LETTER TO THE EDITOR

‘Facing the people’ could also be interpreted in a different way

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TO THE EDITOR:

The preservation of Gregorian Chant and the use of several Latin phrases as well as Greek and Hebrew words in the Roman liturgy, as noted in a recent R.I. Catholic editorial, are highly commendable recommendations. However, the rubrical phrase “facing the people” (actually a participle meaning “having turned toward the people”) found in the present Roman Missal might just as well indicate a raising of the celebrant’s eyes from the Sacred Species on the altar before him toward the congregation ahead of him rather than a complete turning of the celebrant’s whole body toward the assembled faithful had he been celebrating Mass turned away from them. The celebrant is here reminded more deliberately to face the people directly since they are about to be called upon to make a vocal response, “Lord, I am not worthy…”

Father John A. Kiley

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