QUAERITUR: A Catholic leaves for the Orthodox Church, is ordained, and wants to return

From a reader:

A person [a man] who WAS Catholic, baptized and confirmed in Latin Rite, left the Church and became Orthodox and was ordained in the OCA then latter returned to the Latin Rite Catholic Church, desires to serve as a priest in the Catholic Church. Is this possible since he is validly, albeit illicitly, ordained from the OCA. Or, since there was formal schism in becoming Orthodox, does this bar him from functioning as a priest in the Catholic Church even though he was formally received back into Her?

I seriously doubt it he would be able to function as a priest.

It is possible. It would, I believe, require the personal intervention of the Supreme Pontiff.

In all the cases I know of Catholics who leave the Church, are ordained outside the Church, and then want to return to the Church, the men are readmitted to the Church “ut laicus“, as if they were a lay person.

It would be a rare case where an exception would be made.

It is not impossible. But it would be rare.

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54 Responses to QUAERITUR: A Catholic leaves for the Orthodox Church, is ordained, and wants to return

  1. Dr. K says:

    Did he marry before his ordination in the Orthodox church?

  2. guatadopt says:

    This is a tricky situation. If he would have left the church and was ordained in say the Lutheran church, it wouldn’t matter so much. His ordanation is invalid anyway, so not so tricky. The issue is that he does have valid, though illicit orders. If he wanted to, he could start his own schismatic church with a valid Eucharist, Baptism and Marriage. Not saying he would, but it is trickier. If not, he’d basically be a laicized priest. Just a weird situation.

  3. Jack Regan says:

    Fr Z… What would be the procedure if he had been born an Orthodox and ordained a priest and then converted to Catholicism?? I’m guessing if he wasn’t married, that would be a fairly simple matter?

  4. mike cliffson says:

    I ve have heard, secondhand, of peculiar cases in India, I believe all cleared up by now, involving the various branches and dioceses of the Thomist church, and also the Ethiopian coptics.( I have read , on account of the British on the one hand, and Italians on the other, and coming into contact with the modern world , that you had Indian thomist dioceses who managed to reach simultaneous agreement with Rome and with the Anglicans) Surely there must be precedents?

  5. capsela says:

    How would the other sacraments received in the Orthodox Church be treated in the Catholic Church? Do children who were baptized in the Catholic Church but then converted to the Orthodox Church by Chrismation and then return to the Catholic Church as children still have to go through Confirmation and FHC? Even if they are under the age of reason, would they still be able to receive in one of the Eastern Catholic churches? I have received different answers and find how the Catholic Church views the Orthodox Church confusing.

  6. Jack Regan says:

    Capsela… I can’t answer all of your questions, but I know from my work that Confirmation received in the Orthodox Church is valid and doesn’t need repeating. Those being received into the Catholic Church from the Orthodox Church only need to affirm that they believe all that the Church teaches etc.

    I’m not sure what happens in the case of reverts. Since it’s impossible to leave the Catholic Church, I presume they just go to Confession and then reenter the Church as a confirmed lay person, but I’m not sure?

  7. Papabile says:

    It’s often a problem dealing with the Orthodox reverts on these matters. Each national Church treats Catholic orders differently, and will sometimes “re-ordain” Priests who were already ordained. Sometimes they “re-chrismate”. They have even been known to “re-baptize” not accepting Catholic Baptism as valid.

    However, many of the Orthodox Churches will accept all of the Catholic sacraments.

    There are also considerations as to how to deal with Catholics who convert to orthodoxy, get ordained, and come back. If they are from a sui juris eastern rite Chuch in union with the Pope, oftentimes, it can be arranged that they revert and keep their orders. It is entirely different for a Latin who then comes back.

    In each and every case, the Pontiff is usually involved. I knew three Catholic eastern rite deacons who converted to Orthodoxy, were ordained in that Church and then later returned to union with Rome. They were able to keep their orders. I know one latin Rite Brother who converted, came back and he now lives as a simple layman.

  8. VexillaRegis says:

    I know of one catholic priest who fell in love whith a woman in his parish, left the Catholic church, married the woman, was ordained a minister in a lutheran church, had a breakdown, divorced, and wanted to be working as a catholic priest again. Nope. Now he is a catholic social worker. The bishop’s reasoning seems to have been, that since he was a catholic priest when all this started, he should have known better than to leave the church. He might have had a better chance of being a Catholic priest again if he had been a layman when he was ordained in the luth. church.

