Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
Today we see the final part of the interview/article from Cardinal Sarah. I hope that this information on the direction of liturgical prayer has been helpful. Most commonly viewed as the ‘priest having his back towards up,’ this orientation for prayer is quite ancient and a beautiful expression of the Church’s unity in worshiping God together.
The Cardinal, in these past two weeks, has been making presentations at a conference on the liturgy. He has called for a return to a common direction in our liturgical prayer beginning in Advent. This will certainly be something that the priests will be discussing in our meetings over these next few months. Have a blessed week ahead!
“What do you think about the participation of the faithful? The participation of the faithful is primary. It consists, first of all, of allowing ourselves to be led to follow Christ in the mystery of his death and of his resurrection. “One doesn’t go to Mass to attend a representation. One goes to participate in the mystery of God,” Pope Francis reminded us very recently. The orientation of the assembly toward the Lord is a simple and concrete means to encourage a true participation for all at the liturgy.
The participation of the faithful, therefore, would not be understood as a necessity to “do something.” On this point, we have deformed the teaching of the Council. On the contrary, it is to allow Christ to take us and associate us with his sacrifice. Only a view tempered in a contemplative faith keeps us from reducing the liturgy to a theater show where each has a role to play. The Eucharist makes us enter in the prayer of Jesus and in his sacrifice, because he alone knows how to adore in spirit and in truth.
What significance does the Church give to this question of orientation? To begin with, we are not the only ones to pray “oriented,” that is, facing the East. The Jewish Temple and the synagogues were always facing East. In regaining this orientation, we can return to our origins. I note also that some non-Christians, the Muslims in particular, pray facing the East.
For us, the light is Jesus Christ. All the Church is oriented, facing East, toward Christ: ad Dominum. A Church closed in on herself in a circle will have lost her reason for being. For to be herself, the Church must live facing God. Our point of reference is the Lord! We know that he has been with us and that he returned to the Father from the Mount of Olives, situated to the East of Jerusalem, and that he will return in the same way. To stay turned toward the Lord, it is to wait for him every day. One must not allow God reason to complain constantly against us: “They turn their backs toward me, instead of turning their faces!” (Jeremiah 2:27).” – Cardinal Sarah
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/ cardinal-sarah-how-to-put-god-back-at-the-center-of-the-liturgy/