Did the Divine Liturgies change after Vatican II?

Was there a reform of the Eastern Catholic liturgies after Vatican II?

Did the Eastern Catholics experience the same reforms as their Latin Catholic bretheren? For example, was the language of the Divine Liturgy changed into the vernacular? Where the prayers changed? Did the church architecture change?

All of the churches have been encouraged to restore their ancient liturgical traditions. To some extent most of them have made some changes.

The two Byzantine-Slavonic churches in the U.S.A., namely the Ruthenian and Ukrainian, both changed their liturgies to the vernacular.

For the Ruthenians the change was from Old Church Slavonic to English.

For the Ukrainians the change was from Old Church Slavonic to Ukrainian. For some visitors to Ukrainian Catholic parishes it can seem like the worship is being done in a more sacred ancient tongue. Nope, with a few exceptions it’s just Ukrainian.

In the few instances I have been to English liturgies with the Ukrainian Catholics it has always been a recited “Low Mass” type of liturgy. I don’t know why. It’s awful.

Rome had already worked on a codified revision of the Byzantine-Slavonic Recension in the 1940’s, under Cardinal Tisserant. So that predated the Vatican Council. The problem was the churches were reluctant to fully apply it. I believe the Ukrainians are more faithful to the Ordo Celebrationis than the Ruthenians are.

Many parishes spent money on new iconostasis. They eventually began to Chrismate and Commune infants once again. I think most of the Byzantine-Slavonic parishes will do that now.

Most of the Eastern Churches have altered the liturgy somewhat; mostly, getting rid of the more obvious latinizations, and moving to use of the vernacular.

The most “visible” is the Ruthenian recent retranslation of the Divine Liturgy into “Modern Modern English” instead of 190x period english, and doing so direct from the Greek sources, rather than from the Slavonic sources… This has rendered several wordings altered.

“May our lips be filled with your praise, O Lord, so that we may Sing of your Glory.” becomes “May our mouths be filled with your praise O Lord, so that we may Sing of your Glory.”

Mother-of-God becomes Theotokos. Theologically more precise, but less poetic, and not actually “in English”…

Further, the wording changes (for better or worse, they are changes) are accompanied by changes to the music. I’ve heard the older tone music the same way across the country, and it’s a minimalization of the differences under the old tones, apparently taught by a monsignor in the 1960’s. It didn’t match the tone melodies in the older books, however. The new melodies are a third set, similar to what’s in the older prosopinie books, but in english, and the melismas adjusted to be more suitable for english.

It’s a 2006 issue date, for 2007 implementation… and the new tones are not in use in all parishes, for a variety of reasons.

The net differences are small, but noticeable to the trained ear. There’s about as much difference between the old Ruthenian tones and the Russian Orthodox OCA tones as to the new Ruthenian tones. (And the RO to the new Ruthenian ones, too…)

The late Professor John von Gardner, who knew everything there was to know about Russian and Rusyn ecclesiastical music, said the only place where he heard chanting done EXACTLY as the Typicon directs was in Carpatho-Rusyn (Ruthenian) parishes using Prostopinje.

The Prostopinje volume of the early 20th century European publication is the one I studied from. It definitely wasn’t what I’ve heard in Ruthenian parishes in AK, TX, FL, MI. What’s in the new pewbooks is no further from, and really no closer to, that text’s music than what the Monsignor promulgated in the 1960’s (which is what I have heard in AK, TX, FL, and MI…).

It’s definitely not popular to adjust music that most sing from rote memory…

It’s definitely not popular to adjust music that most sing from rote memory

**I know. There was a similar reation when Bp. Malnich issued TSERKOVNOJE PROSTOPINJE (and doubtless with Papp’s IRMOLOGION).

I’ve noticed in the little pew books at the local Melkite church that what gets sung isn’t always quite what’s notated. Of course, it’s not always possible to express Byzantine and Neo-Byzantine chant in Western notation. So I don’t even look at the book, but sing along.**

You missed one of the key changes: Eastern Catholics can now feel that having married priests is nothing to be ashamed of.

(Of course, that is getting a little off topic, since the OP asked about the Divine Liturgies, not those who celebrate the Divine Liturgies.)

**
In the few instances I have been to English liturgies with the Ukrainian Catholics it has always been a recited “Low Mass” type of liturgy. I don’t know why. It’s awful.**

**I know why. They don’t try to adapt the traditional chant to English text.

Nevertless, there are books available for this.**

The change for an “un-married” clergy ONLY affected North America. It had no effect on the “homelands” of Eastern Catholics.

Many Ukrainian Catholics got “around” this by going to Ukraine, getting ordained by an “underground” Bishop and then being “on-loan” to either the US or Canada until his services were needed in Ukraine.

There were also Ruthenian priests ordained in this fashion or later, opening ordained but not accepted by the Ruthenian Catholic Church in the US. They are/were serving the Ukrainian Catholic church.

Hope this helps…

At least one of the Ruthenian Eparchs in the US has ordained married men to the priesthood in the US.

Another was willing to do so (but is now retired; his test case couldn’t get the wife’s permission).

The use of married clerics, however, is not a change to the Divine Liturgy… :wink:

Only 1 has been ordained in the USA.

The others were ordained in Rome and Slovakia, respectively.

There is a married man attending the Seminary in Pittsburgh now.

In the few instances I have been to English liturgies with the Ukrainian Catholics it has always been a recited “Low Mass” type of liturgy. I don’t know why. It’s awful.**

I know why. They don’t try to adapt the traditional chant to English text.

Nevertless, there are books available for this.

The Anthology and accompanying CDs have made the texts much more accessible. The likes of Archpriest Roman Galadza and his parish of St. Elias have made great strides towards sharing the beauty of the sung Ukrainian Liturgy in English better known. The Kyivan tradition is much wider and less concerned with only enforcing one form of chant or one particular interpretation of that chant.

We in the UGCC are probably somewhat analogous at this point to the BCCA in the 60s or early 70s when they made the change to chanting in English from Slavonic. In our case the four major English cantors and producers of English settings were able to confer and produce a unified set of music including alternative settings and chant styles included in the Anthology.

In the 20+ years I have been a parishoner of UGCC parishes, there has been a steady increase in that time not only towards more sung liturgies in English but towards fuller liturgy in general, including Vespers and Matins. Our bishops in the UGCC here in the US have all ordained married men openly as was the venerable practice “in old country” and our ancient practice. We have produced our own Catechetical Directory and are in the process of developing our own particular Cathechism for the UGCC. All good things that have come with not only Vatican II but I also have to point to the late Holy Father’s pontificate as well with the likes of Orientale Lumen.

Basilian Monks, they take a vow of Chastity and cannot
marry, they lived in the rectory. The married diocesen priest
lived in their own homes and were more like part-time priests
as they held down jobs to support their families. One I
remember worked in a factory on the assembly line.
Our Roman Catholic neighbors were really confused and
refused to believe we were Catholic. In the early days we
were persecuted by the local priests and Bishops. So,
we “Romanized” the inside of our churches to look more
like them. Vatican 11 brought us back to our original
looks. Praise God. The statues left our churches and
the Icons and Royal Doors returned. Having Pope John
Paul 11 say the Mass in Ukrainian was indeed and blessing
and a real eye opener for all those who believe we are not
Catholic because we are not Roman Rite.
God bless

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