Peace and all Goodness!
I believe, based on my interpretation of the rubrics of the Roman Missal (in the Ordinary Form), the Mass of Pope Paul VI MUST be celebrated AD ORIENTEM (towards the East) or** VERSUS DEUM** (facing God, not the people).
The first rubric says:
"When the entrance chant is concluded, the priest and the faithful,standing, sign themselves with the sign of the Cross,while the priest** FACING THE PEOPLE**, says: ‘In the name of the Father…’ "
(It instructs the priest to Face the people in that part)
At the 23rd rubric (at the Liturgy of the Eucharist), it says: "
the priest, standing at the altar, takes the paten with the bread…
(It instructs the priest, at the Offertory to face the altar)
At the 29th rubric, it says: "
Standing at the middle of the altar, facing the people, extending and joining his hands…
(It instructs the priest, who from went to the side of the altar to wash his hands, to go to the middle of the altar and turn to face the people for the Orate fratres or the Pray, brethren part)
At the 127th rubric, it states: "
The Priest, TURNED towards the people, extending and then joining his hands, adds: ‘The Peace of the Lord be with you always’
(It instructs the priest to TURN from the altar to give the sign of peace to the people)
At the 132nd rubric, the rubric says:
"The priest genuflects, takes the host and holding it, slightly raised above the paten or above the chalice, WHILE FACING THE PEOPLE says aloud: 'Behold the Lamb of God…
’ " then after the people had answered the “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…”, the rubric instructs the priest to
the priest, FACING THE ALTAR, says quietly: "May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life
So, in this part of the Holy Mass, the Missal clearly instructs the priest to turn to the people (after the Agnus Dei, the priest would genuflect) and take the host to show it to the people, then after the people had responded (Lord, I am not worthy), he would TURN BACK to the Altar to take holy Communion.
If he needs to turn to the altar, and turn and face the people, this clearly means that the altar must be facing GOD, and not the assembly directly.
Can anyone correct me if I am wrong with my interpretation? Thank you.