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Re: Sunday obligation [Re: J Michael] #392090 03/12/13 04:32 PM
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The intention was to wean the people away from what I call "Cracker Jack Liturgiology"--there must be a prize in each box. Father Nicholas of Holy Resurrection Monastery recognized back in 2001 that the liturgical life of most Greek Catholics--and especially Ruthenian Catholics--had necked down to the Divine Liturgy. Far more people have been to paraliturgical services like Molebens and Panahidas than to Orthros and Vespers. He called for the restoration of (de minims) daily Vespers and Sunday morning Orthros in accordance with the Typicon. He also called for the elimination of "Vigil Liturgies" and the bastard service of "Vespergy", and full celebration of the Divine Liturgy. Needless to say, Fr. Nicholas was a marked man thereafter.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: J Michael] #392092 03/12/13 05:53 PM
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The problem really is the "Roman competition". If Eastern Catholic parishes do not set up Vesperal Liturgies, then the little parishioners they have would just go one block down the street to a Roman Catholic parish that does have "anticipated Mass".

This is an indirect Latinization. Rome is not forcing this on the Eastern Catholic Churches, but unintentionally their own praxis has an effect on the EC praxis. ECs are forced to compete for their own flock.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: J Michael] #392095 03/12/13 08:28 PM
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I totally agree. Also, I still miss the days of daily Divine Liturgies as well. I remember when they had these every weekday morning usually around 7 AM or 8 AM, depending on the parish, and when their parishioners usually head to work. In order to compete with RCs still holding these, I feel these need to be returned. Also, I agree, a lot of the holy day Divine Liturgies outside of the major ones usually wind up being held during the morning, usually around 9 AM or 10 AM, also depending on the parish. I feel that at least having a Vespergy Vigil or even holding another DL for the holy day itself during the afternoon/early evening would certainly turn around attendance in most EC parishes to be sure...not just at the Cathedral level.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: 8IronBob] #392133 03/13/13 05:27 PM
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Gotta say that I agree with you and would just add that I long for the day when circumstances will allow my wife and I to be able to worship again at an Eastern Catholic parish rather than the RC parish just down the road (and for which we thank God is available to us!).

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: ConstantineTG] #392159 03/13/13 09:33 PM
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I just want to drop in and say, to count the "Divine Praises" as a "Sunday Obligation" in lieu of the Divine Liturgy confuses what the Divine Liturgy is in contrast to all the other Liturgical services. Don't get me wrong, I go to Vespers (I don't normally) if I can't come on Sunday, but I'm not pretending that it is an equivalence. I know I'm not getting the 100% of what the Divine Liturgy is, but at least I get something rather than nothing.

For people who are not catechized enough to tell the difference, this will just confuse them when you speak as if there is an equivalency. There isn't.


The Particular Law for the UGCC in the US allows Vespers, Matins or the Divine Liturgy to satisfy the "obligation" on feasts and Sundays. This was not done to diminish, conflate or cheapen the Divine Liturgy, but especially to restore Vespers to its rightful place on Saturday evening (as well as Matins on Sunday morning).

Indeed more work and catechesis needs to be done, but this is a great starting point and exercise of economia to not force someone who is unable to come on Sunday to attend a Saturday evening "Mass" but rather to be fed on the liturgical riches of his or her own particular Church. While Vespers and Matins are not the Divine Liturgy, they certainly are within the Eucharistic cycle of the Vigil and contain an immense and essential corpus of mystagogy as several prominent liturgists have noted.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: J Michael] #392167 03/13/13 10:11 PM
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Well, around here I think that Vespers and Matins are more present in the Ruthenian Church than in the UGCC, at least in my area of the country. Don't know too many Ukrainian parishes that hold Matins or Vespers except for Pascha/Resurrection Matins, and for Nativity and Theophany for the Compline, etc... Outside of that, I think I've mainly heard of Ruthenian parishes mainly holding these.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: 8IronBob] #392207 03/14/13 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 8IronBob
I totally agree. Also, I still miss the days of daily Divine Liturgies as well. I remember when they had these every weekday morning usually around 7 AM or 8 AM, depending on the parish, and when their parishioners usually head to work. In order to compete with RCs still holding these, I feel these need to be returned. Also, I agree, a lot of the holy day Divine Liturgies outside of the major ones usually wind up being held during the morning, usually around 9 AM or 10 AM, also depending on the parish. I feel that at least having a Vespergy Vigil or even holding another DL for the holy day itself during the afternoon/early evening would certainly turn around attendance in most EC parishes to be sure...not just at the Cathedral level.


