Eastern and Traditional

I feel a bit silly asking, but what’s the difference between the two? Are they not both “Roman” Catholic, or is it something else?

There are 23 Catholic ritual Churches, such as Maronite, Melkite, Latin (or Roman), etc. Of the Latin Church, some call themselves traditional, and most likely frequent the extraordinary form of the Mass. There are also some traditional eastern Catholics that take extra care to follow the eastern traditions more than minimally.

Most people are not aware that the “Catholic Church” is actually comprised of twenty-three independent Catholic Churches, all in union with the pope. The Western, or Latin Catholic Church, is so large, however, that many people, even Catholics, are completely unaware of the other twenty-two churches, which make up the Eastern Branch. (Some have from only a few thousand members to a few million.)

Originally, there was only one denomination… the Catholic Church (the word Catholic meaning “universal”). However, there were five cities that early on were singled out as being important centers of Christianity. They were Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, and of course, Rome. Each developed its own unique traditions and liturgy, but ALL shared a common theology and were in communion with each other and the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. However, about 1000 years ago, due to a variety of unfortunate problems, the other four cities, allied with the Byzantine Empire, mutually broke off from Rome, forming the various Eastern Orthodox Churches. Although doctrinally, they are virtually identical to Catholics, they refuse to acknowledge that the pope is more than a “first among equals”. (A couple groups broke of much earlier in the 400s AD also, to form what are known as the Oriental Orthodox Churches).

What has happened is that over time, some portions of each of the various Orthodox groups have decided to reconcile with the Catholic Church and come back into communion with Rome. When they do, they are allowed to keep all of their traditions and much of their independence, although they acknowledge the authority of the Pope. They become truly Catholic, in that anyone from ANY branch of the Catholic Church can participate in the liturgy and ceremonies of any OTHER branch of the Catholic Church. The only two Eastern groups that never fell out of communion with the Catholic Church were the Maronite Catholic Church, and the Italo-Albanian Catholic Church. So… for every branch of the Orthodox Churches that are NOT in communion with Rome, there is a corresponding and virtually identical branch of the Eastern Catholic Church that IS in communion with Rome. Since their customs and liturgies date from before the Council of Trent, they are allowed to remain.

The following liturgies are used by the Eastern Catholic Churches:

  • The Liturgy of St. Basil
  • The Chaldean Mass
  • The Order of the Divine and Holy Liturgy of Our Father Among the Saints Gregory the Theologian (or Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts)
  • The Liturgy of St. James
  • The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
  • The Liturgy of St. Mark
  • The Holy Qorbono

continued…

Here is a listing that includes EACH of the twenty-three Catholic Churches in union with the Pope. Do not confuse “churches” with “rites”. A rite is a series of traditions, that includes different customs and liturgies. Several different churches may use the exact same rite. A Church has its own rules and separate line of authority to the Pope. It may also have a figure in charge, like a Metropolitan or a Patriarch (like an Archbishop), since these churches are generally very small and work very hard to preserve their unique traditions. The major rites are the Latin, Alexandrian, Antiochian, Armenian, Chaldean, and Byzantine.

**The Western (Latin) Catholic Church

Latin liturgical tradition**

  1. Ordinary Form (This is the form of the Mass that you will find in virtually every Latin Catholic Church almost every day of the week. This Mass has existed since the mid-1960s, ever since reforms were made following the Second Vatican Council.)
  2. Extraordinary Form (This is the form of the Mass that was used in virtually every Latin Catholic Church from the Middle Ages until the mid-1960s. It may still be said in Catholic Churches should a priest choose to use it. Some of the differences from the Ordinary Form include the exclusive use of the Latin language (except for the homily), the receipt of Communion exclusively on the tongue and kneeling, the priest facing the same direction as the people (toward the altar and God) so he can lead the people in prayer, no lay participation on the altar, and usually, no responses by lay people.)
  3. Ambrosian Rite (Only permitted in the Archdiocese of Milan)
  4. Mozarabic Rite (Only permitted in the Cathedral of Toledo, Spain and a few surrounding churches of the diocese)
  5. Bragan Rite (Only permitted in the Archdiocese of Braga, Portugal)
  6. Anglican-Use Mass (This form was once only permitted in the extremely rare circumstance in which an Anglican priest converted to Catholicism and brings his entire parish with him. In that event, a parish could continue to use the Anglican liturgy, with corrections to make it conform with Catholic teachings. It was originally meant as a transitional liturgy, and upon the death of the pastor, the church would revert to the Ordinary Form. With the recent provisions announced by the Vatican to allow Anglicans into the Catholic Church and keep their traditions, it seems that the Anglican-Use will now become both far more widespread AND permanent.)

