16_07_20_TSHIRT_LAT_02 copyI hope you readers out there will post about the changes effected in parishes concerning ad orientem worship for Holy Mass.

Did you see priests “turning towards the Lord”?

I’ve been hearing about some places in email.

¡Hagan lío!


For my part, the pastor of the parish where I help on weekends has as of this weekend shifted the other two churches of the three in his care to ad orientem worship.  The third church has been ad orientem for some time now and it has been a huge and fruitful success.


I think that the priests who have done this, should write a note to Card. Sarah, perhaps including the pastor’s page or handouts that taught about the changes.  I think that lay people who want this and who see it now in their churches, should write a thank you note to Card. Sarah.  Be brief: one side of one sheet of paper.  Be sure to include a promise of prayers.

His Eminence
Robert Card. Sarah
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
Palazzo delle Congregazioni

UPDATE 28 Nov:

I was sent a link to a post by a Spanish priest who celebrated Holy Mass ad orientem versus for the first time. It’s great.  It’s also in Spanish.


His people appreciated it.  He wrote of his own experience:

¿Y el celebrante cómo lo ha vivido?  Con mucha emoción, tanta que hasta he de confesar que dormí mal la noche anterior. Para mí ha sido una misa como nueva. Especialmente ofertorio y consagración.

Mi sensación ha sido sobre todo la de sentirme cara a cara ante el misterio de Dios. Como cuando Moisés se encontró con Dios cara a cara y el pueblo estaba expectante.Todos ante Dios y yo, el sacerdote, el primero, con el corazón encogido mientras me atrevía a pronunciar las palabras de la consagración. Como en una nube envolvente de misterio. Solo ante Dios, pero con una soledad asentada en la presencia y participación de los fieles que se han sentido contagiados por esa aura de misterio y profundidad y con su oración y su estar apuntalaban y sostenían mis súplicas.

UPDATE 28 Nov:

Meanwhile, one wag sent me this…

16_11_28 people look east except the priest

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Father G says:

    I have three Masses this Sunday.
    I’ve already celebrated one Mass ad orientem and will celebrate the next two ad orientem as well.
    I had introduced ad orientem into the parish a few years ago, so this is nothing new to the parishioners.

  2. Monica says:

    At my parish, St. Michael in Annandale, VA, it was announced last Sunday that (OF) Mass would be said ad orientem beginning the first Sunday of Advent.
    I’m thankful that our pastor made this decision.

  3. Kerry says:

    Yes, today at St. Wenceslaus in Tabor, SD. The ‘table’ in front of the high altar was stripped. During the homily Father spoke about Latin, its ancientness, how it points toward the mystery of the Mass, whether one understands the Latin or not, that the Mass itself is a mystery even he, as the Priest does not understand. Further he said we would be facing Christ, in the tabernacle, and the Sanctus, Agnus Dei and Mysterium Fidei would all be sung in Latin. The servers and the emhc’s all received the Most Blessed Sacrament on the tongue, (servers, all boys, kneeling), as Father said not Body of Christ, but ‘Corpus Christi’. And Advent has three more Sunday’s.

  4. Joseph-Mary says:

    I attended the TLM today but my husband attended the Novus Ordo at St. John XXIII yesterday evening and it was ad orientem! The pastor did this 2 years ago as well, following the lead of Bishop Conley.

  5. stuart reiss says:

    Ours is an ad orientem parish has always been despite vii……

  6. James in Perth says:

    Ad orientem? Of course, but I attend an Eastern rite parish.

    [Not exactly what I was looking for, right? But blessed Advent fast!]

  7. LDP says:

    I attended my first ever EF Mass today; I don’t think anything more needs to be said.

  8. jst5000 says:

    St. Adelaide in Peabody, MA has a bulletin notice explaining ad orientum worship and indicating that it will be be utilized for Sunday masses throughout Advent & Lent. The priests there have been saying mass ad orientum for weekday masses for some time now.
    In addition, the priests will be holding a holy hour every weeknight followed by a Tridentine mass throughout Advent. They have done this for a number of other novenas throughout the year as well. Amazing priests!

