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#307118 12/14/08 04:37 PM
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I ran across this story earlier today

"Bishop Smith to commission 11 women, one man for service as lay ecclesial ministers in Church"

http://www.dioceseoftrenton.org/diocese/pressreleases_detail.asp?prid=1891

I have a few questions:

- What is the exact nature of lay ministry?
- Is the proportion of men and women in the news story typical?
- Has the practice spread to the Eastern Catholic churches in any form?

AMM #307179 12/15/08 02:11 PM
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Dear AMM,

Catholic lay ministers are blessed to do everything in the parish from administrative duties to assisting with the distribution of Holy Communion to holding Eucharistic Services when there are no priests available.

Up here, I've not heard of so many women lay ministers commissioned in the Latin Church.

There are no women lay ministers in any UGCC parish that I'm aware of - but there are women in a few parishes who read the Epistle.

I'm brought up to speed on the situation in the Latin Church with respect to lay ministry by acquaintances who are Latin Catholic priests who cannot exercise their priesthood owing to the fact that they left to get married . . .

Alex

AMM #307187 12/15/08 03:09 PM
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Let me seed this discussion a little more. On the Orthodox in Communion with Rome thread the following was said by JohnS

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The Liturgy is our Theology and our Theology is our Liturgy. While a quick case could be made that Roman Catholics are ontologically different from the Orthodox, I don't think that it is so cut and dry with the Greek Catholics.

What does the use of lay ministers in the liturgy say theologically? Does it have theological implications?

Secondly, what is the case for an ontological difference, and what impact does it have on East/West relations?

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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Dear AMM,

Catholic lay ministers are blessed to do everything in the parish from administrative duties to assisting with the distribution of Holy Communion to holding Eucharistic Services when there are no priests available.

Alex, do you think this has theological significance?

AMM #307283 12/16/08 03:40 PM
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Dear AMM,

When lay ministers are commissioned when there is a real pastoral need for them, I don't think anyone considers that this has a theological impact on anything at the time.

But you are more than correct - it can and does over time.

I don't know about UGCC parishes elsewhere, but, happily, up here we don't have lay ministers (we do have a lot of Subdeacons).

The lack of priests and the issue of vocations is a central one in the RC and EC Churches. Lay ministry seems to lull us into a sense of "everthing's OK, we'll deal with it some time in the future."

Lay ministers have a greater (and negative) impact on the Church than would, say, an edict from Rome tomorrow declaring the 150,000 priests who have left to get married to be able to return to the Church to exercise their Orders once again.

As one RC acquaintance who is used to lay ministers told me, "We've become Protestant!"

Alex

AMM #307285 12/16/08 03:49 PM
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An argument could be made that a housekeeper is a lay minister, ministering to the priest's domestic needs.
AMM,

A sexton is a lay minister, one who cleans the church, lights the candles, changes altar cloths, etc.

We have commissioned religious ed teachers and Bethany Ministry volunteers (visitations to the sick, bereaved, and homebound) in our BC parish.

Have not any Orthodox parishes done such similar things?

I agree that some of the RC ministries seem to have a liberal tendency, but I doubt that the EC parishes have adopted them.

Fr Deacon Paul

Paul B #307288 12/16/08 04:35 PM
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Quote
As one RC acquaintance who is used to lay ministers told me, "We've become Protestant!"

It would seem to me this change to the liturgy does have an impact.

Paul B

Quote
A sexton is a lay minister, one who cleans the church, lights the candles, changes altar cloths, etc.

We have commissioned religious ed teachers and Bethany Ministry volunteers (visitations to the sick, bereaved, and homebound) in our BC parish.

Have not any Orthodox parishes done such similar things?

Those would appear to be non liturgical functions to me.

AMM #307298 12/16/08 05:07 PM
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The primary "lay ministry" in the Kyivan Church, whether Catholic or Orthodox, has been the diak or cantor, who was much more than just a cantor - usually the choir director, catechetical teacher, and usually the one who accompanied the priest for house blessings, sick calls, funeral services, baptisms, weddings, etc.

Our UGCC Particular Law does not provide for such a thing as that which opened the thread.

Diak #307302 12/16/08 06:30 PM
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The primary "lay ministry" in the Kyivan Church, whether Catholic or Orthodox, has been the diak or cantor, who was much more than just a cantor - usually the choir director, catechetical teacher, and usually the one who accompanied the priest for house blessings, sick calls, funeral services, baptisms, weddings, etc.


I don't know anything about a "Kyivan Church", but in the Ukrainian Orthodox tradition, just as in any other Orthodox tradition the cantor is ordained. In Ukraine prospective cantors went to seminary for many years. They usually were employed as the viallge primary school teacher was well.

Halia12 #307303 12/16/08 06:48 PM
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There are many Ukrainian Orthodox parishes in Western Canada that DO NOT have ordained diaky. I have several that are good friends and know this for a fact. There were many Orthodox parishes in Western Ukraine that also DID NOT have ordained diaky, especially after the restoration of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. This is likewise a fact. The UOC-KP also has some parishes without "ordained" cantors. Most of those "ordained" belonged to what became UOC-MP parishes.

