Saturday, June 28, 2008

Liturgy: Countdown to my first Catholic Divine Liturgy

Praise God! I'll be in Allentown, PA over the 4th of July weekend, and one of my growing desires will be satisfied (or temporarily quenched) on Saturday evening. I will be attending Vespers and the Divine Liturgy at St. Michael's Byzantine Catholic Church at 5:00pm that night. I've invited my family members to come along too, if any are interested.

Update: ooh, maybe I'll go Thursday and/or Friday mornings too, as preparation, and to introduce myself to the pastor. And just in case something goes awry on Saturday and I can't make it.

I am thrilled that I will finally be able to experience a Catholic Divine Liturgy. Ever since I attended an Orthodox Divine Liturgy (last year!) and attended their Vespers services a couple times since then (including this evening), I have strongly yearned for the "best of both worlds", as it were: an Eastern Christian liturgy at which I could receive Holy Communion, where the priest and faithful are in Communion with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

Please pray for me (and anyone who comes with me), that I might worship God fittingly and properly, and receive many graces from it. Please also pray for that parish, for its priests and deacons and faithful.


Matt said...

A couple years ago I attended my first Divine Liturgy and blogged about it. You might be interested to read my experience.

japhy said...

Thanks, Matt. I'll be sure to read it before I go.

Moonshadow said...

I've attended a Byzantine rite service - in Washington Township on Route 130 - and should again. 'Though I didn't think we were allowed to receive communion, technically? I mean, it's discouraged, isn't it? Well, I didn't receive.

The proceedings were very simple, very low-key, very humble ... and I really liked it! (beliefnet tells me that I'm a Quaker at heart! :-) )


japhy said...

A Catholic may receive Communion (and have their Sunday obligation fulfilled) in ANY Catholic Rite.

A Byzantine Catholic Church is a Catholic Church. :) Now, a Byzantine Orthodox Church is another matter. I've attended a D.L. at the Orthodox Church that meets in the crypt at the Vincentian Seminary here, and I do not receive there. It's not right. I'm not in Communion with them.

But Latin Rite Catholics and Byzantine Rite Catholics are in Communion with each other (and with the Pope, of course).

Moonshadow said...

Let me say this differently ...

A Catholic may receive Communion (and have their Sunday obligation fulfilled) in ANY Catholic Rite.

Yes, that's accurate, according to canon law - 1248, §1; 923.

However, there is plenty of encouragement - no doubt aimed principally at Eastern Catholics but certainly applicable to us - to participate normally in the sui iuris or particular Church to which we belong:

"Finally, each and every Catholic, as also the baptized of every non-Catholic church or denomination who enters into the fullness of the Catholic communion, must retain his own rite wherever he is, must cherish it and observe it to the best of his ability ..." - Orientalium Ecclesiarium, 4.

japhy said...

I think that's directed particularly at people considering changing Rites (which is possible, but needs permission).

I would say I am certainly retain my Rite and I do cherish it. And, since I will be going to Sunday Mass with my family, I will be indeed be observing it.

But I would think too strict a reading of O.E. n. 4 would be harmful to the Church. It's like a mother telling her children NOT to share, or that they may not play with each other.

japhy said...

Oh, not to mention, at many Papal liturgies, there are Catholics from virtually every Rite present.

Moonshadow said...

If we Latins are supposed to familiarize ourselves with Eastern Catholicism, as Church documents seem to suggest, I can't see a better way than participating in the Divine Liturgy.

I mean, sure, I've read books on Eastern Catholicism, but it's a living tradition. Books on Protestantism don't capture the full essence either.

I say again, Enjoy! I'll pray it's a meaningful time for you.

And I appreciate your patience as I put my thoughts in (some semblance of) order.