Ad Orientem and Absolutism

Despite half a century of deprecation and de facto prohibition, the desire for ad orientem worship continues to grow, especially among younger priests and lay faithful. Why? Partly, no doubt, the practice’s fall into relative desuetude has given us the privilege of discovering it anew. The more basic and adequate explanation, however, is obvious: it continues to strike a profound chord in the human heart. In a culture of talking heads and information overload, of emotional manipulation and manufactured fellowship, of mutual admiration societies and collective navel-gazing, it’s hardly surprising that many people want to opt out of the cult of personality; that they want to pray with instead of being prayed at; that they want to gaze, together and as one, beyond themselves.

Read the full article by Fr. Charles Shonk, O.P. here.