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Shlomo Mykhayl,

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
C^BA ICYCY XPUCTY!

With all the glitches in what we call the Eastern Churches in America, the one perpetually fix-all is language? Those that do the pushing recognize it as an ethnic ornament not a defense of orthodoxy. While in a liturgical language (like Latin) the Liturgy (or mass) is less likely to be embellished with guitars or the like as an introduction of modernizations or Americanizations aka Latinizing our way. Counterreformation if you will, as the vernacular hasn’t protected orthodoxy among the US RCs. There seams to be more fuss into putting English into the Liturgy than the Liturgy into America. Is the Divine Liturgy an experience or only a study guide?


First, I have to say that language is not the issue for me. Under my Church's Canonical rules Our Qobono (Service For The Holy Mysteries)requires that we use the vulnacular and Syriac-Aramaic. Within the Armenian Catholic Church requires Old Armenian. Want many of us are saying, as our Brother Byzantine Latino wonderfully wrote, is that we have to be open to any person joining Our Churches. Never have I, nor any one else here have stated a parish should loose its history, but when you have African-Americans coming into Our Churches and being asked what they are doing there, that is not Christian. Nor is it making the Children of mix race feel unwelcome since they are not "pure".

My favorite story, which I got to witness is when Chorbishop Joseph (Feghali) (of bless memory) gave the following sermon in
Detroit. First, I have let the folks here know that an African-American family had just joined our Church.

We Maronites are part of the Church of Christ. We are Catholics because our Church is spread to all corners of the World. Catholic also means "universal", that means all are welcome to "Salvation".

But I have to say that some of you feel that the Maronite Church is exclusively yours, and that if you do not have Lebanese Blood then you should not be in this Church. Well have only have this to say:

GET OUT! WE DO NOT NEED YOU, NOR YOUR MONEY. YOU DO NOT REPRESENT CHRISTIAN VALUES, AND YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST IN THIS CHURCH, UNTIL YOU SINCERELY REPENT.

This is a Church of God, who loves everyone, and if you can't then GET OUT!


That has stuck with my for over 20 years. As a matter of fact when you go to St. Maron's website you will see this Saint Maron Maronite Church
Where Everyone is Welcome!

[quote]After 125 years of US translations there still is not an American standard. If the people are still cling to their “Svyatiy Bozhe” are you going to tare it from their hearts? If it doesn’t happen organically its not our way. Remember Nikon.

There is so much more that needs fixed first. Maintenance may not be exciting but it is better than tearing everything down so only egos remains./quote]

Well I do not know what has happened with the Byzantine Liturgical reforms, but we Maronites have been successful in intregating the vulnacular into the societies we are live in. Our Qorbono is in Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Greek, Swedish, Portugese, etc.

In closing, I am publishing a news item from my other home parish of St. Maron in Minneapolis, which makes my point.

Importance of Parish Hospitality
(Keep the doors of our Church open, but most important keep your heart open)

Dear Msgr. sharbel,

On behave of Regions Hospital and the Chinese Delegation that accompanied me to our Church on the Feast of Pentecost, I write to thank you and the entire Church community of St. Maron for your wonderful reception with open arms. As always, your warm welcoming embrace made me truly feel proud of my heritage and of our Church. Each of the physician delegates from China as well as the project coordinator from Nepal expressed enthusiasm and great appreciation for how warmly they were welcomed into our Church (most of them are not Christians).

To be honest, the Nepali representative who is Moslem has since asked me if he could come to our Church on a more regular basis. He has purchased a Bible and is interested in learning more about our faith. What an impression you have made on all of them, on all of us. They made a point of commenting about your sermon, how they were able to understand every word. It truly meant a lot to them to be able to attend Church services on Mother's Day when they are so far from their respective families. Distribution of roses to all us mothers was an extra nice touch; the icing on the cake! Special thanks also for permitting our delegates to take pictures of the service and with you personally.


The above says it all. It has never been about the language, it has always been about welcoming people different than you in the Church family.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon

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Yuhannon points out the sacred tension between maintaining one's identity but not being ethnocentric. Jesus was incarnated as a man with a culture and a history - like us in all things but sin. He and his followers struggled with this as in the early Christian conflict with Judaizers - SS Paul and Peter debated over this but the decision was that one did not need to become a Jew and be circumcised to be a Christian.

