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Identity and background of Eastern Catholics

MarkosC

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A recently published article by one of my mentors, Archpriest David Petras:

Thanks, Father Deacon. That was an interesting read.

That said, a random bit at the end struck me the most - something interesting to ponder.

The second reform [representing roughly each generation of the Ruthenian church since 189x] was what some have called the “americanization” of the Liturgy. The leaders of the Church felt that to fit in with the American culture, the Liturgy had to be shortened, and efficient Western type rituals that would not be a burden on the people were introduced. This, too, was not a true reform, since it abandoned the gospel mission of the Church to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and instead surrendered to the culture and created a minimal form of worship that did not demand much of us except, of course, that God always acts in his Divine Liturgy, even if celebrated poorly. Nor should we necessarily condemn the bishops and priests who did this, since they acted according to their conscience and wanted to keep the numbers of people in the Church. It is clear, however, that there has always been a force for authentic tradition in the Church, and though there remain powerful challenges to faith in modern culture, the Eastern Church in America has substantially returned to most of its tradition.
 

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Thanks, Father Deacon. That was an interesting read.

That said, a random bit at the end struck me the most - something interesting to ponder.
Indeed, but I have seen it in person. My parish had one pastor for 48 years who used every abbreviation in the Blue Book (if you are familiar with the American Ruthenian books) and Liturgy took an hour. He retired 5 years ago. The new priest follows the new Liturgicon, adds the Beatitudes, and I always take the complete Litany of Supplication. Liturgy takes an hour and 15 minutes sometimes a little longer. We lost parishioners over that 15 extra minutes. They were not completely incorrect in their thinking.
 

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Correct, and even the best singer will have (hopefully few!) days when he sounds like an electrocuted cat-frog. I will controversially say that it does not matter: how nice the singing is has no bearing on the holiness of the monastery, etc. The most important thing is the interior disposition and prayer of those in attendance. Good singing is nice though. :).
Oh trust me, I know the struggle. Bad singing is a different kind of ascetical experience. :)

Indeed, but I have seen it in person. My parish had one pastor for 48 years who used every abbreviation in the Blue Book (if you are familiar with the American Ruthenian books) and Liturgy took an hour. He retired 5 years ago. The new priest follows the new Liturgicon, adds the Beatitudes, and I always take the complete Litany of Supplication. Liturgy takes an hour and 15 minutes sometimes a little longer. We lost parishioners over that 15 extra minutes. They were not completely incorrect in their thinking.
Nobody is forcing them to stay until the dismissal. What about the parishioners who benefit from having fuller services? Why is it that their pastoral needs never seem to be under consideration, but rather only the needs of these liturgical terrorists who threaten to leave over a few extra litanies receive consideration? Is it because people with enough money to keep churches running don't have an extra 15 minutes to take away from Mammon to give to God? Help a simple-minded individual such as myself to understand the complex wiles of these people who are so important that we can't pray for 15 extra minutes on their account.
 

Deacon Lance

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Oh trust me, I know the struggle. Bad singing is a different kind of ascetical experience. :)



Nobody is forcing them to stay until the dismissal. What about the parishioners who benefit from having fuller services? Why is it that their pastoral needs never seem to be under consideration, but rather only the needs of these liturgical terrorists who threaten to leave over a few extra litanies receive consideration? Is it because people with enough money to keep churches running don't have an extra 15 minutes to take away from Mammon to give to God? Help a simple-minded individual such as myself to understand the complex wiles of these people who are so important that we can't pray for 15 extra minutes on their account.
I don’t understand it either. I completely loose track of time while serving. I couldn’t tell you if it took an hour or an hour and a half. I was just commenting on the fact the bishops and priests weren’t wrong in thinking they would lose people. My response to those who complained was exactly yours: “You can’t give God 15 more minutes?”
 

Dominika

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Romanian Eastern Catholics (as always, found by me by accident):

You see how many things are missing there and how many things Latin (even vestments of altar boys), I am puting form the moment of carol that actually is very known by both Orthodox and Catholic (also Latins) in Poland and Ukraine (and yeah Romania too but maybe a bit less)


And here 1st Communion and guitars
 

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That iconostasis reminds me of a picture I saw of St. Demetrius Ukrainian Catholic Church in Toronto, Canada. Is ths becoming the fashion in modern Eastern-rite churches around the world? What would you call this style? See-through iconostasis? The exterior of this church looks like a cake-carrier.

