Wonder & Awe, Byzantine Russian Catholic Style

30 Dec


My Normal Sunday Mass is the Tridentine Latin Mass. But, I was in a Byzantine Mood. After all, Catholic is Catholic and I sought The Byzantine Rite on The Gregorian Calendar & Not the Julian Calendar. Put in Byzantine Rite Catholic Terms, my Primary Sunday Mass is The Tridentine Divine Liturgy Of St Pius V.
It was November of 2013, when, after listening to my Nuns in Catholic Elementary School, waiting over 40 Years to do it, when I began to attend the Byzantine Rite Catholic Divine Liturgy Of St John Chrysostom, at St. George Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the East Village on E7th Street.
I listened to a Tridentine Latin Mass Attendee at Holy Innocents RC Church in Midtown Manhattan, in fact, two of them, who told me about St. Michael’s Russian Catholic Chapel, on the Property of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral Parish in Little Italy, only a block away from East Houston Street.
As it is one of only 4 such Churches left in the United States, three of them are affiliated under the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton, MA. This one Russian Catholic Chapel, while of Byzantine Rite, is under the Auspices of The Latin Rite Archbishop, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York.
And as Sunday, 12/27/2015 was the 31st Sunday After Pentecost in The Byzantine Rite, there were TWO Commemorations, one of St. Joseph, leading Blessed Mary Theotokos & Jesus out of Palestine into Egypt & of The Martyrdom of Protodeacon St. Stephen, 1st Martyr of The Church(Latin Rite Feastday on 12/26). Because of The Rage of King Herod, believing that the Three Magi had deceived him, he ordered all 1st Born Males under the Age of Two Years of age, slain, in his search for The Christ Child. This Gospel of St. Matthew was also read on The Feast Of The Holy Innocents on Monday, 12/28/2015. It was a powerful Gospel.
This was The Divine Liturgy Of St James The Apostle, 1st Bishop of Jerusalem. The Divine Liturgy Of St James is the OLDEST Liturgy Of The Catholic Church, both East & West. James is a Cousin of Jesus, or “Brother Of The Lord.” This Liturgy is from 60 AD. It is the Root Liturgy for The Divine Liturgies of St John Chrysostom and St. Basil The Great. The Divine Liturgies are Sung, with the Human Voice as the Musical Instrument. There is No Organist. There is a Choir(Tridentine Version is The Schola).
Some Litany Chants were done in Slavonic, some were done in Russian, with the majority done in English.
The Reception of Holy Communion followed an Ancient Antiochian Formula. One appears before an Acolyte holding Thurible where one incenses ones hands, one then bows before The Priest, who recites the words Body of Christ, when one responds Amen. The Priest puts a tiny piece of The Corpus Christi on the Right Palm & one consumes this piece right away. The Byzantine Rite uses Leavened Bread in The Consecration. Then one appears and bows before The Deacon, who says “Blood OF Christ”, followed by Amen. The Deacon controls the Sacred Chalice. Absolutely no Laity perform this function. And as it should be. The Novus Ordo Mass has Unconsecrated Laity perform this function, hence the New Roman Rite, is engaged in Sacreligious Practices.
In the case of the Lector, a Female, she faced East when reading the Epistle of St. Paul The Apostle to The Galatians & sang the Epistle. The Choir sang the Graduale. The Deacon Proclaimed The Gospel According To St. Matthew The Apostle.
I wish that when Converts enter The Catholic Church, especially via the Roman/Latin Rite, that they instruct these Converts that there are 22 Sui Juris Eastern Catholic Churches in Union with the Holy See. I love how they do the Prayers for The Pope, Bishops, Priests, Deacons & Laity.
There is another thing in that you will make the Sign Of The Cross approximately 20 Times.
For you Nonathletic Novus Ordo Roman Rite Catholics, between bows & Signs of The Cross, be prepared to “Break a little Sweat.”

It’s CATHOLIC!

Kyrie Elaison!

M

Kyrie Elaison

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