Ad Orientem Ordinary Form

Could anybody suggest a missal with directions of gestures and acts done for the Ordinary Form of the Mass Ad Orientem?

Could the Mass be said in vernacular? Pure Latin? or can be a mix of both

I’m planning to suggest this to my parish priest. We start by celebrating vernacular ad orientem then mixed then pure latin then if our bishop permits, EF. If my second set of questions are all in the affirmative

At the London Oratory, for example, every Mass is celebrated facing God, regardless of the language and the form (EF or OF). If it is an OF, the Liturgy of the Word is usually done at the ambo, facing the people, after which the altar is prepared and the priest begins the Liturgy of the Eucharist which is entirely done facing God. You could start, maybe, with a vernacular mass with Latin hymns (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster, Agnus Dei). Hopefully everything runs smoothly. :slight_smile:

Certainly I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’s a separate missal for the OF celebrated ad orientem. My priest says an ad orientem OF at one of his parishes and very generally, if there is some sort of dialogue with the people, he usually facing the people, but all other times he is facing the tabernacle.

Certainly the Mass could be “pure Latin” - there was never an official call by the Church to have a purely vernacular Liturgy - though especially in the OF, I don’t see the need to have Latin readings. But perhaps you were assuming those would stay in the vernacular.

You would probably have to have a significant number of people actually wanting the EF in order for anything to really happen in that regard. I suppose it depends on 1) how badly you want it, 2) how much you can “infect” others with curiosity about the EF, and 3) how on board your priest is with doing all of these things, much less learning the EF if he doesn’t already know it.

There are lots of things that make trying to add an EF Mass to the schedule not very easy, unfortunately. On the face of things, if the priest is interested enough to learn the EF, then he could do so and just add the Mass himself and then perhaps expose people to it in that way. Perhaps it could start from there.

But I it is always a good thing to be celebrating the OF as reverently and, I don’t know, “traditional”? as possible. I am curious what your priest will say once you bring this up to him - that could be a tough/touchy subject to bring up. Personally, I’d have no idea how I could bring this up to a priest without seeming like I’m attacking him (even if I’m really not), but then again I’m not the best people person, and you may have something “nice” planned. :slight_smile:

There is no Missal for Ad Orientem in the OF. What it comes down to is that you face the People during the Liturgy of the Word, the Homily, the “Pray Brethren…”, “Behold the Lamb of God…”, and any other time you say “The Lord Be With You.”

The regular Roman Missal is all he needs, unless the Mass is to be in Latin. He will then need the Latin addition of the same missal, unless the Mass is to be in the EF. In my opinion, the rubrics actually favor ad orientem.

This is correct; all that is needed is the regular Roman Missal, because the GIRM and rubrics are written to presume that Mass is said ad orientem. Key phrases are in place (“Then the priest, facing the people; ; then the priest, facing the altar…”)

If your goal is to slowly introduce a more traditional celebration of the liturgy, you might be better off suggesting a schedule similar to Christendom College’s mass schedule:

You can also check out the mass schedule of the parish close to the college:

God Bless

My then pastor tried ad orientem OF once on Christmas Eve. He received so many complaints he figured, “What’s the point?” Now he celebrates the EF on Christmas Eve. Fewer complaints, I presume.

What complaints did he receive I wonder about an ad orientem OF mass that he wouldn’t receive about an ad orientem EF mass? You’d think any complaints about the OF ad orientem woudl carry over to the EF (assuming of course the church in question has the now standard versus populum mass).

It will be interesting to see how many churches eventually institute an OF ad orientem given that the Vatican is warming to the idea.

We’re not supposed to compare the EF vs OF here but the Latin Mass Society had five articles titled “Reform of the Reform” explaining why it would be difficult incorporating the features of the EF into the OF. Contemplative prayer vs vocal prayer, visual vs audible, different level of understanding, etc. It’s a good read actually. Let me know if you can’t find them and I’ll post them again.

Having trouble locating it. If you have a link it would be appreciated.

Thanks for the Feedbacks!

Though my parish priest and I have discussed it with some other people concerned, he seemed to like the way he was learning the EF with every single gesture explained in detail. We know that the Roman Missal was written for an ad orientem worship but he wanted to know which side to turn to, like in the EF to turn at the Epistle side. And are the Epistle side and Gospel side applicable terms to the OF?

I would also like to know if there are material on serving the OF ad orientem?

Much obliged!

