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Which tradition #198724
09/16/02 09:43 AM
09/16/02 09:43 AM
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lpreima Offline OP
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Hello friends,
and Slava Isusu Khrestu!,
I would like to have your opinion on the following issue: Kyivan Church - It seems to me that our Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has been having difficulties in determining our tradition. Some say that we should be following the liturgical traditions of the Greeks, others seem to be more inclined to the somewhat kind of a so called "Russian" tradition. In this case I'm not only talking about the means of how to celebrate the liturgy but of liturgical vestments as well. Does anybody have an opinion on this or any concrete news of who we are to be similar to, or is there nothing defined on this matter.
Lauro

Re: Which tradition #198725
09/16/02 10:30 AM
09/16/02 10:30 AM
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Canada
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Dear Lauro,

I think we should be similar to . . . ourselves.

"Do sebe podibny!"

But, since we have the problem of "Scho popyk, to typyk," our Church should probably have an ecumenical commission, comprised of both Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholic scholars to research and determine that tradition.

Alex

Re: Which tradition #198726
09/16/02 02:27 PM
09/16/02 02:27 PM
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U.S.A.
amonasticbeginner Offline
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Yes, we should be ourselves.

Several years ago, I had a brief in-depth discussion with an Orthodox priest on being a monastic in one of several "Churches/jurisdictions" and his advice was, "Whatever you do, be authentic." I have never forgotten his wise words."

Re: Which tradition #198727
09/16/02 03:36 PM
09/16/02 03:36 PM
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lpreima Offline OP
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I realise that it is good to be authentic, but what is happening is that Ukie churches around the world are different from each other. Some may be adapting one style while others are adapting another. Shouldn't the UGCC around the world be celebrating the liturgy in one tradition? Shouln't we be reciting the same prayers in the same Ukie language? Shouldn't our priests be wearing, let's say "standard vestments"? My question is - What is the authentic Ukrainian tradition? or Do Ukie parishes around the world determine by themselves what is authentic. Are we going to devide ourselves let's say in a Ukie-Canadian Rite, Ukie-USA Rite, Ukie-Brazilian Rite,etc. At present there already exists a difference believe it or not, and if something is not done about it urgently, the differences are going to spread us further apart.
Lauro

Re: Which tradition #198728
09/16/02 03:51 PM
09/16/02 03:51 PM
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Canada
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Dear Lauro,

Yes, that is an important issue.

Even here in Eastern Canada we have parishes who are divided along two different translations.

One parish does this, another refuses and does something else.

The "good" thing about it is that you have some choice wink

If you like a true Eastern style, you can go to St Elias or St Nicholas (of "My big fat Greek wedding fame!").

If three-bar Crosses bother you, there is always the Holy Protection and some Basilian churches.

Our Church should have a theological/liturgical Commission that could establish and historically verify the authentic tradition, as much as possible.

But that would prove to be a headache, especially in terms of identifying and removing Latinizations.

So if the Commission were to unanimously decide that the Way of the Cross is a Latinization - so what?

There are Ukrainian Orthodox Churches who have it, I have a prayerbook from one of them in western Ukraine.

Are they going to give it up in the Ukrainian Catholic Church? Not if their Ukie Orthodox neighbours want to promote it throughout their Orthodox Churches, 15 stations positioned right around the church! (The 15th station in their version is the Resurrection).

Should icons of the Sacred Heart be removed, even at the cost of people hooting "Russifier!" at you?

I don't think that will happen . . .

And then there is the Diaspora which has always wanted the restoration of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukraine, but that now refuses to obey their Synod when they issue a new Ukrainian translation of the Liturgy.

The "Glory be. . ." is a wrong translation, they say. There are other words that could be interpreted as heretical, others comment. And what is wrong with Patriarch Josef's old translation? What if it has Slavonic archaisms?

If we only had a Ukrainian Pope who could lay down the law for everyone in our Church, someone everyone would listen to.

Maybe after the next conclave . . .

