The position of the celebrant during the Eucharistic celebration

The position of the celebrant is a vital subject in the field of liturgy. There are various views regarding the subject and the terms such as pre-conciliar, post-conciliar etc. which have arisen often in the liturgical field based on this subject. But we should bear in mind that among the oriental Churches with a few exceptions the position of the celebrant during the Holy Eucharistic celebration is not at all an issue since almost all the oriental Churches consider the ad orientem position of both the priest and the people as taken for granted. There often arise misconstructions and misconceptions regarding this subject. So it is very important that one should have a clear cut notion with regard to the position of celebrant during the liturgical celebration. This issue is of vital importance to the Syro Malabar Church, being the second biggest Catholic Oriental Church in the world. In a world where we find rapid and deep secularization tendencies, where we find the demolition of meaning of the signs and symbols through which the mysteries are accessible to the faithful, it is inevitable that the real meaning of the signs and symbols should be preserved in the Church. Therefore the ad orientem liturgical posture which has great symbolic significance deserves a serious study. This theme is discussed in this thesis in contrast to the popular liturgical feature of versus populum celebration.

Full thesis by Fr. Joseph Kalathil here.

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