Catholic FAQ


Help support Catholic Answers!

Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Eastern Catholicism
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Dec 12, '07, 6:31 pm
Ridgerunner Ridgerunner is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 10, 2006
Posts: 22,157
Religion: Catholic
Default How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas? Does it vary a lot between, say, Ukrainian and, say Maronite, or are they similar? Coptic Catholic? I just have to think there are both differences and things held in common.

I'm a Latin guy, and I would truly love to know.

Last edited by Catherine Grant; Dec 16, '07 at 10:55 am. Reason: split from another thread
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Dec 19, '07, 6:24 am
4HisChurch's Avatar
4HisChurch 4HisChurch is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2004
Posts: 807
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

Thank you for asking this. I, too, would love to know of the Christmas traditions in the East.
__________________
Stop by The Apostolate of St. Augustine and join us in praying and sacrificing for those who have lost their faith!!
Visit St. Dymphna's Well for art, music, poetry and scripture.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Dec 19, '07, 7:15 am
Lance Lance is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2004
Posts: 5,373
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

My son-in-law is Maronite and they do pretty much the same things we do. He said that when he was a kid there was more emphasis on the religious aspect but that could be said of almost any church. I have been to a Christmas Eve service with them and most of the service was is Arabic, which I of course did not understand, and the mass was about 2 1/2 hours long. There were 4 or 5 priest plus their bishop so it was very formal. He said in Lebanon they ate fish on Christmas Eve but it was the best they could afford and lots of it. They opened their gifts after getting home from mass of Christmas Eve and Santa had come while they were at mass. He brought only 1 or 2 gifts, they got gifts from parents, friends and relatives for the 12 days of Christmas but they were small gifts. He did not know if this was just his family tradition due to finances or it was what all Maronites did. Now that they live in America they usually attend a Latin Rite mass due to the distance to the Maronite Church. If they are in boston for Christmas they do attend the Maronite service on Christmas Eve but if they are here in Illinois they go to our Latin Rite service with us. I know this was not a lot of info, perhaps one of our Eastern Rite members will see this and give you more detailed answers.
__________________
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.'

Tiber Swim Team of 1973.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Dec 19, '07, 7:28 am
bpbasilphx bpbasilphx is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 19, 2007
Posts: 8,745
Religion: Orthodox
Default Re: How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

In the Byzantine tradition:

1. A fast, traditionally of 40 days before (though some jurisdictions have shortened it).

2. The Preparation (Paramony) of the Nativity starts on 20 December (at Vespers on 19 December) with services deliberately modeled after those of Holy Week.

3. On 24 December come the Royal Hours (the Little Hours dressed up with special hymn, Prophecy, Epistle, and Gospel), the Vesperal Liturgy, and then the Vigil (usually made of Great Compline and Matins) the night before.

Before Vigil, as a custom of domestic piety comes the Holy Supper or Shepherd's supper. This is a vegan meal (some practices allow fish as well) eaten after the first star comes out.

4. The Liturgy of Christmas is properly celebrated in the day.

5. The Sunday after Christmas is the commemoration of St. James, Prophet David, and St. Joseph. In many churches the Liturgy of St. James is celebrated on this day.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Dec 19, '07, 11:17 am
Dan-Man916 Dan-Man916 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2004
Posts: 1,311
Religion: Catholic
Send a message via AIM to Dan-Man916
Default Re: How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpbasilphx View Post
5. The Sunday after Christmas is the commemoration of St. James, Prophet David, and St. Joseph. In many churches the Liturgy of St. James is celebrated on this day.
Isn't the Liturgy of St James very long, like 4 hours?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Dec 19, '07, 6:34 pm
Patchunky Patchunky is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2005
Posts: 1,524
Religion: Byzantine Rite Catholic
Default Re: How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

Among the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholics, the Christmas Holyday starts with the appearance of the 1st star. It is the job of the youngest member of the household to look for the star.

All the adults have been busy preparing the Svati Vecer or Holy Supper. This is a meat-less meal that is eaten in every household. The meal varies from family to family but usually goes something like this:

A white table cloth is placed on the table. Under this, straw has been scattered to represent the manger where the Infant Jesus was placed.

On the table, a round loaf of bread was placed with a candle in the middle. The candle is lit and represents Christ as the light of the World. The loaf of bread is the staff of life.

As the family sits down to dinner, the door is cracked and an empty place is left at the table. This is for the Holy Family journeying on their way to Bethlehem, to let them know that there is room for them in this house. It is said the empty place is for loved ones and friends who visit from the other world during this time of year.

The meal starts with a prayer followed by eating of a piece of bread smeared with honey and a clove of garlic. The bread symbolizes life and the honey and garlic is everything that is sweet and bitter in life.

Next comes the soup made of mushrooms and sauerkraut. Many families also add babalky, round pieces of bread about the size of a marble.

After the soup, there are dishes of fish, so the meal is meat-less, prunes with pits in them (always a pair so the family will be together the next year), pirohy of various kinds followed by fruits, pastries, nuts, cookies and candy.

The meal ends with a prayer and families get ready to attend either the Great Compline or Divine Liturgy.

In many households, all persons sitting at the Svati Vecer wear shoes. Shoes, in the old country, were a sign of being wealthy. To be barefoot was a sign of being poor and because we are receiving the Infant Jesus, we are rich!

In other homes and villages, heavy chains are tied around the table legs so that the bounty found on the table for the Svati Vecer will remain all year long.

