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Posted By: OrthoMan My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 03:13 PM
Yesterday I took a ride back upstate to my home parish in the coal regions of Pennsylvania. Purpose of the trip was twofold - To visit my parents graves and place the traditional Pysanky and an Icon on the their grave for Pascha. Also to pick up twelve loaves of the most delicious Pascha breads I have ever tasted. Each year I give them to my so called God Children (the people that I have sponsored when they converted to Orthodoxy). Those wonderful ladies of the parish baked a total of 820 Pascha breads this year for both Easters. And they are all in the eighties! Wonderful people but as stubborn as ever (and I say that with love).
They invited us (my neighor and myself) to have lunch with them. I asked how they liked the new priest who has been there a year now. WHAT A MISTAKE!
Because then I got the old "Father is trying to change everything sermon." This is another good topic for discussion between Orthodox and Byzantine Catholics since you will face the same issues as you try and get rid of the latinizations. Now this comes AFTER NINETY YEARS OF THE PARISHS EXISTENCE!

"Fathers trying to change everything. We always had the midnight Easter Ressurection Matins which ended with the homily of St John Chrysostom. Then we went outside (if it wasn't raining and Blessed the baskets and went home. Liturgy was in the morning on Pascha, not in the night. Now Father wants to change it and go right through. I never heard of such a thing."
With a 'why did I ever ask' thought I very patiently tried to explain that Father was right. It was not an Orthodox custom to split the services. Because of the split services, most people in the parish go home with their Blessed baskets after Matins and break the fast by eating the Blessed food. Many do not come back for Liturgy the next morning. And many of those that do, do not go to Communion on the Holiest Day in Christiandom because they had already broke the fast. This is wrong and is why Father is trying to change it to the way it's supposed to be. The reply I got was -"Well, we've been doing it this way for over ninety years. And if it was wrong someone would have changed it by now! AND NOTHING IS TO BE CHANGED" Ya gotta love em by Yoy Boshe!
I think this practice of a split service was brought back from the Unia but I'm not sure. It took the priest in my present parish FIFTEEN YEARS to prepare the people to go right through. When he annouced it about five years ago there were people who complained. The first year some people left after Matins and went to another parish for the Liturgy the next day. The next year some of them stayed. And after five years no one leaves and no one left the parish because of it. But that will not happen in my home parish upstate! There are still OCA parishes that have a split service and the priests are having a hard time correcting this.
So, what is the practice in the Byzantine Catholic Church and what are your opinions on changing if need be?

OrthoMan
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 03:24 PM
Dear Orthoman,

How lucky you are to have such a rich and beautiful personal heritage!

Well, our Ukie Cath'lic parishes usually have Resurrection Matins and the Divine Liturgy, one after the other, beginning at 6:00 am in the morning on Easter.

The parish I attend now does have the Resurrection Matins at night, people go home and EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE comes back the next morning for Divine Liturgy.

More people come to the Divine Liturgy than to the Resurrection Matins, for some reason, undoubtedly a Latinization (we blame all our problems on this, why not one more? smile )

Then, of course, there is St Elias in Brampton, which is more Orthodox than even our Orthodox smile .

And I mean that with love too!

And our Orthodox Churches, 90% of which are formerly Eastern Catholics, do tend to have services starting with Matins at 6:00 am in the morning.

To have a "broken service" is a sign that one is becoming more Eastern. . .

Alex
Posted By: Mikey Stilts Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 03:52 PM
Christos Voskrese!
Vostinnu Voskrese!

At the Ruthenian parish I went to this past Pascha, we had Matins at 8am then right into the Divine Liturgy. It was my first "Eastern Easter" (as my girlfriend calls it) and I can't wait to do it again next year! smile

In Christ,
Mikey.
Posted By: OrthoMan Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 04:11 PM
[To have a "broken service" is a sign that one is becoming more Eastern. . .

Alex]

How Alex? Other than the slavic people who returned to Orthodoxy I don't know of any other Orthodox Church that has a split service. I attended an Albanian Orthodox Church for five years. The went right thru. All the Greek parishes go right through.

