The idea that the priest and people should stare at one another....

The idea that the priest and people should stare at one another during prayer was born only in modern Christianity, and is completely alien to the ancient Church. The priest and people most certainly do not pray one to the other, but to the one Lord. Therefore, they stare in the same direction during prayer: either towards the east as a cosmic symbol of the Lord who comes, or, where this is not possible, towards the image of Christ in the apse, towards a crucifix, or simply towards the heavens, as our Lord Himself did in his priestly prayer the night before His Passion (cf. John 17.1). 

-Pope Benedict XVI

via Fr. Heilman


  1. During the liturgy of the Eucharist I'm staring directly at God who is not hidden by the Priest, just like at the last supper.

  2. When we have the Benediction service the priest rightly kneels down and faces monstrance that has the sacred host in it.
    During the Mass the priest should face the people and the consecrated host (and blood) so that all around the table we participate in the banquet, in the divine food offered to us.

  3. Bedards and Mal, non sequiturs...

  4. If the position of the priest is what you're focused on during Mass, you're doing it allllllllll wrong.

    1. Pope Benedict has it all wrong??

    2. Badger Catholic, one of the things I was taught early on in Sunday School is that "Thou shalt not steal" and I bet you were taught that too.

      Yet you have stolen my Badger image to use as your avatar. You are violating not only biblical laws you are violating Copyright laws and according to the law you could be sued for this infringement.

      I work hard to take my images, I spent lots of money on gear and you have stolen my work. Remove it or I will report the infringement to Google.


Please contact if you have issues commenting.