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Author Topic: Short video comparing Orthodox and (Roman) Catholic liturgy  (Read 5690 times) Average Rating: 0
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Clare G.
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« on: January 01, 2013, 01:06:47 AM »

I think this probably belongs here rather than in the Liturgy discussion, but Mods will doubtless feel free to move it if necessary.

Warning: it is rather slanted, and compares Patriarchal/Pontifical services rather than less elevated occasions.

http://www.events.orthodoxengland.org.uk/catholic-and-orthodox-liturgy-compared/
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 01:16:43 AM »

I was hoping it wasn't that video. Slanted is an understatement.
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Clare G.
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 01:30:14 AM »

Yes, it's outrageously unfair. Perhaps I should remove it? Maybe it's not as recent as I had thought if you already know it.
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 01:41:52 AM »

Looks like every Catholic church service I've been to, not sure how it is slanted? It seems like very few Catholics do things with majesty any more. The only rite that comes close is the Ambrosian rite.
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 02:18:47 AM »

Looks like every Catholic church service I've been to, not sure how it is slanted? It seems like very few Catholics do things with majesty any more. The only rite that comes close is the Ambrosian rite.

To compare the low of RCC with the height of EOC is slanted and unfair. It's like comparing the education of a poor child living in Brazilian slums with a wealthy European aristocrat.

And the services I've been to certainly weren't like in the video.
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 02:23:25 AM »

Yes, it's outrageously unfair. Perhaps I should remove it? Maybe it's not as recent as I had thought if you already know it.

It's fine. I only just saw it in the past couple of months.
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 02:27:01 AM »

Looks like every Catholic church service I've been to, not sure how it is slanted? It seems like very few Catholics do things with majesty any more. The only rite that comes close is the Ambrosian rite.

To compare the low of RCC with the height of EOC is slanted and unfair. It's like comparing the education of a poor child living in Brazilian slums with a wealthy European aristocrat.

And the services I've been to certainly weren't like in the video.

Well, even the "high" stuff in the Vatican I've seen on tv doesn't look much different. There's a little less play by play announcements and funky dancing but overall, same feel/look. Its like there's one global church catalogue where everyone gets plain jedi looking vestments and plain church accoutrements.
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2013, 03:12:15 AM »

It might be more fair to have compared it to a Mass at the Vatican (which would truly be a Pontifical liturgy!   Grin ). Or perhaps even to an Eastern Catholic one.

But it's sadly true that too many Masses on the local level have been offered like this one. I've been to waaayyy worse.  Angry
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 03:17:15 AM »

plain jedi looking vestments
According to Fr. Hopko, every priest should use the white robe as a base vestment during liturgy, upon which the others are layered.
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 03:47:18 AM »

Definitely not a fair comparison, they should at least compare the Tridentine Mass with the Divine Liturgy, as mentioned, the comparison there just isn't right.

Also it calls the Novus Ordo "modern" and the Byzantine practice ancient. This may be true to an extent, but the Byzantine Liturgy isn't some preserved relic from the first century. It has evolved significantly since that time.

Also, the Novus Ordo, from my discussions with Roman Catholics, is abused here in the USA by many Roman Catholic Parishes.

From what I've seen of Tridentine Masses, they seem to also be beautiful and spiritual like our Liturgy, as both share common ancestry. I'd love to see a video of a Tridentine Mass in English.
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2013, 05:44:49 AM »

a Tridentine Mass in English.

That isn't even allowed by the Vatican.
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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 08:12:47 AM »

I've been to waaayyy worse.  Angry

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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 12:34:28 PM »

I'd love to see a video of a Tridentine Mass in English.

