About this blogger:
Richard J. Clark is the Director of Music of the Archdiocese of Boston and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. He is also Chapel Organist (Saint Mary’s Chapel) at Boston College. His compositions have been performed worldwide.
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“The authority of the Pope is not unlimited. It is at the service of Sacred Tradition. Still less is any kind of general ‘freedom’ of manufacture, degenerating into spontaneous improvisation, compatible with the essence of faith and liturgy. The greatness of the liturgy depends—we shall have to repeat this frequently—on its lack of spontaneity.”
— Josef Cardinal Ratzinger (2000)

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Letter from USCCB Committee on Divine Worship on “Ad Orientem”
published 15 July 2016 by Richard J. Clark

LETTER DATED 12 JULY 2016 from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Divine Worship addresses the issue of celebrating Mass ad orientem. The Most Rev. Arthur J. Serratelli, Chairman, clarifies that there will be no expected changes to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, but points out existing rubrics in “the Order of Mass which reflect the real possibility that the celebrant might be facing away from the assembly.”

You may also download the letter here.


Note from CCW President: Readers may also want to peruse the ruling from the Vatican regarding whether a local bishop can outlaw “ad orientem” for his diocese. On 10 April 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments gave a definitive answer to this question.