Convincing superiors to celebrate ad orientem



Some of my fellows and I are trying to convince the superiors at our institution to sporadically celebrate the Novus Ordo ad orientam. Our superiors have mentioned before that they do not believe that ad orientam is ordinary to the Novus Ordo as referenced by GIRM 299 " The altar should be built separate from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible"

I would love to hear any ideas on the best suggestions for discussing this passage in the GIRM, but most importantly I would greatly appreciate any liturgical and spiritual arguments in support of celebrating the Novus Ordo ad orientam. We will be discussing the topic with our superiors at our next liturgical conference.



Doesn’t seem like there is anything to discuss, so don’t be surprised if you are politely ignored.

What kind of institution are you referring to, and what is your role in it.


This is pretty clear on celebration facing the people. However, it certainly doesn’t forbid ad orientem.
Maybe instead of trying to convince them that it is “ordinary” to the Ordinary Form, try just presenting it as a legitimate option that you would like to see available.



Maybe the superiors have good reasons to celebrate it facing the people.

I don’t like it when parishioners try to tell the priests what they should do


There’s a big difference between “Father, we need to do X” and “Father, have you considered doing X?”

It sounds as through the OP is doing the latter, and has some status and say in the organization or institution.


Except it seems OP already knows that the superiors aren’t digging the idea.


A ‘table’ altar does not mandate versus populum celebration of the Mass

See my article in post No. 3 in the thread -


I just don’t think it’s a good idea. Would seem to cause more confusion than anything


How so?

If the laity are catechized about it properly, Ad Orientem celebration of the Mass can be incredibly rich and add a lot to the Mass. It didn’t confuse JP2, Saint Faustina, Pier Giorio Frassati, or the many many saints who experienced Mass in that manner.


But those saints didn’t grow up with anything else. And have you met most Catholics? They aren’t catechised properly and many complain about everything

And jpii celebrated the pass facing the people during his papacy


Superiors? Are you a part of a religious community?

If you are, that rather changes things. Having raised the possibility with them and having been rebuffed I’d imagine that obedience requires that you drop the matter. After all, it is left up to their discretion as to what direction they choose to celebrate the mass.


If you are in a religious community, it’s likely you have taken, or will take a vow of obedience.

This then is an incident where your will must be put aside , and you become submissive and obedient to your superiors. It’s a good lesson to learn.

We all have opportunities to learn obedience to our superiors in our communities. Cherish these opportunities , learn and grow in them.

Poverty, obedience, chastity



Obedience is one of the best virtues so try to practice it as much as you can.


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