Here are some snippets of the Gregorian Rite during Holy Week at St. George's Western Rite Orthodox Church. Not a full English Mass, but you can at least see what some of it looks like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnahprZNJps

And here is one from Christmas Eve at Our Lady of Glastonbury, associated with Christminster Monastery, a Western Rite monastery under ROCOR.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAuGDdAbQes&feature=player_embedded
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 02:41:21 PM »

I wouldn't doubt it. The diocese I formally studied under had all sorts of strangeness - ranging from electric, rotating altars to leotard-clad nuns skipping along with the Gospel. People, however, have a tendency to focus on the extreme. The average Roman Catholic diocese is an eclectic mixture of parishes and Mass styles. In my experience, the average U.S. parish is a combination of conservative Catholic reverence with some occasional (and sometimes frequent) cheesy vestments and music (see contributions of 1960-1980). At the same time, every diocese is likely to possess several "traditional" parishes. There really is "something for everybody" (and you can be the judge of whether that is good or bad).

On the topic of the video, wasn't it produced by Catholics (to be used as a tool for self-reflection)?
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 03:48:38 PM »

Here are some snippets of the Gregorian Rite during Holy Week at St. George's Western Rite Orthodox Church. Not a full English Mass, but you can at least see what some of it looks like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnahprZNJps

And here is one from Christmas Eve at Our Lady of Glastonbury, associated with Christminster Monastery, a Western Rite monastery under ROCOR.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAuGDdAbQes&feature=player_embedded

The comments on those videos from anti-WR Orthodox are rather disheartening.
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« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2013, 04:06:01 PM »

Here are some snippets of the Gregorian Rite during Holy Week at St. George's Western Rite Orthodox Church. Not a full English Mass, but you can at least see what some of it looks like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnahprZNJps

And here is one from Christmas Eve at Our Lady of Glastonbury, associated with Christminster Monastery, a Western Rite monastery under ROCOR.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAuGDdAbQes&feature=player_embedded

The comments on those videos from anti-WR Orthodox are rather disheartening.

Just angry people blowing hot air.  Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2013, 04:31:55 PM »

Here are some snippets of the Gregorian Rite during Holy Week at St. George's Western Rite Orthodox Church. Not a full English Mass, but you can at least see what some of it looks like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnahprZNJps

And here is one from Christmas Eve at Our Lady of Glastonbury, associated with Christminster Monastery, a Western Rite monastery under ROCOR.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAuGDdAbQes&feature=player_embedded

The comments on those videos from anti-WR Orthodox are rather disheartening.

Actually they're funny. They complain about the WR being an invention of the middle ages and not being from the apostles, which exactly describes the present DL.
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« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2013, 04:56:15 PM »


Its become a stage show anymore much more than when I attended Masses some 40 years ago......Who are the choreographers?
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« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2013, 06:42:21 PM »

I have been to several lovely Tridentine Masses in Oakland (CA), but they are most certainly not the norm in the Roman Church in my area.  Most of the Masses in the Oakland Diocese are worse than the Los Angeles RE Congress Mass depicted in the video.  I was even subjected to a "Clown" Mass at a parish I attended (only infrequently) during the time I was a member of the Roman Church, although in my defense I did not know that the priest intended to have clowns participating in the Mass, and I left during the middle of liturgy because I found it to be highly irreverent.
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« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2013, 07:20:07 PM »

Actually they're funny. They complain about the WR being an invention of the middle ages and not being from the apostles, which exactly describes the present DL.

Good point. Tongue
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« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2013, 07:51:41 PM »

a Tridentine Mass in English.

That isn't even allowed by the Vatican.

I know, that's why I said I'd love to see it. I can easily look at Tridentine Masses on YouTube but they're all in Latin.
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« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2013, 09:31:08 PM »

Better comparison would be this...

Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome: http://youtu.be/Rt6KsGD75ug
Paschal Divine Liturgy in Cathedral of Christ Saviour in Moscow: http://youtu.be/mkAEc-YE1IM
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« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2013, 05:56:11 AM »

I don't have the time to watch either, but I did notice - to my surprise - that the one from St Peter's is actually slightly longer than that from the Moscow Cathedral.
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« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2013, 07:18:11 AM »

I don't have the time to watch either, but I did notice - to my surprise - that the one from St Peter's is actually slightly longer than that from the Moscow Cathedral.

The Orthodox Paschal service is actually four concurrent services: Paschal midnight office, Paschal matins, Paschal hours, and Paschal Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2013, 07:45:32 AM »

I don't have the time to watch either, but I did notice - to my surprise - that the one from St Peter's is actually slightly longer than that from the Moscow Cathedral.

