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Author Topic: Roman Catholic Mass: Liturgical Questions  (Read 10463 times) Average Rating: 0
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serb1389
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« on: August 18, 2006, 10:46:22 AM »

So today I went to a Tridentine (Low Mass) service in downtown Chicago.  It was very interesting to me for several reasons.  I'm going to list them and maybe someone can help me and walk me through each point.  Thanks for any help! 

1.  Firstly, it was silent.  I didn't hear anything until the end of the service, at the dismisal. 
-  Why is it silent?  Especially at the Gospel and Epistle? 
-  I was told by a seminarian who was there that the Low Mass is recited, and that basically its the priest talking in a low voice and the acolyte responding.  I didn't hear a thing, but I was sitting way in the back. 

2.  Some liturgical things were very interesting to me, and I thought that I would ask. 

a)  At the consecration I THOUGHT that I saw the acolyte bring the water AFTER everyone took communion.  Any significance to that?  I could be wrong, I was REALLY far away. 

b)  I never saw the priest put the "bread" into the wine.  Is it pre-done?  Like I said, I was really far and I couldn't hear anything cuz it was silent. 

c)  When I saw the priest do a blessing to the acolyte he blessed in the same directions as Orthodox priests do. 

Example:  Point of view of the priest = up, down, left, right
               Point of view of the parishioner = up, down, right, left. 

According to Catholic priests i've talked to, the way they cross themselves is not an "antithesis" to the Orthodox.  There were aparantly many different ways to cross yourself and the Catholics chose this one. 

HOWEVER, in the Orthodox church (as far as I know) there is a specific reason why the priest blesses us the way he does.  He goes left to right in order for us to see right to left.  (I hope this makes sense)

So my question is, why are the Catholics using the same "system" when they cross themselves totally opposite??? 

Can anyone help with this stuff??
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2006, 11:34:19 AM »

Its been so long ago, but I still remember the Tridentine Masses with much love...(sorry that my responses got mixed in with the quote...its just not my day, today.  I guess my mind is on tomorrow's Feast of the Transfiguration and the blessing of fruit...my 1st as a deacon.  Ah, some many firsts.)

So today I went to a Tridentine (Low Mass) service in downtown Chicago.ÂÂ  It was very interesting to me for several reasons.ÂÂ  I'm going to list them and maybe someone can help me and walk me through each point.ÂÂ  Thanks for any help!ÂÂ  

As a former-Roman Catholic I always disliked the "Low Mass", it was so easy to just fall asleep, after all its boring trying to follow the priest while reading the service out of our missal.ÂÂ  There was always flipping pages to get "caught-up".ÂÂ  Now the "Solemn High Pontifical Mass was really something to behold.ÂÂ  I remember those lasting close to 2 hours, sometimes.ÂÂ  There were actually 3 types of Masses:ÂÂ  Low, High, and the Solem High Pontifical.b]

2.ÂÂ  Some liturgical things were very interesting to me, and I thought that I would ask.ÂÂ  

a)ÂÂ  At the consecration I THOUGHT that I saw the acolyte bring the water AFTER everyone took communion.ÂÂ  Any significance to that?ÂÂ  I could be wrong, I was REALLY far away.ÂÂ  

If this was after communion, the priest was cleaning the chalice.

b)ÂÂ  I never saw the priest put the "bread" into the wine.ÂÂ  Is it pre-done?ÂÂ  Like I said, I was really far and I couldn't hear anything cuz it was silent.ÂÂ  

The priest does bread the consecrated host and adds a small piece into the chalice.

c)ÂÂ  When I saw the priest do a blessing to the acolyte he blessed in the same directions as Orthodox priests do.ÂÂ  

The way I remember being told was that the change in the way Catholics make the sign of the Cross is based on what the people saw.ÂÂ  With the priest's back to the people, it looks like he going fromÂÂ  left to right.
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2006, 12:25:06 PM »

a)  that would have been for the ablutions.  In the Roman Rite this is done before Mass is ended rather than after it is over among us using the Byzantine Rite.

b) The priest only puts in a very small particle of the Host into the chalice you probably wouldn't notice even close up.

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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2006, 12:29:28 PM »

I have info on the crossing subject. I asked this many times over the years and finally got some answers from a visiting Priest from India that was very good at explaining it to me. Sadly, after he explained it I must have disregarded the reasons since I found no objection with the explanation.

I will come back with the links that give a summary on it. Give me a few minutes to find it in my bookmarks....
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2006, 12:46:17 PM »

Could not find it, but I think the reason RCC goes left to right is:

Jesus' decent into Hades (left) and his ascention into Heaven (right)

Now, I think the RCC used the practice of right to left at one time and I am at odds to recall when there was a uniform use of the left to right crossing.....

I think it was explained to me that there was no "right" or "wrong" way to practice this and that the custom in the West was not an innovation but a fuller expression of the Trinity by going left to right.

I may be wrong.
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2006, 12:52:09 PM »

I think it was explained to me that there was no "right" or "wrong" way to practice this and that the custom in the West was not an innovation but a fuller expression of the Trinity by going left to right.

