Friday, May 25, 2018

AN HISTORICAL RECREATION OF A 15th CENTURY LATIN MASS — A Must See Video!

I am attaching for you a link to a Must See one hour video. This video is an historical reconstruction of a Roman Rite Mass as it would have been celebrated on October 4, 1450, the 18th Sunday after Pentecost. 

The Mass was sung in one of the medieval churches of the Swedish Island of Gotland. Fr. Anders Piltz, the celebrant, is a professor of latin in Lunds University and a Roman Catholic Priest. The cantor is Mattias Östborn, cantor at the Roman Catholic parish of Visby.

The Introduction to the Mass in the video is in Swedish, but it has been (a bit roughly) translated into English:

"Five hundred years ago, the universe seemed much more understandable than it does for us. All of existence was framed by a number of ceremonies and behavioral patterns which were a matter of course for people at the time. And the most important of them was the Holy Mass — that ring of charged words and actions which surround the central mystery in the Christian faith: That Jesus becomes man anew in the creatures of bread and wine.

"We have reconstructed a High Mass from 500 years ago in an ordinary Swedish parish church, namely in Endre Church, one mile east of Visby in Gotland. We imagined ourselves to be participating in this High Mass on an autumn Sunday in the middle of the 15th century. It is local people who are participating in clothes typical for the time, and we have tried as much as possible to reconstruct [something to do with (worship) services] in the Diocese of Linköping at that time - since Gotland belonged to that diocese.

"The service is conducted in an incomprehensible language, a language incomprehensible to the people: Latin. Because church services at the time were not considered a medium for communicating information, except for silent prayers. Just as one cannot describe what is fascinating about a melody or a sight, one shouldn't be able to understand or describe the central mystery of the universe. The congregation waits for the central moment, when the bread and wine shall be transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ.

"The priest was helped by a chorister, perhaps the [experienced?] youth whom [his soul has discovered?] and who with time would be sent to Linköping in order to attend the cathedral school. Songs, mostly from the Bible, were sung by the local cantor. We don't know exactly how the music went in the medieval churches. Maybe Endre Church had a specific order which required a qualified cantor like the one we shall see here.

"The Sunday service began when the priest sprinkled Holy Water on the congregation. This was to remind them that they had become members of the Christian church through baptism. The Holy Water would drive away all the powers of evil.

"Let us now place ourselves in the Middle Ages. Let us try to grasp the atmosphere in a normal Swedish parish church, in a time where man still believed himself cast out into an empty, cold existence, when Europe was still unified, and when the central mystery around which everything revolved was that Jesus Christ, had become man, had died, and risen again for all.”

The Mass itself begins 3 minutes and 52 seconds into the video.

This historical reconstruction is of a Roman Rite Mass celebrated nearly four centuries after the Great Papal schism of AD 1054, and about 120 years before the Roman pope, Pius V, issued his Tridentine Roman Missal in 1570. The Tridentine Liturgy is different in a number of ways from what you will see in this historical reconstruction because by 1570, Counter-Reformation Roman Catholicism was rapidly evolving away from the Faith and practice of what is commonly called the Undivided Church. However, this Mass was offered 67 years before Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg beginning the Protestant Revolution. Even four centuries after the Great Papal Schism the Mass you will see has much more in common with Western Rite Orthodox liturgical practice than it does with Tridentine Roman liturgical practice, although some obvious non-Orthodox accretions were already creeping into the Liturgy.

Among the first things that the viewer will notice in the video, which takes place in a medieval Swedish parish church, is that there is a Rood Screen separating the sanctuary from the nave. The Rood (meaning Cross) Screen has a image of the Crucifixion at its center, and resembles an Eastern Rite Iconostasis, only much more open making the altar, the celebrant and the ministers of the altar completely visible to the faithful.

You will also notice that there are two candlesticks on the altar, not six. The use of six candlesticks came much later while the use of two candles is the ancient practice. There is also a cantor stand near the altar and icons behind the altar. With the exception of the Rood Screen this reminds me very much of Holy Cross parish in Omaha, and we plan to have a Rood Screen as soon as we are able to purchase or build a permanent church building.

As the Mass begins, it is important to note that the chalice is not covered with a stiff pall, chalice veil or a burse. The stiff pall and chalice veil are of very late development and are not ancient at all. The corporal is simply folded and placed on the paten.  

