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Sunday obligation

Posted By: J Michael

Sunday obligation - 02/28/13 06:21 PM

Does anyone know if an Eastern Catholic bishop has the authority to say that an Eastern Catholic may go to an Orthodox Divine Liturgy and that in so doing he/she fulfills the Sunday obligation? Is there any history of this happening?

(Mods: if this is in the wrong forum, please don't hesitate to move it. This seemed to me the most appropriate place to ask. But...what do I know :grin:?)

Many thanks!

In Christ,
JM
Posted By: theophan

Re: Sunday obligation - 02/28/13 09:42 PM

JM:

Christ is in our midst!!

Welcome to the forum.

Bob
Moderator
Posted By: Slavophile

Re: Sunday obligation - 02/28/13 10:49 PM

J Michael, it would not be common for an Eastern Christian of any jurisdiction to speak of a 'Sunday obligation' to be honest.
Posted By: Melkite Convert

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/01/13 06:32 AM

The Melkites may fulfill their "Sunday Obligation" by attending a Liturgy at an Orthodox Church.
Posted By: J Michael

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/01/13 05:36 PM

Well...that's kind of a different discussion and really doesn't address my question.

From the CCEO, fwiw:
[quote]Canon 881 - §1. The Christian faithful are bound by the [b]obligation[/b] to participate on Sundays and feast days in the Divine Liturgy, or according to the prescriptions or legitimate customs of their own Church sui iuris, in the celebration of the divine praises.
§2. In order for the Christian faithful to fulfill this obligation more easily, the available time runs from the evening of the vigil until the end of the Sunday or feast day.
§3. The Christian faithful are strongly recommended to receive the Divine Eucharist on these days and indeed more frequently, even daily.
§4. The Christian faithful should abstain from those labors or business matters which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord's day, or to the proper relaxation of mind and body.
http://www.jgray.org/codes/cceo90eng.html[/quote][i][/i]
Posted By: J Michael

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/01/13 05:45 PM

What about attending Vespers at an Orthodox Church?
Posted By: DMD

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/03/13 10:08 PM

Originally Posted by Slavophile
J Michael, it would not be common for an Eastern Christian of any jurisdiction to speak of a 'Sunday obligation' to be honest.


I posted this question on another thread here the other day and no one commented: "On an Orthodox forum on which I participate, a "spirited", if disjointed discussion is ongoing on the subject of "Sunday Obligation." This ties into the last few posts. I am interested in two things: (1) What is the popular understanding of a Sunday obligation among Eastern Catholic laity and (2) does the popular understanding differ from current Eastern Catholic official teachings. Thanks and sorry for the digression."

I agree with Slavophile, yet I suspect such is not the average lay person's understanding.
Posted By: CRW

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/06/13 12:31 AM

The Roman Church sees the Sunday obligation as an obligation to attend a Catholic eucharistic liturgy of any sort anywhere within certain time parameters.

Speaking personally, I see a need to participate as fully as possible in the liturgical life of my parish. So to attend a Roman Catholic mass on Sunday does not really fulfill my "Sunday obligation." It may be the best option available when I am travelling. I am in communion with the Roman Church after all and not, sad to say, with the Orthodox. If I were far from my jurisdiction and there were only Orthodox churches available, I would feel an "obligation" to attend their Divine Liturgy or if this doesn't work out to attend vespers Saturday evening.

When I look at the church calendar, labels such as obligation, solemn, and simple tell me the relative importance of the services as the bishops see it. "Obligation" means I would need a very serious reason not to attend. Simple means I should go if I can. And the obligation is to attend services at my parish if at all possible.

To me discussions about whether a single mass could meet two obligations miss the point entirely. This is something Roman Catholics seem to be concerned about.
Posted By: eastwardlean?

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/08/13 01:25 AM

Is this understanding, shared by a number of posters here--that orthodox liturgy is to be preferred if no eastern catholic one is available--the general preference of Eastern Catholic believers? Or is it a matter of opinion about which one might expect to find some differences?
Posted By: Jaya

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/08/13 01:56 AM

Eastwardlean?,

For me as an Eastern Catholic, if I am faced with a choice between a Roman Catholic Mass and an Orthodox liturgy, there would be no hesitation - I would unequivocally choose the Orthodox liturgy.

In my experience, there are differences of opinion/practice on this among Eastern Catholics. I know many who would go to an RC Mass over an Orthodox liturgy on the basis of who we are and aren't in communion with, and/or because they believe that they are required to choose an RC Mass over an Orthodox liturgy.

David,

The idea of "Sunday obligation" is a very foreign and strange one to me personally, when we are speaking of something that comes out of love and gratitude. As far as official Eastern Catholic teaching, though, my understanding is that it does use this term, although as far as I know, it's a latinization. The "Liturgical Instruction for the Eastern Catholic Churches," (not sure if I got the title exactly right), which I believe is an official statement coming out of a Vatican office, states that an Eastern Catholic's "Sunday obligation" may be met by attending Great Vespers on Saturday evening, if one is unable to attend Sunday liturgy. (If I got any of this wrong, others more knowledgeable can correct it)
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/08/13 02:49 AM

Originally Posted by eastwardlean?
Is this understanding, shared by a number of posters here--that orthodox liturgy is to be preferred if no eastern catholic one is available--the general preference of Eastern Catholic believers? Or is it a matter of opinion about which one might expect to find some differences?


