The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
SeekingTruth, friendly_pilgrim, BigBadger, Carthaginian, lemkat
5,860 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 members (1 invisible), 77 guests, and 47 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Holy Saturday from Kirkland Lake
Holy Saturday from Kirkland Lake
by Veronica.H, April 24
Byzantine Catholic Outreach of Iowa
Exterior of Holy Angels Byzantine Catholic Parish
Church of St Cyril of Turau & All Patron Saints of Belarus
Byzantine Nebraska
Byzantine Nebraska
by orthodoxsinner2, December 11
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics35,187
Posts415,085
Members5,860
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 194
Thepeug Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 194
I've sometimes heard that Eucharistic adoration has no place in the eastern Christian tradition; that reverence of the Blessed Sacrament in its "static" form is somehow contrary to eastern theological and liturgical practices. I don't quite understand the apparent incompatibility between eastern praxis and Eucharistic devotion.

I feel torn, because on the one hand, as an eastern Catholic I want to be totally faithful to the liturgical, theological, and practical traditions of the East. At the same time, during my short tenure in the Roman Church, I found adoration of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament to be an incredibly spiritually-enriching and humbling experience, one from which I still draw spiritual sustenance. So this brings me a to a few questions:

1) Can someone explain the conflict (if there is one) between Eucharistic devotion as praticed in the Roman Church and eastern traditions?
2) Historically, has there ever been a practice of reserving the Eucharistic in the eastern Churches, either for adoration or for transportation to the sick?

Thanks for the info!

God bless,

Chris

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,264
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,264
Thepeug,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I would recommend a book entitled Liturgical Piety by the great priest-theologian, Father Louis Bouyer. It was published by Notre Dame press and was part of the same series of liturgical studies that included Jean Cardinal Danielou's The Bible and the Liturgy. As I recall, Bouyer discusses the 13th century development of the para-liturgical exposition of the Blessed Sacrament within the Latin Church.

This is an area of interest for me, since I have seen personally the power of Exposition and Adoration in the lives of many Catholics. Truly Christ is in our Midst in the Blessed Sacrament!

But He is also in our midst in a variety of other ways...

As an Eastern Catholic, adoration of Christ present in the Holy Gospels and the Holy Gifts should be a part of my experience of of Divine Liturgy. It is one of the reasons why we bow and sign ourselves with the cross as Christ passes from Heaven (Holy Table on the Altar) to Earth in the nave and then ascends through the Royal Doors to Heaven again in the Little Entrance of the Holy Gospels. In the Great Entrance, where Christ moves from Bethlehem (the Prothesis Table) to Jerusalem (the Holy Table), we also bow and sign ourselves with the cross as we venerate the Holy Gifts, which are being offered. (I love the Russian tradition of reaching out and touching the garments of the priest as he carries the gifts - "if I can only touch the hem of His garment, then I can be healed"!) Of course, the Gifts at this point have not been "offered" through the institution Narrative and the Epiclesis. But we still venerate them because of what they will become (and are becoming).

Our veneration of the Holy Gifts is elevated to adoration in the anaphora when the they are fundamentally changed by the power of the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body and Blood.

The important point is that all of this occurs in a liturgical context - that is, in the context of a Sacred and Sacrificial Meal. As I understand our Eastern approach, the Holy Gifts themselves are not intended as "food for the eyes" in the same way that Icons are...but rather as Food for the body and soul through the act of eating. Luke 24:13-35 recounts the appearance of Our Lord to the disciples on the Road to Emmaus. It goes without saying that the structure of this account is very liturgical (Word and Scarament). It is significant that Jesus blesses and breaks the Bread and then gives it to them - and at the moment they receive the Holy Gifts, their eyes are opened and they see Him. It is not in the offering that they recognize Him so much as in the act of "breaking the Bread" for teh purpose of distribution and reception. When we approach the Sacred Chalice, the highest form of adoration of the Scared Gifts is chewing!

Outside of this context, surely the Gifts which remain for the sick that are kept in the "Tent" on the Holy Table are worthy of adoration. After all, the Word made Flesh made Bread pitches His tent - tabernacles - in our midst! But our tradition is to have these Gifts "veiled" or hidden from the eyes , not exposed, because, again, they are not intended primarily as "food for the eyes" in the same way that icons are. (I have often wondered if it is significant that Exposition began in the West around the same time that Western iconography began to develop a more naturalistic form. Had the West maintained the universal tradition, would Exposition have developed as much as it has or as quickly?)

