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  #1  
Old Dec 3, '07, 3:23 am
GandalfTheWhite GandalfTheWhite is offline
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Default How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

I recently wondered a lot about this. How did the priests suddenly stop facing the East? I just don't understand this. The question is especially more difficult to answer since many times I went to a beautiful cathedral or a church with a beautiful (often Gothic or baroque) high altar and it had a terrible modern altar stuck in front of it. I simply CAN NOT comprehend why anyone would do such a horrible thing. It's sad. But anyways, I was trying to discover how all this happened and how it turned into something universaI since even now the priest are still supposed to face the East. I can't find much about this topic, could you please enlighten me (or give me something to read)?

Thanks

EDIT: Sorry for the spelling mistake in the title...'switch' and not 'switched'...
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  #2  
Old Dec 3, '07, 4:22 am
KathleenElsie KathleenElsie is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

Vatican II
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Old Dec 3, '07, 4:43 am
GandalfTheWhite GandalfTheWhite is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathleenElsie View Post
Vatican II
Right, sure. To be honest I never read the documents but as far as I'm informed you will not find anything that says that the priest, being the leader of the flock, should turn around from the East. Right, it's the spirit of V2 and I understand that. But my question is: how did it take place? What (who) introduced it and in what manner did it spread? And how did it become such a wide spread thing? I don't think this all parishes read the V2 documents and overnight decided to build new altars.

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  #4  
Old Dec 3, '07, 5:14 am
Pax et Caritas Pax et Caritas is offline
 
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathleenElsie View Post
Vatican II
Vatican II didn't call for it.
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  #5  
Old Dec 3, '07, 5:23 am
stmaria stmaria is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

The Consilium headed by Father Bugnini established the priest facing the people.
Eucharisticum Mysterium May 25, 1967

II. MAIN ALTAR
91. The main altar should preferably be freestanding, to permit walking around it and celebration facing the people. Its location in the place of worship should be truly central so that the attention of the whole congregation naturally focuses there.
95. The eucharist is to be reserved in a solid and secure tabernacle, placed in the middle of the main altar or on a minor, but truly worthy altar, or, in accord with lawful custom and in particular cases approved by the local Ordinary, also in another, special, and properly adorned part of the church.
It is lawful to celebrate Mass facing the people even on an altar where there is a small but becoming tabernacle

http://www.adoremus.org/eucharisticummysterium.html
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  #6  
Old Dec 3, '07, 5:25 am
GregoryPalamas GregoryPalamas is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

Aggiornamento.

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  #7  
Old Dec 3, '07, 7:08 am
drafdog drafdog is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

I'm not sure that there is a requirement to face the East. I know that Muslims kneel facing Mecca when at prayer in the mosque or in their homes, but I don't recall a Catholic Church requirement that the priest face the East.
I grew up in a parish where the "temporary" church was in the basement of the school building. The priest faced the altar, away from the congregation. He therefore was facing West as that was how the physical layout of the building worked out. When the new parish church was built, the custom had been changed to the priest facing the congregation across the altar. Since the building was anglewise on the property, the priest now faces Southwest. The next parish over to the northeast has the altar mounted on a turntable altar platform with rotates once during the course of the Mass so that the priest faces no fixed direction at all. The parish to the Southeast is built on a north-south street and again the altar was positioned so that prior to the liturgical change the priest faced away from the congregation toward the West. Now he faces the congregation across the altar toward the East.
As you can see, the direction the priest faces has more to do with the position of the building on the available building lot and the design of the church building itself.

Matthew
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  #8  
Old Dec 3, '07, 7:28 am
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Rolltide Rolltide is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

If I recall correctly, it was never an *absolute* requirement that the priest faced east in the TLM. I'm sure that I've seen a thread on here from about a year or two ago where someone posted pictures of TLM's from the 1930s through the 1950s that were allowed to be said ad populum through some kind of an indult. I'm afraid I can't provide much more information than that.