I may be wrong.

I was also told by a RC priest that there is no "right" or "wrong" way. 

How is the RC way of crossing a "fuller expression of the Trinity by going left to right"??

I was very interested in your response however, dealing with Jesus' decent and ascention. 
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2006, 01:02:41 PM »

You are going to laugh at me for saying this since it is my personal way of looking at it -

You don't want to leave Jesus in Hades right? So we leave him in Heaven doing it the the left to right way.....

But this is just my take on it , bear in mind. I wish I had that bookmark and a better memory, it is a great topic and really could use it's own thread.

As an aside, I hope you found the singing to be pleasant. Did you have any bad experiences there?
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2006, 01:33:17 PM »

It was silent.  So no singing.   Smiley

But I definately plan to go there when they have High Mass (or Pontifical High Mass). 

You are going to laugh at me for saying this since it is my personal way of looking at it -

You don't want to leave Jesus in Hades right? So we leave him in Heaven doing it the the left to right way.....

I liked your way of looking at it.  Here's what I don't understand.  How does Christ ascending correlate to the Trinity? 

I definately now understand more about the manner in which RC's cross themselves and why.  I'm still trying to figure out the other stuff.   Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2006, 01:51:54 PM »

Okay here is another thought for you.

We talked about left to right.

Let's go over it in totality (even though I can not assure you I am spot on here)

Christ came down to earth from the head or the Father if you will, by his incarnation.
This is the top
And from earth into the left side (Hades) by his Passion, and sitting at his Father's right side in (Heaven) by his ascention.

So truly he is Risen!

Um, just not sure if I am right on this.
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2006, 02:17:53 PM »

Serb1389,

I sent you a link with info that might help...

james

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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2006, 05:11:54 PM »

Dismus,

Thank you for that further explanation.  It actually helped!  I'm sure i'm gona have a further question about it, sooner or later.   Wink

Jakub,

The link was very helpful.  It did, however, bring up even MORE questions. 

1)  In the link you sent to me it said that the acolyte REPRESENTS the people.  He also responds to all of the petitions, etc. AS the representative of the people. 
     a)  does this mean that at the Tridenting (Low Mass) that I just attended THIS SCENARIO was the case? 
     b)  do the acolytes do this at EVERY service?  The article was a little unclear. 

2)  How do the people know what is going on?  Does the Missal help in directing them to the movements of the priest while he is reciting all the petitions, etc.?

3)  Does anyone know if the order of the Mass (any of them) has beginings with the Liturgy of St. James, St. Basil or St. John (Chrysostom)?? 

I'm going to try to research this as much as I can on my own.  I really have no idea where to start. 

I also have a lot more questions based on the article mentioned above, but I think i'm gona try to keep it answer by answer so as to not swamp people, or myself. 
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2006, 08:09:56 PM »

I found a link for you that might be interesting to watch- make sure your speakers are on. You might enjoy the comments and the music.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6AOvStZS64&search=catholic
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2006, 09:34:35 PM »

Thanks, that's really cool.
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2006, 11:52:14 AM »

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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2006, 01:03:10 PM »


Christ came down to earth from the head or the Father if you will, by his incarnation.
This is the top
And from earth into the left side (Hades) by his Passion, and sitting at his Father's right side in (Heaven) by his ascention.

So truly he is Risen!

Um, just not sure if I am right on this.

I was told that the reason Catholics and other Western Christians cross left to right is because they were merely following the priest who was blessing them at the conclusion of the mass.  The priest's right becomes the congregants' left, and so on.  However, if that were just a natural, unintentional development, I wonder why it didn't happen among the Orthodox. 

I do like your explanation Dismus.  If anything it should remind us not to get all worked up about people who may not cross themselves the "right" way (no pun intended).  Cheesy

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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2006, 03:44:32 PM »

some comments...

I sometimes visit this RCC chapel which does both the Low and High Masses.

Anyhow, if you're sitting up close you can hear 80% of the Mass. The other 20% is enshrouded in like pure mystery besides the priest and the somewhat the acolyte.

I've read that the Low Mass came into being  was for the original purpose of celebrating Mass OUTSIDE of a Catholic/perhaps Orthodox setting. Thus there is no music, or incense or "unecessary" robes. Everything is simplified. Think of an orthodox army chaplian celebrating liturgy. He might not be able to burn incense in the setting. Not all orthodox army people will know all the responses, they might come from different rites, so he will most likely celebrate he liturgy as simply as possible. Same thing with the Low Mass. It was meant for Catholics for example in Spain during Muslim invasion times, in England during Reformation times when the priest and people had to hide and be very quiet...for Crusader times where the Mass was probably celebrated outside/ inside a tent....

