Monday, October 15, 2012

IN THE NEW ERA OF LITURGICAL REFORM, THE VIEW FROM THE PRIEST

These photos are from the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary on March 19th, but very much like our "Green Mass" yesterday, so just think Green which viewing these Ordinary Form Mass images:





Yesterday, October 14th, the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time began a new era of Liturgical Reform at St. Joseph Church in good ole Macon, GA. Our 12:10 PM Mass in honor of the Year of Faith and the 50th Anniversary of not only the Second Vatican Council but also the 1962 Roman Missal was celebrated in a new way, in fact we can say that everything old is new again.

It was the same 2012 Roman Missal we've been using since the First Sunday of Advent of last year. It was the same music we have sung from our hymnal. It was the same Introductory Rite and Concluding Rite from the Priest's Chair. It was the same Liturgy of the Word with lay lectors, one male, one female. It was the same method of distributing Holy Communion, with of course with the communicant's choice to stand or kneel to receive the Most Precious Body of our Lord and to do so either enthroned on the palm of their hand or on their tongue.

It was the same Liturgy of the Eucharist, with the same theology, doctrine, dogma and devotion intended by Vatican II built upon the 1962 missal but it was entirely in the vernacular and I prayed Eucharistic Canon (Prayer) IV with its powerful sacrificial language, quite beautiful!

What was different was only one thing and during the Liturgy of the Eucharist it was the direction in which I was facing. I was facing the Liturgical East joining my parishioners, all of whom are laity, in facing the same direction. I was not facing them as though through an entertainment model or a teaching model or communicating to them model, I was one with them facing our Lord together, but I was the priest. I was the priest praying on their behalf, representing the priestly people behind me and bringing forward to God as the priestly people's intercessor their prayer and mine and I was bringing from God to them the eternal one Sacrifice of our Lord and giving them the most precious Gift from God that anyone can give anyone else, the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Glorious crucified and Risen SAVIOR. Like on the Road to Emmaus, where the disciples did not recognize the Risen Lord walking with them until the Breaking of the Bread and the Gift of Faith was made transparent to them, the same thing happens for people of the Faith at every Catholic Mass.

Yes, from my perspective, celebrating the Liturgy of the Eucharist AD Orientem made absolutely crystal clear the gift of the Sacramental, Ordained Priesthood which is a sign of the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ. I was focused on the Sacrifice, the words of the Prayers the Church gives the Priest as these are now the Words of the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ. There were no distractions and I could sense the devotion and reverence of those behind me whom I was representing to God and representing God to them. I was and am an ordained priest!

The most revolutionary thing that we can do with the Ordinary Form of the Mass while not changing one thing else is to celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientem, recapture what Vatican II emphasized about the Catholic priest during the Mass and his intercessory role precisely as priest and to instill in the laity the pre-Vatican II sense of piety and devotion that was so powerful, so good, so holy and so wholesome as it regards our Lord's High Priesthood and what He as High Priest offers to us and does for us on our behalf.

We will see a rise in vocations, I truly believe that and AD ORIENTEM will help accomplish this, it is a no-brainer.

As soon as the video of our Sunday's historic Mass is made ready for the internet, I'll post it. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

AndrewF said...

Absolutely true.