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Being called to the Byzantine

Posted By: MariM

Being called to the Byzantine - 06/14/02 01:46 PM

Hello to all!
I have been searching for this site for some time. I was raised Roman Catholic, went to Catholic school K-12 and was an active participate in my parish. In the last couple years, my heart and soul have been feeling less comfortable with my religious practices within the church. As I become more aware of the great Mystery and Love of the Blessed Sacrament, the more I feel the Roman Rite treats is with less respect and reverence than is needed. In addition, it seems that more and more of the Mass is about singing and other things, rather than prayerful devotion. My mother in law was raised Byzantine, and I went to Divine Liturgy with her and the family on Easter. In addition, my husband's uncle is a Cantor there. I can't explain in words what happened to my heart that day, but it was like finding my way home, finally. I have since tried to research this beautiful faith and I am presently attending the Byzantine Church and hope to meet with a Byzantine priest in some time to discuss further. I would like some guidance on readings about the Byzantine Faith as I know very little. I would particularly like readings on the parts of the Divine Liturgy so that when I go there, I will understand more. Lastly, I would be most grateful if you would pray for me. I do not undertake this lightly, and am confident that God is leading me and will strengthen me. With your prayers, I'm sure I will have the extra love and support I need to travel this "road less taken"(at least in my family!). Thank you in advance.
A lowly servant,
MariM
Posted By: Sharon Mech

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/14/02 01:57 PM

Hi MariM,

Let me recommend two books. The first is "The Face of God" by Archbishop Joseph Raya, who is Melkite. This isn't a "reference" book so much as it is the heart song of a man passionately in love with God. It's also a very good introduction to how the Eastern Churches look at life & faith.

The second would be "Liturgy and Life" by Fr. Alexander Schmemann. There's one chapter especially that I wish I'd had about 18 years ago when I was blindly stumbling through Divine Liturgy wondering "what's going on here??"

Welcome to "the other lung."

Best,

Sharon


Sharon Mech, SFO
Cantor & sinner
sharon@cmhc.com
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/14/02 02:36 PM

Many thanks. I look forward to my prayerful education.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/14/02 02:44 PM

Dear MariM,

The best Byzantine education one can get is through liturgical prayer!

Here is an excellent on-line set of liturgical resources of all kinds that we may all use:

pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/services.htm

God bless,

Alex

[ 06-14-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]

[ 06-14-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]

[ 06-14-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/14/02 06:02 PM

Would it be possible or reasonable for someone such as myself to attend the same classes as those converting from other religions(non-Catholic)?
Posted By: Sharon Mech

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/14/02 09:04 PM

Oh, absolutely, tho' most of our parishes are quite small, and programs like RCIA doesn't really exist in most of our churches. (This has both good & bad points, LOL.)

Nosy me - I just checked your profile - what part of "a-hiya" are you in?


Sharon
(in Cow-lumbus)

Sharon Mech, SFO
Cantor & sinner
sharon@cmhc.com

[ 06-14-2002: Message edited by: Sharon Mech ]
Posted By: Pani Rose

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/14/02 11:13 PM

Hey MiraM,

I would also recommend the Life and Worship; An intro to Eatern Theology by God with US Publications. This is a series that kind of breaks things down real easy and explains them.

I, like Sharon, want to know where in Ohio...we are originally from Steubenville.

OrthoMan put this address up a while back, it is a good place to pray befroe icons. After all it isn't everyday you can pray before an icon on Mt. Athos, well that was before computers and the web.
Click on the candles on the right and drag them over to the candle on the icon stand and light it from the lit candle and place it in the stand. Prayer before the icons is one of the swiftest ways to understand the eastern churches.

http://www-media.dbnet.ece.ntua.gr/athos/uk/mones/enter.htm

Rose biggrin

[ 06-14-2002: Message edited by: Rose ]

[ 06-14-2002: Message edited by: Rose ]
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 01:03 PM

