Cardinal Sarah has sounded the trumpet for all priests to begin celebrating Mass ad orientem beginning on the 1st Sunday of Advent this year. Something that Cardinal Ratzinger wrote about in many of his Liturgical publications, and Fr. Uwe Michael Lang devoted an entire book, Turning Towards The Lord.
It is as if Cardinal Sarah took a defribulater to the New Liturgical Movement. Something that many had thought died in the last few years. However, Cardinal Sarah stated that he is following the directives of Pope Francis in continuing the Liturgical vision of Pope Benedict XVI.
So, you know what the Cardinal is asking, but how do you go about it?
First, it is necessary to teach. Begin by publishing all of the recent statements of Cardinal Sarah, and Pope Benedict wrote about this important Liturgical praxis, in your weekly bulletin. Don’t just do it one week, do it as the media does, oversaturate the market.
Secondly, spread the news by word of mouth among your parishioners. Help them to get a mindset. Let it be something they begin to get excited about. And, with these recent statements of Cardinal Sarah, we can easily created some excitement.
Thirdly, don’t allow priests to negatively affect your parish. When I began ad orientem at my daily Masses some 7 plus years ago, there was one priest in particular who would make a big deal and have my adult server move the candles back so he could face the congregation. Don’t let it happen. I had to stop seeking his help, but it was well worth it.
Fourthly, pray. Make Holy Hours. Pray rosaries. Ask parishioners who support you to pray. Pray that the guardian angels will open the hearts of your parishioners to make this move.
Finally, have a last ditch effort with three or four weeks in the parish bulletin and give a positive and zealous homily of what a beautiful step the Church is asking us to take. It will renew the life of our parishes and the Church.
If you need some resources, here are the ones I used to prepare my parish. When I began at weekday Mass, I only gave a homily or two, but when I made the move on Sundays and all other Masses, I gave the big push. Here is my info, fell free to use it for your parish.
- “We go to the Lord, who comes to us“
- “Eucharist: Source & Center“
- “Conversi ad Dominum“
- “Ad Orientem: Toward the East” updated 9/2013
- “Ad orientem – by whose authority?” 11/10/2013
Feel free to print and share the brochures.
Popes celebrating the Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) ad orientem here.