Here is my advice...if you do not already have an iconostasion in your home, you can set one up quite simply with a small table or stand, a candle an Icon of Christ and an open Gospel book. St. John Chrysostom teaches us that Christ is truly present in the Holy Gospels. (A fact that Archbishop Sheen, ever the advocate for the daily Holy Hour, exploited by helping his Protestant friends spend an hour in adoration of Christ by quietly and prayerfully opening the Sacred Text and "consuming the Bread of the Word". When I travel, I always set up a small iconostasion with a book of the Holy Gospels and an icon and try to make it a point to enter this sacred space for prayer and adoration daily...although sometimes I admit I fail! But nevertheless, Christ is still there!) Why not spend a "Holy Hour" in prayer, meditation on sacred readings and adoration of Christ's presence in your home, through His Word and Image? You can still visit and adore the Holy Gifts in churches by stopping in to pray...but do you need to see them to adore? How blessed are those who have not seen but still believe!

God bless,

Gordo

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,555
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,555
Quote
Originally posted by Thepeug:
[QB] I've sometimes heard that Eucharistic adoration has no place in the eastern Christian tradition; that reverence of the Blessed Sacrament in its "static" form is somehow contrary to eastern theological and liturgical practices. I don't quite understand the apparent incompatibility between eastern praxis and Eucharistic devotion.
Here [ewtn.com] is a brief history of Eucharistic Adoration by Father John Hardon, SJ. You will be particularly interested in his first chapter which records the various practices of the early Church and monastics. There is even mention of the golden dove reserving the Eucharist suspended above the altar. I believe there was a question of that around here lately.

If you wish to take part in Eucharistic Adoration as an eastern Catholic and are near a Latin rite parish where you can do so there is nothing at all wrong with that as a devotion. There are many things right with it and you must not allow the company of men to dissuade you.

Eli

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,518
Catholic Gyoza
Member
Offline
Catholic Gyoza
Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,518
Here is the thread on this issue:

https://www.byzcath.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=001587;p=1

I have been told that Eucharistic Adoration outside of the Divine Liturgy was unknown to the Early Fathers.

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 10,930
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 10,930
However, the Eucharist is always in the Tabernacle upon the Altar. So one can go sit quietly before the Lord at anytime in our Churches and soak in the beauty that abounds there. That too is adoration biggrin

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,555
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,555
Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Eric:
Here is the thread on this issue:

https://www.byzcath.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=001587;p=1

I have been told that Eucharistic Adoration outside of the Divine Liturgy was unknown to the Early Fathers.
Thank you for posting. I was about to mention that particular Eucharistic miracle, elaborated upon by Hieromonk Ambrose in that particular thread. The example of Monk Ambrose in his response should be witnessed by all for future reference.

I am deeply disappointed by most reactions from the east toward Eucharistic Adoration in the west. There is a sneering that occurs that is most unseemly and will do no good to anyone who is subjected to it.

I will worship and adore the living presence of my Lord wherever I can find Him, wherever I am for as long as I am here and pray that I am allowed to worship and adore Him in life everlasting.

Eli

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 21
N
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
N
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 21
I have been told, however accurate, that the Orthodox Church used to distribute the Gifts 'in the hand'(brad dipped in the wine) but that too many were reserving the Gifts and taking them home for private veneration. Whereupon a spoon (of dubious canonical basis) to receive both the Body and the Blood together was instituted to prevent this 'abuse'. I am open to correction here.

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,555
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,555
Quote
Originally posted by ebed melech:
Thepeug,


Here is my advice...if you do not already have an iconostasion in your home, you can set one up quite simply with a small table or stand, a candle an Icon of Christ and an open Gospel book. St. John Chrysostom teaches us that Christ is truly present in the Holy Gospels. (A fact that Archbishop Sheen, ever the advocate for the daily Holy Hour, exploited by helping his Protestant friends spend an hour in adoration of Christ by quietly and prayerfully opening the Sacred Text and "consuming the Bread of the Word". When I travel, I always set up a small iconostasion with a book of the Holy Gospels and an icon and try to make it a point to enter this sacred space for prayer and adoration daily...although sometimes I admit I fail! But nevertheless, Christ is still there!) Why not spend a "Holy Hour" in prayer, meditation on sacred readings and adoration of Christ's presence in your home, through His Word and Image? You can still visit and adore the Holy Gifts in churches by stopping in to pray...but do you need to see them to adore? How blessed are those who have not seen but still believe!