It is interesting to hear that some parishes start at 6 a.m. in the morning and have a combined service. This may be a solution for some of the more stubborn parishes. Personally I like the midnight start better. And the Agape meal with all that food from so many traditions!!!! Myself and two others always chip in and buy the lamb which is done to perfection by a Greek! Excuse me, I'm suffering from lenten fast syndrome!

OrthoMan
Posted By: OrthoMan Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 04:15 PM
[The parish I attend now does have the Resurrection Matins at night, people go home and
EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE comes back the next morning for Divine Liturgy.]

So when do you have the baskets Blessed? And how many of those EVERYONE part take of Communion? And what are the fasting requirements for receiving Communion on Pascha? Are they the Orthodox or are they the Roman Catholic which would allow you all to break the fast after the Matins service and still receive Communion at the Liturgy?

OrthoMan
Posted By: RichC Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 04:34 PM
In Harrisburg, Pa. our BC parish has been, for at least the last 15 years if memory serves me:

Saturday, 8 or 9 p.m.: Resurrection Matins with Divine Liturgy; blessing of Paschal baskets follows in the parish center. The entire service w/basket blessing usually is over in about 2 hours.

Sunday, 10:30 a.m.: second Divine Liturgy. Blessing of Paschal baskets follows, sometimes on the church lawn, weather permitting.


The OCA parish across the street has a similar Saturday night schedule, with Nocturns, Matins and Liturgy. But then no Liturgy on Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon the parish gathers for the Agape Vespers and a communal meal.
Posted By: durak Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 05:07 PM
AWOL in these descriptions is the Saturday Vespers/St.Basil Liturgy in late afternoon. Is this not the true Resurrection Liturgy, with priests changing into white for the Gospel? Baskets may be blessed (and partaken of) afterwards, Resurrection Matins can be celebrated Saturday night or Sunday morning, followed by a St. John Chrysostom Liturgy. Correct me if I am mistaken, but was not the Passaic Eparchy's Cathedral schedule (I never have attended) for the past couple years: Vespers, St. Basil, Matins, taken in a row? What do other Cathedral parishes do? Those would be the models for the parish churches, one would think.

Just an ordinary kind of fool.

[ 04-24-2002: Message edited by: durak ]
Posted By: Mor Ephrem Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 05:30 PM
Quote
Originally posted by OrthoMan:
Are they the Orthodox or are they the Roman Catholic which would allow you all to break the fast after the Matins service and still receive Communion at the Liturgy?


Dear OrthoMan,

I am not entirely sure about your fasting regulations (I'm learning slowly, though...), but for us Syrians, it's rather simple.

Holy Saturday we have Liturgy around noon. It commemorates Christ's descent into Hades. The liturgical texts are hopeful and optimistic sounding, but the Liturgy is celebrated in a low voice, with low singing, in black vestments, and so clearly isn't a "Resurrectional" kind of Liturgy.

But when evening comes, we celebrate Vespers for Easter Sunday, and so for us, traditionally, after Vespers of Easter is sung, Lent is over, and we can break the fast and still receive Communion on Sunday. To this end, it helps that we don't have a midnight service Saturday night, but only a morning Liturgy following Matins and the Hours on Sunday...this facilitates breaking the fast. wink For us, as far as fasting goes, it's all about Vespers...once Vespers begins on Saturday evening, Lent is over. We still have to observe the pre-Communion fast, but otherwise, we're free.

Blessings to you during the remainder of the Fast.

P.S. I think Alex in another thread was singing your praises, and I thought to myself: "OrthoMan"...he should have a tee shirt with an O emblazoned on it and take it out when trouble arises and be like a superhero. Perhaps you should invest in just such a shirt? I think it'd be cool. smile
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 05:57 PM
It's a bird, no, it's a plane - it's . . .
ORTHOMAN!!

I think the shirt Mor Ephrem is alluding to should have an "O" at the centre surrounding an Orthodox Cross! Now THAT would be cool! smile

With respect to the broken service, I think our earlier Pastor, now reposed, wanted to slowly get our parishioners used to the Paschal services held at night. He died before he got around getting them to have the Liturgy after the Matins.

But having anything at night for Easter was and is considered "hyper-Orthodox or Byzantine" by some Ukie Cath'lics, even Ukie Orthodox, many of whom come from the Eastern Catholic tradition, like your God Children smile

In my parish, they begin blessing Easter baskets starting at 5:00 pm on Holy Saturday evening until 8:30 pm, every half hour.

