Restoring the Eastward position?

THE ALTAR AND THE DIRECTION OF LITURGICAL PRAYER

by HH Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger)
catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Dossier/2000-10/article.html

Some people take orientation quite seriously. When the Ukrainian Greco-Catholics in Parma, OH built a new church it was oriented towards the east - even though this meant the back of the church faced a main street. (Thankfully they decided to place a very nice mosaic on this wall - much better than plain brick. :slight_smile: )

I realise many churches have not been built facing east. I’ve been in many which face west, north, south, and everything in between. But once inside a temple we step out of the real world. No matter the orientation of the building, while looking towards the Altar we face what I have heard called “liturgical east”. It is in this direction the clergy should lead us, in prayer, towards the Lord.

Just my 0.02 of the local currency.

. When the Ukrainian Greco-Catholics in Parma, OH built a new church it was oriented towards the east - even though this meant the back of the church faced a main street. (Thankfully they decided to place a very nice mosaic on this wall - much better than plain brick. :slight_smile: )

Where in Parma? I’m sure I’ve gone past it. There’s a lot of Catholic and Orthodox churches in Parma, and extending south into North Royalton and Broadview Heights.

[quote=axolotl]Where in Parma? I’m sure I’ve gone past it. There’s a lot of Catholic and Orthodox churches in Parma, and extending south into North Royalton and Broadview Heights.
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Picture yourself standing at the intersection of State and Snow roads, facing east (of course ;)). About 1,000 ft to your left (north) you will find St Josaphat Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Cathedral. To your right (south) about 2,000 (?) feet down State Road is St Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral. A mile or so to the east, down Snow Road, you will find St John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cathedral.

There are many more Eastern and Oriental churches in the area. If you’d like more information send me a PM and I’ll see how much I can remember of the unofficial tours we used to do.

This brings to my mind a question. Is the idea to have the priest facing east, or is it to have the priest and people both facing the same direction, toward God?

The reason I ask is because I’ve been in a new church built in the last year. When the priest celebrates Mass facing the people, he’s actually facing east. So, if he said Mass facing the same direction as the people, he’d be facing west.

Please clarify.

[quote=Orientale Lumen]Some people take orientation quite seriously. When the Ukrainian Greco-Catholics in Parma, OH built a new church it was oriented towards the east - even though this meant the back of the church faced a main street. (Thankfully they decided to place a very nice mosaic on this wall - much better than plain brick. :slight_smile: )

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Same for my former Byzantine Catholic parish in Illinois.

One has to drive around the structure to park and enter, so there is a long driveway. The east is true east and the east outside wall (facing the street) is the first to get mural-type iconography for embellishment.

+T+
Michael

[quote=Dr. Bombay]This brings to my mind a question. Is the idea to have the priest facing east, or is it to have the priest and people both facing the same direction, toward God?

The reason I ask is because I’ve been in a new church built in the last year. When the priest celebrates Mass facing the people, he’s actually facing east. So, if he said Mass facing the same direction as the people, he’d be facing west.

Please clarify.
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I can speculate: I think it is appropriate for the priest and congregation to face east together, toward the rising sun which was conceptualized as the direction from which Christ would return.

Also, it would be best if all gravesites had an east-west oriention with the feet to the east, so that the blessed reposed may rise to face Christ on that day. Of course, one might say that if they can rise, they can turn! :wink: Anyway, such things were taken more seriously once.

+T+
Michael

I hope it’s just the priest who has to face east, he is after all the one that is offering the sacrifice on our behalf. This idea of “co-celebration” with priest and congregation needs to end.

The priest celebrates mass, the people participate. It’s time to restore the role of the clergy.

[quote=Dr. Bombay]The reason I ask is because I’ve been in a new church built in the last year. When the priest celebrates Mass facing the people, he’s actually facing east. So, if he said Mass facing the same direction as the people, he’d be facing west.
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That’s the same for the Pope celebrating on the High Altar at St. Peter’s.

[quote=Dr. Bombay]This brings to my mind a question. Is the idea to have the priest facing east, or is it to have the priest and people both facing the same direction, toward God?

The reason I ask is because I’ve been in a new church built in the last year. When the priest celebrates Mass facing the people, he’s actually facing east. So, if he said Mass facing the same direction as the people, he’d be facing west.

Please clarify.
[/quote]

The idea is actually both. Priest and people face the same direction, looking as one toward the coming of the Lord with the rising Son. When a church is for geographical/topographical reasons not properly oriented toward the east, priest and people should still be united in their facing toward “liturgical east.”

[quote=gelsbern]I hope it’s just the priest who has to face east, he is after all the one that is offering the sacrifice on our behalf. This idea of “co-celebration” with priest and congregation needs to end.

