Wednesday, October 1, 2008 3:15-4:15

The Orientation of Sacred Space and Liturgical Prayer. The Debate around the celebration versus populum in the Catholic Church
by David H. Pereyra, MArch. MA., PhD. cand. (St. Michael's College)

The placement of the altar and the orientation of president and assembly in the liturgical celebration have become again matter for a heated theological debate. While the liturgical reform that followed Vatican II prescribed the orientation versus populum, Joseph Ratzinger, even before becoming Pope Benedict XVI, called into question the reasons for this change.
The present paper explores both arguments for and against the orientation versus populum in contemporary liturgical debate.