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#69671 11/10/01 01:05 PM
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Glory be to Jesus Christ!

Dear Edward:

Thank you so much for the information on ROCOR and the MP. So ROCOR uses tends to not abbreviate services, that is awesome! I think Eastern Catholic Churches should do that as well. There is so much to the Eastern Christian Tradition that we haven't even touched the surface of yet.

I am was baptized and Chrismated in the Byzantine Catholic Church of St. Nicholas of Myra in Anchorage by V. Rev. Father Steve Greskowiak. My family backgound is mostly Hungarian Roman Catholic, but we have some Byzantine Catholic relatives on the East Coast. My parents were liberal Roman Catholics and because they wanted me to choose my own religion they didn't have me baptized. As I grew up I fell in love with the Byzantine Catholic Church and was received there. Later on I had a stuggle about whether or not Eastern Catholics were Orthodox and I was Chrismated by Father Nicholas Bullock of the Orthodox Church in America here in Diocese of Alaska. My problems did not end with my conversion to Orthodoxy though. I had found that the same problems I had encountered in the Eastern Catholic Church I also had encountered in the Orthodox Church and even some new ones. I found out that many Orthodox churches also suffer from latinization, protestantization, and a western religous mentality. I found out that for me I needed and felt secure with centralization and the strong sense of unity in the Catholic Church that I did not find in the Orthodox Church. So as I came back to my Byzantine Catholic Faith, I discovered it has a rich mission and a very unique witness, one that I missed when I left her for the OCA. I also missed our Carpatho-Rusyn plainchant and our particular "spirit."

Of course I miss things about the OCA to, such as receiving the antidoron and blessed warm wine after Communion and the wonderful litugical philosophy that "more is more" and excess in best. I take my journey with the OCA as a precious thing, but my home is with the Byzantine Catholic Church, the Church of my Baptism.

Father Nicholas always tries to get me to come back to the Orthodox Church, but I tell him I never left it the OCA especially the rich Orthodox heritage of the Diocese of Alaska will always be with me, but you can't sit on the fense Jurisdictionally and so after much prayer and tears I came back into the Byzantine Catholic Church. There is just something about the Holy Father that called me back. I think the clincher was one day when I just happened to be listening on EWTN some of the Real Audio clips of the Holy Father and felt the Holy Spirit just come into that room and I started weeping, my soul had actually missed the Holy Father and I had such a deep feeling of grief over being out of Communion with Him when I was in the OCA. I think whe you become Catholic you have an indelible spiritual connection to the Holy Father, like a son to a real Father. The Holy Father is a man of great holiness; he brought me back to the Catholic Church. Many Years to Him!

Thank you again Edward and I am praying for you.

In Christ and the Theotokos,

Robert, Chief Among Sinners

#69672 11/10/01 10:46 PM
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Robert, I find it odd that your parish doesn't distribute antidoron. Strike that. I find it a bit annoying that your parish . . .

I always received antidoron from my (former, unfortunately) mission in Tulsa.

In my new town I have been attending a rather "conservative" UCC, but they are conservative only in that they use Ukrainian almost exclusively, are rather unwelcoming to any non-Ukrainians, and are so fiercly nationalistic they segregate themselves completely from the society in which they live. They have, however, conformed to quite a few "latinizations."

Edward, I have a vague idea of what you're going through. I have been through a similar experience. One thing I will say is that it is extremely important for you to remain in contact with other Eastern Catholics. If their are other Melkites, Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Romanians, etc. in the area, keep in contact with them and try to pray together. PRAY TOGETHER AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN. Perhaps a mission will come of it. Missions are hard work, but almost every church was once a mission. So, if there ain't a church in your town try to build one! The great thing about that approach is that you get to keep some of the latinizations out before they get started!

Disclaimer: I have nothing against Roman Catholics. Their liturgy in its completeness is sufficient as the Roman Liturgy. I am glad they can attend their liturgies without any "Easternizations."

#69673 11/11/01 07:40 AM
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Ah, here comes the issue of the 'diaspora' for Eastern Christians.

For both Edward Yong and Robert Horwath, the clear issue is: I think/pray/act/fast/act according to the traditional Byzantine Christian tradition.

If there is a church that practices this, then one goes there to fulfill one's spiritual needs. In general, one should stick with one's baptismal community (Byzantine Catholic or Orthodox), but if it is not available, then go to the nearest group that practices what one needs. (I know that some bishops would put out a Mafia contract on my head for saying this.) But most Byzantine Catholic or Orthodox jurisdictions are incredibly Christian in welcoming one of their "own" without getting pissy about it. And a lot of ethnics freely float back and forth.

I can understand Brother Horwath's situation very well. It is quite common in the Eastern regions, especially in Pennsylvania but most likely among those who are under 60 years of age (historical stuff for those over 60).