    [ALL: It’s “orientEm”]

  9. Elizium23 says:

    I’m curious whether any antique high altars would need to be re-dedicated for some reason before resuming their usage. I would presume, and hope, that the answer is no, because assuming they have remained installed in place all this time, they have never been given over to profane use, or had some act of desecration performed on them (the placement of flowers and felt banners notwithstanding).

    Can anyone “in the know” comment on this possibility?

    [If they haven’t been damaged, there is no need to do anything. They can be used immediately.]

  10. Tristan says:

    What is Mass ad orientem? 11/27/2016

    [Readers should send Z-Swag mugs to these good priests.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  11. drwob says:

    In addition to the EF Masses offered by the Institute of Christ the King, starting this First Sunday of Advent all OF Masses (both English and Latin) at St. Margaret Mary in Oakland are now ad orientem!

  12. miggalvez says:

    All OF Masses in these parishes were said ad orientem this weekend:
    Divine Mercy Parish – Sauk City, WI
    St. Norbert’s Parish – Roxbury, WI
    Queen of All Saints Parish – Fennimore, WI
    St. Mary’s Parish – Platteville, WI
    Holy Cross Parish – Mazomanie, WI

    [Te Deum!]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  13. VeritasVereVincet says:

    Not here. But our Advent decorations are now pink and purple instead of white and blue, oorah! And I hear rumors of other changes to come. Baby steps, baby steps…

  14. un-ionized says:

    The little parish I have been going to lately appears to always have been ad orientem. There seems to be a table altar off to one side, probably for when the bishop comes!

  15. FrAnt says:

    I began celebrating our weekday NO Mass ad orientem on the feast of Our Lady of Victory. I thought I should because of the impending presidential election.
    I would like to do the same for Sunday Mass. Our church had a renovation in 1995, (you know the “let’s all gather around the table” kind), causing structural problems in our sanctuary floor.

  16. Catholicman says:

    Transfiguration parish in Oakdale, MN began regularly offering Mass ad orientem at the Sunday 6pm last June on the Feast of Corpus Christi. Today, the excellent pastor and former minor seminary rector added the 8:30am Mass as well. So now 2 of the 4 Sunday Masses will be ad orientem. The parish has undergone a transformation under his leadership the past 5+ years including a beautiful renovation of the sanctuary and installation of a marble high altar.

  17. comedyeye says:

    My bishop will not encourage ad orientem because he and other priests feel it would be divisive in the parishes. [It is also divisive NOT to have it.] However if a priest wants to pray Mass that way he has no problem with it. I only know of two parishes in the diocese, out of 80 or so, that celebrate Mass this way.

  18. Bosco says:

    On all things Cardinal Sarah…I promised our young parish priest here in Ireland that as soon as Cardinal Sarah’s book on The Strength of Silence appeared in English translation I would purchase a copy for him. He was utterly delighted!

    Does anyone know when the book will be available in a reliable English translation? I had hoped to have it for Christmas.

  19. No change in Pemberton, PA (at least I presume it was versus populum last week and before that– of course, I had never been there, so I can’t be 100% certain… sometimes my visits do lack context.

  20. edm says:

    A friend sent me a photo of a parish in Spain that started ad orientem today! I don’t know if it is Advent only or permanent, nor do I know any other details. it was interesting to see because it is a very contemporary building, obviously built for versus populum.

  21. PTK_70 says:

    Wish that I had better news to report. Mine is a fairly straight-laced parish, which would seem to be just the problem: there is precious little “hagan lio” spirit around here. So there are seven Masses on the Sunday schedule, one of which is said ‘ad orientem’ according to a centuries old Rite in the Latin Church. The thought seems to be: “that should be sufficient to satisfy all the tradition-minded parishioners.” The ordinary form Roman Rite Masses continue to be said as before, versus populum.

  22. JonPatrick says:

    No change in the OF Masses at our parish in Lewiston ME that I am aware of, but our young associate priest is offering a Wednesday evening Mass in the Extraordinary Form during Advent. The parish also has a regular EF Sunday Mass plus a Saturday evening Byzantine Rite Mass.