  9. frjim4321 says:

    If someone has already switched religions a couple times it seems logical to assume there is a good chance they are going to do so again which my be the cause of the reticence to allow such individual back into orders. On the other hand, priests are very much needed.

  10. jacobi says:

    Perhaps we have an opportunity here for a truly “Ecumenistic” recognition of his ordination. After all he is validly ordained.

    I’m sure the Pope could nod this one through without too much hesitation although it would be polite to involve his Orthodox Church and emphasise the recognition as opposed to any suggestion of poaching?

  11. fvhale says:

    One does not “serve as a priest in the Catholic Church” in a vacuum. The first serious discussions need to be with his bishop (if he intends to serve as a priest in a diocese), or with his religious superior(s) if he wishes to serve as a priest in a religious community. His desire needs to be joined with competent discernment.

  12. William Tighe says:

    I have heard, although at third-hand at best, and many years ago, of two cases in which Catholic laymen (one a member of an Eastern Catholic sui juris Church; the other a Latin Catholic) left the Catholic Church to become Orthodox, were ordained, and later returned; IIRC, both were ordained as married men within the Orthodox Church. The former was allowed to function as a priest in the Eastern Catholic Church of which he was originally a member; the latter, when widowed some years later, was allowed to “transfer” from his Latin Catholic diocese, and function as a priest in an Eastern Catholic one.

    I was more directly acquainted with the case, almost 20 years ago, of a conservative Latin Catholic priest who was so “discouraged” by “the changes” in his then very liberal diocese, and the attitude of its bishop, that he left and became Orthodox (and was reordained); he never married. When he sought to return to the Church he wished to return via an Eastern Catholic sui juris church, but the bishop of the Latin Catholic diocese of which he had been a priest insisted that he had to return to the Latin Catholic diocese of which he had been a priest ( I think that that bishop was the successor of the bishop when the priest left the Church). There was an appeal to Rome, and the then Cardinal Prefect of an important dicastery intervened in the case unofficially to express his personal sympathy with the case of the said priest, and to suggest strongly, and as it turned out persuasively, to the Latin Catholic bishop that he release his “claim” over the priest, who subsequently served in an Eastern Catholic diocese until poor health forced his retirement.

  13. chonak says:

    Similar questions are affecting some Anglican clergy who were raised as Catholics and would like to return to the Church through the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus. In general, the delict of schism has been an impediment to ordination, though dispensations have been granted in a few cases. Deborah Gyapong has been covering the issue on her blog “Foolishness to the World”.

  14. Catholicity says:

    In 99 percent of these cases, wisdom would counsel, “absolutely not.” Just sayin’

  15. Gail F says:

    It makes sense to me that these cases would all have to be handled individually. So much would depend on the man, his age now and when he left, his reasons for leaving, which church/communion he was ordained in, his reasons for leaving IT, where he wanted to come back to… There is no way to have a general rule.

  16. catholicmidwest says:

    There is such a thing as a person who jumps from religious affiliation to religious affiliation or religious status to religious status more or less throughout their life. You see it sometimes in in third orders–people who constantly move from one to another, or try to belong to several at once, in order to get some kind of buzz out of it. It’s a sign of instability and a big caution flag.

  17. Fr.WTC says:

    Does anyone remember the case of the former Anglican bishop of Fort Worth Texas, bishop Pope, who entered the church, then return to the episcopal church, the returned to the Church, then returned again to the Episcopal church and I believe finally died a Catholic. He was received and ordained a Catholic priest and was received each time again as a cleric. Those are my recollections of the bishop Pope case.

  18. Melody says:

    Question: If he was received as a layman, would anything prevent him from entering a Catholic seminary?

  19. Phil Steinacker says:

    Back in January 2012 I was in attendence at the reception into the Church via the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter an Anglo-Catholic Church in my diocese. After Mass I was a quiet bystander to a conversation between Msgr. Steenson, the new Ordinary, and another Anglican priest in our diocese who had left the Roman Catholic Church as a seminarian to join the Anglican Church. There he married and was later ordained a priest.

    Msgr. Steenson told this man that approval of his return to the Church as a married priest in the ordinariate would be very difficult to obtain because he had left the seminary. He spoke of seeking ecclesial-level support from such prelates as he believed he might be able to rally to this priest’s cause.

    Fast forward to the reception of his Anglo-Catholic Church into the Ordinariate in June and he had already been approved AND ordained into the RCC. I didn’t ask for details when I saw him but I was a bit surprised at the speed of the final resolution, since the rector of the church received in January was ordained only a couple weeks before him.

