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Author Topic: First visit by a curious Catholic.  (Read 2682 times) Average Rating: 0
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aoc924
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« on: November 01, 2010, 11:47:58 AM »

Hello everyone I have just returned from my first visit to the Divine Liturgy and I loved it. First a bit of background; I was raised a Roman Catholic, became disinterested as a teenager and returned as a twenty-something (pretty common story). The more I learned about Catholic history (namely papal issues) the more I began feeling troubled about my beliefs. Learning about Orthodoxy made it seem like the perfect fit, and I became very attracted to the Litrugy, icons, saints and music. I still attend a Catholic mass but I was becoming more and more curious about attending the Divine Liturgy.

So fast forward to this morning, I found that I am only a short drive to a small Greek Orthodox monastery, and lo and behold they are having a Liturgy this morning. There was a priest, two nuns and one other woman in attendance (thank God for her otherwise I would have been totally lost). The Liturgy was beautiful, it was 80% Greek but I tried to absorb myself in the sights around me and keep in prayer. The Liturgy ends and the priest comes out with a basket of bread (only the nuns took communion). He offered it to me and I paused and said no, I was under the impression I couldn't take it, and the woman next to me began telling the priest in Greek what I assume was "He's Catholic, it's his first time etc", and he smiled, asked me how I liked the Liturgy and explained I could take the bread. He than told me I was welcomed to go next door for some coffee (wish I went but I had work...). I left with the woman and she explained to me the rules of fasting and how this bread was for the people who do not fast.

So here are my questions. What exactly was the bread I was given? Is it purely symbolic, or was it actual communion? Is there a Missal or a book available that will translate and explain what is going on in the mass?

I plan on going again this Sunday and hopefully Saturday night for vespers if I can get off of work.
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2010, 11:52:38 AM »

Hi! Welcome to the board.   Smiley  I was raised Catholic too. I have been attending an Orthodox parish for several months, and I love it.   Grin

The bread you received after the liturgy was called 'antidoron,' or 'instead of the gifts.' Here is a little something to explain about it.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Antidoron

Quote
Antidoron (from Greek, meaning "instead of the gifts"; in Arabic, qurban) is the remaining bread from a loaf of prosphora after the Lamb has been removed for the Holy Eucharist. In Byzantine practice, it is blessed during the megalynarion to the Theotokos immediately after the epiclesis in the Divine Liturgy and is given by the priest to the faithful after the service. Historically, it was distributed only to those who had not received 'the Gifts', Holy Communion so that they would receive a Blessing in place of Holy Communion but this practice has changed over time and all those present at the Divine Liturgy receive Antidoron as a blessing.

 angel

I haven't really seen any missals per se. We do use service books, such as The Divine Liturgy by Fr. George Papadeas, which explains the liturgy step by step in Greek and English (if you should choose to go to a Greek parish). The day's Bible readings are posted at the Archdiocesan website, if you want to look up the readings for daily use at home. I hope that helps a little.  Smiley

Once again, welcome. Glad you're here.  Smiley
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 12:04:37 PM by biro » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2010, 12:02:39 PM »

Welcome, aoc. Thanks for sharing your story, and I'm glad you had a friendly reception. As biro says, the bread you were offered is antidoron. I've heard conflicting information about who is allowed to take the antidoron, but at all the parishes I've visited, it's given to everyone, Orthodox or non-Orthodox alike.
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2010, 12:07:50 PM »

Thanks for the replies and welcomes! I was very pleased to see just how welcoming everyone was today at the Church. I have made the grave mistake of believing some loud anti-Catholic forum members are representative of the Church population, and for that I apologize.

So if I understand correctly, the bread is blessed by the priest but not the actual body of Christ?
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2010, 12:17:41 PM »

Thanks for the replies and welcomes! I was very pleased to see just how welcoming everyone was today at the Church. I have made the grave mistake of believing some loud anti-Catholic forum members are representative of the Church population, and for that I apologize.

So if I understand correctly, the bread is blessed by the priest but not the actual body of Christ?

Right. It's just the rest of the loaf that the Host was taken from.
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2010, 12:43:25 PM »

Thanks for the replies and welcomes! I was very pleased to see just how welcoming everyone was today at the Church. I have made the grave mistake of believing some loud anti-Catholic forum members are representative of the Church population, and for that I apologize.


Oh, dear.  Please understand that it is the nature of the internet and most especially internet forums to bring the most contentious elements in our personalities to light.  With perhaps one or two exceptions the most "anti-Catholic" forum members would be the most welcoming to inquiring Catholics, and not in a gloating "we're right" manner.

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So if I understand correctly, the bread is blessed by the priest but not the actual body of Christ?

That would be correct.  All bread used in the Liturgy is blessed, most often during Vespers the night before (some parishes which might not have Saturday night Vespers services will have the priest doing a "behind the scenes" blessing during Orthros).  During the Liturgy the priest will actually cut out the portion of the bread that will become the Eucharist, what bread is left remains blessed but is not the Body.  The Body is put into the chalice along with the Blood and the Eucharist is served in it's entirety (that is, both the Body and the Blood at once) to the faithful from a spoon.
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2010, 01:10:47 PM »

Welcome to the forum Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2010, 08:16:33 PM »

Ahh, makes much more sense now! As I alluded to earlier, is there some kind of translation available of the Greek Mass similar to a "missal" (although I know you would not call it that)?
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2010, 08:20:36 PM »

Welcome to the forum! I'm glad your first experience attending an Orthodox parish was a positive one. Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2010, 08:39:52 PM »

Ahh, makes much more sense now! As I alluded to earlier, is there some kind of translation available of the Greek Mass similar to a "missal" (although I know you would not call it that)?

