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Archive for the ‘Liturgy’ Category

Panis Angelicus

I found this on youtube and decided to share Placido Domingo’s Panis Angelicus with everyone who didn’t get to hear it yet.

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Christmas

Since I’ve been in Indianapolis, I’ve been visiting a Roman Catholic parish near my parents’ house for mass. The local Byzantine parish (one I went to for years) has had a new priest the last couple years, and he is one who always disturbs me whenever I hear one of his homilies. He was an older man who apparently made a lot of money in his youth, who, in his older age, decided he wanted to be a priest. He now preaches a charismatic-inspired “health and wealth” message which has no connection to the Byzantine tradition (and indeed, is one which I find quite dangerous). He says it worked for him, so it must be true, and if you are poor, or unhealthy, it is due to a lack of faith. In order to save myself the trouble and annoyance, I decided over a year ago that whenever I am in Indianapolis to use this time to visit a Roman parish (St Luke’s) and see what is going on there. This way I can also know better the kinds of things which are currently being done at a Western liturgy and have enough knowledge and experience with them to discuss them with my fellow Catholics.

For Christmas, I went to the first morning service on Christmas day, at eight in the morning. Because they already had several masses the day before, and it was so early in the morning, the parish was not as crowded as one might expect, and the service went by rather quickly (less than an hour). I could tell the priest was more than a little tired from all the festivities. The homily was nothing exceptional, but then again, I find that to be the case most of the time whenever I go to church. I do find those at St Gregory’s to be much better than most I heart, but they are still aimed for people with less study and understanding as one like myself (and rightfully so!).

Christmas dinner had my parents, my sister and her family, and my sister’s mother in law come together, before exchanging a few gifts among one another. My parents and I exchanged gifts amongst ourselves earlier, before everyone else had come (this makes it easier on my mom, since she then already has had some of the cleaning done beforehand). While they had already helped me with my laptop, my parents also got me a few other odds and ends: a couple books, a deck of Cherokee Indian playing cards, an odd collection of badges of churches in Russia (I am not sure when they were made or for what reason), and a small carrying case which can be used to carry books in. My nephew chose some tea and a Best Buy gift certificate for me. My sister got me some Christian card game and a gift certificate to Regal Cinemas (I was surprised by this, since we had decided earlier there was no need for us to exchange gifts, after last year when we practically gave each other the same gift!).

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Back to Normal

Divine Liturgy was back to normal this week. We had our usual mix of Slavonic and English (the majority of it being in English). There was no choir to help lead with the melodies, so the chant was also back to normal. Finally, it also meant that Matins was in session before Divine Liturgy, and with it, the congregation of people who arrive who do not go to Matins were talking in the hall during Matins. Because the door to the sanctuary is open during Matins, Marvin and I have to remind others to keep quiet and not talk so loud so they would interrupt morning prayers. It’s a routine we have to do every week.

Maybe one day people will remember. It will probably the day on which the door to the sanctuary is closed.

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Slavonic Liturgy

Liturgy was done 99% in Slavonic today. It’s been years since I’ve been to a liturgy which was (more or less)  completely sung in Slavonic. Most of the time at St Gregory’s we sing about 1/4 of the liturgy in Slavonic and the rest in English. However, today was different: we had a guest choir group (Lyra) from St Petersburg.

Last year Lyra visited St Gregory’s in their tour of the East Coast of the US, but did not know or entirely understand who we were and they were somewhat surprised that they were being asked to join in with a worship service and not just sing parts of it as they normally do. This year they were on top of it, and everything flowed perfectly.

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