This is a few years old, but I have just come across the courageous choice of Bishop Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma to celebrate Mass Ad Orientem in his Cathedral. He explained why this should be the choice of all priests and bishops so very eloquently in his “from the bishop” article published in his local diocesan newspaper. The two-page article can be found here.
In the article Bishop Slattery writes:
“When we study the most ancient liturgical practices of the Church, we find that the priest and the people faced in the same direction, usually toward the east, in the expectation that when Christ returns, He will return “from the east.”
“In the last 40 years, however, this shared orientation was lost; now the priest and the people have become accustomed to facing in opposite directions…”
“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…”
It is such a blessing when bishops and priests prayerfully discern that their primary role in the Church is to teach the faithful, and help to inform us what has been lost, so it can then be rediscovered. Instead of waiting for requests from the Faithful, priests and bishops should be voluntarily restoring all of these invaluable practices removed the Mass. Each of them, tested and refined through the centuries, has the ability to gently yet firmly draw the faithful closer to heaven, and into the mysteries conveyed by this most venerable and essential act of Catholic worship.
This is a homily given in the Cathedral of Marquette, MI by their Bishop, the Most Reverend Alexander Sample, while he celebrated the Extraordinary Form on Sept 7, 2011. He was named Archbishop of Portland on January 29, 2013. His Grace explains during the homily some of the reasons for praying the Mass Ad Orientem, and how doing so directs our attention outwardly towards Christ. Thank you Archbishop!
There have been some changes to the time and place for the celebration of Mass in the Extraordinary Form in Sioux Falls, which had been celebrated weekly at St. Joseph Cathedral from May 1, 2005 until the closing of the Cathedral for restoration in 2009. Most if not all of the Faithful who attend the Latin Mass are registered members of St. Joseph Cathedral parish.
During the restoration, the Ordinary Form of Mass times were relocated to a Gymnasium, while the Extraordinary Form time was relocated to St. Mary’s Church for the use of the High Altar.
The Cathedral was reopened in July 2011. All of the Mass times for celebration of the Ordinary Form of Mass returned promptly to the Cathedral on opening weekend.
The schedule for the Extraordinary Form was not decided for an additional 18 months beyond the 2 years duration of the restoration project.
As of January 31, 2013, Bishop Swain announced that the Extraordinary Form will not return to the newly restored Cathedral, but instead, to Our Lady of Guadalupe parish, at 9:30am on Sundays.
In the article, Archbishop Gullickson writes about how we have nothing to boast about to God, except in our conformity to Christ his Son. He makes an observation that many Bishops in the Church today, after hearing from the mind of Christ, surprisingly reject conformity to Him. As an example, he cites frequent contempt and intolerance towards Summorum Pontificum and the Extraordinary Form:
“Why, even three years after the issuance of Summorum Pontificum (just to name one example), are well-meaning lay folk still treated with such great disdain by no less than bishops, bishops in communion (of heart, soul, mind and strength?) with the Successor of St. Peter when they ask for Mass in Latin? Is this anything other than blind hypocrisy (the plank!)?
Thank you, Archbishop Gullickson, for writing so unequivocally about your support for the Extraordinary Form… His Grace is a priest of the Sioux Falls Diocese, where the plea of the Faithful to return the Mass in the Extraordinary Form to the Cathedral after its reopening was declined.
“If there is anything divine among man’s possessions which might excite the envy of the citizens of heaven (could they ever be swayed by such a passion), this is undoubtedly the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by means of which men, having before their eyes, and taking into their hands the very Creator of heaven and earth, experience, while still on earth, a certain anticipation of heaven.” Pope Urban VII, 1634
“With prayer we ask graces from God:
in the Holy Mass we constrain God to give them to us.”
St Philip Neri