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  #1  
Old Feb 12, '12, 12:47 pm
Byz Guy Byz Guy is offline
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Join Date: January 22, 2012
Posts: 131
Default End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

From a letter read today, February 12, in all US Melkite Greek Catholic parishes from Bishop Nicholas Samra, mandating the end of "First Communion" celebrations in US Melkite parishes (which goes against the traditional Eastern practice of Infant Communion):

"Some object saying that the children will miss something important in
their lives. A "First Communion Ceremony" is not a child issue but
rather it is an adult issue. I have witnessed in my 42 years as a
priest and 23 as bishop that children receiving the Eucharist since
infancy, if properly taught by their parents, have a good understand
that what they receive is Jesus! Adults think it is cute to dress up
the young ones, and have a reason for a party and gifts. Dress them up
every Sunday and bring them to Church for the great thanksgiving
"party" of the Eucharist."

"I ask you priests and deacons especially, to walk with me on this
issue, even if you have personal objections. You should not be telling
your faithful that you disagree with your bishop in a public manner;
this only creates dissention. Teach our proper customs, and I expect
your full support."


Full text here:

https://melkite.org/wp-content/uploa.../DOC013012.pdf
  #2  
Old Feb 12, '12, 1:05 pm
ThatOneGuy92 ThatOneGuy92 is offline
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Join Date: April 11, 2011
Posts: 468
Religion: Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod
Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byz Guy View Post
From a letter read today, February 12, in all US Melkite Greek Catholic parishes from Bishop Nicholas Samra, mandating the end of "First Communion" celebrations in US Melkite parishes (which goes against the traditional Eastern practice of Infant Communion):

"Some object saying that the children will miss something important in
their lives. A "First Communion Ceremony" is not a child issue but
rather it is an adult issue. I have witnessed in my 42 years as a
priest and 23 as bishop that children receiving the Eucharist since
infancy, if properly taught by their parents, have a good understand
that what they receive is Jesus! Adults think it is cute to dress up
the young ones, and have a reason for a party and gifts. Dress them up
every Sunday and bring them to Church for the great thanksgiving
"party" of the Eucharist."

"I ask you priests and deacons especially, to walk with me on this
issue, even if you have personal objections. You should not be telling
your faithful that you disagree with your bishop in a public manner;
this only creates dissention. Teach our proper customs, and I expect
your full support."


Full text here:

https://melkite.org/wp-content/uploa.../DOC013012.pdf
I applaud this move. I can only pray that no major scandal is caused and that, with time and catechesis, any misunderstandings can be cleared up.
__________________
Sincerely your brother in Christ,
Tim

"I cannot persuade myself that without love to others, and without, as far as rests with me, peaceableness towards all, I can be called a worthy servant of Jesus Christ."
- St. Basil the Great
  #3  
Old Feb 12, '12, 1:14 pm
WetCatechumen's Avatar
WetCatechumen WetCatechumen is offline
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Join Date: November 22, 2008
Posts: 761
Religion: Catholic - Somewhere between Roman and Ruthenian
Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Die, Latin innovations, die!
__________________
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
  #4  
Old Feb 12, '12, 1:23 pm
Byz Guy Byz Guy is offline
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Join Date: January 22, 2012
Posts: 131
Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy92 View Post
I applaud this move. I can only pray that no major scandal is caused and that, with time and catechesis, any misunderstandings can be cleared up.
I do too. The US Melkite Church has been in the forefront of removing latinizations but some still are entrenched as this one has been.

As the PDF mentions, First Communions are still the norm in the Middle East in the Melkite Church.

In some areas, the Melkite Church is even more latinized. In Venezuela, the Liturgy is sometimes celebrated with the priest facing the people and apparently sometimes includes use of the guitar:

http://catedralsanjorge.org.ve/album...album=14&pos=0

http://catedralsanjorge.org.ve/album...album=16&pos=5

and also apparently includes using unleavened bread at times:

http://catedralsanjorge.org.ve/album...album=11&pos=7

So, the US Bishop Nicholas Samra is to be greatly applauded for his efforts to restore the Eastern traditions to his Church in America.
  #5  
Old Feb 12, '12, 1:38 pm
ThatOneGuy92 ThatOneGuy92 is offline
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Join Date: April 11, 2011
Posts: 468
Religion: Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod
Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byz Guy View Post
I do too. The US Melkite Church has been in the forefront of removing latinizations but some still are entrenched as this one has been.

As the PDF mentions, First Communions are still the norm in the Middle East in the Melkite Church.

In some areas, the Melkite Church is even more latinized. In Venezuela, the Liturgy is sometimes celebrated with the priest facing the people and apparently sometimes includes use of the guitar:

http://catedralsanjorge.org.ve/album...album=14&pos=0

http://catedralsanjorge.org.ve/album...album=16&pos=5

and also apparently includes using unleavened bread at times:

http://catedralsanjorge.org.ve/album...album=11&pos=7

So, the US Bishop Nicholas Samra is to be greatly applauded for his efforts to restore the Eastern traditions to his Church in America.
*Sigh*
I suppose all I can do is hope that, over time, the various Churches will reclaim their authentic liturgical heritage. There is a difference between a development and a complete alteration. God grant us all patience, wisdom, and discernment.
__________________
Sincerely your brother in Christ,
Tim