**Rites of Religious Orders **

  1. Dominican Rite
  2. Carthusian Rite
  3. Carmelite Rite
  4. Cisternian Rite

Note: Technically, the forms of the Latin liturgy listed above are NOT different rites, but variations of the SAME rite, although people do tend to commonly use the term somewhat erroneously in this context. The differences between the Latin “rites” are FAR less than those between the Latin liturgy and any of the Eastern Rites.)

**The Eastern Catholic Churches

  1. Alexandrian liturgical tradition**
  2. Coptic Catholic Church (patriarchate): Egypt (1741)
  3. Ethiopian Catholic Church (metropolia): Ethiopia, Eritrea (1846)
    2. Antiochian (Antiochene or West-Syrian) liturgical tradition
  4. Maronite Church (patriarchate): Lebanon, Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Argentina, Brazil, United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico (union re-affirmed 1182)
  5. Syriac Catholic Church (patriarchate): Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, United States and Canada, Venezuela (1781)
  6. Syro-Malankara Catholic Church (major archiepiscopate): India, United States (1930)
    3. Armenian liturgical tradition:
  7. Armenian Catholic Church (patriarchate): Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Palestine, Ukraine, France, Greece, Latin America, Argentina, Romania, United States, Canada, Eastern Europe (1742)
    4. Chaldean or East Syrian liturgical tradition:
  8. Chaldean Catholic Church (patriarchate): Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, United States (1692)
  9. Syro-Malabar Church (major archiepiscopate): India, Middle East, Europe and America.
    5. Byzantine (Constantinopolitan) liturgical tradition:
  10. Albanian Greek Catholic Church (apostolic administration): Albania (1628)
  11. Belarusian Greek Catholic Church (no established hierarchy at present): Belarus (1596)
  12. Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church (apostolic exarchate): Bulgaria (1861)
  13. Byzantine Church of the Eparchy of Križevci (an eparchy and an apostolic exarchate): Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro (1611)
  14. Greek Byzantine Catholic Church (two apostolic exarchates): Greece, Turkey (1829)
  15. Hungarian Greek Catholic Church (an eparchy and an apostolic exarchate): Hungary (1646)
  16. Italo-Albanian Catholic Church (two eparchies and a territorial abbacy): Italy (Never separated)
  17. Macedonian Greek Catholic Church (an apostolic exarchate): Republic of Macedonia (1918)
  18. Melkite Greek Catholic Church (patriarchate): Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Jerusalem, Brazil, United States, Canada, Mexico, Iraq, Egypt and Sudan, Kuwait, Australia, Venezuela, Argentina (1726)
  19. Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic (major archiepiscopate): Romania, United States (1697)
  20. Russian Catholic Church: (two apostolic exarchates, at present with no published hierarchs): Russia, China (1905); currently about 20 parishes and communities scattered around the world, including five in Russia itself, answering to bishops of other jurisdictions
  21. Ruthenian Catholic Church (a sui juris metropolia, an eparchy, and an apostolic exarchate): United States, Ukraine, Czech Republic (1646)
  22. Slovak Greek Catholic Church (metropolia): Slovak Republic, Canada (1646)
  23. Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (major archiepiscopate): Ukraine, Poland, United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Germany and Scandinavia, France, Brazil, Argentina (1595)

Actually the Religious Order Rites are seen as different Rites.

Are you absolutely sure about that? Most of the differences are quite small, and they are more like the Extraordinary Form than even the Ordinary Form. I’ve heard a lot of conflicting information regarding whether they actually are or not.

ByzCath is correct; they are considered Rites. So, too, are the few remaining territorial Rites in the Latin Church (Ambrosian, Mozarabic, Bragan, & Lyonais).

Lyonais?

I believe this is another name for (or at least a version of) the Gallican Rite. I thought that it was no longer in use though?

I believe this is another name for (or at least a version of) the Gallican Rite. I thought that it was no longer in use though?
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Yes, it was the sole Rite directly derived from the Gallican that survived Trent and was used right through the mid-'60s. Now (since SP), it is apparently enjoying at least limited use in the Archdiocese of Lyon as the Usus Antiquior particular to it.

Oh. How fascinating! Learn about more rites that I never knew the church had every day :stuck_out_tongue:

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