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A few years ago the Bishops of the eastern rite decided to play lets mess with the laity and practically overnight without warning or preparation for the laity substantially changed the Liturgy that many rutheinian Catholics (myself included) followed their whole lives. By substantially changed I mean:
expunging almost all mention of Marys English title of Mother of God and replacing it with Theotokos
Making the Creed Gender neutral, and the litanies and other prayers (no more mention of MEN as a simile for humankind)
suppression of many beautifully and beloved communion hymns
suppression of the practice of kneeling
and many other more subtle changes.
These arbitrary and unilateral Changes as I said came without warning or explanation.
The people were not complaining nor was their a problem of sacrilege or lack of respect for the "old" Divine Liturgy
When our Priest tried to add a supplemental pamphlet to help us poor ignorant lay parishioners cope and understand the changes he was summarily castigated by Bishop Andrew Pataki (pa-toooo! Puke) and told to remove the pamphlet.
Result at our parish? almost 50% loss of families as of today, almost total loss of all those faithful Latin riters who couldn't stand the NO and attended the DL at our church to worship God with Dignity and Honor.
WhatI have posted above is a mixture of fact and personal opinion, I am not a liturgical expert, nor do I think myself above the authority of the Bishops,but since I went through it and saw many things from the inside about how it came about I feel some of this opinion is well founded and the feeling of betrayal many of us felt and feel is real..
I started this thread as a response to a new member whom I will quote below from another thread that was getting derailed. I thought the subject worthy of discussion so here it is
I will be mostly discussing the Mother of God-Theotokos debate in the CONTEXT of the Changing of the Rutheinian Liturgy not the greater meaning of the term which of course I accept as a holy and excellent title IN ITS PLACE.

fishingfornuthing said (http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/inde...sg33205701)

Quote:Neither "Mother of God" or "God-bearer" are particularly accurate English translations.  The most literal translation of Theotokos is "birth giver to God."  Theo meaning God and tokos pertaining to childbirth.  In English "God-bearer" and "Mother of God" both make some sense in relation to child birth, but neither is accurate if we want to be picky about it, especially since there are specific Greek terms for both.  (Meter Theou is Mother of God.  Ignatius of Antioch called himself "God-bearer," or Theophoros.  )  At a guess I wouldn't say that Ruthenian Hiearchs have a problem with the term "Mother of God," but umaybe they just came to the conclusion that it is reasonable to simply use the title Theotokos since you no longer have to mess with imprecise or perhaps awkward English translations.  But I'm guessing about that, since I'm not privy to any of their thoughts on the matter.  (I would love to know their thinking on some of the decisions that were made for the RDL.  When you compare it to the complete text of the Divine Liturgy, some of the decisions that were made could be called interesting at best.)

This is exactly my problem fishing4n.....the title Mother of God is VERY precise in English! And the reasons the changes to this title is wrong is the following:
1) THIS IS AN ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRY, the parishioners aren't college professors (although a few could be) they didn't write letters to the bishops complaining about the minutia of translations from Greek! We heard MOTHER, MOM, that Person in our Family who loves us more than anyone else on the planet! Where is the IMPRICISION?
When I was praying along with the Liturgy I found strong comfort in the Title Mother of God.....my life as a breadwinner and father of 5 is hard, my Mother is approachable, she lets me rest on her lap, she feeds me, heals me, inspires me. My THEOTOKOS? Huh? What do I do with that? start a Greek study group, ( understand I am not trying to be disrespectfull)
The Divine Liturgy is life, it is family, it is not some pinheaded think tank demanding absolute pedantic rigid adhesion to formulas.
) Stop with the dishonesty and false rationalisation's the Bishops did this for ECUMINICAL political reasons, not for reasons pf precision! And not because they wanted to help the Laity, but as a suck up to the schismatics.


For almost 5 decades the Divine Liturgy was just fine. To change it overnight was a sin against the sheep by their shepherds.





I am going to try to "bite my tongue" as I promised Quis I would but Vox:

Your post shows a lot of anger.  Obviously you were upset by what happened.  I'm sure it was not easy for you with all the nonsense from the Latin Church that goes on.  Having to witness more changes would have distressed me as well.  However, you say "For almost 5 decades the Divine Liturgy was just fine. To change it overnight was a sin against the sheep by their shepherds."  But for 5 decades (by the way 50 years is nothing. The Divine Liturgy dates back to the 4th century as you know and the 9th century for the Slavic churches) it was being said in a changed format.  The Divine Liturgy you describe is a very watered down Divine Liturgy.  The fact that the bishops were willing to change it to THAT (what you preferred) and then change it AGAIN is the very reason those so-called "schismatics" (Orthodox Christians) will not "re-join the fold" anymore than the SSPX will "rejoin" the fold.  All these changes and Latinizations of the Divine Liturgy is precisely why I chose to go to an Orthodox Church instead of an Eastern Catholic Rite.  I knew with the Orthodox I would be getting "the real thing."  My reasoning was the same as someone who chooses to go to the SSPX. 

