eastern ways


Is it true that the eastern churches don’t have statues like the western churches? Is it also true that the eastern churches don’t have pews? And that ther priests can get married?
Or are these rumors.


All of these things are true.

God Bless!


wow, i thought that was a lie. Ok why no statues? and if their are no pews, how do elderly people do it?


[quote=RomanRyan1088]wow, i thought that was a lie. Ok why no statues? and if their are no pews, how do elderly people do it?

They have Icon’s and they are as beautiful as any statues could be. The art of painting Icons is a whole other thread in it’s self. Fabulous and Holy devotions.

As to no pews…Hmmm! Don’t know as that is true in all of the Eastern Rites. I have attended the Byzantine Ruthenium Rite and the Antiohcien (sp?) Rite. The Byzantine one had pews (no kneelers), the other one had chairs.

The Eastern Rite is a treasure of the church my friend. I highly recommend visiting one sometime. You will be richly blessed. I know I was.

For more information :

Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church


Glory to Jesus Christ!

Each culture approaches spirituality in a different way. We need to be aware of the diversity of Liturgical Christianity.

It would be next to impossible to generalize about the eastern churches. For instance, there is the Ge’ez church from Ethiopia and the Syro-Malankar church from India. An observation from our vantage point might make us conclude that they have very little in common with each other, yet we are lumping them together into the “eastern” churches! :wink: It’s almost unfair. That’s like lumping Cherokee and Quechua (from the Andes) into one pot and calling them all “Indians”. But I digress.

To the Ge’ez Catholics, Syro-Malankar Catholics and Armenian Catholics the Byzantine Catholics seem pretty “Western” and really the Byzantines share a common heritage and theological history with the church of Rome for many centuries. So the Byzantine church is only “eastern” because it happens to originate east, but only slightly east, of Rome.

So as to the statues, I am sure the Western church has utilized three dimensional sculpture more than any other Catholic or Orthodox Christian church. However, due to “cross-pollination” you will find statuary around many, if not most Eastern Catholic temples. The least likely place to find them would be within the sanctuary itself, yet even there we have examples of this practice. We call it Latinization, a policy that was once all the rage is now out of favor.

When the Eastern Catholics started to arrive in North America (and later Australia) the Latin bishops didn’t know what to do with them. First they tried to encourage them to worship in Latin churches, but that wouldn’t work, so they tried to assure that the temples and vestments were as Latin-looking as possible. That policy was a bit more successful. Many easterners felt like unwanted stepchildren and were somewhat willing to conform, although others were offended by the enforcement of the practices. The youngsters grew up with the Latinizations and that was all they knew.

Even Latin devotional practices were de rigeur and kneeling for communion was required. Rosary was popularized at the expense of eastern devotions.

Now the great-grandchildren and converts are struggling to restore the beautiful traditions of their respective churches. You will find pews almost everywhere though, statues in some places, and other practices in varying degrees of removal, but the process of restoring the churches goes on.

The parish I belong to has removed about 40% of the pews for those who wish to stand, and we have no kneelers. We have no sculpture but many lovely icons, and to answer another concern, there are always provisions made for the elderly and infirm to sit, and plenty of wheelchair and walker space!

In Christ Always
Michael, that sinner :slight_smile:


And as a point of precision: Priests cannot get marries. Howver, a married man can be ordained to the Priesthood. But after ordination (actually to the minor order of Subdeacon), he cannot get married, or remarried.

In Christ,


Here is what an old I don’t know 15 century
Byzantine Ruthenian rite Catholic Church would look like:


Take the tour of a typical village:

Here is a popular Byzantine Ruthenian rite Catholic Church in Orlando Florida:


Here is the inside of that church:

Here is a GREAT Q&A section:

God Bless!


Here is one I visited a few years ago. The Icons are beautiful.

They are not in Union with Rome though. But it was a wonderful tour and I much enjoyed it.

St George


[quote=RomanRyan1088]wow, i thought that was a lie. Ok why no statues? and if their are no pews, how do elderly people do it?

In places that observe the no pew tradition, sometimes there will be places where one can lean against the wall, sometimes there will be a few chairs or pews provided. And besides, we’re used to standing.

The freedom of movement afforded by not having pews is wonderful – if one wants to kneel or make metania (full prostration) where appropriate, one can without pews in the way. A side benefit is that it’s much easier to control a curious toddler in an open space with no pews – and much more of interest going on for them (candles, inscence, icons, processions, etc.). Eastern worship is a rich sensual tapestry and the restriction of pews can be distracting.

I sometimes wonder when I see posts about western churches with no kneelers – why can’t people just kneel on the floor if they want to and it’s appropriate in the liturgy?


Let me clear something up!

Old people and the sick could ALWAYS sit down. There is usually several chairs for them in the Church. Basically, anyone can sit down but we stand. There are theological reasons for this.

Traditionally, the women and children were on the left side and the men on the right. Not having pews allowed for FULL prostrations during the great fast.

Here is a new traditional Byzantine Catholic Church that does not have pews: saintelias.com/

You might want to take the tour on the website. Notice on the front page the in the middle the women are on the left and the men of the right.

Notice the benches against the walls. Also, it is common during the homily that families would sit on the floor (on the rug) and listen to the priest. Quite beatiful to see mother, father, and children snuggled up listening to their priest.

God Bless!


The reason for no pews and kneelers is that in the east kneeling is a penential. Our Divine Liturgies are of the ressurection or ressurectional. So we stand Christ has suffered,died and ressurected and we are filled with happiness and that’s why we stand.


I’d prefer to stand than to sit, but it is just convincing the current Byz churches to break the habit of pews.
My pastor won’t get rid of the pews because we have many older parishners. I know he would rather have no pews. When we have a daily DL, I usually stand during the whole thing.

As for the vestments, we have the real thing. I am very glad to see the vestments being used. Father has also worn the traditional everyday priestly vestments out in public.

I am VERY happy to be a part of a rich Catholic tradition that the East has!

Go with God!

P.S. Go to the Poll for the Eucharist Prayer and vote for the Anaphora of St. John Chrysostom! Let our voice be heard! :slight_smile:


due to the latin influence in our parish, only a few of us stand while the rest sit during the liturgy. it will take time for our churches to resume all of our old customs. of course, it doesn’t help that, after a century of persecution and dispersion, not everyone remembers the same ‘old customs’.
as far as when there are no pews in a latin setting, i’ve never seen this as a reason for not kneeling. there are no pews on the lawn at the Monastery of the Sacred Heart, but we kneel at Corpus Christi and May Crowning. it seems to me that looking at at J’s knees on a crucifix would provide sufficient motive for kneeling, even if on the ground. (this is in my western mind, as noted by diaconate, my eastern mind sees his resurrected knees and so is inclined to stand.)
another point about marriage and priests: a married priest cannot become bishop. in fact, my pastor proposed to his wife by asking, "Honey, will you keep me from becoming Bishop?"
has there been much discussion of the Jesus Prayer within the forums?
anywho, its great to see both the interest in things eastern and the capacity to respond here.
thanks for listening, love and peace, terry



why do you show such a small church. Here is the Greek Catholic Cathedral of Przemysl,Poland
the iconostas archidiecezja-gr.opoka.org.pl/g-zurawie01.jpg
a picture of a liturgy in progress archidiecezja-gr.opoka.org.pl/JanCh002.JPG
This church is over 350 years old.


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