For the feast of the Three Holy Hierarchs, I thought I would offer something in anticipation of Lent, and which also demonstrates one of my favorite sayings:
You don’t become Orthodox because it is the best choice.
You become Orthodox when you realize it is the ONLY choice.
Now, no one will deny that this does not represent every contemporary Roman Catholic liturgical celebration, but neither will anyone deny that this is not only permitted, but relatively calm compared to many other permitted liturgical celebrations in the Roman Church.
Glory to God for All Things!
All I can say is, I am sooooo Orthodox.
It’s unbelievable how “Protestant”, how familiar this Roman Catholic Mass feels, despite the liturgical vestments and the Gospel book. If I removed the narrative and closed my eyes, I could well be in any one of several non-denominational charismatic churches I’ve attended over the years. I’m so glad I’ve found Orthodoxy!
Metrpolitan Ephraem says
It is obvious the Romans are trying to make their liturgy appealing to a protestant mentality of extemporaneous devotion, while forgetting Truth and substance. They are entertaining the people; not edifying nor inspiring. They have their people leaving the liturgy tapping their foot, instead of bending their knee. Lord have mercy.
I am so shocked – I had not realized how some Roman Catholic masses have degenerated. I cannot believe that all those Bishops wee comfortable with that evangelical Protestant style! But they were there and going along with it. What a travesty. Yes, Glory to God that I found The Truth of Orthodoxy. I could never go back….
How I agree with you Deborah. Just makes me appreciate the faithfulness of the Orthodox church. I find it difficult when ‘worship’ sounds and feels like a concert, in factit almost seems blasphemous. Am I being too harsh?
Oh, my. I hadn’t been to a Catholic liturgy for years. It isn’t fair to make comparisons, but no reverence! They try to make our Lord just one of the guys. I am grateful to have been lead to Holy orthodoxy.
Wow. That’s quite different than the Roman Catholic Mass I am familiar with from my childhood. A recent conversation with a priest regarding the use of organs in Liturgy brought up the use of harps, lutes and drums as written in the Psalms – the prayer book of the church. If musical instruments were used in OT worship, why not now. I pray every single day that our Divine Liturgy does not succumb to the desires of the contemporary world.
STEFAN MORGEN says
Yes, thanks be to God that we as Orthodox Christians are blessed with the ability to celebrate liturgy as the early Church Fathers did maintaining that unbroken apostolic line in worship. HOWEVER, we should feel pity for our brothers and sisters of the Christian faith who feel it necessary to “modernize”. Let each of us invite someone new to Orthodoxy to one of our liturgies and see how the Holy Spirit in all its glory washes over them and shows them that Orthodoxy is the One True Faith in all its ancient glory!
Daniel Davis says
It is sad to see how there no longer seems to be a sense of the Sacred in the Roman Liturgy. I was raised as a Roman Catholic and struggled for years while American Catholic clergy seemed continuously to want innovation in lieu of Tradition. Thanks be to God, I was Christmated into Holy Orthodoxy in December 2009. My wife, a longtime Baptist, followed me in 2010. We have both felt that wonderful sense of “coming home” to Orthodoxy!
This video is a stark reminder of much our Roman brethren are in need of our prayers.
To be sure, there is a whole lot of this nonsense running around the latin rite church. You have to make a conscience decision to find a solid parish, FSSP/ICKSP latin mass parish or Eastern rite church to get away from this. Whenever I see a video like this, I am very sad for what has become of the Catholic Church.
The thing I saw, was the patriarch of Moscow; Roman side saw bishops’ and not the pope. That’s a major difference. If u ever go to st. Paters for Liturgy, it will be different. and, nothing wrong with having music, many orthodox churches also have music; I agree with dancing away, is odd even to me, people are are singing and showing their happiness towards God. Anyway, during liturgy, the words, saying etc.. are very similar.
Fr. John says
Andy – the point is this IS the celebration of a highly respected Roman Archbishop in his cathedral during LENT. Say what you will, but any honest observation will see that they are nothing alike in spirit or in practice, and indeed, the spirit of each is markedly different. Does it matter if it wasn’t the pope of Rome? Not if it was permitted – even encouraged – by Roman hierarchs, which it clearly was.
I posted this because it is actually mild compared to many well established Roman liturgical celebrations in cathedrals world wide.
While you can say that the Patriarch of Moscow was doing something special, he was not – every Orthodox church celebrates the same service in the same way.
Not so in the Roman church – not by a long shot. Even I was surprised, and little in heterodox Christianity surprises me anymore.