We do not deny our Jewish origins, and if I understand Yuhannon, the Maronites do not deny their Lebanese origins but show the best of that tradition in the welcoming embrace of all who cross the doors of their Church. I have experienced this myself.

Some within the Byzantine tradition, however, seem to indicate that one must be purified of one's ethnicity. This is ultimately a Gnostic argument -saying that somehow Jesus must lose his Jewish identity. Ruthenians must not lose their Rusyn-ness. Ukrainians must not lose their Ukrainian identity; nor Hungarians, nor Russians, nor Greeks..... But we are all one in Christ, celebrating what He has done for us. We do not want to forget our ethnic origins - this is our history. We do not, as pointed out in Yuhannon's contribution, to have a heart closed to others. In celebrating our own origins, we acknowledge that God has been and continues to work in all cultures and times - reaching out to each person as he or she is - in Divine Love.
-------------------
"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved." –St. Serafim of Sarov

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Shlomo Pustinik,

Originally Posted by Pustinik
Yuhannon points out the sacred tension between maintaining one's identity but not being ethnocentric. Jesus was incarnated as a man with a culture and a history - like us in all things but sin. He and his followers struggled with this as in the early Christian conflict with Judaizers - SS Paul and Peter debated over this but the decision was that one did not need to become a Jew and be circumcised to be a Christian.


Thank you for simplying my words.

Quote
We do not deny our Jewish origins, and if I understand Yuhannon, the Maronites do not deny their Lebanese origins but show the best of that tradition in the welcoming embrace of all who cross the doors of their Church. I have experienced this myself.

Some within the Byzantine tradition, however, seem to indicate that one must be purified of one's ethnicity. This is ultimately a Gnostic argument -saying that somehow Jesus must lose his Jewish identity. Ruthenians must not lose their Rusyn-ness. Ukrainians must not lose their Ukrainian identity; nor Hungarians, nor Russians, nor Greeks..... But we are all one in Christ, celebrating what He has done for us. We do not want to forget our ethnic origins - this is our history. We do not, as pointed out in Yuhannon's contribution, to have a heart closed to others. In celebrating our own origins, we acknowledge that God has been and continues to work in all cultures and times - reaching out to each person as he or she is - in Divine Love.


Our Church is trying to be welcoming, but we too have our problems. Here in Las Vegas, we are divided between American born and Lebanese Maronites. The Lebanese demand that the Qorbono be in Arabic, while we Americans want it done (as our Eparch has also demanded) that it be in English. The children of these people go to services, but do not enjoy it. Further, the Lebanese will not permit the Church to by English language Qorbono Books.

In Toronto, our Church there is almost all first generation, and I can tell you that it is one of the most racist Churches I had ever been to. I actually started going to the Syriac Catholic Church because of the un-Christian conditions there. That includes a physical fight between the priest and parishioners while the Cardinal-Archbishop of Toronto was there for Divine Liturgy.

So please do not think that we do not have our problems, but the vast majority of our Hierarch, clergy and laity are working to make our Church truly "catholic".

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon

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I was well treated during the times I visited Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church in Hillside back in the 90's. I remember a woman being flattered when I told her that one of the reasons I came was to hear the Aramaic liturgy. And I know this will rankle a few feathers, but I also recall the priest saying to me with a smile on his face "We are very similar to Roman Catholics"

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Benedicite!

While staying for a couple of months in Damascus in the mid-'90s I mostly attended St. Paul's Syriac Catholic Cathedral there and was struck by the warm welcome I received from everyone, especially the late Archbishop Eustathe Joseph Mounayer who graciously took the time to greet me personally. Based on this experience, I feel that every Catholic should be made welcome in every Catholic Church, while always preserving his canonical membership in his proper Church sui iuris.