The Orthodox Paschal service is actually four concurrent services: Paschal midnight office, Paschal matins, Paschal hours, and Paschal Divine Liturgy.

That's the first fact. The second thing is that actually it would be better to compare Vesperal Liturgy of st. Basil served on Great Saturday to Easter Vigil Mass. The structure is more similar as they're both Liturgies of Holy Saturday evening.
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« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2013, 11:41:41 AM »

I don't have the time to watch either, but I did notice - to my surprise - that the one from St Peter's is actually slightly longer than that from the Moscow Cathedral.

The Orthodox Paschal service is actually four concurrent services: Paschal midnight office, Paschal matins, Paschal hours, and Paschal Divine Liturgy.

That's the first fact. The second thing is that actually it would be better to compare Vesperal Liturgy of st. Basil served on Great Saturday to Easter Vigil Mass. The structure is more similar as they're both Liturgies of Holy Saturday evening.

I thought that was a video of the Vaticans midnight mass?
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« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2013, 11:50:31 AM »

Better comparison would be this...

Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome: http://youtu.be/Rt6KsGD75ug
Paschal Divine Liturgy in Cathedral of Christ Saviour in Moscow: http://youtu.be/mkAEc-YE1IM

Sad that the Easter Vigil Mass is not even ad orientem.
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« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2013, 11:59:25 AM »

I don't have the time to watch either, but I did notice - to my surprise - that the one from St Peter's is actually slightly longer than that from the Moscow Cathedral.

The Orthodox Paschal service is actually four concurrent services: Paschal midnight office, Paschal matins, Paschal hours, and Paschal Divine Liturgy.

That's the first fact. The second thing is that actually it would be better to compare Vesperal Liturgy of st. Basil served on Great Saturday to Easter Vigil Mass. The structure is more similar as they're both Liturgies of Holy Saturday evening.

I thought that was a video of the Vaticans midnight mass?

No, it's not midnight Mass. The Paschal Vigil is done in the evening of Holy Saturday, although I know some Roman Catholic parishes in Poland do it at midnight. In Vatican, as in most Roman Catholci Parishes, the first Mass is this one psoted in video, and the second one in the morning of Easter Sunday, which lasts 1-1,5 h
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« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2013, 12:09:07 PM »

What's the point of comparing different rites?
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« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2013, 12:15:21 PM »

I will offer an explanation for the lack of majesty in Roman Catholic worship, if not quite an apology (in either sense):

The prevailing theory in the Roman Church is very, shall we say, immanent. That is focusing on how Christ came to us, even the least of us, as one of the least of us, and making Mass very ordinary and incorporating our own culture, even some of the worst parts, to make Christ more relevant to us as we are now. There is an allergy to all things that suggest Phariseeism, i.e. all unneccesary exclusive majesty. In the worst case it leads to polka Masses, clown Masses, liturgical dancers, etc.

The polar opposite is those who like the "Tridentine" (properly called Extraordinary Form now) Mass. They have a very transcendent theory of the Mass, that is, God is essentially unknowable, and so it's fine if not preferable if the Mass is also shrouded in mystery and the congregation doesn't have to even directly participate, since its purpose is to bring us unworthy sinners closer to His Infinite Majesty. There is also an allergy against slighting the holiness of God in the least, but it can lead to the very Phariseeism the above group reacted against. In the extreme it leads to sedevacantism.

Eastern Catholic (and I would guess Orthodox) are between the two extremes, keeping the rite majestic but using a language usually the people can understand and involving them. Likewise the Roman Mass can be entirely chanted, in English and Latin/Greek for the more familiar chants, ad orientem, with the proper psalms and hymns translated from the Gregorian Chants in Latin that are still in the books. There is a tiny movement to do so but the average parish is far from ready to sign up, as very few actually complain that singing a new church into being is an act of schism  Wink Undecided
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« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2013, 01:11:10 PM »

Thanks for the fair replies. A fairer comparison indeed is the Byzantine Rite and the traditional Roman Rite (Tridentine). That said, with the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo, Rome 'asked for it'. Traditionalist Catholics from the moderately well-informed on up agree with you! The Novus Ordo's a mistake, a stinkeroo, and because the Tridentine Mass is still relatively rare now, this video's a valid criticism, even if you don't buy the maker's and the blogger's premise.

