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#417018 - 05/19/17 07:08 PM Ukrainian-Greek vs Byzantine-Greek  
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 2
Cat Offline
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Cat  Offline
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Joined: May 2017
Posts: 2
New York
Hi There

Like so many here I was born and raised Roman Catholic, but have always been interested in learning about the Eastern churches. My maternal grandparents were Slovakian and married in the Russian Catholic Church. I don't know why, but while my uncle was baptized in the Russian church by the time my mother came around they had shifted over to the Roman Catholic Church and she was baptized there and there they remained. So even though it is my mother's side, I've always felt as though the Eastern Church was part of my heritage (my father's side is Hungarian, but had come down from the Slovak area way back in history, or so I'm told so who knows). A series of events prompted me to delve deeper into this interest in the Eastern Rites and the Second Sunday of Pascha began participating in the Divine Liturgy at an Ukrainian Catholic Church. Thus far I am enjoying the experience, connecting with the Liturgy and the people of this Church, and that I am connecting with my heritage.

The issue I have though is that it's Ukrainian and I'm Slovakian. But there is no Byzantine Church nearby. And as I mentioned before part of me wants to connect more with my heritage through that shared experience in prayer.

So I'm hoping y'all can help me out. Apart from the liturgical language of Ukrainian, are there any differences in practices between the Ukrainian-Greek and Russian-Greek Catholic Churches? I attend the Divine Liturgy in English, we use the Liturgy of St. John Christendom, and the church has activities that are familiar to me such as making pirohy/pyrohy (as opposed to calling them pierogi) and Easter Paska. If the only real difference is the use of Ukrainian (and separate eparchies) then I feel like I can give myself over completely as part of this shared historical faith experience instead of feeling like I'm slightly outside.

I don't know if this makes any sense, but like I said this isn't just about religious beliefs and philosophy, which I know these churches share. It's about my personal history and connection too.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

#417019 - 05/19/17 11:24 PM Re: Ukrainian-Greek vs Byzantine-Greek [Re: Cat]  
Joined: Jun 2016
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ast82401 Offline
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ast82401  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 87
USA
There are some differences in liturgical texts. Ukies go now and forever and ever. Ruthenians go now and ever and forever. Also, the style of music is different. Ukrainian is more choral and Ruthenian is more chanting at least as far I understand. Other than that, it's the same theology so it's pretty much the same.

#417020 - 05/20/17 09:12 AM Re: Ukrainian-Greek vs Byzantine-Greek [Re: Cat]  
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 379
JimG Offline
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JimG  Offline
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Joined: May 2010
Posts: 379
Texas USA
As a Roman Catholic who has attached himself to a Byzantine community I believe the attachment many born Eastern Catholics have to national heritage is the single biggest weakness facing Eastern Catholic churches. For the most part the Roman Church got over this many years ago but it still haunts Eastern Catholic communities. In my opinion, you should be attracted to the East because of its theology and because the liturgy enhances your spiritual growth. If that is the case then there is no reason to hesitate to embrace the Ukrainian parish if that is the Eastern Catholic church available to you regardless of whether it is Ukrainian or Byzantine. I think the big difference in the two communities is that in general, BCC communities tend to be far more diverse in their membership than to Ukrainian communities. But that said, go for the perogis however they spell it.

#417022 - 05/20/17 04:33 PM Re: Ukrainian-Greek vs Byzantine-Greek [Re: JimG]  
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Cat Offline
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Cat  Offline
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Joined: May 2017
Posts: 2
New York
The theology is the most important part, and the more I read the more I find myself examining my faith and all the theology I learned. But it's funny that you mention the RC church not focusing on heritage like the Eastern Catholics do, because in the Northeast parishes were founded along ethnic lines, so ethnic heritage still maintains some importance.

Given that both derive from the Greek, and are culturally similar I figured that there weren't many major differences between the Russian and Ukrainian Catholics in how each lives their faith. The Ukrainians have welcomed me, and there are others who came from Roman Catholic parishes, so the hesitancy is all my own.

Like I said, it probably wouldn't make sense to most people, but my focus on heritage derives in part due to the fact that the different Slavic cultures are often lumped together due to all the similarities and Soviet control. So I want to embrace my cultural heritage and what makes it unique.

Thank you for the answers.

#417023 - 05/22/17 09:03 AM Re: Ukrainian-Greek vs Byzantine-Greek [Re: Cat]  
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 379
JimG Offline
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JimG  Offline
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Posts: 379
Texas USA
I didn't mean that RC churches were not originally ethnic. Here is a quiz about the Roman Catholic churches in Iowa City Iowa. Here are the churches: St. Mary's, St. Patrick's, St. Wenceslaus and St. Thomas More. Match those with the three prominent ethnic/ cultural groups in Iowa City: University students and faculty, Germans, Czechs, and Irish. What I meant was that those ethnic/cultural differences are no longer supported by the RC Church. When my German ancestry parents moved to Iowa City they attended St. Patrick's church that has an Hispanic priest.

Good luck with your choice.


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