Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

More Reverent in Their Demeanor

December 19th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

Pope Benedict XVI celebrating Mass (in the Ordinary Form) ad orientem.

Fr. Kirby gives us ten reasons why ad orientem liturgy is of tremendous benefit to the people of God:

What are the advantages of standing at the altar ad orientem, as I have experienced them over the past two years? I can think of ten straight off:

1. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is experienced as having a theocentric direction and focus.
2. The faithful are spared the tiresome clerocentrism that has so overtaken the celebration of Holy Mass in the past forty years.
3. It has once again become evident that the Canon of the Mass (Prex Eucharistica) is addressed to the Father, by the priest, in the name of all.
4. The sacrificial character of the Mass is wonderfully expressed and affirmed.
5. Almost imperceptibly one discovers the rightness of praying silently at certain moments, of reciting certain parts of the Mass softly, and of cantillating others.
6. It affords the priest celebrant the boon of a holy modesty.
7. I find myself more and more identified with Christ, Eternal High Priest and Hostia perpetua, in the liturgy of the heavenly sanctuary, beyond the veil, before the Face of the Father.
8. During the Canon of the Mass I am graced with a profound recollection.
9. The people have become more reverent in their demeanour.
10. The entire celebration of Holy Mass has gained in reverence, attention, and devotion.

Any priest who can use the word “boon” and who spells demeanor with an “-our” gets an A+ in my grade-book.

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8 Responses to “More Reverent in Their Demeanor”

  1. Bernie says:

    “Yes” ten times!
    Obviously, I can’t speak to #7 so I’m accepting Father’s testimony for that one.
    Now, in addition to celebrating ad orientem, if we could just return Latin to the ordinary prayers I think we would pretty much have what the fathers of Vatican II had in mind.

  2. PhilQ says:

    In the picture at the top of this post, the Holy Father is facing the nave across the altar. I can’t say it isn’t technically ad orientem too, of course, since the basilica itself is constructed with the nave to the east; but he is definitely facing the congregation here. You can go here to see the layout of the basilica.

  3. Gen says:


    The main “ad orientem” focus of Benedict in the photo is the crucifix, making the “inner East” he mentions in his liturgical writings.

  4. Jim R says:

    Say – I think you’ve missed the big story here: aren’t those vestments supposed to be blue since we all know Advent uses blue vestments! 🙂

    Sorry, just had to be perverse. 2 Our Fathers and 2 Hail Marys….

  5. Anonymous says:

    Jim R: When is blue worn for Advent? Isn’t it supposed to be purple?

  6. Abaccio says:

    My dearest anon:

    JimR was being facetious, i believe…

    A decent number of parishes around here like blue for Advent…they’re not correct…some call it “a deep purple.” It’s blue. It’s illicit. Most of the time, they’re the parishes with the ugly vestments that you can’t quite tell what color is featured other than “stripes”

  7. Jim R says:

    I’m sorry Anon 7:32 I was being snide – and I really shouldn’t. My apologies, again, for being confusing.

    As Abaccio notes some parishes use blue which is not a liturgical color in the Latin Rite (I understand there is a very limited exception to that in certain latino countries for certain Marian feasts, but it most certainly is NOT a liturgical color in the USA nor for Advent anywhere). Many people, including some priests, also seem to think that Advent requires a bluer violet and Lent a redder violet. That is simply not true. The color is violet for both seasons and may be redder or bluer, but not red or blue.

  8. Dr. K says:

    [sarcasm]Maybe they are using blue because it’s the color of the Little Blue Books?[/sarcasm]

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