Beginning with fall 2011, all Masses at the College are now celebrated ad orientem. As Fr. Roy explains, “In the case of liturgical orientation or the celebration of Mass facing eastward, the rising sun (oriens) serves as a natural icon of the risen Christ (Oriens) who is the Sun of Justice (cf. Malachi 4:2). The earliest extant ‘house of the church’ (domus ecclesiae), discovered in the ruins of a Roman garrison town on the fringes of the ancient Roman and Persian empires, features the altar facing east. Jews turned toward Jerusalem; Christians turned toward the east, in order to welcome the rising sun as the image of the Risen Son.” Fr. Roy clarifies a common misconception about liturgical orientation: “The claim, advanced in the last half century or so, that the priest is turning his back on the congregation” when praying ad orientem, misses the point that the priest is leading the pilgrim people of God toward the new and eternal Jerusalem, of which the sanctuary is the liturgical image. The priest who celebrates the sacred liturgy ad orientem is no more turning his back on the congregation than are the people in the first ten pews of the church or chapel turning their backs on the rest of the congregation.”Continuing on with our NLM "policy" of promoting Catholic academic institutions which seek to foster Pope Benedict's new liturgical movement, we are pleased to present the following video which shows the College of St. Mary Magdalen in Warner, New Hampshire, including many liturgical views from the college.
Some of you may recall our November 2011 story about this same college, where both forms of the Roman liturgy are offered, and all Masses are offered ad orientem.