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Praying in Jesus' Own Language
Zenit News Agency ^ | January 22, 2006 | Monsignor Petrus Yousif

Posted on 01/22/2006 3:32:48 PM PST by NYer

Interview With Professor of Chaldean Liturgy

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 22, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The Chaldean Church, whose patriarch resides in Baghdad, Iraq, takes pride in its ancient liturgy which uses the same language Jesus used.

In November, the Chaldean liturgy underwent a reform following a special synod in Rome.

To assess the extent of the reform, ZENIT interviewed Monsignor Petrus Yousif, professor of Syro-Chaldean patrology and Chaldean liturgy at the Pontifical Oriental Institute and the Catholic Institute of Paris. He is also the parish priest of France's Chaldean community.

In this interview, Monsignor Yousif, consultor of the Special Liturgy Commission for the Oriental Churches, shares his insight into the Chaldean rite, which uses Aramaic.

Q: Let's start at the beginning. What is the Chaldean rite?

Monsignor Yousif: It is one of the five principal Oriental rites, which are Antiochian, Alexandrian, Byzantine, Armenian and Chaldean. The rites have their own structure and texts.

The Chaldean rite is used by Chaldeans, Assyrians and Malabars.

Q: When did this rite begin and what are its characteristics?

Monsignor Yousif: Some elements date back to the third century, as the anaphora of Addai and Mari. The rite was born in Mesopotamia. We are talking about the beginning of the fourth century. And, in the mid seventh century it was organized by Mar Ishoyab III.

Q: Do they really use Jesus' language?

Monsignor Yousif: Yes, Aramaic, pronounced as Jesus pronounced it. It is a Semitic language.

The Mass has four biblical readings: two from the Old Testament and two from the New. The rite is sober. There is much singing. In general the Lectionary originated in Jerusalem.

The liturgical prayer distinguishes between the so-called cathedral prayer -- morning and afternoon; and the "monastic" -- the remaining hours.

Q: Is there an Orthodox Chaldean rite and a Catholic Chaldean rite?

Monsignor Yousif: The rite is the same for the Catholics and the Assyrians, called improperly "Nestorians."

Q: Where are Chaldeans found in the world?

Monsignor Yousif: The Chaldeans are in the five continents and practice their liturgy with freedom, using their language and translating it to the local languages if necessary. There are 5 million in the world.

Q: In what does the liturgical reform consist, approved by the Chaldean Synod in Rome?

Monsignor Yousif: The reform of the Mass was approved which in turn dates back to the beginnings and makes this venerable liturgy accessible to our time.

The text is clearer and more compact and it has, as a principle, the priest turning to the people when the people are being addressed, and when speaking to God, the cross is again gazed upon because it is Jesus who has the Father's face.

Q: How does the Chaldean rite differ from the Roman Catholic rite?

Monsignor Yousif: There are several differences: some details of the Mass, such as the epiclesis, the invocation to the Holy Spirit which closes the anaphora or Eucharistic prayer, invoking the Spirit that he may sanctify the gifts of the "bread and wine."

Q: And the sign of peace?

Monsignor Yousif: Indeed, the exchange of peace is also different. In this rite, the priest is made to take the chalice in his hand and give it to the deacon, who receives it with both hands and takes it to the faithful, who exchange it in the same way. Peace comes from the altar, which is the altar of reconciliation.

The third difference is that the Our Father is recited at the beginning and at the end of the Mass, inserting in the first part the seraphic hymn of Isaiah: Thy Kingdom come, holy, holy, holy.

Moreover, the liturgical prayer is different from the Latin because the cathedral prayer is different from the monastic, that is, in the Latin rite the hours terce, sext and none are recited, in addition to vespers and lauds. Instead, in the Chaldean, the people take part only in the morning and at vespers.

Q: What is the role of deacons and women in the Chaldean rite?

Monsignor Yousif: The deacon leads the community for proper participation in the Mass.

The role of women is to assist the priest in the baptism of adult women and in the mission of education of families: they are called "deaconesses," but there is no ordination of deaconesses as such, that is, with the "gift of the Holy Spirit," though there is a consecration in which the deaconess commits herself to the service of the Church.

Q: Are there vocations in your Church?

Monsignor Yousif: Despite the difficult situation in Iraq, we have a good number of seminarians and the faithful are very rooted in their faith.

In case of need, well-trained married laymen may be ordained as priests. At present there are a dozen "viri probati."

Q: Therefore, it can be said that the Chaldean rite is very alive?

