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  #1  
Old Sep 20, '10, 11:36 am
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Tabby Tabby is offline
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Default What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

My spiritual director is a Roman Catholic priest who is studying the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom so he can eventually become bi-ritual. He very much wants me to attend a Byzantine liturgy, just to experience it. He didn't make it a matter of obedience, but I want to go ahead and do it if I can.

There's a Byzantine Catholic church in my area, so that's not a problem. I asked my spiritual director what to expect, and he said all I need to do is stand in the back and experience it -- and there's where my problem lies. I've heard that there is a lot more standing in Eastern divine liturgies than there is at Roman Catholic liturgies, and I have difficulty standing for long stretches of time. Will there be opportunity to sit if I need to?

Beyond that practical aspect, I'd like to know what else to expect. Are there any special courtesies I need to be aware of? What happens during Communion? I know that Communion is placed on the communicant's tongue with a spoon, but what do I need to do to ensure that goes smoothly? Or should I refrain from receiving for the time being? (I know that I can receive Communion since this is a Catholic liturgy; but I wonder if it would be prudent to do so if I have never done so before at a Byzantine liturgy.)

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old Sep 20, '10, 11:55 am
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Nine_Two Nine_Two is online now
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

Feel free to sit when you need to. The only times you will be expected to stand will be the Lords Prayer, the Anaphora, and the Reading of the Gospel. I've probably missed a few, but just do what the rest of the congregation does. If there are people sitting at some point, you're probably alright.
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  #3  
Old Sep 20, '10, 1:03 pm
Barbkw Barbkw is offline
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

EWTN has a new series explaining the Eastern Church. I know that Fr. Mitch often talks about it as well.
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  #4  
Old Sep 20, '10, 1:21 pm
Cristiano Cristiano is offline
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

Expect to chant quite a bit.

I am sure that there will be some kind person that will give you a brief introduction before the Divine Liturgy. Communion is offered through a spoon and you just need to open your mouth (do not stick your tongue out) tilt your head back and receive. When going to communion cross your arms on your chest.

Remember there is always a first time for everything!
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  #5  
Old Sep 20, '10, 1:28 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

Yup, just go. Sit towards the back, and follow everyone. Works for me everytime
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  #6  
Old Sep 20, '10, 1:31 pm
Barbkw Barbkw is offline
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

Are the Orthodox in communion with Rome now?

If so, how can you tell which are and which aren't? We have a Greek Orthodox Church in my town, but our priest has never mentioned that their church.

Thanks!
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  #7  
Old Sep 20, '10, 1:35 pm
Cristiano Cristiano is offline
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbkw View Post
Are the Orthodox in communion with Rome now?

If so, how can you tell which are and which aren't? We have a Greek Orthodox Church in my town, but our priest has never mentioned that their church.

Thanks!
The Orthodox are not in communion with Rome. However, Eastern Catholic Churches are in full communion with the Latin Church and the info for the ones present in your area should be available on your Diocesan web site or through your Diocese.
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  #8  
Old Sep 20, '10, 1:40 pm
Barbkw Barbkw is offline
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

Ah, Eastern Catholic Church.

Thanks, I'm not at all up on how to tell the differences & what to look for, etc.

I taped that program on EWTN, but I can't find the series titles on their website. Two priests sit side by side and talk about the Eastern Church. I'll find the name of the program tonight and post later.
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  #9  
Old Sep 20, '10, 1:52 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbkw View Post
Are the Orthodox in communion with Rome now?

If so, how can you tell which are and which aren't? We have a Greek Orthodox Church in my town, but our priest has never mentioned that their church.

Thanks!
Eastern Churches in Communion with Rome will always have "Catholic" in their names and never "Orthodox".

So a Ukrainian Catholic Church is in communion with Rome, while a Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not.
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  #10  
Old Sep 20, '10, 1:57 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristiano View Post
The Orthodox are not in communion with Rome. However, Eastern Catholic Churches are in full communion with the Latin Church and the info for the ones present in your area should be available on your Diocesan web site or through your Diocese.
Sometimes it is not. Depends if the local Roman Diocese is in charge of the Eastern Rite parish or not. This happens where there is a concentration of migrants in an area with otherwise do not have members of the sui juris Church. For example, the Melkite and Chaldean Churches here in Vancouver share a parish with a Roman Rite parish who actually owns the building. They do not have an Eparchy here and while the priests in those parishes report to a Bishop in another Eparchy, they are also under, in some way, the Roman Diocese (maybe in administrative matters). But the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of New Westminster has their own parishes, their own website. I don't see the UGCC parishes listed on the Roman Archdiocese website, and vice versa.
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  #11  
Old Sep 20, '10, 2:01 pm
Phillip Rolfes Phillip Rolfes is offline
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristiano View Post
The Orthodox are not in communion with Rome. However, Eastern Catholic Churches are in full communion with the Latin Church and the info for the ones present in your area should be available on your Diocesan web site or through your Diocese.
Information on the Eastern Catholic Churches isn't always available through the local Latin Diocese (in fact, I've never seen it available) because the majority of Eastern Catholic Churches in the U.S. have their own dioceses and hierarchy that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the local Latin hierarch. I can only think of two Eastern Catholic Churches (both following the Byzantine tradition) that fall under the local Latin hierarch here in the U.S., the Italo-Albanians and the Russians.

