Tag Archives: Ad orientem

*Ad orientem* joy for Southern Baptist, and – oh yes – Catholics too!

While preaching on ad orientem logistics for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, taking emphasis off the knucklehead priest and pointing everyone to the One High Priest, our Eucharistic King, Christ Jesus, a southern Baptist lady in the back of the church cried out: “Praise Jesus!” She later told me that she wanted to everything she could about the Catholic Church and Jesus in the Sacrifice of the Mass, she wanted that lively reverence before Him who gave Himself to redeem us and save us. So, just to say it:

Ad orientem is the best evangelization tool we now have. And in its proper setting.

Stats are now plummeting for Catholics. I thought it was that 70% of Catholics don’t believe in the Eucharistic presence of Jesus. Father Altman just mentioned that this is edging toward 80%.

Are we sick of failure yet? Are we sick of the loss of souls yet? Do we have the fortitude to point to Jesus yet?

The Catholics in the parish to this point for weeks have been 100% positive, recounting profound soul-felt devotion and reverence once again that they haven’t experienced for some fifty+ years.

So, what are we to conclude from that?

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Ad orientem: conscience & memory. “Are you finally sick of it, bishop?” “Yep.”

Cardinal Ratzinger vintage 1991 in Dallas addressing the U.S. Bishops Conference had it that we cannot begin to have any kind of viably working conscience such as we have with the grace of enmity over against Satan as promised in Genesis 3:15 if we do not have an inkling of the Sacrifice outlined in that verse, whereby the Redeemer and, please God, our Savior, takes the initiative to reach out His heel to crush Satan, knowing that He Himself would be crushed, that He would lay down His life for us, taking on the punishment we deserve for sin, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to provide us with forgiveness and eternal life through, with and in Him.

In other words, we tend to want to congratulate ourselves that we are “nice people”, you know, that because of whatever nice thing we think we are doing we are now back more or less to the pristine Garden of Eden, so that we can do no wrong, giving ourselves a license to sin, ignoring that those were the conditions in which original sin took place. We cannot begin to know, to live in the least way what it is to be in the grace of God analogous to what it was like before original sin – that anamnesis, that living memory if you will – if we we do not first of all have the anamnesis, the living memory if you will – of the Sacrifice promised in Genesis 3:15 and accomplished by Christ our God, who Himself said: “When you do this, do this in memory of me.” We cannot live the grace of redemption without first accepting redemption in salvation.

https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/conscience-and-truth-2468

As has always been the great liturgical tradition, we look to the East, the pristineness, the early morning rising – to go waaay back in the etymology of the Scriptural vocabulary involved – to meet with our Redeemer, Immaculate Mary’s Divine Son. As we are reminded in the book of Revelation, we will all look upon Him whom we have all pierced, men of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, together, priest and laity, for Christ Jesus is our One High Priest.

How can a priest dare to shove his own face versus populum, toward “the people”, instead of being with them ad orientem, looking toward the One High Priest who is Himself the Altar and the Lamb of Sacrifice. How can the laity not get sick of looking at the face of a mere human being, a merely ordained priest.

(1) Anecdote time: In my own parish, I remember one day the other year when my congregation literally shoved the altar back and changed the candles around to the correct side of the altar so that we would all be facing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass together. They did this without me asking. It is to rejoice.

(2) Anecdote time: In this account don’t be thinking that you know who I’m talking about since I’ve been in a zillion cathedrals in a zillion [arch]dioceses right around the world. I’ve been friends with a multitude of bishops, archbishops and cardinals.

The back story of this account is that, traditionally, a bishop’s cathedra, a bishop’s chair in the sanctuary of a cathedral, his teaching chair, is off to the side, a symbol that he is NOT the teacher, but that Christ Jesus is the One Teacher, the One Magister.

Traditionally (and not speaking of exceptions such as massive basilicas), the tabernacle is most diocesan cathedrals has been situated in the high altar, front and center, that to which the entire architecture of the sanctuary and church pointed, as it should be. More recently, we have seen most tabernacles in cathedrals cast to the side while the bishop’s chair is moved up front and center where the tabernacle had been. This paradigmatically changed perspectives of people: the bishop is god and he is alone the teacher.

In our present anecdote, a bishop of my acquaintance was sitting in his cathedral, empty at that time of day, except for the rector of the cathedral who was in the pew behind him. At a certain point the rector learned forward to start a quiet conversation with the bishop along the lines of the Prophet Nathan with King David:

  • Rector: “Are you finally sick of it, bishop?”
  • Bishop: “Sick of what?”
  • Rector: “Look up in the sanctuary. Aren’t you finally sick of sitting where Jesus should be?”
  • Bishop: “Do what you have in mind.”

And so it happened that the rector of that cathedral forthwith placed the cathedra, the seat of the bishop, off to the side of the sanctuary, demonstrating that the bishop is submitting to the teaching of Jesus, the Son of God, so that then the tabernacle could once again find its rightful place front and center, enthroned as King, as it should be. It is to rejoice.

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♬ Latin ♬ Mass ♬Monday ♬ Wish ♬ It ♬ Were ♬ Sunday ♬

Some 7,000+ pilgrims, facing liturgical and actual East, were jammed into the eastern side of the Lower Basilica of Saint Pius X in the Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes in France on the National Feast Day of France, the great Solemnity of the Assumption of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God to heaven, soul and body, for a Solemn High Mass with yours truly being the “permanent chaplain” who, however unworthy, having once again kick-started after decades of dormition the official offering of the Traditional Mass starting in 2007, had the privilege of offering this Mass on this day in 2008, during the 150th anniversary jubilee of the apparitions in Lourdes.