Monsignor Yousif: According to the Second Vatican Council, it is a good thing that we remain faithful to our rite, and we are called to give testimony of it because of its antiquity, originality and richness, as a treasure that is part of the patrimony of the universal Church and of humanity.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Prayer; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: aramaic; chaldean; language; malobar; maronite; ourfather; syriac; syrian

1 posted on 01/22/2006 3:32:51 PM PST by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
Although it is not widely known in our Western world, the Catholic Church is actually a communion of Churches. According to the Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, the Catholic Church is understood to be "a corporate body of Churches," united with the Pope of Rome, who serves as the guardian of unity (LG, no. 23). At present there are 22 Churches that comprise the Catholic Church. The new Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, uses the phrase "autonomous ritual Churches" to describe these various Churches (canon 112). Each Church has its own hierarchy, spirituality, and theological perspective. Because of the particularities of history, there is only one Western Catholic Church, while there are 22 Eastern Catholic Churches. The Western Church, known officially as the Latin Church, is the largest of the Catholic Churches. It is immediately subject to the Roman Pontiff as Patriarch of the West. The Eastern Catholic Churches are each led by a Patriarch, Major Archbishop, or Metropolitan, who governs their Church together with a synod of bishops. Through the Congregation for Oriental Churches, the Roman Pontiff works to assure the health and well-being of the Eastern Catholic Churches.

While this diversity within the one Catholic Church can appear confusing at first, it in no way compromises the Church's unity. In a certain sense, it is a reflection of the mystery of the Trinity. Just as God is three Persons, yet one God, so the Church is 22 Churches, yet one Church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes this nicely:

"From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God's gifts and the diversity of those who receive them... Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions. The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church's unity" (CCC no. 814).

Although there are 22 Churches, there are only eight "Rites" that are used among them. A Rite is a "liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony," (Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 28). "Rite" best refers to the liturgical and disciplinary traditions used in celebrating the sacraments. Many Eastern Catholic Churches use the same Rite, although they are distinct autonomous Churches. For example, the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Melkite Catholic Church are distinct Churches with their own hierarchies. Yet they both use the Byzantine Rite.

To learn more about the "two lungs" of the Catholic Church, visit this link:

CATHOLIC RITES AND CHURCHES

The Vatican II Council declared that "all should realize it is of supreme importance to understand, venerate, preserve, and foster the exceedingly rich liturgical and spiritual heritage of the Eastern churches, in order faithfully to preserve the fullness of Christian tradition" (Unitatis Redintegrato, 15).

To locate an Eastern Catholic Church in your community, follow the following link:

Eastern Catholic Churches in the U.S.

A Roman rite Catholic may attend any Eastern Catholic Liturgy and fulfill his of her obligations at any Eastern Catholic Parish. A Roman rite Catholic may join any Eastern Catholic Parish and receive any sacrament from an Eastern Catholic priest, since all belong to the Catholic Church as a whole. I am a Roman Catholic practicing my faith at a Maronite Catholic Church. Like the Chaleans, the Maronites retain Aramaic for the Consecration. It is as close as one comes to being at the Last Supper.

2 posted on 01/22/2006 3:34:34 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: NYer
Although it is not widely known in our Western world, the Catholic Church is actually a communion of Churches.

You're going to get hammered for writing that. None of this is a bad thing, of course, but some folks around here are convinced that everyone under the umbrella of the RC church is uniform with all its teachings. Its just as splintered as Protestants are. The main thing is that we all believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and that, in Him, we are One Church regardless of man-made division.


3 posted on 01/22/2006 4:03:04 PM PST by DallasMike
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To: DallasMike; NYer
You're going to get hammered for writing that. None of this is a bad thing, of course, but some folks around here are convinced that everyone under the umbrella of the RC church is uniform with all its teachings.
NYer has been posting about the many rites of the Catholic Church for years. I've never seen him get hammered for it.
Its just as splintered as Protestants are.
All of the rites of the Catholic Church have a uniform theology. The differences, though enriching, are historical ones of ritual and liturgy--not theology.

4 posted on 01/22/2006 4:20:25 PM PST by Bohemund
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To: DallasMike
Its just as splintered as Protestants are. The main thing is that we all believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and that, in Him, we are One Church regardless of man-made division.

Perhaps you have misunderstood the statement. ALL of these churches are in full union with the Holy Father and the Magisterium! ALL of these churches profess the same faith! The only thing that changes is the manner in which the liturgy is celebrated and even then, ALL of the liturgies MUST contain the same elements, form and structure. For example, the Latin Rite Church offers communion under two separate species and allows distribution of the consecrated offerings by Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers. In most ot the Eastern Catholic Churches, communion is distributed by ONLY a priest or deacon and by intinction (the priest dips the consecrated host into the Precious Blood and places it on the tongue of the recipient.

