Thursday, February 24, 2011

The End of Orientation

Those who argue in defense of Mass versus populum say that the priest facing the people better express the centrality of Christ and his Sacrifice in the life of the Christian people. However, ad orientem shows that the ultimate direction of our worship is the Father Almighty.

The Latin theological tradition views the liturgical re-presentation of Christ’s
sacrifice (however conceived) as an offering of the whole Christ, Head and
members, to the Father through (and with) the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the
Roman Canon as well as in the other Eucharistic Prayers of the modern Roman
Rite, the First Person of the Trinity, God the Father, appears as both the
starting point (principium a quo) and the end (terminus ad quem) of the
Eucharistic action, while Christ, the incarnate Son, appears there as High
Priest, through whose mediation the Father has been gracious to us and we render
praise and glory to Him. In contrast, but not in disagreement, with the Western
structure of liturgical prayer, the traditional Eastern liturgical prayer ends
with the words: “For unto Thee are due all glory, honor, and worship, to the
Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of
ages. Amen.” From this I reason that the celebration of Mass facing ad orientem
symbolizes a movement not only toward the “east” of Christ, but also toward the
Father through, with, and in Christ (“Per ipsum, et cum ipso, et in ipso...”).

For the whole article, follow the link The End of Orientation

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