Tuesday, March 11, 2008

S.C. Parish in it's "eastward" turn - Ad Orientem!

If you are interested in reading about priests who are turning their parishes much in the way Grotto did many years ago, you will be delighted to follow the lenten transition of St. Mary's Catholic parish in Greenville, South Carolina to where the priest will be facing ad orientem, or as he says, "ad Deum", sometime between Easter and Pentecost.

Brave and courageous priests are taking the time to explain to the people, as Fr. Jay Scott Newman does throughout his lenten bulletin columns, the "why", and then simply does it!

I pray the people there will learn a simple lesson that God graced me with very shortly after arriving at Assumption Grotto before I ever really knew anyone there and could be influenced.

My first interior response was, "You've got to be kidding me - he's got his back to us!"

Next, I shifted in my pew as if to seek the face of the priest, only to realize that it is the face of God I should be seeking in the Mass.

In a nutshell, that is what the ad orientem posture enables. I'll add further that , at least at Grotto, the priest is deep in meditation before he ever heads up the aisle in procession. Hence, he is not greeting people on his way up, but through his example shows us where we should be too.

This folks, is a God-centered Mass!

Deo Gratias!

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