Sunday, September 11, 2011

St. Louis Mission Byzantine Catholic Church

Hello! I was working on a top secret Jake project and decided to attend Mass on Saturday, September 10, instead. I decided to be daring and attend the Byzantine Rite parish.

The Byzantine Rite uses the Divine Liturgies of St. John Chrysotom and St. Basil the Great.  On Saturday, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysotom was used.

The music was all Carpathian plain chant for the two Feasts.  And everybody sang.  The whole liturgy was sung except for the prayer before Communion.  The closing hymn was Virgin, We Beseech You or Prosimot'a D'va in Slavic.

I got to the Chapel early and discovered the men praying the Rosary.  After the Rosary ended, the cantor walked me through the Liturgy.  He mentioned that the Sign of the Cross is different.  In the Byzantine Rite, when you go across your shoulders at "And the Holy Spirit" you got from right to left instead of left to right like in the Roman Rite.  The cantor explained to me it was because Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and drives out sin.  In Latin, left is sinister, which is sin.

Before Mass, Father and the subdeacons/servers, prepare the gifts.  It's a very intricate and neat ritual called the Prothesis.  In this ritual, the bread is blessed and cut into pieces.

There were lots of petitions and lots of incense.  One set of petitions was call the "Litany of Fervent Supplication".    The Mass was said Ad Orientem except of the Gospel and homily.  It seems that the people take the place of the Cherubim in the Liturgy.

At the Homily, Father read a letter from Pope Benedict XVI about 9/11 and a letter from Archbishop Dolan.     The Gospel was John 3:16.  God sent His Son into the World to save us.  The most important verse in the Bible.  How do we have life?    He will not perish but will have eternal life.  The Feast of the Exultation of the Cross is this week.  We need to live our lives in obedience to the Cross.  The Epistle was from Paul to the Galatians about circumcision.  It is not an external sign that makes us Christian.  It is something inside of us.  That makes all the difference.

Communion was different.  The bread was leavened and dipped into the Precious Blood on a spoon.  It was then flicked into your mouth.  So you had to kind of bend funky.  Another difference was that Father asked my name and then used it when giving me the Eucharist.

At the end of the Liturgy, the Cross was venerated.

Everyone was really friendly!
It was hella awesome.  I actually think this might be the right place for me...

The Royal Gate and Altar

Feasts of the Day
Nativity of Blessed Virgin and the Exultation of the Cross

Website of the Parish

1 comment:

  1. Been a while since I've read your blog. Glad to hear your experience at the Byzantine Church was so positive. When my wife & I visited our Byzantine Parish almost 4 years ago, we knew we had come to the right place. Since that time, we've come to truly be Eastern Catholic in our spirituality and are beginning the process to change from the Latin rite to Byzantine Ruthenian.