We heard you! Mass schedule changes starting JULY 1.
Survey on Ad Orientem – Thank you!
Recently, we sent out a survey on Ad Orientem (which in Latin means – “to the east”), via *Flocknotes, on some Masses that were offered a couple weeks ago. The term Ad Orientem refers to the direction the priest faces as he offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The point of this, which goes back to the time of Aaron and Moses, was that the priests (Jewish and Catholic) were facing Jerusalem. In addition, the priest and the people were offering the sacrifice together and thus faced the same direction when they were worshipping God. As Christianity spread and went around the world, the direction Ad Orientem referred to facing Liturgical East, the heavenly Jerusalem.
The funny thing is, I only offered Mass Ad Orientem on that Sunday and the following week because that’s how Fr. Reckers wanted to celebrate his first Mass. I kept it going because I felt more prayerful personally and thought while no one is in church it should be no big deal. Evidently it was a bigger deal than I believed.
That is the reason we decided to put out the survey. We wanted to know what more people thought about it. We certainly got a good response and people had strong opinions for and against this style. First, we want to thank you for your feedback; it was wonderful to see such a great response.
Some commented on the perceived added sacredness it brought to the liturgy, while others said they feel more a part of the Mass seeing the host (body of Christ) and precious blood as it is being consecrated. Some said it was nice to see the priest leading the people in worship, while others saw it as taking them backwards in time.
Ad Orientem is not about the priest having his back to the people; since the priest is worshiping with the people, walking with them, not on the opposite side. I hope this is one point we all can take away from this. I certainly understand why people made comments both for and against this style.
One should not see Ad Orientem as going backward or contrary to Vatican II, because Vatican II kept the practice; in fact, it has kept the Ad Orientem instructions which tell the priest when to face the people. And I think this has been a point that has been lost. The priest is not offering the Mass to the people, He is offering the Mass to God for the people. The priest is not to look at the people when saying the prayers, he is to look and speak to God.
The priest, with the people, is asking the Father, through Jesus in the Holy Spirit, to hear our prayers, to join them to Christ for our good and the good of the world. Mass is about God, not the priest, not the people. It is Christ’s Mass and through it we are joined to Him and through Him we receive graces to sustain and build us up until we reach the heavenly Jerusalem – that is the real purpose.
Again, I understand why people prefer one style or the other. But whether we like something or not, we must first think is it good, is it good for us. Many things we do not like but, we do them and accept them because it is good for us – school, work, eating vegetables, etc.
With this said, I do not intend to make Ad Orientem the standard style of worship at St. Ann. But I also realize that it is acceptable practice and one that has been done since the beginning of worship, even before the term Catholic was given in the 50’s, that is 50 A.D.
I think both are good and that it is good to offer both. For the Sunday and most weekday Masses, I will continue to offer Mass face-to-face. So, starting in July, the Monday evening Masses and Saturday morning Masses, I will offer Mass Ad Orientem. In addition, I will be offering Mass every Saturday morning!
I want to let you know that I truly appreciate your responses; they show that St. Ann is a vibrant parish with active and engaged parishioners. I also hope that we will come to appreciate both styles and understand the benefits of both. Based on the responses of the survey, there is a place for both styles. We have always believed that everyone is at a different place in their faith journey and it is our responsibility to meet them where they are at and lead them into a closer, personal relationship with the Lord.
We live in a culture that is so divided over every issue under the sun. Catholicism is about unity, unity of worship as the people of God. My job is to lead you to that heavenly Jerusalem, and that should be our only true concern.
We come from history, and if we throw away the past, we can end up throwing away key elements of our faith. We are God’s people, let us be glad we are invited to His banquet, let us also be thankful that soon we will all be together again in His house.
– In Christ, Fr. McCarthy
July 1, 2020 Mass Schedule:
Monday: 6:45 p.m. Ad Orientem
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:30 a.m.
Wednesday: No Mass offered
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. Ad Orientem ALL SATURDAYS
Saturday Vigil: 4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 9:00 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
These changes will take affect on Wednesday, July 1 so that means there will not be a morning Mass on that day.
* Flocknotes is one of our many forms of communication here at St. Ann. It is a service that allows you to keep up the news, events and all that goes on here via your phone or email. We generally send one note weekly and also for special announcements. It’s easy to sign up and stay up to date with all that is happening at St. Ann. To sign up, scroll to the bottom of this page and click on Flocknotes.