Going “ad orientem”


On this page, you can find more information about our move to celebration of the Eucharistic Prayer “ad orientem,” (facing God). If you did not get a copy of the bulletin inserts, you may download them below. You can also find links to great resources to get a deeper understanding of Catholic Liturgy and “ad orientem.”

Celebrating the Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form) of the Roman Rite “ad orientem” means that the Liturgy of the Word is celebrated facing the people. The Liturgy of the Word is where Jesus teaches His people through the reading of Sacred Scripture and priest’s homily. The Liturgy of the Eucharist, is celebrated with the priest and people facing the same direction. During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Christ offers Himself to the Father, through the priest who acts in persona Christi (in the person of Christ), and the lay faithful, offer their own sacrifice, in union with the offering of the priest. Together, priest and faithful go to Christ who comes to them.

The General Instruction for the Roman Missal and the rubrics (directions written in red) in the Roman Missal directs the priest when to face the people and when to turn towards the altar. The instructions follow:

Arriving at the altar:

When the Entrance Chant is concluded, the Priest and the faithful, standing, sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross, while the Priest, facing the people, says:  “In the name of the Father…”

The Liturgy of the Word is at the Ambo, facing the people.

After the washing of hands, the rubrics state:

“Returning to the middle of the altar, and standing facing the people, the Priest extends and then joins his hands, and calls upon the people to pray, saying, Orate, fratres (Pray, brethren). The people rise and make the response May the Lord accept the sacrifice, etc. Then the Priest, with hands extended, says the Prayer over the Offerings. At the end the people acclaim, Amen.” (GIRM 146)

 After the conclusion of “For the kingdom…”:

“Then the Priest, with hands extended, says aloud the prayer Domine Iesu Christe, qui dixisti (Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles) and when it is concluded, extending and then joining his hands, he announces the greeting of peace, facing the people and saying, The peace of the Lord be with you always. The people reply, And with your spirit.” (GIRM 154)

After the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God):

“Then the principal celebrant takes a host consecrated in the same Mass, holds it slightly raised above the paten or the chalice, and, facing the people, says the Ecce Agnus Dei (Behold the Lamb of God). With the concelebrants and the people he continues, saying the Domine, non sum dignus (Lord, I am not worthy).” (GIRM 157)

After Holy Communion and a period of silence:

“Then, standing at the chair or at the altar, and facing the people with hands joined, the Priest says, Let us pray; then, with hands extended, he recites the Prayer after Communion. A brief period of silence may precede the prayer, unless this has been already observed immediately after Communion. At the end of the prayer the people acclaim, Amen. ” (GIRM 165)

 Following the last collect:

“After the Priest’s blessing, the Deacon, with hands joined and facing the people, dismisses the people, saying, Ite, missa est (Go forth, the Mass is ended).” (GIRM 185)

Bulletin Inserts:

Other helpful links:

Recommended reading:




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