EDIT: As Drafdog pointed out above, these pictures *may* actually be from churches that were built with the altar facing west, not from any special indult. Thus, in order for the priest to face east, he had to face the people.
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Old Dec 3, '07, 7:37 am
mercygate mercygate is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drafdog View Post
I'm not sure that there is a requirement to face the East. I know that Muslims kneel facing Mecca when at prayer in the mosque or in their homes, but I don't recall a Catholic Church requirement that the priest face the East.
I grew up in a parish where the "temporary" church was in the basement of the school building. The priest faced the altar, away from the congregation. He therefore was facing West as that was how the physical layout of the building worked out. When the new parish church was built, the custom had been changed to the priest facing the congregation across the altar. Since the building was anglewise on the property, the priest now faces Southwest. The next parish over to the northeast has the altar mounted on a turntable altar platform with rotates once during the course of the Mass so that the priest faces no fixed direction at all. The parish to the Southeast is built on a north-south street and again the altar was positioned so that prior to the liturgical change the priest faced away from the congregation toward the West. Now he faces the congregation across the altar toward the East.
As you can see, the direction the priest faces has more to do with the position of the building on the available building lot and the design of the church building itself.

Matthew
Not true. However the building is oriented, once inside, the altar end is the architectural and liturgical east. St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is oriented west-east. So when the priest celebrates facing the liturgical "east" (ad orientem), he is facing the geographic west. When he celebrates ad populum, he is facing the geographic east. Go figure.
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Old Dec 3, '07, 7:38 am
stmaria stmaria is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolltide View Post
If I recall correctly, it was never an *absolute* requirement that the priest faced east in the TLM. I'm sure that I've seen a thread on here from about a year or two ago where someone posted pictures of TLM's from the 1930s through the 1950s that were allowed to be said ad populum through some kind of an indult. I'm afraid I can't provide much more information than that.

There was never an indult to face the people. The pictures you see of priests "facing the people" before Vatican II are misleading. They are actually facing "east" and in some cases they therefore had to face in the direction of the people.is an excerpt from Pope Benedict's book on facing east.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger - The Spirit of the Liturgy
The Altar and the Direction of Liturgical Prayer
http://www.adoremus.org/0500-Ratzinger.html

…Despite all the variations in practice that have taken place far into the second millennium, one thing has remained clear for the whole of Christendom: praying toward the East is a tradition that goes back to the beginning. Moreover, it is a fundamental expression of the Christian synthesis of cosmos and history, of being rooted in the once-for-all events of salvation history while going out to meet the Lord who is to come again. …The liturgical renewal in our own century took up this alleged model and developed from it a new idea for the form of the Liturgy. The Eucharist, so it was said, had to be celebrated versus populum (towards the people). The altar -- as can be seen in the normative model of Saint Peter's -- had to be positioned in such a way that priest and people looked at each other and formed together the circle of the celebrating community. This alone, so it was said, was compatible with the meaning of the Christian Liturgy, with the requirement of active participation. This alone conformed to the primordial model of the Last Supper.
These arguments seemed in the end so persuasive that after the Council (which says nothing about "turning to the people") new altars were set up everywhere, and today celebration versus populum really does look like the characteristic fruit of Vatican II's liturgical renewal. In fact it is the most conspicuous consequence of a re-ordering that not only signifies a new external arrangement of the places dedicated to the Liturgy, but also brings with it a new idea of the essence of the Liturgy -- the Liturgy as a communal meal…This is, of course, a misunderstanding of the significance of the Roman basilica and of the positioning of its altar, and the representation of the Last Supper is also, to say the least, inaccurate…Once again let me quote Bouyer:
“Never and nowhere before (that is, before the sixteenth century) is there any indication of the slightest importance being attached, or even attention given, to the question of whether the priest should celebrate with the people behind him or in front of him. Professor Cyril Vogel has proved that, "if anything was stressed, it was that the priest should recite the Eucharistic Prayer, like all other prayers, turned towards the East Even when the orientation of the church allowed the priest to pray facing the people, we must not forget that it was not just the priest who turned to the East, but the whole congregation with him"
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  #11  
Old Dec 3, '07, 7:41 am
stmaria stmaria is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

Quote:
=drafdog;3038143]As you can see, the direction the priest faces has more to do with the position of the building on the available building lot and the design of the church building itself.
When a church cannot face east because of building restrictions the crucifix on the altar or behind the altar represents 'liturgical" east.
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  #12  
Old Dec 3, '07, 11:55 am
GregoryPalamas GregoryPalamas is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

Jesus must get vertigo in some of these Churches.

