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Oklahoma bishop explains return to 'ad orientem' worship

August 18, 2009

Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has returned to the practice of celebrating the Eucharistic liturgy ad orientem in his cathedral. Bishop Slattery explained in his diocesan newspaper that he recognized the advantages of the Mass celebrated with the priest facing the people, but:

Unfortunately this change had a number of unforeseen and largely negative effects. First of all, it was a serious rupture with the Church’s ancient tradition. Secondly, it can give the appearance that the priest and the people were engaged in a conversation about God, rather than the worship of God. Thirdly, it places an inordinate importance on the personality of the celebrant by placing him on a kind of liturgical stage.


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