I was fascinated by their different vestments. Some of the headgear looked like crowns, which I thought was a little odd but I don't know much about the Orthodox churches. The only outfits I've ever seen before were the black robes with the flat hats.
As both Pope John XXIII and John Paul II reminded us, the Catholic Church is both Eastern and Western. There are 22 different Rites (liturgies) within the One, Holy, Catholic Church.
Many of us forget that Jesus Christ was born, died and resurrected in the East. He never went to Rome. After Pentecost, His disciples set out to spread the good news. It is in Antioch, now called Syria, that the words 'catholic' and 'christian' were first used. In each place where the Apostles stopped, a liturgy sprung up, eventually reaching Rome.
The first wave of immigrants to the US came from Europe, bringing the Latin Mass. The next group of immigrants came from the East. Where sufficient numbers of them settled, they were able to bring over a priest to celebrate their liturgy. As persecution of christians in the Middle East continues, more and more of them are fleeing to the US and more Eastern Catholic Churches are springing up. A Roman Catholic may attend Mass at any of the Eastern Catholic Churches and fulfill their Sunday obligation.
To learn more about the various catholic liturgies, follow this link:
To locate an Eastern Catholic Church in your community, follow this link:
Should you decide to attend one of these liturgies, do some research ahead of time to familiarize yourself with the differences. I guarantee you an awesome experience!
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