There is NO comparison, whatsoever, to the separated protestant churches who have gone their own ways, with their own edicts.

5 posted on 01/22/2006 4:24:50 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: NYer

It's not as though God's accepting brownie points for praying in Aramaic.


6 posted on 01/22/2006 4:27:17 PM PST by F16Fighter
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To: NYer

"In most ot the Eastern Catholic Churches, communion is distributed by ONLY a priest or deacon and by intinction (the priest dips the consecrated host into the Precious Blood and places it on the tongue of the recipient."

Actually, that is a Latinization. The Eastern Churches never used an unleavened "host" until Rome got ahold of them. Most (indeed the overwhelming majority) Eastern Catholics today receive communion the way the Orthodox do, on a spoon with both the consecrated "bread" and the "wine" administered by a priest or deacon.


7 posted on 01/22/2006 5:15:13 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: NYer

Were Orthodox to intie Catholics are Catholics allowed to take part in Orthodox liturgies?

I do like the praying in aromaic that you've mentioned.


8 posted on 01/22/2006 5:22:25 PM PST by x5452
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To: DallasMike
You're going to get hammered for writing that.

Why should he be? It is true...

-Theo

9 posted on 01/22/2006 5:48:41 PM PST by Teˇfilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: NYer; Bohemund
Perhaps you have misunderstood the statement. ALL of these churches are in full union with the Holy Father and the Magisterium! ALL of these churches profess the same faith! The only thing that changes is the manner in which the liturgy is celebrated and even then, ALL of the liturgies MUST contain the same elements, form and structure.

I understood the statement completely. While it's true that the Eastern Rite churches are in full union with Rome, there are theological differences as well. As one Byzantine writer has said:

"An Oriental Rite, therefore, is not just a different way of saying Mass. It is a "special patrimony" with its own feasts and fasts, saints and shrines. It is devotion to the Mother of God without rosaries, devotion to saints without novenas, devotion to the Eucharist without Exposition or Benediction, the observance of Lent without stations of the cross. And what is more important, it is another "genius and temperament," an Oriental ethos from which these ritual and devotional differences flow. 

...

"The Westerner tends to emphasize the moral aspects of the sacramental and spiritual life, the strength received to aid him in his pilgrimage toward his final beatitude. Grace is seen as a principle of meritorious action, restoring to man the capacity for salutary works. The Oriental, however, sees man more as an imperfect similitude of God which grace perfects. His life in Christ is a progressive transfiguration into the likeness of God. Less is said of merit, satisfaction, beatitude, than of divinization, transfiguration, the transformation of man into the image of God.

The last statement describes the Eastern idea of salvation as having much in common with the traditional Protestant idea. Paul writes that we were saved in order to do good works and specifically refuted the meritorious notion that good works were necessary for our salvation.

Yes, the differences are mainly matters of emphasis but, in reality, the supposed divisions among Protestants are mostly matters of emphasis as well.

There is NO comparison, whatsoever, to the separated protestant churches who have gone their own ways, with their own edicts.

The differences are much less than you might believe. Yes, there are Protestant denominations that have completely sold out their faith but there are groups of Catholics who have done the same thing. They may not splinter off and form their own churches but they do have formal organizations and beliefs that separate themselves from mainstream Catholics. The simple fact is that there a lot of people -- both Catholic and Protestant -- who have discarded their faith.

I could also go into great detail about the Catholic Church in Latin America, which has intertwined itself with animism. I have spent a lot of time over the past 2 years working with Latin American immigrants (mostly "officially" Catholic) and yet I still get shocked every once in a while. You may not see this in New York but we certainly do here in Texas. Jesus Christ is not the center of their religion, but rather just one of the major characters. Seek out some Mexican or Guatemalan peasants and ask them about their Nahauls or Maximon or the celebrations of the cofradias. You'll be shocked. Fortunately, newer priests are coming into the region and are working hard to wipe out the animistic traditions.

Some Protestant churches are liturgical while others are not. Some of us are welcoming the renewal of the Holy Spirit across the world (and joining our Catholic brothers and sisters in doing so) while others do not. Some still hold on to legalistic tenets while others are more relaxed. The substantive differences among the most active Protestant groups are not as great as you may have been led to believe.


10 posted on 01/23/2006 1:02:23 PM PST by DallasMike
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To: DallasMike
The last statement describes the Eastern idea of salvation as having much in common with the traditional Protestant idea. Paul writes that we were saved in order to do good works and specifically refuted the meritorious notion that good works were necessary for our salvation.

