Friday, March 20, 2009


It would not take a rocket scientist to put together that the sun is symbolic of the Son – the Christ. “But onto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings.” (Malachi 4:2) Because the sun represents our Risen Lord the Church had the practice of facing east for Mass, not, as is commonly alleged, with the priest having his back to the people. That was not the point. We were all, including the celebrant who is in need of Christ also, facing Him who brings us salvation. It was more like Moses leading the people through the desert than the celebrant ignoring his people. In fact, since the altar at St. Peter’s faces west, there is some evidence that for part of the Mass the people turned to face east with their backs to the celebrant! But by and large we are separating ourselves from incorporating nature and creation in our gestures and symbols. Perhaps it is seen as too pagan now. Too bad because it is all part of creation, is of God, and is therefore good and useful to us.

The sun in some instances can also represent Mary (confusingly enough) for in Revelation she is the woman “clothed with the sun.”

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