God bless,

Gordo
Dear Chris,

I was looking back across this thread a moment ago and it may seem that some things that are said, particularly what I have said, may seem to be in opposition to Gordo's post here. What I wrote is in no way intended to countermand Gordo's good thoughts in any way.

They all go together, the posts in this thread, and all have a useful kernel of truth for you.

God bless you,

Eli

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 194
Thepeug Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 194
Thanks, everyone, for your informative posts. They truly are, in Eli's words, "kernels of truth."

I realize now that I should have done a forum search before I posted this thread because I found older threads dealing with this same question that helped shed light on the issue. In light of your responses, however, I made a special effort during today's DL to take note of the numerous occasions during which we are blessed with/venerate/adore the Holy Eucharist. As a neophyte Catholic, I still have much to learn about the liturgy. I'd never even realized, for instance, that the blessing with the Chalice could be considered a form of Eucharistic adoration. Such moments make an already sublime experience even more awe-inspiring. I also took to heart Gordo's notion that "the highest form of adoration of the Scared Gifts is chewing"; mastication has taken on a whole new quality!

One last question: many parishoners at my church follow the practice of touching the priest's robe as he processes with the Gifts toward the altar at the beginning of the Great Entrance. Is this practice exclusive to Russians, or is it common among other Orthodox/Eastern Catholics?

God bless,

Chris

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,437
Administrator
Member
Offline
Administrator
Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,437
Chris,

Depending on where the parishioners originate from, some Greek Orthodox parishioners may also do this. It is a local pietistic practice.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,473
Likes: 4
G
Member
Offline
Member
G
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,473
Likes: 4
Quote
Originally posted by Pani Rose:
However, the Eucharist is always in the Tabernacle upon the Altar. So one can go sit quietly before the Lord at anytime in our Churches and soak in the beauty that abounds there. That too is adoration biggrin
Are there Byzantine Catholic churches that are open during the day for the faithful to enter and pray?

Here in CA, the majority of Roman Catholic churches are open during the weekday so a Catholic may come in and pray. I have yet to find a Byzantine Catholic parish that is open for extended periods during a weekday.

Are there Byzantine parishes in the US that are open during the weekdays like the Roman parishes ?

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 618
I
Member
Offline
Member
I
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 618
"One last question: many parishoners at my church follow the practice of touching the priest's robe as he processes with the Gifts toward the altar at the beginning of the Great Entrance. Is this practice exclusive to Russians, or is it common among other Orthodox/Eastern Catholics?"

Someone of Greek Orthodox background once told me that they grab the end of the Epitrachelion because the tassels represent the people and their prayers. Thus, the faithful grab the Epitrachelion/Stole (Latin form) because they want their prayers brought to God's Altar.

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,473
Likes: 4
G
Member
Offline
Member
G
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,473
Likes: 4
Quote
Originally posted by Thepeug:

One last question: many parishoners at my church follow the practice of touching the priest's robe as he processes with the Gifts toward the altar at the beginning of the Great Entrance. Is this practice exclusive to Russians, or is it common among other Orthodox/Eastern Catholics?

God bless,

Chris
I just witnessed this for the first time this past Sunday when I attended liturgy at Our Lady of Fatima's Russian Byzantine Catholic chapel in San Francisco.

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 153
H
learner
Member
Offline
learner
Member
H
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 153
A digression -
Dr Eric's post on the miracle of Lanciano refers to scientific studies of the relics and says:
Quote
The blood and flesh were found to belong to the same blood type, AB.
I found this fascinating because the blood on the Shroud of Turin is also AB.

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,518
Catholic Gyoza
Member
Offline
Catholic Gyoza
Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,518
My blood type is also AB.

AB blood is only possessed by 3% of the population. The blood on the Shroud and all other Holy Relics of Our Lord is AB- which only comprises 3% of all AB types.

I am AB+.

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2022 (Forum 1998-2022). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5