Monday, December 1, 2014
SAINT JOSEPH 12:10 PM AD ORIENTEM SUNDAY MASS FULL THE SUNDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING
What this means is that the Mass is just like all our other Ordinary Form Masses in music and otherwise, except the Liturgy of the Eucharist is ad orientem, meaning the priest faces the apse rather than the nave. (Technically all our Masses are ad orientem as we have adopted Pope Benedict's compromise of placing a crucifix directly in front of the celebrant as the symbol of facing east toward Jerusalem and the rising of the sun).
The Introductory Rite and Concluding Rite are at the chair as is normal for the Ordinary Form of the Mass.
We began this new orientation about three years ago. I had minimal catechesis on it. What has astounded me is that in the three years since we implemented this, only one parishioner who attended it to find out would it would be like (she normally went to the 9:30 AM Mass) did not like it.
Not one other person criticized it making me wonder if anyone even noticed the change! I did have an irate visitor from the post-Catholic northeast come up to me after Mass and say that I ruined his visit to Macon by turning my back on him. He was mad!
Yesterday, the 12:10 PM Mass was full and with many young people.
But no one says anything to me about their experience of the ad orientem from their perspective.
I don't know what to think.
For me, I find the Mass and my experience of celebrating the Mass this way more prayerful. In fact when at the altar for the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Eucharistic Prayer, things are so quiet that I wonder if anyone is behind me!
I am not distracted by unnecessary movement in the nave as when I face the congregation for the Eucharistic Prayer. I can focus on this part of the Mass as prayer, as sacrifice and contemplate the beauty of what it is the Great Lord has called me to do as His priest. It is awesome and this orientation magnifies the awesomeness of it.
If anyone reading this blog attends this 12:10 PM Mass, please or please give me your thoughts. Have you even noticed the difference?