Western Catholicism affirms everything the East says. All of their doctors are our doctors as well; the new catechism quotes extensively from the Greek Fathers.

I think it's odd that you think the Eastern approach is more congenial to Protestantism. How much have you read of the Greek Fathers? They don't sound very Protestant to me.

As for the role of works, both East and West are in agreement against the Reformers that "neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

11 posted on 01/23/2006 1:38:56 PM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: DallasMike; NYer; Bohemund; Kolokotronis
The last statement describes the Eastern idea of salvation as having much in common with the traditional Protestant idea. Paul writes that we were saved in order to do good works and specifically refuted the meritorious notion that good works were necessary for our salvation.

Yes, the differences are mainly matters of emphasis but, in reality, the supposed divisions among Protestants are mostly matters of emphasis as well.

When the Lutheran theologians of Tubingen wrote to Patriarch Jeremias II of Constantinople in the 16th century, the Patriarch rejected the Protestant theory of justification. His response is certainly representative of Eastern theology. For instance, at the 1672 Pan-Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem, it was defined:

We believe no one to be saved without faith. And by faith we mean the right notion that is in us concerning God and divine things, which, working by love, that is to say, by [observing] the Divine commandments, justifieth us with Christ; and without this [faith] it is impossible to please God. [. . .]

We believe a man to be not simply justified through faith alone, but through faith which worketh through love, that is to say, through faith and works. But [the notion] that faith fulfilling the function of a hand layeth hold on the righteousness which is in Christ, and applieth it unto us for salvation, we know to be far from all Orthodoxy. For faith so understood would be possible in all, and so none could miss salvation, which is obviously false. But on the contrary, we rather believe that it is not the correlative of faith, but the faith which is in us, justifieth through works, with Christ. But we regard works not as witnesses certifying our calling, but as being fruits in themselves, through which faith becometh efficacious, and as in themselves meriting, through the Divine promises {cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10} that each of the Faithful may receive what is done through his own body, whether it be good or bad, forsooth.

The Eastern Fathers speak similarly of the merits of good works. For instance:

"Ver. 6, 7. 'Who will render to every man according to his deeds, to them who by patient continuance in well doing,' etc. Since he had become awestriking and harsh by discoursing of the judgment and of the punishment that shall be, he does not forthwith, as one might expect, enter upon the vengeance, but turns his discourse to what was sweeter, to the recompense of good actions, saving as follows, Ver. 7. 'To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life.' Here also he awakens those who had drawn back during the trials, and shows that it is not right to trust in faith only. For it is deeds also into which that tribunal will enquire." (St. John Chrysostom, Homily 5 on the Letter to the Romans)

"If I be now summoned to depart this life, may I see you in the radiant glory of the saints, together with all them who are accounted worthy through patience and showing forth of good works, with crowns upon your heads." (St. Basil of Caesarea, Letter 222, to the People of Chalcis) "I exhort you to be mindful of the faith of the Fathers, and not to be shaken by those who in your retirement would try to wrest you from it. For you know that unless illumined by faith in God, strictness of life availeth nothing; nor will a right confession of faith, if void of good works, be able to present you before the Lord." (St. Basil of Caesarea, Letter 295, To Monks)

"Hence meditation on the law is necessary, my beloved, and uninterrupted converse with virtue, 'that the saint may lack nothing, but be perfect to every good works.' For by these things is the promise of eternal life, as Paul wrote to Timothy, calling constant meditation exercise, and saying, 'Exercise thyself unto godliness; for bodily exercise profiteth little; but godliness is profitable for all things, since it has the promise of the present life, and of that which is eternal.'" (St. Athanasius of Alexandria, Festal Letter 11 (339 AD), no. 7)

12 posted on 01/23/2006 9:16:18 PM PST by gbcdoj (Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us Jud 8:17)
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To: Kolokotronis
Eastern Catholics today receive communion the way the Orthodox do, on a spoon with both the consecrated "bread" and the "wine" administered by a priest or deacon.

Is the consecrated "bread" dipped in the "wine" before it is administered on a spoon? If so, is this not 'intinction'? The Latin Church administers the two separately, acknowledging that reception of either species is fully valid. Perhaps I am wrong but I don't know of any Eastern Church that follows this practice.

13 posted on 01/23/2006 11:59:32 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: NYer

" Is the consecrated "bread" dipped in the "wine" before it is administered on a spoon? If so, is this not 'intinction'?"

It isn't dipped in the wine as such. It is actually in the chalice. Only a part, the center part, of the leavened prophoros is actually consecrated. That part is called the "Lamb". The Lamb is cut into small chunks (almost like crutons) which the priest puts into the water and wine. That bread and wine combination is then given to the communicants on a golden spoon.


