Latin Catholic by birth, Byzantine Catholic by the grace of God.
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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Replies to replies on the last post

To GFvonB: Sure the Maronite liturgy is altered, and some of the Latinizations are now generations old. The versus populi stance really does put one off, and they have the Novus Ordo-style useless deacon (compare to the Byzantine deacon), but otherwise their liturgy runs from inoffensive to impressive.

I'm in the Albany Diocese, so I'm not one to be fussy. You get up to five languages at almost every liturgy: Arabic, English, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. And the earthy, Semitic-style phrasing is nice, too.

To IQ: I've only seen three Eastern Liturgies: Ukrainian St. Chrysostom, Ruthenian St. Chrysostom, and Maronite St. James. Once a year the Ukies have a Liturgy of St. Basil around here, but I've never gone (apparently, St. Basil's is an earlier version of St. Chrysostom's - very similar, but longer and more repetitious, so they tell me.).

From those three, I'd personally pick the Ukrainian as the best. Scuttlebut has it that the Melkite Liturgy of St. Chrysostom is the real Gold Medal Winner of the Byzantine family, but good luck finding a parish.

Of the other Syriac churches and their Asian offshoots, the Alexandrian family, and any of the tiny churches that have cleaved back on after a schism or two, I know very little. Maybe Mr. Yong is floating around and can definitively name The Best Liturgy.


Incidentally, the "useless deacon" phenomenon is worthy of its own post. Some day.


Blogger Inquisitor Generalis said...

Yes, I would definitely like to see the Greek Melkite DL. I guess they're actually more arab than Greek, which makes me even more curious. Of course, I have some Greek Byzantine chant that sounds pretty middle eastern to my ears, anyway.

If you're into all of that Eastern style chant stuff, I can find you some Serbian Orthodox chant that's really good. Sounds really dark and mystical. Have you ever heard Syrian Orthodox chant? They're another one of the non-Chalcedonian groups, like the Coptic Orthodox. Of course, I've heard that the Coptic Catholics have a liturgy that's pretty much exactly the same as the Coptic Orthodox liturgy, and that's another one I'd like to see.

Anyway, now I'm just rambling, hopefully what I've written makes sense.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005 6:52:00 PM  
Blogger Inquisitor Generalis said...

Actually, while I'm on the subject, did you know that there are some ancient Christian communities as far away as India? Many of them have re-united w/the Catholic Church, but some have obtained their orders from the Syrian Orthodox branch.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005 6:55:00 PM  
Blogger GFvonB said...

I suppose I'll give you that it's less offensive than the Latin NO. The only liturgy I attended was when Patriarch Cardinal Sfeir of Antioch and All the East visited the Cathedral of St. Paul. It was definitely Latinized and Novus-Ordofied, but perhaps that had more to do with the venue and the planners...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005 8:57:00 PM  
Blogger GFvonB said...

By the way, you two, I'm looking for someone to start compiling Eastern Catholic resources for Are either of you interested?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005 8:58:00 PM  
Blogger Guy Haraldsson said...

IQ: I have heard some Syrian Orthodox chant. It sounds really foreign to my ears.

I've never heard Serbian Orthodox chant. Is it like Russian? Russian is impressive.

GFvonB: I'd be happy to kick in on the Eastern Catholic resources.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 7:31:00 PM  
Blogger Inquisitor Generalis said...

Both of you should give this a try:

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:43:00 PM  
Blogger Sprezzatura said...

Guy - the Latinisation of the Maronite Liturgy began in the Middle Ages. It got so bad that at one point, they were using the Roman Rituale and Pontificale for the most part, and had dropped Syrian vestments in favour of Roman ones. Thankfully, after V2, most of this nonsense had stopped.

The best EC liturgies of the Byzantine family have to be those of the tiny Hellenic Greek-Catholic comunity (i.e. Greeks in Greece) and the Russian Catholics (usually in the diaspora). Naturally, as I'm a member of the Russian Church, I'd put my money on the Russians having the best liturgy - having been in communion with Rome the least, our liturgies aren't infected either with Novus Ordo or the Tridentine rite.

Of the rites further east, it's difficult to name a favourite. I'm most familiar with the Armenian and Syrian rites. The Armenians have latinisations that're quite cute - their latinisations came in at the Crusades, so they have the 42nd Psalm and Last Gospel, while their bishops all wear latin mitres (the really tall and decorated variety). The Indian Syrians tend to 'feel' very authentically Eastern. The Copts have a liturgy rendolent of the desert hermits - very bare, very psalmody-based. I'd love to see what a proper Ethiopian liturgy is like - I'm told the only places where it's done properly are Ethiopia and the Ethiopian College at Rome. Unfortunately, both the Coptic and Ethopian Catholics have a highly latinised, abbreviated and truncated liturgy...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 12:38:00 AM  
Blogger Bernard Brandt said...

I would have to agree with Sprezzatura on at least one matter: as regards liturgy, Russian Catholics generally leave Ukies and Carpathos in the dust.

By the way, how does one get on the list of Evil Traditionalists?

Saturday, September 24, 2005 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Guy Haraldsson said...

Go to the "Ring Hub" at the bottom of this page, and apply.

If you think you are eeevil enough.

Saturday, September 24, 2005 10:39:00 AM  

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