Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer

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Ignatius Press, 2004 - Religion - 156 pages

Turning towards the Lord presents an historical and theological argument for the traditional, common direction of liturgical prayer, known as "facing east," and is meant as a contribution to the contemporary debate about the Catholic liturgy. Lang, a member of the London Oratory, studies the direction of liturgical prayer from an historical, theological, and pastoral point of view. At a propitious moment, this book resumes a debate that, despite appearances to the contrary, has never really gone away, not even after the Second Vatican Council. Historical research has made the controversy less partisan, and among the faithful there is an increasing sense of the problems inherent in an arrangement that hardly shows the liturgy to be open to the things that are above and to the world to come.

In this situation, Lang's delightfully objective and wholly unpolemical book is a valuable guide. Without claiming to offer major new insights, Lang carefully presents the results of recent research and provides the material necessary for making an informed judgment. It is from such historical evidence that the author elicits the theological answers that he proposes.

 

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Contents

The Reform of the Liturgy and the Position of the Celebrant at the Altar
21
Direction of Prayer Liturgy and Church Architecture in the Early Church
35
The Direction of Prayer and the Position of the Celebrant at the Altar
56
Liturgy and Church Architecture85
67
The Common Direction of Liturgical Prayer Its Theological and Spiritual Contents
89
Turning to the LordThe Theological Dimension of Liturgical Practice
100
The position of the celebrant and the sacrificial character of the Mass
109
Adoration and contemplation
115
Turning to the Lord
119
Abbreviations
127
Illustrations
131
Bibliography
133
Index
151
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About the author (2004)

Uwe Michael Lang has an M.A. in theology from the University of Vienna and a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Oxford. A priest of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri in London, he is currently Lecturer in Theology at Heythrop College, University of London, and on the Visiting Faculty at the Liturgical Institute in Mundelein, Ill. Among his publications are Turning Towards the Lord and The Voice of the Church at Prayer, both published by Ignatius Press.

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