Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Easter Vigil Ceremonies from the Vatican

I do not usually get too much into the homily of these events since they are easily readable online, but there was a significant mention in this homily that is of relevance to the NLM and its readers.

While the majority of the homily focused upon the mystery of Baptism and the symbols and elements of water and light, there was an interesting mention that in the early liturgy and the command that would be cried out by the bishop or priest for all to turn towards the Lord; "conversi ad Dominum"; and that this was done by turning toward the East.

The Pope also mentioned that there were places where this would be expressed by turning toward a symbolic or interior East as expressed by all looking toward the Christ in the apse or upon the cross. (This is a theme that Msgr. Guido Marini speaks about in relation to the altar cross and the changes back toward the traditional arrangement of the papal altars. In short, Msgr. Marini's words on this topic are a reflection of Pope Benedict's liturgical thought.)

The mention was brief, but yet significant to hear mentioned as part of the Pope's Easter catechesis in such a public venue on the great vigil of the Christian year. It is a continued evidence, through papal practice and teaching, of the Pope's intent to raise awareness about both the historical expression of ad orientem and its relation to the proper focus of the sacred liturgy.

(Note: Father Zuhlsdorf has posted the text of the homily and has some of his own thoughts on this as well.)

Conversi ad Dominum:

A nice look at the altar, candlesticks, cross and frontal. Beautiful:

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