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Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer Paperback – February 28, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Pr; First edition (February 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898709865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898709865
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,714,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
U.M. Lang is an ordained German Catholic priest who analyzes the results of Vatican 2 regarding the orientation of the people and Priest towards the Lord. Put simply, from the earliest times the orientation of the faithful and priest was to the East, a symbolic rendering of the risen Lord and the direction from which not only the Sun rises but from which the 2nd coming or Parousia is to come. Lang makes it clear that vatican 2 only suggested the potentiality of changes in the rite of worship by bringing the alter away from the wall of the apse so that the priest may move freely from the front to the back of the altar. Many however, took the mere suggestion as an absolute condemnation of the Priest and congregation facing the Lord. Lang refutes the celebration of the eucharist as a communal meal where the priest consecrates the Host "versus Populum" or facing the congregation. He is quite persuasive in suggesting that in doing so, the focus becomes the priest rather than the Lord. The object of worship should always be to the Lord, with the priest included, so Lang suggests that a compromise may be that the Priest face the congregation during the liturgy of the word but during the liturgy of the eucharist, all shall face the risen Lord to the East. It may seem a trivial matter to some, but it really takes the focus off the priest and towrds the Body of our Lord And Saviour, in faithful anticipation of his coming with Power from the East in the Parousia!
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Format: Paperback
The historical discussion on ad orientem worship was fascinating, and after the first half of the book I became convinced that Catholics, priest and congregation, should if possible face true east when at prayer. However, once the author acknowledged that such is not always possible, suggested measures to cultivated an attitude of shared orientation were not connected with strict logic. The idea of "liturgical" east seemed particularly dubious and not rooted in the historical data. If we cannot all face true east during the mass, why is it still important for priest and people to face the same direction? Should competing liturgical considerations be weighed in determining whether priest and congregation should face the same direction? Unfortunately, these questions were not answered or addressed with satisfactory rigor.
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Format: Paperback
The book of Mr Lang, recently translated into spanish, is an important contribution to the studies on liturgical orientation. The book is the result of some previous investigations, and in the book the author answers to the people who criticized him. Nevertheless, the book is not an apologia (like Gamber's), but a good presentation of many historical data, Biblical backgrounds and theological consequences of the East orientation in prayer. Definitively, an important book for everyone who is interested in the foundations of the Christian worship.
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