On this forum yes, in majority probably not. I will say I find the Orthodox are often confounded by this attitude as they will unequivocally choose the an Orthodox Church every time. For example, to reverse the situation, a Western Rite Orthodox would never go to a Latin Catholic parish on vacation if an Eastern Orthodox Churc is available.

We Eastern Catholics are very critical of Latin Catholics never attending our services to learn about us and become more familiar with us but we excuse ourselves from going to a Latin parish a couple of times a year under the guise of "consistency." This is an attitude I find troubling.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/08/13 03:27 AM

Quote
We Eastern Catholics are very critical of Latin Catholics never attending our services to learn about us and become more familiar with us but we excuse ourselves from going to a Latin parish a couple of times a year under the guise of "consistency."

That's not why I excuse myself. I do so because it is not spiritually fulfilling, and at times, downright painful. Besides, the fish has no need to become acquainted with the water.
Posted By: Jaya

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/08/13 05:05 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK
That's not why I excuse myself. I do so because it is not spiritually fulfilling, and at times, downright painful.


I'm sorry to say that this is my experience also, and my reason also for not going.
Posted By: Deacon El

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/08/13 02:59 PM

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Not “spiritually fulfilling”?

Please do not interpret this post as confrontational, but isn’t that the whole idea we reject when others use something like that as an excuse to stay away from liturgies?

Many of our teens in particular come up with the excuse that they “don’t get anything out of” the liturgy and therefore have somewhat justified their absence from attendance and participation.

What the Church offers, however, is not the opportunity for “spiritually fulfilling” activities by which one would “get a lot out of”. Instead, the liturgy is our opportunity to worship God.

Perhaps if more of our people would view this perspective we would be further along the path of holiness that our Church has available for us.

Just a thought.

Fr Deacon El

Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/08/13 04:21 PM

To quote Sayenda Nicholas of Newton:

"Down the street from my cathedral is an Antiochian Orthodox parish. Every Sunday, I will find the same liturgy celebrated there as in my own cathedral. I will hear the same music, see the same icons, experience the same spirituality, hear the same theology, find the same feasts being celebrated. And yet, I am not supposed to receive communion there.

"Down the street the other way is a Roman Catholic parish. Every Sunday, if i go there, I will find a totally different liturgy being celebrated, with different music, different art, a different spirituality, a different theology, and different feasts. Yet I am allowed to receive communion there.

"What is wrong with this picture?"

For me, Deacon El, it is a matter of receiving the rule of faith in a manner that allows me to offer right worship to God in a sincere and compelling manner. Catholic is not Catholic. I am a Byzantine Christian, formed by my rite and its entire liturgical, spiritual, theological and doctrinal patrimony. It defines how I see my faith and how I worship the Lord (give my appreciation to Deacon Gerry, for doing such a good job on my catechesis).

Quite simply, while I do not dispute the validity of the Latin rite or its liturgy, it is not my rite, it is not my liturgy, and it is not how I offer praise due to God. I've been there, done that, and rather than go through the motions without any real involvement, I would rather attend an Orthodox Liturgy where, even if denied the Chalice, my whole person would still be engaged in true worship.

As Archimandrite Robert Taft wrote, "The Oriental loves his liturgy because it is uniquely his, not because it is also yours".
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/08/13 04:22 PM

Quote
Many of our teens in particular come up with the excuse that they “don’t get anything out of” the liturgy.


For that I blame our pastors, not our liturgy. Of course, most of our teens have never heard our liturgy properly celebrated.
Posted By: Jaya

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/08/13 05:17 PM

Fr. Deacon,

Your post does not seem at all confrontational to me, and I hope mine does not either, for it is not meant to be. But let me try to explain a little more about what I mean, and I can only speak for myself.

One must go to the liturgy with as much of a sincere and open heart as one can, of course, because it's a two-way street. We don't go there just to receive, as we all know. We go also to praise and worship the Lord, and offer Him our love and gratitude for all He is and for His great mercy. That being said, there have been a number of times, including recently, when a Roman Mass was the only option available for me on a given Sunday. Given that reality, each time I went, I prayed to be able to just enter into the worship and not judge the liturgy or the people. I sincerely remind myself that they may love the Lord more than I do, be a better servant of His than I am, and that the Eucharist I will receive is truly His precious Body and Blood no matter what the liturgical form is. I try to put in my all, and really enter into the worship in the same way and to the same degree that I would at a Divine Liturgy, but the music is difficult for me, and the liturgy itself, for the most part, feels impoverished, given what I am used to. At the end of the liturgy, precisely what I feel is that I have not had the opportunity to worship Him to the extent I yearn for. And that's exactly what you have defined as one of the purposes of the liturgy: the opportunity to worship God. In that way, then, I would say that the Roman Mass is not "spiritually fulfilling" for me - that's what I mean by this term. (I want to be clear that I'm not speaking here of the Eucharist, for that is always complete spiritual nourishment, regardless of the form of the liturgy). And so, given the choice between a Roman Mass and an Orthodox liturgy, I would go to the Orthodox liturgy, and make a sincere spiritual communion at the time Communion is being given. (In my humble experience, I have seen that such a communion, made when one is unable to receive physically, can also be grace-filled.)

