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Ad Orientum

Conversi ad Dominum - Turn to the Lord - Towards the Crucified

In January 2011 on the Feast of the Epiphany as Pope Benedict was preparing to celebrate the Mass standing together with the congregation turned towards the fresco of Michelangelo's Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel, his personal secretary was asked to explain this. As Msgr. Marini explained, “This means that at some points the Pope will turn towards the Crucified, thus underlining the correct orientation of the Eucharistic celebration. This is not about turning the back to the people, but about assuming the same orientation as the assembly, which precisely looks toward the Crucified.”

The Eucharistic Prayer is prayed ad Dominum (also known as ad Orientum - towards the East) during Mass at St. Benedict's.

To find out more about the meaning of ad Dominum, this common direction of liturgical prayer, read the five bulletin inserts that were published leading up to that switch:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V