If you want to find a local Eastern Catholic or Oriental Catholic Church I suggest you check out the "find a parish" section of www.byzcath.org

I hope you enjoy your experience(s) among us Easterners. I don't really suggest standing towards the back. I really think there's no need to. But it does help if you have a friend at whatever parish you're planning on visiting, just so that they can help guide you along. If there are Liturgy books in the pew, I strongly encourage you NOT to use them, otherwise you'll spend more time flipping through the book trying to figure out what's going on rather than paying attention to and soaking in the Divine Liturgy.

For me personally, Byzantine Liturgy has always felt completely natural. I remember the first time I went the deacon's wife was surprised to find out that I wasn't actually an Eastern Catholic and had never been to a Divine Liturgy. She basically said that I looked like I'd been going all my life.

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  #12  
Old Sep 20, '10, 2:02 pm
Barbkw Barbkw is offline
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

Thank you for the reply.

"So a Ukrainian Catholic Church is in communion with Rome, while a Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not."

That's easy to remember then! Good It must say Catholic in the name.

I live in a small town - under 25,000 - so I don't have opportunity to visit Ukranian Catholic Churchs, the way perhaps a person in a large city would.

However, there are churches that use the word catholic in their names, but they aren't in communion with Rome (American Catholic Church).

It gets confusing.
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  #13  
Old Sep 20, '10, 2:06 pm
Phillip Rolfes Phillip Rolfes is offline
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConstantineTG View Post
Sometimes it is not. Depends if the local Roman Diocese is in charge of the Eastern Rite parish or not. This happens where there is a concentration of migrants in an area with otherwise do not have members of the sui juris Church. For example, the Melkite and Chaldean Churches here in Vancouver share a parish with a Roman Rite parish who actually owns the building. They do not have an Eparchy here and while the priests in those parishes report to a Bishop in another Eparchy, they are also under, in some way, the Roman Diocese (maybe in administrative matters). But the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of New Westminster has their own parishes, their own website. I don't see the UGCC parishes listed on the Roman Archdiocese website, and vice versa.
The Melkites in your area are in no way under the Roman diocese, but they are very blessed that the Roman bishop permits them to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in one of his church buildings. Should they ever be fortunate enough, however, to obtain their own church building, then they would have no connection to the Latin hierarch at all. All of the Melkites in the United States belong to the Eparchy (i.e. Diocese) of Newton, based in Massachusetts. Similarly, all the Romanian Greek Catholics in the United States belong to the Romanian Eparchy of St. George, based in Canton, Ohio. The Ruthenians and Ukrainians divide up the entire United States into three or four different Eparchies, as do the Maronites I believe.
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  #14  
Old Sep 20, '10, 2:17 pm
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GaryTaylor GaryTaylor is online now
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

I'd like to hear the Byzantine liturgy. I'd like to see the inside of the church.
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  #15  
Old Sep 20, '10, 2:18 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: What can I expect at a Byzantine liturgy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip Rolfes View Post
The Melkites in your area are in no way under the Roman diocese, but they are very blessed that the Roman bishop permits them to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in one of his church buildings. Should they ever be fortunate enough, however, to obtain their own church building, then they would have no connection to the Latin hierarch at all. All of the Melkites in the United States belong to the Eparchy (i.e. Diocese) of Newton, based in Massachusetts. Similarly, all the Romanian Greek Catholics in the United States belong to the Romanian Eparchy of St. George, based in Canton, Ohio. The Ruthenians and Ukrainians divide up the entire United States into three or four different Eparchies, as do the Maronites I believe.
I think what I meant to say was that liturgically and canonically they are not under the Roman Bishop, but perhaps administratively they are. There is some sort of guardianship role the Roman Archbishop takes over these smaller Eastern Churches in our diocese. They are not entirely under the Bishop but fall under him in some manner. I wish I could explain it further but I do not understand the relationship fully. But there is something as the Roman Archdiocese supports them.
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