A Self-Enclosed Circle

Apologies for the hiatus!! Still in the throes of end of semester. In the meantime, some Papa Ben for y’all:


“The turning of the priest towards the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is closed in on itself. The common turning towards the East was not a “celebration towards the wall”; it did not mean that the priest “had his back to the people”: the priest himself was not regarded as so important. For just as the congregation in the synagogue looked together toward Jerusalem, so in the Christian liturgy the congregation looked together “towards the Lord.” As one of the Fathers of Vatican II’s Constitution on the Liturgy, J. A. Jungmann, put it, it was much more a question of priest and people facing in the same direction, knowing that together they were in a procession towards the Lord. They did not close themselves into a circle, they did not gaze at one another, but as the pilgrim People of God they set off for the Oriens, for the Christ who comes to meet us.

Pope Benedict, “The Spirit of the Liturgy”



6 thoughts on “A Self-Enclosed Circle

  1. Ah, Papa Ben nails it again. 😀 And it’s even more obvious than the cartoon makes it, because it’s not just a crucifix we’re turned towards but to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Love it!

  2. BeithGazo says:

    This is excellent. It is also of special importance to Eastern Churches who have undergone a series of Novus Ordo inspired neo-latinisations

  3. Monica says:

    Thanks guys!! It frustrates me SO MUCH that Vatican II never actually wanted to make versus populum happen, but somehow happen it did, and WHY AREN’T WE JUST ORDERING ALL PARISHES TO STOP???? It would be the least complicated improvement to put in place. Just. turn. around. Maybe a few altars would have to be shifted a bit, but for the most part, not difficult.

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