I think I understand what you were writing about in your post, and I would not put my choice to go to an Orthodox liturgy in the same category. You may not agree with me (and I'm okay with that!) but I hope, at least, that I have succeeded in explaining why someone might make this choice out of a genuine concern for their spiritual welfare. (Others may have different reasons, of course, or explain it very differently).

By the way, "consistency" is not one of my reasons for this choice. I would be open to a different form while on vacation. I might try, for example, going to an Armenian Catholic, or a Coptic Catholic, liturgy, or some other form that I have not yet experienced. Consistency is not the issue for me. I also am not someone who criticizes Romans for not "coming and seeing" what we Eastern Catholics are about. If they are interested, that's fine for them to come, but I see no reason why they should feel obligated to do so.

I look forward to reading what others will write here, but I'm heading out for the weekend and won't be around for a few days.


Posted By: J Michael

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/08/13 07:55 PM

[quote=Jaya]Eastwardlean?,

For me as an Eastern Catholic, if I am faced with a choice between a Roman Catholic Mass and an Orthodox liturgy, there would be no hesitation - I would unequivocally choose the Orthodox liturgy.

In my experience, there are differences of opinion/practice on this among Eastern Catholics. I know many who would go to an RC Mass over an Orthodox liturgy on the basis of who we are and aren't in communion with, and/or because they believe that they are required to choose an RC Mass over an Orthodox liturgy.

David,

The idea of "Sunday obligation" is a very foreign and strange one to me personally, when we are speaking of something that comes out of love and gratitude. As far as official Eastern Catholic teaching, though, my understanding is that it does use this term, although as far as I know, it's a latinization. The "Liturgical Instruction for the Eastern Catholic Churches," (not sure if I got the title exactly right), which I believe is an official statement coming out of a Vatican office, states that [color:#3366FF][b]an Eastern Catholic's "Sunday obligation" may be met by attending Great Vespers on Saturday evening, if one is unable to attend Sunday liturgy.[/b][/color] (If I got any of this wrong, others more knowledgeable can correct it)
[/quote]

So, is the Great Vespers mentioned and highlighted above mean Great Vespers in a church that is in communion with Rome only, or would it also include Great Vespers in an Orthodox parish?

And what, precisely, is meant by "the divine praises" mentioned in the CCEO?
Posted By: theophan

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/08/13 11:26 PM

J Michael:

Glory be to Jesus Christ!!

Welcome to the forum. In some of the sui juris Eastern Catholic Churches, the Divine Liturgy is called "Divine Praises."

I have to agree with you about the terminology, though I am Latin and hear this "obligation" stuff all the time. If one is in a"love affair" with the Lord, the idea of being away on Sunday or a feast that the Church celebrates is about as alien as anything can be. Where else would one be? It's like saying one must spend so much time with one's spouse.

Bob
Moderator

Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/08/13 11:48 PM

No, the Divine Praises is an Eastern name for the Liturgy of the Hours.
Posted By: Paul B

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/09/13 03:53 AM


Quote
Poster: StuartK
Subject: Re: Sunday obligation

No, the Divine Praises is an Eastern name for the Liturgy of the Hours.


During my diaconate training at the seminary I asked what the "Divine Praises" are that we are required to pray daily and I understood the answer to be broader....that it can be Vespers, Matins, the Hours or perhaps even other services.
Posted By: ByzKat

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/09/13 04:27 AM

Fsther Deacon:

"Liturgy of the Hours" is a Latin term that includes much more than our daytime Hours (first, third, sixth, ninth); it also includes Vespers, Matins and Compline.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/09/13 04:32 AM

The context in which the term is used in the Liturgical Instruction implies all canonical non-Eucharistic liturgical services. By saying that attendance at the Divine Praises on Saturday evening can be counted as fulfilling the "obligation" to attend the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, in order to encourage greater celebration of the Divine Praises, indicates its meaning.
Posted By: Anastasia13

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/09/13 04:37 AM

Originally Posted by Jaya
One must go to the liturgy with as much of a sincere and open heart as one can, of course, because it's a two-way street. We don't go there just to receive, as we all know. We go also to praise and worship the Lord, and offer Him our love and gratitude for all He is and for His great mercy. That being said, there have been a number of times, including recently, when a Roman Mass was the only option available for me on a given Sunday. Given that reality, each time I went, I prayed to be able to just enter into the worship and not judge the liturgy or the people. I sincerely remind myself that they may love the Lord more than I do, be a better servant of His than I am, and that the Eucharist I will receive is truly His precious Body and Blood no matter what the liturgical form is. I try to put in my all, and really enter into the worship in the same way and to the same degree that I would at a Divine Liturgy, but the music is difficult for me, and the liturgy itself, for the most part, feels impoverished, given what I am used to. At the end of the liturgy, precisely what I feel is that I have not had the opportunity to worship Him to the extent I yearn for. And that's exactly what you have defined as one of the purposes of the liturgy: the opportunity to worship God. In that way, then, I would say that the Roman Mass is not "spiritually fulfilling" for me - that's what I mean by this term. (I want to be clear that I'm not speaking here of the Eucharist, for that is always complete spiritual nourishment, regardless of the form of the liturgy). And so, given the choice between a Roman Mass and an Orthodox liturgy, I would go to the Orthodox liturgy, and make a sincere spiritual communion at the time Communion is being given. (In my humble experience, I have seen that such a communion, made when one is unable to receive physically, can also be grace-filled.)