Indeed, the Eastern Catholic Churches are just as Catholic as the Latin Church. For historical reasons, the Eastern Catholic Churches have not been able to take part in missionary activities on the same scale as the Latin Church, but this does not mean that the Eastern Catholic Churches do not have the same missionary mandate as the Latin Church. The Latin Church is not the "default option" for someone who wishes to be baptized into the Catholic Church. Therefore, the Eastern Catholic Churches in the United States and elsewhere have the same responsibility as the Latin Church to reach out to the unchurched and the unbaptized and to bring them (back) to the true faith. As the stewards of a great liturgical, theological and spiritual tradition, the Eastern Catholic Churches have so much to offer to so many people!

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Shlomo Latin Catholic,

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Benedicite!

While staying for a couple of months in Damascus in the mid-'90s I mostly attended St. Paul's Syriac Catholic Cathedral there and was struck by the warm welcome I received from everyone, especially the late Archbishop Eustathe Joseph Mounayer who graciously took the time to greet me personally. Based on this experience, I feel that every Catholic should be made welcome in every Catholic Church, while always preserving his canonical membership in his proper Church sui iuris.

Indeed, the Eastern Catholic Churches are just as Catholic as the Latin Church. For historical reasons, the Eastern Catholic Churches have not been able to take part in missionary activities on the same scale as the Latin Church, but this does not mean that the Eastern Catholic Churches do not have the same missionary mandate as the Latin Church. The Latin Church is not the "default option" for someone who wishes to be baptized into the Catholic Church. Therefore, the Eastern Catholic Churches in the United States and elsewhere have the same responsibility as the Latin Church to reach out to the unchurched and the unbaptized and to bring them (back) to the true faith. As the stewards of a great liturgical, theological and spiritual tradition, the Eastern Catholic Churches have so much to offer to so many people!


I agree with you, but the subject of evangelization is also one that I hold dear. Nearly all of our Eastern Eparchs have not been willing to fight for our right to evangelize. Right now there is an Maronite priest that I know who is in Taiwan who is forebidden to preach about is Holy Tradition. In Western Europe we are not permitted to establish exarchs or eparchies. But to me, we laity need to agitate for proper structure.

What I hope to see is that we evangelize both internally and externally. That way we will be able to have open Churches for people to join.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon

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Shlomo Lkhoolkhoon,

Just so members here do not think that I was beating up the Byzantines, I thought that I would share some interesting news with you all. My friend, Hieromonk Richard S. Soo, S.J. is now Chancellor for the Archeparchy of Winnipeg for the Ukrainians. Abuna Richard, is 100% Chinese and fell in love with the Ukrainian Tradition. He speaks Ukrainian, and was very popular at St. Elias in Metro Toronto.

Also, here is what St. Elias has posted for visitors:

Feeling a little over your head?

First Time in our Church?

Don't worry!

Just ask anyone of us, "What was that all about?"

We're a friendly and pretty welcoming parish (even if we do say so ourselves).

Please come up and say hello to our parish priest, Father Roman Galadza. He would love to meet you.

And chances are, if you come downstairs for coffee, which we hope you will, he will catch up with you and introduce himself and say hello and welcome.

But just in case our very well informed and theologically educated parishioners did not get a chance to tell you stuff you were wondering about when you came to Church, here is a Helpful Hint Section of the parish website, f.y.i.

It's a kind of "Dear 'Abba' " web-column of Ecclesial Etiquette guaranteed to minimize Faux Pas.

(Actually you needn't worry about such things, for the Scriptures say: "And He will set his angels charge over you, lest you strike your foot against a stone")

Do's and Don'ts Bottom Line:

Do.....Come and Enjoy

Don't.....Worry


My who issue is that we should not be suprised within our Churches seeing a Chinese-Canadian, African-American or what ever Ethnic background the priest, and servers on the alter are. It should be as regular as it is in our everyday lives.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon

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Originally Posted by Byzantine Latino

Sorry for not being clearer. I am studying for the Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma. What I mean about 'wonderfully-open' can be best summed up by our mission statement, to be found on the eparchial website.
The seminary, as it is in Washington DC, belongs canonically to the Archeparchy of Philadelphia. When I said 'driven away', I did not mean by any of the seminary staff or the hierarchy, but rather by other individuals (cleric and/or lay). Our rector is an American, and is still learning Ukrainian. Our spiritual director is Ukrainian, but a really nice man.


