|A Mass being celebrated at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts|
At Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., the priest celebrates ad orientem during several weekly Masses—two in the Extraordinary form, as well as two in the Ordinary Form in English and one in Latin—College chaplain Father Stephen McGraw told the Newman Society.
Fr. McGraw explained: "The gradual introduction and occasional celebration of Mass 'ad orientem' on campus, along with the celebration 'versus populum,' allows students to experience the traditional and historic way of celebrating the Eucharist without jarring them and helps show and reinforce for them the 'hermeneutic of continuity' (as spoken of by Benedict XVI) between the Masses of the preconciliar and postconciliar periods."
Masses celebrated ad orientem give students “an opportunity to participate in liturgical prayer that leads them to contemplation,” said Father Hildebrand Garceau, chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, Calif. “All are facing liturgical east in one movement of prayer and offering. It seems to aid greatly in reducing distractions and helping students to focus on the liturgical action of the most powerful prayer in the universe—the Holy Mass.” At TAC, Masses are said each morning in the Extraordinary Form which gives the undergraduates a “reverent, quiet, contemplative Mass,” said Fr. Garceau. ...
Father John Healy at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (TMC) in Merrimack, N.H., told the Society that TMC began to celebrate the Latin Mass ad orientem once a week on Fridays because of student demand. Students continue to tell him that the silence in the Mass “impresses them in a particular way” and is very helpful for them, he said.
Additionally, said Christendom’s Fr. McGraw, ad orientem worship “shows our communion with the Eastern Church, which for the most part celebrates the liturgy of the Eucharist ‘ad orientem.’” He also noted that the priests at Christendom have “expressed their appreciation” for the chance to celebrate these Masses for the students.
According to Fr. Healy, bishops in the dioceses that celebrate the Extraordinary Form say that a lot of the participation is from the younger generation. This gives hope for liturgy and Church tradition both in the present and in the future, he said. It is encouraging to see students appreciate the traditional forms of the Mass.
Ave Maria University, the College of Saint Mary Magdalen, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Holy Apostles College and Seminary, the University of St. Thomas-Houston and Wyoming Catholic College also offer Masses ad orientem.
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|A traditional Requiem Mass at Thomas Aquinas College|
|Solemn Mass with Augustinian Canons at Wyoming Catholic College|
|Low Mass at Christendom College|
|Low Mass at Franciscan University of Steubenville|