A number of years ago someone came up to me and “complained” that I didn’t make much “eye-contact” with the congregation during the Eucharistic Prayer. I rather had to agree with him – I basically don=t even try to make eye-contact with the congregation at that time. And he was a bit surprised when I went on to explain that I wasn’t about to change!
My reasoning is simple: I’m not talking “to” the congregation at that point! Remember, we direct prayers to God, not each other. Prayer-moments, and especially the great Eucharistic Prayer, ought to reflect this in posture and gesture. Sure, as the priest represents Christ in offering the sacrifice B especially in speaking the words of consecration, “This is my Body, this is my Blood” – there can be appropriate moments of eye-contact. But I wouldn’t want to emphasize this and perhaps give the wrong impression that anything is more important than the Lord at that point.
So when I pray, I tend to “look at God.” In other words, I close my eyes, or look at the gifts on the altar, or sort-of stare into space, or elevate my eyes a bit heavenwards. I try to avoid an attitude or prayer-stance which makes it seem like I’m praying to the book, or to myself, since those would not help the congregation to unite themselves with me in the prayer. I do what feels comfortable, whatever seems to draw me and the congregation more into union with the Lord at that moment. I hope it works.