Thanks Rose and Sharon!
I'm in Youngstown. I'm quite certain you've heard of it. Though mostly for negative things. We actually do have nice communities, but many problems politically and economically.
Had the pleasure of speaking with a Byzantine priest this weekend, and he said he would be glad to lend me a few books. He was very kind and told me to just keep coming and I would learn more. Also, my husband's uncle, a very kind man, has offered to lend me his prayer book. I feel so blessed that God is actively leading me.
Could anyone tell me, from a Byzantine view, the main differences in tenents of the Byzantine Rite versus the Latin or Roman Rites? As I understand it(or maybe not), there is some difference in view of Original Sin on the Blessed Virgin. Also, I'm still not clear on the structure of the church, from the Pope down. Do Byzantine Bishops(Metropolitans or Patriarchs) fall directly under the Pope?
Pleas forgive my ignorance and lack of terminology. It will take me some time to learn all this.
In peace,
Mari
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 01:40 PM

Dear Mari,

We humble Byzantine Catholics share exactly the same faith as you Westerners, except that we have a different (and better) way of expressing it! smile

Unlike you Westerners who at one time allowed Catholics to believe our Lady was born with the "stain" of Original Sin on her soul before the papal dogmatic pronouncement on the Immaculate Conception, we have always believed in her Total Purity and Holiness from her conception and the feast of the Conception of St Ann originated in the East.

We've also always believed in her Assumption into heaven, and felt that we didn't need to wait for a Pope to define it smile .

Some of our bishops fall BEFORE the Pope, with some of them actually fighting to see who can fall first and with head to the ground smile .

But we have our own Particular Churches and organize our church lives by ourselves, unless of course Rome wants to do it for us.

In that case, some of us argue with Rome to "butt out" while others continue to fall headlong . . .

Alex
Posted By: OrthodoxyOrDeath

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 03:44 PM

Yes Alex, I'm back - sorry smile

Exactly the same faith? Well I guess that would depend on how you define "we".

I would certainly hope "you" Eastern Latins have exactly the same faith as the pope, but as for me and Orthodoxy, well, I do not believe for example God "owes a supernatural reward" for a "good work" which was purchased like a side of ham from a saint's "treasury".
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 04:00 PM

Dear OrthodoxyorDeath,

Here you come back just as I'm leaving!

No one believes God "owes" anyone anything.

Perhaps now that you won't have me to kick around you can learn some basic rules of common and courteous discourse?

Like trying to read a few things about the side you don't agree with?

And being a little respectful, just as the Byzantine Catholics are of you?

You were much better before you left here.

Did you hang around some bad influences?

Sorry, but you're post doesn't deserve acknowledgement, much less a serious response.

You need some growing up to do.

Alex
Posted By: OrthodoxyOrDeath

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 04:46 PM

Alex,

"owes a supernatural reward" was a qoute from the Catholic Encyclopedia. If you don't believe God "owes" then, well, you'll have to take it up with the pope. smile

My oldest son (7) always deserves to be treated with respect and love, but sometimes that includes a smack on the butt to wake him up. Don't mind if I try to smack your theological butt do you?? :p

As far as growing up, well, I imagine I will be trying to grow up all my life.
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 05:08 PM

I'm confused, I thought this community was about GOD. Where GOD is, I don't see room for disrespectful behavior on the part of anyone. Let's remember why we were put on this earth and why we chose to share the Gospel.
Posted By: Tim Bullard

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 05:28 PM

Way to go, MariM!

Now, to answer your earlier question in an objective manner, Eastern Catholics, who are in union with Rome, are under the Pope with their own bishops. You needn't ask what Eastern Catholics believe. They're supposed to believe the same things as all Catholics, although they may say them in a different way, or emphasize different things. (Traditionally, Eastern Christians don't take as harsh a view of original sin, for example.)

The majority of Eastern Christians are not in union with Rome -- they are Eastern ORTHODOX -- so it IS appropriate to ask what we believe.
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 06:17 PM

Tim,
Thank you. Would you or anyone care to explain what you mean by Byzantine Catholics taking a less harsh view of original sin?
And I understand that Orthodox have a different view of Original Sin. Would someone please explain it to me? I would be appreciative. Again, I would please ask for patience as I am learning a lot these days, most of which I never knew existed.
In Prayer,
MariM
Posted By: OrthodoxyOrDeath

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 07:50 PM

MariM,

The struggle for truth is somtimes an unpleasant thing - take Alexandre of Jerusalem for example.