Even the Second Vatican Council encourages the Eastern Rite Churches to maintain their traditions.," ...they should attain to an ever greater knowledge and a more exact use of them, and, if in their regard they have fallen short owing to contingencies of times and persons, they should take steps to return to their ancestral traditions." http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_counc...um_en.html

If the Ruthenian Bishops are trying to de-Latinize the Divine Liturgy it sounds to me as if they are following the 1964 decree stated above and not "sucking up" as you claim.  I wish you peace Vox. I will comment no more on this subject.

Peace to you
Of course I'm angery
anger is not a sin in and of itself
and you say 50 years is nothing?
That is enough time for entire familys and individuals to become accustomed and memorize and take to heart the lliturgy.
And since when should vat2 impress anyone.
Of course we should now the heritage of our rites. But the sensitivitys of the laity should be taken into account.
To simply uproot the liturgy as practiced for 50 years with a liberalized less Marian, over complicated ad hoc liturgy is a violation against prudence, and as Christ says by the fruits ye shall judge
well the fruit of the RDL has been divison and deminishment (which is fine by the schismatics)
and btw I would say the same about the NO mass, It would be just as wrong to turn all them into the TLM overnight without warning or preperation of the laity. But at least in the case of the TLM you would be replacing novelty with Tradition
in the case of the "older" DL (which granted was itself. Novelty had become ingrained )/to rip it out for a more liberalized novelty for no good reason then as a sop to the schismatics is just wrong.
Ps I have thick skin there is no need to bite your lip
There is a very long discussion about this in the archives:

http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/inde...075.0.html
Here's a prayer that is sung shortly after the consecration, and an English translation from a Russian Orthodox website:

Достойно есть, яко воистину, блажити Тя Богородицу, присноблаженную и пренепорочную и Матерь Бога нашего, Честнейшую херувим и славнейшую без сравнения серафим, без истления Бога Слова рождшую, сущую Богородицу Тя величаем.

It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos, ever-blessed and most blameless, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim. Who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos. Thee do we magnify.

The prayer contains two words to describe Our Lady:  Богородицу and Матерь Бога.  The first means "Theotokos/Birthgiver of God/Dei Genitrix", and the second means "Mother of God/Mater Dei".  In the former translation, they are both translated as "Mother of God".  In the current one, the first is "Theotokos" and the second is "Mother of God", just as in the original.  I do have several reservations about the current translation, but this is not one of them.
And I respect that spasi, but Im just a peasant, a simple working stiff, the sophisticated distinctions of the Hymn to the Theotokos I have no problem with either, but in the Antiphon through the prayers of the Mother of God, Mother of God is much preferable to this uneducated layperson. And again I ask you what was the reasons for these changes? Who was complaining?
Also Dont you think they couldve implemented these changes completely different?
I recently attended a Ruthenian Rite Divine Liturgy. I was concerned over many things of the liturgy, but also of a lack of external reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. Slight talking before Mass, piped in music playing over the speakers before Mass (not really perhaps the worst  thing in the world but to me at least distracting), most people not kneeling or even a bow to the tabernacle/altar when people would go into the pews, etc. I didn't stay long after Mass, but there was a family there and they kneeled and the like for the consecration and the like. The mother had one of those red pew Missals for the 1962 Missal and a lace chapel veil, so perhaps they were Latin Catholics in exile, God knows. Better than the Novus Ordo and the church was artistically nice, but I can see why people like the Society of St. Josephat exist.
(01-05-2010, 06:05 PM)OLOMC Wrote: [ -> ]I recently attended a Ruthenian Rite Divine Liturgy. I was concerned over many things of the liturgy, but also of a lack of external reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. Slight talking before Mass, piped in music playing over the speakers before Mass (not really perhaps the worst  thing in the world but to me at least distracting), most people not kneeling or even a bow to the tabernacle/altar when people would go into the pews, etc. I didn't stay long after Mass, but there was a family there and they kneeled and the like for the consecration and the like. The mother had one of those red pew Missals for the 1962 Missal and a lace chapel veil, so perhaps they were Latin Catholics in exile, God knows. Better than the Novus Ordo and the church was artistically nice, but I can see why people like the Society of St. Josephat exist.

I can't speak for the Ruthenian practices (I've only been to Greek and Russian Divine Liturgies) but Ruthenians are Eastern Rite and therefore I can tell you that what you are describing above are considered Latin practices. "External reverence for the Blessed Sacrament" is not done by Easterners because very rarely is the consecrated Eucharist kept in a tabernacle.  They consecrate what is to be used at the Liturgy because that is the purpose of the Eucharist, to be used for the liturgy.  Anything more is considered an "abuse" by Easterners/Orthodox.  In their view, there is no reason to keep more unless they need it for a sick call or something, but this too is handled differently than in the West.  This is why I mentioned to a poster before when he/she inquired about going to a Divine Liturgy that it is helpful to have an understanding of Eastern theology before attending a Divine Liturgy otherwise what is being done or not being done may seem odd or irreverent when in fact they are observing their own traditions. 

