Catholic Collar And Tie: Latin, Ad Orientem and Problem Priests

For the last seven years I have celebrated the Ordinary Form ad orientem, and at our Vigil Mass made use of simple Latin Mass parts for the Ordinary (we have had the Usus Antiquior on Sundays since 2007). Some parishioners, though a small minority, seem to have continued difficulty with the Latin and ad orientem celebration because “they make us the odd ones out; no one else is doing them”. No matter how often the Council documents or rubrics of the Missal are shown and explained in homilies, Bulletins or Hand-outs, the old myths about Vatican II having “gotten rid of Latin” and “turned the priest round to face the people” still retain a hold. What can be done to establish the hermeneutic of continuity in liturgy? As a priest friend said recently, “Change has to come from the top; Bishops, VG’s and Deans should use Latin and the ad orientem posture, otherwise the people will see their parish clergy as an oddity or worse, as “a problem priest”.

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