What would you do if you were Protestant and that was your choice, Roman or Orthodox?
Posted By: 8IronBob

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/09/13 12:26 PM

Well, then in another direction, on a Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Church, like, the Immaculate Conception, for example, where the Byzantine Church only has a Simple Holy Day of St. Anna, I think it was, would attending the St. Anna feast be enough to fulfill the Immaculate Conception obligation by being at the Byzantine Liturgy instead? That might be a good question to answer.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/09/13 03:24 PM

Or vice versa: the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (the patronal feast of Rome) is a solemn feast day in the Eastern Churches, but is just a simple holy day for the Latin Church in the U.S.

Of course, we're really celebrating the end of the Apostle's Fast by cranking up the barbecue grill.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/09/13 03:25 PM

Technically, the Conception of St. Anne is 9 December, while the Immaculate Conception is 8 December. The Melkites make this distinction, while the Ruthenians do not.
Posted By: CRW

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/11/13 08:38 PM

8Iron. The answer is yes. The obligation is to attend a eucharistic liturgy within a certain time period. One can fulfill the All Saints day obligation by attending a liturgy for the deceased on Nov 1 in the Byzantine Rite in a Catholic Church.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/11/13 10:10 PM

Or one can wait until Saturday of the Departed, which occurs during Lent. Scrupulousness is the bane of true piety.
Posted By: ConstantineTG

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/12/13 05:54 AM

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.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/12/13 04:32 PM

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.
Posted By: ConstantineTG

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/12/13 05:53 PM

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.
Posted By: 8IronBob

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/12/13 08:28 PM

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.
Posted By: J Michael

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/13/13 05:27 PM

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!).
Posted By: Diak

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/13/13 09:33 PM

Quote
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.
Posted By: 8IronBob

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/13/13 10:11 PM

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.
Posted By: ConstantineTG

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/14/13 07:58 PM

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.
Posted By: ConstantineTG

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/14/13 08:01 PM

Originally Posted by Diak
Quote
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".
Posted By: ConstantineTG

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/14/13 08:02 PM

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.
Posted By: searching east

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/15/13 07:46 AM

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.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/15/13 02:46 PM

Quote
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.
Posted By: ConstantineTG

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/15/13 05:40 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
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.
Posted By: J Michael

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/15/13 06:06 PM

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?
Posted By: ConstantineTG

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/15/13 06:41 PM

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
Posted By: J Michael

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/15/13 06:53 PM

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.
Posted By: searching east

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/15/13 08:15 PM

@Stuart... I understand where you get your emphasis. I get that we are encouraged to keep our own customs... But my point is that we can not as individuals implement it in ways that are contrary to what our Bishops have laid out for us canonically. The faithful should simply obey when obedience is asked of us. You can lament the latinizations of theology and practice, but IMO you can not say, I will follow these instructions and rules, and not those, because those should not exist, and these other ones should exist.

That is, latinization or not, the Ruthenian Church does pretty much accept and teach the theology of being obliged to attend a DL or RC mass on Sundays and certain Holy Days (with no exceptions stated as far as I know) therefore, I think it is not within the individual's sphere of choice to say if that sounds acceptable to him/her or what the idea of keeping our own customs/traditions/theology should look like. We can pray and discuss and hope things modify or reform, but I do not think we can decide what to follow or not as individuals.
Posted By: ConstantineTG

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/15/13 09:36 PM

Originally Posted by J Michael

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.


Contact him and see what he will let you do or what he would suggest. You'll never know what is possible unless you ask.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/16/13 12:17 AM

Quote
I get that we are encouraged to keep our own customs... But my point is that we can not as individuals implement it in ways that are contrary to what our Bishops have laid out for us canonically.


Bishops are given the charism of teaching the Tradition; the laity have the responsibility and obligation of defending it against all who would debase it--including the bishops. That's the history of the Eastern Churches in a nutshell.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/16/13 03:32 AM

Father Robert Taft captured the dysfunctional dynamic of the Eastern Catholic Churches in his essay, Liturgy in the Life of the Church, which every Eastern Catholic should be required to read, aloud, at least once every year.


Quote
The Recovery of Authenticity

These are not personal opinions I am expressing. That our liturgical traditions must be preserved in their integrity and restored when that integrity has been diminished or diluted or lost, has been repeated time and again in the authoritative magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church by all the popes over the last century and a half, by the new Roman editions of the Eastern Catholic liturgical books and the accompanying Ordo Celebrationis Vesparum, Mantini et Divinae Liturgiae Iuxta Recensionem Ruthenorum (1944), by Vatican II (Orientalitum Ecclesiarum, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Lumen Gentium, Unitatis Redintegratio), by the new Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches(Canons 28, 29, 350, 621, etc.), by the latest pronouncements of our present Holy Father John Paul II (the Discourse on the Marian Year, Orientale Lumen, etc.; and by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches’ Instruction for the Application of the Liturgical Norms of the CCEO.

The Vatican II Decree on the Oriental Churches reaffirms this unambiguously:

Quote
6. All members of the Eastern Churches should be firmly convinced that they can and ought always preserve their own legitimate liturgical rites and way of life, and that changes are to be introduced only to forward their own organic development. They themselves are to carry out all these prescriptions with the greatest fidelity. They are to aim always at a more perfect knowledge and practice of their rites, and if they have fallen away due to circumstances of time or of persons, they are to strive to return to their ancestral traditions.

