Gregorian chant at Our Lady of Protection Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church

Posted by jonjayray on Saturday, 17 December 2005 22:09.

Almost all blogs contain a fair bit of comment about the personal life of the blogger.  There is not much of that here so maybe my occasional personal anecdote helps keep a balance.  My anecdotes are always fairly didactic anyway.

Because both the lady in my life (Anne) and myself are lovers of early church music we tend to end up in churches a fair bit on weekends even though we are both unbelievers.  Mentally, I am as atheist as you can get but emotionally I am still Christian.  And I can assure you that that apparent inconsistency bothers me not one iota.  I have an enormous appreciation (and considerable knowledge) of my Christian heritage.

Last night we went to a concert held after the regular service at Our Lady of Protection Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church here in Brisbane.  How a church can be both Byzantine and Catholic is a considerable puzzle.  Byzantium is the home of Orthodoxy.  But I assume that there was a schism some time in the past where an Orthodox church kept all its Greek rites but decided to recognize the magisterium of the Pope as well.  The fact that the church still had a version of the mediaeval “rude screen” between the altar and the congregation supports that.  There was also no organ in evidence—which seemed very strange to an old Protestant like me. Presbyterian/Methodist churches that I know always have an organ with a pulpit in front of it as the focus of attention in a church (rather than an altar).

The first thing I noted in the church was the large number of children and young people in attendance.  It made me feel very grateful for our Ukrainian immigrants.  After the genocide inflicted on the Ukrainians by Stalin, perhaps they feel an urge to restore their numbers.  And, unlike Muslims, Ukrainians don’t make the news by harassing Anglo-Australians.  I guess having a religion that says “love your neighbour” is a bit different from having a religion that says “Kill the infidel”.

The main attraction on the program was a series of Latin chants by “Schola Cantorum”—a Brisbane choir who seem to specialize in that.  The male members dressed in monk’s robes so one got a very good feel for how the chants were originally intended.  And hearing them in a church with such a prominent mediaeval feature as a rude screen helped with that too.

And the priest was YOUNG!  Still in his 20s by all appearances.  Great to see that Christianity is alive and vital among this subsection of the Australian population at least.

Tags: Christianity



Comments:


1

Posted by Martin Hutchinson on Sat, 17 Dec 2005 22:39 | #

Other way round, JJR; the Byzantine Catholics were churches of the Byzantine rite who did not join in the schism with Rome in 1054.  Kyiv was alreadty a major Christian center by then; I would guess (but do not know) that the Kyiv church probably split, some going with Byzantium, some switching to Rome.

I agree Byzantine Catholic churches are nice; there was a very nice such Ukranian rite Church in Zagreb when I was there, at which we attended Christmas service in 1998.


2

Posted by Vlad on Sun, 18 Dec 2005 06:42 | #

Other way round, JJR; the Byzantine Catholics were churches of the Byzantine rite who did not join in the schism with Rome in 1054. 

JJR is right. There were no churches of the Byzantine rite who did not join the schism with Rome in 1054.

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church dates to 1596.

http://www.ugcc.org.ua/eng/ugcc_history/history/

That is when the Ukrainian Catholics transferred the allegiance from the Patriarchate of Constantinople to the Bishop of Rome. It is from that time that the Ukrainian Catholics are in schism with the Orthodox Church.


3

Posted by Alexei on Mon, 19 Dec 2005 03:06 | #

Martin, Kyiv/Kiev churches did not split in 1054. (Not that 1054 was a major event: by denouncing eath other, Rome and Constantinople formally endorsed a split already existing. Nor did Constantinople split from Rome, having never recognized the Pope as anything more than the first among equals.) No churches I know of switched loyalties at that time. In 1596, the majority of Orthodox bishops in the part of Poland that would later become Ukraine, defected from Constantinople and signed the so-called Union (Unia) with Rome, giving birth to the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church.