Alex

Re: Which tradition #198729
09/16/02 06:40 PM
09/16/02 06:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
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Brooklyn, NY
Fr. Joe Offline
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Alex:

Slava Isusu Khrystu!

I have just a quick question (as I do not want to get off topic), since you mentioned it in your last reply. Was the movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" filmed at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Toronto? I have been in discussions with quite a few people who have asked this question, but have yet to obtain any certitude in its regard. We "down here" in the US are often kept in the dark about these things.

I do have some input for this topic, but time constraints dictate that I offer them a little bit later on.

Thanks for your help, keep posting and God bless you.

Fr. Joe

Re: Which tradition #198730
09/16/02 07:13 PM
09/16/02 07:13 PM
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Slava Isusu Christu!

Father Joe,

What do you as a Priest feel the effects would be if all Ukranian Greek Catholic Churches switched to a mass spoken in greek or another language like Aramic?

I know greek was the original language before Philoh interpreted it into Slavonic.

I am part of a Ukranian Greek Parish now that loves the mass spoken in english and Ukranian. Could we actually get all churches to support a switch?

[ 09-16-2002: Message edited by: Steven ]

[ 09-16-2002: Message edited by: Steven ]

Re: Which tradition #198731
09/16/02 07:53 PM
09/16/02 07:53 PM
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Philadelphia PA
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Steven Offline
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Slava Isusu Christu!

Dear Ipreima,

I have to say I like the Divine Literugy spoken in the venacular of the congregation. The effect or the mass is supposed to get you in touch with the incomprehensible love and community that God has for you.

To do this you would obviously have to understand the language spoken by your priest. I love Orthodoxy on a personal level but would fear the effects that one mass, creed, and tradition would have for the Ukranian Greek community. I want everyone to have the option to carry rosary beads, hang icons on their walls, and be able to practice their own Ukranian Greek religion as they see fit.

In other words practice what is right for you no matter what.

Re: Which tradition #198732
09/16/02 07:57 PM
09/16/02 07:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 329
Brooklyn, NY
Fr. Joe Offline
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Dear Steven:

Slava na viki!

Despite my great love for the Church Slavonic language, its poetic beauty, the melodious sound of our chant when rendered in it, and having grown up at a time when the majority of services were still celebrated using it, I have become accustomed to celebrating the liturgy and other services in either contemporary Ukrainian or English.

Having gained from the experience of working with many parishioners of the "new immigration," I completely sympathize with the fact that there are major differences between the liturgical language which is Church Slavonic and the spoken vernacular that is Ukrainian or Rusyn. If the tradition of the Byzantine Church has been to offer the services in the "language of the people" (and it has been), then it is far more appropriate and useful that they be done so in what is a "living language" that connects the liturgy with the everyday experience of the people.

Surely, there are those who will disagree and purport that the preservation of a literary or strictly liturgical language serves the purpose of maintaining the so-called "sacred sense" of the services, but I do not think that this was ever the original intent of those church leaders who handed the liturgy down to us. This idea is something that is unique to later times, particularly our own and is held on to much more for the sake of nostalgia than for anything theological or otherwise religious in nature.

I use the same philosophy in regards to the use of "archaic English" that many swear is more appropriate to worship than contemporary English. These adherents state that the use of old forms of speech such as "thee and thou" and the like, are more respectful ways of addressing God and the saints and therefore should be maintained. If they truly understood what these forms meant when they were in use, they would have to reconsider their premise. When "thee and thou" were common forms of speech, they were not the polite form but rather the "familiar" which we no longer make distinction between in English today. The Christian understanding of a personal relationship with God as "Abba - Father" as taught us by Jesus himself, dictates the use of familiar forms in addressing the Deity.

Many Ukrainian parishes have replaced Church Slavonic with contemporary Ukrainian, but I do know that some of the older parishes, especially here on the East Coast, still maintain some use of Slavonic. I would not be opposed to an occasional use of Slavonic here and there, for the sake of preserving history, but as a rule, it does defeat the purpose of the liturgy.