After going home following Resurrectional Matins, we are warned not to break the fast until we attend Divine Liturgy and Communion on Eastern morning.

It makes things difficult carrying the baskets with you, keeping them in the car going home.

A heightened torture of the senses, I say.

In some ways, if you aren't going to have Liturgy at night, it is better to have Matins and the Liturgy together Sunday morning together.

For many in my family, if one doesn't get up really early for Easter, it just isn't Easter . . .

Alex
Posted By: OrthoMan Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 06:58 PM
[I think the shirt Mor Ephrem is alluding to should have an "O" at the centre surrounding an Orthodox Cross! Now THAT would be cool! ]

But I already have three shirts with a large Orthodox Three Bar Cross on them. One in black, one in blue, and one in red. You can get them at St Tikhons Seminary bookstore. All three shirts were Christmas presents. All with a white Cross! Now the Pascha breads I brought back are all round with braiding all around (O) with a Three Bar Cross in the middle. Maybe if I take a picture of of one and put it on a T-shirt! Would that suffice?

[After going home following Resurrectional Matins, we are warned not to break the fast
until we attend Divine Liturgy and Communion on Eastern morning.]

Glad to hear that you still adhere to the Orthodox fasting practices. Though I am now totally confused. Didn't I read here once that Byzantine Catholics can have food an hour or two before Communion? What are the standard fasting practices before receiving Communion or do they vary? Also, do you still retain the tradition that after receiving Communion you take unconsecrated wine and Blessed Prosphora to wash down the Communion elements?

[In some ways, if you aren't going to have Liturgy at night, it is better to have Matins and the Liturgy together Sunday morning together.]

I agree.

Mor Ephrem writes:

[I am not entirely sure about your fasting regulations (I'm learning slowly, though...), but
for us Syrians, it's rather simple.]

Fasting regulations for receiving Communion are - (1) If you are to receive Communion at Liturgy nothing (including water) is to be taken after midnight; (2) If you are going to Receive Communion at an evening Presanctified Liturgy nothing is to be taken after 12 or 1 O'Clock midday.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 07:08 PM
Dear Orthoman,

Regarding the Communion fasting regulations, our Latinized parishes say they follow the practices as established in the RC Churches (no food one hour before Communion etc.).

But our traditional "Orthodox in union with Rome" parishes, one of which is mine, adhere to the ancient discipline and print the regulations in the bulletin for all to see.

In such parishes, as in my own, if you break the traditional fast, you must confess it.

We had a very holy monk who recently went back to Ukraine to die, someone who slept on the floor and recited the Jesus Prayer ceaselessly.

He "really gave it" to a woman who confessed she broke the traditional Communion fast.

So we're like the Anglicans in this regard: "High and Crazy," "Middle and Hazy" and "Low and Lazy."

A blessed Holy Week to you, Orthoman, and a Holy Pascha and Bright Week, and to all you Orthodox Christians. Amen!

Alex
Posted By: OrthoMan Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 07:34 PM
Alex:

Loved your 'high & crazy', 'middle & hazy', 'low & lazy' remark.

Thank you for you best wishes for Holy Week.

OrthoMan
Posted By: Chtec Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 09:05 PM
Quote
Other than the slavic people who returned to Orthodoxy I don't know of any other Orthodox Church that has a split service. I attended an
Albanian Orthodox Church for five years. The went right thru. All the Greek parishes go right through.

I remember hearing that the Serbs break up the Matins and Liturgy for Pascha. I checked the schedule of a couple of Serbian Orthodox Churches online, and they list the Liturgy in the morning. So, I don't think it's just a supposed "ex Uniate" thing. Remember, too, that Serbia and Carpatho-Rus were both part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, so there could be a common influence.

In those parishes where the people like the Matins and Liturgy split, and where there are worries about people breaking the fast before Liturgy, why not try this: Basket Blessings Following the Divine Liturgy. Period. This way, you can have the Matins apart from the Liturgy, and assure that people will not eat their Paschal food until after Liturgy. And if they eat the foods without getting them blessed, we all know that they won't taste as good unless they're sprinkled with Holy Water. wink
Posted By: Mor Ephrem Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 09:54 PM
Quote
Originally posted by OrthoMan:
Fasting regulations for receiving Communion are - (1) If you are to receive Communion at Liturgy nothing (including water) is to be taken after midnight; (2) If you are going to Receive Communion at an evening Presanctified Liturgy nothing is to be taken after 12 or 1 O'Clock midday.

