Since moving on from St Mary’s, where all the Masses are celebrated ad orientem I have been saying all Masses towards the people. At Our Lady of the Rosary we have a 6:30 pm Mass on Wednesdays. Very quiet and reverent and only about 50 or so people there. So last evening, for the first time, I celebrated the Mass there facing the Lord. I explained it briefly to the people and asked for their comment and feedback.

One of our young mothers was there with three of her children. She said both of her sons, aged 12 and 10 liked the Mass very much and Jacob, aged twelve said, “I felt the oneness of the Mass much more.”

About right. When I am saying Mass versus populum I can’t help feeling that I am in the ‘entertainer’ mode and that I really am in opposition to and other than the people. When saying Mass towards the Lord I feel so much their prayers behind me and with me. Together we face the Lord and face his beauty. I don’t have to look at them, and lucky them! They don’t have to look at me either.

Together we gaze on the fair beauty of the Lord.