Ad orientem in Greenville, SC

From a well-known priest reader:

Dear Father,

I have posted on my website some photographs of a Sunday Mass celebrated Ad Deum. I thought you mind find these photos of interest, since they show the practical consequences of our re-orientation. You can find them at by going to the page called "Photos" and clicking on the photo album labeled "Exaltation of the Holy Cross."

May the LORD bless the work of your hands.

Shall we have a look at a few of the photos? 

There are from 14 September 2008 which was, of course, the anniversary of Summorum Pontificum going into effect.

This is Novus Ordo.


I probably don’t need to remind long time readers of WDTPRS that Fr. Newman took some time to inform his parish about the history and advantages of ad orientem worship along with the news that that was what would happen.  He used the bulletin for the Sundays during Lent to present the whole picture.

Folks… it can.. and should… be done.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Brandon says:

    I think it’s a magnificent step, re-orienting the OF with the ancient direction of worship. It shows unity with the tradition of the Church, and the sacramental understanding of the priest leading the people.

    Would that all priests recognize this, and celebrate according to this orientation.

  2. Anthony says:

    Why are the servers bowing in the first picture? Saying the Confiteor?

  3. Jason Keener says:

    Now THAT’S how to celebrate the Novus Ordo. Way to go!

  4. jacobus says:

    Excellent progress. But it looks like they’re missing a subdeacon…

  5. Dave says:

    Jacobus, this is the OF….

  6. The thought of my pastor embarking on such a project gives me a chuckle. Too many chili kickoffs to run I’m afraid. God bless Fr. Newman and faithful priests like him.

  7. Joamy says:


  8. Anthony said: “Why are the servers bowing in the first picture? Saying the Confiteor?”

    That looks to be during the Consecration. I’m guessing, but it looks like Father is probably about to genuflect after Consecrating one of the species. And the Deacon is kneeling too. Kudos.

    Keep it up, Fr. Newman, and keep setting the example and raising the standards!

  9. Crusader Airman says:

    Now more than ever…to our dearly beloved clergy…please, please, please, teach us the faith and lead us in authentic worship. Now. More. Than. Ever.

  10. MLS says:

    The servers at St. Mary’s bow during the words of consecration and rise at the elevation.

  11. marcel w says:

    It is a courageous step, as this re-orientation is the most visible correction a Pastor can make in the rubrics. I wonder what the congregation’s reaction has been (I am sure Rev Fr has been sensitive and learned in his catechesis).

    I would hope that once this practice in entrenched in all churches, greater openness to the riches of the TLM will be harbored by all the weekly attending faithful. One of the main (erroneous) objections to the TLM is the notion that a Priest ‘turns his back’ on the faithful. Perhaps these are same sorts of folk who would rather see the conductor’s face during a concert, with all its contortions and concentrative expressions, to the detriment of the actual performance!

    I personally see this development, wonderful as it is, as a halfway house to the ultimate destination: re-establishing the TLM as THE liturgy for the Latin Rite. Father’s witness in Greenville, I pray, will soften hearts and prepare souls for the superior rite.

    Thank you Father…

  12. Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese says:

    This priest is the only hope of the Novus Ordo.

  13. AnneMarie says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If that is what the NO is supposed to look like, than why butcher the calendar and the readings, change the language, etc, etc. Truth is, this isn’t what the NO is supposed to look like – it was a revolution. I know too many priests who say a reverent OF (ad orientem, Latin, incense, etc) and then refuse to say the EF because people make negative comments about the OF. [And many priests want nothing to do with the older form of Mass because, sadly, the people who want it have at times been nasty. Too bad.] I cannot attend the OF myself because I know the prayers have been butchered; the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has lost its strength and beauty that it once had in the EF, and that has had its consequences in the world. Correlation between the Liturgical Revolt in the 1960s and 1970s and Roe vs. Wade, the sexual revolution, Griswold vs. Connecticut, and our own political situation? I think so.

    Hats off to the priest for gently leading his people towards right worship. He will be in my prayers.

