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Sunday obligation #419408 08/17/19 03:01 PM
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Krysostomos Offline OP
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Roman catholics have this sunday obligation: you should go to the Holy Mass every sunday, If possible.
How is this thing in The Eastern Catholic Church? Should you go to Divine Liturgy every sunday?!?

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: Krysostomos] #419409 08/17/19 03:31 PM
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Irish_Ruthenian Offline
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Roman Catholicism is all about law. It is about keeping rules and regulations. That is not the way the East looks at our relationship with Christ. For us, it is about theosis, about changing ourselves by cooperating with the Holy Spirit so that we grow in love for God and for our fellow man.

If you are growing in love for God, you do not have to be threatened with "mortal sin" (a concept unknown to the Eastern Church). If a person does not wish to attend Liturgy on Sunday, then perhaps he should really sit down and think about how much he really loves God and wants to please the one who died for him. If you have to be threatened with "mortal sin" to go to Mass, and that is the only reason you go, then you need some spiritual help.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: Krysostomos] #419412 08/20/19 01:18 AM
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The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: Krysostomos] #419414 08/20/19 05:45 PM
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The expectation in the Christian East is that the faithful are expected to attend the Divine Praises (Vespers and/or Matins) and the Divine Liturgy for all Sundays and major feast days. Sadly, very few parishes actually celebrate Vespers and Matins (at least in North America).

Historically, there was not a lot of legislation regarding "obligation", etc.

In North America, Eastern Catholics generally follow the example of the Roman Catholics, with a bishop-defined obligation for Divine Liturgy participation on Sundays and certain major feasts. And with exemptions for those who cannot participate due to illness, etc.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: Krysostomos] #419434 09/06/19 07:44 AM
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Obligation? A very strange word for any Orthodox or Greek-Catholic Christian to use regarding Divine Worship. The dictionary describes obligation as: "An act or course of action to which one is legally or morally bound." It, frankly, bears the baggage of a totally abject and discarded view that Eastern Catholics are merely Roman Catholics with a different liturgical veneer.
We can be in communion with the Roman and other Catholic Churches without surrendering or bastardizing our own ecclesial and theological integrity.

The original question is a perfectly good and valid question, i.e. "Should you go to Divine Liturgy every Sunday?" The answer is, of course, yes. But that yes is born of baptism and chrismation and not of some kind of minimalist understanding. This is not at all knocking western Catholicism but to merely point out that the concept of "obligation" comes from a different theological construct and tradition - vaiid in the tradition of Western Catholicism, but very much alien to the Christian East.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: Protopappas76] #419435 09/06/19 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Protopappas76
Obligation? A very strange word for any Orthodox or Greek-Catholic Christian to use regarding Divine Worship. The dictionary describes obligation as: "An act or course of action to which one is legally or morally bound." It, frankly, bears the baggage of a totally abject and discarded view that Eastern Catholics are merely Roman Catholics with a different liturgical veneer.
We can be in communion with the Roman and other Catholic Churches without surrendering or bastardizing our own ecclesial and theological integrity.

The original question is a perfectly good and valid question, i.e. "Should you go to Divine Liturgy every Sunday?" The answer is, of course, yes. But that yes is born of baptism and chrismation and not of some kind of minimalist understanding. This is not at all knocking western Catholicism but to merely point out that the concept of "obligation" comes from a different theological construct and tradition - vaiid in the tradition of Western Catholicism, but very much alien to the Christian East.


Excellent post. I fully agree.

I love liturgy. I don't want to miss it. I attend out of love.

I get to go.....I do not "have to" go. Not obligation....but privilege and opportunity.

Imagine if your wife was "obligated" and didn't love you.....

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #419436 09/07/19 04:00 PM
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Irenaeus Offline
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Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Roman Catholicism is all about law. It is about keeping rules and regulations. That is not the way the East looks at our relationship with Christ. For us, it is about theosis, about changing ourselves by cooperating with the Holy Spirit so that we grow in love for God and for our fellow man.

If you are growing in love for God, you do not have to be threatened with "mortal sin" (a concept unknown to the Eastern Church). If a person does not wish to attend Liturgy on Sunday, then perhaps he should really sit down and think about how much he really loves God and wants to please the one who died for him. If you have to be threatened with "mortal sin" to go to Mass, and that is the only reason you go, then you need some spiritual help.


I recall a priest, Fr. Michael Murphy in the Diocese of San Diego, California, who often cajoled Roman Catholics about Holy Days of Opportunity rather than Holy Days of Obligation.

Irish, perhaps I misunderstand you regarding your statement "mortal sin" (a concept unknown to the Eastern Church). I'm confident that the Eastern Church understands well that some sins are deadly, and some are not, as the following passage from 1 John 5:16-17 indicates:

Quote
16 If a man knows his brother to be guilty, yet not of such a sin as brings death with it, he should pray for him; and, at his request, life will be granted to the brother who is sinning, yet not fatally. There is a sin which kills; it is not over this that I bid him fall to prayer.[4] 17 Sin may be wrong-doing of any kind; not all sin is fatal.




