Is it customary to turn towards the rear of the church as the priest enters at the start of Mass?
The only time we ever do this at my parish is when there is a funeral…and the service begins at the door of the church. For a regular mass we stand, face the altar, and sing.
At my last parish in NJ, we turned to the rear of the church while singing the hymn. As the priest passed us, we would then turn, still singing to place the alter. At my current parrish in Gettysburg, BEFORE singing the entrance hymn, we turn and greet everyone around us. I feel this is especially important for us as we have so many tourists throughout the year. Last year, this town of 8000 drew over 4 million!
same here as well…
I was taught to face the priest then turn as he goes by.
In my parish we’re asked to turn toward the Crucifix so that’s what people follow during the procession.
The custom belongs to the parish one is attending. Some do, some don’t. And in some parishes, the priests do not process in from the back of the church, but rather from the side, depending where the sacristy is. That is the case with some of the older churches around here.
There are no rubrics of which I am aware indicating any position of the laity as the procession in begins.
I noted that a number of people referred to funerals; I have seen people at weddings turn around to see the bride come in - in weddings before as well as after Vatican 2. It is a non-issue.