In US Ruthenian parishes on the other hand, since there has not been an experience so far, of contemporary Rusyn in the services, and since many parishioners do not speak the language of their ancestors, there is often the confusion of Church Slavonic with what is perceived of as "po-nashomu" or "our language." Where this difference should be immediately noticed, is in the use of "popular hymns" (that are indeed very beautiful in their original language), which were never in Slavonic, but rather in the vernacular Rusyn or Ukrainian. But again, those who really do not understand either, tend to lump them together.

Your question regarding the possible celebration, in Ukrainian Catholic churches, of the Divine Liturgy in Greek or some other language not spoken by the people is rather inconceivable, since our services were never celebrated in that or any other non-Slavic tongue. The effects which you ask about however, in my opinion, would be very shocking to the people and devastating to the mission of our church.

There is one point that I would like to clarify. You mention the Divine Liturgy being "spoken" in your parish. While I know that many Ukrainian Catholic churches both here and even in Ukraine, have the custom of reciting the liturgy, it should be known that this has never been the correct practice in the Byzantine Rite and little by little (hopefully), is being replaced by the chanted liturgy. The "tikha sluzhba" or "quiet liturgy" is clearly an imitation of the Latin Rite and has no place in our churches. I pray that this deviation is soon dispersed everywhere.

God bless you and I hope that my response has been helpful to you. Keep up your great interest in your church.

Fr. Joe

Re: Which tradition #198733
09/16/02 11:40 PM
09/16/02 11:40 PM
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Brooklyn, NY
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I want to clarify my comment on the use of Church Slavonic. I believe that in Ruthenian parishes, where there has not been a transition to a vernacular Rusyn in the liturgy, that the preservation of some use or at least awareness of Church Slavonic is much more crucial and relevant. This is in order to maintain a strong sense of historical identity and continuity, not just for those of Ruthenian descent, but for all those who embrace our church as their own. Everyone needs a solid foundation upon which to grow.

In Steven's original post, before editing, it mentioned that the liturgy in his parish used Church Slavonic and English. Thus my emphasis on the divergence between Slavonic and vernacular Ukrainian and Rusyn. The original post also speculated about the use of Greek in Ukrainian Catholic Divine Liturgies:

Father Joe,

I was under the impression that our Divine Liturgy was said in the vernacular of the congregation. I am still fighting the effects of having the liturgy spoken in Old Slavanic LOL.


The rest of the post continued basically as the present one.

Steven: I am a bit confused about your question. You mention that you are in agreement with the liturgy being celebrated in the vernacular of the people. On that point, there can really be no argument, at least not from me. But, your mention of a potential "switch" to a universal language such as Greek or Aramaic is perplexing. To my knowledge, there has been no such movement for this. I think that we are on the "same page" but would be happy if you could be more precise as to exactly what your concerns are.

To clarify something that you did mention, I believe that in the line, "I know greek was the original language before Philoh interpreted it into Slavonic" you are referring to St. Cyril (of SS. Cyril & Methodius) who was also known as "Constantine the Philosopher." He was responsible for the translation of the scriptures and divine services of the Byzantine Rite (I use rite and not church because we are speaking of the ritual itself and not a particular ecclesial community) into what was then a language that could be understood by most Slavs and which today has evolved into what we call Church Slavonic. He also devised an alphabet in order to transcribe these texts, as the Slavs had none up to that point. It is called the "Cyrillic Alphabet."

I agree with your point that one should not have to give up such things as rosary beads and other personal devotional items, if they indeed are helpful to that particular individual. However, I am confused as to why you mentioned this. I am not personally aware of any such movement as of yet, that would call for a conglomeration of the customs of all Eastern churches into one general usage and tradition.

However, the idea in the way that it is expressed by a certain school of thought, of an eventual "American" usage which theoretically would do exactly that is indeed a frightening idea. Perhaps you are on to something here, without even realizing it. The scenario you bring up could well result from the type of Americanization of the Byzantine churches that some feel would be appropriate, creating a "melting pot" church that is Byzantine in a generic sense only.

Anyway Steven, I hope that some of this helps to answer your questions. I welcome your further clarifications as to your concerns. Let us know if there are any other points in this regard that you would like to discuss further.