Thus Roman tradition dictates that High Mass is celebrated on Sundays and Feast Days, whereas Low Mass is to be kept for the weekdays where not as many people might be in attendance such as acolytes, or choir members....it actually makes a lot of logical sense.

http://wftsradio.com/

If you click on this link, fidn the radio, and you can hear a very beautiful Low Mass (with music) every morning @ 6.AM and 10 AM. The other stuff the radio has to offer is quite radical anti-modernist anti-Vatican II stuff....so just a warning.
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2006, 10:29:55 PM »

If you were wondering, the chip from the Host is placed in the chalice in rememberance of the bishop.
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2006, 09:11:58 AM »

Just after Vatican II, but before the changes were enforced, our parish would have what was called a "Dialogue Mass", it was the Tridentine Mass, but instead of the acolyte (altar boy) doing all the responses, we students of our parish school (only grades 1 to Cool would do the responses and sing the hymns.  After English came the norm we substitute English for the Latin.  Since our parish was Polish, the hymns were in Polish.  Surprisingly the older people loved it more than we students.  Every so often, I'll pull out some of my VHS tapes that I have of commerically produced Tridentine Masses.  The Liturgy back them was beautiful.
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2006, 10:20:51 AM »

So here's where i'm trying to get to with all of these questions about the Tridentine Mass in specific. 

In the Orthodox church there is a HUGE emphasis on the people.  The priest could NEVER do the Liturgy by himself.  He would HAVE to have at least 2 or 3 other people there. 

The people CONFIRM everything that the priest says or does, with the exclamation AMEN, and others.  The Liturgy is the "work of the people" and the priest just leads them in prayer and is the intermediary between God and the people at the time of the consecration (i'm skipping a lot). 

So my whole question is, why has this idea been lost in the RC church?  I don't want to open any wounds, but i'm really curious as to how the people got taken out of the whole process?  It seams to me that the clergy have become all powerful.  I say this just from a liturgical stand-point. 

Monkvasyl,

I liked what you said about the "Dialogue Mass"  it reminds me of congregational singing, which I think really brings the community together and pushes people to know about the liturgical services, etc.  Do you think that the Tridentine Mass helped people know the Mass better?  Do you think it helped them know their faith better, and provided a GOOD means of worship?  Or do you think that it was lacking? 
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2006, 10:50:31 AM »

So here's where i'm trying to get to with all of these questions about the Tridentine Mass in specific. 

[That specific Mass you went to is not representative of all Tridentine Masses.]

In the Orthodox church there is a HUGE emphasis on the people.  The priest could NEVER do the Liturgy by himself.  He would HAVE to have at least 2 or 3 other people there. 

[I am not sure if it is the same with RCC and OC priests,  but an RCC Priest must celebrate the Mass everyday EVEN if NO ONE is present.]

The people CONFIRM everything that the priest says or does, with the exclamation AMEN, and others.  The Liturgy is the "work of the people" and the priest just leads them in prayer and is the intermediary between God and the people at the time of the consecration (i'm skipping a lot). 

[I have never attended this particular Mass you went to, but in other TM's there is the participation you describe above.]

So my whole question is, why has this idea been lost in the RC church?

[It is not lost based on this one Mass. It is present in all others.]
 
  I don't want to open any wounds, but i'm really curious as to how the people got taken out of the whole process?  It seams to me that the clergy have become all powerful.  I say this just from a liturgical stand-point. 

[The clergy is not equal to the layity in all functions. If it were we would not need clergy. Everyone has an important part, just a different part.]

***Good observations, and I am now curious to attend this specific type of Tridentine Mass you attended so I can see what you are saying about it more clearly. My Priest might have some insight as well, I will ask him if he gets a chance between Golf breaks.

Anyway, Catholics are not "stuck" with this Mass and are not compelled to go to it.
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« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2006, 01:32:13 PM »

Quote
an RCC Priest must celebrate the Mass everyday EVEN if NO ONE is present

How interesting. Without a congregant (at least ONE), an Orthodox priest cannot celebrate the Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2006, 01:57:53 PM »

[quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=9781.msg132596#msg132596 date=1156267933]
How interesting. Without a congregant (at least ONE), an Orthodox priest cannot celebrate the Divine Liturgy.
[/quote]

Do you know why not?
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« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2006, 02:26:00 PM »

Do you know why not?

Just as in the Annunciation, the Holy Spirit was needed to overshadow the Theotokos so that Jesus Christ could become Incarnate.

Therefore, the Spirit must be present for the bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Christ.

We know scripturally that the way to ensure the Spirit's presence is to have '2 or 3 gathered in His Name'. Therefore we need multiple people present to consecrate our Offering, and why the epiklesis is so crucial.
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« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2006, 03:12:49 PM »

Just as in the Annunciation, the Holy Spirit was needed to overshadow the Theotokos so that Jesus Christ could become Incarnate.

Therefore, the Spirit must be present for the bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Christ.

We know scripturally that the way to ensure the Spirit's presence is to have '2 or 3 gathered in His Name'. Therefore we need multiple people present to consecrate our Offering, and why the epiklesis is so crucial.

This is a good explanation but one that gives me another question. How does this way of thinking apply to the many monastics who lived years in total isolation? Were they lacking the Holy Spirit's presence?
Just wondering.
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« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2006, 03:57:43 PM »

How does this way of thinking apply to the many monastics who lived years in total isolation? Were they lacking the Holy Spirit's presence?