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I don't know anything about a "Kyivan Church",


You should - the Orthodox and Catholic Churches descended from the Kyivan Metropolitanate (hence my abbreviation of the term "Kyivan Church") were not called "Ukrainian" until fairly recently.

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I am currently enrolled in a formation for lay ecclesial ministry in my diocese. It is a 3-year formation program for leadership within the Church. However, this leadership is not centered around the liturgical service. It is meant to equip lay persons for teh large number of other ministry programs within the parish that need leaders who have training in pastoral leadership, theology, history, and human development.
What my program will allow me to do is to serve under teh guidance of my pastor for the needs of the parish.

In particular, I envision my ministry to be in the area of adult catechesis and faith formation. Since we only have 2 priests and 1 deacon for a parish with over a thousand families, the priest cannot do everything, and so needs those who are trained to assist him in running various ministries within the Church.

it is not meant to be a substitute for clergy, but is meant to be co-workers with the pastor, working with and under him.

danman916 #307481 12/18/08 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by danman916
it is not meant to be a substitute for clergy, but is meant to be co-workers with the pastor, working with and under him.

This is a general trend within Catholicism - opting for volunteer and associate ministries. I can see how the Catholic church is in a bind. Hard to get celibate men for clergy and all. But this is the rule the Catholic shepherds want to keep. SO they turn to the women to step in where men no longer want to.

While Islam is a man religion; Christianity is a woman's religion. Many clergy can identify with the effeminate and feminist in today's churches. Even the Byzantine Catholic church has opted for language more suited for this taste.

The Byzantine Catholic church also has lay ministers and calls them by that name. This is in conjunction with their eucharistic ministers and altar girls.

Ed




EdHash #307508 12/18/08 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by EdHash
While Islam is a man religion; Christianity is a woman's religion.
The East has not been greatly affected by the Western push for feminisation.

I was happy to read a report on church music which said that only in the Orthodox Church is music routinely, today, written for basses!

EdHash #307559 12/18/08 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by EdHash
Originally Posted by danman916
it is not meant to be a substitute for clergy, but is meant to be co-workers with the pastor, working with and under him.

This is a general trend within Catholicism - opting for volunteer and associate ministries. I can see how the Catholic church is in a bind. Hard to get celibate men for clergy and all. But this is the rule the Catholic shepherds want to keep. SO they turn to the women to step in where men no longer want to.

While Islam is a man religion; Christianity is a woman's religion. Many clergy can identify with the effeminate and feminist in today's churches. Even the Byzantine Catholic church has opted for language more suited for this taste.

The Byzantine Catholic church also has lay ministers and calls them by that name. This is in conjunction with their eucharistic ministers and altar girls.

Ed

This is quite an inflammatory statement; the stereotype is alive and well. While the Roman churches of the cities have their abuses, in general the vocation of the laity was called for by the Holy Spirit in Vatican II.

The laity has the opportunity to thank God for their blessings by contirbuting their talents by teaching, singing, administering finances, visiting the sick, and tasks assigned by their pastors.

The days of multiple priests and sisters are gone, both in Western and Eastern Churches. In my youth I saw the people come and attend..then criticize the priest... that he should do this and that.. he even had to pick up the children to clean up after the annual picnic. This is a good way to DISCOURAGE vocations and burn out priests!

May we have more help from the laity to participate in the Kingdom!

Fr. Deacon Paul

Diak #307566 12/18/08 10:59 PM
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Quote
There are many Ukrainian Orthodox parishes in Western Canada that DO NOT have ordained diaky. I have several that are good friends and know this for a fact. There were many Orthodox parishes in Western Ukraine that also DID NOT have ordained diaky, especially after the restoration of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. This is likewise a fact. The UOC-KP also has some parishes without "ordained" cantors. Most of those "ordained" belonged to what became UOC-MP parishes.


I have to disagree with your facts. I am a cradle Ukrainian Orthodox layperson whose family roots are in Volynia, which is Western Ukraine. If you talk to old timers or even read through archival materials the diaks, cantors were always ordained. They had to undergo strict training in an Orthodox seminary. I have seen copies of graduation certificates and ordination papers. My wife's family comes from generations of clergy and what was called "church people" meaning cantors and other church servers.
What is your historical source? The Ukrainian Orthodox in Volynia were part of the Orthodox Church of Poland until the World War 2 period when the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church was formed in the area. Even during that period cantors were ordained.
Bykovyna, the other Ukranian Orthodox territory in Western Ukraine was under the the Patriarch of Romania until the end of WW2. Cantors there were also ordained.

There is a shortage of cantors in Western Canada as the old cantors die out. Unlike the seminaries in Ukraine which have special courses (2 years I believe after secondary school), we in Canada do not have this extensive education available. So laymen with good voices do the job without theological training and are not ordained.

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Quote:
I don't know anything about a "Kyivan Church",


You should - the Orthodox and Catholic Churches descended from the Kyivan Metropolitanate (hence my abbreviation of the term "Kyivan Church") were not called "Ukrainian" until fairly recently.


Sorry, your term "Kyivan CHurch" is not in use among us Ukrainian Orthodox either in Canada or in Ukraine.

Don't know what you people in Kansas do.

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