Love and respect always, which what drives one to the aid of others.

The Orthodox believe we inherit the CONSEQUENCES of Adams sin while the Latins believe we inhereit the actual GUILT.

An analogy might be that if your father had to flee the country because of a crime and he took you with. You would not be guilty of the crime but would be experienceing the consequesnces.

[ 06-17-2002: Message edited by: OrthodoxyOrDeath ]
Posted By: Sharon Mech

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 07:58 PM

Mari,

I was just up in Y'town a week ago.

Which Byz church are you attending? There's a Ukie church in I think Austintown - St. Anne's if the old rusty synapses are working. Pastor is Msgr George Appleyard, a man VERY worth knowing!

Best,

Sharon


Sharon Mech, SFO
Cantor & sinner
sharon@cmhc.com
Posted By: Dmitri Rostovski

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 08:04 PM

Slava Jesu Kristu,

Eastern Catholics are not under obligation to believe the inherited guilt part. It is like Purgatory, we may take it or leave it despite what our Latin brothers may insist.

Dmitri

[ 06-17-2002: Message edited by: Dmitri Rostovski ]
Posted By: StevenH

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 08:15 PM

Concerning original sin, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

Quote
404. "How did the SIN of Adam become the SIN of all his descendants? The whole human race is in Adam 'as one body of one man'.[St. Thomas Aquinas, De malo 4, I.] By this 'unity of the human race' all men are implicated in Adam's SIN, as all are implicated in Christ's justice. Still, the transmission of ORIGINAL SIN is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received ORIGINAL holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal SIN, but this SIN affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state.[Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1511-1512.] It is a SIN which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of ORIGINAL holiness and justice. And that is why ORIGINAL SIN is called 'SIN' only in an analogical sense: it is a SIN 'contracted' and not 'committed' - a state and not an act."



There are more entries in the Catechism about Original Sin, but the word "guilt" is never mentioned.

In fairness to OrthodoxyOrDeath, St. Augustine may very well have made the link between Original Sin and Guilt in his writings; however, this has not been officially accepted by the Catholic Church.

May God bless your Byzantine explorations!
Posted By: Tim Bullard

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 08:17 PM

I hope I don't misrepresent anyone's views, or offend anyone. I'm trying to be as objective as I can be. Here I go...

AS I UNDERSTAND IT, Augustine believed unbaptized infants went to Hell. He was the big Western thinker till Aquinas came along, but the Eastern Church later condemned Augustine for this and for predestination. (Someone is gonna say that was politically motivated, anti-Western nose-tweaking. There's an element of truth in that, but we never really did like him.)

Later Catholicism got away from Augustine without disowning him, and softened this by coming up with limbo for unbaptized infants.

The Orthodox never made use of limbo that I know of, so, if they thought about it all, they'd say unbaptized infants were... taken care of by God somehow, somewhere.

:-) You will find Easterners in general aren't given to precise answers in theology. This may drive you crazy.

I honestly doubt if anybody's views differ much today. I don't think anybody believes unbaptized infants go to Hell, and I don't think Catholics make use of limbo anymore.

The East didn't talk as much about original sin, so they never came up with the idea of the Immaculate Conception, i.e., that the Theotokos was conceived without original sin. That is not a required, defined dogma for the Orthodox. (It is, of course, for Catholics.) When pressed on the issue, however, Eastern Orthodox believe what amounts to the same thing. (I've heard St. John Chrysostom ascribed the sin of vanity to her at the wedding at Cana.)

IF there is a difference, I would guess that the West says we inherit Adam's guilt as if we had done it ourselves, while the East says all we inherit is a sinful nature, i.e., when we're born, we're doomed to sin, and in need of a Savior.
Posted By: Moose

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/17/02 08:51 PM

No time today for a lengthy response but a few quick points:

1. "Limbo" has never been official Latin Catholic doctrine although it was a popular approach, especially in the last few centuries.