Nothing like a false and perverted comparison to ridicule the Catholic Church…. why don’t you go to the Vatican and compare orthodox ceremonies to those celebrated by the Bishop of Rome???
Or find an orthodox church in LA to compare with.
Fr. John says
Do tell me what is false and perverted. I did not make this video. I’m simply making it available to my readership. I cannot afford to travel to Russia or Rome, so I will observe what is done locally. Nor was there any overt attempt or claim that this is happening everywhere. As I wrote earlier, this is MILD compared to some. The problem isn’t that it is happening everywhere, but that it is happening anywhere in a Roman Cathedral. That says it all really.
And you are very welcome to attend any Orthodox Church in LA on Good Friday. You will find it the same. No dancing, twirling deacons bringing in the Gospel. No altar girls. No snappy, sappy Christian praise and worship music. Just Orthodoxy – the original form and spirit of Christianity.
As you can see, there is no longer any doubt of that.
This mass was one that was given at the LA Religious Education conference, under the direction of the Archdiocese of LA, headed by a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. And while I agree that a mass said in the Vatican by Pope Benedict XVI is beautiful and contains none of this nonsense, the vast majority of Catholics have not, nor will they ever experience a liturgy presided by the Pope at the Vatican.
However, many Catholics do experience a less than reverent liturgy in many dioceses in the US & around the world. Some as bad as those in the video, others not quite so bad. My guess is you could visit every Catholic church in your diocese and find little to no masses that approach the level of reverence & awe as one presided over by Benedict XVI. The lunacy going on with the Latin Rite of the Church is what caused me to look at the Eastern Church. And while I settled in an Eastern Catholic Church, I can assure you that our liturgy is every bit as reverent as the one in the Moscow Patriarchate.
Look, I love my Catholic faith, but Fr. John is right. It doesn’t matter that the Divine Liturgy shown was in the Moscow Patriarchate, you can visit any Orthodox church and find the same level of reverence and sense of awe as demonstrated in that video. Sadly, that’s not the case with the Catholic mass.
I agree….there are a lot of problems in the Catholic Church right now….it is a shame to find such a “performance” of the Holy Mass, but the just because there are problems in the Church does not mean revolt or abandonment is the answer. Luther tried that with the protestant revolt and it didn’t work. The solution is to strive to encourage the proper celebrating and reception of the sacraments. As a side note: there are a lot of parishes striving to uphold the true Catholic Mass and Pope Benedict is working on it as well.
Fr. John says
Patrick, more than that for me – I am well aware that the only way that we will ever have unity is if we have a strong Orthodox church AND a strong Roman Church. I have alot of love for the Roman Church, and I don’t like to see this kind of nonsense. It shows no understanding or theological appreciation for the Christian season of Lent at all! If a little exposure will help right the ship, then perhaps we can work towards unity, and not strive to become a union of dissimilar things – which never works. I want it to work, honestly.
I’m a former Evangelical Protestant that became Catholic in 2007. My family has been a member of several parishes, and I have never seen anything like this. The closest was our last parish, which despite having very friendly parishioners, employed far too much “praise and worship” music. And no missals, just 2 large projection screens on the wall. Oy.
Fortunately, we found a parish that is just wonderful. It is Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, Texas, and was the first Anglican use parish in the US. It is very similar to the Orthodox Liturgy in many ways (priests face the same direction as the congregation, much incensing of everything on and around the altar, Holy Communion given by intinction….). Funnily enough, because both our priests were former Episcopal priests they are also married with families.
I’ve looked at Orthodoxy and it is truly beautiful. I still want to attend a Divine Liturgy but haven’t been able to squeeze it in as of yet. Maybe soon. 🙂
Fr. John says
The Church will be here when you are ready to attend.
Now I deeply understand the Orthodox Church’s comparison of Roman Catholics and Protestants to a coin. Their two sides, but of the same coin.
Fr. John says
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million.
Gervase Crouchback says
Makes me glad that I love the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and yes this is a Proddy like service – i come from a Believer’s Church background so I recognized the form and style.
Fr. John says
I do feel that it is too bad what you love must be described as ‘extraordinary.’
Andy, Bad Person says
“neither will anyone deny that this is not only permitted, but relatively calm compared to many other permitted liturgical celebrations in the Roman Church.”
Bearing false witness is a sin. This is far from calm. Outside of borderline schismatic groups like Call to Action, most sane Catholics think this is ridiculous.
” the point is this IS the celebration of a highly respected Roman Archbishop in his cathedral during LENT.”