CDL
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  #13  
Old Dec 3, '07, 2:21 pm
Linuse Linuse is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

I always laugh a little when people claim that we switched to "ad populm" as if that is a big change. The truth of the matter is that that is the older tradition. Jesus faced the apostles for the most part at the last supper. The early church gathered around the table for "the breaking of the bread"
During persecutions, some times, Mass began to be celebrated in the Catecombs on a tomb. In those instances, the priest had his back to the people.
St. Peter (Vatican city), "St. Paul outside the walls" Churches that are quite old, both have always had the main altar "facing the people". Many other older churches also a set up that way.
People facing East--I have only heard of that in very recent times. Even in the Seminary liturgy classes this was never mentioned. I am of the opinion, that someone invented this recently and for some reason a large group bought into it.
The priest facing the altar with his back to the people is actually of more recent development than the priest facing the people. Thank God we realized this and returned to this!.
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Old Dec 3, '07, 2:41 pm
rwoehmke rwoehmke is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercygate View Post
Not true. However the building is oriented, once inside, the altar end is the architectural and liturgical east. St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is oriented west-east. So when the priest celebrates facing the liturgical "east" (ad orientem), he is facing the geographic west. When he celebrates ad populum, he is facing the geographic east. Go figure.
I had been in a lot of church buildings before Vatican II was even thought of. East was always "liturgical East" and had no relationship to the points of the compass what-so-ever.
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Old Dec 3, '07, 2:51 pm
stmaria stmaria is offline
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Default Re: How did we switched to 'ad populum' masses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linuse View Post
I always laugh a little when people claim that we switched to "ad populm" as if that is a big change. The truth of the matter is that that is the older tradition. Jesus faced the apostles for the most part at the last supper. The early church gathered around the table for "the breaking of the bread"
During persecutions, some times, Mass began to be celebrated in the Catecombs on a tomb. In those instances, the priest had his back to the people.
Quote:
St. Peter (Vatican city), "St. Paul outside the walls" Churches that are quite old, both have always had the main altar "facing the people". Many other older churches also a set up that way.
People facing East--I have only heard of that in very recent times.
The priest facing the altar with his back to the people is actually of more recent development than the priest facing the people. Thank God we realized this and returned to this!.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger - The Spirit of the Liturgy
The Altar and the Direction of Liturgical Prayer
http://www.adoremus.org/0500-Ratzinger.html
Turn to the East is essential
"On the other hand, a common turning to the East during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of accidentals, but of essentials. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord. It is not now a question of dialogue, but of common worship, of setting off towards the One who is to come. What corresponds with the reality of what is happening is not the closed circle, but the common movement forward expressed in a common direction for prayer....

…However, in Saint Peter's, during the pontificate of Saint Gregory the Great (590-604), the altar was moved nearer to the bishop's chair, probably for the simple reason that he was supposed to stand as much as possible above the tomb of Saint Peter. This was an outward and visible expression of the truth that we celebrate the Sacrifice of the Lord in the Communion of Saints, a communion spanning all the times and ages… The custom of erecting an altar above the tombs of the martyrs probably goes back a long way and is an outcome of the same motivation.. Because of topographical circumstances, it turned out that Saint Peter's faced west. Thus, if the celebrating priest wanted -- as the Christian tradition of prayer demands -- to face east, he had to stand behind the people and look -- this is the logical conclusion -- toward the people.. The liturgical renewal in our own century took up this alleged model and developed from it a new idea for the form of the Liturgy. The Eucharist, so it was said, had to be celebrated versus populum (towards the people). The altar -- as can be seen in the normative model of Saint Peter's -- had to be positioned in such a way that priest and people looked at each other and formed together the circle of the celebrating community.. This is, of course, a misunderstanding of the significance of the Roman basilica and of the positioning of its altar, and the representation of the Last Supper is also, to say the least, inaccurate."
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