The inimitiable Father Z crows over a South Carolina priest going east. (That’s east as in ad orientam, not east into the Atlantic Ocean.)
I think Fr Z and other clergy do the Church great discredit in this emphasis. It makes the liturgy all about the priest: “Look at me! I’m turning my back to you to face God.”
At InsideCatholic, they’ve picked up the story, but I have to register a dissent.
Aside from this being a deckchair, Titanic, rearrangement kind of thing–if the liturgy is in such sorry shape as the traditionalists would have us believe–American Catholics have registered their support for two things practically any parish can do to improve the liturgy. Improve the preaching and the music.
A pastor can make a commitment to good liturgy by engaging a music director, or if he’s fortunate, throw all sorts of support to volunteer musicians: lessons, conferences, instruments, acoustics, etc..
The pastor himself might attend a preaching seminar. He might consult an acting coach to improve his voice and delivery. He might take a graduate class in Scripture or even learn Greek and Hebrew to brush up on the texts in their original languages.
Father Z’s approach strikes me as the worst of the 60′s: let’s tinker with the fringes of the liturgy, tell ourselves 95% of the people approve, and kick back with a good drink and a cigar on Sunday night.