As usual, the corporal is unfolded and spread out on the altar. However, the back of the corporal is folded over the chalice to cover it. That was the ancient Western practice, although sometimes a second corporal was also used to cover the chalice, but never a stiff pall. The stiff pall is a much later development. When the celebrant removes the chalice and paten from the altar after Mass they are carried covered with the open corporal. 

Neither the celebrant nor the acolyte ever genuflect during the Mass. Dropping to one knee is not an ancient form of reverence, and only came into use much later. Instead, reverence is shown by bowing. This was the common practice in both the East and West, and is still the practice in the Orthodox Church today.

There is neither a Processional or a Recessional Hymn sung at this Mass. Although there is nothing wrong with these hymns, they are actually outside of the Liturgy are are sung before and after Mass as the celebrant and ministers approach and later leave the altar. In this particular Mass the celebrant and acolyte simply enter the sanctuary and begin the Liturgy, as is also the practice in Eastern Rite Orthodox churches. 

The singing in this Mass consists of the Ordinary and the Propers, and everything is sung a cappella (without musical accompaniment). The use of a church organ in the worship of the church is post Great Schism, and only spread slowly in the West and not without controversy. No organ was used in this parish church in 1450.

There is no tabernacle on the altar. There were a number of different ways in which the Sacrament of Holy Communion was reserved in ancient times. In this medieval parish church the tabernacle was located in the wall. Another way of reserving the Blessed Sacrament for the sick was to place it in a tabernacle shaped like a Dove that was suspended from the ceiling above the altar. 

So what were some of the problematic changes that had entered liturgical practice in the  four centuries after the Great Papal Schism as depicted in this video of the Mass for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, October 4, 1450?

First and foremost, the exclusive use of a dead language. In the ancient Roman Church the language of the Liturgy was Greek. That was because Greek was the language of the Christian population in Rome and was in common use throughout the civilized world of the time. When Latin was replacing Greek as the common language of the people in third century Rome, the Liturgy began to be celebrated in Latin as it had become the vernacular.

By the time we get to the year 1450, national languages had long been developed and Latin had become a dead language for all but clerics and scholars. This was before the printing press, so the people did not have a hand missal with Latin on one side and the vernacular on the other. Even the altar missal being used by the celebrant is hand copied, as seen in the video. But even if the faithful had a bilingual missal it would have done them little good as the common people were functionally illiterate throughout Western Europe.

With the Liturgy in a dead language it ceased to be “the work of the people” — which is what the word liturgy means. No longer able to participate in the Mass they would come to “hear Mass” and would understand little or nothing of what they heard. Even those who had some understanding of the Ordinary of the Mass would completely miss out on the Scripture-rich Propers. Rather than praying the Mass the faithful were reduced to praying at Mass, and many among the lower clergy were little better off. They could recite the Latin, but often with little comprehension. 

Because the faithful could no longer participate in the Mass and could only hear Mass in a language they did not understand, the Epistle and Gospel lections were read at the altar without turning to the people. There was no longer any need to. 

The preparatory prayers are said at the foot of the altar in this Mass. The older practice was to say them in the sacristy, but over the centuries they came to be said at the foot of the altar in various places. However, this did not become the official practice of the Roman Church until Pius V issued his Missal in 1570.

Other innovations included the use of unleavened bread, consecrating on the corporal rather than on the paten, and administering Holy Communion in one kind only. With the faithful being reduced to being spectators at a Mass in a language they could not understand, receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion became very infrequent, often only at Pascha (Easter). In this video we see only two lay people coming forward to receive Communion despite the church being full. Even the acolyte and cantor do not receive Holy Communion.

As the reception of Holy Communion became increasingly infrequent, elevations were inserted into the Mass after the Words of Institution so the faithful could at least gaze upon the Blessed Sacrament. You will see them in this Mass, however without any accompanying genuflections. These elevations were a late medieval insertion into the Roman Rite. The practice began in Northern Europe and was accepted in Rome only in the fourteenth century. At first, the only elevation was that of the Host. The Chalice was not elevated. The first bishop known to have ordered the elevation of the Host was Bishop Eudes de Sully of Paris (1196–1208). This innovation gradually spread in the West, but the elevation of the Chalice did not begin until much later, was not universal in the Roman Church, and was never adopted by the Carthusians. 

