My emphases and comments.
A Posture for Prayer
Posted by [Fr.] Robert P. Imbelli [prof at Boston College] on April 19, 2008, 12:53 pm
Those, who watched on television the Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, saw, from time to time, the large cross placed on the altar, between the Pope and the assembly. It is Benedict’s effort to introduce a spiritual “ad orientem” posture to the eucharistic liturgy. [He gets it. Thank you, Father.]
Yesterday, at the request of a group of Boston College students, I celebrated Mass with them in the lower church of the parish where I reside. For the first time since I was ordained, I prayed the eucharistic prayer of the ordinary form of the Roman rite facing in the same direction as the congregation, with a standing cross in front of the altar. [Excellent! At the same time, it really isn’t so much of a novelty as it sounds. It might have been for these young people. It might have been for this priest. I don’t know how old he is. I have a sense that he is not young. But for the praying Church it is really the norm, when put in the balance of the centuries!]
When I asked the students afterwards what they had experienced by this new (both for them and for me) posture, they concurred with one student’s description. They were helped to experience being offered together with Christ to the Father. [Marvelous. And the gravitational pullllll continues. There are young priests who learn about the older ways, the older Mass or ad orientem worship, and older priests who "rediscover" it. Through them great things begin to happen. They learn things about themselves as preists and people gain boundless things through them.]
Twice this past year I have attended the extraordinary form of the Roman rite; and, although I was moved by it, I felt the lack of an audible praying of the eucharistic prayer to be a limitation. [I understand that. It takes a long time to adjust to the relative quiet.]
I will need to ponder last evening’s experience further, and would welcome thoughts of others who have experienced a similar liturgical celebration.
WDTPRS gives highest marks to Fr. Imbelli. I am grateful for his good report of this interesting experience and also his honest impressions.
I look forward to hearing more from him and invite him to chime in.