Saturday, January 12, 2008

Pope Benedict to celebrate Mass using ad orientem posture

Many of you will read this too late, but at 4:00am EST, you can watch Pope Benedict celebrate a Novus Ordo Mass using the ad orientem posture. Rocco Palmo posts as follows. Note that I did not say a Tridentine.

In another significant liturgical turn at the very top, B16 will celebrate tomorrow's annual Sistine Chapel Mass for the Baptism of the Lord in the ad orientem stance -- that is, facing away from the congregation and toward the cross that stands at the chapel's back wall.

In an explanatory note from the Office for Papal Liturgical Celebrations picked up by the Italian wires, the papal MC Msgr Guido Marini announced that the Mass, to be conducted according to the post-Conciliar "Ordinary Use" approved by Paul VI, would employ the main altar of the Sistina. As a result, the note said, "at certain moments the Pope will have his shoulders [back] to the faithful and his gaze toward the Cross."

As the chapel's original altar is not freestanding, versus popolorum celebrations there have required the construction of a temporary altar and platform. While John Paul II celebrated his first Mass after his 1978 election using the permanent altar and no freestanding altar exists in the Pope's private chapel, a public papal liturgy has not been celebrated using the "common orientation" in recent memory.

"The celebration at the old altar is being restored so as not to alter the beauty and harmony of this architectural jewel," the note said, "preserving its structure from the celebratory point of view and using an option contemplated by the liturgical norms." The change of orientation, Marini's statement said, would seek to enhance "the attitude and disposition of the whole assembly."

The annual liturgy features the baptism of several infants by the pontiff. The contemporary baptismal font designed by Lello Scorzelli -- also the designer of the pastorali, the cross-topped liturgical staffs used by Paul VI and his successors -- will likewise be maintained.

Deo Gratias!

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juancadiz said...

I am a catholic priest in Colombiaand I think that coming back to latin rites make us more far from every day people. It is a big mistake. I think that poeple have some reason when they abandon the Church. Sorry but this is my personal experience as a pastor in my comunity. Back to latin rites is a mistake, and shall pay a huge cost because of it!

Diane K said...

Dear Father,

I believe when you say "latin rites" you are referring to the "Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite" or what is commonly called, the "Tridentine Mass" or "Traditional Latin Mass". Please let me know if you mean otherwise.

Thank you for your service to the Church through the priesthood.

First, it is important to note, that the Traditional Latin Mass is not being forced on the people. The Pope has made something available that many people of all ages and backgrounds have wanted, but were denied. Pope John Paul II asked Bishops to be generous with granting permission through Ecclesia Dei. The fact that so many people desire it, which is unseen by many, perhaps even yourself, is evidence of a movement within the Church. That movement may very well be the work of the Holy Spirit.

Secondly, "every day people" are not beyond a contemplative form of worship, in Latin. In fact, I would ask you how many of the saints, including those who became saints following a great conversion to Catholicism, which countered popular culture of their time and territory, lived during the centuries in which the Traditional Latin Mass was celebrated?

Thirdly, the Holy Father has made a decision and I trust that the Holy Spirit leads him, even where he does not speak ex cathedra. You say that the Pope has made "a mistake". Does the Holy Spirit give a pastor more graces to decide what is right for Holy Mother Church than he does a Pope?

Fourthly, I don't know about Colombia, but I can tell you that in many parts of the world, young people are gravitating to the Traditional Latin Mass because it offers a way of worship that enables us to be in awe of God, rather than the people-centered focus seen in parishes today.

There are more points that I could make, but I will stop here for now.

Philip said...

It all looked so 'right'. I can't wait to see the Holy Father's next restoration of the Faith.