    Naturally, I’m playing further details close to the vest to protect his privacy. However, I wonder if the pope would have acted so quickly in this case.

  20. William Tighe says:

    Fr. WTC,

    Bishop Pope became a Catholic at least three times and returned to the Episcopal Church at least three times in the years after his retirement as Bishop of fort worth in 1994. There are various accounts as to whether or not he died a Catholic, but it seems not. He was not ordained in the Catholic Church, however, and it was the refusal of a Louisiana bishop to ordain him after his “priests’ senate” recommended against it that occasioned his first return to the Episcopal Church. One other reason for Bishop Pope’s difficulties was his belief that his “Anglican Orders” were valid due to an “Old Catholic infusion” in his ordination pedigree, but he was told that if he wanted to make a case to Rome for conditional ordination, Rome would consider the case on its merits, but that it would likely take “some years” to reach a decision. It is all a very sad story.

  21. abasham says:

    Why should it be any different than any other Orthodox priest converting? He is a validly ordained priest, pure and simple. I suppose it would be easiest for him to be an Eastern Catholic priest, as they may be more “used to” conversions from the Orthodox Church, but I think we Latins could allow him to serve, as we’ll. After all, he IS a priest, and its not like we’re pumping out our own.

  22. Pledger says:

    I certainly understand the concern and question….but how could a man who received valid orders (albeit illicitly) be received as a layman? Would he be treated as a laicized priest (or deacon)? It seems to me that we either accept the orders of the Orthodox Church or we do not. Perhaps whether or not he could return to active ministry would be a huge question, but whether or not he is a priest is no question at all.

  23. Captain Peabody says:

    It would almost certainly be improper to treat a validly ordained Orthodox clergyman in the same way as a non-ordained Protestant non-clergyman. Rome has always recognized the validity of Orthodox orders, even in the most heated hours of controversy–and I can’t see why they wouldn’t do so in such a case. It’s almost unfathomable that Rome would have someone like that re-ordained.

    The real question is whether or not such a person would be permitted to enter active ministry under the auspices of a Catholic bishop–and that would depend almost entirely on prudential considerations of his commitment, fittingness to serve, beliefs, how needed he was, etc. However, the validity of his ordination and his status as a priest would not, I am reasonably sure, be in question.

  24. Juho says:

    I thought the general rule was that if a person converts from a schismatic Eastern Church, that he should convert to the corresponding Eastern rite Catholic Church. Thus it would seem futile to ponder on this man’s future as a Latin rite priest. Or does his personal history in the Latin rite change this somehow?

  25. Arriving a little late to this but from my reading of the comments above people are confusing issues:
    1. The man is schismatic for leaving the Church (however good his reasons were and I really do sympathise with him) for a schismatic Church. Comparisons with Orthodox who come over to us are beside the point.
    2. His ordination is valid unlike Anglican or any other Protestant orders. Comparisons with Anglican cases etc are beside the point.
    3. Having been validly ordained in an Eastern Rite he can only serve as an Eastern Catholic Rite priest not a Latin Rite Catholic one. He is not bi-ritual!
    4. It will be up to Rome whether it permits him to serve as a priest and that also depends on an Eastern Catholic Church being willing to receive him.

  26. Phil_NL says:

    @Br. Tom Forde OFM Cap

    Regarding points 3 and 4, he could retrain to be able to serve in the latin rite, couldn’t he? In fact, such a ‘cooling down period’ as well as some time spent in a seminary, might be helpful, if Rome were inclined to take this person on at all.

  27. Supertradmum says:

    Canon Law for the Roman Catholic Church and for the Eastern Orthodox Church are not the same. We must always choose the Roman Catholic Church’s rulings and teachings on sacraments. Our default is the Roman Catholic Church. There are many, many documents on the Vatican website which clarify our position on such things. Just use the search button and read.

  28. ReginaMarie says:

    The Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Catholic Churches is different than that for the Latin Rite of the Church, as well.

  29. Precentrix says:

    Supertradmum,

    We regard EO sacraments – all of them – as valid. The only exception would be something crazy like two Catholics getting married in an EO church, unless they are both ‘Greek’ Catholics and there is no priest of their own in the vicinity in which case the rules are a little fuzzy, though it is unlikely that an EO priest would bless their marriage, or if you or I were to go to confession to an EO priest for no good reason, when I guess the jurisdiction factor would come into play.