I would suggest that Brother Edward find an Eastern community and make it a temporary home in Britain. DON'T hang with the Tridentines just because they are Catholic. They will divert your spirituality, have you pray in ways that are very different from our own, and stress your soul with questions that are more legalistic than our peoples traditionally experience. Please: YOUR soul is the most important thing. Pray, read, study, and get involved among our peoples if that is what is going to best serve your soul. Find a good Eastern priest to be your spiritual father and stick with it. Otherwise, there is a real danger of this becoming just spiritual theater.

Blessings!

#69674 11/11/01 07:45 AM
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Brother Magyar Horwath, I don't have a personal e-mail for you, so I'll do it in public. (The rest of you, divert your faces).

I'm coming to Anchorage on December 8 and hope to be at liturgy on Sunday morning on the 9th. Are you going to be around or are you going to be in Ketchikan? (I'll bring you some Szeged Paprika if you're going to be around. Even the "hot" stuff. Bribe. Bribe.)

Blessings!

#69675 11/11/01 11:27 AM
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Slava Isusu Christu!

Cizinec: In the Carpatho-Rusyn Churches, as per what my priest has told me, it is not custom to take the antidoron after communion except on occasion. Some parishes take it every Sunday, others don't; mine doesn't except on some holy days and there would also be an offering given as you recieved the blessed bread. If more of our priests had matushkas we might have it more often smile I don't know.

Dr John: Thank you so much for your kindnesses. I will be out of town from the 5-20th of December on business. I would of loved to meet you to discuss matters of faith. Archimandrite Wes Izer is the Parish Administrator for St. Nicholas in Anchorage, until Father Steve Greskowiak comes back from taking care of personal matters, but I think he travels alot. Our Mitred Archpriest Michael just passed on (Eternal Memory) and so we only have a bi-ritual priest, Father Robert, who is a Sunday Assistant, he is also canon lawyer for the Latin Archdiocese. I hope you enjoy my parish; I miss it so much.

Your friend in Christ and Mary,


Robert, Chief Among Sinners

#69676 11/11/01 04:13 PM
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Robert,

Our stories are similar. I too honor my sojourn in the OCA and the Greek Church. Unfortunately there are no Eastern Catholic parishes in this area so we now attend a Latin parish--one that is very faithful to the Magisterium.

About the antidoron. Some Ruthenian parishes have restored it. When I was in Arizona I was told the same thing ("It's not part of the Carpatho-Rusyn tradition.") I mentioned that in EVERY Eastern parish I had visited (and Phoenix has quite a few of almost every liturgical stripe) there was the blessed bread (Coptic, Chalcedonian Orthodox, Assyrian) except for the Eastern Catholic parishes (and the Melkites had restored it.) Liturgically we Ruthenians along with the Russians were descendants of the Greek Church. True, each of us has our own unique liturgical history but how is it that only the Carpatho-Rusyns did not have the antidoron? Would it not be more logical to assume losing the antidoron from our tradition was part of the loss we experienced with latinization/abbreviation? (It might be argued that the blessed wine which is consumed after Communion in the OCA is strictly a Russian tradition--it's not part of the Greek tradition, I know. Whether all the other Slavic Churches do that I don't know.) If our traditions are more Greek than Russian (being pre-Nikonian) than why did we dispense with the Greek tradition of the antidoron? Strictly speaking, the blessed bread and anointing (mirovanije) which is received on some holidays is not antidoron. It is transferred from Vespers to the Sunday Liturgy. At any rate, my old parish in Arizona (St Thomas Byzantine Catholic in Gilbert, AZ) restored antidoron at the end of Liturgy in 1997. The parish has established a coordinator for baking Prosphora. I was priviledged to bake prosphora a few times for the parish.

In Christ,

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

#69677 11/12/01 03:29 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by DTBrown:
I mentioned that in EVERY Eastern parish I had visited (and Phoenix has quite a few of almost every liturgical stripe) there was the blessed bread (Coptic, Chalcedonian Orthodox, Assyrian) except for the Eastern Catholic parishes (and the Melkites had restored it.)


Dear Dave,

Although the Syrian liturgical books provide for a blessing of bread to be distributed after the Holy Qurbana, none of the Malankara Syrian Churches do it. Perhaps the Arab Syrian Orthodox and Catholic Churches do it, but I don't know, I've never seen it, although I hope to go to an Arab Syrian Orthodox/Catholic church one day and maybe I'll see then. ::hoping:: smile

#69678 11/12/01 04:38 AM
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Slava Isusu Christu!

