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Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167201
10/20/03 04:21 PM
10/20/03 04:21 PM
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Posts: 323
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Columcille Offline OP
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Happy Birthday Columcille  Offline OP
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Did anybody watch the Mass for Mother Theresa yesterday on EWTN? I had a question about the "ceremony" that preceeded the Pater Noster.

Right after the Elevation, a group of Indian women performed some dance right in front of the altar. They were dancing around with incence and chanting something in Hindi, I presume. What really troubled me was that they were wearing the traditional "dots" which I believe, and my Indian co-worker confirmed for me, are a Hindu tradition, not cultural.

Could somebody shed light on whether these women were Hindus or maybe they were Catholics? If it turns out that they were Hindus, should pagans be taking an active part in the Mass?

Needless to say, I really hope they were Catholic.

Columcille.

Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167202
10/20/03 04:38 PM
10/20/03 04:38 PM
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Washington, PA
Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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Columcille,

Well, and perhaps Phil could clarify, I have been told the dots are a cultural thing the color of the dot signifying whether the wearer is married or single.

In Christ,
Subdeacon Lance


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167203
10/20/03 04:39 PM
10/20/03 04:39 PM
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Posts: 407
Baltimore, MD
Mikey Stilts Offline
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Slava Isusu Christu!

As far as I know, the tika, as the "red dot" is called, signifies that a woman is married. It does have its roots in Hinduism, as an outward sign of a woman's marriage the sanctity of it, but its use is so ancient it is really a part of the cultural tradition, much like the wearing of a wedding ring is a part of our European cultural tradition, which has its roots in ancient paganism.

I would also think that these dancers were Catholic.

In Christ,
mikey.

Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167204
10/20/03 05:12 PM
10/20/03 05:12 PM
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Canada
Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Columcille,

You won't believe me, but as I watched that dance of the Indian women on EWTN yesterday, I turned to my wife and said, "There will be some on the Byzantine Forum who will have something to say about that!"

I was right!! wink

As has been stated, that tradition has been "Christianized" and Indian Catholics practice it today, along with the practice of having a cord tied around the wrist etc.

In fact, most of what we saw being done, with the flowers and incense sticks and fires yesterday, are all Christianized traditions taken from Indian/Hindu traditions.

Mother Teresa herself and her nuns celebrated the feast of lights or Diwali, giving it, of course, a Christian meaning.

She also bowed to all she spoke with and said, "Namastay!"

One person explained to me that while this term has become almost a casual greeting in India, its original meaning is "I bow to the place in your heart where the Eternal Spirit of Truth resides."

Definitely a Christian thing . . .

Also, on November 27, the RC Calendar has the feast of "St Barlaam, Prince of India."

In fact, "St Barlaam" is the Buddha - the story of his conversion was brought by merchants to Europe and it was translated as a Christian book and widely read throughout the medieval period.

The Buddha's name in the book is given as "Bodisaf" or the "Buddha to be."

This was translated as "Joasaf" or "Josaphat."

Our St Josaphat's patron saint was, therefore, the Christianized form of the name of the Buddha . . .

I sometimes like being a bit controversial.

Don't you? wink

Alex

Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167205
10/20/03 05:31 PM
10/20/03 05:31 PM
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Chicago
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Amadeus Offline
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Dear Columcille:


I think what was added to the Eucharistic liturgy during the beatification of Mother Teresa was the "Arati" Indian ritual of adoration and reverence and intimacy with God, used in solemn Masses (In India).

There should be no doubt that all of the young Indian women participants in the ritual are Catholic, probably brought over by Sr. Nirmala, an Indian herself and the successor of Mother Teresa, and probably Latin since the Missionary Sisters of Charity is a Roman Catholic religious congregation.

Let's wait for Mor Ephrem to chime in.

AmdG

Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167206
10/20/03 06:40 PM
10/20/03 06:40 PM
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Canada
Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Amado,

Yes, that is exactly what that was - the nuns that now occupy the house I grew up in have missions in India and sometimes hold it on important festivals.

Alex

Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167207
10/20/03 09:15 PM
10/20/03 09:15 PM
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incognitus Offline
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Another amusing matter to do with the beatification Mass. The only network on which the Mass was accessible to me was one which comes, unfortunately, with a priest-commentator who incessantly inflicts his logo-rhea on the viewers - with the result that one can seldom hear either the Pope or the choir satisfactorily. However, while the Sistine Choir was singing the Credo, the loquacious commentator was dead-pan reciting the Nicene Creed in English, lest the great unwashed TV viewers might not get the point.
Why did I find this amusing? Because in fact the Sistene Choir was singing the Apostles Creed, NOT the Nicene Creed! Incognitus

Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167208
10/20/03 10:27 PM
10/20/03 10:27 PM
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Posts: 1,698
White Plains, New York, United...
Mor Ephrem Offline
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Well, I was able to watch most of the beatification Mass on EWTN (up to the Communion), and was quite happy to be able to do so.

As far as the "dots" go, they can have different meanings depending on what they are. There is one type, mentioned above, that is worn by married women. It is put on their heads by their husbands on a daily basis, and for a husband to deliberately remove it, in the right context, is effectively a divorce. There are other "dots" or similar marks that depend on the caste. And there are others that are worn just as ornamentation. You can go to Indian stores and find small packets with these stuck to paper with an adhesive on the back, and you can put it on your forehead. It's a fashion accessory, and I presume it was in this latter context that they were used. I was not scandalised by that at all. This is common among many women no matter what the religion. It is even done among some of the women in my own family, not to mention many others I know.

