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#420746 12/21/20 12:19 PM
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Hello my friends,

I attend a Roman Rite parish that is down the street from my home. There is a Ukranian Byzantine parish approximately 40 miles from here. I have not been there yet. However, what stops me is that as much as I am in love with the Eastern approach to the Faith, I love the people of my parish more. For me to switch rites at this point is impossible for how can I abandon those to whom I have been given and who have been given to me by God? Till we eventually move to the Pittsburgh area I will have to content myself with my Orthodox prayer book, the Jesus Prayer, the Philokalia and the writings of the Saints of the East.

This brings me to a realization I had at Mass yesterday. During Mass it came to me that the possession of the Kingdom is given to the "poor in spirit" (Matt 5:3). Poverty of spirit is essential, therefore all that we do, in my opinion, should have the shade of repentance over it. I find this approach prevalent on every page of my prayer book and of course in the Jesus Prayer. It is there that my soul calls out to the Lord. However it seems to me that in the Roman Rite repentance is hardly ever mentioned except for the penitential rite at the beginning. This is ok but does nothing to emphasize a life of repentance in the hearts of those in attendance, in fact it almost generates the unspoken idea of a spiritual fire extinguisher ( "just in case you sinned before Mass here's a chance.."). I am grateful for this chance and have taken up on it many times, but again it does nothing to spur me on to a life of repentance.

The difference and my frustration became clear. We, in the Roman Rite since Vatican II, have emphasized the celebratory (ie: "celebrating the Sacraments"), giving the connotation of a big religious shin dig, complete with dancing, a "meal" and hip music (please know that none of these things exist in my parish as my Pastor is a fine priest).. The liturgical abuses that followed the Council demonstrate this quite clearly. For instance, a nun once told me that "we get together and make Church". Nothing could be further from the truth. In my opinion, we offer ourselves to the Lord, He offers Himself to us and as a result we meet! On the other hand the East emphasizes repentance, or perhaps poverty of spirit in approaching the Lord. In that moment I realized that my spiritual home (the Roman Rite) was offering me the way of celebration while my heart was calling out for the way of poverty.

As stated by the Holy Father St. John Paul II, we need BOTH lungs to breathe. To breathe on one lung is dangerous, not fulfilling and leaves on gasping for breath. Yet something deeper exists for me...people. Christ calls us to repentance not just for ourselves and our own struggle for divinization, but for others. Perhaps theosis has as much of an evangelical quality as it does a mystical one. It is my sincerest hope that should I make it all the way to theosis in this life, that I will not forget those whom God has given to me. Spiritual narcissism can be a real danger. Pray for me that I do not fall captive to that spirit.

your friend,
s.o.d..

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While I am very fortunate to be within a delightful ten minute walk to our little Byzantine rite Ukrainian Catholic Church, I still have a love for the stark simplicity, clarity and beauty of the Latin rite when done reverently and well. Even in its newest mode it has all the marks of its antiquity, especially in that beautiful supplication at the Breaking of the Bread: Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi... This prayer is absent from the DL to my knowledge, but I think it bears all the characteristics of Sacrifice, mercy and repentance that we'll ever need. The very reason we are able to ask for mercy is that He has taken away the sins of the world by His Sacrifice, Death and Resurrection. The Eastern Rite is most worthy of praise, but don't undersell the rite of Rome. I somehow feel it does not get the kind of catechesis it needs. The Agnus Dei should always be chanted in Latin, by the way, and with all the passion it deserves!

Utroque #420756 12/22/20 12:26 AM
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Spot on and thank you my friend! You are so right. I wish that the diocese I am a part of encouraged Latin or its literal equivalent. I also agree with the "stark simplicity, clarity and beauty of the Latin Rite" as you put it. Thank you for the reminder. I am wondering what, if any, prayer book you might recommend? I have the Orthodox Christian Prayers which I love. I also have Benedictine Prayer put out by the press at Collegeville. I love praying the psalms but have a difficult time with the politically correcting of the Scripture. Any suggestions?

