Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ad orientem

Archbishop Burke of St. Louis celebrates a Novus Ordo Mass
ad orientem at Assumption Grotto in December 2006.

Please allow me to direct you to a blog post of last October by Mr. Brian Murphy at Vivat Jesus regarding the ad orientem posture of the priest at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There is absolutely no good reason for the priest-celebrant to assume the versus populum posture other than being a “ring-master,” and “cheerleader” for the sacred synaxis. Please excuse the sarcasm, but I truly prefer celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass leading the flock to the New Jerusalem. Many other clerics and laity agree. In his post, Mr. Murphy links to the Te Deum Laudemus blog where Diane is blessed by reverent Novus Ordo Masses celebrated at the Assumption Grotto in Detroit Michigan.



Anonymous Eddgar Fernandez said...

Excellent comment father. I totally agree that its best for the celebrant to turn towards our Lord and lead God's flock toward him than serve as an "entertainer" to be cheered at.

Edgar Fernandez

4:39 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Thank you for your kind words, Father. And, we are truly blessed to have such a parish where we are free to worship as we believe.

Lex orandi, lex credendi!

5:44 PM  
Anonymous InPhoenix said...

Very encouraging, Father, thank you.
I live in the Valley of the Sun and would love to assist at a Mass celebrated ad orientem. Do you celebrate so regularly in your parish?

7:44 AM  
Blogger Moneybags said...

As you know, I hope to enter a seminary. When the time comes and I am a priest, may I actually turn my altar around to face East?

I have a few questions, and I'd thought I'd ask you. You can email me what you think or can just post it here. I've had these questions for awhile.

If I am a priest, can I...

1) Wear traditional looking vestments. It seems most priests who offer the Tridentine Mass where more "lacy" looking white vestments (I believe they are albs). Also, the chausible is different. The older ones seem to be more open on the sides than most newer ones.

2) Wear the maniple

3) Wear the biretta

4) Install a marble altar and/or turn the altar to face East

5) Re-install altar rails

6) Have my altar servers wear cassocks and surplices (the white over the black) instead of the plain white

7) Include Latin prayers like the Sanctus and Agnus Dei in the Mass?

Thanks, Father. These kind of questions are important for me to determine whether to enter the seminary for my diocese or the FSSP.

8:40 AM  
Blogger rev fr lw gonzales said...

inphoenix, unfortunately, if I would celebrate a regularly scheduled Mass ad orientem, some parishioners would be asking for my head on a platter.

Interiorly, I place myself at the Foot of the Cross at Mass, and avoid anything which may lead me to distraction, and offer the sacrifice of Jesus to the Father in the name of the community for the remission of our many offenses.

There have NEVER been any distractions the times I have celebrated the TLM.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Brian Murphy said...

Thank you Father for your faithful service to the Church, I pray that times are not far away when the priests will once again be able turn towards the Lord without fear of persecution.

It wouldn't hurt if the upcoming Apostolic Exhortation will include encouragement from our Holy Father to once again return to this holy and traditional posture.

I'll have to try and make it out to Peoria one of these days and go to St. Charles Borromeo.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Fr. Gonzalez said: There have NEVER been any distractions the times I have celebrated the TLM.

This is precisely a point I made in my discussions with people is that not only does it allow me to not be distracted by the face of the priest, but does not allow the priest to be distracted with the faces of the people.

In heaven, souls will see the "face" of God. In the Mass, we should do the same.

Why focus on each other when we can focus on Him to Whom the prayer is directed?

I have written my spiritual case for ad orientem because it changed my life in a matter of days.

6:38 AM  
Blogger rev fr lw gonzales said...


You are certainly welcome, but I'm afraid after having experienced the peace, serenity, and reverence of the TLM your senses might be shocked. Sometimes the drums and "rim shots" make my ears bleed. Distractions galore! Please pray for us.

12:17 PM  
Blogger rev fr lw gonzales said...


Let me begin by saying that I believe you have a vocation to the Sacred Priesthood. As a previous vocations director I sense young men’s vocations by the degree of development of their spiritual lives. You’re young and have a long road ahead of you … persevere!

1) The current General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) requires a priest to where a chasuble over the sole and alb. They style of the vestments are not prescribed. Gothic, Semi-Gothic, Monastic, Conical and Roman are the usual styles.
2) The Maniple was not officially suppressed. It is simply not mentioned. I had one made to match my violet Gothic chasuble.
3) The same with the Biretta. Not suppressed. Not mentioned. Fell out of use. I wear it on occasion.
4) Stone altars are preferred, though legislation allows the use of other materials.
5) Altar rails were never mandated to be removed. In my opinion restorations should include them.
6) Cassock and surplice for altar boys seem neater than many of the “monastic” type. My weekday server dresses in cassock/surplice.
7) According to Vatican 2 documents Latin is to be retained. The Sanctus and Agnus Dei are well sung in Latin.

If I could “do it all over again,” I’d go Latin and Tradition all-the-way. But what is of most import – the salvation of your soul and the souls of those entrusted to your care. So, bottom line get the philosophical and theological tools to do such within the Catholic Church, the One, True Faith!

7:51 PM  
Blogger Diane said...


I meant to mention that Fr. Perrone and other priests who celebrate Mass at Assumption Grotto wear the Roman Chasuble - the one with the sides open. As you know, we do not have the Indult. Therefore, it is the Novus Ordo.

I love the Roman Chasuble, sometimes referred to as the "fiddleback". But when you look at it, it has a "fiddlefront" to it.

9:02 PM  

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