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Oklahoma bishop explains return to 'ad orientem' worship

 
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Carmelite
Seraphim


Joined: 20 May 2007
Posts: 1409

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:28 pm    Post subject: Oklahoma bishop explains return to 'ad orientem' worship Reply with quote

Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has returned to the practice of celebrating the Eucharistic liturgy ad orientem in his cathedral. Bishop Slattery explained in his diocesan newspaper that he recognized the advantages of the Mass celebrated with the priest facing the people, but:

Unfortunately this change had a number of unforeseen and largely negative effects. First of all, it was a serious rupture with the Church’s ancient tradition. Secondly, it can give the appearance that the priest and the people were engaged in a conversation about God, rather than the worship of God. Thirdly, it places an inordinate importance on the personality of the celebrant by placing him on a kind of liturgical stage.


http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=3820
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Carmelite


“...the vice of falsehood is perpetrated by anyone who offers worship to God on behalf of the Church in a manner contrary to that which is established by the Church with divine authority, and to which the Church is accustomed” St Thomas Aquinas
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Glenn
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Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: NE Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pope Benedict (writing as Cardinal Ratzinger) wrote about the reasons and advantages of ad orientum in his book, The Spirit of the Liturgy. I'd like to see all parishes change to this posture for the Eucharistic Prayer expecially. This emphasizes the sacrifice of Jesus to God our Father.

God Bless,
Glenn
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Carmelite
Seraphim


Joined: 20 May 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some information on "facing east":

The early Christians no longer turned toward the earthly Jerusalem, but toward the new, heavenly Jerusalem. It was their firm belief that when the Risen Christ would come again in glory, he would gather his faithful to make up this heavenly city.

They saw in the rising sun a symbol of the Resurrection and of the Second Coming, and it was a matter of course for them to pray facing this direction. There is strong evidence of eastward prayer in most parts of the Christian world from the second century onward.

In the New Testament, the special significance of the eastward direction for worship is not explicit.

Even so, tradition has found many biblical references for this symbolism, for instance: the "sun of righteousness" in Malachi 4:2; the "day dawning from on high" in Luke 1:78; the angel ascending from the rising of the sun with the seal of the living God in Revelation 7:2; and the imagery of light in St John's Gospel.

In Matthew 24:27-30, the sign of the coming of the Son of Man with power and great glory, which appears as the lightning from the east and shines as far as the west, is the cross.

There is a close connection between eastward prayer and the cross; this is evident by the fourth century, if not earlier. In synagogues of this period, the corner with the receptacle for the Torah scrolls indicated the direction of prayer -- "qibla" -- toward Jerusalem.

Among Christians, it became a general custom to mark the direction of prayer with a cross on the east wall in the apses of basilicas as well as in private rooms, for example, of monks and solitaries.

Toward the end of the first millennium, we find theologians of different traditions noting that prayer facing east is one of the practices distinguishing Christianity from the other religions of the Near East: Jews pray toward Jerusalem, Muslims pray toward Mecca, but Christians pray toward the east.
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Q: In the foreword to your book, then Cardinal Ratzinger notes that none of the documents of the Second Vatican Council asked for the altar to be turned toward the people. How did this change come about? What was the basis for such a major reorientation of the liturgy?

Father Lang: Two main arguments in favor of the celebrant's position facing the people are usually presented.

First, it is often said that this was the practice of the early Church, which should be the norm for our age; however, a close study of the sources shows that this claim does not hold.

http://www.zenit.org/article-20559?l=english

THE WORLD OVER: CARDINAL RATZINGER INTERVIEW
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.........Will we see a return to the ad orientem posture, facing the East, the priest facing away from the people during the Canon, a return to the Latin, more Latin in the Mass?
Cardinal: Versus orientem, I would say could be a help because it is really a tradition from the Apostolic time, and it’s not only a norm, but it’s an expression also of the cosmical dimension and of the historical dimension of the liturgy. We are celebrating with the cosmos, with the world. It’s the direction of the future of the world, of our history represented in the sun and in the cosmical realities. I think today this new discovering of our relation with the created world can be understood also from the people, better than perhaps 20 years ago. And also, it’s a common direction – priest and people are in common oriented to the Lord. So, I think it could be a help. Always external gestures are not simply a remedy in itself, but could be a help because it’s a very classical interpretation of what is the direction of the liturgy.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/ISSUES/RATZINTV.HTM
_________________
In Christ
Carmelite


“...the vice of falsehood is perpetrated by anyone who offers worship to God on behalf of the Church in a manner contrary to that which is established by the Church with divine authority, and to which the Church is accustomed” St Thomas Aquinas
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