The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
That latin friend, Deacon Eric, Pastor Freed, Sebastian, Deepu
5,836 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
3 members (FloridaPole, jjp, 1 invisible), 84 guests, and 27 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
Topics35,154
Posts414,836
Members5,836
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#410102 01/02/15 10:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 610
J
JDC Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
J
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 610
Would someone please enumerate the arguments in favour of the continued use of the Julian calendar in the West? It seems more or less half of the Ukrainians in the Americas have abandoned it, especially to the degree that the community has its roots in earlier immigration.

JDC #410121 01/04/15 10:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,249
Likes: 16
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,249
Likes: 16
Dear JDC,

Many UGCC parishes in Ukraine have for the first time this year, celebrated the feast of the Nativity of our Lord, God and Saviour on December 25th of the Gregorian calendar. There is also a movement, led by clergy, to work towards the complete reception of the "Revised Julian Calendar" as soon as possible.

I can't wait . . .

Alex

JDC #410124 01/04/15 10:35 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 294
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 294
1.)One obvious reason is to avoid getting caught up in the commercial hubbub right up to the threshold of the holiday. I have been in retail so long the holidays make me sick. This is a chance to make a holiday a really holy day. Jews get to take school and work off on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur so what difference does it make if Orthodox Christians do the same since there are fewer of them in the West 2.) Another reason would be Orthodox unity, which is more important than celebrating a holiday the same day as everyone else...not being conformed to the world. 3.) Celebrating diversity. We're supposed to celebrate our differences now...even in the Catholic Church.
4.)Using the same calendar as your saintly hierarchical antecedents. 5.)If you are from a rather separate Orthodox culture that has strong links to a mother country that is accustomed to doing things the old way, i.e. Serbs and Russians.
6. As a way to maintain one's identity in a Gregorian Calendar milieu (Greek Catholics in Roman Catholic and secularised countries and all Orthodox in the West). 7.) Things are now available at bargain prices.

As is known, I am an ecclesiastical fence-sitter and am not always to be taken seriously. Some of these reasons are meant in jest; this is not a doctrinal issue at any rate.

JDC #410129 01/05/15 12:59 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 610
J
JDC Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
J
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 610
Thank you both.

Alex, when you say "I can't wait" do you mean it sarcastically? I can't tell.

It seems to me that many people in my parish are celebrating Christmas at home and with extended family on December 25. It occurs to me then that the Julian calendar is a church-only formality that is having the effect of depriving many of us of the second half of the fast, or trying to live a kind of double life, feasting while fasting.

I am personally prejudiced in favour of any tradition, unless its utility is obviously finished and its harm become evident (so the simple fact that changing it would require change is enough to put me off) but I wonder if we are at that point.

JDC #410133 01/05/15 11:22 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,249
Likes: 16
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,249
Likes: 16
Dear JDC,

Yes, you are more than correct about how the Nativity is being celebrated in some circles on January 7th . . . That is really why I am for the "Revised Julian Calendar" for the UGCC.

In fact, the UGCC has two calendars and celebrates both. When my friends and I in Catholic high school went to the administration to formally get it to recognize January 7th as our Old Calendar holiday, the priest there said, "Well, I'm from Edmonton and all the Ukrainian Catholics there and throughout western Canada celebrate Christmas on December 25th - what is your problem?"

All of my family and friends went on holiday for December 25th and most are now back to mark the Holy Supper tomorrow evening. Most will not go to church and most will go to work on January 7th.

So they don't go to church on either Christmas. Is that a good thing?

Old Calendar Christmas used to mean something very special when I was growing up. We ignored December 25th - dad told us to just go on our business as if it was nothing special. There was no celebration of anything. Then January 6th came along and we fasted especially hard before the Holy Supper. And then we took three days off during which there was church-going and feasting. Then we took January 14th off as it was New Year's. And then the feast of the Theophany on January 19th.

All of that is gone now and there is only a perfunctory observance of old Calendar Christmas - it all has to do with maintaining one's Eastern European cultural identity (Lord have mercy on us!).

So I can't wait for the UGCC in Ukraine to officially announce that it is adopting the Revised Julian Calendar. The Ukrainian Catholics AND Orthodox over there are engaging in an education program to get their parishioners to adopt it. (I refer here to the non-canonical Orthodox, that is).

