Quotes courtesy of the New Liturgical Movement
Despite all the variations in practice that have taken place far into the second millenium, one thing has remained clear for the whole of Christendom: praying toward the east is a tradition that goes back to the beginning.
-- The Spirit of the Liturgy (Ignatius Press, 2000), pg. 75.
As I have written in my books, I think that celebration turned towards the east, towards the Christ who is coming, is an apostolic tradition.
-- Looking Again at the Question of Liturgy with Cardinal Ratzinger, ed. Alcuin Reid (St. Michael's Abbey, 2003), pg. 151.
The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is closed in on itself. The common turning toward the east was not a "celebration toward the wall"; it did not mean that the priest "had his back to the people": the priest himself was not regarded as so important. For just as the congregation in the synagogue looked together toward Jerusalem, so in the Christian liturgy the congregation looked together "toward the Lord".... They did not close themselves into a circle; they did not gaze at one another; but as the pilgrim People of God they set off for the Oriens, for the Christ who comes to meet us.... [A]common turning to the east during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of something accidental, but of what is essential. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord.
-- The Spirit of the Liturgy, pp. 80-81.
Moving the altar cross to the side to give an uninterrupted view of the priest is something I regard as one of the truly absurd phenomena of recent decades. Is the cross disruptive during the Mass? Is the priest more important than the Lord? This mistake should be corrected as quickly as possible; it can be done without further rebuilding.
-- The Spirit of the Liturgy, pg. 84
[A]mong the faithful there is an increasing sense of the problems inherent in an arrangement that hardly shows the liturgy to be open to the things that are above and to the world to come.
-- Foreword to U.M. Lang's Turning towards the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2004), pg. 11
Founders Chapel High Altar,University of San Diego
courtesy of the New Liturgical Movement
Courtesy of Kansas Catholic at
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On Tuesday, January 6, 2009, the Feast of the Epiphany, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, a traditional community in the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph (MO), had a novice make her first profession of vows and also had the investiture in the Benedictine Habit of four postulants. This happened at the Oratory of Old Saint Patrick in Kansas City, MO.
Here are photographs of the Holy Mass (extraordinary form), celebrated by His Excellency Robert W. Finn, as well as the profession of Sister Grace of the Merciful Face of Jesus and the investiture of the four postulants. Congratulations to the Benedictines of Mary for their phenomenal growth. Their website is here, and details, among other things, their making of traditional vestments.