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Faith & Theology Jump to new posts
Re: Instituted Lectors and Acolytes Latin Church theophan 01/16/21 12:42 AM
Christ is Born!!

I think the whole thing is a big deal about nothing. In the early 1980s both men and women were "instituted" as lectors. There was a simple blessing and introduction to the congregation. When Rome sent down a statement that women could not be so instituted but men could, our pastor sated he would institute no one. Lectors would be trained and scheduled with no fanfare. It's been that way ever since.

I have been in charge of training the lectors in my parish in the speech art of proclamation--distinct from a reading--since 1983. I see no difference as long as the person has the "instrument" to proclaim over the fire whistle that interrupts us or the sound system that conks out periodically.
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Books Jump to new posts
Re: Publican's Prayerbook Alternative Devin1890 01/14/21 07:27 PM
Fr. Deacon Lance,
If you are able, could you go into a bit more detail about the NewRome Press Prayer book? Specifically how is vespers and compline set for example? Does it contain any intercessory prayer? Does contain any variable portions of the weekly or seasonal cycles?

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Faith & Theology Jump to new posts
Re: Meditating while saying vocal prayers Administrator 01/14/21 01:15 PM
Welcome, Mister Ort, to The Byzantine Forum.

When Mary received the word of God through the Archangel Gabriel, she pondered what it meant. Luke 1:29 teaches us that she tried to discern what the message from Gabriel meant. In Luke 1:34 she asked the angel how what was told to her could happen since she was a virgin. She surely wondered and meditated about what God had in store for her. She took in the events from her message from Gabriel, carried them with her like a treasure, and thought about them. Meditating on Scripture and the events of salvation can offer us the chance to use them to grow closer to the Lord and for Him to form us (and our life choices) in Him. That has always been my understanding of meditative prayer like the Rosary. I see much good in this approach.

The East, however, approaches prayer differently. For us, repetitive prayer - like The Jesus Prayer - is sort of like keeping a telephone call open. As our body prays on the sacred Name of the Lord our spirit sets aside all earthly cares to meet the Divine and spend time with Him. The inner stillness allows us to hear Him when He speaks to us.

I know the Church Fathers speak much about the form of prayer available to us by using The Jesus Prayer. I am unaware that that there is any prohibition on meditative prayer. I've always concluded that the Church Fathers simply preferred the prayer of silence. But this is just my thought and I don't really know anything about anything.

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Town Hall Jump to new posts
Re: Lay Person consuming the Precious Blood after Communion theophan 01/08/21 01:17 AM
Christ is Born!!

A couple decades ago, I subscribed to a Catholic magazine that contained a section in which people could write to ask questions of the priest editor. One particular month the topic revolved around questions about lay ministers cleansing Eucharistic vessels and consuming the remaining Particles and Precious Blood. One writer related that in his parish the lay ministers tossed the "crumbs" and the "excess wine" (as he put it) out the sacristy window so it would be behind a bush that grew outside. The priest was very adamant that this was not the correct way to treat Our Lord. The following month was filled with horrified reaction. But the topic kept coming back up month after month with stories of pouring the Precious Blood into the sacristy sink's drain. Worse yet, people finding vessels put back into storage with Particles or residual Precious Blood in them.

I would have to ask whether a pious, faith filled layman reverently consuming the Holy Gifts is worse than these practices. It all goes back to Who it is we are receiving and how we approach this Gift beyond all gifts. I, for one, would prefer the Lord to be treated with the utmost respect and very scrupulous care.
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The Christian East & West Jump to new posts
Re: Leaving the Catholic Church, but not really. Administrator 01/07/21 04:31 PM

Prayerful best wishes to you in all that you do.

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Faith & Theology Jump to new posts
Re: A Difference son of the desert 01/05/21 04:34 PM
HI all,

I just received "The Ancient Faith Psalter" and I could not be happier. In all ways this product has exceeded my expectations, the most important of which is the font and style of the print due to my eye issues. Granted, it is a paperback. However, I will most likely order the hardback for home and use the paperback for travel. Thank you Devin for this suggestion.

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Icons & Iconography Jump to new posts
Re: Confusion About Icons ajk 01/04/21 06:23 PM
Originally Posted by James Scott
Originally Posted by Thomas the Seeker
If you have not already done so, read "On the Holy Images" by St. John of Damascus.