In fact, many, many UGCC parishes over there celebrated the Nativity on December 25th in 2014 for the first time ever (based on the whole pro-Europe movement).

My father-in-law, a real die-hard, said that if Ukraine is now going that way, he will too.

We will at least have the time off together to go to church, celebrate the three days of the Naitivity, sing carols from door to door (rather than have a "Christmas concert" in some Protestant church on the weekend following) etc.

The date of Pascha will remain the same which means that my friends and relatives will continue to go to work on Holy and Great Friday in years when the dates don't coincide. And now, when they do coincide, they can't get themselves out of bed in the morning to get to church anyway - they've been well-trained over the years.

Perhaps a common date for Easter will arrive too one day.

I can't wait for that either.

Sorrow rather than sarcasm.

Alex

Last edited by Orthodox Catholic; 01/05/15 11:25 AM.
JDC #410137 01/05/15 12:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 610
J
JDC Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
J
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 610
What about the Canonical Ukrainian Orthodox in the Americas? They're not under Moscow. The ones I know of, in Ontario, are old calendar. Do you know about the Ukie'dox in the states or the prairies?

JDC #410139 01/05/15 01:09 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,249
Likes: 16
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,249
Likes: 16
Well, I count a number of such Orthodox as my relatives.

Yes, they follow us on the Old Calendar.

And, yes, they have always celebrated Christmas on December 25th. Their children, at least in my case, didn't go to church on either date.

And, yes, when one got married, he remained Orthodox - but his wife and three daughters are Roman Catholic and attend Church without him. Again, he never attends any Church but remains "Orthodox."

When a group of the UOCC members started to force the issue about moving the calendar to December 25th, they were roundly chastised by their hierarchy for even raising the question.

Yet, they are in full communion with the EP that is on the Revised Julian Calendar.

So what is it about the Old Calendar that makes people hold it as if it were an article of faith?

Alex

JDC #410143 01/05/15 01:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 294
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 294
I see no reason for Ukraine to be New Calendar or Revised Julian. They at least share a common culture in which there is heretofore no conflicting date for Christmas or any holy day since the Orthodox and Greek Catholics had at least been on the same page on this issue.
I read somewhere Russia was to have gone Revised Julian were it not for the chaos of the Revolution.
I tend to agree with folks who think introducing the Revised led to disunity...because that is what happened. We can speculate whether some other issue may have caused division were it not for the calendar. I knew a HOCNA Old Calendarist and for them it was more than just the calendar. I laugh, however, because when the EP introduced the Revised, all the "uniates" were still Old Calendar.
But, I am more or less an outsider on this issue, go take it with a grain of salt.

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,953
D
DMD Offline
Member
Offline
Member
D
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,953
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Well, I count a number of such Orthodox as my relatives.

Yes, they follow us on the Old Calendar.

And, yes, they have always celebrated Christmas on December 25th. Their children, at least in my case, didn't go to church on either date.

And, yes, when one got married, he remained Orthodox - but his wife and three daughters are Roman Catholic and attend Church without him. Again, he never attends any Church but remains "Orthodox."

When a group of the UOCC members started to force the issue about moving the calendar to December 25th, they were roundly chastised by their hierarchy for even raising the question.

Yet, they are in full communion with the EP that is on the Revised Julian Calendar.

So what is it about the Old Calendar that makes people hold it as if it were an article of faith?

Alex

Beats me. We Rusyn Orthodox in the states in the ACROD are 60/40 on the 'old' calendar and we are also under the EP. My parish is apparently going to review the matter again for the third time in twenty years. We need about 70 percent of the congregation to support the change since those who support change have typically not gotten fired up over the issue if they don't prevail... anyway, I thought that i would share a reflection I posted last week on the subject.

" On Tuesday of last week, my wife and I returned from our son's new home in Georgia where he has been assigned by our Bishop to serve as pastor of a small, but growing Orthodox parish north of Atlanta, Georgia. All mission parishes in our diocese are now on the RJC (i.e. the 'New' Calendar) and our home parish in upstate New York remains most decidedly 'Old Calendar". So, for the first time in our family's life, a 'real' New Calendar Christmas was to be observed.

