PrayTell readers will recall the kerfuffle around Card. Sarah’s remarks about presiding at the Eucharist “ad orientem” beginning this Advent. The Diocese of Lincoln, NE, has promoted this proposal.
The diocesan newspaper of that diocese states “[d]uring Advent again this year, priests all around the world will celebrate Mass ad orientem in response to a request by His Eminence, Robert Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. This will include priests in the Diocese of Lincoln, all of whom are invited to celebrate the Mass in this way during Advent.
Quoting an op-ed by Bishop James Coley from November 21, 2014, the column continues “Even in Churches that did not face the east, the priest and people stood together in the Mass, gazing at Christ on the crucifix, on the altar, and in the tabernacle, to recall the importance of watching for his return.”
The paper, continuing, states “[t]his symbolism is especially appropriate during Advent, the season during which all Catholics eagerly await the coming of the Lord. “Today, at a time when it is easy to forget that Christ is coming—and easy to be complacent in our spiritual lives and in the work of evangelization—we need reminders that Christ will come,” the bishop reasoned in his 2014 column.”
The bishop, who already presides at his cathedral using this posture, is said to be “leading by example” in this matter.