12. The holy ecumenical council confirms and approves the ancient discipline concerning the sacraments that exist in the Eastern Churches, and also the ritual observed in their celebration and administration, and wishes this to be restored where such a case arises.


Let us be perfectly clear: the only reason for the existence of the Eastern Catholic Churches as “Ecclesiae particulares” is their distinct ecclesial patrimony—i.e., their “rite” in the full sense of that term. Our rite is not just an essential part of our identity; it is our identity. And without it there is no reason for us to exist apart from the Latin rite. If the only thing that distinguishes our rite from that of our Orthodox Sister Churches is our communion with and obedience to the Holy See of Rome, then one can legitimately ask what kind of Eastern Catholic ecclesiology could ignore such clear and repeated instructions of the Holy See in this regard. The answer, of course, is perfectly clear to anyone capable of thought.

Opposition to Renewal

Ironically, however, the Eastern Catholic liturgical renewal so strenuously fostered by the Holy See since Pope Leo XIII has been opposed every step of the way by those who should have welcomed it on bended knee as a great grace from God; I mean, of course, the Eastern Catholic hierarchy with a few notable exceptions like Andrij Sheptytsky (1865-1944), Archbishop of Lviv, Metropolitan of Halych, and primate of the Ukranian Greek Catholic Church.

Various reasons have been given for this opposition, but as usual in such matters, the real roots go much deeper. The real issue is not ritual practice at all. Many of the rubrical niceties that divide the clergy—the size and shape of the veil or diskos, the cut of a vestment, the amplitude of one’s sleeves, where to put the antimension—are of little or no significance in themselves. But these divergent ritual uses have become symbols of religious identity, much as the Ritualist Movement in late 19th century Anglicanism. At issue were not mere differences of rubric, but symbolic affirmations of the conviction that Anglicanism was not “Protestant” but “Catholic”.

At bottom, then, what we face is two different interpretations of a community’s past, two different historical visions. This is possible because history, of course, is not just a shared past, but one’s view of that past seen through the lens of present concerns. This vision is not a passive view of the past as an objective reality, but a pattern formed through a process of selection determined by one’s present outlook.

Some Eastern Catholic clergy see their history as a progress from schism and spiritual stagnation into a life of discipline, renewal and restored religious practice in the Catholic communion. For this group, the adoption of certain Latin—they would say “Catholic”—devotions and liturgical uses is a sign of this new identity. Such attitudes reflect an interior erosion of the Eastern Christian consciousness, a “latinization of the heart” resulting from a formation insensitive to the true nature of the variety of traditions within the Catholic Church.

Others, while not denying their commitment to the Catholic communion nor underestimating the obvious spiritual benefits it has brought to their Churches, see themselves as Orthodox in communion with Rome, distinguished from their Orthodox Sister Churches in nothing but the fact of that communion and its doctrinal and ecclesial consequences. They see the Latinisms that have crept into their tradition as a loss of identity, an erosion of their heritage in favor of foreign customs with which they can in no way identify themselves. For some, latinization is a sign of their identity, for others its negation, and both are right, because they perceive themselves differently.

Underlying these issues, of course, is the more serious question of Rome’s credibility: is the Holy See to be believed in what it says about restoring the Eastern Catholic heritage? The morale of some of the younger Eastern Catholic clergy has of late been deeply affected by this cul-de-sac: they feel mandated to do one thing by the Holy See, and then are criticized or even disciplined by their bishop if they try to obey.

The problem, as usual, is one of leadership, without which the hesitant or reluctant have no one to follow. What is needed is not just discipline and obedience, but also clergy education loyal to the clear policy of the Church on this question, and prudent pastoral preparation. This is the only way out of the vicious cycle that has been created: the proposed reforms are resisted because the clergy and the people are not prepared to accept them—yet some Church leaders do little or nothing to prepare the people for a renewal that the leaders themselves do not understand or accept.

Posted By: Jaya

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/16/13 04:37 AM

Stuart,

Is this essay available online somewhere?
Posted By: searching east

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/16/13 05:38 AM

I respectfully disagree. The Bishops are the ones who have authority to bind or loose. Not us. I am inspired by all of the instances in the Church where certain holy men/women/saints were proven by the way they obeyed their Bishops even when the Bishops were incorrect about something. Catholicism (rather, Apostolic Christianity) is not something one can piece together from what seems to be authentic tradition to the individual believer. This breeds chaos. Where is the unity if you convince yourself you are doing the right thing, and maybe influence pockets of others to do the same? We are in a living tradition and we are united and one of the main reasons that keeps this happening is sticking with our Bishops.

The kind of reform that you are linking essays to, would not be a reform that is encouraged to be made without some sort of structure and leadership. It would be a corporate moving toward something. Not something each individual can bring about - at least in cases where it contradicts current prescribed Church canons. Of course in matters where there is no contradiction to current rules and guidelines, I think nothing wrong with the idea of he individuals and Churches seeking to live and pray an Eastern lifestyle as much as they would be able to.

I believe that If and when the Bishops are asking of us something that is less than perfectly Eastern, the response should be to follow, but to pray for them, and work through whatever channels we have to communicate or feelings about it, even if it seem to be a fruitless task.
Posted By: ConstantineTG

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/16/13 06:04 AM

We are not called to blind obedience. If our bishop is wrong, we have the moral obligation to oppose them. Read the life of St. Maximos the Confessor.