It seems, then, that officially - and to some extent in practice - the UGCC welcomes non-Ukrainians (witness the recent appointment of a Chancellor in Winnipeg who is of Asian heritage), while in practice, there is still resistance from conservative elements.

But isn't that to be expected? Anyone with basic knowledge about the post WWII Ukrainian emigration knows that it was dominated by patriotic/nationalistic elements, one of whose goals was the preservation of the language and culture. In the long run, the project will likely fail, but some are committed to trying.

As you no doubt know, right now in North America, there is quite a range in terms of Ukrainian language use among members of the UGCC. Some don't speak Ukrainian at all while recent immigrants are much more proficient in that language than in English. Generalising, some parishes are more Ukrainian speaking than others. One would think that reasonable matches can be made between priests and parishes in term of language requirements and proficiencies. One would also hope that laypeople - including the more "patriotic" - would recognise the need for priests from various backgrounds.

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Originally Posted by Roman

It seems, then, that officially - and to some extent in practice - the UGCC welcomes non-Ukrainians (witness the recent appointment of a Chancellor in Winnipeg who is of Asian heritage), while in practice, there is still resistance from conservative elements.

But isn't that to be expected? Anyone with basic knowledge about the post WWII Ukrainian emigration knows that it was dominated by patriotic/nationalistic elements, one of whose goals was the preservation of the language and culture. In the long run, the project will likely fail, but some are committed to trying.

As you no doubt know, right now in North America, there is quite a range in terms of Ukrainian language use among members of the UGCC. Some don't speak Ukrainian at all while recent immigrants are much more proficient in that language than in English. Generalising, some parishes are more Ukrainian speaking than others. One would think that reasonable matches can be made between priests and parishes in term of language requirements and proficiencies. One would also hope that laypeople - including the more "patriotic" - would recognise the need for priests from various backgrounds.


That is one of the most bigoted posts I had the displeasure to read on this forum. The Ukrainian "nationalists" as you call them (that is post WWII immigrants who fled from communist-occupied Ukraine), and there are quite a few at my parish, have no problem with me or my family and have been extremely kind to us and I'm a Hungarian. They treat us and the other non-Ukrainians at my parish like we are one of them. I sometimes even speak Russian to them and they pleasently talk back to me in Russian too! Just because you set up camp on a foriegn country dosen't mean you have to stop speaking your own language so the one in a hundred local who gets curious and stops by on a sunday can understand what is going on.

Another thing too, my priest is not a Ukrainian, his family comes from the balkans actually, and grew up Latin Catholic and became a Ukrainian priest and the Ukrainans adore him. And he was ordained for the eparchy years ago. But he learned Ukrainian, as all semiinarians for the Ukrainian Catholic Church should.

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C^BA ICYCY XPUCTY!

Clarification, is not Orthodoxy aka Eastern Christianity to amalgamate into the culture? If so what other teaching models do we have for emulation then our ethnic subculture, lifestyles? When we learn about Saint Nicholas we cannot substitute the Santa Clause (Father Christmas) model. Svwaty Vecherea (Holy Supper) is not really a Thanksgiving Dinner. A Parastas (requiem) at the funeral home is not the same as a rosary said by the bereaved family. Voices of polyphony hymns or chanted prayers do not offer the same mystical imagery when accompanied with a simultaneous organ.

Roman, as you said the cosmopolitan aspect of languages vary from parish to parish. After all the grass roots of the UGCC is the 1st and 2nd wave offspring not just the post WW II wave. Does anyone think we use SOME Greek at Pascha because as “Greek Catholics” we understand the language of the gods? That is our way, with organic historical variances celebrating what we find beautifully meaningful. So why would anyone want to whitewash everything the same like a picket fence?

Please give this peasant boy from the Allegheny highlands some specific community faux pas rather than that of a close-minded individual. Generalizations are just too vague for my simple mind to understand the real irritation behind these complaints.

