Facing the people in 1955, Paul Claudel’s lament

Famed dramatist reacts . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

From the eminent poet, dramatist, and diplomat Paul Claudel, January 23, 1955, in the French daily Figaro a month before he died:

I wish to protest with all my strength against the growing [unauthorized] practise in France of saying Mass facing the people.

He explained:

The most basic principle of religion is that God holds first place and that the good of man is merely a consequence of the recognition and the practical application of this essential dogma.

Basic, that. Let God be God in your worship. The rest will follow.


The Mass is the homage par excellence which we render to God by the Sacrifice which the priest offers to Him in our name on the altar of His Son. It is us led by the priest and as one with him, going to God to offer Him hostias et preces [Victims and prayers]. It is not…

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