Absolutely not, paidi mou!

But what it does explain is why many monastics who lived in isolation would seek out priests from whom they could recieve the Eucharist, or would enter within a monastery for the Litrugy, etc. Because the Eucharist cannot be consecrated if the person is alone.

This by itself gives us a glimpse of the nature of humanity and of Christ, who is the fulfillment of humanity--all that we should be.
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« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2006, 04:45:58 PM »

Okay. Many apologies for my confusion. I got this all wrong. The Priest who told me this was refering to layity having to be present- not number of people needed to be present- therefore I rushed to the conclusion that meant even if no one was present he would have to go ahead.
I had asked him a long time ago if he would be able to do the Mass if say no one came. He was clear in saying if no one showed up he would still have to do it.
Not realizing that there are 3 other Priests there and as long as one joined him he would have been able to and no laity needed to be there.

Another example of me getting it wrong. My fromer pastor just cleared this up for me now.

Chris your comment was right on -and almost verbatum what he told me.

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« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2006, 05:31:43 PM »

Serb, you may live close to a western rite parish.  I know there is a mission in South Weymouth that does the western rite evensong.  http://www.allsaintsma.org/WO.shtml
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« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2006, 05:41:30 PM »

I wonder why that link calls the Tridentine Mass "pre Vatican II" when it still is in existance and use today in the RCC. The correct way to say it would be the Tridentine Mass used Prior vatican II up to today.
A touch misleading.
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« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2006, 06:52:48 PM »

Just as in the Annunciation, the Holy Spirit was needed to overshadow the Theotokos so that Jesus Christ could become Incarnate.

Therefore, the Spirit must be present for the bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Christ.

We know scripturally that the way to ensure the Spirit's presence is to have '2 or 3 gathered in His Name'. Therefore we need multiple people present to consecrate our Offering, and why the epiklesis is so crucial.
Chris,
I will disagree with you here.
1)  If the Epiklesis is "so crucial" * , why is it read inaudibly by the priest?  And, when the priest serves alone (without a deacon) why does he answer the Epiklesis himself - "Make this bread...Amen, And that which is in this cup...Amen, Changing them by the Holy Spirit. Amen. Amen. Amen."?  The Amens should be the response of the laity.  This is not done in most Orthodox Churches anymore!
2) There are early liturgies that do not contain an Epiklesis.  As a matter of fact, the liturgy ascribed to Sarapion of Thmuis, the Epiklesis is directed to the Logos not to the Holy Spirit.  "God of truth, let your holy Word come upon this bread, in order that the bread may become body of the Word..."
3) I think the reason for a "public" celebration of the Eucharist is due to the Orthodox understanding that the Liturgy is "a public work"  the actual meaning of Liturgy (leitourgia) in Greek.
The Roman Church sees the sacraments as administered by the priest alone, as can be seen in the words of the sacraments themselves..."I pronounce you man and wife", "I absolve you of your sins", I baptise you".
*Just to clarify, by crucial I mean in this arguement, not crucial as to the validity of the sacrament from Orthodox thought.
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« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2006, 06:57:52 PM »

This is a good explanation but one that gives me another question. How does this way of thinking apply to the many monastics who lived years in total isolation? Were they lacking the Holy Spirit's presence?
Just wondering.

Even the Desert Fathers would go into a villiage or to the nearest church (which was usually really far away) to recieve communion regularly. For some it was every week, for some it was once a month.  They all had their own rule, usually dependent upon the community.  They DID all live in the same general geographic area, and those areas usually followed certain rules to when you recieve communion.  Those areas also had churches IN the desert to provide this type of coexistence and support the monks in their endeavors. 
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« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2006, 07:05:48 PM »

I know i'm not Chris, and I DEFINATELY want him to answer these questions, but I had some answers/questions of my own, if you don't mind CR. 

Chris,
I will disagree with you here.
1)  If the Epiklesis is "so crucial", why is it read inaudibly by the priest?  And, when the priest serves alone (without a deacon) why does he answer the Epiklesis himself - "Make this bread...Amen, And that which is in this cup...Amen, Changing them by the Holy Spirit. Amen. Amen. Amen."?  The Amens should be the response of the laity.  This is not done in most Orthodox Churches anymore!

I wouldn't go as far as to say "most Orthodox churches"  I know from going to an undergrad Seminary for 4 years that 90% of the guys that I went to school with who are now priests are VERY into saying those prayers out loud.  So there is a change happening. 

Also, just because you can't hear what's being said doesn't mean that you can't confirm what's happening.  I say all the Amen's even though I can't hear a word from the priest.   So what, that's MY responsabily as an Orthodox Christian to CONFIRM what I believe.  The priest DOES prompt me.  I am just responding, as is my "job" in the "work of the people" so...why can't we all do that?  (curiousity, not calling you out)

Quote
2) There are early liturgies that do not contain an Epiklesis.  As a matter of fact, the liturgy ascribed to Sarapion of Thmuis, the Epiklesis is directed to the Logos not to the Holy Spirit.  "God of truth, let your holy Word come upon this bread, in order that the bread may become body of the Word..."

