I am so impressed by Father Ray Blake’s reflections on celebrating Holy Mass ad orientem that instead of sending my readers over to his excellent blog I decided to post what he wrote here. The titles and italics are my own.
The Image of the Crucified
The great beauty of celebrating ad orientem is that it is the image of the Crucified that dominates the celebration not the face of the priest, the Pope talks about that in Spirit of the Liturgy. For the priest then the Mass becomes an action through Christ.
The Priest, A Revealer of the Divine
What becomes clear in celebrating Mass “with” the people is that the priest is doing something for them but what I have realised doing it with a growing congregation (normally it has been a side altar in an Italian Church, perhaps with a server, is that the Mass is an Epiphany, in the sense that apart from the elevations ( a late addition to combat heresy), the first time the people see the host is at the Ecce Agnus Dei (Behold the Lamb of