14 posted on 01/24/2006 3:39:45 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: gbcdoj; DallasMike; NYer; Bohemund
The Eastern Fathers are quite firm on this. The practice of virtue, the following of God's commandments is the result of faith and grace and this leads to theosis. +Gregory Palamas explains it well in this:

"After our forefather's transgression in paradise through the tree, we suffered the death of our soul - which is the separation of the soul from God - prior to our bodily death; yet although we cast away our divine likeness, we did not lose our divine image. Thus when the soul renounces its attachment to inferior things and cleaves through love to God and submits itself to Him through acts and modes of virtue, it is illuminated and made beautiful by God and is raised to a higher level, obeying His counsels and exhortations; and by these means it regains the truly eternal life. Through this life it makes the body conjoined to it immortal, so that in due time the body attains the promised resurrection and participates in eternal glory."

15 posted on 01/24/2006 3:51:55 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis
That bread and wine combination is then given to the communicants on a golden spoon.

Thank you for making my point. In the Latin Church, the consecrated bread and wine are distributed individually - the two never meet.

16 posted on 01/24/2006 5:53:12 AM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: NYer

Don't the Maronites use an unleavened host and dip that into the wine and then place it on the tongue of the communicant?


17 posted on 01/24/2006 7:15:45 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: NYer
Praying in Jesus' Own Language

Hey. Jesus and the apostles spoke English.

If the KJV was good enough for them, it's good enough for me!

18 posted on 01/24/2006 7:19:08 AM PST by MWS (Errare humanum est, in errore perservare stultum.)
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To: NYer

Here is a translation into English, from the Aramaic:

When pray you as such be speaking
Our father in heaven hallowed be your name
come your kingdom be done your will
as in Heven so on Earth
Give us the bread of our need everyday
and forgive us our sins
for we forgive all who have offended us
and not lead us into trial but save us from the evil one.


Source:
The New Testament,
The Book of the Holy Gospel,
a literal translation of the Syriac Peshito version,

James C. Murdock,
entered into the Library of Congress 1859


This particular translation is both simple and beautiful


19 posted on 01/24/2006 7:28:36 AM PST by djf
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To: djf
You had me fooled there ... for a minute, I thought you could actually read Aramaic!

Syriac/Aramaic is used extensively in the liturgy at my church. The entire liturgy is chanted back and forth between the priest and congregation. It's especially awesome to hear the priest chant the Consecration in Aramaic ... like being at the Last Supper.

20 posted on 01/24/2006 7:41:31 AM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: NYer

There are something like 6 Peshito manuscripts, I have translations of two of them.

I had the Murdock text rebound a few years back by a fellow here, a very, very reclusive Russian immigrant who does EXCELLENT work.

Cost a pretty penny, and I was worried about doing it because some of the old volumes had very high acid paper that disintegrated after a while.
But this volume has the good paper.


21 posted on 01/24/2006 7:51:12 AM PST by djf
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To: NYer

It was interesting in "The Passion", when I heard them say Kaiser, the Germanic/Aramaic term for Caesar.


22 posted on 01/24/2006 7:53:33 AM PST by djf
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To: Kolokotronis
Don't the Maronites use an unleavened host and dip that into the wine and then place it on the tongue of the communicant?

Yes and are the only Eastern Church that uses unleavened bread, as far as I know. But, it retains the Eastern approach of intinction and on the tongue.

23 posted on 01/24/2006 8:44:59 AM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: djf
It was interesting in "The Passion", when I heard them say Kaiser, the Germanic/Aramaic term for Caesar.

No, they were speaking Latin. Classical Latin pronounces "Caesar" as "Kai-zar". The Germans spell it "Kaiser," but it's the same word.

24 posted on 01/24/2006 8:59:29 AM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: NYer
In the Latin Church, the consecrated bread and wine are distributed individually - the two never meet.

That's usual practice, but intinction is absolutely allowed in the Latin Rite. Self-intinction is not (the minister has to dip the Host in the Blood, not the communicant), but intinction is permitted.

Liturgists don't seem to approve of it, however, so it's not seen very often. And, of course, it's not compatible with communion in the hand. (All the more reason to do it, IMO, but nobody listens to me. :-0)

25 posted on 01/24/2006 9:02:35 AM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Campion

OK, well, I know I heard somebody say Kaiser, it must have been the soldiers.


26 posted on 01/24/2006 9:03:43 AM PST by djf
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To: Campion

Its also the way it is pronounced in Greek.


27 posted on 01/24/2006 9:48:02 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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