Some villages and homes will eat the Svati Vecer sitting on the floor to remind them of the poverty of the Holy Family.

In other villages, there are 12 courses to the meal to remember the Holy Apostles.

You will find the same or similar customs in Poland, Ukraine and Hungary.

One friend, who is Ukrainian, eats a dish called KUTIJA, which is made of boiled grains and honey. One the traditions followed by his family is for everyone to take a small spoonfull of the KUTIJA and flip it on the ceiling. It's supposed to stay there until it falls off. It's supposed to bring good luck in the New Year.

Hope this helps....
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Dec 20, '07, 1:39 am
bpbasilphx bpbasilphx is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 19, 2007
Posts: 8,745
Religion: Orthodox
Default Re: How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

**Isn't the Liturgy of St James very long, like 4 hours?**

Not really, more like 2, at least in English.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Dec 21, '07, 11:01 am
lak611 lak611 is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 9, 2006
Posts: 17,744
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

Do any Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas on January 7 like the Eastern Orthodox do?
__________________
Laura

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Dec 21, '07, 8:59 pm
Patchunky Patchunky is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2005
Posts: 1,524
Religion: Byzantine Rite Catholic
Default Re: How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lak611 View Post
Do any Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas on January 7 like the Eastern Orthodox do?

It depends on which ones you're talking about and where they live.

Ruthenian Eastern Catholics in the US & Canada celebrate on December 25th.

Ukrainian Eastern Catholics are divided into Old Calendar and New Calendar parishes. In the US, the vast majority are New Calendar parishes and celebrate on the 25th. The Old Calendar parishes will celebrate on January 7th.

In the "Old Country", meaning Slovakia and Ukraine, those living in Slovakia celebrate on the 25th and those living in Ukraine celebrate on the 7th.

I've also heard that Latin Rite Catholics living in Russia celebrate on January 7th so as to celebrate with the rest of the population but I can't confirm this....

Hope this helps....
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Dec 21, '07, 10:02 pm
Irish Melkite Irish Melkite is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2004
Posts: 1,435
Religion: Melkite Greek Catholic
Smile Re: How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lak611 View Post
Do any Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas on January 7 like the Eastern Orthodox do?
Melkites in the old country not uncommonly celebrate by the Old Calendar; in the diaspora, there are a couple of parishes which do so.

Many years,

Neil
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Dec 21, '07, 10:13 pm
lak611 lak611 is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 9, 2006
Posts: 17,744
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patchunky View Post
It depends on which ones you're talking about and where they live.

Ruthenian Eastern Catholics in the US & Canada celebrate on December 25th.

Ukrainian Eastern Catholics are divided into Old Calendar and New Calendar parishes. In the US, the vast majority are New Calendar parishes and celebrate on the 25th. The Old Calendar parishes will celebrate on January 7th.

In the "Old Country", meaning Slovakia and Ukraine, those living in Slovakia celebrate on the 25th and those living in Ukraine celebrate on the 7th.

I've also heard that Latin Rite Catholics living in Russia celebrate on January 7th so as to celebrate with the rest of the population but I can't confirm this....

Hope this helps....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Melkite View Post
Melkites in the old country not uncommonly celebrate by the Old Calendar; in the diaspora, there are a couple of parishes which do so.

Many years,

Neil
Thank you Patchunky and Neil!
__________________
Laura

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Dec 21, '07, 10:21 pm
Irish Melkite Irish Melkite is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2004
Posts: 1,435
Religion: Melkite Greek Catholic
Smile Re: How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance View Post
If they are in boston for Christmas they do attend the Maronite service on Christmas Eve but if they are here in Illinois they go to our Latin Rite service with us.
Lance,

I'm guessing from this that your son-in-law is a parishioner at Our Lady of the Cedars of Lebanon in Jamaica Plain. If so, next time you're in Boston visiting, drive a mile beyond Cedars and attend Divine Liturgy at the Melkite Cathedral; I'm sure that Father Lahoud wouldn't mind at all if your son-in-law were to worship at their sister parish on a single Sunday

Many years,

Neil
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Dec 23, '07, 3:49 pm
Lance Lance is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2004
Posts: 5,373
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How do Eastern Catholics celebrate Christmas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Melkite View Post
Lance,

I'm guessing from this that your son-in-law is a parishioner at Our Lady of the Cedars of Lebanon in Jamaica Plain. If so, next time you're in Boston visiting, drive a mile beyond Cedars and attend Divine Liturgy at the Melkite Cathedral; I'm sure that Father Lahoud wouldn't mind at all if your son-in-law were to worship at their sister parish on a single Sunday

Many years,

Neil
Thanks, maybe we will do it this summer. They will be here for Christmas this year. I am picking them up at Midway tonight, their flight has been delayed 2 hours, hope they make it tonight as tomorrow (24th) is my grandsons 3rd birthday.
__________________
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.'

Tiber Swim Team of 1973.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Eastern Catholicism

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do Eastern Catholics have stations of the cross? rosary? adoration? Threepwood Eastern Catholicism 143 Nov 16, '07 4:35 pm
Eastern Orthodox view of Latin Catholics cascherman Non-Catholic Religions 13 Nov 7, '07 5:02 pm



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8035Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: Greenfields
4822CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: Irishmom2
4288Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: James_OPL
4027OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: fencersmother
3811SOLITUDE
Last by: tuscany
3367Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: James_OPL
3184Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: libralion
3146Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
2961For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: tammany
2688Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: grateful_child



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 7:45 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2013, Catholic Answers.