I have just spoken to an Orthodox priest friend of mine and he was rather shocked that we didn't receive the antidoron after Divine Liturgy because the purpose, the main purpose, of the agape feast was to wash down the remainder of the Holy Mysteries that may be still in the mouth or the teeth, so that it would not be profaned in some way. He thought that maybe the reason we still don't receive the antidoron was because of latinization; he had mentioned that at one time we even had the High Mass - low Mass phenomena in the Carpatho-Rusyn Church in America and some priests thought that the antidoron took away from the focus on the the Body and Blood and also that it grew to become impractical since usually the priest would have to bake the bread or sometimes our priests would use Latin hosts. I cannot fathom how the agape feast could not be a part of our tradition, it must have been either a latinization or a sense of impracticality that saw its taken on specific holy days. I am encouraged that some of our parishes are restoring it. I know when I was in the OCA Matushka Eveylyn Father Nicholas' wife always baked the bread and boy was it splendid! It would be a marvelous tradition to bring back as well as the reception of the warm blessed wine smile

In Christ and the Theotokos:


Robert, Chief Sinner

#69679 11/17/01 12:12 AM
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The use of the "antidoron" which means literally, "instead of the gifts" is mentioned in our Ruthenian liturgikons, particularly the 1965 Pittsburgh English translation currently in use. According to these, it is accompanied by the chanting of Psalm 33 and is done before the dismissal, with the people presumably returning to their places until the conclusion of the service. Practicality would seem to have transferred it to the very end, as the faithful are going out of the church. The fact that it is not practiced in most of our parishes has nothing to do with latinization, but more probably because of elements of time and more properly, the desire to place greater emphasis on the practice of frequent reception of holy communion as well as to reserve the mirovanije with the distribution of the blessed bread to be in connection with the major holydays. The origin of antidoron - "instead of the gifts" was to give those who did not partake of the Eucharist a sort of "substitute" or minor blessing, since they, for whatever reason, did not participate in the Holy Mysteries.

Archpriest D. Sokolof in his well-known work, "A Manuel of the Orthodox Church's Divine Services" explaining the practices as they are kept in the Russian Church, writes this about the antidoron, "The antidoron is distributed in order that those who have not received communion may also, at least in thought, share in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, that they may not feel left out of the community of the faithful, but in communion with them." (A kind of odd thought, since a particle of blessed bread can hardly substitute for the Eucharist.) With this in mind, those who have partaken of the Holy Gifts really have no need to also receive the blessed bread of the antidoron. (Again, the bread of the mirovanije is a different kind of custom.)

The practice of the faithful coming forward for the veneration of the cross at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy is something that was not a feature of Ruthenian liturgies, although this has been initiated in some parishes today, in imitation of the Russian practice. In Greek churches, the faithful do not venerate the cross at the end of liturgy, but rather, the priest distributes the antidoron to the faithful, placing it in their hands with the words, "The blessing of the Lord be upon you." At least this is the official distinction between Greek and Russian usages. This practice confirms the placing of the final blessing of the Divine Liturgy, "The blessing of the Lord be upon you through his grace and loving-kindness always, . . . " in its current spot, since this formula is associated with the distribution of the antidoron, which according to the service books, happens right before it.

I don't know if some Greek Orthodox churches have gone to including the "kissing of the cross." In the Ruthenian recension, strictly speaking, the cross is venerated at the end of the Divine Liturgy only on certain occasions, including: (a) towards the end of Resurrection Matins, throughout Bright Week and at Saturday evening vespers during the Paschal season (all these occasions are when the paschal stichera: 'Today the sacred Pasch is revealed to us . . . ' and what follows is chanted); (b) on the tetrapod during the celebration of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and its postfestive period; (c) in a similar fashion, on the Third Sunday of Lent and at services on the Wednesday and Friday following; (d) at a funeral, during the "last farewell" and (e) after certain prayers, such as the blessing of travelers, before journeying to a pilgrimage, the blessing of homes, etc.

So, we can see that the practice of antidoron varies among the cultures and may or may not be associated with the veneration of the cross or other customs. Not to distribute the antidoron isn't a form of latinization, but more correctly a matter of local preference or practicality. I also believe that the fact that it would place greater emphasis on the reception of the Sacred Mysteries, is something to be seriously appreciated.

Although it may have crept into other non-Byzantine ritual churches, I have never heard of the Roman hosts being used in any Ruthenian or Ukrainian Catholic Church. This accusation on the part of the Orthodox priest is absurd. The idea of "high" and "low" liturgies did have an influence in some places, although this was not ever in any official liturgikons, but rather followed local practice, especially in churches of Galician origin, when sometimes, even still, the liturgy may be recited. A spoken liturgy or "tikha sluzhba" was never the custom in the Subcarpathian churches.