Thanks for the recommendation. I read it before my conversion, but it really didn't answer the above questions.
Consider Question #2:
Originally Posted by James Scott
Question #2. Also, it is often said that the Orthodox don't worship icons (as pagans worshipped their images), we venerate the icon and the veneration given to the image
goes to the person depicted in the icon (who is in paradise with Christ). But this is what pagans did. It seems that they did not worship the work of their
own hands (as Deut. 4:28 & Rev. 9:20 indicate). The image represented the deity that they actually worshipped. This seems a lot like icon veneration.
There are those who say that Christianity's Saints replaced the (European) pagan idols. And consider that "worship" is a European word that means
"condition of being worthy; honorable." ( Its not worship in the "fear and trembling" sense. European (pagan) worship seems a lot like Orthodox veneration.

Originally Posted by ajk
What do you think of the theological explanation of St. John of Damascus? An old (1898) but standard English translation that is a good start is St John Damascene on Holy Images.
St. John says this in the provided link St John Damascene on Holy Images at [29]:
If you bring forward certain practices, they do not inculpate our worship of images, but the worship of heathens who make them idols. Because heathens do it foolishly, this is no reason for objecting to our pious practice. If the same magicians and sorcerers use supplication, so does the Church with catechumens; the former invoke devils, but the Church calls upon God against devils. Heathens have raised up images to demons, whom they call gods. Now we have raised them to the one Incarnate God, to His servants and friends, who are proof against the diabolical hosts.
Is that not an acceptable answer to Question #2? Basically, as the adage remarks, abusus non tollit usum, abuse does not cancel use.
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Faith & Theology Jump to new posts
Re: Akathist Prayer to St. Joseph griego catolico 01/01/21 04:24 AM
Video of the Akathist Hymn to the Righteous Joseph, the Betrothed of the All-Holy Virgin Mary performed at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Springdale, AR: link.

Text of Akathist: link.

Akathist Hymn to the Righteous Joseph from Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, PA: link.
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Faith & Theology Jump to new posts
Re: Akathists to St Therese griego catolico 01/01/21 04:09 AM
I found this Akathist to Saint Thérèse in English.

It appears to be its own Akathist and not a translation from the Ukrainian Akathists posted above.
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Town Hall Jump to new posts
Re: demise of Catholic Answers Forum griego catolico 01/01/21 03:54 AM
Originally Posted by dochawk
it now has less than three hours left . . .

Actually, it had already closed at 5 PM Pacific Time.
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Town Hall Jump to new posts
Re: Merry Christmas 2020 AMM 12/31/20 04:23 PM
Merry Christmas if you have already or will be celebrating next week. Hope you and your loved ones are healthy and that we may all put 2020 behind us!
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Faith & Theology Jump to new posts
Re: To Stand or Not To Stand theophan 12/31/20 04:13 PM
Christ is Born!!


Welcome to the forum. We hope that your time with us proves spiritually beneficial.

I have prayed in all types of positions. I have prayed on my knees leaning against my bed; standing in front of my icons; sitting on the edge of my bed; in my car on the way to work; taking a walk outside to loosen up my sciatica. I used to hide my prayerbook in my textbooks while I was at college because it was "not cool" to be someone who prayed. I take as my guidance a story from the Desert Fathers where a young monk asked his spiritual father how they would get their prayer rule done if they were going out of their cell for some reason. The answer was "Who has taken the Lord from us?"

In my own pilgrimage, I have had great difficulty praying in my own home. As I was growing up, my mother regularly interrupted my prayer time by saying that "you don't need to do that." So I learned to pray as I was going about my daily routines--focusing on praying as I could, but making sure no one even suspected what I was really doing. It's been a great way to get tough about focus, especially if more persecution comes. So I pray when I drive to work; use the Jesus Prayer whenever I have a few spare minutes during the day; pray for someone whose memory pops into my head at different times; stay open to the Holy Spirit at all times.

Hope this helps.


PS: I should add that I have worked as funeral director for the past 54 years. I have never had a regular day in my life. I have never had regular hours. I tried doing regular prayer times and found that when I tried to adhere to that I was always in danger of forgetting and/or losing out altogether. I have improvised. What I have described has worked for me once I memorized the Morning and Evening Prayers in my prayerbook. As with any relationship or love affair, one must find what works in one's own life.
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Scripture and Patristic Writings Jump to new posts
Re: Douay-Rheims Bible theophan 12/27/20 02:09 AM
Christ is Born!!

