Traditional vs. Eastern

Okay, new to faith. I know this has probably been covered a million times in the forum here.

But here goes…

What is the difference between Eastern and Traditional? Is it like the same with Jesuit, Franciscan, etc.?

One is rooted in tradition, spirituality and beliefs from the earliest days of the Church.

The other is Traditionalism.


… with such tradition stemming largely from the ancient churches other than Rome, including Constantinople.

These traditions are held by the Eastern Catholic Churches and, in many cases, by Orthodox counterparts. Each of these Churches celebrates worship according to a liturgical rite, other than the Latin Rite to which you are probably most accustomed.

To be fair, that is not always the case, but may be what the OP intended … :confused:

FYI - most people here on the CAF make a distinction between “Traditional” and “Traditionalist”, which is what my brother Constantine was alluding to in his response.

Traditional Catholics in general are those who are faithful, practicing Catholics who live in obedience to the teachings of the Catholic Church and respectfully to their local diocesan bishop.

One can be traditional and eastern, and some tend to generalize that all Eastern Catholics are traditional by nature, given their mode of worship and relatively stable form or worship and liturgy. This view is expressed most often by those who have concerns regarding the celebration of the Mass according to the Ordinary Form, which has been subject to “innovation” and variation in the style of worship from church to church, especially as compared to Eastern forms of liturgy.

Dear friend,

For the sake of this forum’s (and many others) definition, “Traditional” refers to those practices- liturgical, theological, devotional, public, and private- of the Latin Church in usage prior to Vatican 2. The most common example would be the Latin Mass; however, there are a plethora of other things which could be pointed to.

“Eastern” refers to the traditions of the those Churches (both Catholic and Orthodox) which are descended from the Fathers in the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire, and which were in particular heavily impacted by the Church of Constantinople (today known as Istanbul).

It should be noted that to be Eastern does not make one “non-traditional”. In fact, due the relative theological and liturgical stability of the Eastern Churches, one can say without a doubt that they are traditional.

You will find that there are different theological languages in use, the West having inherited much from St. Augustine and the Scholastics, whereas the East hold close to the chest the earlier Fathers. You will find that there are different emphasis in teaching. Whereas the West refers to the primary Eucharistic service as the Mass, in the East it is generally referred to as the Divine Liturgy. And while both these services have the same basic structure, they are quite different from each other. As I am sure you are already familiar with Mass, here is an example of a Divine Liturgy:
It is a rather long video, so few free to skip around to get an idea, or even watch the whole thing! :smiley:

There is definitely more to explain, but this a good introductory summary. If you have more questions, and I’m sure you do ;), feel free to search this sub-forum or start a new thread. We have many wonderful and knowledgeable folk around here, so c’mon and hit us with your best shot! :stuck_out_tongue:

Indeed, the very fact that Eastern Catholics are, generally, traditional may be part of the reason that people use “traditional Catholic” as a shorthand for “traditional Western Catholic”.

That, and many sadly are not aware of the existence of Eastern Catholicism, but I digress.

Dear friend - a very fine example of the Divine Liturgy, albeit an Orthodox celebration (not that there is anything wrong with that :D).

Actually, this is a great video. This church is very near my parents’ hometown, and it is a very nice community of true believers.

For some Eastern Catholic samples (including Byzantine-Ruthenian and Maronite), I’d recommend a visit to the OrientaleLumenTV site: Divine Liturgies (in English). There are some additional Orthodox DLs available from this webpage, as well. The services are broken up into several video segments, so you can take it in a bit at a time.

S’Bohom! Go with God!

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