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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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“In my capacity as the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, I continue to remind all that the celebration toward the East (versus orientem) is authorized by the rubrics of the missal, which specify the moments when the celebrant must turn toward the people. A particular authorization is, therefore, not needed to celebrate Mass facing the Lord.”
— Robert Cardinal Sarah, 23 May 2016

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Feeling the Absence
published 29 March 2013 by Fr. David Friel

LL THROUGHOUT THE DAY TODAY, my mind and heart have been preoccupied with a sense of absence. Even upon waking, there seemed to be something monumental missing. I realized during the course of this morning what was the cause of this uncomfortable sense: no Mass today.

Every day of my priesthood, I have exercised my sacred duty to offer the holy sacrifice of the Mass—except for Good Friday. This is the only day of the year when no Mass is celebrated.

Our Mother, the Church, calls us each year to go beyond the sense of absence on this day so as to enter into contemplation of the very first Mass (and the only true Mass), which is the sacrifice of Christ on Mount Calvary. On Holy Thursday, we memorialize the institution of the Mass, and the next day we refrain from offering the Mass so that we can focus on its incredible reality.

I’m grateful to have felt the absence, because it assures me that the Lord has placed a longing in my heart for the Mass. This is a wonderful gift for a priest to receive.