Alteret er snudd – prestene feirer nå vendt mot Gud

Jeg skrev at par ganger før påske (se HER og HER)om en menighet i USA der prestene planla å begynne å feire messen vendt «mot Gud». Father Newman skrev flere søndager i søndagsbladet om dette (se her: spesielt fastesøndagene) og forklarte hvorfor han ønsket å gå tilbake til det som var Kirkens praktis i over 1500 år, og annonserte at denne praksisien vill bli innført en gang mellom påske og pinse. Det skjedde nå sist søndag og F. Newman skriver:

In the last of those five columns I announced that sometime during Eastertide we would restore the custom of ad Deum celebration here at St. Mary’s to follow Pope Benedict’s lead in recovering our own authentic traditions of liturgical prayer, and we begin this practice today. During the first few weeks of this very old and (to us) totally new way of praying, there will undoubtedly be a bit of confusion for everyone: our priests, deacons, and servers must adjust to the logistical changes which flow from the change of direction, and our congregation must adjust to an unfamiliar experience of the Eucharistic Prayer. And while we are all growing accustomed to this method of celebrating the sacred liturgy, I ask everyone to be patient and charitable.

While the celebration of Mass facing liturgical East is ancient, my decision to try this practice here is not an exercise in antiquarianism. (We priests) are deeply convinced that this way of praying is a more effective means of drawing everyone more deeply into the Paschal Mystery of the Lord Jesus, and that is why we are introducing this practice for a period of discernment. Having said that, the Church has made clear that both ways of celebrating the Eucharist (ad Deum and versus populum) have value and are equally legitimate, so no one should conclude that one practice excludes the other. For this reason, we will from time to time revert to the more familiar form of celebration (particularly, for example, at weddings or funerals when large numbers of people from other places may be present), and every priest remains free to decide in which posture to offer the Mass.

In doubtful things, liberty; in essential things, unity; in all things, charity. This ancient maxim should guide us all in our response to what we begin today. I hope that each of you will see this development as an opportunity to retrieve an ancient and noble part of Christian tradition and enter with generosity into the celebration of the sacred mysteries of redemption.

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