Matthew Warner has a piece in which he descibes participating at Mass ad orientem for the first time.
My emphases and comments.
Not too long ago, however, I attended an Ordinary Form of the Mass where the priest was facing away from the congregation during the consecration. Of course, that was the normal practice prior to Vatican II. [And after, too, according to the rubrics which have been ignored.] But I had never experienced it. In the Ordinary Form of the Mass today, the priest faces the congregation the whole time.
I know there are theological reasons to support both practices. [Iuxta modum.] And my point here is not to argue them or to say that either is objectively “better.” [We know the answer already.] All I want to say is that when the priest held up the bread and wine and offered them up to the Father as the Body and Blood of His Son, I experienced Mass in a different way than ever before. [There it is, friends. And this is also the experience of the priest during Mass. And the way the priest says Mass is going to have an effect on the congregation.]
But when the priest was facing away from me this time, I got a very different impression. It really hit home to me more than ever that in that moment I was participating in something, not just observing. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] That I wasn’t just being shown something, but that we were the ones offering the something together — through the priest. All because the priest was facing the other way. The position of his body just seemed to resonate more with what we were doing. That’s all. [That’s enough!]
Imagine, not ever having experienced this, even though it is really the norm according to the rubrics.
This brings me back to my incessant cry that, in order to have a revitalization of our Catholic identity, we have to have a revitalization of our liturgical worship.
This is why Summorum Pontificum was so important.
Let Pope Benedict’s Marshall Plan be implemented.