  23. mpmaron says:

    Far as I could tell, Albany NY took a pass.

  24. baileymxd says:

    The pastor at my parents church (the church I was raised in until I married and moved away) hasn’t been there long. He doesn’t seem disinterested in the “reform of the reform”. However, his formation in seminary was extremely poor, based on his affirmation that he’s never heard of ad orientem worship, nor did he know who Cardinal Sarah was.

    I’m planning on mailing him a Christmas card, along with a transcript of the Cardinal’s speech about ad orientem worship. Any other readers care to suggest something to educate this priest?

    [You might give his Card. Sarah’s wonderful book God or Nothing. Perhaps also some Turn Towards The Lord swag as a reminder.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  25. un-ionized says:

    baileymxd, I would not send him the transcript as an enclosure with the Christmas card as it gives the Christmas card an agenda, for the sake of good manners the card should be sent separately and the transcript sent with a cover letter. I am from the Emily Post generation.

  26. That Guy says:

    After our Pastor’s announcing that it was coming about 2 months ago, we at St. William of York, in Stafford VA happily began our Ad Orientum worship. I am the proud dad of two sons who served the 9:00 AM Mass on Saturday, the LAST versus populum Mass in our parish, as well as the 5:00 PM Vigil, the FIRST Ad Orientum Mass in our parish. This morning, I served as a sacristan and lector at our FIRST Ad Orientum weekday Mass. Pretty cool!

    [ALL: It’s orientEm.]

  27. That Guy says:

    um… oops!

  28. Also no change this morning in Franklin Square, NY, but that one almost doesn’t count in a sense because the freestanding altar is actually sitting on the three steps in such a way that the top of the altar is way too high if the priest were to be in front of it– that is quite unusual.

  29. PA mom says:

    Got to see the Reform of the Reform in practice at a weekday Mass at the Blue Army Shrine in Asbury, NJ.

    Ad orientem for the Eucharist, in Latin. Lovely.

    Our parish is reverent enough to do this. I do wish they would try.

  30. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    A spelling aside: I wonder if the accusative-ending mistakes turn up in mediaeval manuscripts in situations where final-syllable vowels were probably treated as schwas? (Latin as a living language can get messy, even among the literary!)

  31. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    If a good versifier worked out your wag’s inspiration, I can imagine some interesting music videos might follow!

  32. Mike says:

    When even a prelate firmly committed to the Novus Ordo can testify to the distinctive and timeless transcendence of the Tridentine Mass, the suppression of such a mild “innovation” as ad orientem worship looks ever more disingenuous.

  33. Nicolaus says:

    Not in our school newman center, BUT, the priest told me instead we will soon have a monthly Latin Mass, that counts far more than merely ad orientem for me.

  34. No change this morning at St. William the Abbot in Seaford, New York, though the fact that someone left a couple of small trees in front of the freestanding altar probably did not help matters. Maybe we need a new rubric reading, “The priest, raising his eyes to heaven, offers a short prayer for the conversion of those who placed obstacles in his path. Then he carefully removes any pumpkins, trees, cactuses, etc. and places them behind the altar where they will not be in the way.”

  35. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Tangentially, in an NC Register interview published today, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry of Chicago, who is the postulator for the cause of Father Tolton (and who himself celebrates “the Latin extraordinary form”), notes, “There are many African-Americans who were brought up, as I was brought up, with the traditional rites, the traditional ceremonies, and there still is a kind of pining for what that is.”

  36. PTK_70 says:

    @Nicolaus…An ordinary form Roman Rite Mass is a Latin Mass. You must be referring to the usus antiquitor of the Roman Rite….

  37. WYMiriam says:

    No ad orientem here, although our priest said a few months ago that we would be starting it. . . Maybe I ought to have been asking him if he needed any literature to prepare us with (there was nary a word of the [proposed] change from the pulpit)? Or if he had been encountering difficulties with people who were opposed to it? Or prayed harder for him? Maybe he’s doing it during the week??? Maybe the pastor got cold feet?

    Very disappointing. I need to start offering Lauds for our priests.

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