Can you maybe tell me (us) more about this Liturgy?  Do you happen to have any links, or even books about it?  I'll try to do my own research but any help would be nice.  Thanks! 

Since I don't know anything about this Liturgy I feel it inappropriate to comment on its parts.  However, one thing I WOULD like to say is that this Liturgy is (obviously?) not in use.  The liturgies that we use now DO have the Epiklesis and therefore our understanding of what we do IN liturgy needs to be contingent upon how the liturgy is DONE.  Perhaps there's more to this than what I'm seeing...

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« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2006, 07:11:01 PM »

Serb1389,
I modified my post while you were composing your answer to me.  See my note on "crucial".
As for the Anaphora of Sarapion, there is an essay by Maxwell E. Johnson in a book called "Essays on Early Eastern Eucharist Prayers".  I don't know if it's online.
Dinner time, I'll be back.   Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2006, 07:14:46 PM »

CR,

That clarification did help me put things into a better context. 

I still stand by what I said and responded.  Hope to hear from you soon  Wink

Prijatno! 
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« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2006, 08:43:06 PM »

Okay!
I wouldn't go as far as to say "most Orthodox churches"  I know from going to an undergrad Seminary for 4 years that 90% of the guys that I went to school with who are now priests are VERY into saying those prayers out loud.  So there is a change happening.
Yes, change is happening, and in my opinion, for the better in those parishes where the anaphora is read aloud.  It is the "meat of the liturgy.  I think Basil's anaphora is one of the most beautiful and profound prayers ever composed!  In my travels, I would say less than 40% of OCA priests take the prayers aloud.  This percentage is much higher in Antiochian parishes.  I've only been to a few GOA parishes were they were taken aloud.  My own parish, in the past 20 years, 1 priest always read the prayers aloud, 2 never did.  The current priest is very inconsistent, sometimes yes, sometimes no.  Never seen it done in Russian  MP parishes or ROCOR parishes.
Also, just because you can't hear what's being said doesn't mean that you can't confirm what's happening.  I say all the Amen's even though I can't hear a word from the priest.   So what, that's MY responsabily as an Orthodox Christian to CONFIRM what I believe.  The priest DOES prompt me.  I am just responding, as is my "job" in the "work of the people" so...why can't we all do that?  (curiousity, not calling you out)
I do the same, however, this may border on a "private" devotion.  As you say, if it is our responsibility  as Orthodox Christians to confirm what we believe, let's do the prayers aloud, everywhere, consistently.  We certainly (as laity) respond with "Axios!" at ordinations!
Can you maybe tell me (us) more about this Liturgy?  Do you happen to have any links, or even books about it?  I'll try to do my own research but any help would be nice.  Thanks!
 
As for the Anaphora of Sarapion, there is an essay by Maxwell E. Johnson in a book called "Essays on Early Eastern Eucharist Prayers".  The book is edited by Paul F. Bradshw.  I don't know if it's online.  There are other references but it would probably be impossible for me to go through all my books.  If I come across any others, I will let you know.
Since I don't know anything about this Liturgy I feel it inappropriate to comment on its parts.  However, one thing I WOULD like to say is that this Liturgy is (obviously?) not in use.  The liturgies that we use now DO have the Epiklesis and therefore our understanding of what we do IN liturgy needs to be contingent upon how the liturgy is DONE.  Perhaps there's more to this than what I'm seeing...
No, this anaphora is no longer in use.  The epiklesis only entered the anaphoral prayers in the 4th century.  Yes, according to Orthodox understanding today, the epiklesis is necessary for the "consecration" to take place.  The liturgies of Chrysostom, Basil, and James would be "invalid" (to use a Roman term) without it. 

Now, to get back on topic, as I previously stated, the reason why the Roman Rite has "private" masses is that the priest first of all is mandated to say the mass daily (or at least was, I don't know if they are still required).  All RC priest friends of mine still say mass daily (and the Divine Office) and carry a Chalice, Paten, and hosts with them even when on vacation to fulfill "their obligation".  Second, the priest in the Roman Rite is seen as the sole administrator of the sacraments, as seen in the formulae of most of their sacraments, "I prononuce...", "I absolve...", I baptise...".  On the other hand, the Orthodox Church has held on to the concept that the liturgy is a "public work".

Serb1389,
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« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2006, 09:53:48 PM »

So here's where i'm trying to get to with all of these questions about the Tridentine Mass in specific. 

In the Orthodox church there is a HUGE emphasis on the people.  The priest could NEVER do the Liturgy by himself.  He would HAVE to have at least 2 or 3 other people there. 

The people CONFIRM everything that the priest says or does, with the exclamation AMEN, and others.  The Liturgy is the "work of the people" and the priest just leads them in prayer and is the intermediary between God and the people at the time of the consecration (i'm skipping a lot). 

So my whole question is, why has this idea been lost in the RC church?  I don't want to open any wounds, but i'm really curious as to how the people got taken out of the whole process?  It seams to me that the clergy have become all powerful.  I say this just from a liturgical stand-point. 