No, it is a video of the LA Religious Education Congress from a couple years ago. The only thing you’ve said that is truthful is that it was in Lent. This is the celebration of Cardinal Mahoney, who is hardly respected by anybody, and it took place at a convention center, not at his cathedral.
If you’re going to try to compare liturgies, please do it without creating a strawman.
El – you are right; revolt and abandonment of the Church is not the answer. Pope Leo IX did that back in 1054, and this video shows one of the consequences….
Fr. John says
Thank you for the correction. No attempt at false witness or strawman building was intended – just a simple compare and contrast. I did not know the circumstances of the Roman celebration and I do appreciate the clarification. Sincerely, thank you!
But that doesn’t make this better. While at my parish in Prescott, we were inundated with Roman Catholics who could no longer bear altar girls ‘on the altar’, and a whole host of other things not worth mentioning. The truth is, while many Roman Catholics may think this is ridiculous, but many clearly do not. Including Roman bishops.
Given the choice, once you realize there is no choice, you are ready to retrace the Old Schism trail to the Orthodox Church.
I am an Eastern Catholic. We sing St. John Chrysostom’s Divine Liturgy and we are really Orthodox, but in Communion with Rome. We pray for the unity of God’s Holy Church. I have never been Roman Catholic but what I see here in this Roman Liturgy only saddens me. They do not know the beauty of the true Church. We are trying to reach them. But most Roman Catholics have never heard of us and the Orthodox consider us heretics. God is all Merciful!
Fr. John says
natille2 – you may wish to see some of the Byzantine Catholic stories on this website for some consolation.
Andy, bad person,
Here is a link to the RE Congress youtube channel where you can watch liturgical videos along the same lines as the one already posted, but with the new Archbishop (Gomez) as the main celebrant. The fact is that nothing has changed liturgically in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles since Cardinal Mahony retired.
Opening Rite of Welcome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vOXJQNoA3g
Celtic Mass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YurPXfGJe00
Here is the 2011 closing Eucharistic Liturgy with celebrant Archbishop José Gomez:
Nothing has changed in LA since his arrival, except his recent rebuke of former Archbishop and Cardinal Mahony for his mishandling of the child sex abuse scandal.
Fr. John says
It is not our policy to normally allow links in comments without a good reason. These are good reasons.
Richard Velazquez says
Someone in the RC church forgot to add the Samba and CHA CHA CHA in mass. I am both Orthodox and Catholic because I am a Melkite. There is no comparison between the Devine liturgy and the Mass.
Richard Velazquez says
Re; Bishop Gabino Zavala of LA Arch church: from the LA TIMES Jan 5, 2012
L.A.-area bishop, father of two, resigns
Gabino Zavala had a high profile in the archdiocese. His parenthood violates church celibacy laws.
January 05, 2012|Scott Gold and Louis Sahagun
From humble beginnings in southwest Mexico, Gabino Zavala entered the priesthood and embarked on a remarkable journey that landed him squarely in the corner offices of the nation’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese.
An auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, he oversaw the church’s vast San Gabriel region, a diverse community considered vital to the future of the church. Then, from his pulpit, he became a forceful champion for social and economic justice.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, January 06, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 60 words Type of Material: Correction
Bishop resigns: An article in the Jan. 5 Section A about the resignation of Gabino Zavala, an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles who fathered two children, said a parishioner was
Zavala submitted his resignation at the time he informed the Vatican of the children.
And Rome still does not allow married men to become priest.
Kevin LaPlena says
Thank you for sharing this comparative piece. I appreciate the opportunity to see a snippet of the Orthodox liturgy. The reverence and tradition displayed was beautiful.
Allow me to share a few thoughts/observations:
1.I would have preferred to see more of the Orthodox liturgy in practice rather than a brief comparative analysis. The comparative approach reminded me of a political attack ad. We might need a fact checker here. Why were the presiders in the Catholic Mass not wearing purple during Lent? If this representation was “mild” why did it seem extreme to me? I have been to Mass is various states and countries and I have never seen a Mass like that portrayed in the video.
2. Recall that Jesus ministered in a much less formal way as compared to the Orthodox Jews of the time. I understand your desire to practice your faith using a reverent and traditional methodology. I also understand that those who practice in a more modern way (either Cali Catholics or Protestants) are not excluded from God’s love and mercy.
The portion of the video showcasing the tradition and reverence of the Orthodox liturgy accomplishes a goal of sharing “one of the reasons to convert to Orthodoxy” and for that I thank you. My opinion is the Orthodox liturgy sells itself with no comparison required.