Utroque #420757 12/22/20 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Utroque
Even in its newest mode it has all the marks of its antiquity, especially in that beautiful supplication at the Breaking of the Bread: Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi... This prayer is absent from the DL to my knowledge, but I think it bears all the characteristics of Sacrifice, mercy and repentance that we'll ever need. The very reason we are able to ask for mercy is that He has taken away the sins of the world by His Sacrifice, Death and Resurrection. The Eastern Rite is most worthy of praise, but don't undersell the rite of Rome. I somehow feel it does not get the kind of catechesis it needs. The Agnus Dei should always be chanted in Latin, by the way, and with all the passion it deserves!
Thanks for this comment; it got me thinking.

The Agnus Dei is a allusion to John the Baptist's acclamation:

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

The Latin liturgy, quoting the Gospel text even more explicitly, has the priest before communion holding up the bread, and in the Novus Ordo optionally the cup also, saying: Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi [Behold the Lamb of God, behold who (masculine, so him-who) takes away the sins of the world.] Both uses are slight variations on the Gospel text. John's acclamation is a third person reference to the Lamb, a participle (masc., nom., present) that the Greek idiom often uses though not so in English: the-one-taking-away-presently, the sin (singular, peccatum). Both liturgical texts have sins, peccata rather than the singular, "sin" of the Gospel. And the Agnus Dei does not have the third person form tollit (takes, taketh) but the second person tollis, like, you-who-takes (who takest vs. taketh; the inflected Old English can do it.). The Agnus Dei payer is addressing the Lamb: Lamb of God who TAKE (not takes, i.e., you take) away ... (Contemporary English can try to convey that second person form but it can sound awkward to the modern ear; see e.g. the RDL, prayer before the Our Father, ": To you, O Master who love us all,...; also discussed in Feminism and the English Language).

The Byzantine liturgy, in the Proskomedia where the sacrificial aspects of the Divine Liturgy and references thereto abound, has at the preparation of the Lamb (the center portion of the loaf stamped with IC XC NI KA) the priest, as he "sacrifices it in the form of a cross," saying "The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world..." Also at the liturgy's essential fraction (rite), -- the breaking of the bread as in the Latin rite -- the priest says "Broken and distributed is the Lamb of God..."

I too have a great love and appreciation of the Latin liturgy, especially when it is true to - and in continuity with -- its roots. An aspect of that continuity is an awareness of the harmony of our life and the rhythm of our worship with the world that God created and "so loved ... that he gave his only Son (John 3:16 RSV) "who for us, Men, and for our salvation...became Man."

Such harmony that speaks in its own way in addition to words is found in today's O Antiphon, sung at Vespers before the Magnificat in the Roman rite.The seven O Antiphons are sung to the same beautifully haunting melody. And it is precisely on this day, December 21, the darkest day of the year, the winter solstice, that the church appropriately sings:

Quote
O Oriens - Rising Sun,
splendor of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

O Oriens
splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

(written on December 21)

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Christ is in our midst!!

son of the desert,

Go to the EWTN website and check their offerings for psalm books. They did offer the original Jerusalem Bible, sans feminist language. Try also Ignatius Press from which I obtained a small leather bound New Testament and Psalms: The Ignatius Bible - RSV 2nd Edition. I use this latter one regularly.

Bob

ajk #420761 12/22/20 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ajk
The Agnus Dei is a allusion to John the Baptist's acclamation:

I forgot that that beautiful ancient hymn of praise and supplication, the Gloria, found in both liturgies, echoes the same words and sentiments.

Son of the Desert, my favorite Book of Psalms, is my old Confraternity of Christian Doctrine copy from a series published by CUA back in the 50s, but its probably out of print. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, well worn, but loved.

theophan #420767 12/23/20 01:46 AM
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Thank you Bob,

As you suggested, I use the original Jerusalem Bible and find it totally acceptable. I also have, not used, the NRSV from Ignatius Press. I am kind of hooked on the Jerusalem Bible. Have tried switching to the NSRV but it hasn't taken. I was hoping that there was a prayer book out there that is not politically corrected and not afraid to use the masculine pronoun. My Orthodox prayer book is definitely not afraid to use it.