That said, the current Pope's started to turn this around, not only lifting all restrictions on the old Mass but fixing the English in the Novus Ordo so even liberal parishes have to get the words right, so it's sound in spite of them (even though, with ceremonial like shown here, they make it annoying/unedifying; 40-year-old cultural BS it'll take a while to weed out).

The Catholic liturgical movement before the council wanted to teach ordinary Catholics to know and love the Tridentine Mass and the divine office (the Roman Rite's horologion). With that in mind, it loved and studied the Orthodox and other rites.

Justin, I wouldn't say trads believe God is essentially unknowable. They are orthodox Chalcedonians (blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man, as a prayer at one Roman Rite service says: the creed/Symbol summed up). A mystery of orthodoxy, both Catholic and Orthodox, is God's both transcendent and immanent.

The rule's always been to have the traditional Roman Rite in Latin but that's discipline, not doctrine. I think a vernacular option for the Tridentine Mass's a great idea. Would-be Catholics in the Anglican churches wrote beautiful translations many years ago (circa 1911 for example), Rome's for the asking (and the base for what some Western Rite Orthodox use, as a link in this thread shows). I also understand there's a rule allowing the readings (lesson/epistle and gospel) at the altar to be in the vernacular, but I understand trads in Europe do that but not in America.

Of course the Orthodox use liturgical languages too: Slavonic in Slavic countries; medieval Greek for the Greeks.
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« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2013, 01:38:32 PM »

Thanks for the fair replies. A fairer comparison indeed is the Byzantine Rite and the traditional Roman Rite (Tridentine).

How is it fair when the Tridentine is very far from being the normal rite in contemporary Catholicism? Most have never worshipped in it or can even say what it really is. While the ceremony and pomp of the Byzantine example is more grandiose, it is still essentially the same thing that is normal in every Orthodox church.
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« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2013, 01:42:40 PM »

Are any Catholic churches oriented east any more? I've noticed around here, all of them, even the ones built long before Vatican II, are oriented any way except east. Its kinda like they don't even know about it at all.
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« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2013, 02:07:56 PM »

Jason, as I started with, in my last post, the replies here are fair as is the video's criticism, because so few people get to go to the Tridentine Mass.

As for eastward-facing, very few. Not enough of them!
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« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2013, 02:18:17 PM »

Are any Catholic churches oriented east any more? I've noticed around here, all of them, even the ones built long before Vatican II, are oriented any way except east. Its kinda like they don't even know about it at all.


Facibg east is nice when it can be done but never is required even in Orthodoxy. St Peters never faced east for one, the Cathedral of Christ Savior in Moscow also doesn't face East. Nor does the Holy Sepulchre...
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« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2013, 02:28:55 PM »

Are any Catholic churches oriented east any more? I've noticed around here, all of them, even the ones built long before Vatican II, are oriented any way except east. Its kinda like they don't even know about it at all.


Facing east is nice when it can be done but never is required even in Orthodoxy. St Peters never faced east for one, the Cathedral of Christ Savior in Moscow also doesn't face East. Nor does the Holy Sepulchre...

I think Jason is referring to ad apsidem, 'the priest's back to the people' as the liberals disparagingly say, or as we say, priest and people united in one direction. You're right that it was never required; it is simply longstanding custom. I think the high altar at St Peter's literally faces east, the old custom that the expression 'facing east' comes from, but the church doesn't. So in ancient and early medieval times, for the consecration, everybody faced east so the congregation turned their backs on the altar and priest!
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« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2013, 02:43:26 PM »

Are any Catholic churches oriented east any more? I've noticed around here, all of them, even the ones built long before Vatican II, are oriented any way except east. Its kinda like they don't even know about it at all.


