Thank you… I’ll just put all my questions out there… People can answer as they see fit…
1.) I guess my first question is - is the Byzantine Rite an Eastern Rite? I don’t think it is, but…?
2.) Next, I’ve been attending this service for about a year now, and I can sing all the parts pretty well, but I’m still trying to figure out what they are doing at each part. As pertains the structure of the mass, terms like the following keep recurring:
What are those songs?
3.) Next, their Liturgical Calendar differs from the Roman Rite; is there a place I could find out how to read the Byzantine Liturgical Calendar? So I can know what they’re doing better…
4.) Next, a portion of their service seems based around the icons - at least the one before the altar changes each week, so I am wondering why this is? And, if there is a way I can know what these icons are going to be, and what they are about? I like icons a lot, so I would like to know as much as possible.
5.) The folks at the mass I attend sing pretty much the whole mass. But - well, I dont know that they are the best singers… It’s not that they dont do what they are supposed to be doing, but - I’m a musician, and sometimes I get frustrated when they dont keep good time or they dont hit the notes right… On the other hand, I have heard that - if done right - the Byzantine Rite can be one of the most beautiful masses of all, so I am wondering if there is like a musical resource I could turn to, so I can hear what this stuff is really supposed to sound like.
6.) Lastly, I like a lot of what they do, but some things leave me wondering. They admit they are not orthodox, but they say they have the Blessings of the Vatican in their practice, so I go. Yet they have babies attending communion. I’m not judging them here, but it leaves me wondering about what to do when unorthodox practices begin to depart from traditional Roman teachings. I mean, I am a Roman Catholic, so I dont know how I am supposed to respond to some of those differences that seem foreign to me.
I hope people can understand and appreciate my questions, and I hope they havent offended anyone. I try to respect people’s religious sensibilities, and I really do enjoy learning about new cultures, especially within our Catholic faith. It’s just I’ve been going to this mass for a year or so now, and I still dont know what I am doing (as compared to the ordinary Roman Catholic mass I grew up with).
Okay, I’ll hush up now.
Thank you for listening to me.