    And no, the Vatican website doesn’t clarify this at all. Trust me, I’ve looked, because I have friends to whom these sorts of questions are not irrellevant. The latest query in my case, though, pertains to minor orders, which aren’t even recognised by the Latin Church any more: If a man is a subdeacon, would an EC bishop receive him in that capacity? What if he were baptised in the Latin Church?

  30. nmoerbeek says:

    It seems to me that his intent in leaving is important and also why he wants to return.

  31. Subdeacon Joseph says:

    The former Latin Rite Catholic who is now an Orthodox priest does have options. He could seek a canonical release to a Patriarchal and autonomous Eastern Catholic Church such as the Melkites and may have no problem. If he were to go to the Ruthenians in the USA, who are under vatican oversight and have no Patriarch, he may fail. No matter the outcome he is a priest forever. If he cannot serve on earth as a Catholic priest may he be granted to serve in the Heavenly Divine Liturgy upon his death.

  32. eulogos says:

    Supertradmum, Your statement was odd, which was why ReginaMarie made her addendum. Were you referring to “canon law for the Eastern Orthodox Church?” I am not sure they have such a thing, or if they do, if they call it that. Or did you mean the Eastern Catholic Churches? (note the plural.)
    They have their own canon law, which is every bit as authoritative as Roman Catholic canon law, for them. Although it is by far the largest, the Roman Catholic church is one of many Catholic Churches, including the Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Melkite, etc. All of them are equally Catholic, equally part of the one Catholic Church. There is no reason to “prefer” one canon law over the other. The law of the one you belong to applies to you, that’s all. Nor are the liturgy or devotional practices of one to be regarded as superior to those of another, although one my have personal attachments and preferences.
    Susan Peterson

  33. JacobWall says:

    There is also a good deal of confusion here (and in general) about the meaning of “Roman Catholic Church.” The point here is about the Latin-Rite-Catholic-turned-Orthodox-Priest becoming Latin Rite Catholic Priest. However, I would be interested to know; does “Roman Catholic Church” = “Latin Rite Catholic Church” or does “Roman Catholic Church” = “Catholic Church”? I have seen it used as both, often bringing about confusion. Would it be correct to call a Melkite Catholic, for example, a “Roman Catholic?” Can someone offer good information about this?

  34. Sissy says:

    JacobWall, I asked the same question, and I think this was the response:

    Catholic Church = Latin Rite Church
    Roman Catholic Church = rite within the Latin Rite Church
    Byzantine Catholic Church, Anglican Use, Ambrosian Use, etc, = other rites in Latin Rite Church

    Anyone who knows better than I – is that right?

  35. JacobWall says:

    Sissy, I definitely need some clarification, but I’m pretty sure the summary you gave is partially incorrect (and partially correct). Instead of trying to correct, I will just give a summary of what I understand (perhaps incorrectly). The hyphens indicate branches.

    Catholic Church

    -Latin Church, which has one Canon Law, but various (related) Western Rites
    - -Roman Rite (OF and EF Masses)
    - – -Anglican Use (which is a Use of the Roman Rite)
    - -Ambrosian Rite, Mozarabic Rite, etc.

    -Eastern Churches (Greek Byzantine Catholic Church, Maronite Catholic Church, Melkite Catholic Church, etc.); these are distinct from the Latin Church and its Rites
    - – the Autonomous Churches have their own Canon Law
    - – they use various distinct Eastern Rites (Byzantine Rite, Maronite Rite, etc.)

    (This chart doesn’t do justice to the vast variety of Eastern Rites and the fact that there are 22 Eastern Autonomous Churches, but I’m just trying to get the main idea.)

    So, from what I understand “Catholic Church” is NOT the same as “Latin Rite Church”, and “Byzantine Catholic Church” is NOT “another rite within the Latin Rite Church.”

    The distinction between “Rite” and “Church” also makes this complicated. From what I understand, “Rite” is the heritage (liturgical, canonical, etc.) and “Church” is the people with its hierarchical structure.

    While “Roman Rite” refers to our Canon Law, OF and EF Masses, Liturgical Calendar, etc., I believe “Roman Catholic Church” is distinct in meaning, and is the confusing point. Again which (if any) is correct?

    1) “Roman Catholic Church” = “Catholic Church”
    2) “Roman Catholic Church” = “Latin Church”
    3) “Roman Catholic Church” = “Roman Rite” (I’m pretty sure this one is NOT correct.)

    The answer to this as well as any correction to my corrections above would be appreciated.

  36. Sissy says:

    JacobWall: thanks for all that (I think). I’m obviously way off in my understanding. I’d love to see some kind of tree or flow chart. I’m pretty sure I was told that your 3) is correct, but it’s possibly that’s just how I understood it. I was confused the last time I asked about this, and I still confused. Help, fellow Catholics!

  37. acardnal says:

    Sissy:
    Here’s a link you may find useful: http://credo.stormloader.com/ritesofc.htm

  38. Sissy says:

    thank you, acardnal; I’ll take all the help I can get!! : )

  39. acardnal says:

    Here’s my final link from my former pastor: http://catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0246.html

    The Catholic Almanac and Catholic Encyclopedia may be helpful, too.

  40. acardnal says:

    Here’s an interesting chart from the Catholic Near East Welfare Assoc. showing the worldwide census data for various Eastern Rite Catholic Churches

    http://www.cnewa.us/source-images/Roberson-eastcath-statistics/eastcatholic-stat10.pdf

    CNEWA is a papal agency headquartered in New York whose purpose is to provide charitable support to Eastern Rite Catholic Churches worldwide. http://www.cnewa.us

  41. Sissy says:

    acardnal: thank you very much for those links. I think I understand it better now. I especially like the “family tree”; that’s something I can print out and consult when I get confused again! Much appreciated!

  42. acardnal says:

    For those who want to learn more about Eastern Rite Catholic, please consider supporting CNEWA and subscribe to their award winning magazine, “ONE”. You can read some of their articles here but you cannot really appreciate the excellent photography unless you get the magazine. http://www.cnewa.us/default.aspx?ID=217&pagetypeID=3&sitecode=US&pageno=1

    If you travel internationally on business or pleasure, please visit the Eastern Rite Churches and attend their Masses. They have a very, very rich heritage and liturgies which we all should participate in as members of the Catholic Church!

  43. JacobWall says:

    acardinal, thank you! The only thing never clarified explicitly is my initial question: what does “Roman Catholic Church” mean?

    One article, http://catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0246.html, uses “Roman Catholic Church” synonymously with “Catholic Church” – “The Eastern Rite Catholics are part of the Roman Catholic Church.”

    At the same time, http://credo.stormloader.com/ritesofc.htm, lists the “Roman Church” as one of the Latin Rite Churches.

    This is confusing. However, it seems to me that “Roman” has (at least) 2 main uses:

    1) when used in the phrase “Roman Catholic Church” it means the Catholic Church as a whole, since the entire Church is in communion with Rome. In this usage, wouldn’t it then be correct to call a Maronite or Coptic Catholic a “Roman Catholic?”

    2) when used in the phrase “Roman Rite” it refers specifically to the OF and EF Masses as the principal liturgical traditions within the Latin Rite, (as well as the Anglican Use). In this usage it has nothing to do with the Eastern Churches or their Rites.

    Is this correct?

  44. JacobWall says:

    @acardnal (I was misspelling your screen name – oops – I do that a lot!) You say, “If you travel internationally on business or pleasure, please visit the Eastern Rite Churches and attend their Masses.”

    Can we do this just at any time, any place, or are we supposed to attend Latin Rite churches when they are available? 2 of the 3 places where I spend most of my life (Southern Ontario, Mexico City) have Eastern Rite Churches that are within easily accessible distances, but are primarily Latin Rite areas. Can I just show up at an Eastern Rite Liturgy one Sunday morning? Do I need special permission? (FYI, I’m quite happy in the Latin Rite and I have no intention of changing, but I would like to attend just for the reasons you mention – support them and experience their rich liturgical traditions.)

  45. Sissy says:

    JacobWall: we have a Byzantine Catholic Church here in my town, and I visited one after my priest said it was fine to do so. But he told me a lot of things were “fine” that turned out not to be. So, I’m curious about this, also. The Byzantine rite was very beautiful and reverent.

  46. acardnal says:

    The Catholic Church is not synonymous with “Roman” Catholic Church. If you look at the documents promulgated by the Holy See, they typically do not say “Roman” Catholic Church. So Maronites and Coptics are Catholic in union with the Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XVI, but they are not Roman Catholics. So my response to item 1 above is “no”.

    I believe this chart is an accurate representation of the various churches and rites of which the Catholic Church consists as governed by the Supreme Pontiff, the Bishop of Rome. http://credo.stormloader.com/ritesofc.htm

  47. JacobWall says:

    I’ve attended the Byzantine Liturgy twice, but with the Orthodox rather than Eastern Catholics. Once was long before I joined the Catholic Church, and once was recently upon the invitation of an Orthodox friend of mine for a special occasion. I spoke to my priest, and since it was a special occasion, he said it was there was no problem, under the condition that I fulfilled my Sunday obligation on Saturday evening, which I had planned to do anyway. But visiting an Orthodox Church as an outside guest on a special occasion is just that. However, as a Latin Rite Catholic in a Eastern Rite parish, I wouldn’t be merely visiting as a outside guest, but actually taking communion as part of the same Church. Perhaps even fulfilling Sunday obligation? Again, I don’t know if I need special permission, or if we can do this whenever we feel like it, etc. Of course, I would talk to my priest about this, but I always prefer to approach these items with due care, rather than the “whatever I feel like doing” attitude.

  48. acardnal says:

    JacobWall , You can attend Eastern Rite Catholic liturgies and fulfill your Sunday obligation . . . even in your country of residence.

    I have attended them and particularly enjoy the Ukraine Catholic liturgies.

  49. JacobWall says:

    acardnal – thank you for clarifying. Again, I feel there is a good deal of confusion of the term “Roman Catholic.” I will keep this in mind; “Roman Catholic” means Catholics who use the “Roman Rite,” i.e. the OF and EF Masses and corresponding liturgical calendar and Canon Law.

  50. acardnal says:

    You can attend Eastern Rite Catholic Churches at any time or place.

    Regarding Eastern Orthodox churches, you can only attend their liturgies and satisfy your Sunday obligation when there is no Catholic Church available. For example, I had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to visit and stay at the Greek Orthodox monasteries of Mount Athos, Greece. There were no Catholic Churches there or for hundreds of miles. So I attended and received Holy Communion at their divine liturgy.

  51. eulogos says:

    acardnal…. you attended, of course. You might even meet your mass obligation that way if there were no Catholic churches available. But-you took communion? On Mt Athos? While this is acceptable from a Catholic point of view, I assure you, it is not acceptable from an Orthodox point of view. I attend an Orthodox church sometimes when I am in Maryland (always after first going to an early mass) and they know me quite well there, but if I went up and presented myself for communion, the priest would give me the foot of the chalice to kiss, which is their polite way of refusing communion. I receive the blessed bread (not the eucharist but blessed bread from the same loaf as that which was consecrated was taken) and I go up and kiss the crucifix and the priest’s hand, but I would never present myself for communion. I would love to receive communion there, but so long as this is against their understanding of what is proper, I will not.
    Susan Peterson

  52. eulogos says:

    Jacob, Yes, you are permitted to attend Eastern Catholic Liturgies and to receive communion there. Latin Rite Catholics may even join an Eastern Rite Parish as I have done. I found the people slow to warm up to me, but very warm now that they have.

    Just as it is with attending the Extraordinary Form, you might need to go several times before you are really oriented to what is happening. Some Eastern Rite churches have some parts of the liturgy in their original languages. My parish uses Church Slavonic for major parts of the liturgy, inconsistently. I once asked the cantor how they decided when to do it and when not to, and he said he knew by what note the priest ended the previous chant on! The old books used to be side by side, but the new ones we use are all in English, which doesn’t stop the people as they all know the Slavonic much better anyway. I make sure there is one of the old books near my seat for the parts I haven’t memorized in Slavonic yet. Also, they don’t post or announce the hymns, the cantor just starts one and everyone joins in, because of course, everyone knows these hymns. I still don’t know them all, after five years.
    This might not be true of every parish, some are more used to visitors and reach out to them more. Some use all English. Some have one liturgy in Ukrainian, and one in English. So it would make sense to check that ahead of time.
    You will probably be there from somewhat longer to much longer than you would be at a typical Sunday mass. Wear comfortable shoes (well this is really for women) because there is a lot of standing.
    But please do attend.
    Susan

  53. eulogos says:

    Oh, and Jacob, I forgot to include-it does fulfil your Sunday obligation. It is really a Catholic Church.
    Once when I was at Liturgy (in the East this is the proper term and not one of those S of VII neologisms)on a Holy Day a very Italian looking young man came in and genuflected. (In the East we dont’ genuflect, we make a profound bow.) Pretty soon his eyes began to widen, he got up, started to genuflect, wasn’t sure he should, and turned and fled. I wanted to run after him and say, “No, don’t go, this really IS a Catholic church.” But there were people on either side of me and I couldn’t manage it in time.
    Susan