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Posted By: theophan Covid-19 and parish life - 07/06/20 07:19 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

I just reviewed the thread entitled "The Bane of Christianity in America." That was before the recent lock-downs and quarantine imposed by governments: federal, state, and local. I fear that this lock-down has given people time to change their habits and ways of thinking. If one gets used to ignoring a Sunday or weekend observance, it is not long before the light of faith goes out--IMHO.

As things have opened and allowed parishes to hold public liturgies, I wonder how many people have made the effort to return.

In our diocese, we are currently allowed only 50 people in church at one time. Our pastor has asked that we call ahead and "reserve" a seat ahead of time so that people will not be turned away for lack of space. Our bishop has suspended the obligation to attend Sunday liturgy--something heretofore unheard of in Catholic practice--for the time being because of worries about the virus, the limits on people allowed in a building, and liability. My parish is seeing the usual, committed people returning, but few families with children. We are also not seeing the church filled for Sunday liturgy. Our pastor invited people to come during the week if that would be more convenient and has made liturgy available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings at 6 p.m., as well as Tuesday and Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Apparently that is not drawing many people because he did a robo call last Friday afternoon to announce that that evening's liturgy was cancelled. I understand that the previous Friday had an attendance of 6 or 8 people.

How are some of your parishes doing with drawing people back?

Bob
Posted By: Irish_Ruthenian Re: Covid-19 and parish life - 07/06/20 07:27 PM
Well, if you treat something as if it is of only tertiary importance, you can't expect those who are your subjects to think much of it either.
Posted By: Thomas the Seeker Re: Covid-19 and parish life - 07/12/20 10:30 PM
Today was the fourth Sunday of Metropolis of Pittsburgh "Green Phase" worship. The Metropolis is allowing 50% capacity even though the Governor of the Commonwealth has specifically excluded religious gatherings from any restriction on "large gatherings."

Attendance today was nearly 100.....about the same as the first Sunday of "Green". The previous two weeks had a decline; last week, being a holiday weekend, was rather poor. But today made up for it.

We ran out of antidoron.

With age restrictions removed, one of the senior chanters (upper 70's) was able to return. We have had a small core choir relocated from the balcony to front pews near the chanter's stand which has provided excellent communication. Week by week I am noticing an increase in congregational singing.

We have had coffee hour following the Liturgy each of these "Green" Sundays. About 1/3 of the congregation attends but the percentage is slowly increasing.

Holy Unction could not be served during Holy Week so it has been scheduled for the evening of July 27, the Feast of St. Panteleimon. It will be quite interesting to observe the level of participation.
Posted By: jvf Re: Covid-19 and parish life - 07/23/20 11:28 AM
As far as I'm concerned there is no longer any parish life and no Byzantine Catholic Traditions any longer.
I go to the local Latin Rite Church now which is 5 minutes from where I live rather than drive 25 minutes to my Byzantine Church 20 miles away.

AND
Is it licit in the Byzantine Catholic Church to distribute the Eucharist under both species in a paper cup that you have to pick up and force the Eucharist into your mouth?

There is no Confession before Communion anymore on Sunday just on Saturday .
We used to have Liturgy on Saturday and Sunday with Confession before Liturgy.
Now I go to the local Latin Church and have Confession heard in the parking lot.
Posted By: theophan Re: Covid-19 and parish life - 07/23/20 12:15 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

jvf:

I'm truly sorry for your experiences at your former parish. Difficult times call for thinking outside the box. I won't pass judgment on your former priest. He is trying to do the best he can, I suspect; anyway giving him the benefit of the doubt. I suspect he has cleared this with his bishop.

I have heard of Latin priests and bishops distributing the Lord in parking lots and other places, so things are not optimum anywhere. I guess we should be glad to have the opportunity to commune the Lord. It is up to us to make sure we are focused on the action we are involved in rather than the unusual circumstances surrounding our reception. We are still receiving the Lord and, IMHO, that is better than going long stretches without.

Bob
Posted By: jvf Re: Covid-19 and parish life - 07/23/20 03:06 PM
Bob:)

I'am still a Byzantine Catholic with a box of envelopes for my Byzantine Catholic Church.
What I'm asking you as the moderator if this method of Eucharist distribution is LICIT according to the Eastern Rite Canon Laws of the Catholic Church?
Thanks
Posted By: theophan Re: Covid-19 and parish life - 07/23/20 07:31 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

jvt:

I have no idea what is licit or not licit in distributing the Lord in the Byzantine Catholic Church. May I suggest you ask this question of your bishop?

Years ago I subscribed to a magazine called "Catholic Answers" that was edited by a priest who has now moved on to other duties. During that time he wrote a section each month about Eucharistic abuses: things that made me wonder if people actually knew Who it was they were handling. I decided after a number of years, when one thing that was bad lead to something worse and then something even more so, that I would watch my own attitude and behavior around the Lord's Holy Gifts and pray for those who seemed to me to have so little respect, love, and reverence.

Bob
Posted By: jvf Re: Covid-19 and parish life - 07/24/20 07:03 PM
Thankyou
Posted By: Thomas the Seeker Re: Covid-19 and parish life - 07/26/20 01:40 AM
Originally Posted by theophan
Christ is in our midst!!
I decided after a number of years, when one thing that was bad lead to something worse and then something even more so, that I would watch my own attitude and behavior around the Lord's Holy Gifts and pray for those who seemed to me to have so little respect, love, and reverence.

Bob


Amen.

This reminds me of something which Sayidna (Bishop ) Thomas Joseph said regarding the observance of Fasts:

"Look only at your own plate and don't stare at your neighbor's"
Posted By: theophan Re: Covid-19 and parish life - 07/26/20 02:17 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

jvt:

Decades ago in my parish an invitation was made for people to come forward to be trained as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. It was meant to help the clergy shortage and make Communion time not become too long.

I didn't go.

The next day I received a call from our assistant pastor. He told me Msgr. wanted to know why I had not attended the training. I told him I knew Who it was that was to be distributed; who I was; and how I had decided to let the worthy people accept this ministry but that I could not, knowing the first two things.

He told me then that this is exactly what Msgr. had predicted i would say. He also said that Msgr. wanted me to accept this ministry as an act of obedience; that he wanted my faith shown by how I conducted myself in church to be an example for those who were also accepting this ministry and for the whole parish.

Humbly do the same. Never take you eyes off Who this is; how you act in His Presence.

When I come to commune or to take part in this ministry, there are only two present. My focus is so all-inclusive that I see only Christ and me in His Presence. I don't see the circumstances; I see Him feeding me or me being His instrument to feed His people. It takes my breath away.

I have since been asked to train others for this ministry. I tell each one that the way we care for the Lord when He lies vulnerable in our hands is the same way He will treat us when we are called out of this life into His Hands.

Bob
Posted By: Alice Re: Covid-19 and parish life - 07/29/20 02:15 PM
What a beautifully articulated post, Bob! May God bless you abundantly!
Posted By: Thomas the Seeker Re: Covid-19 and parish life - 07/29/20 11:54 PM
Originally Posted by theophan


I have since been asked to train others for this ministry. I tell each one that the way we care for the Lord when He lies vulnerable in our hands is the same way He will treat us when we are called out of this life into His Hands.



Awesome!

What a summary of the Great Entrance Hymn for Holy Saturday morning:

Let all mortal flesh keep silence
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessings in His hand;
Christ our God to earth descending,
Comes our homage to demand.
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