Our dear Lord called me to be a priest during the offering of the Traditional Mass on the feast of Saint John the Baptist, June 24, 1962. I was born in February of 1960. So, just two and half years old. But I remember pretty much everything in my early years – always have – in fine detail, in color, with smells and bells, as it were. So, just to say, yes, I have a very deep seated, entrenched, and ever living “attachment” to the “Old Mass” (a misnomer on so very many levels). And it’s not just about entitlement of emotional attachment, you know, a weakness to be pitied. No. The Traditional Mass is who I am as a priest, who I am before God, quite literally and in every way, on every level.

The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as it has been celebrated throughout the life history of Holy Mother Church has for a long time been and is still today denigrated, held to be criminal, opening a priest up to persecution, bullying, brow-beating, suspension, removal from ministry, so that his salary is stripped from him, and all that he has to live on, including a place to say, something to eat, and then his insurance is removed, then his faculties, so that he is then held to be a mere liability and is dismissed from the clerical state. Just like that. Yep. Not infrequently either. This is the history of so many priests of my own acquaintance through the decades and still today.

After some eight years of catechesis of the parish, I have started to offer Holy Mass ad orientem, with “the people”, toward the East, toward Jesus, toward the Holy Sacrifice, the Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world.

On Monday, I offered the Holy Sacrifice in what has been called the Extraordinary Form, the Old Rite, the Latin Mass, the Traditional Mass, the Gregorian Mass, etc. A crime? Surely, in the eyes of some. Pope Benedict ensured that priests could do this at their own discretion.

  • “But Father George! Father George! You don’t understand! You’re divisory! You’re not pastórial or pastóral or however you say it! You’re not appreciative of the Novus Pontifex, the New Scriptures, the New Liturgy, the New Morality, the New Doctrine! We worship Pachamama! We’re clever and sophisticated and up to date! Follow us, not that outdated not-divine Jesus! There are no sacraments! Come with us, for friendship!”

Mind you, none of that straw-man rubbish above is reflective of my parish. Only positive to date, 100%.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis and many of his favorite cardinals and his favorite bishops and his favorite priests and his favorite laity have been pushing for a localization of pachamama style liturgies as he himself has wrought on the central altar of Saint Peter’s, meaning anything even demonic is all good. The Novus Ordo Misae? I’m about done. It’s the boiling the frog so slowly that it’s dead before it knows it. I’m wanting out.

And yes, it’s true, with the “Old Mass” comes all that is ever ancient, ever new, all the goodness and kindness of Jesus, and the Living Truth that He is, all the doctrine, all the morality, all the sacraments. I’m for Jesus. How about you?

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Ad orientem! No compromise!

This was drawn by a nine-year-old. Such wisdom. Very close to Jesus. He was suffering terribly and throughout his life at that time. As far as I know, he’s still alive. God bless him.

This is called: “No compromise!” We’re the ones who are expendable. We are to be crucified to ourselves to live for Jesus.

This is why, getting back from Los Angeles, similarly encouraged about all that which is Catholic, Holy Mass in my parish was offered ad orientem, towards the Liturgical East, towards the Sacrifice on the Altar, Jesus, who is the Priest, Altar and Lamb of Sacrifice. These logistics are what the Church has for us in the rubrics, the liturgical law as provided and supported by the General Institution of the Roman Missal (Novus Ordo, mind you), which I’m guessing is obligatory for the New Order of Mass right across the New Roman Rite rite around the world, you know, unless there is some indult to force priests NOT to offer Mass the way standing liturgical law indicates. Anyone?

Personally, I’m sick of compromising with the freakishly anti-Christ Cromwell from back in the day and resurrected in our own times to corrupt our Divine Worship. Ask any Irish born priest about Cromwell, and if they are in any way faithful, they will tell you how angry they still are with him. It might take you a few years to get this out of them, so angry are they with the compromisers, but they will tell you eventually. And then… you… will… know…

I’m about at that point. I would die before worshipping Pachamama or going along anymore with the B as in B, S as in S that the inverted narcissist homosexualists have for us or are planning for us. Ain’t gonna happen. They have it that this most important thing to do is to smack down those who want to follow liturgical law, the most important thing is to pander to brow-beating and bullying by the really nice elites or “lets look good to the mass media fame.” I’m sick of it. I want to go to heaven. I want to be more childlike in my faith, with the good example of that little boy above. And if we all don’t do the same, says Jesus, we will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

But again, if there is contrary legislation, let me know. I’m happy to dialogue, but only as clever as a serpent and as innocent as a dove. God help me with both of those.

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Homily: Ad orientem – Getting the priest out of the way of Jesus! Finally!

Gotta tell you, only super positive, thankful, enthusiastic responses not only to the homily, but to the Holy Mass offered ad orientem (toward the liturgical East, toward Christ our God. It’s all about Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One.

What think you? Was I too rough on the versus populum (towards the people) thing?

This isn’t being “reactionary”, “rigid”, “conservative”… whatever. No. This is about making all things new with Him who is ever ancient, ever new.

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Ad orientem: Thank you Fr George. That was really good for me.

Desiring to follow the rubrics, the above just happened to happen. The unsolicited response has been 100% positive, as if to say: Thank you for leading us to Jesus.

And then:

The sanctuary is many weeks away from completion.

Meanwhile…

Tiny monstrance. The pyx in the other broke, again, from too much usage. That little monstrance is from the rectory chapel.

As you might notice, we’re following the rubrics for the Latin Rite also in Prince of Peace.

Just my opinion, but when much of the world is going to hell and so many individuals in the Church are worshipping Satan Pachamama, priests should point to Jesus instead of screaming “Look at me!”

I mean, aren’t we sick of all the soft homosexualist narcissism?

We need to start following Jesus.

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