The "mirovanije" or anointing with blessed oil is not, as one contributor has pointed out, the same thing as the antidoron. It is the oil and bread that are blessed during the "litija" on feasts with a vigil and is normally distributed after the Divine Liturgy on the feast day itself and/or the Sunday afterwards. The practice of offering the mirovanije on the Sunday following holydays came into effect for several reasons: (a) it gave more people the opportunity to receive the blessing; (b) since more people were in attendance, and most churches do provide an offering basket when mirovanije is given, it gave the priests, many of whom had families to support, an extra source of income at these holydays, which was especially appreciated during the depression years; and (c) the Sunday after a holyday normally falls within the postfestive period of the feast, so it is not inappropriate to continue the observance with the mirovanije.

The actual time for the imposition of the blessed oil and distribution of the blessed bread after they have been sanctified during Great Vespers with Litija, is during the canon of Matins on the day of the feast itself, or just before the canon, when the people come forward to venerate the Gospel Book. During an all-night vigil, this bread (and wine) served as a type of snack to sustain the people (who were keeping a strict fast) during the long services. In most all parishes, both Orthodox and Greek Catholic, the mirovanije is given at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, even often times, in places where Matins is celebrated.

It is not unusual or wrong to give a "stipend" to the priest for these or other blessings. It should be seen in the sense of an "ecclesiastical gratuity" for a service rendered, much as at a wedding, funeral, baptism, etc, although no one should ever be denied sacraments or sacramentals if their financial situation does not allow them to offer the customary amount. In many places, the offering basket is presented each Sunday, in those places that use the antidoron, making it customary for the priest to receive this stipend weekly. In large parishes, this can add up to a generous supplement.

The idea of the distribution of blessed bread and wine immediately following the reception of communion for those who do partake of the Mysteries seems to be peculiar to the Russian Church. From the best research I can find on this matter, it was indeed, as is mentioned, in order to "cleanse the palate" from any remaining particles of the Eucharist, which, while not an undesirable practice in and of itself, serves as another example of Russian scrupulosity in liturgical matters. It is not part of the Greek practices nor of our Ruthenian recension. I would see no need to introduce this in churches that have never had it and it is certainly not essential to the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, just as is neither, the distribution of antidoron. In parishes where the majority of people do receive communion, the antidoron - "instead of the gifts" would seem to have lost its original purpose.

It is important however, that we make a clear distinction between the antidoron and this "after-communion" bread and wine, because they are completely different practices with different meanings. The priest who was "shocked" about our Ruthenian usages was implied to have been so moved regarding the "antidoron" but it then mentions the post-communion bread and wine in the same reference. At any rate, it has been an interesting discussion about these unique elements of liturgics and no Ruthenian Greek Catholic needs to feel apologetic or "second class" regarding our own form of the Byzantine Rite, which in many cases, does indeed include usages more ancient and correct than contemporary practices in other cultural expressions.

I hope this helps. God bless you all.

Joe Lavryshyn

[ 11-16-2001: Message edited by: Joe ]

#69680 11/17/01 01:07 AM
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From 'The Complete Book Of Orthodoxy - a comprehensive encyclopedia and glossary of Orthodox terms, theology, history and facts from A to Z'

Antidoron - unconsecrated portions taken from the prosphora (the Eucharistic bread) distributed to the faithful at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. In the early church it was a portion of the Eucharistic Bread (Fermentum) which was sent to those unable to attend the Divine Liturgy or partake of the Holy Communion. Today it is offered to all the faithful. At some point in the Divine Liturgy the priest blesses the Antidoron by raising it above the consecrated Gifts and praying for the health and safety of those who will receive it.

#69681 11/17/01 01:28 AM
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Thanks, Joe, for your post.

Since the elimination of the distribution of the antidoron at the end of Liturgy seems particular to the modern Ruthenian Church and can not be traced liturgically to any other Church would it not seem more logical this is one of those abbrevations that have crept into Ruthenian practice?

I am also bothered with the view that not distributing antidoron at the end of Liturgy is "more correct." I think it is pretty clear that our tradition is the same as the rest of Chalcedonian Orthodoxy on this. Unfortunately, we Ruthenians have lost this tradition in some places. Why should we criticize the rest of Chalcedonian Orthodoxy on this? Distribution of the antidoron is still practiced even in those Orthodox parishes which have restored frequent communion.

The antidoron can also be viewed as a reminder of the agape. It is in this spirit that I often will take some of the antidoron and give it to those visitors to Liturgy who do not receive Communion due to various reasons.

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

#69682 11/17/01 02:28 AM
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I did some checking and found this on the CINEAST archives--Fr Petras gives a history of the antidoron. He also comments that this is something the Ruthenians "abandoned":

http://www.cin.org/archives/cineast/199706/0362.html

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

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