Ad Orientem 3

Here’s the third installment of Fr Newman’s catechesis on ad orientem celebration of the Mass.

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  • elizabeth

    I’m surprised this post hasn’t received any comments. Perhaps it got lost in the flurry of recent posts. Are we to infer that priests at St. Mary’s will soon say the Eucharistic Prayer while facing in the same direction as the congregation? (Notice I didn’t say, “with their backs to the worshipers.”) Or … has St. Mary’s already begun this practice? I realize by asking this I’m outting myself — I didn’t attend Mass last Sunday. I’m tempted to blame it on my sick daughter, but I think this will be something for confession on Saturday. (The crowd was a bit thick outside the confessionals last night and I didn’t want to miss any of the rosary.) Regardless, I dig Father Newman’s “column” — I only wished he blogged with the frequency you do.

  • Anonymous

    I am a parishioner of St Mary’s in Greenville and I am concerned about the stream of long time parishioners leaving to attend other parishes since Fr Newman has arrived.I am a supporter of many of the changes Fr Newman has brought, but facing East with the congregation is making it very difficult.’Back to the Future’ is a cute and enjoyable movie, but not in the context of the Mass. We at st Mary’s seem to be on the cutting edge of liturgy revisionism over our parishioner’s Catholic spiritual development. The energy and dedication that Fr Newman is showing towards changes in liturgy pales in comparison to helping our parish adults in Catholic spiritual development. St Mary’s has had no adult enrichment classes or guest speakers of any substance this year. The Called and gifted program has left to be held at another parish. Prayer devotions and going to confession have been encouraged, which is well and good.The parish is becoming Back to the Future of ‘pay, pray and obey’ with an overemphasis on liturgy over the parishioners spiritual and Christian development. Attending RCIA has been the only spiritial eductional activity at St Mary’s this year. Thanks to Fr Longenecker.The change of the priest facing East is more of a distraction and unnecessary as can be seen in any other Catholic church, including at the Vatican. The distraction is creating more of a focus on Fr Newman rather than Christ or the parishioners.There are poor in our community both materially and spiritually that need the attention of fr Newman more than the energy spent on this distraction.Hope this blog piece gets more attention and is visited by Fr Newman.Thank you and God bless.

  • Anonymous

    To pray the Mass is the MOST important thing we can do. It trumps everything else in our lives. To turn toward the Lord is not a distraction by any stretch of the imagination. We are there to give thanks to God, to offer him thanks, and celebrating the Mass Ad Orientem is the proper way to do so. The Mass is “the source and summit of the Christian life” everything we do as Christians is bound up in the Eucharist. It is our path to further spiritual development. We as Catholic must understand what the Mass is to properly grow as Christians. We must understand that to give us the Mass it cost God his Son. So unless the Mass is the source and summit of your life, all the enrichment class, Called and Gifted programs and any other spiritual education activity will be for naught. I applaud Fr. Newman for the actions that he is taken, to properly orient the Liturgy and I look forward to the day that we all turn toward the lord in worship. God BlessDoug

  • Anonymous

    I too get much grace and joy in going to Mass and believe it is the center celebration of Catholics.The point being made above is not to discount the Mass. It is the over emphasis by Fr Newman on liturgy over enriching adult Catholic spiritual and intellectual development. The energy spent on 5 weeks to justify and explain ad orientem and change back to the priest facing East, leaves other areas of development aside. No adult Catholic enrichment, other than the Mass and change in liturgy form, is not a balanced approach.The balance is not in perspective seems to be the over riding element of the critique towards Fr Newman. Not that one side is correct and the other incorrect. What is St Mary’s doing to address the adult Catholic development seems to be the question. Why are so many long term parishioners leaving for other Catholic churches in Greenville?The above comment seems to be a fair assessment and expressed with charity and concern.

  • Anonymous

    I am confuse by the comment above. Is the Mass more or less “the source and summit of the Christian life” with the priest facing East or the congregation? I don’t believe that was the focus of any of the comments.The concern seems to be over ‘balance’ in emphasis and energy.God bless

  • elizabeth

    Reading the comments to the first post about Father Newman’s series on ad orientem, I now see where St. Mary’s is heading. I had thought the placement of the crucifix on the altar a few weeks ago was a permanent measure and not simply a step on the road to full ad orientem.And about some of those comments … sadness! Is Father Longenecker’s blog really the most appropriate place to make those charges?