If ECs are serious about recovering their traditions, then they need to stick to it. So I don't really agree with an afternoon DL (although DLs do not have a prescribed time unlike the other Liturgical services).

Daily DL is okay as well, although I believe it is only truly served as monasteries and cathedrals. But if there is a demand, why not? Except Lent of course, again, stick to the tradition.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: Diak] #392208 03/14/13 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Diak
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I just want to drop in and say, to count the "Divine Praises" as a "Sunday Obligation" in lieu of the Divine Liturgy confuses what the Divine Liturgy is in contrast to all the other Liturgical services. Don't get me wrong, I go to Vespers (I don't normally) if I can't come on Sunday, but I'm not pretending that it is an equivalence. I know I'm not getting the 100% of what the Divine Liturgy is, but at least I get something rather than nothing.

For people who are not catechized enough to tell the difference, this will just confuse them when you speak as if there is an equivalency. There isn't.


The Particular Law for the UGCC in the US allows Vespers, Matins or the Divine Liturgy to satisfy the "obligation" on feasts and Sundays. This was not done to diminish, conflate or cheapen the Divine Liturgy, but especially to restore Vespers to its rightful place on Saturday evening (as well as Matins on Sunday morning).

Indeed more work and catechesis needs to be done, but this is a great starting point and exercise of economia to not force someone who is unable to come on Sunday to attend a Saturday evening "Mass" but rather to be fed on the liturgical riches of his or her own particular Church. While Vespers and Matins are not the Divine Liturgy, they certainly are within the Eucharistic cycle of the Vigil and contain an immense and essential corpus of mystagogy as several prominent liturgists have noted.


Of course. But as I said, I just hope people are clear that they are not the same thing. They are not a "Mass/DL without Communion".

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: J Michael] #392209 03/14/13 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by J Michael
Gotta say that I agree with you and would just add that I long for the day when circumstances will allow my wife and I to be able to worship again at an Eastern Catholic parish rather than the RC parish just down the road (and for which we thank God is available to us!).


Start a mission. The parish I go to today was a backyard chapel doing Reader Services in the early to mid-80s. They didn't even get a priest until the late 80s. And today they are a thriving parish that has also helped start up 3 other parishes.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: J Michael] #392227 03/15/13 07:46 AM
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Latinization or not, I consider my Eastern Rite to be in union with Rome. We may address certain things with different style or language. But I believe we are as reconciled theologically as possible. That is, I do feel compelled to not contradict what Rome teaches, while expressing myself liturgically Eastern.

So regarding Sundays and Holy Days. I (with all due respect) do not accept it as ok to choose an Orthodox liturgy as satisfying the obligation to go. I do believe that it is a sin not to go to a Roman Catholic Mass or BC DL if you are able to attend. I do not think it is ok for us to just use our opinion about what liturgy we like better and ignore the reality (if we are Catholic, Eastern or not) that we are obligated to attend Mass/DL in a Parish in union with Rome.

I do not speak to those I know little about such as Melkites or Ukrainians (and am curious if maybe you have different teachings or allowances about these matters). But I speak as a Ruthenian (though I do not ay I know my faith well enough to be speaking perfectly for at this time, just giving my impression of what I believe true based on what I have seen and read).

I also believe that Vespers does not satisfy the obligation for a Ruthenian (though if you can prove otherwise I'm open to hearing it, but my reading of canon law does not seem to indicate this to me).