  14. dominic1962 says:

    I agree, why not just bring back the traditional Mass if we are going to make the NO look like it anyway. [That is a point everyone is going to have to deal with sooner or later.]

    However, definately big applause and a tip of the biretta to Father and his parish-it looks magnificent. I bet it also helps to have a docile permanent (I’m assuming) deacon that is willing to learn some “ars celebrandi”. Too often they seem to be rather ignorant when it comes to liturgy (not all of them, obviously) but if they had a solid liturgical foundation (not to mention everything else) they can certainly be an asset to the parish.

  15. Michael UK says:

    The devestation of the liturgical calendar was a prime source of disorienation of the faithful and a necessity, on the part of the N.O. promoters, to embed the severance from the Old Rite. Of course the printers and publishers rejoiced – akin but on a different scale to governments changing the names of departments.

    A transition is necessary: have the Old Rite in the vernacular – but, of course, such would expose the essential differences between the two of liturgical understanding; it might also help, those new to the Old Rite, if the Celebrant were to ‘preface’, each prayer/section with, as in the second list of saints the “Nobis quoque”, the opening words audible to the congregation.

    Latin is the mortar between the bricks of The Liturgy, facilitating a world-wide understanding of the process of The Mass.

    It will all take time, patience and understanding.

  16. Giovanni says:

    I have nothing except the NO in its current status except for the fact that it lacks reverence and I know now, after being to my first 3 Tridentine Masses that I can not go back to the NO in its current form. I like the idea of the NO as presented in these pictures and I would def go to it if I had the chance.

    I do have a small complaint, or I should not say complaint but rather a practical suggestion. I am currently attending St. Annes in San Diego which is an FSSP parish, I would like for the readings to be done in English rather than in Latin, mainly because of practical purposes. The Priest usualy re-reads the readings during his hominly which is not bad but I feel that he rushes through them.

  17. marcel w says:

    Giovanni, may I politely suggest a 1962 missal. It will render the vernacular recitation superfluous, and I find the multiple ribbons marking out the Canon and ordinary a very practical anti-daydreaming tool. Once again I find the celebration of the NO ad orientem a case of ‘so close, yet so far’ from the TLM. I agree with the contributions of AnneMarie and Dominic.

    Interestingly, I think it was in the ‘Devastated Vineyard’ book that the author expressed her experience of a reverently celebrated – Oratory based saving her from having to revert to the TLM. So a convincing case can be made that ‘reform of the reform’ type Masses temporarily hide the real ‘conquest’ of our liturgy that was achieved after Vatican II. Returning to the very first mistake, although more ‘traditional’ than incorporating the myriad of mistakes piled on top of it, is not really correcting the mistake.

  18. Henry Edwards says:

    And the Deacon is kneeling too. Kudos.

    Does this seem unusual? All deacons I’ve seen recently have knelt for the consecration.

  19. TJM says:

    Splendid, absolutely splendid. Father Newman is to be congratulated. His congregation is so fortunate to have him as a pastor. TOm

  20. Nick says:

    Is it really necessary to have the six small candles on the mensa when there are six large candles directly behind it?

  21. walter says:

    How wondeful. And lots of alter servers who a males! How I wish that was the case in my parish where they are all girls.

  22. Henry Edwards says:

    Walter: And lots of alter servers who a males!

    Just do the liturgy “right” — whether ordinary or extraordinary form — and the boys will flock to it. In our small TLM community, every single boy of proper age is an altar server:

  23. Fabrizio says:

    why not just bring back the traditional Mass if we are going to make the NO look like it anyway

    As someone who’d like to have even the evening news sung in Latin and roadsigns in the same language and blessed by no less than an Archbishop with a proper ritual and a waste of frankincense able to wreck several dioceses’ budgets, I disagree with this approach, although I understand – and solidarize with – where it comes from.

