Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.
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On the translation of GIRM 299, there's a discussion on Pray Tell at the moment, including this helpful comment
A more idiomatic and more accurate rendering would be:
Wherever it is possible to do so, the main altar should be separated from the wall, so that it is easy to walk around it and to celebrate facing the people.
Earlier in our own thread,
alan29 wrote:which is desirable whenever possible.
). Maybe this favours the "build churches this way" interpretation over the "celebrate facing the people every time" interpretation? Either way, it seems clear enough to me, at any rate, that GIRM at least to some extent commends versus populum
celebration over ad orientem
Delighted to see Cardinal Nichols's intervention.
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I too am delighted with the Cardinal's reply. As I was brought up to believe that Christ is present in the Priest, I cannot believe that Jesus would choose to turn his back on his people, and remember loving the change when it happened. Yes I am that old.
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In his speech asking priests to celebrate ad orientem, the Cardinal links the Jeremiah quote 'they have turned their backs on me'. Can someone enlighten me as to why celebration facing the people is turning one's back on God? Since when was God in the East? Churches are built facing towards Jerusalem, not towards God.
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All facing the same way presupposes that God is the other side of the wall.
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We're richly blest that we have such choice. There are places in the fallen world where Catholics would love to be able to celebrate Holy Mass without fear of persecution or even death, let alone fretting about which direction the celebrant faces.
Let's not worry too much about which way the Celebrant faces, or even what language is used, let's just give "humble and hearty thanks" that, for now at least, we are able to worship without fear.
Just a thought.
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