As readers may have read elsewhere today the Holy Father celebrated Mass in the Sistine chapel this morning but this time the temporary altar for celebrating facing the people was removed and the original altar of the chapel was used instead. Here is a picture courtesy of the NLM blog. It is very encouraging to see the Mass celebrated like this after there has been much written recently, not least by Cardinal Ratzinger himself, about the need to restore this orientation in the Mass. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the issues involved a good introduction can be found here.
I fervently hope that we will see the Pope celebrate Mass like this more often as it will encourage others (myself included) to follow his lead. So far we have read the books and a few brave souls have taken on this practice but with these pictures there is much more encouragement.
In Summorum Pontificum there is mention of the extraordinary form influencing the ordinary and vice versa. Although this orientation has never actually been forbidden for the Paul VI missal (and the rubrics in a few places seem to expect it, as in the priest turns to face the people and says `Behold the Lamb of God`) many churches have been `re-ordered` with varying degrees of iconoclasm on the supposition that this was required by Vatican II. However as the EF is celebrated with this orientation most of the time and the OF is normally celebrated `facing the people` this would be one example of the EF influencing the OF. Maybe we can start an experimental OF like this once a week in the Forest after appropriate catechesis.