Monkvasyl,

I liked what you said about the "Dialogue Mass"  it reminds me of congregational singing, which I think really brings the community together and pushes people to know about the liturgical services, etc.  Do you think that the Tridentine Mass helped people know the Mass better?  Do you think it helped them know their faith better, and provided a GOOD means of worship?  Or do you think that it was lacking? 


This post has given me yet another question for thought...
The "participation" factor is interesting, I wonder how much "participation" was in the very fist Mass if you will?
I guess Jesus really got it wrong the first time no?
Anyway- is it really "participation" we are talking about here or a strong need to be entertained due to one not being able to focus on what is happening at the altar? If one needs more than that to feel like they are participating -
geeze. You are participating in it if your mind is focused on the whole point of what is going on. I guess demands of more more more for me me me are what the mass populations out there are seeking. In variying degrees.
Sure I love the bells and whistles- but would the Mass be any less if it were not filled with our selfish expectations of what WE want out of it? As if the body and blood are a side issue.
This is the reason Charasmatics have crept into the RCC.
This thought process that "participation" is such a big deal. Yeah, for the ADD crowd maybe.
For those who are not there for entertainment but something more, alas they are not "participating".  There will always be many seeking something they will never find.Namely their needing to find entertainment.
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« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2006, 11:10:50 PM »

First off, you are free to disagree...

1)  If the Epiklesis is "so crucial" * , why is it read inaudibly by the priest?  And, when the priest serves alone (without a deacon) why does he answer the Epiklesis himself - "Make this bread...Amen, And that which is in this cup...Amen, Changing them by the Holy Spirit. Amen. Amen. Amen."?  The Amens should be the response of the laity.  This is not done in most Orthodox Churches anymore!

I have never been in a parish--GOA, Antiochian, or Serb,---where the Epiklesis is said inaudibly. Now, the priest may have said the Epiklesis in a low voice, but it was still said.

Also, at least at Holy Cross, we are specifically chided if we become priests to never, ever answer our own epiklesis invocation. We are instructed that someone in or near the altar---an acolyte, your chanter, or the neokhouros---must answer your petition. Otherwise, as you pointed out, it is not in keeping with the liturgical tradition of the Church.

I guess it is different in the OCA?

Quote
2) There are early liturgies that do not contain an Epiklesis.  As a matter of fact, the liturgy ascribed to Sarapion of Thmuis, the Epiklesis is directed to the Logos not to the Holy Spirit.  "God of truth, let your holy Word come upon this bread, in order that the bread may become body of the Word..."

I am confused by your example, as first you state that there is no epiklesis, but then you cite an epiklesis directed to the Logos. If you look at what I wrote, although I use the Annunciation as an example I do not state that the epiklesis can only be directed to the Spirit.

Additionally, not all liturgics sources agree with your statement regarding the lack of an epiklesis. Even the Liturgy of Mari had an epiklesis, and the Catholic Encyclopedia starts its discussion of the epiklesis with this statement:

Quote
It is certain that all the old liturgies contained such a prayer

even though this work later has to use a huge amount of convoluted logic to argue why the Latin priests do not use an epiklesis now!

So, the 'least confrontational' statement is that there is evidence for both our point of views. However, one of the reasons we have an epiklesis in our Mysteries such as Baptism is because of the acknowledgement within the Orthodox Church of the crucial nature of this prayer as well as the long tradition of having such an invocation.

Quote
3) I think the reason for a "public" celebration of the Eucharist is due to the Orthodox understanding that the Liturgy is "a public work"  the actual meaning of Liturgy (leitourgia) in Greek.
The Roman Church sees the sacraments as administered by the priest alone, as can be seen in the words of the sacraments themselves..."I pronounce you man and wife", "I absolve you of your sins", I baptise you".
*Just to clarify, by crucial I mean in this arguement, not crucial as to the validity of the sacrament from Orthodox thought.

I am unsure with what points we disagree here. I pointed out that the Liturgy is done with more than one person in attendance (i.e., in public) and then you indicate that the Eucharist is celebrated in public. No disagreement I see here!

We even agre on this statement, which is what I had always heard from my RC priest friends..

Quote
the reason why the Roman Rite has "private" masses is that the priest first of all is mandated to say the mass daily (or at least was, I don't know if they are still required).  All RC priest friends of mine still say mass daily (and the Divine Office) and carry a Chalice, Paten, and hosts with them even when on vacation to fulfill "their obligation".  Second, the priest in the Roman Rite is seen as the sole administrator of the sacraments, as seen in the formulae of most of their sacraments...

which is, of course, another huge problem regarding the 'validity' of Mysteries administered outside of the Church.
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« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2006, 11:43:28 PM »

Pardon me for asking Chris, but what is the "huge problem" you state with the RCC saying the Mass daily?