St Demetrius Iconostasis.jpg
Church-exterior-photosm-768x505.jpg
 

IreneOlinyk

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First Communions with all the little girls in white dress in a Ukrainian Catholic village church in Popivsti, Halychyna, Ukraine April 13, 2021
Перше причастя Попівці

 

IreneOlinyk

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Very large statue of Sacred Heart of Jesus on the right-hand side of the iconostasis in a villege Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast in Ukraine, also a statue of the Theotokos on the left-hand side of the iconostasis. On the Iconostasis itself the icon of christ shows Him wearing white & blue instead of the traditional red & blue.
 
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I think the sacred heart examples etc. show that we cannot be in communion. I do not think these are bad or not Christian, but they are outside of our tradition & not good for our internal cohesion.
 

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What would you call this style?
I would call this style the fruit of unbelief and hypocrisy: people do not believe in what they are doing in the altar, do not believe in the saving and enlightening power of God, project their unbelief on parishioners, and in order to convince them (parishioners) that they (clergy) are not idlers, flaunt the Holy of Holies: "Look, we are busy! We stand like this, we turn like this, we do this and that; and we will also read the secret priestly prayers aloud to you. In Russian instead of Church Slavonic."
 

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I would call this style the fruit of unbelief and hypocrisy: people do not believe in what they are doing in the altar, do not believe in the saving and enlightening power of God, project their unbelief on parishioners, and in order to convince them (parishioners) that they (clergy) are not idlers, flaunt the Holy of Holies: "Look, we are busy! We stand like this, we turn like this, we do this and that; and we will also read the secret priestly prayers aloud to you. In Russian instead of Church Slavonic."
There are no such thing as secret priestly prayers.
 
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There are no such thing as secret priestly prayers.
There are hundreds of prayers for the secrets in the Latin rite. Why are they called secrets..? They are said in silence by the priest.

The Eastern rite has them too, except they are the same every Divine liturgy (like prayers said during the singing of the 1st antiphon, or the prayers of lighting at vespers)

It's true that in modern parish practice some of them are said aloud (namely the epiclesis) but that doesn't abrogated any notion of secret prayers.
 

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There are hundreds of prayers for the secrets in the Latin rite. Why are they called secrets..? They are said in silence by the priest.

The Eastern rite has them too, except they are the same every Divine liturgy (like prayers said during the singing of the 1st antiphon, or the prayers of lighting at vespers)

It's true that in modern parish practice some of them are said aloud (namely the epiclesis) but that doesn't abrogated any notion of secret prayers.
They may be said quietly (and that is an abuse against the canons) but they are not secret. We are not the cult of Mithras.
 
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They may be said quietly (and that is an abuse against the canons) but they are not secret. We are not the cult of Mithras.
When Hurrrah said "we will also read the secret priestly prayers aloud to you." he was obviously referring to the fact that these prayers traditionally read quietly by the priest are called secrets and not that they are a cultic mystery ritual.

If the canons prohibit the reading of prayers in quiet, then why are some Orthodox liturgical compositions deliberately designed to be sung while the priest is praying (like the cherubic hymn and why are these prayers called to be said in a low voice in the Typikon?
 

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^This. By the way, in the photo above - it is exactly the prayer read during the cherubic ) Silently. Or quiet. Secretly )
 

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In Russian instead of Church Slavonic.
Am I taking this too seriously? Is there something wrong with this?

I don't mind liturgical languages but cant think of anything particularly wrong with using vernacular either.
 

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Church Slavonic is sacred, Russian is profane. Some translations sound frankly ridiculous and absurdly; the meaning is lost.
 

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Fair enough. Finns use vernacular but IMO it's formal and old-fashioned enough to make it work. Only thing that might sound cringe is choir singing since we use Russian melodies which doesn't always play well with our language.
 

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You have very... peculiar ideas. But I can't enter into a discussion )
At least I am in good company.

St Justinian the Great

“We command that all bishops and presbyters pronounce the prayers of the Divine Anaphora and Holy Baptism not secretly, but with a voice that can be heard well by the faithful people, so that the minds of the listeners would be moved towards greater compunction and thanksgiving to God. It is fitting that prayers to our Lord Jesus Christ our God, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in all occasions and at other services be pronounced loudly [meta fōnēs]. Those refusing to do so will give their answer before God’s throne and if we should find out, we will not leave them without punishment.”
 

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Church Slavonic is sacred, Russian is profane. Some translations sound frankly ridiculous and absurdly; the meaning is lost.
The prayers make the language sacred. The language does not make the prayers sacred.
 

