Monday, 19 July 2010

Attend to the East...

The absolute worst thing you can do liturgically is face the wrong way...discuss [I shall in time write something more detailed on this most critical of subjects, but poor old Patricius is back to work today and is rather short of time and inclination at the moment].


  1. It is therefore curious that so many avoid the error of facing the wrong way, though they are fully ignorant of the fact that they are avoiding such a dangerous error. Likewise it would seem that many are both in grave error and ignorant of their error.

    A rather funny scene in the movie Ostrov makes the point that facing the "wrong way" during liturgy can be relative...

    If the worst thing I (a layman) can do is face the wrong way, does that hold true for the one presiding?

  2. Paul Smeaton: It is probably an abvious point, but the phrase 'the absolute worst thing you can do liturgically' just opens too many boxes, which sadly do happen. See the recent Dutch football Mass. I haven't watched the videos, but I really hope there were no vuvuzellas.

    Plus - I thought the Novus Ordo simply wasn't discussed on this blog. I thought that was a good policy.

    Are there examples of the Mass being celebrated the wrong way before 1970?

    Somebody told me that (I think) Padre Pio once celebrated the Mass facing the people so they could see his piety. However, that's an anecdote and I can't vouch for its authenticity. I'd be interested if anyone can confirm / deny this.

  3. 'Are there examples of the Mass being celebrated the wrong way before 1970'

    It was a popular movement in Europe and parts of the USA in the 1940s and 1950s. The American Jesuit Gerald Ellard's books such as 'The Mass of the Future' (1948) and 'The Mass in Transition'(1954) are riddled with photographs of versus populum celebrations.

  4. Paul Smeaton,

    There are some photographs of versus populum celebration, from a source other than Ellard here.

    A very vulgar practice indeed.