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Lineamenta [was Re: [liturgy-l] Re: Since things see

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  • James O'Regan
    Natalie wrote and I snipped: First my apologies for the horrible formatting of my previous post. It was written in Word and the citation Italics did not stand
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5, 2005
      Natalie wrote and I snipped:

      First my apologies for the horrible formatting of my previous post. It was
      written in Word and the citation Italics did not stand up nor did the line
      breaks.

      > My point is this does not refer to the Liturgy of the Eucharist
      > necessarily and, when read in the context of the missals that
      > preceded it and our unbroken liturgical tradition, may be read to only
      > demand "facing the people" for the Liturgy of the Word.

      The placement of the altar has nothing to do with the Liturgy of the Word, c.f.
      IGRM 58, "58. In the celebration of the Mass with a congregation, the
      readings are always proclaimed from the ambo.[lectiones semper ex ambone
      proferuntur]. The placement of the altar is precisely to allow versus populum,
      which is what we do world-wide.

      While there is a context of previous missals, this missal abrogates all previous
      missals. "Unbroken liturgical tradition" does not mean that nothing changes.
      Lots of stuff change yet is considered to be within the tradition.

      >Also, please
      > note that in the 1962 missal the priest is instructed to turn toward
      > the people at fixed points during the Mass of the Faithful just as he
      > is in the current Liturgy of the Eucharist.

      I have a Tridentine missale romanum before me now. There is no direction
      for versus populum in the entrance rite because the assembly was not
      expected to say anything, only the priest and altar servers. The first such
      direction comes after the Gloria. It is in the context of having just kissed the
      altar, so goes with a one-two step: kiss the altar, face the people (i.e. stand up
      straight and, because we know this happened only, turn towards the people).

      In fact a careful reading of the rubrics shows that the priest is never given a
      direction to face except regarding the people. That the altar was built to the
      back wall is the only real reason the priest faced away from the people. The
      freeing of the altar and the turning around of the priest would allow him to
      follow the exact rubrics of the Tridentine rite facing the people without
      missing a beat. In fact the frontispiece and the B&W image on page 239 of
      my missale romanum show a free-standing altar with Jesus and the disciples
      celebrating mass (sic) around the altar: Jesus in the middle with apostles on
      either side of him, at either end of the altar and in the front facing him.
      [Missale Romanum, Ratisbonae, 16th edition, 1946] Go figure.

      The next direction mimics the first: kiss the altar, face the people. As does the
      third follow a kiss, after the preparation of the gifts (the offertory). Nowhere
      in the rubrics is there any instruction to turn towards the altar and away
      from the people - yet it was done. The total number of "versus ad populum"
      is three and always after kissing the altar.

      So while there are three such directions in the Tridentine rite, there are more
      and at different spots in the current rite. Despite the possibility to read the
      Tridentine rite entirely in a versus populum context, they are in fact different
      rites and have different rubrical dynamics.

      James O'Regan
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