Saturday, April 29, 2023

Third Sunday after Pascha - The Myrrh-bearing Women

Hello all and happy weekend! It's still the lovely Easter season, and we're all navigating along quite well and enjoying it all. My kids have lots going on as they get older and settle in to their hobbies and interests, and so family life has been very happily busy. Today alone we have Henry at a track invitational, and Anne earning her black belt in TaeKwon Do! 

But back to our churchy stuff. 😊 Last weekend, for the first time we had a chance to check out what is called the Typica in the Byzantine rite, which is the prescribed prayers and readings you can follow along with at home when you are unable to attend Divine Liturgy. Henry was a bit under the weather last Sunday morning, Anne was away at the camp for black belt candidates, and I woke up with a stiff neck and upper back that made it hard for me to physically get out of bed, let alone walk about with any level of comfort. 😬 So it was a staying in kind of Sunday for us last weekend!

I have a beautiful prayer book that includes the Typica, and I also have the book with the readings for every day of the year for those using the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. These are both must have for Catholic Nerds, you see. ;-) And so we did our best to navigate along with this beautiful at home liturgy for the first time:

I did pretty well, but I was unsure about some of the terminology (anybody know what a metany is? Also, I've been needing to understand what Kontakion refers to for some time now 😁). I *really* enjoyed having access to the readings:

And it was all quite lovely, and I'm really enjoying the Paschaltide themes. I love some of the traditions I've taken to in my Byzantine rite journey, such as candles and incense, that make home prayer time seem even more special and set aside. This weekend though, we're all healthy, and we'll be back at Divine Liturgy tomorrow!

How is your Easter season going, friends? *heart*

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Second Sunday after Pascha - Thomas Sunday

Hello everyone, and happy continuation of the Pascha season! 😎 I hope that you had a lovely week and are enjoying this special time of year! 

For our part, we enjoyed the week following Pascha which is called Bright Week, and our move into the season of Paschaltide. The first of these themed Sundays following Pascha is Thomas Sunday, and we were off to Divine Liturgy as usual. As you might imagine given the title, the Gospel on this particular Sunday focused on Jesus appearing to the disciples, and Thomas asking to touch the wound in His side. Once again, the sheets with the Propers for this season would have been absolutely CLUTCH, but were all spoken for by the time we arrived. πŸ˜‚ I'm going to break out the book I bought with the Divine Liturgy text in it, and which also includes the Propers as well as other related material. I have been daunted by it and don't yet know how to naviage it and it's ribbons, but I'm going to try! I am very much a gal who loves her missals, and not having access to the Propers is killing me inside. 🀣

After liturgy, we received more blessed bread (which I believe is called the antidoron; this bread is blessed but not consecrated) and we received another blessing with oil on our foreheads. I'm not sure if this is a thing that persists throughout the season of Pascha? Excited to find out. 😎 The blessed bread is quite delicious! It's leavened, as is the bread used at Communion in the Byzantine rite. The faithful consume the antidoron upon receiving it, either as they process back to their spot or upon arriving there. I watched everyone carefully to made sure I did it right (ha!) as this custom is totally new to me!

I'm slowly making my way with the Byzantine rite, but I'm definitely still learning. :) How was either your Thomas Sunday or Divine Mercy Sunday? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Friday, April 14, 2023

Pascha - The Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

He is risen! Hello everyone, and happy Easter! We had such a joyful Easter weekend, and I hope that you did as well. This year I wasn't able to get to my usual Triduum liturgies in the Latin rite, though I did pray Stations of the Cross on Good Friday with my friend Irena who was visiting us for the holiday weekend. And rather than the Easter vigil this year, we attended Divine Liturgy on Pascha Sunday in our Byzantine rite parish for the very first time!


And it was LOVELY. We walked in to prayers ongoing with incense. The sheets with the Propers for the day were already gone and in use when we arrived, so we were a bit like fish out of water with regards to the special verses and other liturgical notes for this solemnity. But I'm used to that in my Byzantine rite journey. πŸ˜‚ There were LOTS of additional and substituted prayers in the Propers for Pascha, and I also noticed that we stood in a few places that we ordinarily kneel. It was all quite beautiful, but your resident Catholic Librarian likes to follow along in the book where she can. :-)

After communion, Father blessed some Easter bread, and we all were welcomed to take a cube after liturgy, and he also came around and blessed our foreheads with oil. It was sublime. We chatted with everyone out in the gathering space following liturgy, and the sense of community there is so strong. I'm looking forward to seeing what Paschaltide holds for us there as we journey to Pentecost!

For the remainder of the day, we enjoyed much Easter chocolate and ham. πŸ˜ƒ How was your Easter weekend, dear friends?

Thursday, April 6, 2023

6th Sunday of the Great Fast - Palm Sunday

Hello all, and a very blessed Holy Week to each of you! I'm getting this post out a bit earlier than usual this week so that I can focus on Triduum liturgies and preparing for our Easter weekend, which involves a visit from a good friend from out of town. So lovely! This past Sunday was our very first Palm Sunday in the Byzantine rite, and I was ever so excited to discover the similarities and differences between the two! At this point in the liturgical year (remembering that this begins September 1st in the Eastern Church) we have only rarely ventured to Mass outside of Divine Liturgy at our new Byzantine rite parish. So I'm very excited to relay all of the deets to you!

But speaking of our Byzantine rite parish, a quick diversion to say that we helped out at the Easter Bazaar this past weekend! It was so wonderful to get to know some of the parishoners of the Ukrainian language liturgy, and really feel a part of parish life. I manned the sausage and kraut table. 😎The event was quite successful, and yielded much needed funds for the parish's operational needs! The lack of events due to the pandemic really hurt this small parish, and I'm praying that these fundraising efforts continue to bear fruit and help the parish to begin to thrive and survive well into the future.

Then the next day, we headed back for our very first Palm Sunday in the Byzantine rite. We had our home icon hung out in our kitchen since the vigil the night before! We were all excited to experience Divine Liturgy on this special day.

So, Catholic Librarian Nerd piping in with the details: the readings of the day were from Philippians with the do not be anxious discourse, and the Gospel of John story of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. There was no reading of the full Passion narrative the way that there is in the Latin rite, that was one major difference. But these readings were perfectly aligned with the theme of the day.

At the conclusion of liturgy, I was *dying* to know what the palm tradition would be, and it was willows! 😍

Father read a special blessing and showered them with holy water, which of course we're quite familiar with, and we were encouraged to take a few on our way out. I couldn't hurry to the front to scoop ours up fast enough. πŸ˜‚

It was a beautiful liturgy, and we are now incredibly excited for Holy Week!

We will be attending Divine Liturgy on Easter morning at our Byzantine rite parish and I can't wait to report in on that! I'll likely be attending other triduum liturgies in our Latin rite parish, which will be determined as Holy Week unfolds. How is your Holy Week progressing, friends?