    I wish the “reform” we had never happened the way it did in the first place. However, it did happen and if seen, no, discovered in its real form, the one 99% of Catholics have never seen – it could truly help the vast majority of the faithful – with the help of the “gravitational pull” of spreading TLM – recover a proper understanding of the “spirit of the liturgy”. I agree that the JURIDICAL and TEMPORARY solution provided by SP has to produce a return to a single rite all Catholics will again spend their lives with as THE Catholic Mass. However, we’re not there yet and it would be unrealistic to try to do it merely ope legis.

    All signs and elements of liturgical sanity MUST be welcomed and encouraged. When one element (altar orientation, vestments, chant, fidelity to rubrics, whatever) becomes accepted as “normal”, it gets easier to move to the next level. And since bonum diffusivum sui, you’ll be surprised to learn how fast you can move to that next level.

    While we must stick to our guns and yield not an inch of what is our right to have, praise, encouragement and active cooperation with our parishes will help us overcome – by God’s grace – the present difficulties and have more priests and bishops on our side, which isn’t really “our side” btw, but the Church’s and the way she really wants to honor Her Groom.

    Remember: no wrongdoing occurs because of evil’s own strength, [Excellent point. – Fr. Z] but only because of the weakness – when not betrayal – of those supposing to guard good, and that’s NOT just bishops and priests. It’s commonly known as “the original sin”. Liturgy DID have some problems prior to the “reform”, and failing to address them as many Popes had indicated is what brought about the present disaster. Had everybody done their job where and when they could, I wouldn’t have my 8 y.o daughter reproached for wanting to receive kneeling.

    Ideologies, heresies and errors are often WRONG answers to REAL problems, not just machinations of the devil with no grounding in reality. Just as the devil cannot create anything, he has to work on something wrong already existing, and WE are those providing him with the ammo to shoot our souls.

    By the same token, we have to thank God for every little sign of sanity and be there to congratulate the priest, the deacon, the choirmaster who got something right for a change. I am not saying that we have to remain silent on everything and just be grateful because father didn’t annoy us last Sunday. I am saying we must do our best where the enemy did his worse and understand that not all were granted the grace to understand certain things, which should be not the source of bitter zeal and pride, but another occasion to be ready to sacrifice for our neighbor, as Our Lord did and without even needing to bother suffer for us.

    That’s, IMHO, the spirit of the battle for liturgy.

  24. Henry Edwards wrote: “Roman Sacristan wrote: ‘And the Deacon is kneeling too. Kudos.’
    Does this seem unusual? All deacons I’ve seen recently have knelt for the consecration.”

    For me it is unusual. I’m in a diocese that supposedly “led the way” in the permanent deaconate, so we have a lot, and I rarely ever see deacons kneel. Admittedly some can’t kneel well because of age, but sadly even many of the young healthy ones don’t.

  25. Henry Edwards says:

    Fabrizio: When one element (altar orientation, vestments, chant, fidelity to rubrics, whatever) becomes accepted as “normal”, it gets easier to move to the next level.

    I think a most significant recent development toward this end is the completion of TLM preparation by some EWTN friars:

    Latin Mass Training for the Franciscan Friars of the Eternal Word

    Regular TLM’s shown world-wide on EWTN might give an even bigger boost to the reform of the reform than a one-shot papal TLM would.

  26. yeoldeacolyte says:

    As a veteran of the pre-Vatican II Mass, I have no desire to see it return after all these 40+ years. The fathers of Vatican II were right to change the many abuses and bad habits which arose in the TLM over the centuries. Not to mention offertory prayers which Pope Paul VI was absolutely determined to change.
    All those movements from one side of the altar to the other looked staged and theatrical. I’m glad those are gone from the OF. The rigidity with which acolytes had to “perform”, like little robots, I don’t miss either. However, I do hope the TLM will influence the Novus Ordo Mass in terms of music, art, and give us a return to solemnity, and the singing of the propers rather than hymns now sadly lacking in so many churches.
    I eargerly await the new English translations, a chanted Canon–or words of institution– in English and Latin, and the adoption of the prayers at the foot of the altar now used in the TLM for an English (vernacular) OF Mass.

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