However, I can't answer why they had music playing over the speakers.  That is a bit odd. 

Pax
(01-05-2010, 06:05 PM)OLOMC Wrote: [ -> ]I recently attended a Ruthenian Rite Divine Liturgy. I was concerned over many things of the liturgy, but also of a lack of external reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. Slight talking before Mass, piped in music playing over the speakers before Mass (not really perhaps the worst  thing in the world but to me at least distracting), most people not kneeling or even a bow to the tabernacle/altar when people would go into the pews, etc. I didn't stay long after Mass, but there was a family there and they kneeled and the like for the consecration and the like. The mother had one of those red pew Missals for the 1962 Missal and a lace chapel veil, so perhaps they were Latin Catholics in exile, God knows. Better than the Novus Ordo and the church was artistically nice, but I can see why people like the Society of St. Josephat exist.

Genuflection is something not really done in the Eastern churches.  Bowing towards the altar when entering the Church is the common custom, so this may be why you didn't see anyone bow when they entered the pews.  In churches with pews, ordinarily there would be a deep bow at the time of consecration rather than kneeling, but only because there are pews.  The proper custom is a full prostration at the consecration.  This, along with standing as the proper position for prayer, is why there really shouldn't be any pews in a Byzantine parish.

(01-05-2010, 06:19 PM)salome Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-05-2010, 06:05 PM)OLOMC Wrote: [ -> ]I recently attended a Ruthenian Rite Divine Liturgy. I was concerned over many things of the liturgy, but also of a lack of external reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. Slight talking before Mass, piped in music playing over the speakers before Mass (not really perhaps the worst  thing in the world but to me at least distracting), most people not kneeling or even a bow to the tabernacle/altar when people would go into the pews, etc. I didn't stay long after Mass, but there was a family there and they kneeled and the like for the consecration and the like. The mother had one of those red pew Missals for the 1962 Missal and a lace chapel veil, so perhaps they were Latin Catholics in exile, God knows. Better than the Novus Ordo and the church was artistically nice, but I can see why people like the Society of St. Josephat exist.

I can't speak for the Ruthenian practices (I've only been to Greek and Russian Divine Liturgies) but Ruthenians are Eastern Rite and therefore I can tell you that what you are describing above are considered Latin practices. "External reverence for the Blessed Sacrament" is not done by Easterners because very rarely is the consecrated Eucharist kept in a tabernacle.  They consecrate what is to be used at the Liturgy because that is the purpose of the Eucharist, to be used for the liturgy.  Anything more is considered an "abuse" by Easterners/Orthodox.  In their view, there is no reason to keep more unless they need it for a sick call or something, but this too is handled differently than in the West.  This is why I mentioned to a poster before when he/she inquired about going to a Divine Liturgy that it is helpful to have an understanding of Eastern theology before attending a Divine Liturgy otherwise what is being done or not being done may seem odd or irreverent when in fact they are observing their own traditions. 

However, I can't answer why they had music playing over the speakers.  That is a bit odd. 

Pax

This isn't quite accurate.  In my parish (which is completely delatinized...we have Orthodox who come to our church and tell us we are more Orthodox than the Orthodox!) I think it is the Palm Sunday liturgy, a lamb is consecrated and left in equivalent of a tabernacle all year, and it is from this lamb that the priests will take the Eucharist to the sick.
(01-05-2010, 03:59 PM)voxpopulisuxx Wrote: [ -> ]And I respect that spasi, but Im just a peasant, a simple working stiff, the sophisticated distinctions of the Hymn to the Theotokos I have no problem with either, but in the Antiphon through the prayers of the Mother of God, Mother of God is much preferable to this uneducated layperson. And again I ask you what was the reasons for these changes? Who was complaining?
Also Dont you think they couldve implemented these changes completely different?

I do think it's strange to transliterate "Theotokos" instead of translating the word into English.  After all, the word was translated into Slavonic ("Bohoridica"), so why isn't it something like "Birthgiver of God" in English?  I think the Council of Ephesus coined the word "Theotokos"  to emphasize that Our Lady physically carried God in her womb and gave birth to him, as opposed  to carrying a mere human being who somehow was not fully both God and Man.  I'll admit that I like "Mother of God" better, but maybe Theotokos (or Dei Genitrix) conveys the sheer physicality of it in a more emphatic way.  In any event, I don't think I'm well educated enough to have an opinion.

I agree with you that some of the changes to both the text and the chant seem unnecessary and even quirky.  I particularly don't like the replacement of "for He is gracious and loves man[kind]" with "for He is gracious and loves us all".  And I especially don't like "for us and for our salvation" instead of "for us men and for our salvation".  When serving as cantor (or, for that matter, when just in the pew), I always sing "for us men", and nobody who heard it has ever complained--not even the Bishop.  I'll bet that mistake gets corrected, especially in light of the new ICEL translation for the Latins.  To be fair, I have seen "men" omitted in some Ukrainian Catholic and Greek Orthodox pew books, also.  

On another subject, I hope to hear you cantor a Divine Liturgy some day.
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