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Originally Posted by Pustinik

Some within the Byzantine tradition, however, seem to indicate that one must be purified of one's ethnicity. This is ultimately a Gnostic argument -saying that somehow Jesus must lose his Jewish identity. Ruthenians must not lose their Rusyn-ness. Ukrainians must not lose their Ukrainian identity; nor Hungarians, nor Russians, nor Greeks..... But we are all one in Christ, celebrating what He has done for us. We do not want to forget our ethnic origins - this is our history. We do not, as pointed out in Yuhannon's contribution, to have a heart closed to others. In celebrating our own origins, we acknowledge that God has been and continues to work in all cultures and times - reaching out to each person as he or she is - in Divine Love.
-------------------
"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved." –St. Serafim of Sarov


Amen! The only issue I would have with this statement is "some within the Byzantine tradition..." I would have to say this is not only an issue with those of the Byzantine tradition...I know Poles and Italians(insert whatever nationality you would like) often have the same types of arguments against them as well...

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Job,
I agree with your observation about other ethnics. David Roediger wrote a great book, "Working towards whiteness - how America's immigrants became white - the strange journey from Ellis Island to the suburbs" (Basic Books, 2005).


"Roediger recounts how American ethnic groups that are considered white today, such as Jewish, Italian-, and Polish-Americans, once occupied a confused racial status in their new country."

-----------------------------------------------

One Ruthenian-rite Catholic parish with which I'm familiar is dominated by non-Rusyn slavs and western Europeans, to the degree that Rusyn's who are quite numerous are not allowed to "officially" meet there. Yet Ukrainian knick-knacks are openly labeled and displayed at that parish's festivals. Too bad that a small ethnicity like Rusyns cannot openly celebrate its own specific heritage at a Ruthenian-rite parish of the Passaic Eparchy. Agreed, building on your point, I do not think our parishes should have an ethnic litmus test (maybe that was a fault in the past?). But to achieve oneness in Christ, one thinks we don't need to be forced to hide or deny our own ethnic heritage- especially in our own Rusyn rite parishes. Secular society is doing better than the Church in celebrating ethnic diversity in the particularity of cultures. I think of all the different ethnic festivals sponsored by the State of NJ - or see at the Pittsburgh Folk Festival. Lasting peace cannot be achieved by turning a blind eye to another's culture or to one's own culture.
----------------------------
"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved." –St. Serafim of Sarov


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Everything is ethnic. Nothing is new under the sun. The real issue is adapting to a new situation and a new environment or allowing oneself to become a part of a community that has customs that are different than what the newcomer is used to.
It's like the proverbial scape-goat, blaming everything on "ethnic" issues.
The great Father Serge once said something about the American culture, that the Calvinist approach is to take something and make it bad instead of dealing with the real issues.
This follows this thinking;
People are getting drunk, ban alcohol
Our church is shrinking in population, ban anything that is "ethnic"
These are easier solutions--err bandage solutions, point and blame instead of solve. But solving takes a lot of work and effort, and a lot of co-ordination and teamwork to accomplish.

Want to flip the coin? I know many Russians who attend a parish that only uses English. They speak English very well, but it isn't their native language. Do they complain? No. They come to church and are a vital part of the community. The only thing I have ever heard them say was that the English is so fast and hard to understand. Do they go across town, build another church, hire a Russian speaking priest and conduct services in Church Slavonic and Russian? No. They stay at the parish and strengthen it. Why? Because they realize it isn't about their personal wants and needs but the community's needs.
Think about it. Many people get upset because a parish sings a few parts of the liturgy in Slavonic. Or they have to attend a Ukrainian Liturgy. Well, the Russians, Greeks, Romanians, Serbians, Ukrainians, I know they all go to a parish that uses 100% English and is ethnically American. Instead of complaining they have fun and help with church projects, community outreach programs and live the message of the Gospel.

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C^ABA ICYCY XPUCTY!
What is ethnic American? Super Bowl Sunday? Halloween? Santa Clause? Chocolate Easter baskets? Saying “Happy Holidays”?

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Originally Posted by Mykhayl
C^ABA ICYCY XPUCTY!
What is ethnic American? Super Bowl Sunday? Halloween? Santa Clause? Chocolate Easter baskets? Saying “Happy Holidays”?


Mykhayl, You're the man! biggrin

P.S., I know the season is over, but I have to say this one more time....Christos Voskrese!

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