fact that the contrast was so clear to so many is good news. For years, contrasts were minimized for the sake of going along. It was extremely hard to watch as it looked like consensus politics. Consensus is how one might run a business but it’s not how one takes care of truth.

    It’s getting more and more clear to many people what happened. As you say, we will get there bit by bit.

  15. techno_aesthete says:

    EDG,
    Not to go too far off-topic, but the Archbishop of Toledo, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, recently ordained priests at the Institute of Christ the King’s seminary in Italy. You can see a bunch of photos at http://tinyurl.com/3yhocs (click on the link that says “images”).

  16. Andrew says:

    I\’ve always thought that Cardinal Arinze and Archbishop Ranjith at the Congregation for Divine Worship is a dynamite combination. I\’m pleased to see they took matters well in hand, and distanced themselves from the Bishop of Leon. That they haven\’t purged the CDWS of the aging modernists should not worry us, because it is the will of the Pope that these changes be made gradually. Time and age, along with a few strategic transfers rather than outright dismissals, will lead to the transformation of the curia.

    I have also been terribly upset by the vicious vituperation against Cardinal Arinze in rad trad circles. One priest went so far as to say that \”Arinze is now useless to us because he is in Mahony\’s pocket\”! If Cardinal Arinze counseled the pope against liberating the TLM, no doubt he had his reasons for doing so – and these do not include a disdain for the more ancient form of the liturgy. It is equally clear that he will now work with faithful dedication to implement the Holy Father\’s wishes. This is what Pope Benedict needs: honest advice (which may sometimes be mistaken) and active obedience. Rome already has enough people who are servile in front of their superiors but snipe at them behind their back.

    Archbishop Mauro Piacenza (like Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco and Mons Guido Marini) is a product of Cardinal Siri\’s seminary. Thus, it is hardly surprising that he is excellent when it comes to doctrine and liturgy. I hope the Holy Father will give him more responsibility in the curia and that he will succeed Cardinal Hummes at Clergy.

  17. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Fr. Z: Also, and this was really good, celebration versus populum requires a great deal more concentration and focus for the priest, more focus than many priests have. Forgetting a proper ars celebrandi they become “priest showman” as if they were on TV. They become the focus of the action, not the Lord.

    I think another detriment of versus populum is that, in addition to the priest becoming the center of attention, the priest has more of an opportunity to make the congregation feel like they are the center of attention. I am referring particularly to the habit some priests have of sweeping their eyes across the congregation, while praying to the Father on their behalf.

    Example: after the Eucharistic Prayer, when our Lord Jesus Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament on the altar, the priest says: “Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: I leave you peace, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live for ever and ever.” Unless I’m mistaken, the rubrics for the Extraordinary Form instruct the priest to gaze upon Jesus Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament, since he is addressing our Lord with these words. Nowadays, the priest is usually looking anywhere but the altar, trying to make eye contact with every member of the congregation. The example the Holy Father has set — placing the crucifix upon the altar, facing him — is something that might help priests remember on whom the focus of Mass should be.