Dear OrthoMan,

Thanks. We don't have presanctified Liturgies, so that's a moot point with us, but I'm happy to see that generally, your fasting regulations and ours are the same, at least for most of the year (we still have that difference as far as Easter goes...even then, there are those who keep the fast till after Sunday's Liturgy). There are also those who extend the fast by forgoing anything to eat after Vespers has begun...no dinner or water or anything Saturday night, and then the same fasting regulations as you guys till the morning.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/24/02 10:17 PM
Orthoman Bob,

To clear up any confusion I post the Canons of the Ruthenian Catholic Metropolia in the US.

"Canon 707

�2. The Eucharistic fast shall be from solids one hour before the reception of the Divine Eucharist. Medications and water may be taken anytime.


Canon 880

�2. Strict abstinence is to be observed on the first day of the Great Fast and on Great Friday. Simple abstinence is to be observed on Wednesdays and Fridays of the Great Fast.

�3. Simple abstinence or an equivalent penance is to be observed on all Fridays throughout the year."


These are the bare minimum requirements. Observance of abstinence and fast on traditional days and fast periods is encouraged and is a laudable practice.

In Christ,
Lance, deacon candidate
Posted By: OrthoMan Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/25/02 02:33 AM
Thanks Lance. Excuse my honesty but this is just another reason I disagree with the 'Orthodox In Communion with Rome' analogy.

OrthoMan
Posted By: NDHoosier Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/25/02 02:59 AM
Quote
Originally posted by OrthoMan:
...this is just another reason I disagree with the 'Orthodox In Communion with Rome' analogy.

OrthoMan

We're workin' on it, K?

Actually, I encourage my pastor to be as Orthodox as possible...

Fasting has never been my thing. One look at me and you would call me a philosopher of the obvious...

Philip's Fast (rather than the Great Fast) is probably the most difficult fast in the Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Church. I've been adjusting to the tougher fasting requirements (as compared to the Latin Church). I plan on approaching a more traditional fast next Great Lent.

I will say that there is a particularly wonderful spiritual effect that comes from fasting. Besides, when you have to pass on the pork chops at the restaurant you went to with your Roman Catholic and Protestant friends, it really does give you a wonderful sense of identity.

Just another thought on the way to Constantinople...
Posted By: RichC Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/25/02 04:00 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Lance:
"Canon 707

�2. The Eucharistic fast shall be from solids one hour before the reception of the Divine Eucharist. Medications and water may be taken anytime.

I'm going to start keeping a stock of coffee cakes in my car so I can wolf one down before I enter the church doors. Fortunately, the Liturgy here is not abbreviated too much, so if there's a homily, I should squeak by with just over an hour's fast. :rolleyes:

[ 04-25-2002: Message edited by: RichC ]
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/25/02 12:44 PM
Dear Orthoman,

Thank you for your kindness!

Even if our Eastern Catholic Churches "officially" prescribe this or that in "keeping up with the Latins," I think it is incumbent on all Eastern Catholics to follow their own Particular traditions, and that means the traditional Communion fast.

As a diabetic, I can vouch for the fact that it hasn't killed me yet smile

Alex
Posted By: OrthoMan Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/25/02 02:02 PM
[As a diabetic, I can vouch for the fact that it hasn't killed me yet]

Alex. I am also a diabetic and have gone through two bouts with cancer. I have to take medication in the morning that should not be taken on an empty stomach. So, at times I take (with my priests knowledge) just enough milk to coat my stomach and get the pill down. But when I do, in spite of everything I feel quilty, so on most occasions I still fast and take the medication immediately after Liturgy after Communion.
Guess its the way I was brought up and taught regarding the fast. Its hard for me to change even though I have been told its okay based on my particular medical problems.

OrthoMan
Posted By: Robert K. Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/27/02 05:43 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Lance:
Orthoman Bob,

To clear up any confusion I post the Canons of the Ruthenian Catholic Metropolia in the US.