I ask since I wonder where this "problem" came about in history......
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« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2006, 09:16:25 AM »

I have never been in a parish--GOA, Antiochian, or Serb,---where the Epiklesis is said inaudibly. Now, the priest may have said the Epiklesis in a low voice, but it was still said.
Maybe I’m showing my age, but for years, these prayers were referred to as “the inaudible payers”.  I’m answering this from work (since I probably won’t have a chance to log on for a day or two after this and I didn’t want to leave this hanging) so I don’t have any prayerbooks in front of me to back this up.  You’ll have to take my word on this.

and the Catholic Encyclopedia starts its discussion of the epiklesis with this statement:

even though this work later has to use a huge amount of convoluted logic to argue why the Latin priests do not use an epiklesis now!
Surprising, since the epiklesis was such a bone of contention (whether it was necessary or not) between the Orthodox and Roman Churches for many years!

I am unsure with what points we disagree here. I pointed out that the Liturgy is done with more than one person in attendance (i.e., in public) and then you indicate that the Eucharist is celebrated in public. No disagreement I see here!
I take back my disagreement with you.  We’re looking at the same thing from two different perspectives.
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« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2006, 10:25:43 AM »


This post has given me yet another question for thought...
The "participation" factor is interesting, I wonder how much "participation" was in the very fist Mass if you will?

The first "Liturgy" was when people would get together at each other's houses and have an agape meal together.  This meal consisted of the sharing of Bread and Wine in the rememberence of Christ.  So, it was 100% participation.  However, even back then there was seperation.  Gentile Christians were not always allowed in the room and would many times have to stay in the courtyard of the house and do their own thing. 

Quote
I guess Jesus really got it wrong the first time no?

Not really sure what you mean by this.  But I would say no...usually Jesus isn't wrong... Wink

Quote
Anyway- is it really "participation" we are talking about here or a strong need to be entertained due to one not being able to focus on what is happening at the altar? If one needs more than that to feel like they are participating -
geeze. You are participating in it if your mind is focused on the whole point of what is going on. I guess demands of more more more for me me me are what the mass populations out there are seeking. In variying degrees.
Sure I love the bells and whistles- but would the Mass be any less if it were not filled with our selfish expectations of what WE want out of it? As if the body and blood are a side issue.
This is the reason Charasmatics have crept into the RCC.
This thought process that "participation" is such a big deal. Yeah, for the ADD crowd maybe.
For those who are not there for entertainment but something more, alas they are not "participating".  There will always be many seeking something they will never find.Namely their needing to find entertainment.

I personally tend to agree with what you're saying.  There is "creeping" into Orthodoxy this Protestant ideal of experiential faith.  HOWEVER, this is not necessarily a bad thing.  Maybe we've come to a point where we are "going through the motions" and not actually EXPERIENCING anything. 

The whole point is to follow the model that has the most to do with Scripture and Orthodoxy in its truth.  I think that Christ would WANT us to experience and to confirm what is going on.  We are called to know EVERY part of the Liturgy and to participat in it.  We are called to validate EVERYTHING that the priest is doing.  This means EVERY "Lord have mercy" and "Amen" and etc.

So yes, maybe this is "placating" the ADD or former Protestant crowd.  But it is also helping us understand more fully what our job as (orthodox) Christians is during our services.  We are SUPPOST to be as involved as possible.  Every single one of us should be chanters, or servers, or participants to the FULLEST during our services. 

In all things we should strive to find a balance.  We shouldn't go to either extreme.  Extremes always lead to bad things, and usually to heresy. 

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« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2006, 10:45:01 AM »

even though this work later has to use a huge amount of convoluted logic to argue why the Latin priests do not use an epiklesis now!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that they do still use the epiklesis. I thought that all Roman Catholic Eucharistic Prayers include an epiklesis prior to the words of institution, (even though they consider the latter to be the "effectual" part).
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« Reply #40 on: August 23, 2006, 11:03:39 AM »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that they do still use the epiklesis. I thought that all Roman Catholic Eucharistic Prayers include an epiklesis prior to the words of institution, (even though they consider the latter to be the "effectual" part).

My quick answer...I have to leave shortly..is that actually the epiklesis issue is one of the items that we and the RCC have discussed. Here is an entry from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia:

Quote
The Catholic Church has decided the question by making us kneel and adore the Holy Eucharist immediately after the words of Institution, and by letting her old Invocation practically disappear. On the other hand Orthodox theologians all consider the Epiklesis as being at least an essential part of the Consecration.

So, this article is indicating that the invocation has 'practically disappeared'. I am uncertain of the text of the Novus Ordo at this moment, but based on the literature I have read (but cannot reference now due to tie constraints) as well as the nature of the prior-referenced discussions, the epiklesis appears to have been gradually de-emphasised.

I cannot remember if there is an epiklesis for the RCC's rite of baptism either...it's so short nowadays I do not remember if it has been done away with or not, but I don't think I remember one the last RC baptism I attended.
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« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2006, 10:43:47 PM »

Serb-

A few answers to your questions


1.  Firstly, it was silent.  I didn't hear anything until the end of the service, at the dismisal. 
-  Why is it silent?  Especially at the Gospel and Epistle? 
-  I was told by a seminarian who was there that the Low Mass is recited, and that basically its the priest talking in a low voice and the acolyte responding.  I didn't hear a thing, but I was sitting way in the back. 

