Joint Liturgical Studies 83: Liturgical Orientation
The Position of the President at the Eucharist
This item is currently unavailable.
Enter your email address below and we will email you when the item comes into stock.
This Study tells how from early times the Roman Catholic mass was generally celebrated with the priest facing East across the altar. The people thus saw the back view of a vested minister performing a ritual largely hidden from them; and any consequent sense of the solemnity and even the secrecy of that ritual was viewed as integral to the nature of the sacrament, to be honoured and preserved. The Churches of the Reformation took a different view, but the Roman use sailed on undisturbed, and even reinforced, by the radical attacks of the Reformers. This was the use which was imitated by the anglo-catholic movement in the Church of England in the nineteenth century, and then widely adopted in Anglicanism.
However, the Study shows that in the twentieth century, within the Roman Catholic Church itself, questions arose as to whether this practice was theologically necessary or pastorally helpful. Some experiments preceded Vatican II; but it was in the wake of the post-conciliar liturgical reforms that changes spread across almost the whole of the global Communion – the eucharistic president taking his position behind a freestanding altar, facing westward, or, as stated here, versus populum. This in turn provided the people with a full view of what he did, with implications for both his ceremonial actions and for their participation. The story did not end there; and the Roman Catholic Church has seen a reaction led or supported by some eminent leaders, including Pope Benedict XVI. Evaluating the theological principles of that reaction has provided extra colour to the Study; but the author’s final words concern ‘Best Pastoral Practice Today’.
Other products in this Category
Joint Liturgical Studies 80: Ancient Church Orders
Joint Liturgical Studies 87/88: The Church of England Eucharist 1958-2012
Joint Liturgical Studies 84: Ambrose of Milan on Baptism
Joint Liturgical Studies 79: Eighteenth-Century Anglican Confirmation
Joint Liturgical Studies 77: Liturgical Language and Translation
Joint Liturgical Studies 89: The Use of Hereford
Joint Liturgical Studies 78: Further Essays in Early Eastern Initiation
Joint Liturgical Studies 86: The Spirit in Liturgy and Doctrine
Joint Liturgical Studies 82: The Decalogue in the Reformation Liturgies
Joint Liturgical Studies 85: Eucharistic Sacrifice as a Contested Category
Joint Liturgical Studies 81: The Richard III Reinterment Liturgies