2. Can someone please clarify if the theology of "inherited guilt" was ever officially taught by the Latin Church? I know it was a very popular understanding but I have never seen evidence that it was officially taught. A historical timeline type of thing would be welcome.

3. It is my understanding that the actual Latin teaching is that the inheritance focuses on the inherited effects of original sin (i.e., propensity towards sin) rather than the idea of inherited guilt.

4. Byzantine Catholics are expected to acknowledge that the Latin teaching is a valid teaching but are not expected to abandon the traditional Byzantine understanding of original sin (i.e., mortality).
Posted By: Two Lungs

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 12:01 AM

Dear Alex,

Sorry for being so "snippy", but doesn't anyone else think this sounds like the American RC Church? smile

Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

....(snip).....

But we have our own Particular Churches and organize our church lives by ourselves, unless of course Rome wants to do it for us.

In that case, some of us argue with Rome to "butt out" while others continue to fall headlong . . .

Alex
Posted By: Two Lungs

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 12:10 AM

Welcome, Mari,

Thank you for this post.

Quote
Originally posted by MariM:
I'm confused, I thought this community was about GOD. Where GOD is, I don't see room for disrespectful behavior on the part of anyone. Let's remember why we were put on this earth and why we chose to share the Gospel.


I suppose some people let off steam by being mean. Maybe they had a bad day, or a grumpy spouse, or a stubbed toe. The only thing I know is that lots of prayer and generous forgiveness are required.

Lord, grant us the serenity to cope with the grumpy and the unkind.

Have a Blessed Day!

John
Pilgrim and Odd Duck
Posted By: Nicky's Baba

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 01:09 AM

Hi,

Does anyone notice it's the girls who are being pleasant and helpful again! Why aren't the Orthodox and Byzantine men on the board trying to kill her with kindness? She is asking to learn about the Byzantine Church and what she wind up reading? Look how ugly we can be to each other. There is enough richness in both Churches to teach her about. O.D. and O.C. and others have a wealth of knowledge to share.If you are asked to explain the differences why does it have to be so negative? Welcome Mari M. I am a former RC also now officially a BC.And no it's not always like this on the board.

In all her Babaness,

Nicky's Baba

[ 06-17-2002: Message edited by: Nicky's Baba ]
Posted By: Pani Rose

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 03:29 AM

My sentiments exactly Nicky's Baba!

Put on your seat belt Mari, these guys can get rather testy around here. Though they are rather interesting. It shows they take their faith seriously, and I think it is an ethnic thing--ok, i'm in trouble for this--they like to argue! But you will definately learn from them.

If you look at the top of the responces you see the little people standing...you can email someone to get clarification on their responce privately if it is getting too confusing.

Hey Alex,

>>>>>Here you come back just as I'm leaving!<<<<<<<

Explain please where are you leaving too?

confused

Rose
Posted By: Pani Rose

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 03:31 AM

My sentiments exactly Nicky's Baba!

Put on your seat belt Mari, these guys can get rather testy around here. Though they are rather interesting. It shows they take their faith seriously, and I think it is an ethnic thing--ok, i'm in trouble for this--they like to argue! But you will definately learn from them.

If you look at the top of the responces you see the little people standing...you can email someone to get clarification on their responce privately if it is getting too confusing.

Hey Alex,

>>>>>Here you come back just as I'm leaving!<<<<<<<

Explain please where are you leaving too?

confused

Rose
Posted By: Two Lungs

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 03:45 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Nicky's Baba:

Does anyone notice it's the girls who are being pleasant and helpful again!


