Why Aren’t More Masses Offered Ad Orientem?


liturgy guy

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This was the question that I recently posed to several priests: why aren’t more masses being offered ad orientem? As we have seen numerous books and articles in recent years convincingly argue for a return to ad orientem worship, it is unfortunate to see how few priests have actually returned to the traditional orientation. Despite well received scholarly works by Monsignor Klaus Gamber, Fr. Uwe Michael Lang, and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger arguing in favor of it, few Catholics ever see the Novus Ordo offered ad orientem, with the notable exceptions of two dioceses: Arlington (Virginia) and Lincoln (Nebraska).

Discussing the topic with several diocesan priests, an explanation for the continuing reluctance to offer the Mass ad orientem can be broken out into five categories:

1. There are still priests who incorrectly believe that the Novus Ordo should only be offered versus populum (facing the people); often this is argued by…

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