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If the canons prohibit the reading of prayers in quiet, then why are some Orthodox liturgical compositions deliberately designed to be sung while the priest is praying (like the cherubic hymn and why are these prayers called to be said in a low voice in the Typikon?
Because they were designed after the priest started saying them silently to cover the awkward silence.
 

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At least I am in good company.

St Justinian the Great

“We command that all bishops and presbyters pronounce the prayers of the Divine Anaphora and Holy Baptism not secretly, but with a voice that can be heard well by the faithful people, so that the minds of the listeners would be moved towards greater compunction and thanksgiving to God. It is fitting that prayers to our Lord Jesus Christ our God, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in all occasions and at other services be pronounced loudly [meta fōnēs]. Those refusing to do so will give their answer before God’s throne and if we should find out, we will not leave them punishment.
This isn't a canon.. so the whole Church, in all liturgies sung for 1500 years after this edict fell into error and there was constant liturgical abuse until at the latest this last century? And all the Holy priests who said the prayers in a quiet voice will give their answer to God's throne for following the rubrics of the last thousand years? And despite the Byzantine rite, the Latin rite, the Coptic rite, and the Armenian rite all contain prayers read traditionally in a quiet voice so it's a universal practice.
 

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The prayers make the language sacred. The language does not make the prayers sacred.
They kind of do because we are people and not machines. If there's a language that's only used for prayer it creates devotion in itself. Not because this or that language be holier but because people start to associate that language with holiness which helps people to concentrate etc. more to prayer.
 

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They kind of do because we are people and not machines. If there's a language that's only used for prayer it creates devotion in itself. Not because this or that language be holier but because people start to associate that language with holiness which helps people to concentrate etc. more to prayer.
They kind of don’t. What you post is love of nostalgia, sentimentalism. “I love the Liturgy in (insert language). I don’t understand a word of it but it makes me feel holy.”
 

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This isn't a canon.. so the whole Church, in all liturgies sung for 1500 years after this edict fell into error and there was constant liturgical abuse until at the latest this last century? And all the Holy priests who said the prayers in a quiet voice will give their answer to God's throne for following the rubrics of the last thousand years? And despite the Byzantine rite, the Latin rite, the Coptic rite, and the Armenian rite all contain prayers read traditionally in a quiet voice so it's a universal practice.
Yes, prayers, especially the Anaphora, are for the hearing of the people. Saying them silently is an abuse that leads to clericalism and distorts the faith.
 
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Yes, prayers, especially the Anaphora, are for the hearing of the people. Saying them silently is an abuse that leads to clericalism and distorts the faith.
Can you prove it's an abuse by canon law? As an Eastern Catholic, you should follow your own ecumenical councils.

Council of Trent

Chapter 5. On the solemn ceremonies of the Sacrifice of the Mass

And whereas such is the nature of man, that, without external helps, he cannot easily be raised to the meditation of divine things; therefore has Holy Mother Church instituted certain rites, to wit that certain things be pronounced in the Mass in a low, and others in a louder, tone. She has likewise employed ceremonies, such as mystic benedictions, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind, derived from an apostolical discipline and tradition, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be recommended, and the minds of the faithful be excited, by those visible signs of religion and piety, to the contemplation of those most sublime things which are hidden in this sacrifice.

Canon 9
If any one say, that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the Canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low voice, is to be condemned; or, that the Mass ought to be celebrated only in the vulgar tongue; or, that water ought not to be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice, for that it is contrary to the institution of Christ; let him be anathema.”
 
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Deacon Lance

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Can you prove it's an abuse by canon law? As an Eastern Catholic, you should follow your own ecumenical councils.

Council of Trent

Chapter 5. On the solemn ceremonies of the Sacrifice of the Mass

And whereas such is the nature of man, that, without external helps, he cannot easily be raised to the meditation of divine things; therefore has Holy Mother Church instituted certain rites, to wit that certain things be pronounced in the Mass in a low, and others in a louder, tone. She has likewise employed ceremonies, such as mystic benedictions, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind, derived from an apostolical discipline and tradition, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be recommended, and the minds of the faithful be excited, by those visible signs of religion and piety, to the contemplation of those most sublime things which are hidden in this sacrifice.

Canon 9
If any one say, that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the Canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low voice, is to be condemned; or, that the Mass ought to be celebrated only in the vulgar tongue; or, that water ought not to be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice, for that it is contrary to the institution of Christ; let him be anathema.”
Disciplines may be changed by subsequent Councils.