The "Orthodox missal," for the eastern Divine Liturgy, would probably be a Liturgikon which contains the texts of the main liturgies used in the Church (St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil, and the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy of St. Gregory). However, the Orthodox liturgy is longer and more complicated than the Western mass, so I don't think we are able to produce a single volume that is quite as complete as the missal is for western purposes. 
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2010, 08:43:30 PM »

Ahh, makes much more sense now! As I alluded to earlier, is there some kind of translation available of the Greek Mass similar to a "missal" (although I know you would not call it that)?

If you go to the goarch.org, oca.org or antiochian.org you should be able to find the large bulk of the Divine Liturgies.
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2010, 08:45:09 PM »

Ahh, makes much more sense now! As I alluded to earlier, is there some kind of translation available of the Greek Mass similar to a "missal" (although I know you would not call it that)?
It's technically called an Euchologion (pronounced "ehf-khaw-law-yawn), but most call it "the Liturgy Book."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euchologion

The Western Rite Orthodox do have the Orthodox Missal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Rite_Orthodoxy
http://web.archive.org/web/20071208055201/http://members.aol.com/FrNicholas/liturgy.htm

Here's a translation done by an Arab Orthodox priest, with Biblical support
http://www.orthodoxcentral.com/articles/bibleinliturgy.htm

The difference from Greek and Arab use is minimal (there is more with Slavic/Russian usage), but the offiical Greek Translation of the usual DL is here
http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/liturgy_hchc

What monastery were you at, if I may ask? And welcome.

Btw, on the antidoron, and where it comes from:
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Proskomedia
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2010, 09:07:28 PM »

That would be correct.  All bread used in the Liturgy is blessed, most often during Vespers the night before (some parishes which might not have Saturday night Vespers services will have the priest doing a "behind the scenes" blessing during Orthros).  During the Liturgy the priest will actually cut out the portion of the bread that will become the Eucharist, what bread is left remains blessed but is not the Body.  The Body is put into the chalice along with the Blood and the Eucharist is served in it's entirety (that is, both the Body and the Blood at once) to the faithful from a spoon.



Here is a picture of a prosphora, the bread that is used for the Eucharist.





During the proskomedia (liturgy of preparation), the priest cuts a piece out of the center of the prosphora that is called the Lamb. It is the piece that will become the Eucharist, pictured here.






The bread that is remaining after the Lamb is removed from the larger prosphora become the antidoron, or blessed bread that is given after the liturgy.

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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2010, 09:12:54 PM »

Who knew bread could be so beautiful??? Thanks for the links ialmisry, I'm especially to read the page about the Bible in the Divine Liturgy. The monastery was called All Saints Greek Orthodox in Calverton, New York. I live about a half hour a way and it is tucked deep in the Long Island farm land. The sign outside the monastery says it is part of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, but I couldn't find them listed on the GOA site.
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2010, 09:19:21 PM »

Who knew bread could be so beautiful??? Thanks for the links ialmisry, I'm especially to read the page about the Bible in the Divine Liturgy. The monastery was called All Saints Greek Orthodox in Calverton, New York. I live about a half hour a way and it is tucked deep in the Long Island farm land. The sign outside the monastery says it is part of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, but I couldn't find them listed on the GOA site. 

I think it wasn't listed because it's a pretty new monastery.  Two of the nuns (I think there are 3 at the monastery) are schoolmates of mine from Holy Cross (well, one was in the college, the other in the theology school); I've heard the monastery is nice.
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2010, 10:25:29 PM »

Ahh, makes much more sense now! As I alluded to earlier, is there some kind of translation available of the Greek Mass similar to a "missal" (although I know you would not call it that)?
It's technically called an Euchologion (pronounced "ehf-khaw-law-yawn), but most call it "the Liturgy Book."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euchologion

Keep in mind though that a complete Euchologion is going to be a much heftier volume than a missal.
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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2010, 10:38:55 PM »

I think it wasn't listed because it's a pretty new monastery.  Two of the nuns (I think there are 3 at the monastery) are schoolmates of mine from Holy Cross (well, one was in the college, the other in the theology school); I've heard the monastery is nice.

That would probably explain it. Both nuns seemed to be in their 20's.
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« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2010, 11:28:52 PM »

I am Greek Orthodox, and it has helped me to read the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom published by K-Line Press, Mt. Prospect, IL.  Fr. Emmanual Manousos Lionikis was involved with the translation, and there is a glossary in the back. 
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2010, 11:39:41 AM »

I am also a Catholic who have visited Orthodox Church several times.  Over time I get more and more interesting, but now that I'm in Indonesia (i was in Singapore before), it's harder for me to find an Orthodox Church.  Yes, I know they exist, but I do not have a detailed adress, and I have absolutely no idea how to find them. 
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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2010, 11:52:45 AM »

I am also a Catholic who have visited Orthodox Church several times.  Over time I get more and more interesting, but now that I'm in Indonesia (i was in Singapore before), it's harder for me to find an Orthodox Church.  Yes, I know they exist, but I do not have a detailed adress, and I have absolutely no idea how to find them. 

Davinpa-If you contact these people here: http://friendsofindonesia.org/contact/

I'm sure they'll be able to provide you with contact information, addresses, or directions.

May God guide you.
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« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2010, 10:42:49 PM »

I see everyone answered your questions, but I just wanted to say welcome to the forum, from a former Catholic. I also left Catholicism as a teenager, but was converted to a Protestant group, and then, finally, to Orthodoxy. I pray that God guides you!
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