In Christ,

Fr. Joe

[ 09-17-2002: Message edited by: Fr. Joe ]

Re: Which tradition #198734
09/17/02 09:16 AM
09/17/02 09:16 AM
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Bless me a sinner, Reverend Father Joseph!

Yes, the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding was filmed in Toronto and at St Nicholas' Ukrainian Catholic Church (where the wedding actually took place).

An article appeared in the Arts section of one of our four major papers the other week that displayed a map with all the Churches, restaurants and clubs in the city where the filming took place.

The outside of the Church in the movie was actually Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox on Fallis Avenue but the block identifying the Church was changed to "Greek Orthodox."

One thing that some friends noticed was the three bar Cross during the Wedding and told me they didn't think the Greeks had that Cross. I said I didn't think so . . .

Although I pray in modern Ukrainian and, er, English (please don't tell on me, Father! wink ), I like praying in Slavonic, the Our Father and Hail Mary and the Psalms and Horologion (especially during Lent when I don't mind the extra effort).

I've also taken to saying the Psalms in Latin - just something about it.

It is like the two mice who were chased by a cat and then cornered. As the cat approached, about to pounce, one of the mice got up and barked at the feline. The cat was a little shocked but continued to approach. The mouse barked again and then rushed at the cat "Arf Arfing!" The cat took off. The other mouse was so very grateful and asked his colleague, "How'd you do that?"

The other mouse simply replied, "My dear fellow, there are decided advantages in knowing a second language!"

Kissing your right hand, I again implore your blessing,

Alex

Re: Which tradition #198735
09/17/02 06:18 PM
09/17/02 06:18 PM
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Slava Isusu Christu!


Father Joe (Hopefully a Mitered Archpriest!), Forgive me a sinner.

I am sorry for deleting my original post. I have been reading this forum for awhile and there seems to be a movement to reclaim Ancient Christianity. Yes complete with a scratchy sack and self fladulation.

When I posted my original post I was trying to get you as a Priest to tell people why it would not work in the Ukranian Greek Catholic Church. I am sorry I was so vague with the question. You were more than excellent with the question I left you.

As I posted in another topic Ukranian Greek Catholic Priests still rule.

Again please forgive me.

Re: Which tradition #198736
09/17/02 07:00 PM
09/17/02 07:00 PM
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Steven Offline
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Slava Na Viki!


Yes I am also clear on St. Ceril (Constatine).

Friends I am going to just read these posts from now on before replying.

Forgive me again Father Joe.

Re: Which tradition #198737
09/18/02 01:54 AM
09/18/02 01:54 AM
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I'm going to try not to go off the topic.

I wanted to say something here about "which tradition."

I have to say that I'm appalled about the folks worrying about which tradition to follow...the Greeks...Russian...Ukrainian...etc. I thought everyone BY NOW...Year 2002...would get over it.

I've made some keen observation...it's very STEROTYPIAL and discriminatorial for one to follow a particular tradition for the sake of tradition or pride.

The Orthodox Church is doing the same thing.

We've got to STOP it! If you look around you...there are not many young people in the Byzantine Church, both Catholic and Orthodox. It's because the folks insist one retain a tradition, keep a Slavic, Ukrainian, or Greek language in the Liturgy....keeping particular traditions or recensions of the rite, etc. And insisting that only a particular ethnic groups be part of the parish.

The Roman Catholic Church is not doing that at all...there are tons of Irish, German, Italian, etc. but they don't care who shows up in the Church...everybody is "at home" there because they are all mixed together and it's quite effective that way. It's no wonder why the Romans have more unity among each other rather than havine ethnic groups in the same RITE divide each other up.

But that's not so for Byzantine Churches...it's only home for a particular ethnic group of people. I think it's very sad. We are depriving ourselves of many things...by doing that. Scaring people away from our faith, keeping the young people away from it and makes people feel rejected or unwelcomed..simply because people in GENERAL do perceive us to be an "ethnic Church," that if one is not of that ethnic group, then he/she is not welcome or would not feel welcome there.

