As preparations for the Christmas celebrations continue, I have been asked to celebrate the Christmas Midnight Mass again at the high altar as I did last year; I am happy to grant this request.
The other day, Father Ray Blake posted ten reasons from Father Mark Kirby for celebrating the Mass ad orientem:
- The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is experienced as having a theocentric direction and focus.
- The faithful are spared the tiresome clerocentrism that has so overtaken the celebration of Holy Mass in the past forty years.
- It has once again become evident that the Canon of the Mass (Prex Eucharistica) is addressed to the Father, by the priest, in the name of all.
- The sacrificial character of the Mass is wonderfully expressed and affirmed.
- Almost imperceptibly one discovers the rightness of praying silently at certain moments, of reciting certain parts of the Mass softly, and of cantillating others.
- It affords the priest celebrant the boon of a holy modesty.
- I find myself more and more identified with Christ, Eternal High Priest and Hostia perpetua, in the liturgy of the heavenly sanctuary, beyond the veil, before the Face of the Father.
- During the Canon of the Mass I am graced with a profound recollection.
- The people have become more reverent in their demeanour.
- The entire celebration of Holy Mass has gained in reverence, attention, and devotion.