Shown: a panel of a Baptismal font that is one of the Seven Sacraments series. Each of the seven sides depicts a Sacrament.
I never knew that the Jews prayed facing East until someone recently told me. I had known that the Muslims did. Strange isn't it that the three major religions all have it within their Traditions to face East in prayer. Except for the Novus Ordo priest during Mass.
How very unecumenical of him.
From an Adoremus article on Facing East:
History of "Liturgical East"
Why the insistence on an Eastward-facing position for both priest and congregation? From early on, Christians adopted the Jewish practice of praying toward Eden, in the East (Gen. 2:8), the direction from which Ezekiel saw come "the glory of the God of Israel" (Ezek 43:2,4), the direction in which Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives and wherefrom He will return (Acts 1:11), and the direction whence the Angel of the Lord will come in the end time (Rev. 7:2). Tertullian informs us that Christian churches are "always" oriented "toward the light".
Origen asserts that the direction of the rising sun obviously indicates that we ought to pray inclining in that direction, an act which symbolizes the soul looking toward the rising of the true light, the Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ.
Saint John Damascene says that, while waiting the coming of the Lord, "we adore Him facing East", for that is the tradition passed down to us from the Apostles. Other Church Fathers who confirm this usage are Clement of Alexandria, Saint Basil and Saint Augustine. To this day, the ancient Coptic Rite of Egypt retains in its eucharistic liturgy (just before the Sursum corda) the age-old exhortation of the deacon: "Look towards the East!"
In The Reform of the Roman Rite (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.: Una Voce Press; Harrison, N.Y.: Roman Catholic Books, 1993, chaps. XII-XV), the late Monsignor Klaus Gamber, director of the Regensburg Liturgical Institute, demonstrates convincingly that the precedents for freestanding altars with Mass "facing the people" have been highly exaggerated. In agreement with such eminent (and unquestionably orthodox) liturgists as Father Josef A. Jungmann and Father Louis Bouyer, Gamber shows that the practice of celebrating the Eucharist versus populum flourished only in the city of Rome and in parts of North Africa, where the pagan custom of having the façade (rather than the apse) of a temple facing East was continued; but even then, the historical evidence shows that, while the celebrant did in fact face the people, they did not face him, but turned their backs on him during the prayers so that they, too, could face East.
The whole article can be read here. Written by Fr. Thomas Kocik, a priest of the Fall River diocese in Massachusetts, who from what I understand, is forbidden to say the Latin Mass at the Indult located just a few miles away from his parish.