Ahead of his time, Fr. Allan McDonald, mild mannered southern blogger, celebrates the Ordinary Form of the Mass in an Extraordinary Form way, an act of revolution, some say:
I wonder how many billions of dollars were used to destroy old altars that were works of art and renovate churches to accommodate the Mass with the priest facing the people. It was and is a grave waste of the laity's offerings given in good faith to the Church as an act of charity only to have their contributions destroyed in the name of a weak liturgical ideology foisted on the universal Church by a clique of academic theologians and their clericalism. Keep in mind, that academics be they laity or clergy make priestly clericalism look like child's play.
While not true of all priests, facing the congregation throughout the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has turned some into performers, actors fulfilling and unfulfilled desires to be on stage and act. It is all about them, their looks, talents, piety, facial expressions, ad libs and on and on.
It is great to know that this concern is known in high places in the Vatican and we have a Pope Francis' appointment calling for a revolution in the Church's post-Vatican II liturgy.
Here are some more explicit words from Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship concerning his so-far non official request that all priests of the world begin to celebrate the Mass ad orientem:
I want to make an appeal to all priests. You may have read my article in L’Osservatore Romano one year ago (12 June 2015) or my interview with the journal Famille Chrétienne in May of this year. On both occasions I said that I believe that it
is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common
orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same
direction—Eastwards or at least towards the apse—to the Lord who comes,
in those parts of the liturgical rites when we are addressing God.
practice is permitted by current liturgical legislation. It is
perfectly legitimate in the modern rite. Indeed, I think it is a very
important step in ensuring that in our celebrations the Lord is truly at
And so, dear Fathers, I ask you to implement this practice
wherever possible, with prudence and with the necessary catechesis,
certainly, but also with a pastor’s confidence that this is something
good for the Church, something good for our people.
Your own pastoral judgement will determine how and when this is possible, but perhaps beginning this on the first Sunday of Advent this year,
when we attend ‘the Lord who will come’ and ‘who will not delay’ (see:
Introit, Mass of Wednesday of the first week of Advent) may be a very
good time to do this. Dear Fathers, we should listen again to the lament
of God proclaimed by the prophet Jeremiah: “they have turned their back
to me” (2:27). Let us turn again towards the Lord!
[This in my opinion is the most important paragraph. I think it is a signal that the bishops of the world will be receiving official word to do what Cardinal Sarah is requesting unofficially at this point in time:]
I would like to appeal also to my brother bishops:
please lead your priests and people towards the Lord in this way,
particularly at large celebrations in your dioceses and in your
cathedral. Please form your seminarians in the reality that we
are not called to the priesthood to be at the centre of liturgical
worship ourselves, but to lead Christ’s faithful to him as
fellow worshippers. Please facilitate this simple but profound reform in
your dioceses, your cathedrals, your parishes and your seminaries.