Monday, April 22, 2019

why I didn't receive the Holy Eucharist at our Easter Divine Liturgy

Christ is risen! Hristos a inviat! 
We got home on Great and Holy Friday after midnight. Saturday was filled with activity, baking, cleaning, preparing for Pascha; my priest husband left at 4 PM to drive 90 miles to replace a priest who moved back to Romania so that the community could have an Easter vigil. He got home after midnight. Of course, I did not sleep. We got up at 3:30 and arrived to set up our mission (the Roman Catholics allow us to have services there) at 4:30. Resurrection Matins and the Divine Liturgy started at 5 AM. A person who I did not recognize called Father away about 15 minutes before the services started. Confession perhaps? In any case, we weren't able to get the clergy, altar servers (a few guest servers), and cantors (me and my server/cantor son) together for a debriefing on the services. 
At 4:55, a parishioner came up to me and asked how to help. I froze. I am sure I had a rude expression on my face. I can give excuses. I was exhausted. I was hungry. I was frustrated that the most important service of the year was 'hijacked' by a visitor who wanted to talk to my husband. I was also frustrated that he did not ask the person to wait until after the services. But then he didn't physically have time after our services because he had three more to celebrate Easter Sunday.  
So, I decided not to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist until I could find some peace with the parishioner. I do not suffer from scrupulosity, but I 100% agree in making peace with your brother before you approach the altar. 
So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

Dear reader, you might be scandalized by this post, and I ask your forgiveness. That is the main reason why I post almost never. I have been accused of being bitter, angry, anti-Roman, anti-Orthodox, a bad Christian. It is never my intention to bring scandal or to hurt anyone's feelings. I would love to share the entire truth of my life. In any case, I hope this post inspires you to be compassionate to the humanity in your clergy (celibate or not) and their families (if they have a family) and also to make their burdens a bit lighter. See if there is something you can do to help. They might be so busy keeping their heads above water that they will not have a good response to 'how can I help?' 5 minutes before a service begins. 
and yes- multiple people ask me why when I do not receive the Eucharist, I sometimes forgo because I am cantoring and my throat is very sensitive. If I swallow the wrong way, I will not be able to sing the responses. Luckily, we go to a second service as a family so I can receive then if my soul permits) - and yes- this is a doozy of a post after months away.... Christ is risen! 

11 comments:

  1. Christ is Risen! Welcome back! I, for one, appreciate your honesty & your willingness to share your struggle & your (our shared) humanity! God bless you & your family!

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  2. By the way, as a Roman Catholic, I really value this window into the world of the Byzantine Catholics. If it wasn't for this, and Catholic Things You Should Know, I'd have hardly any window there at all.

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  3. ah, I was pleased to see this! I appreciate your honesty and straightforwardness regarding your life as a Priest's wife. I am a convert to Roman Catholicism and love to read about your traditions and commentary regarding the Byzantine Catholic faith. So much to learn and appreciate! May you have a Blessed Easter season. God Bless.

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    1. Christ is risen! (even though it is November here :) bad bad blogger.....

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  4. Priest's wife,

    Good to hear from you again. I follow the belief, support your priest and his wife. I make sure to give my parish priest's wife good Trappist beer. I'm sure I have called priests away before from liturgy/mass. God bless everyone I have inconvenienced in asking for confession or being late.

    Since our new priest runs two parishes, he gave us two options, one early in the morning like you endured, and the other was late Saturday night. Since the late Saturday night was easier for the priest, I pushed for that. I admit I hate getting out of bed so early, but it is easier to stay up late and so Pascha began with Resurrection Matins at 8:00 P.M. and ended at 10:45 at night.


    When we have a retired priest show up, he needs to start liturgy later, so we accommodate him. Wonderful, he still does the full prostrations after the epiclesis.

    And, I do what I can to help my celibate Roman Catholic priest friends. WE have a bi-ritual priest and I made sure to serve his All Souls Saturdays as he had never done them before and I knew he would need help. Made for a better Lent.


    Anyways, God bless you and your husband!

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  5. Hey, Hey! I hope all is well. Could you tell me what liturgical books the Romanian Byzantine Catholics use? I am used to both the Ukrainian and Ruthenian books and their differences, but I was wondering what books you guys use.

    Because of geography, this Ukrainian Catholic will be made the Trustee of a Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church.

    Also, do you have a tradition of the Lamentations of the Theotokos on the Eve of the Dormition? This is growing amongst the Orthodox.

    You, your children, and Father are in my prayers!

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    1. Thank you for your prayers- in the US, we Romanians have been using the Melkite materials if we need English. We don't have anything officially translated in English except for a prayer book that uses Thee and Thous, etc

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  6. One more question - Is there a tradition amongst the Romanians of kneeling or doing a prostration at the epiclesis? I have found older Ukrainian priests who will do this. thank you for your time. I do appreciate you answers to these questions

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    1. hi there! I'm sorry for being so MIA and not answering- and yes, I know a lot of Romanians (even orthodox) that kneel- some parishes even kneel at the Gospel!

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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