Saturday, January 12, 2008

Like Sauce on Top of the Pizza

A couple things we normally don't see in our world:














Sauce on TOP of the pizza

and












The Pope praying Mass ad orientem.

Now remember, from his book "Spirit of the Liturgy," Pope Benedict XVI firmly views Mass facing East (in Latin ad orientem) as Mass where priest and people share a common orientation. He believes that the notion of separation is false, the cliche of "the priest with his back to the people." Pope Benedict understands this to reflect Christianity's identity as a religion of history. He notes that both Judaism and Islam orient themselves to a common direction in the exercise of their faith.

This means that we believe that Christ truly came to us, in history and reality- there is no difference. We live in a time where we await His final and full entrance into history. We Christians and Catholics are always called to shape, direct, and focus our lives on Jesus Christ.

I guess what I am saying is: don't knock until you've tried it and if you try it, make sure you understand "why," first. Chicago-style deep dish is awesome! I've never said a Mass ad orientem, but I am open to the idea.

Amy Welborn reminds us that Orthodox and some Anglicans and Lutherans make use of the ad orientem posture for the priest. She also includes this full quote:

“A decision was made to celebrate on the ancient altar to avoid altering he beauty and harmony of this architectural jewel - the Vatican note explains - preserving its structure, in a celebratory viewpoint, and making use of a possibility foreseen by liturgical legislation. This means that, at some moments, the Pope will be with his back turned to the faithful and facing the Cross, thus guiding the demeanor and the disposition of the entire assembly”

Notice the phrase "guiding the demeanor and the disposition of the entire assembly," leadership isn't always a face-to-face experience. Think of this as leading from the front.

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