Last edited by Irenaeus; 09/07/19 04:24 PM. Reason: clarification
Re: Sunday obligation [Re: Irenaeus] #419467 09/22/19 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Irenaeus
Irish, perhaps I misunderstand you regarding your statement "mortal sin" (a concept unknown to the Eastern Church). I'm confident that the Eastern Church understands well that some sins are deadly, and some are not, as the following passage from 1 John 5:16-17 indicates:

Nonetheless, the venial/mortal distinction isn't made.

This hasn't, however, stopped both EC and EO theologians from writing volume on the topic . . . shocked


As far as Sunday obligation, the best explanation that I've seen was on this forum (I think) a few years ago, that we're not obligated by penalty of sin, but rather in the same way we are obligated to breathe, as we can't live without it.

I had to miss going this morning for the second week in a row due to my tweaked back, and I'm going stark raving mad . . . but I can't sit long without serious lumbar support at the moment, nor could I stand that long . . . [oddly, I could drive there and back without a problem, but I have power lumbar adjustment . . .]


Re: Sunday obligation [Re: dochawk] #419470 09/22/19 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dochawk
Irish, perhaps I misunderstand you regarding your statement "mortal sin" (a concept unknown to the Eastern Church). I'm confident that the Eastern Church understands well that some sins are deadly, and some are not, as the following passage from 1 John 5:16-17 indicates:


Nonetheless, the venial/mortal distinction isn't made.

This hasn't, however, stopped both EC and EO theologians from writing volume on the topic . . . shocked


As far as Sunday obligation, the best explanation that I've seen was on this forum (I think) a few years ago, that we're not obligated by penalty of sin, but rather in the same way we are obligated to breathe, as we can't live without it.

I had to miss going this morning for the second week in a row due to my tweaked back, and I'm going stark raving mad . . . but I can't sit long without serious lumbar support at the moment, nor could I stand that long . . . [oddly, I could drive there and back without a problem, but I have power lumbar adjustment . . .] [/quote]

Having a tight back myself, I feel for you.

As I said earlier, the whole Western mindset is about law and keeping the law. Soteriology therefore becomes all about breaking the law and punishments. Of course, the epistemelogical end of such thinking is that you start grading sins as to whether they are "mortal" or "venial" and how bad they are (i.e. how much penance one must DO to pay off the debt).

This is utterly alien to Eastern thinking. I remember the first time a Melkite priest heard my confession. At the end, I kind of stood there, waiting. When he realized that I was waiting to understand what form and how much payment for my law-breaking I had incurred, he said something to the effect of "You are forgiven. Beat it!" With a smile. I have since come to understand more about the difference in Eastern and Western thinking on this issue.

Missing a Divine Liturgy is not a mortal sin because we are not under a law. But if you regularly miss Liturgy, it is more of a thermometer which should tell you, your family, and your priest, that you are spiritually sick and need some strong medicine. In the East, salvation is about healing the soul that has been delivered from death by Christ's death, not worrying about some law that says if I take a certain number of bites of Hagen-Daz I am now in a state of mortal sin.

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: Krysostomos] #419577 10/16/19 05:31 PM
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I'm going to blame the news software for this epidemic of broken quotes.

Yeah, that's it; the software . . .

smile

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: Krysostomos] #419595 10/24/19 01:51 PM
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In between the lines, the priests do explain to us that there is such an obligation in the East as well. But it's pastoral not to put if forward. Some EO priests do it. Maybe not so much in US, which is a multi-religious country and the risk to upset people and make them leave is great.
In Eastern Europe countries where the population is 80%+ Eastern Orthodox priests do explain publicly that after Baptism we have obligations from God within the Church and for the Church. Some say it's the Catholic influence and ecumenism is taking its toll. But that's not true. Elder Cleopa and other elders who were not much into ecumenism speak of such an obligation to exist. Even in popular beliefs we know that Sunday belongs to God and we must celebrate God and celebrating God is attending the liturgy.

What we don't have as an obligation is to receive the Eucharist every Sunday unless forbidden or unable (like during a woman's period). We are advised to receive the Eucharist only prepared and only with the approval of a priest after Confession. The rule to receive it is also a little stricter than in RC so in my parish very few grownups receive it even if there are older men and women who are devout and come to church every single Sunday and Feast.

I hope to attend the church more often. blush

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: Krysostomos] #419613 11/03/19 09:06 PM
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I understand that Sunday is not necessarily a Holy Day of Obligation.
In the western Roman rites ther are only 5 or 6 holy days of onligation.
In the eastern Greek rites they are a little over 20 holy days of obligation.
With the except of Easter sunday most holy days of obligation do not fall on Sundays

Re: Sunday obligation [Re: Krysostomos] #419614 11/04/19 12:57 AM
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Sunday is not a Holy Day of Obligation. A Holy day of obligation is a day like E.G. Christmas or Easter and Ascension.
The Roman Rite only has 5 or 6 days of holy Obligation. While the Eastern Rite has a little over 20 days of Holy Obligation.


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