Jeg har et par ganger nevnt menigheten i USA som er i ferd med å “snu alteret”. I kommentaren til en sak om dette hos Father Z, leser vi følgende om hvorfor dette er viktig – det har med å vende seg til Gud i messen å gjøre:
I get a flashback to the first day I entered Assumption Grotto Parish and encountered the ad orientem posture: My first interior response was, “You’ve got to be kidding me – he’s got his back to us!”
Next, I found myself shifting in my pew as if to seek the face of the priest, only to realize that it is the face of God I should be seeking in the Mass.
It is also important if a priest greets people as you go up the aisle in procession. This was the other thing that really struck me about Assumption Grotto. The priests are deep in prayer, as are the people, just before the Mass begins. From the time Fr. Perrone stands in the back as incense is puffing from the thurifer, it’s as if time stands still. His contemplative Carmelite face is deeply meditative and focused in a way that had me realizing, I should be there too.
It is just one more element to shifting the celebration of the Mass from that which is people-centered, to God-centered. … There are various elements in the Mass that can make it more God-centered and less people-centered. One is the posture of the priest, ad orientem.
Another is how much attention the priest pays to the people during the Mass, from beginning to end. It is very difficult for me now to maintain meditative focus when a priest is waving at me as he goes up the aisle. It is not about me and that is what such gestures communicate to my mind.
Ditto with the throne of the priest. It faces sideways at Grotto and is off to the side. The priest is not the center of focus when he sits. These are all subtle things that have taken place in a slow, but persistent transition over the last 7 years at my parish. Like Fr. Newman, Fr. Perrone did much to explain why he was about to do the things he did, which is good.
Diane, som skriver dette, skriver mer på sin egen blog.