Should Mass be offered Ad Orientem?


I’ve made this thread due to a request by another member on CAF.

So, what are your opinions? Do you think the Mass, specifically the New Mass, be offered Ad Orientem? Or, do you think it shouldn’t?

1 Like

Versus Populum (VP) and Ad Orientem (AO) both have equal liturgical value and heritage, IMO. Both should be used and embraced, and neither stuffed into the closet for being too 'protestant or ‘archaic’.


Yes, I think that would be fine if more priests exercised that option.


Do you seriously think that God gives a rats behind which direction the priest is facing?


I like AO, but usually go to mass that is said VP.

1 Like

Which direction did Jesus face when he instituted the Sacrament ?

The priest is Jesus, en persona at the Mass and should do as Jesus did, in memory of Him.



Facing God (the east) > facing fellow man.

Yes, I think he might care a little bit if they turn their backs to him.






bottom line: don’t care.


This Thread is starting to affect me…


I think this rests on the faulty premise that God is not everywhere. No matter where we face, we’re not facing away from God, if God is truly omnipresent.

Of course, speaking metaphorically, we can “turn our backs on God” by sinning. But physical direction-wise is not the same.


Well, if Jesus is in the Blessed Sacrament is in the middle behind the altar as He should be, then you are turning your back to God.


Well, then why aren’t we all reclining at couches around the Altar, if Mass should be held just as Christ held the Last Supper?

(I’m just playing Devil’s Advocate- I love the symbolism and meaning behind both)


Maybe I’m not understanding because I’ve never been to Mass, but I thought that Jesus was in front of the priest when the priest consecrated the hosts.


Yes, but before that, He is also reserved in the tabernacle.

Do you seriously believe that God is in the east, anymore than he is in the west, or any other direction?

You are aware that, since Trent, “ad orientem” does not mean facing true east, but toward some contrived “liturgical east”, which could be in any direction?

And you do realize that every time the priest prays together with the people during the Tridentine Mass, he turns his back to the altar and faces the people, or liturgical west?


I need to vent here a second.

I have to say that I find these threads on AO v. VP, in the hand v. on the tongue, kneeling v. standing, Latin v. English etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam, to be below contemptible. First, IT DOESN’T MATTER, because the church says it doesn’t matter. It is simply a matter of preference. Second, these threads are counterproductive to evangelization. All of those who come on these boards as “Catholic curious”, or “thinking about it”: can’t help but be scandalized by the inane debates that so many here have about posture, language, etc. I have to wonder if as much effort were put into thinking about entering into a deep prayerful state during Mass, and actually praying the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the source and summit of our faith, and tips for how to more fully participate in the great gift that God gave us, how much more productive, peaceful, and enlightening these boards would be.

Done now. Sorry. Thanks for the space.


Okay, and after that, if done VP, Jesus will also be on the other side of the priest. No big deal. I do not think Jesus will be offended by the priest’s position.

I’d like to clarify that I’m for both.

1 Like

I agree with you. Perhaps I should not get involved with these discussions anymore.


Yes, I am aware of those things. But, the priest in the Latin Mass, before he turns around, kisses the altar almost to “apologize” for turning around, and he off-centers himself a little bit so as not to turn his back directly to God.

Maybe I’m just not understanding again, but are you sure that’s the reason? Are you sure the priest is doing it to apologize? Why would the Church allow something that priests would have to apologize to Jesus for?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit