Every Friday, I endeavor to share one awesome thing about the Catholic fandom. Here’s today’s:
εὐλόγει, ἡ ψυχή μου, τὸν κύριον, καί πάντα τὰ ἐντός μου τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ἅγιον αὐτοῦ. ταις πρεσβείαις της θεοτόκου, Σώτερ, Σώσον ημάς.
I’m a HUGE fan of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. For those who don’t know, the Catholic Church is incredibly diverse, not only existing on all over the world – since our first decades, we’ve been on every continent known to the Church – but existing among every race, living every culture, and speaking every language known to man. (Trivia: for this reason, the Vatican’s printing house is known as the Polyglot Press, a polyglot being one who speaks many languages.) This is a gift of the Holy Spirit, one specifically revealed on Pentecost. So it is also a great gift of the Holy Spirit to me on my birthday 10 years ago, this same week, that I, a Roman Catholic, was given the opportunity to attend my first Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine Rite of the Catholic Church. What a beautiful liturgy it was! It remains my absolute favorite.
The foreign quote above is a line from the original Greek of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. It reads, “Bless, my soul, the Lord, and all that is within me bless His Holy Name. By the prayers of the Theotokos (God-Bearer/Mother of God), O Savior, save us!” I first heard this line (in English) on Cappella Romana’s excellent chant album of the liturgy, which you can listen to here on Youtube, though I have it bookmarked on Spotify myself. (The line above appears at 5:14 at the link.)
I’ve been blessed in my short life to attend 4 divine liturgies, 3 of them Byzantine, and 1 Byzantine-Ruthenian. A Byzantine priest in Irving, Texas once welcomed my family as “the Romans among us.” It seemed there might have been a slight tension at that liturgy; we must have been a bit foreign to them, and I was afraid we would make them feel like we were treating them as a museum exhibit, but in all truth, we just wanted the chance to be in awe at their beautiful liturgy and experience the richness of our Catholic tradition. If it were possible for me, and if my family would come along, I’d happily become a Byzantine Catholic.
What rite are you? Do you love any other rites?