Remember that the priest was not `turning away' from the people -
liturgically and theologically, he was facing the same way as them: namely,
to the east. This symbolism was not compromised by the rise in the sense of
mystery and the eucharistic *secretum* of which you speak.
It's been about a thousand years since I studied this, but might you find
reference to the date in Jungmann's *Missarum Sollemnia*?
From: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of John Wickstrom
Sent: 23 January 2001 03:37
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Direction of celebrant
Some of us were discussing an issue this am that we could not resolve: when
the celebrant at Mass turned away from the congregation to face the
wall/apse. Some thought it was in the Carolingian period, accompanying a
rise in the sense of awe and fear in the presence of God, so that the priest
becomes chief suppliant and go between; others placed the turn in the 13th
century perhaps associated with the heightened devotion to the Eucharist and
the "secrecy" that would dictate its confection being hidden from the
congregation. What is the real answer?