Photo: Holy Mass ad orientem World War 2 style

New Advent featured some great photos the other day from World War 2, one of which is the photo above of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated for soldiers in France.

This picture is worth a thousand words. It illustrates in spades why ad orientem (versus Deum) celebration of the Holy Mass is necessary and needed.

The priest is praying with the soldiers. He’s on the same side of the altar. He’s not speaking to the soldiers – he is suffering with the soldiers.

They are facing Christ together. We here a lot of talk about solidarity. The ancient liturgical forms visible demonstrated solidarity in a powerful way.

We should heed the words of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI (see his Spirit of the Liturgy) and return to the ancient rubrics enshrining ad orientem celebrations of the Holy Sacrifice.

All holy priests, pray for us.

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