Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Archbishop Ranjith: V2 does not mandate priest facing assembly

Fr. Zuhlsdorf, in his weekly column in The Wanderer, and blog of the same name, "What does the prayer really say?", digs into one of our favorite topics here - the ad orientem posture of the priest seen at Grotto, when he faces the high wall altar during Mass. It is seen in pictures peppered throughout this blog. If you are new to this blog, some of the most stunning can be seen if you click through my April Archives around Easter, among other months.

I've written about this before, and in one blog entry, I dig in to my reasons for how this posture actually prompts me to focus on God more intently during my worship.

It was such a welcome relief to read Fr. Z's article for many reasons. Archbishop Ranjith confirms that some of younger seminarians are showing an inclination towards it, in part with their attraction to the Tridentine. I'm not alone in my perception, it would seem. Fr. Z's analysis and commentary on the interview is the second provided here on this same interview with Archbishop Ranjith, which took place on June 25, 2006, by La Croix magazine. As Sandro Magister points out in his coverage of it:

POSTSCRIPT – Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith's interview with “La Croix” is from June 25. But three days earlier, on the 22nd, Ranjith had given a more detailed interview on the same subject to Antoine-Marie Izoard of the French news agency I.MEDIA, which specializes in Vatican coverage

I lead you now, into Fr. Z's column where he targets posture....

What Does the Prayer Really Say? 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time

ORIGINALLY PRINTED IN The Wanderer in 2006

We have known ever since the close of the Synod of Bishops in October 2005, which discussed the Eucharist, that Pope Benedict would more than likely issue a post-synodal document on liturgy. The committee which was assigned the task of preparing the Synods summary document completed its work and handed it in to the Pope. So now the Holy Father is working his own document. The Secretary of the Congregation for divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, gave an interview to La Croix (25 June 2006) and provided a glimpse into the papal document (emphasis mine):

Today, the problems of the liturgy center around language (vernacular or Latin) and the position of the priest, whether he faces the assembly or faces God. I will surprise you here: nowhere in the conciliar decree does it say that the priest must face the assembly, nor that the use of Latin is forbidden! If the use of the common tongue is permitted, notably in the liturgy of the Word, the decree is very clear that the use of the Latin language should be maintained in the Latin rite. We are waiting for the pope to give us his guidelines on these subjects.

Can you imagine this sort of talk, open talk, from a highly place curial official even ten years ago? Going on:

I have noticed how much the young priests here love to celebrate the Tridentine rite. It must be clarified that this ritual, following the missal of Pius V, has not been “outlawed.” Should its use be encouraged even more? That’s for the pope to decide. But it is certain that a new generation is seeking a greater orientation toward mystery. This is not a question of form, but of substance.

Continue reading Fr. Zulsdorf on ad orientem

As with many blogs, you can get to his home page by clicking on the title.