I’ve already made it clear with my previous posts, please read back. Thanks.
EC’s in America are more 'de-Latinized" then they are in many parts of Eastern Europe and South America. Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary, and Sacred Heart devotions are quite commonplace in Ukraine and Brazil for instance.
But don’t you think that the Orthodox in this country deal with these problems as well? Their parishioners are also steeped in Western culture. Sure, they can’t just go to the Western-rite church down the street, but they still have the expectations of what a wedding looks like from years of attending friends’ weddings and watching them on TV, to use your example. The more assimilated the members of a particular ethnic community become, the more widespread the problem will be.
With respect, I have, and if you had, I would not have asked. All I see are repeated statements about the implausibility of de-Latinization within the confines of Western culture, with some examples.
The express examples that are mentioned seem more evident of the “Latinzation of the mind” spoken of by many more learned than ourselves, and not of the Church itself in terms of its praxis.
For example, the Sacrament of Marriage is expressly mentioned. Is it a Latinization of the Church itself that it does not follow Western tradition (priest walking bride down the aisle vs. father of the bride), even if that means that those who expect that leave the Church and go elsewhere?
So is it thus suggested (without being stated) that the Church should (or does) permit these foreign practices in order to avoid losing parishioners? Seems somewhat circular …
Our Italo Greek Church does have a Saturday evening Vesper Divine Liturgy. However, we are not Latinized. We do not use pews, no holy water at the door, no ash Wednesday, no kneelers, no musical instruments, no Latin hymns, no memorial services etc. Our pastor would never change practices to please Latin tastes such as weddings etc. It is true that Sunday Divine Liturgy is much more popular than Saturday Vesper Divine Liturgy. Our practices are Greek oriented rather than Slavic. So that before start of the Divine Liturgy, the Priest or Deacon incenses all the Icons in the Church. The small and great entrances have a procession of the priest and alter servers around the interior of the Church. After the Gospel the Congregation comes forward to kiss the bible. We use crowns at weddings which are held during Divine Liturgy and the hymn of the Martyrs. We have other elaborate processions on Good Friday, the opening of the Church at Easter. Baptism of infants with Chrismation and communion are very elaborate and nothing like the latin. Our Icons are Baptized, Chris-mated and given Communion. Our Divine Liturgy lasts a minimum of one hour and fifteen minutes. We are not Latin nor are we Slavic.
Not meaning to get off on a tangent, but is it accurate to say that the Vatican ordered them to de-latinize?
You say the Crowning takes place in your Church during Divine Liturgy which is not the practice of the either Greek nor Slavic Churches. The Exchange of Rings and The Crowning service is normally after Divine Liturgy. Do they always happen during rather than after the DL in your Italo Greek Church or was it done as an accommodation ?
This is true all over the US as far as I know.
We’re lucky if we are allowed to stand for one tenth of the Divine Liturgy at the two local Greek Orthodox Cathedrals. It frankly drives me nuts-- the two Metropolitans and the priests gesturing SIT! SIT! throughout DL or Vespers soon after we’ve stood for something. I’m never there on a Sunday and the organ and piano are not used for weekday/evening services. The last time I was there when the choir was in the choir loft accompanied by the organ they concluded the DL with “America the Beautiful”. I’m still deeply grateful to be able to worship there a number of times throughout the year and other than the SIT! SIT! the Metropolitans and the clergy are great (well actually I’ve heard them say weird inaccurate stuff about Catholics… but they’re still great in my book … )
I seen the crowning take place during the Divine Liturgy. whether this happens all the time I don’t know
And all of that does sound very familiar, at least to this Slav (except we do have pews) …
The infants, presumably.
The move of the Byzantine Catholic Church in America/Ruthenian to shorten the Eucharistic fast from overnight to one hour, seems like a “Latinization”.
So it is one hour now?
Really? How did your priest get away with that?
They do to. But if they say no, its not like their parishioners can run to another parish within the same communion and receive the Sacraments there such as marriage or baptism (I find a number of parents who doesn’t want their kid immersed for baptism). So its less of a problem for them in a sense that unless those people really want to convert to Catholicism or a Protestant faith, they don’t have much choice. For Eastern Catholics, the problem is the parishioners can just move to an RC parish without problem. Often the parish priest wouldn’t even know about the rules regarding the different rites and just admit them without hesitation.
It is a problem in our parish as I found out. Often the priest relents because the bride or the family would protest. Of course the alternative is always there, to get married in an RC parish. So what would the priest do?
I got my daughter baptized last Sunday. I did it by the book. But its a known fact that other baptisms in our parish are not by immersion but by pouring on the forehead. It is not the choice of the priest or even the bishop. In fact, the week before my daughter’s baptism there was another baptism that took place and I did not see the big pot of water for the baptism by the altar.
As other priests do (including mine) when faced with such challenges - faithfully explain the tradition and take it as a moment for catechesis. It takes a little “selling”, but I haven’t yet heard a regret afterward, especially in the case of weddings.
Consider the uproar in the Melkite Church over Bishop Samra’s pastoral letter on First Communions. He realized that the priests must be resolute and united in order to reorient (pun intended) the faithful to the proper tradition.
May God grant His new handmaiden many happy, healthy and blessed years!
That you agreed to have it done fully according to tradition is proper, and noble in context, and could now be used to set example for others and bolster your pastor’s resolve. This is exactly the kind of support the priests need - families willing to be brave enough to have things done in our own custom. Over time, it becomes the norm if done consistently.
Believe me, with a Methodist wife and reserved family, it would have been preferable for us to have our first born daughter initiated privately. Our priest had offered at first to do it on a Saturday. We were parishioners at the Cathedral parish at that time, and our daughter was to be the first fully initiated under the restored Rite of Christian Initiation (1997 in the Ruthenian Church). Our priest sheepishly mentioned that it is preferred that the service take place as part of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, with the parish community present (which the Bishop was pushing as preferred). He was relieved when we agreed, and it quickly became custom (he did a beautiful job of both the service and making the most of the moment, for catechesis of all the faithful).
We are trying to do that. But the sad part is most of the people who should attend the catechesis aren’t there. For example when we did the catechesis on crowning, most of the people there were seniors. Even for myself, it would have been too late. Well, for one thing I was RC when I got married. And of course today I am married. But secretly I am willing to annul my marriage just to get crowned in the Byzantine Rite :D:D:D
Well, either they believe it is a teaching moment or they think this interloper is infringing on their traditions. Also, sadly, most of our parishioners attend the Ukrainian Liturgy. So they weren’t around for the baptism. I had my family visiting so there was no way I am doing the baptism in a non-English Rite + Liturgy. But I’m willing to share the video if the priest wants to show it to other people.
Fact is, when I talk to the parents in the parish (I am also a catechist) I find that many of them are Latinized in thinking as have been the tradition in the parishes here in recent memory. When we had catechesis on the Sacraments of Initiation + priestly vestments, one of the priests brought out a Litya set to show to the people. Most of the people are seeing the Litya set for the first time. In our parish we do Festal Vespers with Litya all the time, but usually its just me, the sisters, the priest’s family, and the bishop if he is not travelling. Its hard to restore traditions if people aren’t interested.