Michael Thoma,

Just checked out your link. The volumes were all reduced in price but are still very expensive.
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Town Hall Jump to new posts
Re: An Imploration for charity towards traditional Latin Catholics theophan 12/23/20 08:52 PM
I really appreciate what you have written. Unfortunately (and I am definitely NOT pinning this on you), there have been several SSPX people, and even people from the FSSP, who have told me that I am a schismatic for canonically switching from the Latin Church to the Ukrainian Church, that both of my parish priests are illegitimate, unholy priests because they are married, that unless I kneel for communion I am disrespecting Christ, and that I am a heretic for venerating post-schism Orthodox Saints. All of these things have been always been allowed by the Church, at least since 1596. However, that seems to make no difference to these people. To them, I am a schismatic for being a member of an approved rite within the Catholic Church.
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Books Jump to new posts
Re: I recently bought "Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slavonic Rite. ajk 12/23/20 07:52 PM
Available online is Theosis and Gregory Palamas by Norman Russell. Russell's The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition is a standard reference on the subject. His work is considered the contemporary version and extention of the 1938 classic treatment Divinization of the Christian According to the Greek Fathers by Fr. Jules Gross. In the 2006 St. Vlad article Russell concludes:
The opponents of Palamism were not heretics. But, like many of the Fathers of the fourth century who had reservations about the word homoousios,92 they rejected novel terminology and insisted on what they took to be the ancestral doctrines tapatna [sic] dogmata. Palamas's torrent of treatises convinced some of them but his final victory was chiefly brought about by his supporters' capture of the patriarchal office. His version of theosis was enshrined in Orthodox teaching as a result of his canonization by the synod of 1368, but among the intellectuals for whom it was intended it remained and still remains—controversial.

This is another case where, as Fr.Georges Florovsky, I believe, readily acknowledged, a Roman Catholic (here the priest-scholar Gross) was at the vanguard of the Neo-Patristic Synthesis that he (Florovsky) envisioned.
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Vespers, Matins & the Divine Liturgy Jump to new posts
Re: Reader's Service - Nativity Compline/Matins Devin1890 12/23/20 03:57 PM
Thank you for your prayers. I had found out that isolating would no longer be necessary, so I was planning on returning to my Byzantine Catholic parish for Christmas. But I started dating someone just prior to the pandemic (Protestant but she was interested in Catholicism before we met and a bit more aware than most of the Eastern Tradition), and after much discussion and with reservations about Covid, we will be going to an outdoor Roman mass instead. In the grand scheme of things, I realize it is a small thing considering the widespread suffering. Still I miss my parish and look forward to returning. I appreciate your prayers.

Perhaps I will be back for Theophany.
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Faith & Theology Jump to new posts
Re: Priestly Society of St Josaphat theophan 12/23/20 03:34 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

Irony is always a good laugh.
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Town Hall Jump to new posts
Re: Catholics in Western MT (Bitteroot Valley) theophan 12/22/20 11:34 PM
Thank you
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Town Hall Jump to new posts
Vagante/Independent fun Michael_Thoma 12/22/20 03:40 PM
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Prayer Jump to new posts
Re: Prayers this Friday ajk 12/21/20 06:26 PM
You are welcome.
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Books Jump to new posts
Re: Books on Staretz Orthodox Catholic 12/21/20 06:25 PM
Yes, it is a brilliant collection of the spirituality of the Holy Elder! Every last word of it. Also, St Silouan's devoted disciple, Elder Sophrony of Essex has been glorified a saint by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

The theology of the Optina Elders as well as that of the Athonite Rus' monasteries and sketes is heavily influenced by the spirituality of Saint Paissy Velichkovsky of Poltava. There is much written about Paisian spirituality (in fact, Blessed Basil VVelichkovsky, the Redemptorist EC martyr, is a descendant of St Paisius). His genius was such that many monasteries across ten national Orthodox Churches and ethnic groups adopted his Paisian spiritual rules to their existing monastic traditions. That rule, among other components, included: 1)Avid practice of the Jesus Prayer; 2) a full celebration of the daily Eastern Offices; 3) Reading and study of Patristics; 4) Manual occupation by monastics and a number of others. in this way, he renewed Orthodox spiritual life an not a few Catholics have greatly benefited fromhis teachings. An entire school of monasti Elders and saints arose in his school of spirituality, including the Optina and Glinsk Fathers.
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Town Hall Jump to new posts
Apollo 8 - Book Of Genesis Reading (December 24, 1968) Administrator 12/21/20 02:05 AM
Apollo 8 - Book Of Genesis Reading (December 24, 1968)

i am told that I watched this live when I was a little kid, but I don't remember. As an adult, I am still in awe when I hear it.