It was not the first Byzantine Rite Catholic Church, though—recall the Lebanese Maronites.


4

Posted by Alexei on Mon, 19 Dec 2005 03:11 | #

Also, the majority of Ukrainians who died in the Great Famine were most likely Orthodox. Western Ukraine, where Greek Catholics dominated, was part of Poland then. Its turn to suffer came in 1939, when the USSR annexed Western Ukraine and Western Belarus.


5

Posted by Martin Hutchinson on Mon, 19 Dec 2005 09:19 | #

Thanks for correcting me; we live and learn. Presumably as of 1596 there weren’t a lot of Byzantine Rite churches outside Muscovy, because of the Ottoman expansion.


6

Posted by Alexei on Mon, 19 Dec 2005 10:16 | #

Martin, there weren’t many but there were some: the Maronites recognized (or were forced to recognize) Roman primacy in the 12th century during the Crusades and preserved their faith under Ottoman rule. In 1724, some of the Melkites (Orthodox Arabs, as opposed to non-Chalcedonian Arab Christians) entered into a union with Rome, the Ottoman empire still controlling the Middle East.

BTW, I’ve just discovered that Paul Weyrich, a co-founder of the Heritage Foundation and a prominent US conservative, is a proto-deacon at the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.


7

Posted by Jack Ho on Wed, 22 Feb 2006 23:24 | #

Dear all,

I’m not here to discuss the Byzantine Rite. I’m a Liturgist, but that’s not why I’m here! By the way… the panel you saw is not the “rude screen”!

As Director’s Assistant of Schola Cantorum of Brisbane, the Gregorian Chant Choir mentioned in the origional text. I invite you all to visit our website http://www.scholacantorumbrisbane.com

Cheers!
Jack


8

Posted by Al Khaliffah on Tue, 18 Apr 2006 12:03 | #

Christianity whatever their denominations as far as Muslimin worldwide concern is greatest hoax in the history of mankind.The fake Pope in Rome did not had to apologize for the crusaders war.The crusaders is a devillish effort from barbaric western christian nations to take Baitul Muqqadis from Muslims hand.Luckyly Salahuddin liberated it.Now i plead all muslims country in this earth to destroy christian material whatever you can find them.The remaining christians still not had a clue what is their god names is it Elohim,hotheos,tonteos or what?Worthless religion that encourage your devotess to convert into atheist ideology when they know what a hoax it was.Nabi Isa a.s is a muslim nabi,neither he died at the cross nor he is crucified and die for the sins of mankind.


9

Posted by bollt on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 11:04 | #

I think the focal point of mainstream religion has changed - http://www.ebook-search-queen.com/ebook/reli/religion+and+ethics.all.html .That’s part of the “see the world in black and white” that the fundamentalists find so important about their “my way or the highway to hell”. Its far easier to use religion as the label for making oneself feel better or more important than someone else. I don’t murder, so I’m better/God loves me more than someone who does.


10

Posted by blaksea on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 07:18 | #

i read this article out of an interest in gregorian chant. Howerver, the narrow minded, unintelligent comments of the author jonjayray were the main focus of the blog. unfortunately for jonjayray, his “considerable knowledge” dosen’t extend to the muslim faith. I have many muslim and christian friends and would like to let anyone know who dosen’t already, that both creeds share the “love your neighbour” view and in many ways are very similar. my advice to jonjayray is leave your preconceptions behind and get on the level with PEOPLE as individuals not as the racist stereotypes presented through the media for political reasons. you might find that people would rather share a smile than an unfounded insult.


11

Posted by Revolution Harry on Tue, 23 Nov 2010 16:13 | #

Blaksea, Islam is the only religion that doesn’t follow the Golden Rule. Any verses that suggest you should ‘love your neighbour’ (if they exist) are surely made worthless by verses such as Quran 8:12.

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

As for the Catholic Church, I’d take a much closer look at the hierarchy in the Vatican if I were you.



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