I have seen two types of prostration in ordination masses. One of them being lying on the floor face down with arms spread out in a cross-like form, and the other being lying face down with the arms tucked under the face. Is there anything in particular that dictates to prostrate in one of these particular forms, or is up to the diocese or so forth?
In my diocese, it’s the person being ordained who chooses. Though, I would imagine with mass ordinations, there would be some practicality issues if everyone chose to do their own thing.
I thought they put their hands under their faces when there isn't enough room to put the arms out straight.
It depends on how hard the floor is in relation to the ordinand's forehead and nose.
I’ve seen ordinands put their face flat onto marble flooring. I’ve also seen priests use little pillows for their face. This tends to be common with priests who wear glasses.
If you really want to know, I’ll check the rite book at the end of the month when my friend comes to town (he’ll have it with him).
However, I’ve always seen it done with hands in.
The particular customs/liturgical legislation of some religious orders/societies mandates the cross position for the ordinands.