Although I agree that the bishop and the priests should take the lead here. But how much can they do? Some bishops may want to do the reforms but the laity don't. I think that happens a lot in parishes with a lot of ethnic cradles. The bishop cannot be heavy handed lest everyone leaves and his parishes shut down. Again this has to do with the unintended effect of communion with Rome. If this were an Orthodox parish, where will people go? Not a lot of Orthodox parishes and usually they are ethnic as well, people won't go to another parish that is not of their ethnic group. But in Eastern Catholicism? They can just go to the Roman Catholic parish which often will be ethnicity-neutral.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/16/13 02:03 PM

Quote
Is this essay available online somewhere?


No, but a video of Taft reading it is available at Orientale Lumen Television: Liturgy in the Life of the Church (sample) .
Posted By: searching east

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/16/13 03:20 PM

You would have to show me specific instances of this. So for now, my opinion is that your assessment is incorrect that the faithful can decide to follow canon laws or not, based on whether they seem correct to them. That does not seem consistent with Apostolic thought.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/16/13 04:14 PM

As you were told, read the life of St. Maximos the Confessor--a man who though but a layman monk, stood up not only to his bishop, but all the bishops of the East. And won.
Posted By: Lester S

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/16/13 05:52 PM

Let us not forget St. Mark of Ephesus, either. As the story goes, his defense of Orthodoxy, after an apparent reconciliation was settled, caused the east not to reunite w/ the west.
Posted By: Lester S

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/16/13 06:13 PM

Pp 67/68 of Shown to be Holy : An Introduction to Eastern Christian Moral Thought (seems to have been a joint effort among various jurisdictions of Eastern Catholic Churches) It has a section entitled "Certitude, or Trust." In it, the following is written: "It is precisely episodes such as this [previous paragraph was about Athanasius, vs Arius - who both believed they had Tradition behind their assertions] that this led to the teaching that there is no certain ground by which we can automatically discern God's guidance in situations which have not been the subject of revelation.

We can seek His will prayerfully, consult the Church and its Tradition, and still be wrong.

On the other hand, we may find ourselves opposed to the highest Church authority, and be right. Thus, the monk St. Maximos the Confessor opposed the patriarchs of Constantinople, and Alexandria - almost singlehandedly, during the sixth century Monothelite controversy.

He rejected his own bishops, saying: "When I see the Church of Constantinople, as it was formerly, then I will enter communion with it, without any exhortation on the part of men. But, while there are heretical temptations within her, and while heretics are its bishops, no word or deed will ever convince me to enter into communion with it."

In this same book, it goes further, in saying: "And so, after a person has deeply, and seriously consulted the teaching ministry given to the Church, and reflected prayerfully on its directions, as well as the leadings of his or her own heart, that person must follow their conscious, even if it runs contrary to the established understanding of the Church."

Lastly, this book mentions - in this part of the chapter - the notion of, because of exercising the above, we may transgress, but not sin, since because we came to our decision(s) through prayerful maturity
Posted By: searching east

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/16/13 09:34 PM

You can not just tell someone to read a whole book to understand your argument. If you know what the argument is, you should take care to give me links or quotes or at least page numbers to such works. I am not going to read the whole thing just to discuss the matter. Now, someone above seems to quote a portion of something, and I appreciate that.

I find it silly to say one could look at this example and justify disobeying specific canons that exist in one's Church. It makes sense that if the Church started teaching that Jesus did not have two natures that one would openly go against it.
That is a lot different than, can I make up my own mind about if I am obligated to go to a certain parish on Sundays.

also, the idea (whether sometimes true or not) that one can place ones feelings or heart above Tradition or teaching authority, is something that doesn't usually lead to good results. Usually it fosters division and people excusing a lot of things that are not sound.

I am listening and trying to learn why you think like you do though (even just to know how to argue against it). But I would need more help than just being told to read a book. For now I will refrain from saying St. Maximos did or said anything right or wrong (or if he is being properly represented here) since I know little of the context, but I will express doubt that the situation we are talking about here is a good parallel of his situation.
Posted By: Lester S

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/17/13 12:58 AM

The book is called, Shown to Be Holy: An Introduction to Eastern Christian Moral Thought

http://www.byzantineseminarypress.com/products/Shown-to-be-Holy.html

well, if we want into the disobeying of certain canons...

Think about kneeling on Sundays | Think about the inclusion of the filioque, on the part of the Roman Pontiff(s), at those times in question.

As far as the notion of Sunday Obligation, it's (as often cited here, and other forums) pretty foreign in Eastern attitude(s). If anything there's the stipulation: if you miss three liturgies in a row, it's close to, if not totally, grounds for excommunication.

The same book I cited discusses the notion of minimalism as well. I recommend that book, as one can see it's a cheap pick up (even cheaper if can find it at a better price)
Posted By: Lester S

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/17/13 01:06 AM

If I may, if we want to be a good example to our Orthodox brethren, as stated by Abbot Nicholas in a paper he wrote in 1998, we need to be in the same wavelength litugically, and in practice: that being the restoration of a common typikon.

Secondly, it is very important to have a relationship with a father confessor, or spiritual father to see if indeed an Orthodox liturgy, or vespers will satisfy an "obligation." The canon laws aren't so much for us laity, but for the those in the hire rungs of the ladder to interpret.

