Facing the people in 1955, Paul Claudel’s lament continued . . .

Paul Claudel’s final statement.

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

The new, experimental mass in France drew fevered objections from the poet, dramatist, and diplomat Paul Claudel in a Figaro article a month before he died . . .

“It is true that in the traditional liturgy,” priest with back to worshipers, “the most moving part of the Holy Sacrifice is hidden from the faithful. But it is not hidden from their hearts and their faith.”

At Solemn High Masses of old, this sense of wonderment was such that the sub-deacon, one of the regulation three celebrants, at the foot of the altar remained standing during the Offertory, hiding his face with his left hand in reverence.

“We too are invited to pray,” he said, “to withdraw into ourselves, not in a spirit of curiosity but of recollection.

[Emphasis added throughout]

He took note of the (Catholic) Eastern-rite practice of in effect hiding the altar behind the iconostasis, a…

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