Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, urged priests and bishops at the Sacra Liturgia conference in London July 5 to start celebrating Masses"ad orientem," or facing away from the congregation, beginning the first Sunday of Advent this year.
After nearly 50 years of celebration of the Mass of Vatican II, it would seem that there is an increasing awareness that the focus of the Liturgy as God-directed has been displaced, and any sense of mystery and awe at being in the presence of God has disappeared. Behind this, whether it is recognized or not, is the philosophical belief that the community is necessary for God to be totally real. The dynamic of this new emphasis on the community has led to a total exclusion of any reference to God as transcendent….In fact the community from having first of all displaced the focus of divine worship is in danger of becoming itself the object of worship. A growing trend is happening wherein ordinary Catholics are embracing the traditional liturgy and other older practices of the Faith.