Yes, Ma'am,

I think we should replace all the Bishops with Babas.
smile

John
Pilgrim and Odd Duck
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 01:08 PM

Thank you all very much. I really appreciate you all taking time to help me out. With much prayer and support, I'm sure this journey will be meaningful.
Actually, I have only recently learned that the Eastern Churches are less legalistic, which actually appeals to me. I always found it odd that my church was able to be so precise(their version) about matters of a spiritual nature.
Now a follow up: where is the Byzantine Catholic Church going in the next century? I have read much that says it will become less Latin(which would be fantastic, though coming from where I am, it doesn't seem very Latin or Roman to me). I have read that there a strong movement to restore this beautiful Rite to (more)of its Eastern origins? And what would these be? I know married priests are one area.
Coming from the Roman Rite, I have seen the church transform so greatly that its hard to recognize it as the church I attended growing up. I would hate to see something happen to transform or lessen this beautiful Liturgy that is coming to mean so much to me spiritually.
Also, thanks so much for the tips about posting and such. I've never been involved with a board so I haven't a clue about this stuff. Hoping all you nice Byzantines and Orthodox will teach about religion AND computer(smile).
In prayerful gratitude,
Mari
Posted By: Gideon

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 02:19 PM

miss the mark by a little or a lot and you still miss the mark.
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 02:34 PM

Beg your pardon?
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 03:08 PM

Please remember I'm new and mean no disrespect to anyone, any faith or any Rite.

May I ask what Holy Week(before Easter) is like? (In general)Any special things I can look forward to? And may I also inquire about fasting, we are encouraged for Fridays throughout the year, and during Lent.
Did the Byzantine Catholics ever celebrate Christmas on the Feast of the Kings? Someone told me a long time ago that was true. In addition, do any Byzantines go by the other calendar(Orthodox)?
In prayerful gratitude,
Mari
Posted By: Tim Bullard

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 04:59 PM

Gee, I thought we've been pretty good lately.

I wish I'd just got to the point and made the "inherited guilt" versus "inherited mortality" distinction in my posting instead of rambling all over the place about Augustine, limbo, et. al. Mea culpa.
Posted By: Sharon Mech

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 05:13 PM

Mari,

Depending upon the parish......

Holy Week is the one time during the year when I'm tempted to simply put a cot in the back of the church & not bother going home. Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is celebrated, as it has been through the Great Fast (hopefully. This is a "new" thing in some previously heavily Latinized parishes) with the addition on Wednesday of the Mystery of the Annointing of the Sick , which is administered to ALL present, because we are all sick, at least with that terminal disease called sin. Thursday there is a Vesper+Liturgy service recalling & reliving the institution of the Eucharist. Great Friday can have a bunch of services - few parishes outside of monasteries celebrate them all - Matins witht the reading of the 12 Gospels, Royal Hours, the service of Great Friday (taken in all/most parishes) Jerusalem Matins. Saturday is "the day that never ends." Vespers and Liturgy of St. Basil is prescribed - it is hauntingly beautiful - Christ rests in the tomb, but we know the rest of the story. It is sadness shot through with hope and joy.

Pascha itself - there are no words to describe it. It is purest joy, brightest light. I live the entire year in anticipation of Holy Saturday at midnight, when Resurrection Matins begins, then ends only to give way to the most joyous Divine Liturgy of the year. "CHRIST IS RISEN!" we sing over and over again! "CHRIST IS RISEN!" we want to tell the whole world. After the Liturgy is complete, we troop over to the hall. People set out their baskets, filled with paschal food (and the sacred Chocolate Bunny, LOL) pysanki, candles, decorated cloths - and all of it is blessed as we sing "CHRIST IS RISEN" again & again.

Then everybody goes home, and the cantors try to catch a couple hours of sleep before going back for Sunday morning Divine Liturgy for the folks who don't drive at night. (The cruelest years are the ones when Daylight Savings Time begins on Pascha. You've been singing your heart out for hours, it's 2:00am, and all of a sudden it's 3:00am, and you've got an hour less to sleep.)

About fasting - In the West, it's the practice to state the minimum requirements - a floor, if you will. In the East, it's the practice to state the "ideals," i.e. a ceiling. Not everybody is cut out to live "in the rafters." The three "legs" of any fast are bodily fasting, prayer, and works of mercy. If you are unable to "lean" on one "leg" you can usually lean a bit more on the others. It's important though that you do not blithely decide on your own how to keep a fast - it should always be something you discuss with your Spiritual Father (or Mother).

