Orthodox Communion

If a Roman Catholic enters an Orthodox church, do they genuflect?

Thanks.

I would bow, rather than genuflect, since the Orthodox do not genuflect.

1 Like

As Ryan points out the Orthodox do not genuflect and it is customary to bow. It is also customary to kiss icons and for those who have not been to Divine Liturgies before you may find the fact you have to stand up an er, novelty so be prepared for that. Especially if you are elderly or have trouble standing for long periods, although in such situations sititng is permissible although I have seen 90 year old grannies stand 3 or 4 hours during the liturgy whilst youngsters were wilting.

4 Likes

You enter an RC parish by blessing with Holy Water and genuflection.

You enter an Eastern (at least Byzantine) church, whether EO or EC, by reverencing icon’s and lighting a candle at the front which will burn through the liturgy.

hawk

3 Likes

Bow! @Nelka, have you attended an Orthodox Liturgy before? If not, enjoy the beauty of the Divine Liturgy and take in what you see, hear, smell and touch!

ZP

2 Likes

If you wish to genuflect, no one will think less of you. However, since it is not our tradition to genuflect nor to kneel on Sundays as it is a little Pascha, you may get lots of invitations to coffee hour after liturgy since it will be apparent you are not Orthodox.

I’m not sure how we get a bad rap for being unfriendly, we go out of our way (in my experience) to make visitors feel welcome. So, genuflect, reverence the icons, or both! In any case you are welcome to visit and experience the liturgy of St. John or St. Basil. Please stay for coffee afterwards so the parish you visit gets a chance to chat with you.

Fr. Dcn. John

3 Likes

Does the catholic church believe in Orthodox transubstantiation?

Do you mean does the Catholic Church believe believe the Orthodox have a true Eucharist? If so, yes.

2 Likes

Just a minor point, but we do not use the term “transubstantiation”. That said, our notion of the Real Presence is very similar to the Catholic understanding; we just don’t define the change at consecration as specifically as a Catholic would using that term ( and accidents vs substance). We do firmly believe that the Eucharist is indeed the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord after it is consecrated and remains as such.

Fr. Dcn. John

4 Likes

No, that is a Western custom and you’d look very awkward doing so.

Cross yourself and make a slight bow toward the altar instead.

1 Like

In Eastern Orthodox practice, you make the Sign of the Cross with three fingers and instead of crossing left to right, you go right to left. And bowing afterwards is customary. In fact you are supposed to bow after each time you cross yourself.

1 Like

That’s typical Byzantine custom, not limited to Eastern Orthodox but also Eastern Catholics.

I’m technically a Roman Catholic. When at my Ukrainian Catholic parish I cross myself in the Byzantine fashion, when at the Roman parish I cross myself in the Latin fashion.

When in Rome do as the Romans, when in Constantinople do as the Byzantines! And above all, respect and reverence the pious customs of both the Orient and the Occident.

3 Likes

Catholics believe that the Orthodox Churches have valid apostolic succession which in turn means that we believe that the Orthodox Churches have a valid Eucharist. The Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches wouldn’t use the word “transubstantiation.” That is Latin theology.

ZP

2 Likes

Ha I love that! I’m going to start using that in conversation and see who laughs.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.