Is a sunday obligation part of the overall dogma? If it's not, the Ruthenian church doesn't need to be entrenched in this. If the goal is to fulfill the obligation for its sake, then it's fulfillment will have little, to no meaning.

You don't go to church, because you "have to." You go to church because you're "compelled to," to the point of wanting to so much, you can't stand to miss another Sunday.
Posted By: Jaya

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/17/13 01:07 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK
No, but a video of Taft reading it is available at Orientale Lumen Television: Liturgy in the Life of the Church (sample) .

Thanks.
Posted By: Anastasia13

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/17/13 02:41 AM

Originally Posted by Lester S
You don't go to church, because you "have to." You go to church because you're "compelled to," to the point of wanting to so much, you can't stand to miss another Sunday.

I think that the whole notion of days of obligation missed that point.
Posted By: J Michael

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/18/13 01:50 PM

Originally Posted by Anastasia13
Originally Posted by Lester S
You don't go to church, because you "have to." You go to church because you're "compelled to," to the point of wanting to so much, you can't stand to miss another Sunday.

I think that the whole notion of days of obligation missed that point.


I understand what you both mean, and agree. Still, however, there IS a notion, not just in Roman Catholicism which uses the term "obligation", not just in Eastern Catholicism which looks at it pretty much as you've said, but also in Orthodoxy, from what I understand. There, priests frequently use the term "must" or "have to" unless there is a "reasonable excuse" or reason for not attending. Unfortunately, the Roman Catholic Church, somewhere along the way (maybe someone here knows when/where?) equated the "obligation" (or lack of fulfilling it) with the notion of mortal sin. Thus it seems to have morphed into something quite legalistic, in the negative sense of the word. Or, am I wrong about that?
Posted By: ConstantineTG

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/18/13 08:54 PM

Having a legalistic "obligation" is not entirely a bad thing, but I sincerely believe it distracts from the true meaning of Sunday Worship. Yes, we want people to be there. But by just stating it as an obligation, then people will be there just to be there. Then what good does that do to them? I know a lot of people who goes to church for the sake of going to church, to have your timecards stamped. I was that way too during a big chunk of my life.
Posted By: ConstantineTG

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/18/13 08:59 PM

Originally Posted by searching east
You can not just tell someone to read a whole book to understand your argument. If you know what the argument is, you should take care to give me links or quotes or at least page numbers to such works. I am not going to read the whole thing just to discuss the matter. Now, someone above seems to quote a portion of something, and I appreciate that.

I find it silly to say one could look at this example and justify disobeying specific canons that exist in one's Church. It makes sense that if the Church started teaching that Jesus did not have two natures that one would openly go against it.
That is a lot different than, can I make up my own mind about if I am obligated to go to a certain parish on Sundays.

also, the idea (whether sometimes true or not) that one can place ones feelings or heart above Tradition or teaching authority, is something that doesn't usually lead to good results. Usually it fosters division and people excusing a lot of things that are not sound.

I am listening and trying to learn why you think like you do though (even just to know how to argue against it). But I would need more help than just being told to read a book. For now I will refrain from saying St. Maximos did or said anything right or wrong (or if he is being properly represented here) since I know little of the context, but I will express doubt that the situation we are talking about here is a good parallel of his situation.


In your post that I originally replied to you noted about how you were inspired by Saints who followed their bishops even if their bishops were wrong. I responded by saying that a lot of Saints defended orthodoxy even against their bishop. I can understand the virtue of humility and submission, but submission need not be blind submission. We are called to oppose our bishops if we find them to be heretics. That was my point in opposition to your point.

Does this relate to this thread? It can. The scope of my statement is broad, it can apply to anything. Yes, we must follow our bishops as they are our leaders. But that following is not blind submission.
Posted By: Anastasia13

Re: Sunday obligation - 03/18/13 09:25 PM

Originally Posted by J Michael
Originally Posted by Anastasia13
Originally Posted by Lester S
You don't go to church, because you "have to." You go to church because you're "compelled to," to the point of wanting to so much, you can't stand to miss another Sunday.

I think that the whole notion of days of obligation missed that point.


I understand what you both mean, and agree. Still, however, there IS a notion, not just in Roman Catholicism which uses the term "obligation", not just in Eastern Catholicism which looks at it pretty much as you've said, but also in Orthodoxy, from what I understand. There, priests frequently use the term "must" or "have to" unless there is a "reasonable excuse" or reason for not attending.

My Armenian priest said it is not an obligation that one must come every Sunday but you should come as you can, when you can. He also said that might be why there aren't as many people on non-feast days. I like that though, less fear of endangering my immortal soul if I am mistaken about how tired I am or something... I maybe slightly lax myself, but I the majority of the time.
Posted By: GreekMelkite

Re: Sunday obligation - 10/01/13 07:39 PM

A question that deals with Eastern Canon Law, Sunday Obligation and its interpretation:
1. I'm a Greek Melkite Catholic and a minor cleric in this Church sui iuris. In my city, there is only one Catholic church of the Byzantine rite (the Greek Melkite Church). The nearest Catholic byzantine rite church (also Greek Melkite) is 120 miles away (that would take around 3 hours by car in my country, which is not USA, so roads are not that good over here).
2. For several serious and grave reasons (this is not open to discussion, believe me, the serious reason is there), it is morally impossible for me to approach my own Melkite pastor (there is only one Melkite priest in the church).
3. However, we have plenty Latin parishes in my city and I even know some Latin priests with whom I get along very well.
4. I may go to a Latin Rite parish - no problem - but this is not the ideal situation. As a minor cleric, I'll be away from my own rite - which is the Byzantine one - for an indefinite time.
5. In this situation, may I go to the Greek Orthodox Church of the city to fulfill my Sunday Obligation in order not to lose contact with my own rite until things change in my Melkite parish (if and when they change? - again, the serious matter is there - I won't go into details, but it is nothing superfluous just like "my church has pews, the chanting is not beautiful enough").