So given the choice between RC Mass or Orthodox Church Divine Liturgy, while I may prefer the DL, I will always choose the Mass. Yes, I share some of the irritation with the state of some parishes liturgies, but I still try to pray the Mass (which is beautiful at its core) as best I can. Of course I battle some emotions along the way, but I do what I can. And unfortunately, due to work and other things that arise (and occasional falling short in the discipline of sleep), I find myself attending RC parishes 33-66 percent of the weeks of a given season. Though I have to work on changing this and more regularly attending my own parish.

I am not judging anyone, but I am freely giving my opinion. I simply believe that in matters of faith, obedience is so important, and what I question/fear that I see on this forum from many Byzantine Catholics (though granted you are all smarter than I, and probably holier as far as I can tell, and I do not know all the details about why you say what you say or what exceptions I may not be familiar with) is the idea that you can determine based on your own experience or knowledge of Church history or liturgy or culture what is spiritually best for you (theologically, and in practice) as individuals rather than simply living by/believing in what is expected of/taught you are to do.

I believe being in union with Rome means there is going to be some Latinization. I do not mind that we try to avoid keeping it out of our Liturgies and liturgical calendars. But theologically, since we express the faith slightly differently in some ways, yet insist that we share the same theological faith, I see no room, for saying, there is no such things as a Sunday obligation. I think we have to blend our teachings, or not openly contradict one another. If I affirm as a BC that Rome is not in theological error, and Rome teaches that there is a Sunday obligation, I see no room to say that it doesn't apply to all. Whereas, celibacy is an issue that can be practiced with different disciplines and is or should be left to the particular leaders of Churches.

Also, the whole notion of an obligation probably comes from the idea of one of the ten commandments. Is the word commandment any less of a sweet word than obligation? The word is not so bad. Husbands may love their wives more out of a natural desire, but they are still obligated to do it. We should love the Lord because He is good and worthy, yet, we are still obligated to become holy. There is an obligation to not sin and to repent. Of course we (at least we should) do it all because we want to, but none the less, it is a serious matter if we ignore these things that the desire for intimacy with God obliges us to do.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: J Michael] #392230 03/15/13 02:46 PM
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I believe being in union with Rome means there is going to be some Latinization.

The Holy See says no. Has been saying no for more than a century. "Add nothing, delete nothing, change nothing", as Pope Pius X told the presbyters and laity who formed the Russian Catholic Church back in 1905. This instruction is reiterated in the Vatican II Decree on the Oriental Churches Orientalium ecclesiarum, as well as in the Instructions for Implementing the Liturgical Instructions of the Code of Canons for the Oriental Churches, Pope John Paul II's pastoral letter Orientale Lumen, and his Encyclical Letter Ecclesia in America.

There is no room for a third way. If we are not going to be fully "Orthodox" in our liturgy, theology, spirituality, doctrine and discipline--in the fullness of our Tradition--then we have no reason for being, and should simply become Latin Christians, because our only reason for being is to demonstrate the possibility of being truly Orthodox while in communion with the Church of Rome.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: StuartK] #392237 03/15/13 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
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I believe being in union with Rome means there is going to be some Latinization.

The Holy See says no. Has been saying no for more than a century. "Add nothing, delete nothing, change nothing", as Pope Pius X told the presbyters and laity who formed the Russian Catholic Church back in 1905. This instruction is reiterated in the Vatican II Decree on the Oriental Churches Orientalium ecclesiarum, as well as in the Instructions for Implementing the Liturgical Instructions of the Code of Canons for the Oriental Churches, Pope John Paul II's pastoral letter Orientale Lumen, and his Encyclical Letter Ecclesia in America.

There is no room for a third way. If we are not going to be fully "Orthodox" in our liturgy, theology, spirituality, doctrine and discipline--in the fullness of our Tradition--then we have no reason for being, and should simply become Latin Christians, because our only reason for being is to demonstrate the possibility of being truly Orthodox while in communion with the Church of Rome.