I should note that I've 'celebrated' Christmas on the 25th in some way or another most of my life. When I was a child, my parents and my godparents would come home to New Jersey to my grandparents' home for a family gathering on the 25th of December. We were all Old Calendar and both my dad and my Godfather - married to my mom's sister - were Orthodox priests and back then - there was only one calendar for the Slavic Orthodox (and the Eastern Catholics for that matter.). So the 25th was Baba's big day - a meal for the whole family - about forty of us - and yes, most of us said a prayer, winked and broke the fast - and all the cousins shared Santa's bounty. Good times and loving memories forged the feast. But - what kept this Rockwellian image from really being Christmas was that we lacked the participation of our families in the cycle of services which define the Nativity for Orthodox Christians. (It was only 'Christmas' dinner - not the Holy Night/Svatyj Vecer meal.)

We sang a few secular carols and a few of our beloved church carols but that was it. What my parents called 'Little Christmas' would end and back home we would go to prepare for the ' Big Christmas' on January 7th at home. Pop would visit the hospitals, the homebound, those in nursing homes and hear confessions. For what seemed endless hours, he would labor over the typewriter preparing 'stencils' to run off on the mimeograph The lengthy cycle of services would began in earnest.

Meanwhile, back at the house, my mom would spend days baking traditional Christmas pastry and cookies, as the 5th and 6th of January arrived the smells of the Holy Supper foods would dominate - some were wonderful - others not so much! But it was hustle and bustle and of course the wrapping of presents behind closed doors which seemed the most significant to a young boy. It often seemed as if every family in the parish got something for the priest or the rectory, and in turn the doorbell never stopped ringing with friends bringing little, and not so little, thank you's for my parents with the booming greeting of 'Christos Razdajetsja!'

As the 6th neared, the Holy Supper was set and served, the evening was followed by Church and caroling...in the morning of the 7th - we opened no presents until AFTER Liturgy - which seemed like eternity to the minds of all of the children in the family. (That still seems the same!)

We gathered again at the table after Liturgy and gave thanks as Pop lead us in prayer and blessed the food. Friends would come over in the evening and extend their greetings and in the morning - all over again for what seemed days - we repeated the liturgy and in the evening Vespers soon followed. At some of the parishes my dad served, it was the custom for the choir and parishioners to come to the rectory for light snacks, carols and libations following liturgy as well. In others, the doorbell and phone rang continuously with greetings and well-wishers – Christ is Born Christos Razdajetsja!

After we were married, after all was done at home, my wife and I would bundle the children into the car, drive through the crazy upstate weather to Buffalo and join her family in the celebration on the 7th. But about twenty years ago my wife's parents' parish 'voted' to change the calendar in what was a controversial meeting. It was hardly a glorious occasion the first year we visited there on the 25th, the in-laws were not happy with the change, nor was a majority of the congregation. Some waiting until the 7th and attended at the local Ukrainian or Serbian church, others were simply AWOL. As the years passed, things improved, but our contact with the New Calendar was limited to a brief in and out stopover for a day.

This year, as I said, my youngest son was ordained to the priesthood and sent by our Bishop to a new parish in the South. We planned out trip for a few weeks and in the days leading up to our departure on the 21st of December we were busy on two calendars – preparing for our home parish’s St. Nicholas celebration and breakfast (we served over 240) and baking and preparing traditional Christmas foods and goodies for our trip.

For the first time in my life our house was decorated by St. Nicholas Day and the kitchen smelled as I remembered over the generations with the time honored aroma of various foods and baked goods.

We packed our little car to the gills as they say and off we went, arriving in the Atlanta area the next morning after a long, misty and foggy ride down the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from central New York to north Georgia.

When we arrived, the rectory was resplendent in Christmas lights with a beautiful tree. My son had ‘claimed’ many of our Christmas items which were displayed around his house as they had always been at home in my memory.

The kitchen smelled of baked prosphora and other items and my son and his Pani were busy working to get ready for the big day, baking, working on the service booklets and bulletin for the Nativity and so on. 'Just like I always remembered with my dad and brother', I thought as we unpacked and settled in.

The next day was the eve of the Nativity and the cycle of services took place. In the evening, instead of a family Holy Supper there was a communal one with all of the traditional foods brought in ‘pot luck’ style by cradle and convert families alike. It was beautiful.