The priest celebrates mass, the people participate. It’s time to restore the role of the clergy.
[/quote]

The orientation ad orientem along with the people actually better preserves the unique role of the priest because having him face the congregation focuses all liturgical action upon him instead of upon God, to whom all individuals present used to be turned along with the priest. I do think our traditional liturgical norms did a better job of maintaining distinctions between priest and lay; while I see where you’re coming from, I don’t think facing the same direction risks a slide into “co-celebration.”

[quote=gelsbern]I hope it’s just the priest who has to face east, he is after all the one that is offering the sacrifice on our behalf. This idea of “co-celebration” with priest and congregation needs to end.

The priest celebrates mass, the people participate. It’s time to restore the role of the clergy.
[/quote]

I’m afraid I don’t understand something. Why would the liturgical practice of the Catholic Church impact what you do liturgically in your church? Do you follow the liturgical norms prescribed by Rome and adjust as we adjust?

[quote=Scotty PGH]I’m afraid I don’t understand something. Why would the liturgical practice of the Catholic Church impact what you do liturgically in your church? Do you follow the liturgical norms prescribed by Rome and adjust as we adjust?
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Good question, within the Synod, our bishops and presbyters are free to use whatever rite in their parish that best fulfills the needs of their congregation. The SST does have it’s own rite that is a mix between east and west, and when we are together we use that Rite, however, when functioning within their own parishes the bishops and presbyters have the authority to use that rite which best meets the spiritual needs of the people in their congregation. For some it’s the Eastern, for others its the Anglican, and yet for others it is the Latin Rite most notably the TLM, but others also use the Novus Ordo, but find some of the things disagreeable. So if the changes were made to the current Mass, our presbyters that desire to use it will adjust.

The Synod of St. Timothy is not a homogenous group of people but rather a heterogenous group of people who have the same basic Catholic beliefs.

Their motto best sums it up:

Unity in essentials. Diversity in matters of doubt. Love in all things

Father Ambrose what is the Orthodox reaction to our new Pope?:slight_smile:

[quote=gelsbern]Good question, within the Synod, our bishops and presbyters are free to use whatever rite in their parish that best fulfills the needs of their congregation. The SST does have it’s own rite that is a mix between east and west, and when we are together we use that Rite, however, when functioning within their own parishes the bishops and presbyters have the authority to use that rite which best meets the spiritual needs of the people in their congregation. For some it’s the Eastern, for others its the Anglican, and yet for others it is the Latin Rite most notably the TLM, but others also use the Novus Ordo, but find some of the things disagreeable. So if the changes were made to the current Mass, our presbyters that desire to use it will adjust.

The Synod of St. Timothy is not a homogenous group of people but rather a heterogenous group of people who have the same basic Catholic beliefs.

Their motto best sums it up:

Unity in essentials. Diversity in matters of doubt. Love in all things
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I guess my question boils down to this: If you’re not united with the Catholic Church, why are you concerned with being united in liturgy?

You said:

I hope it’s just the priest who has to face east, he is after all the one that is offering the sacrifice on our behalf. This idea of “co-celebration” with priest and congregation needs to end

.

And I’m scratching my head and thinking …so OK, go ahead and make it end…

Because I feel that the those in the Roman Catholic church have suffered from the abuses and confusion that exists there and as we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, I feel for them. I was a Roman Catholic from my birth until the ealy 90’s and fell away as I saw various liturgical abuses increase from the times when I was a kid in the 70’s to recently. To me, there are a lot of RC parishes who’s Mass doesn’t even resemble catholicism anymore, in fact there are more lutheran churches that have a more catholic mass(service).

My falling away from the Church due to the liturgical abuses was not good for my salvation and as a deacon and future presbyter, I would rather Rome fix the problems it has so that those that cling to her, stay in her church and are able to find salvation than for things to stay a mess and people to fall away and lose their salvation

So I take a very active interest in the RC Church as I am concerned for the souls there.

You are absolutely right, I could do what my bishop wanted (I am only a deacon so far) but my concern is not with my soul, my concern is for the souls of others.

[quote=gelsbern]Because I feel that the those in the Roman Catholic church have suffered from the abuses and confusion that exists there and as we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, I feel for them. I was a Roman Catholic from my birth until the ealy 90’s and fell away as I saw various liturgical abuses increase from the times when I was a kid in the 70’s to recently. To me, there are a lot of RC parishes who’s Mass doesn’t even resemble catholicism anymore, in fact there are more lutheran churches that have a more catholic mass(service).

My falling away from the Church due to the liturgical abuses was not good for my salvation and as a deacon and future presbyter, I would rather Rome fix the problems it has so that those that cling to her, stay in her church and are able to find salvation than for things to stay a mess and people to fall away and lose their salvation

So I take a very active interest in the RC Church as I am concerned for the souls there.

You are absolutely right, I could do what my bishop wanted (I am only a deacon so far) but my concern is not with my soul, my concern is for the souls of others.
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And we are concerned for your soul as well.
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