Before simply answering with canon 671 (CCEO), please consider the following:

CCEO - Canon 881 - §1. The Christian faithful are bound by the obligation to participate on Sundays and feast days in the Divine Liturgy, or according to the prescriptions or legitimate customs of their own Church sui iuris, in the celebration of the divine praises.

This canon does not say that you are bound to participate in a "Catholic" Divine Liturgy and it is phrased in a way that is not parallel to Can. 1248 §1. of the CIC: "A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass."

Now you may interpret this Canon 881 in two ways:
1) you could have recourse to analogy, and understand that when CCEO says Divine Liturgy, it is implied "Divine Liturgy celebrated by a Church sui iuris in communion with Rome", just like Can. 1248 §1. of the CIC does.
2) That Canon 881 intentionally is not limited to Divine Liturgy in Catholic Churches, because there are some special circumstances when an Eastern Catholic may fulfill Sunday Obligation in an Orthodox Church just to preserve its original ritual heritage, even when there is a Latin rite parish available.

The final question - would my situation qualify as the same situation above so that I could fulfill my Sunday Obligation at an Orthodox Church or should I just forget about my own rite, not educate my children in the Byzatine rite and start going to a Latin rite parish (maybe even asking for a formal change of rites)?

One of the answers would be the following: go to a Latin rite Mass Saturday evening, to fulfill Sunday obligation. This way, Sunday morning would be free to visit the Orthodox Church (but no communion and this would not fulfill Sunday obligation, which was already fulfilled Saturday Evening).

See that I am not sedevacantist, not against the Novus Ordo Mass (though it is not my rite, since I'm not Latin), the thing is I am in a very special situation here, and the only people who offer the Divine Liturgy in the Byzatine tradition in my area are the Orthodox. In this specific situation, should an Eastern Catholic just abandon his rite and adopt the Latin rite? That is my question - but I think I have already answered it by saying that to solve the problem I only need to go to a Saturday Evening Mass at a Latin Rite parish. See that Vatican Council II, in the DECREE ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCHES OF THE EASTERN RITE "ORIENTALIUM ECCLESIARUM", has strongly urged us Eastern Catholics to stay with our rites: "Finally, each and every Catholic, as also the baptized of every non-Catholic church or denomination who enters into the fullness of the Catholic communion, must retain his own rite wherever he is, must cherish it and observe it to the best of his ability [...] 6. All members of the Eastern Rite should know and be convinced that they can and should always preserve their legitimate liturgical rite and their established way of life, and that these may not be altered except to obtain for themselves an organic improvement. All these, then, must be observed by the members of the Eastern rites themselves. Besides, they should attain to an ever greater knowledge and a more exact use of them, and, if in their regard they have fallen short owing to contingencies of times and persons, they should take steps to return to their ancestral traditions."


Sorry for the long post, but the whole matter is complicated. I would appreciate your comments on this subject.
Posted By: Irish Melkite

Re: Sunday obligation - 10/02/13 12:26 AM

My Melkite brother,

Firstly, welcome to the Forum. As glad as I am to see any new poster, I'm always particularly delighted to see our numbers here increase.

My answer won't sit well with everyone here - but that's not new (and I won't bother getting into a argument about it with anyone - so, those who disagree with me need not bother trying to draw me into debate on the matter).

I'll offer you two answers (in no particular order of preference or sense that one is a 'better' choice) as a solution until such time as the situation which precludes worshiping in your own temple resolves. The choice between the two is, I think, one that you must make based on your own sensibilities.

1. You worship at Divine Liturgy served in an Orthodox temple and thus fulfill your responsibility "to participate on Sundays and feast days in the Divine Liturgy, or according to the prescriptions or legitimate customs of (your) own Church sui iuris, in the celebration of the Divine Praises."

2. You worship at a Latin Rite Mass on Saturday evening and, on Sunday morning, you worship at Divine Liturgy in an Orthodox temple, but do not commune out of respect for the Orthodox decision that you are not free to do so because the Churches are not in full communion with one another.

I consider either to be acceptable. Of the second, it cannot be said that one can worship too often and it might salve the concern of those whose scruples demand that the first fails to satisfy an 'obligation'. Of the first, I firmly believe that it satisfies the spirit and intent of the Canon.

The non-choice, in my opinion, is the easy way out - to abandon one's Church and Rite for that of the Latin Church. (Although I'll readily admit that accepting either of the 2 choices above will require that you work hard to explain to your children the why of what you're doing - practicing one's faith is not always easy nor is parenting.)

(If you find yourself conflicted between the 2, there's always the option of regular attendance at the Orthodox temple with occasional visits to the Latin Church to sustain oneself with reception of the Eucharist.)

Many years,

Neil
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