From an old friend of mine in my native place, Fr Tom Dufner, a great priest.
We’ve been doing ad orientem at daily Mass on and off for a few months. We’ve put several articles in the bulletin to prepare the way. This Sunday we preached on ad orientem at all the Masses and celebrated facing the liturgical east at all Masses! It was well received.
I was so moved during the evening mass I almost wept bowing low for the priest’s Communion prayers. I found myself using a different voice. At the gospel I use a proclamation voice, and when facing the people I use something similar during the Eucharistic Prayer, though directed to the Father. But now I found myself using a quieter voice, almost intimate, though overheard by everyone because of the microphone. It became more personal. I could feel the gaze of the congregation upon me, but they were with me in a new way. They weren’t just watching. They were praying.
The ad orientem direction tends to move the Mass from an informal communal meal, (worse still, a celebration of ourselves), to the realm of a sacrificial banquet. The sacrificial aspect is definitely more pronounced. The prayers are directed to God the Father of all and the Real Presence of Christ seems to emerge. We are drawn into an “I-Thou” relationship.
It seems to require a wider and more beautiful altar than our postage stamp, but that is for another day.
That’s terrific news. I am so pleased.
Fathers, take note!