I have done something that has been gnawing at me for months. I have read several books on church architecture that have concentrated on the concept of "relative space." The prevailing philosophy or our day is Relativism. Since all things are relative, then all things are equal.
- I am addressing prayers to God and not looking at people while I'm doing so. (This has always been a problem with Mass versus populi.) I have always been very careful about this anyway, when I celebrate facing the people. I try, unless I have to read the prayers directly from the Sacramentary, to direct my eye "Godwards," i.e., upwards, except for the prayer for peace that comes after the Lord's Prayer and which is directed (unlike the Eucharistic prayer and the collects that are addressed to the Father) to Christ. I look at the sacramental elements on the altar during that prayer as I've always tried to practice custody of the "liturgical" eye.
- The people don't have to be distracted by looking at me, and I don't have to be distracted by looking at them.
- It makes the chapel bigger by cutting down on the "footprint." In a small room this can be a great advantage, and I was able to relegate the original processional cross that was made for the chapel to be the p-c for Lent, and now use the original altar cross from the church.
- There is something ineffable about it that I experience as I offer the Mass in this way.
Of course, I turn toward the people and address them at the proper times. Not gonna just say "The Lord be with you." glancing back over my shoulder.
This will not in any way affect the arrangement in the church of the altar for Sunday and Holy Day Masses (the only days we use the church anyway).
Let us see . . .