Ideally yes. But communion means forming one body, so you breathe the same air and the same blood flows around you. There will always be Latinizations because the Latin influence will always be strong. Unless there is a reversal in the far future where Byzantine Catholics will outnumber Latin Rite Catholics. Because the praxis of East and West is so radically different, there will always be influences which will make Eastern Churches Latinize.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: ConstantineTG] #392240 03/15/13 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ConstantineTG
Originally Posted by J Michael
Gotta say that I agree with you and would just add that I long for the day when circumstances will allow my wife and I to be able to worship again at an Eastern Catholic parish rather than the RC parish just down the road (and for which we thank God is available to us!).


Start a mission. The parish I go to today was a backyard chapel doing Reader Services in the early to mid-80s. They didn't even get a priest until the late 80s. And today they are a thriving parish that has also helped start up 3 other parishes.


Ha! Easy for you to say smile.

I have thought about it, and even contacted one of the (not so) local priests about it--he wasn't remotely interested. To be fair, he already serves 1 established parish, and 2 mission parishes.

Just out of curiosity (and apologies for my denseness!), as a Ruthenian Catholic with a RC parish literally a few minutes away, with an obligation (out of love, of course) to attend the "divine praises", how do I start a mission with a Reader's Service AND fulfill my obligation? Or...does the Reader's Service do that--even with a RC parish just down the road? And then...Pascha? The Nativity of Christ? Etc??

Do you see my quandary? Or, is it even really a quandary?

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: J Michael] #392241 03/15/13 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by J Michael

Ha! Easy for you to say smile.

I have thought about it, and even contacted one of the (not so) local priests about it--he wasn't remotely interested. To be fair, he already serves 1 established parish, and 2 mission parishes.

Just out of curiosity (and apologies for my denseness!), as a Ruthenian Catholic with a RC parish literally a few minutes away, with an obligation (out of love, of course) to attend the "divine praises", how do I start a mission with a Reader's Service AND fulfill my obligation? Or...does the Reader's Service do that--even with a RC parish just down the road? And then...Pascha? The Nativity of Christ? Etc??

Do you see my quandary? Or, is it even really a quandary?


Its a question for the Ruthenian Bishop to answer. My current parish I believed they never attended Liturgy again from the "parent" parish because of issues (mostly around ethnicity) that divided them. They had the permission from their bishop to do the services.

Just my two cents in, you can go to Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon and do the Reader's service at the appointed time in the morning, if you feel that you should still go to a Liturgy celebrated by a priest. But the bishop can tell you what to do, including the proper dispensation should he allow you to just do the services and not require you to go to Mass. I cannot do that wink

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: ConstantineTG] #392242 03/15/13 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ConstantineTG
Originally Posted by J Michael

Ha! Easy for you to say smile.

I have thought about it, and even contacted one of the (not so) local priests about it--he wasn't remotely interested. To be fair, he already serves 1 established parish, and 2 mission parishes.

Just out of curiosity (and apologies for my denseness!), as a Ruthenian Catholic with a RC parish literally a few minutes away, with an obligation (out of love, of course) to attend the "divine praises", how do I start a mission with a Reader's Service AND fulfill my obligation? Or...does the Reader's Service do that--even with a RC parish just down the road? And then...Pascha? The Nativity of Christ? Etc??

Do you see my quandary? Or, is it even really a quandary?


Its a question for the Ruthenian Bishop to answer. My current parish I believed they never attended Liturgy again from the "parent" parish because of issues (mostly around ethnicity) that divided them. They had the permission from their bishop to do the services.

Just my two cents in, you can go to Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon and do the Reader's service at the appointed time in the morning, if you feel that you should still go to a Liturgy celebrated by a priest. But the bishop can tell you what to do, including the proper dispensation should he allow you to just do the services and not require you to go to Mass. I cannot do that wink


Okay, thanks! Never occurred to me to contact the bishop (administrator in this case) about it. DUH cool !

Doing both (something I've contemplated in the past), Mass and Reader's Service, is probably out of the question due to my wife's health.

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