Facing east is nice when it can be done but never is required even in Orthodoxy. St Peters never faced east for one, the Cathedral of Christ Savior in Moscow also doesn't face East. Nor does the Holy Sepulchre...

I think Jason is referring to ad apsidem, 'the priest's back to the people' as the liberals disparagingly say, or as we say, priest and people united in one direction. You're right that it was never required; it is simply longstanding custom. I think the high altar at St Peter's literally faces east, the old custom that the expression 'facing east' comes from, but the church doesn't. So in ancient and early medieval times, for the consecration, everybody faced east so the congregation turned their backs on the altar and priest!

Well even in ancient times, in many of the rites of the church, the priest faced the people rather than liturgical east.

As someone in the architecture profession, having the building facing literal east opens up really nice opportunities for lighting which you see in many orthodox churches and Catholic Churches even today.
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« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2013, 06:32:18 PM »

I've been to some beautiful Masses in my life, but they tended to be the exception. Most parish-level Masses are "OK" at best and appalling at worst. And I say that as someone who used to go to daily (weekday) Masses in Los Angeles *every day* before going to work. Yes, it gave me the spiritual kick-start I needed, but now that I've experienced what a "regular, everyday" Divine Liturgy is like, those daily Masses were like having a piece of Melba toast for breakfast compared to a Grand Slam at Denny's.  Grin
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« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2013, 06:45:47 PM »

I agree that videos like these are never fair comparisons and are always polemical in nature.  There are Orthodox parishes who also have problems with their Liturgy (I've had a priest tell me about speed Liturgies and speed Funeral Rites in an Orthodox parish) so if we really want to hurl unpleasantries in either direction, there is a lot of material out there for each side to put the other to shame.
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« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2013, 07:08:29 PM »

I agree that videos like these are never fair comparisons and are always polemical in nature.  There are Orthodox parishes who also have problems with their Liturgy (I've had a priest tell me about speed Liturgies and speed Funeral Rites in an Orthodox parish) so if we really want to hurl unpleasantries in either direction, there is a lot of material out there for each side to put the other to shame.
Agreed completely.
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« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2013, 09:17:56 PM »

Good thread. I can't remember the last time I witnessed so many people on this forum defending the (W)estern Church.
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« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2013, 09:36:26 PM »

I am sure some people will not like what I am about to say, but the whole division of the liturgical services of the Roman Church into the "Ordinary Form" and the "Extraordinary Form" reminds me of the 1970s Episcopal Church in the USA with its "Rite 1" and "Rite 2."

And just as "Rite 2" (i.e., the contemporary rite) in the Episcopal Church involved updating and banalizing the liturgy, so too the "Ordinary Form" of the Roman Rite involves the same type of liturgical impoverishment.  I have been to "Ordinary Form" Masses in Northern and Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and have found most to be just as bad as the LA Religious Congress liturgies.
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« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2013, 09:52:52 PM »

Sad that the Easter Vigil Mass is not even ad orientem.

St. Pete's has never celebrated ad orientum in the current building.
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« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2013, 09:57:59 PM »

Good thread. I can't remember the last time I witnessed so many people on this forum defending the (W)estern Church.

One thing I loved about many of the Orthodox I meet online is that they are not ashamed of the truth, even if it seesm to be siding with a position that is against or opposite their normal position.  Most Catholics I come across online (*cough* *CAF*) would staunchly defend the perceived position of the Catholic Church regardless of what was true or even sane.
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« Reply #44 on: January 02, 2013, 10:03:39 PM »

Sad that the Easter Vigil Mass is not even ad orientem.

St. Pete's has never celebrated ad orientum in the current building.
Actually, because the altar is in the Western end of the Church, the pope does celebrate ad orientem.  In fact, as Fr. Louis Bouyer pointed out in one of his books, it was the people, and not the pope, who had to turn around in order to face East during liturgies in St. Peter's (both old and new).
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"All that the Father has belongs likewise to the Son, except Causality."
St. Gregory Nazianzen

"We should believe that divine grace is present in the icon of Christ and that it communicates sanctification to those who draw near with faith."
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