From Adnkronos, via Papa Ratzinger Forum
Benedict XVI chose a synthesis of pre- and post-conciliar liturgy, turning his back to the faithful in the traditional manner while saying Paul VI's Mass in Italian.
He celebrated Mass at the altar found at the foot of Michelangelo's Last Judgment during a ceremony that also included administering Baptism to 13 babies.
The pre- and post-Conciliar 'mix' was almost a synthesis of the Pope's liturgical vision, which sees the reform promoted by Vatican-II, not as a rupture with respect to traditional precedent, but as an element of updating which should be read in continuity with tradition.
Ratzinger's aversion is well-known to what he has called 'excesses' in the modern interpretation of the liturgy - its musical aspects and a certain license in the behavior of both priest and congregation - all of which he sees as taking away the profound spirituality, devoid of exterior elements, with which the Mass should be experienced.
From The Telegraph: Pope Benedict turns his back on new rituals
Pope Benedict celebrated parts of Sunday's Mass with his back turned on the congregation, reintroducing an old ritual that was phased out decades ago.
The Pope used the Sistine Chapel's ancient altar, set right against the wall under Michelangelo's dramatic depiction of the Last Judgment, instead of a mobile altar which allowed his predecessor, John Paul II, to face the congregation.
A statement by the Vatican's office for liturgical celebrations said it had been decided to use the old altar, where ballots are placed during papal elections, to respect "the beauty and the harmony of this architectural jewel".
That meant that for the first time in this kind of celebration since the Second Vatican Council, between 1962 and 1965, the Pope occasionally turned his back on the faithful and faced the Cross.
The pontiff is slowly reintroducing some of the rituals phased out after Vatican II, which modernised the Church and ordered that local languages be used instead of Latin.
In another nod to traditionalists, he has said he would like the centuries-old Gregorian chant to be more widely used.