via Fr. Rick Heilman:
It’s official. St. Mary of Pine Bluff became a parish that celebrates the Novus Ordo ad orientem at all of their Masses.That would be a first in this state for any diocesan parish.
After a year of celebrating daily Masses ad orientem, we wondered when and if we would take the next step to celebrate all of our Masses this way – including weekend Masses. Then came the December 6, 2012 homily by our own Bishop Robert Morlino (listen here). In his homily, our bishop was actually encouraging ad orientem worship. Of course this was all the incentive we needed – or, was it?
We didn’t make a full commitment. Instead, we DID celebrate weekend Masses ad orientem, beginning the very next weekend. However, we saw this as a kind of “test drive”, as we were willing to revert back to versus populum, if the pushback became too severe.
The reaction was overwhelmingly positive (at least from those who voiced an opinion). And so, I made the decision to use the great feast of Epiphany, in which we see the Magi journeying toward the star they saw at it’s rising (in the East), to teach on “ad orientem.”
Again, the response was overwhelmingly positive. We are now officially a parish that celebrates all of their Novus Ordo Masses ad orientum.