From the current General Instruction of the Roman Missal:

The Prayers and Other Parts Pertaining to the Priest

30. Among those things assigned to the Priest, the prime place is occupied by the Eucharistic Prayer, which is the high point of the whole celebration. Next are the orations, that is to say, the Collect, the Prayer over the Offerings, and the Prayer after Communion. These prayers are addressed to God by the Priest who presides over the assembly in the person of Christ, in the name of the entire holy people and of all present.[43] Hence they are rightly called the “presidential prayers.”

31. Likewise it is also for the Priest, in the exercise of his office of presiding over the gathered assembly, to offer certain explanations that are foreseen in the rite itself. Where this is laid down by the rubrics, the celebrant is permitted to adapt them somewhat so that they correspond to the capacity for understanding of those participating. However, the Priest should always take care to keep to the sense of the explanatory text given in the Missal and
to express it in just a few words. It is also for the presiding Priest to regulate the Word of God and to impart the final blessing. He is permitted, furthermore, in a very few words, to give the faithful an introduction to the Mass of the day (after the initial Greeting and before the Penitential Act), to the Liturgy of the Word (before the readings), and to the Eucharistic Prayer (before the Preface), though never during the Eucharistic Prayer itself; he may also make concluding comments regarding the entire sacred action before the Dismissal.

32. The nature of the “presidential” parts requires that they be spoken in a loud and clear voice and that everyone listen to them attentively.[44] Therefore, while the Priest is pronouncing them, there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent.

33. For the Priest, as the one who presides, expresses prayers in the name of the Church and of the assembled community; but at times he prays only in his own name, asking that he may exercise his ministry with greater attention and devotion. Prayers of this kind, which occur before the reading of the Gospel, at the Preparation of the Gifts, and also before and after the Communion of the Priest, are said quietly.
 
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Disciplines may be changed by subsequent Councils.
Councils can change discipline. In your opinion, was the Tridentine decision of God or not? If it's ecumenical it's from the Holy Spirit, no?

It's also not disciplinary, but doctrinal. It's anathemizing anyone who condemns the secret prayers can be read in a low voice.

You said that secret prayers were wrong and uncanonical, even giving a quote that implies priests who pray the prayers in a low voice will be judged by God for it. That's not disciplinary - that's doctrinal.
 

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Councils can change discipline. In your opinion, was the Tridentine decision of God or not? If it's ecumenical it's from the Holy Spirit, no?

It's also not disciplinary, but doctrinal. It's anathemizing anyone who condemns the secret prayers can be read in a low voice.

You said that secret prayers were wrong and uncanonical, even giving a quote that implies priests who pray the prayers in a low voice will be judged by God for it. That's not disciplinary - that's doctrinal.
If it was doctrine it could not be changed. They were originally said aloud, then silently, now some say them aloud again. Are the fathers, like St John Chrysostom wrong for saying the payers aloud? Was St Justinian wrong for trying to correct an innovation in his time?
 
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If it was doctrine it could not be changed.
The doctrine isn't whether they should or should not be said aloud for pastoral reasons. It's condemning people who say secret prayers are wrong or sinful.

hey were originally said aloud, then silently, now some say them aloud again. Are the fathers, like St John Chrysostom wrong for saying the payers aloud?
No, but neither are the fathers and saints who prayed the prayers quietly to be condemned.
Was St Justinian wrong for trying to correct an innovation in his time?
Not necessarily, but it's telling the Church in both the East and West ultimately did not follow what St. Justinian decreed.
 

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Not necessarily, but it's telling the Church in both the East and West ultimately did not follow what St. Justinian decreed.
Not really. Once the language of the Liturgy was no longer a language the people understood it really didn’t matter if the prayers were aloud. Easier and quicker to have the deacon do a litany or the choir sing a hymn while that was going on.
 
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Not really. Once the language of the Liturgy was no longer a language the people understood it really didn’t matter if the prayers were aloud. Easier and quicker to have the deacon do a litany or the choir sing a hymn while that was going on.
As far as I understand it, Slavonic and koine greek are more or less intelligible to Russian and Greek speaking people (especially 200 years ago or more) And today when they aren't able to understand it's due to a lack of education. Just like people can't understand KJV English anymore even though it's absolutely intelligible with modern English 100 years ago.
 

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As far as I understand it, Slavonic and koine greek are more or less intelligible to Russian and Greek speaking people (especially 200 years ago or more) And today when they aren't able to understand it's due to a lack of education. Just like people can't understand KJV English anymore even though it's absolutely intelligible with modern English 100 years ago.
I would say your understanding is wrong. It has been argued on this and other forums but it is generally recognized, aside from simple memorized prayers, neither is that intelligible to modern speakers which is why you see movements to use modern Russian and Greek
 

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