Latin Catholic by birth, Byzantine Catholic by the grace of God.
Pro: Restoration of the Holy and Universal Christian Roman Empire.
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Location: Upstate, New York, United States

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!

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