Something interesting in the new translation of the Missal

I noticed in the small rubrics of the new translation missal that at certain instances in the Mass it says that ,when the priest says,“The Lord be with you” etc and other similar instances, he should be turned toward the people. If in the vast majority of Churches today he is facing the people(Versus Populum) during the entire Mass.

Does this mean that the missal presumes that the Mass be said Ad Orientem?

Why do the rubrics have that?

No, but it does assume (which is true) that the Mass may be said ad orientem.

EDIT: also, it’s not a new rubric. The missal has always contained those directions.

Some, including myself, would even say that it assumes Ad Orientem as the “normal” posture, when possible, from a continuity standpoint.

As much as I wish Ad Orientum was the norm I’m afraid the majority of churches I have visited are not physically designed to allow it! In most churches the Mensa is far forward on the sanctuary platform forcing the priest to be behind it, if he was to face Ad Orientum he would, in most cases, be facing the wall, occasionally the Tabernacle. It would be impossible for him to perform the rubrics in that position since the Mensa would be behind him. All the greater pity so many churches hastily removed their high altars and replaced them with Mensa rather than simply, logically, adding the Mensa and leaving the high altar.

Then they are built in contradiction to the GIRM which specifies that it should be easy for the priest to walk around the altar (presumably without going up and down steps…).

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