Jeg legger vel ikke så veldig skjul på at jeg selv syns det er bedre (historisk, teologisk og pedagogisk) om presten vender seg ad orientem (til Gud) under messens eukaristiske bønn – samt at det er bedre når de troende mottar kommunion knelende og på tungen (slik pave Benedikt praktiserer det). Jeg leste nå nettopp et ukegammelt innlegg der en katolikk fra USA beskriver hvordan han opplevde sin aller første messe feiret ad orientem:
… Not too long ago, I attended an Ordinary Form of the Mass where the priest was facing away from the congregation during the consecration. Of course, that was the normal practice prior to Vatican II. But I had never experienced it. In the Ordinary Form of the Mass today, the priest faces the congregation the whole time.
I know there are theological reasons to support both practices. And my point here is not to argue them or to say that either is objectively “better.” All I want to say is that when the priest held up the bread and wine and offered them up to the Father as the Body and Blood of His Son, I experienced Mass in a different way than ever before.
At every other Mass I had ever been to, I had seen the priest holding up the Body and Blood toward me. Holding them up for an audience to see – or at least, that is what I naturally perceived from the way it was done. If you are just observing the Ordinary Form of the Mass, this is the part where you’d say, “Oh, this is where the priest holds up the bread and wine to the congregation.”
But when the priest was facing away from me this time, I got a very different impression. It really hit home to me more than ever that in that moment I was participating in something, not just observing. That I wasn’t just being shown something, but that we were the ones offering the something together — through the priest. All because the priest was facing the other way. The position of his body just seemed to resonate more with what we were doing. That’s all. …