As for calendar stuff, yes, there are some Eastern Catholic Churches which go by the "Old Calendar." With some it's a point of pride or tradition, for others, it's a matter of where they are located. Rome has "suggested" (I don't remember how pointed the suggestion was) that we keep the calendar which is dominant wherever we are - so churches located in countries where the Old Calendar is in the fore are more likely to go by the Old Calendar (except when they don't...) and vice versa.

Old Calendar folks celebrate Christmas when New Calendar folks celebrate Theophany. Until we came to AAmerica, Theophany was a much bigger deal in the Eastern Churches than Christmas. I am not one to get into a tizz about calendars - it seems to me though that Old Calendar folks have an advantage, in that they can shop the after-Christmas sales before Christmas. (grin)

Best,

Sharon


Sharon Mech, SFO
Cantor & sinner
sharon@cmhc.com

[ 06-18-2002: Message edited by: Sharon Mech ]
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 05:31 PM

Wow! I have always loved Lent and Easter, but I don't think I've really experienced such beauty as is described. I'm really looking forward to this!
I hope to be picking up some of the books suggested this week.
Thank you.
Posted By: Sharon Mech

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/18/02 05:46 PM

Mari,

As long as you are shopping, pick up a copy of "Great Lent" also by Alexander Schmemann. (Both Schmemann titles can be puchased directly from St. Vlavimir Seminary Press

http://www.svots.edu/SVS-Bookstore/

I usually shop online then order via their 800 number. Always have had excellent service.)

It's the BEST explantion of the Eastern "take" on the Great Fast - considered a modern classic.

Best,

Sharon
Posted By: Stefan-Ivan

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/19/02 12:34 AM

Welcome Mari;

I hope we can be of genuine help to you! It's good to hear that you are pleased by celebrating the Divine Mysteries with us.

With Best Wishes;
Stefan-Ivan
Posted By: Pani Rose

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/19/02 03:09 AM

Hey,

Don't forget that our Lent starts on the Monday before Ash Wed., along with Holy Week goes all the prepartio before hand. The three nights a week in church in addition to daily liturgy. When you are done you feel that you have truly walked to the cross with Christ. Another thing I love is the Akathist of the Theotokos. The Eastern Churches place a lot of emphasis on her i the liturgy, but this is special for her, and a delightful treat for all. I love Pre-Sanctified, it is so awesome to prostrate before God as a church.

Rose
Posted By: Diak

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/19/02 03:28 AM

Glory to Jesus CHrist!

With regards to the previous post, the first day of Lent depends if your parish is following the more traditional Julian calendar or the Gregorian calendar. The Byzantine-Ruthenian metropolia follows the Gregorian across the board, while in my own Ukrainian Catholic eparchies we have some parishes that are still on the Julian calendar.

Also, since Schmemann came up earlier, his "For the Life of the World" would be my first choice for a first-time read of Schmemann. This book had a profound effect on my "sacramental outlook" from the Eastern Christian perspective, and after now reading almost all of his books I realize that this was in fact the best place to start, and is one of his most readible.

Other good primer books are Kallistos Ware's "The Orthodox Way" and "Eastern Christianity-the Byzantine Tradition written by Deacon (now priest) Lawrence Cross of the Russian Catholic Church. The three-part Light for Life adult catechetical series is great stuff as well. May our God who loves mankind through the outpouring of His life-giving Spirit guide you on your way.
Subdeacon Randolph, a sinner
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/19/02 02:21 PM

Stefan-Ivan,Rose, Diak, Sharon,and Subdeacon Randolph and All:
Can't tell you how much your help means! My reading list is growing! Many prayers of thanks to God who shines thru you all.
Posted By: Tim Herman

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/19/02 06:50 PM

MariM,

Welcome! I can understand where you are coming from. I was brought up in the Roman Church, but became increasingly dissatisfied with the lack of reverence and holiness that often seems to be prevelent in the post-Vatican II Roman Church. Especially the lack of reverence for the Holy Mysteries (i.e. Communion). As a person who is very traditional in mindset, I wanted something that seemed more holy. Plus I was interested in Russia, and teaching myself to read Russian (this was 5 years ago...I now speak and read conversational Russian very well). My first time in a Byzantine church for Divine Liturgy was amazing! I still love it every time I go to church or listen to a recording of the Liturgy. I'm the only Byzantine in my family and my mom still doesn't really feel comfortable with the differences between the Roman rite and the Byzantine rite. She knows we're Catholic, but it's all "odd" to her. Plus she doesn't have a clue when it comes to Slavonic, etc. (which I use frequently in private prayers and my parish uses occasionally). So here I am, 19 years old and happily Byzantine. I follow the Russian traditions by choice, so my pronunciation of Slavonic words are different slightly and my customs also differ slightly from most Byzantines on this board. But, it's all good smile . Anything I can help you with, let me know...