"Canon 707

�2. The Eucharistic fast shall be from solids one hour before the reception of the Divine Eucharist. Medications and water may be taken anytime.


Canon 880

�2. Strict abstinence is to be observed on the first day of the Great Fast and on Great Friday. Simple abstinence is to be observed on Wednesdays and Fridays of the Great Fast.

�3. Simple abstinence or an equivalent penance is to be observed on all Fridays throughout the year."


These are the bare minimum requirements. Observance of abstinence and fast on traditional days and fast periods is encouraged and is a laudable practice.

In Christ,
Lance, deacon candidate


Actually, these fasting requirments sound far more reasonable for a twentieth century American like myself to follow then the amazingly strict ones the Orthodox keep.

Unfortunatly, I always had a really hard time trying to observe the strict Orthodox fasting requirments since I, not having been raised Orthodox, was never exposed to any sort of self disiplinary fasting. I really dont know how some Orthodox and other Eastern Christians keep all these strict laws, especially in this day and age?

THe Ruthenian Church (Which will hopefully be my future home) Has clearly created a more simplistic form of fasting that all may easily follow probably because few people actually kept these strict fast anyway and after all, youve got to hold on to your youth.

Robert K.
Posted By: RichC Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/27/02 07:02 PM
Unfortunately, even though the traditional fast is *sometimes* talked about, as an "ideal," we're at the point that most of our people have never even heard of the traditional fast. And when by chance it is presented to them, they think of it as incredibly draconian. "Well, the Roman Catholics don't have to do that, why should we??" Once again, mediocrity becomes the norm.
Posted By: Robert K. Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/28/02 07:11 PM
Quote
Originally posted by RichC:
Unfortunately, even though the traditional fast is *sometimes* talked about, as an "ideal," we're at the point that most of our people have never even heard of the traditional fast. And when by chance it is presented to them, they think of it as incredibly draconian. "Well, the Roman Catholics don't have to do that, why should we??" Once again, mediocrity becomes the norm.

Mediocraty becomes the norm because no one can be expected to realistically follow such a stringent set of fasting guidlines in this day and age. THe Church was pastorally wise when she decided to use her powers to abridge a man made set of laws that were drawn up in an entirely different era. Things like fasting and the calendar are man made guidlines that the Church has every right to alter or even abolish when they cease to work or even be relevant to members of the Church.

How could anyone outside of a peasant village keep the requirments of the traditional Byzantine fast? Abstinance from meat is one thing, but when you get into diary products, fish, and oils then you seriously reduce what is available to us with our modern dietary habits. Even numerous Orthodox jurisdictions in this country have loosened their fasting regulations to meet the demands of modern life.

Robert K.
Posted By: Mor Ephrem Re: My Trip Back Home - 04/29/02 06:38 PM
Dear Robert,

For the past couple of years, I've kept the traditional Indian Syrian Lenten fast, which from what I hear is a little more strict than the traditional Byzantine fast. In college. Where there already isn't much worthwhile to eat to begin with.

It is a struggle, a big one, and when you've eaten three full weeks of all the plain salad you could ever desire in life for your one meal of the day, almost anything looks good. Nevertheless, by the grace of God, I pull through. The fourth week is always the toughest for me...for that whole week, I dreamt of roast beef. Constantly. But I got through it.

And, and you must believe me on this, as I'm coming to realise this more and more, and I'm not putting on false humility either, I am the weakest of God's servants.

Victory over my dinnertime appetite during Lent is the only victory I can claim...I've fallen innumerable times with just about everything else. So if I can do this, anyone can...it just takes God, determination, prayer, prayer, perhaps some unappetising college food, but always prayer.

But if the fast is divorced from prayer, it is fruitless...this also I learned the hard way. So, for me, it's not the fast that's hard...it's the fight against sin, it's the prayer needed for the fast...this is the real battle for me, not the champagne wishes and roast beef dreams.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: My Trip Back Home - 05/01/02 01:55 PM
Dear Orthoman,

Diabetic or not, you should stay away from sugar since you are already sweet enough! smile

You remind me of my Carpatho-Russian Orthodox former boss who took a bit of milk with his coffee in Lent and had terrible guilt feelings about it.

God blesses his scrupulous servants with special graces!

Alex
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