BRICK BY BRICK: more ‘ad orientem’ news

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I am getting notes from people about changes at parishes to ad orientem worship.

For example, from reader:

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Big River, WI began ad orientem worship on Sunday. Our pastor, Fr. Kevin Louis, has been with us for a littler over a year now…. In talking to our deacon after Mass this morning, it appears that there are about 10 parishes in the Lacrosse diocese that have turned things around. Ours is a small but very vibrant and faithful parish and we are so blessed to have Fr. Louis. Please prayer for him as we pray for you and all priests. Praise God for faithful priests!


At his parish website, Fr. Louis archived “pastor’s pages”.  Scroll down to November 2016 for three pages on ad orientem worship (Nov. 13, 20, 27).  Fathers, these could be a good place to start for your own process of catechizing your parishes.  HERE

And from a priest:

A few days earlier I saw on the blog that you were requesting folks alert you to parishes turning toward the Lord. Well, supposing we Priests qualify as people too, I am happy to let you know that St. Joan of Arc (Oberlin, LA) has implemented ad orientem at all Masses, effective the First Sunday of Advent. If you are interested in more info about our transition, we have a parish website with more details:  HERE

God bless you, good Father! I will remember you in my prayers before the Lord.

From that parish website:


For more than three years, I have provided an abundance of catechesis about ad orientem. Why we are making this transition should not be a mystery to anyone who attends holy Mass at SJoA. Each of us has received more than enough information 1)to understand the importance of ad orientem and 2) to explain it’s meaning to others. It falls to every one of us, indeed it is our duty, to help visitors and guests (e.g., at weddings, funerals, or even at a Sunday Mass) understand the meaning of a common turning toward the Lord in our prayers. So then, are you able to explain this teaching? We can be certain that, on some occasion, someone will ask us about ad orientem. Are you able to give a correct answer? We must not be found wanting in this respect, otherwise we will actually be lacking in the virtues of charity and justice.


Well said.

Father posted a video about ad orientem worship.

There is movement on the Eastern Front.

Be the maquis!




About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Be The Maquis, Brick by Brick, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, The future and our choices, Turn Towards The Lord and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Father G says:

    Just found this “instructional” video in Spanish showing priests how to celebrate Mass ad orientem using video from one of Pope Francis’ Masses at the Sistine Chapel:

  2. Ralph says:

    Our Bishop has forbidden priests in the diocese from making the change. [I don’t think a bishop can do that.] I’m only 100 odd miles from the neighboring territory of the Extraordinary Ordinary – but it might as well be another planet.

    Pray for the good priests and faithful “behind the lines”! We can only wait,hope and pray.

  3. Lepidus says:

    Slightly off topic here, but never having had the opportunity to be an altar boy in the Extraordinary Form, everything I know about serving at one I learned from Fr. Z. right here. That being said, I had to chuckle at about 4:27. I think they were raising it just a little higher than necessary. In fact, if they were a bit taller, you might not be able to see the Blessed Sacrament.

  4. Father K says:

    Fr Z. you are correct. A bishop cannot do that at least as far as the law is concerned. However there are some bishops who can be quite creative in devising ways to impose their will or preferences. Was always thus, I am afraid.

    [Bishops can hurt and intimidate priests in a thousand ways.]

  5. Father:

    I have not made as dramatic a change in my parish, but I have been gradually introducing ad orientem at daily Masses. I started with Saturday mornings, and recently added Tuesday mornings. At some point in the near future, I’ll take another step, likely involving a Holy Day Mass and then a Sunday Mass.

    A few people let me know, without any rancor, they do not prefer it, and a few have let me know they like it. Mostly people have been focused on the Mass itself. One reason I think this has not been a big thing is because this parish has long cultivated a very reverent climate, thanks to my predecessor, whose ars celebrandi is entirely consistent with ad orientem — that is to say, expressed so well in the words of St. John the Baptist: “I must decrease; he must increase.” I have inherited this, and tried to continue it and build on it.

    Therefore, for my parish, ad orientem is far less a disruption than it would be in many places.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

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