Yours in Christ,

Timothy, servant of God
Posted By: Hieromonk Elias

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/19/02 08:24 PM

Dear MariM,

I am always glad to hear when someone is discovering the Eastern and Byzantine Church. May the Lord God himself direct your searching.

Elias
Posted By: Robert K.

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/21/02 06:55 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Diak:
Glory to Jesus CHrist!

With regards to the previous post, the first day of Lent depends if your parish is following the more traditional Julian calendar or the Gregorian calendar. The Byzantine-Ruthenian metropolia follows the Gregorian across the board, while in my own Ukrainian Catholic eparchies we have some parishes that are still on the Julian calendar.

Also, since Schmemann came up earlier, his "For the Life of the World" would be my first choice for a first-time read of Schmemann. This book had a profound effect on my "sacramental outlook" from the Eastern Christian perspective, and after now reading almost all of his books I realize that this was in fact the best place to start, and is one of his most readible.

Other good primer books are Kallistos Ware's "The Orthodox Way" and "Eastern Christianity-the Byzantine Tradition written by Deacon (now priest) Lawrence Cross of the Russian Catholic Church. The three-part Light for Life adult catechetical series is great stuff as well. May our God who loves mankind through the outpouring of His life-giving Spirit guide you on your way.
Subdeacon Randolph, a sinner


I friendly and non hostile word of advice from a (At times unfortunatly sounding like) young grump

Be careful about the general use of Orthodox theological books and discourses. Although many of them are very valuable in explaining the Eastern perspective, they non the less are authored by people who do not profess the Catholic faith and therefore are also, at times hostile to the Church. Bishop Kallistos may have, for instance, produced some fine books on Eastern Christianity, but they are written from an Orthodox perspective and therefore meant to entice people into the Orthodox faith. When I converted to Orthodoxy for a time, it was greatly helped by my reading of Wares book "the Orthodox Church" (As well as Seraphim Rose's "Orthodox and the Religion of the Future").
Although many may consider these writings helpful, they unfortunatly can mislead many honost seekers of Greek Catholicism into Orthodoxy. Therefore IMHO, these writings should only be cultivated by those who have matured enough in their Greco-Byzantine Catholic faith as to be able to distinguish that which is truly spiritualy bennificial from mere propaganda.

It would be really nice if Greek Catholics could produce more of their own theological writings so that they wouldnt have to keep borrowing from others.

A good Cathecism, if your interested, is Our Religion by Fr. Luhovy (I think thats his name anyway). It is simple and down to the point in its answers. Although I unfortunatly do not know where to excatly order it, but perhaps someone else can help with that info.
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 06/21/02 07:57 PM

I'm glad you addressed that issue. Even while doing research on the net, sometimes I get confused between the two. The sites may speak about Eastern tradition, and that may well be Orthodox or Byzantine(or others), or a combination.
I appreciate the "heads up". Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I will remember you all in prayer.
MariM
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 07/01/02 06:58 PM

Hello friends!
I have started my reading, and continue to attend Divine Liturgy. Thank you so much for the encouragment and prayers.
MariM

[ 07-05-2002: Message edited by: MariM ]

[ 07-05-2002: Message edited by: MariM ]
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 08/23/02 06:41 PM

Thank you to all for the suggested reading. It has kept me quite busy,and growing in my faith. Although I always liked going to church, the beauty of Divine Liturgy is beyond words. I thank God for this Rite, and the chance to experience it.
Praying that God will bless all of you for your example of faith and your willingness to share.
Posted By: Vito

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 08/23/02 08:34 PM

Dear MariM, Do you know that there is a local chapter of the Society of St. John Chrysostom in Youngstown? To find out about us check: www.byzantines.net/stjohnchrysostom/
We have 55 members in the area. We would love to have you as #56. Please contact me if you are interested. Vito
Sharon: Appleyard #1 in my book!
Posted By: Herbigny

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 08/25/02 06:33 AM

Dear MariM:

You might find the following website helpful/interesting.