The Complines of Christmas followed and I was honored to cantor the service with my son. At the end the Church was darkened and we all sang traditional kolady/carols as has been the case since – well forever in memory at least.

The next morning was December 25 - Christmas and off to Church for liturgy. The choir sang familiar responses and melodies. Afterwards, all were invited to the parish house for refreshments and fellowship.
In the afternoon, when the dust had settled we finally opened gifts and we all fell asleep – exhausted as those who grew up in priestly families can well relate!

The cycle of services was repeated on the next three days through Sunday the 28th. My son was asked to come to an ailing parishioner’s home to distribute communion and he asked me along – as my father did when I was a boy long ago. We chatted, sang a few songs, ate some cake with the wife of the ailing man and went on our way.

With hearts both filled with joy and heavy at the thought of departing my wife and I headed north to New York.

As I write this, it is January 2nd. We are cleaning the house and our kitchen smells of the traditional preparations, we have a choir concert at our church tonight with other Orthodox choirs and the Byzantine Catholic church choir and the cycle of anticipation, excitement and exhaustion begins anew. The rest of my family, will soon arrive and it will be Christmas again.

So…until know I never really ‘got it’ when people would say the ‘date is unimportant’. Somehow I thought separating the great day from the commercialism of the secular perhaps made our way ‘better.’ Well, on the long drive home, we had time to reflect upon these things and we agreed that Christmas was not really just a date – it is far more than that and our New Calendar Christmas with our fellow Orthodox Christians in that little parish far away – and I am sure in my neighboring OCA, GOA and other ‘new calendar’ parishes here in town was in fact Christmas just as it always had been, and just - I hope - as it always will be celebrated.

And I suspect, my Georgia Christmas had much more of what Christmas really is all about in the hearts and souls of those present than among some of us who are so wedded to a date that we can not see the forest for the trees.

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!"

JDC #410187 01/08/15 08:57 PM
Joined: Aug 1998
Posts: 4,279
Likes: 15
Moderator
Member
Offline
Moderator
Member
Joined: Aug 1998
Posts: 4,279
Likes: 15
Wisdom! Be attentive!


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
JDC #410195 01/09/15 10:48 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,953
D
DMD Offline
Member
Offline
Member
D
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,953
In my heart I THINK the Eastern Christian world erred by changing piecemeal starting in the 1920's. And if you think it's an American problem,or an Orthodox one - think again. My Rusyn Greek Catholic relatives in Slovakia are "New Calendar" while those near Mucachevo are "Old Calendar." Those in Slovakia follow the western Pachalion while Transcarpathian Greek Catholics adhere to the eastern Paschalion (another topic, but following what we call the "revised Julian" makes more theological sense under current rubrics...)

(Christ was not born twice, nor was he crucified twice...for ALL Christians to be divided on such a fundamental level is wrong on many levels......but that's a whole 'nuther can of worms.)

Mark R #410206 01/09/15 11:36 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,249
Likes: 16
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,249
Likes: 16
Dear Mark,

The UGCC and the UOC-KP are moving together to go to the Revised Julian Calendar - and yes, this has to do with the whole European focus.

UGCC parishes in Ukraine already celebrated on the new calendar in 2014 for the first time ever.

Alex

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,953
D
DMD Offline
Member
Offline
Member
D
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,953
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Dear Mark,

The UGCC and the UOC-KP are moving together to go to the Revised Julian Calendar - and yes, this has to do with the whole European focus.

UGCC parishes in Ukraine already celebrated on the new calendar in 2014 for the first time ever.

Alex

Alex, how is the Paschalion being followed by the Ukrainians? As in the Greeks and OCA or like the Ruthenian Greek Catholics in America who follow the Roman Paschalion?

JDC #410214 01/10/15 09:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,666
Likes: 12
John
Member
Offline
John
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,666
Likes: 12
DMD: Your account of Christmas is fantastic. Many thanks!

Christos Raždajetsja!

DMD #410215 01/10/15 11:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,249
Likes: 16
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 26,249
Likes: 16
Dear DMD,

Unfortunately, the UGCC parishes follow the Gregorian calendar and also the Western Paschalion.

The ideal would, of course, be the Revised Julian Calendar and the Orthodox Paschalion.

Alex

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