Luiturgical East
At the (NO) church I received first communion in the priest is facing east when he's facing the people; another church I attend is built on a north-south axis so even if the priest faced the altar, and it's obvious from the set up that at one time he did, he wouldn't be facing east. What do traditional priests do in these situations?
I was wondering this as well... The Latin Mass I attend (performed by the FSSP) is in a church that faces north. The priest just faces the tabernacle, away from the people. I think that the phrase "ad orientem" isn't taken to mean the literal geographic location, but I am not sure... good question!  :)
The Church ahat I attend, was built in 1906 on the place of an older Church from the 1860's (Volo IL) The priest say the masses (either TLM and New Mass) facing the altar, but this means facing South.  In the village, when I lived in the sixties there ware twi Churches. The older one, built in the 17th Century the priest faced East toward the altar, in the newer one built in the 19th Century the priest faced South.

The East facing altar was a tendency, but not absolute requirement. people worshiped the living God through the living Church not the frozen forms.
Vivace Wrote:I think that the phrase "ad orientem" isn't taken to mean the literal geographic location

That's correct. While desirable, praying east is not also practicable. In an urban setting where space is limited one takes properties as they are.
As I understand it, facing the High Altar is liturgical east, even if that is not geographic east.

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