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I recently visited a Romanian Catholic church and I noticed that a spoon was not used to distribute the Eucharist, which I wasn't expecting.

The Body was cut into thin little "plank" pieces and then dipped into the Blood in the chalice, by intinction.

Is this a Romanian custom that is done in all Romanian Byzantine Catholic churches?

Would one also find the same practice to distribute the Holy Gifts in the Romanian Orthodox churches?

I had thought that only the Maronite church distributed the Eucharist in this manner, so I found this most interesting.

I appreciate everyone's insight - thanks so much! biggrin
This is also the way the Melkites distribute communion.

God bless.

John
They do the same with the Italo-Albanians in Italy. I was also quiet shocked. I would not be surprised it the Melchites showed them how to do this.

ICXC
NIKA
Quote
Originally posted by Arystarcus:
Would one also find the same practice to distribute the Holy Gifts in the Romanian Orthodox churches?
No.

But many Romanian Orthodox will use pale wine and white Communion cloths. wink

Dave
The way you described is the one used at St George Romainian Byzantine Cathedral and is normative.
-Daniel
Quote
Originally posted by Chtec:


But many Romanian Orthodox will use pale wine and white Communion cloths. wink

Dave
It's funny that you mentioned this, because they also used white wine and white communion cloths at the Romanian Catholic Church too! wink
I would like to thank everyone for their most informative replies - so thank you! biggrin

However, I have yet another question. wink

Has it always been the practice to communicate without using a spoon in the Romanian Catholic, Melkite and Italo-Albanian Churches? If not, when did it originate?

Does it have something to do with trying to differentiate themselves from the Eastern Orthodox, as they use a spoon to communicate? confused

I seem to recall that according to the canons, a spoon shouldn't be used anyways - so maybe it's just that the Eastern Catholic Churches mentioned above are followin' the rules. :p
Yes being different and also following everything western as if western was a superior culture is a big problem with Eastern Rite Catholic Churches. You might notice the Romanian bishops in Romania wear the Latin Zuchetto. Bishop John in the USA is the only one who wears the Klobuk. The phase "salvation comes through the French" is not limited to the Middle East by any means. My personal view of the Italo-Albanians is that they had lost so much of their knowledge of the Byzantine Rite they basically had to buy the book (probably written by a Latin) and read it first. I think the truth may be that the Melchites helped them to discover the Rite. A German Byzantine rite priest filled me in regarding the history of the Monastery at Grottaferrata and this sort of explained a lot to me. I was there in 1989 & 1990 and there were some things that were confusing me about the place. Why were the vestments in their museum all old Latin ones. Why were nearly all the paintings of a similar age and they were not old. Something was not right. Why were all the altars in the monastery too close to the wall
so as to prevent anyone walking behind them. so some parts of the church simply lost contact with the Orthodox for one reason or other and others just wanted to impress the Latins that they were Catholics by imitating them, never realising they really did not care.

ICXC
NIKA
My question is, if the Melkites provide The Eucharist via tincturing, is this also the method of The Antiochian Church?

And regarding spoons, it seems all the Orthodox sites that provide items for the Holy Table all include the Lance and Spoon. I am confused now. or again? :-)

Michael
any info in this? Thanks
Quote
Originally posted by lost&found:
My question is, if the Melkites provide The Eucharist via tincturing, is this also the method of The Antiochian Church?

The Antiochian Orthodox (Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch) use the spoon. (Unless they're Western Rite... wink )

Dave
We use a spoon, I had no idea people out there did not and this surprises me. Father also uses a lance for the Proskomedia before Orthros.

Andrew
Dear Andrew and Dave,

Thank you both for your replies. My cantor thought the Melkite Church also used a spoon. If not, I am a bit surprised.

In Christ,

Michael
St. Joseph's Melkite Church in Akron, OH does not use a spoon, neither does Saint John of the Desert in Phoenix, Az (I don't think).

The Eparchy of Newton website has an article that says that either method is allowed for the Melkites.
I don't understand why if the Melkites come from the Byzantine tradition they would not use a spoon. Does the priest dip the lamb in wine and then place it in everybody's mouth? How do the prevent the blood from being spilled?

Andrew
Rilian,

It is a situation one should probably see for one's self.

There are two individuals that stand on either side of the Priest and/or deacon. They hold a large rectangular ornate cloth and each end. This is held under the chalice and the plate on which the lamb rests. A altar server holds the chalice (he stands slighty behind the Priest or deacon). The Priest ore deacon takes plate (metal paten?) in one hand and with the other hand dips the lamb in the chalice and the communicant who has appraoched (after a repentance and sign of the cross) steps forward, close to the cloth.

At this point, I have observed two customs. Either the person will make a slight bend action and grab the cloth and place it under the chin or the communicant will simply come very close, so that their is no distance from them and the cloth.

In this way, there is assurance that should the Lord's Body or blood fall, it would fall on the cloth and not on the floor.

I hope I have provided a sufficient explanation!

May God Bless You,
Chels
How is the Lamb prepared, is it squared like antidoron during the proskomedia?

Andrew
Andrew,

There are two theories on why the Melkites do this. One is that the French introduced this because they thought the spoon unsanitary and were worried about the Plague. The other is that they picked it up from the Maronites, which sounds more plausible to me.

The Lamb is cut into long rectangles rather than cubes so they can be intincted without the priest or deacon getting his fingers wet with the Precious Blood.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Andrew,

I am unaware of the answer to that specific question, sorry.

It seems to me that as much as the Melkites are Byzantine, they would like to retain certain things of Syrian tradition. Inticntion seems to be one of those things.

I agree with Deacon Lance (who I thank for being informative, as always).

I hope this helps.

May God's Blessings be upon you!
Chels
It is often forgotten that they were originally like the Antiochians of the Syrian Rite. However it does not explain why the 2 churches should have a difference in practice as to the way they give Communion. I can't see hygiene being the reason as westerners would have had no real concept of that until very recent times. The question I would ask is why maintian these differences. I cant help but think it is times like this that the Congregation for Oriental Churches shows how ineffectual it can be, that it does not insist on these differences being dropped.

ICXC
NIKA

ICXC
NIKA
Quote
It seems to me that as much as the Melkites are Byzantine, they would like to retain certain things of Syrian tradition. Inticntion seems to be one of those things.
Was this a retention or re-introduction though? I thought the west Syrian liturgy pretty much fell out of use well before the 18th century.

Andrew
No spoon in the Italo-Greek Rite! wink
Only for babies. The strange thing is they still have the Latin First Communion in the south of Italy.

ICXC
NIKA
Rilian,

I am still very new to many of the litugical-historical aspects of the Melkites.

I can say though, at least in America, the Melkites have always be heavily latinized until recent times, so much of the Traditions can be spoken of as being re-introduced.
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