Thursday, November 3, 2022

Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost

Hello all, and oof, how is it November already?! Our time together in this Byzantine liturgical year is flying by, it seems. But we're speeding mightily towards Advent/the Nativity fast, and I'm ever so excited about it!

This past Sunday was our final week of Divine Liturgy for October, and it was a beautiful day. This week I finally encountered something I had been wondering about: as the congregation was reciting the Nicene Creed,  someone said the filioque clause aloud:

"...and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Creator of life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, Who has spoken through the prophets..."
Now, in our Byzantine rite parish this part of the Creed in our little missal books looks like this:

"...and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Creator of life, Who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]. Who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, Who has spoken through the prophets..."

It's a subtle difference in terms of the actual text, but a MAJOR one in terms of theology, and it is also something about which I do not have a lot of theological background knowledge. I have to admit, I'm quite curious now and intend to do some reading up on this. It is, after all, part of the reason for the continued division between Eastern and Western Christendom, sadly. 

When we started attending the Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine rite, I knew about this issue, and noted right away that [and the Son] was in those brackets. So I correctly assumed that the congregation would not say those words aloud, and in fact they did not. This is how it is every week during Divine Liturgy, but this week we had a visitor in the congregation who is almost certainly a Roman Catholic. I hope he didn't feel bad, it's an easy thing to do when you're so used to saying the words, and nobody batted an eye. Plenty of Roman Catholics attend the Byzantine rite Divine Liturgy. In fact, my first thought was:

"One of my peeps is here!" 😁

But it drew my attention to this very important issue. Research upcoming!


And speaking of Catholic nerdiness, I have been absolutely *reveling* in Hallowtide content this week! So by this, we're referring the ancient Church traditions surrounding All Hallows Eve, the feast of All Saints, and the feast of All Souls. To be sure, this is Latin rite me coming to the surface again, because in the Byzantine rite the feast of All Saints is the Sunday after Pentecost.


I don't know that I can mentally make this shift. 😂 I so very much associate November with All Saints and All Souls! My sister Shauna'h put together a free Hallowtide retreat which I went through, and I diligently prayed my Liturgy of the Hours each day. LOVE. I mean, truly LOVE. Our Church is so rich in her traditions!

On the feast of All Saints I attended Mass at Anne's school parish, and I treasured praying the Office of the Dead on the feast of All Souls. The pastor at Anne's school had the 4th graders (who were charged with organizing the masses in November) each say their patron saint and the congregation sang a litany of the saints based on those saints.

So many hearts!

Do you have any special traditions surrounding the feasts of All Saints and all Souls that you participate in each year? Feel free to leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, amid having a baby a few months back, I totally missed out on all of your awesome posts about Byzantine Catholicism! I will have to go back and review them at some point; I love learning about the lungs of the Church :) It's interesting to hear about you making the mental shift with All Saints Day, I knew that it was celebrated at a different time in the East, but hadn't thought of how DIFFERENT that could feel if someone is used to celebrating Hallowtide in the chill of fall time. I don't know much about the history, but I do recall once reading that All Saints used to be celebrated in the spring (May, I think) and was moved to the falltime-perhaps that move/change only occurred in the West and that's why it's different? I'm not sure; there are so many things I don't know and am still learning!

    We kept our Hallowtide very low-key this year (Mass and a couple of fun restaurant meals), but something that we always make happen is going to pray at a cemetery and getting donuts afterwards--a simple version of "soul cakes" ;) We haven't made it to the cemetery yet (our schedule was a bit off with family visiting) but I plan to take my young kids to do that early next week!


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