Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Turning towards the Lord" on Palm Sunday

On March 16, 2008, Palm Sunday, Father Michell Joe Zerrudo, pastor of the Parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy and his parishioners turned towards the Lord and celebrated Palm Sunday facing the liturgical east together using the Missal of Pope Paul VI in the vernacular. Father Zerrudo, in beautiful traditional vestments, himself an exorcist and liturgist, teaches his parishioners through example the essence, the beauty and spirituality of catholic ad orientem worship.

"On the other hand, a common turning to the East during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of accidentals, but of essentials. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord. It is not now a question of dialogue, but of common worship, of setting off towards the One who is to come. What corresponds with the reality of what is happening is not the closed circle, but the common movement forward expressed in a common direction for prayer...." - Cardinal Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy

"In the early Church there was a custom whereby the Bishop or the priest, after the homily, would cry out to the faithful: "Conversi ad Dominum" – turn now towards the Lord. This meant in the first place that they would turn towards the East, towards the rising sun, the sign of Christ returning, whom we go to meet when we celebrate the Eucharist. Where this was not possible, for some reason, they would at least turn towards [the liturgical East] the image of Christ in the apse, or towards the Cross, so as to orient themselves inwardly towards the Lord. " - Pope Benedict XVI, Easter Vigil 2008 Sermon

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