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Weekly Message from our Pastor – 10/8/2017

Dear Parishioners,

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the principle of celebrating the Mass “ad orientem”. This was the official norm of the Church for over 1,800 years. The words, “ad orientem” literally mean “toward the east”. We look to the east because that is from where Our Lord Jesus Christ will come at the end of time to usher in His Kingdom. We all say in the Eucharistic Prayer the memorial acclamation, “We proclaim your death O Lord, and profess your resurrection, until you come again.” Why did we turn our altars around backwards (and sometimes even our church buildings) and have the priest face the congregation? Most of you would probably answer: “It was a change of Vatican II.” Those who have actually read the documents know the truth. Nowhere in the documents of Vatican II is it suggested or recommended that the priest celebrate the sacrifice of the Mass facing the people. So where did it come from and why was it mandated after the council? It came from faulty research. In the 1890s, a liturgical movement began in the Church, of the many things that the movement recommended was the increased frequency of the reception of Holy Communion by the lay faithful at Mass. Pope Pius X understood this and issued his decree “Quam Singulari” which encouraged the lay faithful to a much more frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion and lowered the age of these sacraments to the age of reason (about 7 years). Those heading up the movement were researching many old documents of the Church to better understand the development of our liturgical practices and the meaning of the movements and vestments, etc. They also studied the oldest churches in Rome, their architecture and the way the furnishings were set. (to be continued)