Merry Christmas! Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

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Old-Ritualists Forum Jump to new posts
icon of All Old Rite Saints and Martyrs Orthodox Catholic 12/19/20 03:57 AM

This is a link to the quite magnificent and recently completed icon of All Old_Rite Saints and Martyrs which was written for the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Holy Hieromartyr St Avvakum. Quite beautiful.

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Faith & Theology Jump to new posts
Re: Running a survey about the most beloved Orthodox saints! Orthodox Catholic 12/18/20 05:50 PM
Hello sir!

The link above says it isn't accepting responses right now, which is ok. Yes, I'm an Eastern Catholic and my favourite Saints are: St Seraphim of Sarov, St John of Kronstadt, St Paisius Velichkovsky, St Joasaph of Belgorod, St Innokenty of Irkutsky, St Dimitry of Rostov, Sts Job and Amphilochius of Pochaev, St Kuksha of Odessa, St Gabriel of Odessa, St Kosmas of Aetolia, St Joseph the Hesychast, Alexander Men an St Pavel Florensky.

Merry Christmas,

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Town Hall Jump to new posts
Re: Petitioning Rome - Changing the Date of Pascha ajk 12/17/20 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by theophan
Christ is in our midst!!


Why not just cancel it? That's the most expedient and the surest for safety. How essential is the annual Pascha observance? Christians, more often than not, do not keep it on the same day anyway.

Good point. Each Sunday is supposed to be a mini Pascha anyway, we missed it this year, and so it might not be all that bad to skip next.

In the Eparchy of Passaic we didn't exactly skip it since all parishes were encouraged by Bishop Kurt to live-stream. At our parish, Patronage in Baltimore, we began live-streaming on Holy and Great Thursday, April 9, 2020, with the Vesper and Divine Liturgy of St. Basil. We have been live-streaming ever since.

Though it is the common view that "Sunday is supposed to be a mini Pascha" in terms of fundamental practice it should be the other way around and gives implicit primacy to the annual feast rather than the more primitive documented practice, the weekly observance. Considering the numerous and spirited debates over the calendar, the more fundamental question is: How necessary is the annual Pascha observance, or any feast for that matter, to the essence of being the Church? We even had a forum on the topic of the harmony of the Typikon -- meaning here basically the temporal and Paschal cycle of feasts etc.-- and the calendars, The liturgical calendars and the Paschal Cycle with the Typikon, taking the Typikon as a given. But what did Jesus actually require of us:

Go preach κηρύξατε (Mar 16:15) keruksate, the kerygma
Go disciple (as a verb) μαθητεύσατε (matheteusate), that is teach, and baptize βαπτίζοντες (baptizontes) (Mat 28:19)
Do this τοῦτο ποιεῖτε (touto poieite) as a remembrance ἀνάμνησιν (anamnesin) (Luk 22:19)

The this is what Jesus had just done: taking bread, a thanksgiving-blessing, breaking and giving, thus the remembering that Jesus commanded we do, and He specifically requests this of Himself: This do, τοῦτο ποιεῖτε -- an imperative, second person plural -- εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν, into my remembrance. [a literal rendering]

The doing -- the Eucharist, the Divine Liturgy -- as that which constitutes us as Church (see What Actually Constitutes the Church?) is Holy Tradition. I would think, however, that even the association of the Eucharist with the Lord's Day (Sunday), the first day of creation and of the week, the day of the Resurrection and the eschatological "Eighth Day," though most venerable and firmly attested by Scripture (Cf. Acts 2:42-46; 1 Cor 11:17.), is ancient tradition but not Holy Tradition. It and the liturgical cycle, the Typikon, is intrinsic liturgical theology, it is primary theology; it is not the destination but it is the truest road map given us by the Church. I think it is the rhythm (the map) of the annual liturgical feasts that serves to remind us of the essentials; and that justifies all the fuss about the calendar issue and why it is necessary for the churches to address it and resolve it, with theology informing praxis.

And that is why not to cancel Pascha.
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