"I cannot persuade myself that without love to others, and without, as far as rests with me, peaceableness towards all, I can be called a worthy servant of Jesus Christ."
- St. Basil the Great
  #6  
Old Feb 12, '12, 1:39 pm
Hesychios Hesychios is offline
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Posts: 11,826
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Smile Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byz Guy View Post
From a letter read today, February 12, in all US Melkite Greek Catholic parishes from Bishop Nicholas Samra, mandating the end of "First Communion" celebrations in US Melkite parishes (which goes against the traditional Eastern practice of Infant Communion):

"Some object saying that the children will miss something important in
their lives. A "First Communion Ceremony" is not a child issue but
rather it is an adult issue. I have witnessed in my 42 years as a
priest and 23 as bishop that children receiving the Eucharist since
infancy, if properly taught by their parents, have a good understand
that what they receive is Jesus! Adults think it is cute to dress up
the young ones, and have a reason for a party and gifts. Dress them up
every Sunday and bring them to Church for the great thanksgiving
"party" of the Eucharist."

"I ask you priests and deacons especially, to walk with me on this
issue, even if you have personal objections. You should not be telling
your faithful that you disagree with your bishop in a public manner;
this only creates dissention. Teach our proper customs, and I expect
your full support."

Full text here:

https://melkite.org/wp-content/uploa.../DOC013012.pdf
This man is a truly worthy bishop.
  #7  
Old Feb 12, '12, 1:45 pm
RyanBlack's Avatar
RyanBlack RyanBlack is offline
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Join Date: June 18, 2010
Posts: 2,258
Religion: Ruthenian Catholic
Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hesychios View Post
This man is a truly worthy bishop.
Yes, he is. I've been blessed to have served at the altar with him, and I've met him 3-4 times. When I heard that he was being made Bishop of Newton, I told my pastor that I wished that our Ruthenian parish could transfer to the Eparchy of Newton (and he did not object)!
  #8  
Old Feb 12, '12, 2:11 pm
Jim Dandy Jim Dandy is offline
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Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Why were the Melkites celebrating Latin innovations?
__________________
And this one thing is certain . . . the Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If there ever were a safe truth, it is this . . . To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant. ~ Blessed John Henry Newman, former Anglican clergyman, Catholic convert, and soon-to-be saint
  #9  
Old Feb 12, '12, 2:14 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by WetCatechumen View Post
Die, Latin innovations, die!
  #10  
Old Feb 12, '12, 2:35 pm
malphono malphono is offline
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Join Date: September 15, 2008
Posts: 7,370
Religion: Syro-Maronite (trisat shoubho)
Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byz Guy View Post
In some areas, the Melkite Church is even more latinized. In Venezuela, the Liturgy is sometimes celebrated with the priest facing the people and apparently sometimes includes use of the guitar:
Sorry to say, but this versus populum table business among the Melkites is not unique to Venezuela. It happens in Lebanon as well, and perhaps elsewhere too.
  #11  
Old Feb 12, '12, 2:53 pm
Cristiano Cristiano is offline
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Join Date: March 6, 2006
Posts: 7,038
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

What really bothers me about the letter is the fact that the bishop has to put in writing to some priests and deacons that they need to learn when to shut up.
__________________
"Domine, ad quem ibimus? Verba vitae aeternae habes. Et nos credimus, et cognovimus, quia tu es Christus Filius Dei."
  #12  
Old Feb 12, '12, 7:08 pm
Pani Rose Pani Rose is offline
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Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

A young couple who were changing Rites, put it this way; our bottom line as to why we decided to request a change of Rite is this. Our children received Jesus while their mother was carring them in her womb. So why are we denying them to receive Eucharist now until our Rite says they are ready? It seems to us that Christ has already been nourishing them in His Eucharist already. We want them to be able to continue to receive Him now!

Guess that says it all!
__________________
Pani Rose

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:23,24)
  #13  
Old Feb 12, '12, 7:24 pm
Phillip Rolfes Phillip Rolfes is offline
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Join Date: January 26, 2010
Posts: 1,752
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

I am so happy that my prayers were answered and Kyr Samra was made our Eparch!!! He was my introduction to the Jesus Prayer, and it's because of his influence that I'm Melkite. He can truly be considered a spiritual child of two of my personal heroes, Archbishop Joseph Raya and Archbishop Joseph Tawil. I hope and pray that our beloved Bishop continues to lead us in the direction he is taking us. Nothing but good can come of it.
__________________
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Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.


  #14  
Old Feb 12, '12, 7:27 pm
Phillip Rolfes Phillip Rolfes is offline
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Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Dandy View Post
Why were the Melkites celebrating Latin innovations?
The history of Latinization in all of the Eastern and Oriental Catholic Churches is very complex and very sad. In some cases the Latinizations were all but mandated by Rome. In other cases the Easterners or Orientals felt they had to adopt certain Latin practices just to "prove" that they were Catholic. Often Latinization was done as a response to severe persecution of Eastern Catholics by none other than their Roman Catholic brothers and sisters.
__________________
http://themasterbeadsman.blogspot.com/

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.


  #15  
Old Feb 12, '12, 7:29 pm
Phillip Rolfes Phillip Rolfes is offline
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Default Re: End of "First Communion" Celebrations in US Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by WetCatechumen View Post
Die, Latin innovations, die!


Couldn't agree more, but I just love the way you worded it.
__________________
http://themasterbeadsman.blogspot.com/

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.


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