It has some great photos of what goes on during Great and Holy Friday and Pascha. You can also look on the Church Calendar to find out what services are offered during the Great Fast. It even has a few recipes for the Great Fast!

There is also some general stuff on Liturgy, the Hierarchical Liturgy, various Church customs etc.

It's: http://www.saintelias.com/

The site has been cited here by members of the Forum [who are actually parishioners there], so it comes with a certain "imprimatur"...kind of.

Anyways, nice colour photos are always fun.

As far as the Orthodox literature issue. Yes, I take RobertK's point. Some jurisdictions are rather polemic vis a vis their views of Catholics in general. And in general, the whole Eastern Catholic Churches phenomenon is problematic for some Orthodox. But we understand that, of course. (Catholics have even been known to be polemic...)

However with that Caveat, I personally have never been disturbed by any anti-Catholic polemic in serious Orthodox theological writings.

I know that I want to be in Communion with Rome and I really believe in that Mission/ideal/vision/etc. of BOTH maintaining inter-Communion with Rome AND at the same time working/praying/etc. for reconciliation with/return to our Orthodox mother Churches [without breaking interCommunion with Rome and the other Catholic Churches].

So having said that, I have no real hesitation in using Orthodox theological writings....because, after all, that is what we [Eastern Catholics] are, viz. Orthodox. We are [or should be and are called to be] Orthodox in theology, spirituality, Church discipine, etc. [though "Orthodox-in-Communion-with-Rome", as our theologians put it]. This is the Church God gave us and the Church God's grace called us to for our Salvation, peace and joy - unworthy though we be.

Besides which, the Orthodox theological writings are generally absolutely Excellent and we use it without qualm in our Theology academies (where we even have Orthodox Professors) and seminaries and parishes here anyways. And how can we "return to our roots" otherwise?

Some specifically Eastern Catholics authors that come to mind presently are such as: Fr. Andrij Chirovsky, Fr. Peter Galadza [both published in the journal "Logos" from the Sheptytsky Institute in Canada], Archbishop Joseph Raya, and of course the famous Bishop Elias Zogby {a Council Father, no less}]- the later 2, Melchites.

Hoping that you will "enjoy the ride"!

cix

herb.

ps: another recommendation just came to mind [this time on the Orthodox side]: ANY writings by Frederica Matthewes-Green [a "Panyi Matka" {priest's wife} in the Antiochean jurisdiction and an Excellent writer {and from a Woman's point of view}]! Try "Facing East" interesting, theological, informative, entertaining, prayerful, funny and inspiring! here's a link: http://www.frederica.com/

[ 08-25-2002: Message edited by: Herbigny ]
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 08/26/02 05:05 PM

Thank you to God who gives direction and purpose to the yearnings of our hearts!
I have been reading the books and writings suggested by many friends here in the Forum, and I feel that I would very much like to concentrate on the sameness that exists among the Orthodox and Catholics. The sameness of the Spirit. There is so much beauty in the Eastern traditions! I wouldn't want to miss out on learning or experiencing because of age old debates, especially since I didn't really even know about them until recently. I have been getting so much help from Byzantine Catholics and the Orthodox, and I am very greatful.
Thank you for the links also. The pictures from Easter liturgy gave me goosebumps. I am really looking forward to celebrating a whole liturgical year in the Eastern tradition.
I can say firmly that starting a spiritual journey may be hard, but the growth and deepening of ones faith is worth it!
Thanks to all who care and guide!
Posted By: MariM

Re: Being called to the Byzantine - 08/26/02 05:24 PM

Vito:
Thanks! Would you please tell me when your next meeting is? I work during the day, are there evening meetings?
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