The terms epistle and gospel side do not exist in the OF. There are no manuals specifically designed to teach serving ad orientam in the OF, because: a) There really is no difference in what the servers do, or when they do it, and b) unlike the old days of the EF, there are many more varieties of sanctuary design, and thus every church is set up very differently. (There were varieties even in the EF; they were just not as profoundly varied as they are now.) Again, the movements and timing are the same, it’s just a matter of the sanctuary design.

You may wish to be sure that the credence table is on the right (epistle) side of the altar, if Mass is celebrated ad orientam. I would also recommend that the priest catechize his people extensively whenever such changes are made.

Epistle-side and Gospel-side are still useful in referring to the right and left sides of the church respectively, when facing the sanctuary, but not in the context of the liturgy. Those positions are simply not regulated anymore since all Lessons and the Gospel are read from the ambo.

It’s quite possible to celebrate ad orientem simply from the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, while everything preceding can be celebrated from the chair.

But the flip side is, that’s not strictly regulated either, and it’s very much possible to do things at the altar. In this case, because of the relative freedom, the EF and Divine Worship postures can be adapted. This is completely something I’ve concocted on the spot and I don’t have any “official” material to back this up, just the principle of continuity.

Introit, sign of the cross: ad orientem, centre.
Greeting: versus populum, centre.
Penitential rite: ad orientem, centre.

Gloria: ad orientem, centre.

Collect: ad orientem, epistle side, at the altar.

Readings: ambo, versus populum.

Credo: ad orientem, centre.

Offertory: ad orientem, centre.

Lavabo: done at the epistle side and facing south (i.e. to the right). This means the credence table should be to the south of the altar.

Orate fratres: turns to the right to face the people, extends hands and joins them right away as he begins the says the phrase “Pray brethren”, and while continuing to say the Orate Fratres, continue to turn to the right back to the ad orientem position, completing the turn as he finishes the invitation ("…acceptable to God the Father almighty.")

Prayer over the gifts: ad orientem, centre.

Preface dialogue (sursum corda): all ad orientem, centre.

Sanctus: ad orientem, centre.

Canon: ad orientem, centre. Including elevations which would best be done by lifting the Species over the head so that the faithful can see.

Lord’s prayer: ad orientem, centre.

Pax domini sit semper vobiscum: versus populum, centre (GIRM mandated; in the EF, this is said ad orientem)

Silent prayers before communion: ad orientem, centre.

Ecce agnus Dei/Domine non sum dignus: versus populum, centre.

Postcommunion: ad orientem, epistle side.

Final “Dominus vobiscum” and blessing: versus populum, centre.

Dismissal: versus populum, centre.

Yeah modern day it’s tough. I mean this is a Cathedral Basilica near where I grew up in San Jose, CA.

Good luck trying to figure out what is Versus Populam and Ad Orientum in a church like this. I mean where the original altar resides, is actually to the right behind those people.

Strictly speaking, in the EF the gospel is read facing north (or liturgical north), although it appears as facing northeast to the congregation. As part of the sermon, however, it can be read in the vernacular and AD populum. (I dislike the “versus” description. The Mass isn’t a contest. :slight_smile: )

One does not “face God” as God is pure spirit and has no location.

It is referred to as facing liturgical East, as that is where Christ is to come from at the Second Coming.

And it is referred to as “liturgical” East, as many of not most churches are not aligned on an east/west axis.

Speaking of OF Ad Orientem, has anyone ever heard of a church where the tabernacle is not visible from the assembly during a mass? Looking into that image I posted above and other images of that cathedral and the changes they’ve made to it, it got me thinking. As the tabernacle is not on the old altar that is to the right of that photo as I recall it being when I was a kid. It has actually been moved and is located behind the cathedra on the back side of the cathedra facing to the east itself (or back of the apse). Basically, here’s a view of the center altar with Cathedra behind it, and the tabernacle is directly behind the large cathedra on it’s back side.

I’d honestly never heard of or seen such an arrangement where the tabernacle wasn’t on the high altar (or what’s left of the high altar post OF implementation. In either event, makes it a bit harder still to do an ad orientem mass of either OF or EF does it not?

ad orientem does not mean “facing the tabernacle.” It means facing Liturgical East (which is why many older Churches were made with the congregation and priests all facing geographic east, when possible. Liturgical East is when everyone or MOST are facing the front of the altar.

In some of these modern Churches where the sanctuary is literally in the middle of the congregation with equal numbers on all sides; it depends on which way the Altar is facing (or if the Altar truly has no front, which way the priest is facing)

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