“Hagerstown incorporates Tridentine Mass” (CR, Sept. 15) on the extraordinary form of the Mass at St. Mary in Hagerstown twice made the point that the celebrant had “his back to the congregation,” suggesting that somehow he is turning his back on the people. In this position, known as “Ad Orientum,” the priest and the people are both facing the altar of sacrifice.
It was noted that in addition to Latin, bells were rung at the consecration, as though these are foreign to the ordinary form. The reporter seems to have forgotten that Latin is the official language of the ordinary form, and that bells at the consecration are called for in the General Instructions (No. 150). People also should have been told that it is permissible to celebrate the ordinary form “Ad Orientum.”