LIVING BISHOPS AND PRIESTS MY AGE AND OLDER SEE MASS FACING THE PEOPLE AS THE FOUNDATION OF VATICAN II'S REFORM OF THE MASS AND THUS BRISTLE AT THE IDEA OF RETURNING TO AD ORIENTEM--THUS THAT WHICH WAS DONE FOR ALMOST 1,500 YEARS OR MORE AND CONTINUES IN THE CHURCH OF THE EAST IN AN UNBROKEN TRADITION TO THIS DAY, IS SEEN AS WRONG BECAUSE FACING THE PEOPLE IS NEW AND IMPROVED!
The 1955 Roman Missal celebrated facing the congregation in 1957:
Mark Thomas said in a comment on gradually introducing ad orientem by Msgr. Pope:
What a bunch of nonsense and drama in regard to the traditional practice that is ad orientem worship.
No wonder Catholics who wish to connect to God via traditional practices turn to the TLM.
A priest associated with a TLM community adheres to ad orientem posture. There isn't any drama involved...he faces eastward...that is it...he faces eastward.
That is it. He need not jump through hoops in regard to his bishop and congregation to face eastward during Mass.
Pax. Mark Thomas
Mark, but Mark, let me tell you that the first Sunday in my parish of St. Joseph in Augusta, Georgia in 1965, the very first liturgical change we experienced was the 1962 Roman Missal celebrated on a faux altar placed in front of our old altar attached to the wall.
The mensa of the faux altar was the same level as the old altar, which meant that the legs of the faux wooden altar were shorter on the priest's side of the three steps up to the old altar and longer at the foot of the old altar--it was a weird looking thing!But it allowed for the priest to be between it and the old altar in order to face the people. It has two candles on it and a small central crucifix.
Thus it was seared in my mind that Vatican II had mandated this first change, because Vatican II was still in progress at the time and it was still the old Mass but facing the congregation.
And of course, this was the 1960's and the foundation of the new advertising gimmick of that day, "NEW AND IMPROVED" was in full swing. This of course implied that old and unimproved was anything that preceded the new and improved.
And of course, Mass facing the congregation even with the 1962 Roman Missal would lead to a new springtime for the Church--which is laughable today, but there are those my age and older who still believe this. Alas, sigh!
So for many, many bishops to actually allow or encourage ad orientem is like a denial of Vatican II and that is really, really sad.
Although somewhat obscured, this is the altar arrangement at my home parish of St. Joseph Church in Augusta, Georgia in July of 1966 at my sister's wedding. You can see how the new and improved faux wooden altar is in front of the old and inferior attached to the wall altar behind it. If you look very, very closely, you can see with a magnifying glass the altar cards for the Last Gospel and Lavabo slightly, very slightly raised on the new and improved altar: