Latin Catholic by birth, Byzantine Catholic by the grace of God.
Pro: Restoration of the Holy and Universal Christian Roman Empire.
Caveat: The author makes no claim to being an exemplar of Catholicism or Monarchism (or blogging).
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Location: Upstate, New York, United States

Thursday, December 18, 2003

A perfect fit

So, Michael Jackson has joined the Nation of Islam. Perfect religion for a man who likes children so much. Mohammed and his nine-year-old bride would be proud.

Please, PLEASE, start wearing a burqa.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

No contest!

There is no comparison between the East and Latin masses. The beauty, mystery, and power of the Eastern Mass I attended dwarfed any previous mass, including the Tridentine (although that may have more to do with the priest at my local Tridentine parish.)

The Mass of St. John Chrysostom is 1,700 year old, and just wonderful. The incense, the parishioners' devotion, the chant ... it's all amazing.

Nor did the priest pull any punches in his homily. I was told Catholicism is the only true religion, and Catholics who don't go to church think they are too good for God. No pabulum, no childrens' choir, no folk group, no genderless langauge, no Vaudeville; it's just you and God.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Know your place, aesthetically

I planned on writing a screed about a local talk radio host doing a "conservative talk" format, and failing badly. He reminds me of an English professor who told my class to avoid love poems in favor of other topics, "unless you can compete with Shakespeare." Instead of explaining this concept in the long form, I thought I'd just use a few examples and the point would be made.

Unless you can match Rush Limbaugh, don't do conservative talk radio.

Unless you can top The Who, don't write new classic rock.

Unless you can outdo Dostoyevski, don't publish stream-of-consciousness novels.

Otherwise, you're just embarassing yourself.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Snowed out

I got snowed out yesterday and today from heading to check out any Eastern Rite parishes. One of my friends called it an Act of God... funny, but inaccurate. The Vatican even says all rites have equal standing.

I generally avoid going places I've never been during poor weather. Not because of myself, but because a little inclement weather seems to turn everyone else into a herd of doofuses. A soccer mom almost hit me in her minivan just going to a store around the corner.

Because of the snow, I went to the closest church to me, St. Edward the Confessor. Named for such a great saint, the masses they say are such a steaming pile. I'll try again next Saturday.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Eastward Ho

On Saturday, I will begin my tour of the local Eastern Rite churches. I haven't been this spiritually excited in a very long time. Two of them are Ukrainian, and one is Ruthenian. Of course, they are all in communion with Rome.

The Eastern Rites are mostly churches reconnected to the Holy See after schism. They were Orthodox, and they retain their ancient ceremonies (some date back to the fourth century).

I'm hoping they will be my personal cure to the malaise of the Novus Ordo Western liturgy. I'm not leaving the Latin Rite; my ancestors have been Latin for at least 1,000 years. But, the East may be a calm in the storm while the West gets its act back together.

I have, through most of my life, had to push myself to attend mass. This condition has only been worsened by my ongoing reading into liturgical and church history. Something is missing from the Novus Ordo, the post-Vatican II mass. I don't need to go into all the reasons why separating from Rome is foolish, so when I when church touring the last time, I concentrated my efforts in a local Tridentine parish, offering the Latin Mass. You can feel and comprehend the presence of God in it, but not being raised with it, I've had a lot of difficulty comprehending the Latin/English translation, especially since they don't use microphones. Still, at the Latin Mass, you'll never leave feeling you've wasted your time on folk music and Vaudevillian nonsense with children's participation.

Many of the masses are in Ukrainian, which is fine, because it is their sacred language, as Latin is ours. The 4pm Saturday Mass is in English, which is where I will begin my exploration. If they use a microphone, or are at least audible, I'll have a much easier time following along even in another tongue. Further, most of their masses are sung or chanted, and heavily accented with incense and motion.

To change rites requires a formal request to the local diocese and eparchy (their equivalent), which I will not likely do. Come to think of it, I would enjoy bragging to my friends that leftist Bishop Howard Hubbard is no longer my bishop! Imagine being Catholic and not having to attend a Protestant-style American Mass!