This is the nature of the low Mass.   The Low Mass is supposed to be an easy to execute Mass that only needs a priest and an acolyte, and is supposed to be said in a low voice without the response of the people in the pews.  Sometimes a choir would sing, even during a low Mass, but I'm told by a good Irish Catholic author  (Thomas Day in "Why Catholics Can't Sing) that the dominance of the Irish clergy in the US meant that the Irish habit of having completely silent Masses generally prevailed over other, more musical Italian or German customs.   

This is just the nature of the Roman Liturgy.  Even in a High Mass, there's much more a role for the schola or choir than there is for the people (even though the Gospel is read aloud, in Latin). 

Quote
a)  At the consecration I THOUGHT that I saw the acolyte bring the water AFTER everyone took communion.  Any significance to that?  I could be wrong, I was REALLY far away. 

it's been a long time since I was an acolyte at the so-called "Tridentine Mass", but IIRC the water is used simply to rinse the chalice.   The priest pours some in and then drinks it to be sure the Precious Blood isn't in there anymore. 
Quote

b)  I never saw the priest put the "bread" into the wine.  Is it pre-done?  Like I said, I was really far and I couldn't hear anything cuz it was silent. 

I don't recall the rubrics, but if this is done I'm sure you'd never be able to see it.

As for the direction of crossing, that's just a matter of tradition.  I'm told that if you look at Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Copts, Armenians, Syriacs etc. there are several different ways to cross yourself.   I just accept the local tradition and leave it at that. 

Funny story about Latins crossing themselves.  There is a 13th century encyclical from Pope Innocent III that says that the proper way to cross yourself is the Eastern Orthodox way.   I have a friend who teaches at a traditionalist RC seminary.  The traditionalist RCs always ask him why the Greek Church crosses itself funny.   He pulls out a copy of the Latin original and begs them to translate it for him.  After a short period of translation the questioner is completely dumbfounded  Cheesy

Quote
So my whole question is, why has this idea been lost in the RC church?  I don't want to open any wounds, but i'm really curious as to how the people got taken out of the whole process?  It seams to me that the clergy have become all powerful.  I say this just from a liturgical stand-point.

As far as the people, we don't know "when" this happened because there are not enough missals from the early era to chart this.  What we do know is that by the 10-1100s, in a large cathedral or monastery, "singing" the Mass was in many ways the job of the choir, and in many places priest was generally hidden behind something similar to an icon screen (yes an icon screen) who was rarely heard in the main part of the Church (we know a lot less about the practices of a parish Church). 

Factors I would say caused this include:

- the decision to retain Latin after it was no longer the language of the people - restricting the Mass to what was then the highly educated
- the complexity of Western liturgical music, especially once Gregorian chant was completely replaced by polyphony in the 1300s or so
- the extinguishment of the office of the deacon.   If you removed the litanies and other parts prayed by the deacon from our Divine Liturgy, and made the music unsingable by the average guy standing in the church, your liturgy would resemble the Latin "High Mass" in many ways.   

And for all of these "flaws", a Mass similar to the "Tridentine" Mass was the norm in western Christianity for nearly 500 years, and for Roman Catholics for another 450 some years.   During that time, millions of Western Christians lived and died, Western Christanity spread to the New World (and indeed many other parts of the world) and hundreds of westerners I (of course) consider saints lived.   People were brought to God, even if they couldn't understand the liturgy or (in the post-printing press world) if they needed to keep their noses in their missals.   I don't look back nostalgically to it, but it wasn't as bad as you might think.   
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« Reply #42 on: August 24, 2006, 12:06:04 AM »

MarkosC

First of all I wanted to say thank you for your answers.  They were enlightening and they really helped, which is always a nice thing. 

Also, I hope that you didn't think that I was trying to downgrade the RC church in any way.  I actually kind of wish we in the EO church would have a silent service.  I prefer silence a lot times to having things be over-done. 

Quote
There is a 13th century encyclical from Pope Innocent III that says that the proper way to cross yourself is the Eastern Orthodox way.

Do you perhaps have this on file somewhere?  Or even a link or something.  I'm gona try to find it, but if you could help I would appreciate it. 

Thanks again! 
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« Reply #43 on: August 24, 2006, 09:17:09 AM »

MarkosC--

I also would be interested in this encyclical, if you can find it on-line or whatever!

Serbski--

You beat me to it---asking for an interesting piece of church history, that is!
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Merarches
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« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2006, 09:47:18 AM »

I already spent some time trying to find it but all I could find were references to Pope Innocent III actually SAYING it.  There was no actual text.  I'm so bad at this kind of research...

Anyway, my next question then is, if this Pope did say that the Orthodox manner of crossing oneself is the correct way (which he apparantly did declare)  then why has the manner not changed?

Was there a reversal to this proclamation?  If not, are not all Catholics then required to adhere to this Papal declaration? 
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