Girm #299

  1. The altar should be built apart 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. The altar should, moreover, be so placed as to be truly the center toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns. 116 The altar is usually fixed and is dedicated.

How is the GIRM allowed to say this if the Novus Ordo Missae can be said ad orientem? It doesn’t sound right.

Catholig

I am not sure that I understand what is being asked, but I will point out that the altar does not need to be attached to the wall for a celebration to be ad orientem. In fact, the attachment to the wall was a much later development.

The altar in our church is just like this statement says…

My understanding is that this is a mistranslation of the Latin.

  1. The altar should be built apart 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. The altar should, moreover, be so placed as to be truly the center toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns. 116 The altar is usually fixed and is dedicated.
  1. Altare exstruatur a pariete seiunctum, ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi possit, quod expedit ubicumque possibile sit. Altare eum autem occupet locum, ut revera centrum sit ad quod totius congregationis fidelium attentio sponte convertatur. [116] De more sit fixum et dedicatum.

Can you be more specific about what you understand to be mistranslated? It appears a reasonable rendering to me. :shrug:

:twocents:
tee

I don’t see why the Mass cannot be celebrated from either side of a free-standing altar.
A question in my mind is answered by GIRM 299. It clearly says the altar should be centered, thus pushing it to the side of the sanctuary, as has been done in a number of “wreckovations”, including the parish in which I live, is out-and-out wrong.

Good question! I was relating something I heard before going to the text. Grammatically you could make a case that the quod expedit doesn’t match celebratio versus populum; the antecedent for quod would be Altare extruatur….

I have heard-- possibly from Fr Z or from some other conservative source-- that Rome has even clarified this point, but I certainly have no first hand knowledge of that.

  1. Altare exstruatur a pariete seiunctum, ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi possit, quod expedit ubicumque possibile sit. Altare eum autem occupet locum, ut revera centrum sit ad quod totius congregationis fidelium attentio sponte convertatur. [116] De more sit fixum et dedicatum.

Ah, I’d thought you were referring to the underlined bit of the OP, but I had no cause to infer that. Mea culpa.

It is surely seems the case that *celebratio *is not the antecedant of quod, but quod might be a conjunction rather than a pronoun. But I can see how the argument could be made that “it is desireable whenever possible to build the altar apart from the wall”, rather than “it is desireable whenever possible to celebrate facing the people”. I just don’t have a strong opinion on that. (Though I might wish for the current Missal be celebrated ad Orientem at least once in a while…)

I seem to remember the same. (All Hail Fr Z) I just don’t recall what the upshot of the clarification (if there was one) was. :stuck_out_tongue:

tee

I know this quote from the GIRM doesn’t say that the priest can’t celebrate ad orientem or anything, but if it can be celebrated ad orientem why must there be room behind the altar? Why should you be told not to have the altar against the wall - as is traditional - if you plan on celebrating ad orientem anyway?

Catholig

The point is to be able to incense the altar on all sides. :wink:

Perhaps because if it is attached to the wall it imposes [forces] ad orientum and does not allow for a Mass said facing the people. If the altar is detached from the wall it allows for both forms the NO and the TLM…

With the expense architectural renovations can have…this actually seems prudent …

If you are hoping for the TLM only [ad oreintum] perhaps not but … just my thoughts…

It is a compromised instruction…

Pax

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