No matter which way the priest faces the altar, Mass is prayer to God led by the High Priest who is Jesus Christ sacramentally made present in the ordained priest.
Ask any priest who celebrates both forms of the one Latin Rite, and he will tell you that it has improved his fidelity to the newer missal and makes him more conscious to show forth the prayerful aspect of the Mass in its orations whether he faces the congregation or not.
As everyone knows, I am in favor of ad orientem for the Liturgy of the Eucharist, but that position needs approbation from the bishop or else people are literally yanked around depending on the priest or the bishop.
For example, in my previous parish for at least three years if not more, one of our five weekend Masses was celebrated ad orientem. It was like all the other Masses except the Liturgy of the Eucharist was ad orientem. At that same normal Sunday Mass, once a month the EF Mass was offered. I really think that the majority in attendance thought the only difference was that the Mass was in Latin.
After I departed, that Mass returned to being like all the other ones, facing the people for its entirety.
Ad orientem for the 1970 Roman Missal must be explained and explained well, especially to my generation of Catholics who think that ad orientem excludes them and makes them feel as though the priest has turned his back on them. But isn’t that the problem, that my generation of Catholics think that when the priest faces them, they are being spoken to as though the orations of the Mass are like the homily, directed to them. Of course that is wrong thinking, isn’t it?
Whether or not EF Masses which have been in place for several years or months can continue is one question. But the second question is answered, no new ones will be allowed and most bishops are not giving permission to newly ordained priests to celebrate the 1962 Missal any longer.
THUS IT IS INCUMBENT ON BISHOPS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE LATEST INCARNATION OF THE 1970 ROMAN MISSAL BE CELEBRATED IN THE MOST FAITHFUL WAY POSSIBLE AND THE MOST PRAYERFUL WAY POSSIBLE.
HOW MANY BISHOPS WILL ENCOURAGE AD ORIENTEM FOR THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST AND KNEELING FOR HOLY COMMUNION? THAT IS THE KEY TO AUTHENTIC RENEWAL OF THE LATEST INCARNATION OF THE 1970 ROMAN MISSAL
AND IF THE BISHOP DOES NOT FEEL IT PRUDENT TO AUTHORIZE AD ORIENTEM FOR THE ORATIONS OF THE MASS, WILL HE ENCOURAGE THE BENEDICTINE ALTAR ARRANGEMENT SO THAT THE PRIEST FACES THE CRUCIFIX AT THE ALTAR WHICH THEN BECOMES THE SYMBOLIC EAST—FACING JERUSALEM, GOLGOTHA, WHERE CHRIST SACRIFICED HIS LIFE FOR US ON THE CROSS, WHERE HE WAS BURIED, WHERE HE ROSE, WHERE HE ASCENDED, WHERE HE SENT THE HOLY SPIRIT AT PENTECOST AND WHERE HE WILL RETURN AT THE CONSUMMATION OF THE WORLD.