Sir,-Er. Laurence Crehan, Si., does not favour the idea of Mass being said with the piiest facing the people. for he is afraid it would distract the priest (and the people as well).
In the diocese of Harlem (Netherlands) there are two large parishes. viz. Saint Anthony Abbot's in Rotterdam and the Church of the Holy Martyrs of Gorcum in Amsterdam. where Mass has been celebrated for years at an altar facing the people. It would he possible to obtain information there.
I myself had personal experience only twice in my life about Mass being said with the priest facing the people. In the days of the war. between May 10 and May 15 of 1940, 1 celebrated Mass in the canteen of the barracks, the altar consisting of two cafe-tables and the soldiers kneeling in front of the altar. 'The other time it was in a Scouts' camp (several times). I must confess. in both cases my concentration and devotion were greater than in other circumstances, caused by the tangible tie with those piesent. And the congregation both soldiers and scouts had the same experience as I was told.
Fr. Martin Weller.
Sint Salvator Kcrk, Utrecht.