It's no wonder why the Byzantine Churches remain SMALL everywhere. Hardly growing! If it's growing...then it's probably the converts...but grows very small. But our own people...the cradles...are leaving...the older ones are dying out..the younger ones go to Churches where they feel it's not too ethnic to them. The older folks and all the folks NEED TO BE OPEN MINDED. Not to be closed minded and stubborn to insist in traditions which is...honest to God..only a trivial thing!!!

We must see our Church FIRSTLY as BYZANTINE RITE CHURCHES. We are Byzantine FIRST...we are NOT Russian first, or Ukrainian first or Greek first or whatever.

We are Christians (Byzantine) FIRST. Then husbands/wives, fathers/mothers, etc...follows... Then nationality is the last thing on the list. We are way too caught up in nationality...races...etc. We have become too much of a racist or people who discriminate.

It's no wonder why our mission is growing, it's because our priest insist that everyone is welcome...that we do not label ourselves as Ukrainian parish or Greek or Russian or Martians (from Mars) or Blue people Church or whatever. It's a church of the Byzantine Rite.

One Orthodox Church here in town...has been effective to have converts in..because they bring in various traditions in the Church...including the music tones, chants, rituals, etc. Blend in...using Russian, Greek, Lebanese, etc.

So we need to do the same...let's all blend in...especially in this MELTING POT COUNTRY of ours. Then people would be more attracted to it...not feel so left out. IF we mix it all in...of course in great taste...then we would have more unity among ALL Churches of the same Rite. (BTW...how many Churches using the same Byzantine Rite? 8! How many Churches using the same Roman Rite? only ONE! You do the math...then figure out what's wrong here...).

Only then, we all will grow from there.

Now...I feel better...get it off of my chest...about this subject which have bothered me and many others for a long time. It's a good topic to discuss this. It's good that we all talk about it...talk it out...solve problems...etc. We all need to re-analyze the strategy of evangelization..what is our Mission goal (statement)? Who are we serving? Are we serving to all or to only a specific group? Who is called? Who is not called? We need to refocus the true meaning of Byzantine Christianity. And get rid of trivial stuff that blocks the people's way of coming into our church.

SPDundas
"DEAF" Byzantine

Re: Which tradition #198738
09/18/02 09:28 AM
09/18/02 09:28 AM
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Canada
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Dear SPDundas,

Well, I can't really speak for the U.S., but up here in Her Majesty's Dominion of Canada multiculturalism really flourishes.

As for the lack of young people, I don't know as if the cultural aspect of our Eastern Churches is entirely at fault.

I agree with you that there is a pull toward the mainstream.

But how are Byzantine cupolas, priests with censors and beards, even when ethnic identity is absent and English only is spoken, capable of being identified with the American religious mainstream?

If the cultural pull toward the Yankee mainstream is all that this is about, then the Eastern Churches are doomed because our rituals are also quite "foreign" to the Protestant liturgical sterility that exists in BOTH the Protestant and NO Catholic Churches today.

No, I think that what we need is a new marketing and public relations strategy wink .

Putting up American flags and serving hotdogs and hamburgers at the church pilgrimages and picnics instead of borscht and perogies won't make our Churches "part of the mainstream."

Education about the richness and deep meaning of our traditions, religious and cultural, since one can only separate the two with difficulty can open some doors.

Using English, being welcoming to people outside our Church and culture, especially the Irish, and communicating to the surrounding social environment as much as about our heritage as possible could do the trick.

At this year's pilgrimage at my in-laws' Church, we are putting up a display with an Icon of St Volodymyr the Great on one side, and a picture of the Queen on the other.

The caption will read, "St Volodymyr the Great, King of Ukraine, Ancestor of Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada."

We tried something similar last year, and we got all sorts of people coming by to view it, get fed the very best Ukrainian fare, pick up pamphlets etc.

Many do pop in to the parish throughout the year. Next on the agenda is a celebration of St Patrick's Day with the blessing of the shamrock . . .

Ukraine Go Bragh!

Alex

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