To be honest with you, the "liturgical dances" that were going on were not my cup of tea. I accept that these are Hindu customs that have been Christianised. Perhaps it is because I've never seen these as necessary because while the various Churches in Kerala have their own peculiar examples of inculturation, they don't go as far as this. I don't think this type of thing is that necessary; I am willing to concede that maybe other regions and their cultures require this sort of thing, but I'd need to do more reading about it.

Moreover, I noted that after these "performances", the congregation was applauding, and it made me wonder how much of this is worship and how much of it is show. This is not a criticism for the sake of being critical, but I think when you are having Mass, if you know that something not specific to the liturgy could be seen more as a performance piece than an act of worship, it should be avoided. Further, the music for at least one of these things seemed to be taped, and not live, which if true is a disappointment.

Another disappointment was that I could not find even one Indian Eastern Catholic bishop, nor could I see any representatives of the Orthodox Church in India. I hope that it was just that the people taping the ceremony didn't focus on any of them, and not that they didn't have some function in the liturgy (for the EC bishops) or were not present (in the case of the Orthodox). I would be very upset if the latter was proved true.

I noticed that they chose to sing the Apostles' Creed in Latin rather than the Nicene Creed. I had told my girlfriend that they would probably omit the Filioque because I saw Eastern Orthodox prelates in attendance, but when they sang the Apostles' Creed instead, I was surprised. Would omitting the one word be so bad? :p

I am not sure, but there was one bishop wearing the riassa, klobuk, and the small omophorion (and probably the epitrachelion) if I'm not mistaken. I am not sure if he was Eastern Catholic or Orthodox. To be honest, I presumed the latter, and this interested me. Does anyone know of whom I'm talking about, and who he is?

Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167209
10/20/03 11:30 PM
10/20/03 11:30 PM
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incognitus Offline
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The hierarch in rason, klobuk, epitrachelion, small omophorion and engolpia was Patriarch Gregory III of Antioch. Incognitus

Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167210
10/21/03 12:42 AM
10/21/03 12:42 AM
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White Plains, New York, United...
Mor Ephrem Offline
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Ah, that explains it! Thanks!

Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167211
10/21/03 01:59 AM
10/21/03 01:59 AM
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Washington, PA
Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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Phil,

Orthodox hierarchs never wear epitrachil or omophor when attending a Catholic Liturgy. So if you see them it is a safe bet they are Catholic.

In Christ,
Subdeacon Lance


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167212
10/21/03 02:48 AM
10/21/03 02:48 AM
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New Mexico USA
paromer Offline
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Dear Friends,

Thanks for the comments.

I'm traditional when it comes to liturgy.
BUT, I will never be an expert in liturgical norms.

I've seen the Holy Father have "off the book" actions during the Mass. The one I recall is a Native American blessing the Pope using a feather. Of course JPII is the boss and he can allow whatever he considers acceptable in the church liturgy (even without my permission wink ).

I think it has something to do with accomodating other cultures into the worship of God (remember I'm NOT an expert). The Lord gently reminds me of that fact frequently.

God bless,

Paul

Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167213
10/21/03 11:29 AM
10/21/03 11:29 AM
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Georgia
Logos - Alexis Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Mor Ephrem: Moreover, I noted that after these "performances", the congregation was applauding, and it made me wonder how much of this is worship and how much of it is show. This is not a criticism for the sake of being critical, but I think when you are having Mass, if you know that something not specific to the liturgy could be seen more as a performance piece than an act of worship, it should be avoided.
I totally agree, Phil. One thing I've always liked about Catholic Mass vs. my experience of Protestant "worship" was the feeling that, in the latter, I was being entertained as if I had bought a ticket to come watch some great choir sing. In my Methodist church, every time our (awesome) choir concludes a piece, everyone claps. This really gets under my skin.

At the Catholic church I attend, I've never seen anyone applaud during Mass except, actually, for this past Sunday. A parishioner was congratulating the parish on breaking even for the '03 fiscal budget, after which a few people midly clapped.

Logos Teen

Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167214
10/21/03 05:28 PM
10/21/03 05:28 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
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New Mexico USA
paromer Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Teen Of The Incarnate Logos:
[QUOTE] [b]

At the Catholic church I attend, I've never seen anyone applaud during Mass except, actually, for this past Sunday. A parishioner was congratulating the parish on breaking even for the '03 fiscal budget, after which a few people midly clapped.

Logos Teen
Hello Logos Teen,

Welcome to my parish. At Mass whenever it is announced that someone is celebrating a 25th or 50th wedding anniversary there is applause. Whenever an outsider ask for contributions to a soup kitchen, half-way house ministry, etc., they are applauded for their charitable works, candidates for marriage and RCIA are welcomed with applause. Once or twice in 30 years a homily given was so good that it was applauded.

Just letting you know what else is out here in RC parishes.

Paul

Re: Question about beatification Mass yesterday #167215
10/21/03 05:43 PM
10/21/03 05:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,698
White Plains, New York, United...
Mor Ephrem Offline
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Mor Ephrem  Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Lance:
Phil,

Orthodox hierarchs never wear epitrachil or omophor when attending a Catholic Liturgy. So if you see them it is a safe bet they are Catholic.

In Christ,
Subdeacon Lance
Dear Subdeacon Lance,

That's what I thought originally. But in all the pictures of Eastern Catholic bishops (Byzantine) that I've seen (and I'm willing to acknowledge that I haven't seen it all), I've never once seen the small omophorion that I can remember. So it puzzled me, and made me wonder if the bishop was actually Orthodox, and then the wearing of vestments would've shocked me. I am glad that it wasn't an Orthodox bishop, but that I thought it was, aren't you? wink

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