More on facing east, from the Pope.

Hi there, quick update.

James Preece posted a sweet link in the comments to the last post in regard to facing east. So just in case you are like me and very rarely read comments on blogs here it is:

None other than Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the spirit of the liturgy. So if you think I’m just a mad trad please don’t take it from muggins, take it from perhaps the foremost theological thinker in Christendom alive today, the guy who just so happens to be Pope.

Awesome possum. If I’d known there was a link online to perhaps the best source on the subject I probably wouldn’t have written so much πŸ™‚

I also had another thought, in a lot of church’s where the Tabernacle isn’t squirreled away so that parishioners can’t reverence it, but it is where it should be, at the center of the sanctuary. During Mass the priest actually stands between the Tabernacle and the altar. In a funny sort of way that is almost like becoming a bit of a liturgical barrier to God. Does that make sense? Surely it should be a line from the Tabernacle, to the Altar, to the priest, to the communion rails πŸ˜€

Placing the cross at the center of the Altar as a substitute for facing east is a good idea, but why not just chuck out those temporary altars and use the altar that in many Church’s is still at the back of the sanctuary? There wouldn’t be a great deal of re-ordering necessary, in fact the changes can be wrought in a matter of minutes, I know, I’ve seen it done :D. Additionally many modernist Church’s are often so bare that changing which side of the Altar the priest stands at would make virtually no difference.

I get the feeling that where there is a will there is a way and there aren’t really any legitimate reasons not to make this most simple of changes in order to be more in line with a more authentic and traditional understanding of the liturgy. Sometimes I wish the Pope would be more authoritarian.

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