Thank you my friend

s.o.d.

Utroque #420768 12/23/20 01:50 AM
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Thank you Utroque,

I know I had their NT pocket sized. I just looked but can't find it. I am motivated to do so now to see if it's the same one your describe.

Thank you my friend for your suggestion

pray for me
s.o.d.

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Christ is in our midst!!

s.o.d.,

Have you tried eBay for one of these books you are searching for? Sometimes, with patience, one will come along. I bought a Latin "Divine Office" there a few years back that is authorized for every English speaking country except the United States. It is Standard English; not feminist language.

Bob

theophan #420783 12/24/20 11:52 AM
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Thanks Bob,

I have a friend who has a used book store and is an expert on getting hard to find books. Can you give me the exact title, copywrite date and perhaps publisher so I can relay this to her?

s.o.d.

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I found the three volumes on eBay about four years ago. They were brand new, never used. But I had to import them from a seller in the UK. Books: "The Divine Office, The Liturgy of the Hours According to the Roman Rite," 1974, Collins (London and Glasgow), E. J. Dwyer (Sydney), and Talbot (Dublin), three volumes.

Bob

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I have a few recommendations, especially if you can wait a few months.

St. Ignatius Orthodox Press (via Legacy Icons) will offer their equivalent of a western breviary this spring, hopefully by April 2021.

Sophia Press via the Melkite Eparchy of the United States has a book called the Publican's Prayer Book, it contains traditional prayers plus an abbreviated version of the Divine Offce that is suitable for lay use. It went out of stock at the start of pandemic and was supposed to be available by now, but life happens so I would guess early next year. Maybe even January 2021?

Ancient Faith Publishing has their own Psalter divided into convenient units. It is the old RSV translation edited to the Septuagint and customary Orthodox phraseology.

In the next few years, there will be a new translation from Latin of the Liturgy of the Hours. It will be a much more literal translation, similar to the Mass translation in use now, perhaps even a bit less wooden. Expect it within the next few years. It will use "Abbey Canticles and Psalms" an update of the Grail Psalter that is a bit more literal, but maintains the "sprung rhythm" of the original grail psalter that in turn was based on the Jerusalem Bible. You can buy a stand alone psalter of the Abbey Canticles and Psalms from the USCCB website.

If you wish to continue praying in Eastern Tradition, I would pick up a psalter and pray through it and supplement it with your Orthodox Prayer book, then I would consider either the St. Ignatius Press Anthology of Prayer or Publican Prayer Book to supplement it. The abbreviated hours in those books will not contain the entire psalter so between the two type of books and your prayer rope, you would have all your bases covered.

theophan #420789 12/25/20 11:49 AM
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Thanks Bob!

I will get my book person on it directly. Merry Christmas to all on these boards! May Jesus, the Son of the Living God, haver mercy on us all.

s.o.d.

Devin1890 #420792 12/26/20 12:40 AM
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Thanks Devin,

I will definitely check all of these out. A quick question regarding the Orthodox Psalter.I checked Ancient Faith Publishing and the one listed there does not have any information regarding the unites you describe. I also checked for the "Publican's Prayer Book" but was unsuccessful. Do you have any links to these?

your friend
s.o.d.

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Christ is in our midst!!

You might also like "A Psalter for Prayer," published by Holy Trinity Monastery's press. It was compiled because the Slavonic Psalter used in the monastery had prayers after each Kathisma that were not available in other psalters in English. It's a large print volume--also large in size--that has instructions for its use in daily monastic use. It is a arranged for liturgical use and daily private prayer. It is in a traditional English mode and uses language similar to the KJV.

Bob

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