Genuflections to accompany the elevations appeared still later, and became an official part of the rite only with Pope Pius V's Tridentine Roman Missal of 1570. In ancient times the word genuflection meant to fall on both knees. Dropping to one knee was a later redefinition of genuflection. The elevations were suppressed in England by rubric in 1549, as the English bishops were trying to restore the practice of frequent Communion.

The Mass you are about to experience in this video has far more in common with the Roman Rite as used in the Orthodox Church today than it does with the Novus Ordo or even the Tridentine Roman Rite. Remove the few post-Great Schism accretions, restore the Liturgy to the language of the people and as the work of the people, and return to the ancient practice of frequent Communion, and it would be what is experienced in Western Rite Orthodox churches today. 

Here is the link:


The Holy Eucharist is the centre and summit of our spiritual life. Holy Mass is indeed heaven on earth. Come and see. The Orthodox Catholic Church welcomes you!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

WESTERN RITE REPORT — Six Ordinations Last Week, Three New Congregations Received and a New Deanery Erected!

Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), First Hierarch (Primate) of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) and Ordinary of the Western Rite Communities ordained six candidates last week for service in the ROCOR Western Rite Communities. The men ordained are:

Fr. (Priestmonk) Serafim (Furemalm), Holy Protection — Stockholm, Sweden.

Fr. (Priestmonk) Lazarus (Wilhelmsson), Saints Halvard and Nikolaus — Gothenburg, Sweden.

Fr. Deacon Michael Petrus Catenacci, Holy Protection — Stockholm, Sweden.

Fr. Deacon Andreas Eraybar, Saints Halvard and Nikolaus — Gothenburg, Sweden.

Fr. John (Ron) Longero, St Andrew’s, Reno Nevada.

Fr. Seraphim Byrd, St Thomas’ — Mountain Home, Arkansas.

The three new parishes were received. They are:

Holy Protection of the Mother of God Orthodox Church — Stockholm, Sweden.

Saints Halvard and Nikolaus Orthodox Church — Gothenburg, Sweden.

St. Andrew’s Orthodox Church — Reno, Nevada.

More clergy and congregations in Scandinavia will be received later, with these four ordinations being just the beginning. A Scandinavian Deanery has been erected by Metropolitan Hilarion with Fr. Serafim as Dean. The Scandinavia Deanery includes Norway, Sweden and Denmark. This is historic. The events of last week have restored Western Rite Orthodoxy in Scandinavia after many centuries. 

Fr. Serafim, Dean of the Scandinavian Deanery, had served as a priest in the Church of Sweden for fifteen years. In recent years Catholic-minded clergy in Sweden and Norway left their State Churches and reorganized themselves as the Nordic Catholic Church. Fr. Serafim and other Scandinavian clergymen were re-ordained by Prime Bishop Anthony Mikowsky of the Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC), who travelled to Sweden for the ordinations. The Nordic Catholic Church became an affiliate of the PNCC in the Union of Scranton, and Fr. Serafim was made the bishop’s Vicar for Sweden. 

For many clergy and laity within the Nordic Catholic Church becoming Old Catholics in the PNCC was only a step on their path to Orthodoxy. Having formally embraced the Faith of the Undivided Church they soon wanted to continue their journey to fullness and enter into visible unity with the Orthodox Church. There are other Scandinavian clergy and congregations forthcoming. For logistic reasons the ordinations began with the initial four clergy, so as to lay a solid foundation in both Stockholm and Gothenburg, the two largest cities in Sweden. 

St Andrew’s Orthodox Church in Reno, Nevada and its rector, Fr. John (Ron) Longero were received into the ROCOR Western Rite Communities from the Diocese of San Joaquin, of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). An Anglican priest for more than 27 years and a graduate of Nashota House, Fr. John had been the Vocations Director for the Diocese of San Joaquin. 

With the reception of St. Andrew’s there are now two Western Rite Orthodox parishes and a Western Rite church-plant in the State of Nevada. Fr. William Bauer, a popular teacher on Western Rite Radio, is the rector of the other parish — St. Columba in Fernley, Nevada. Fr. William and I go way back as confreres. We served together under both Bishop Donald Davies, first bishop of Fort Worth, and Bishop Patrick Murphy, 1973 winner of the Keble Award from the old American Church Union. Fr. William and the parish of St. Columba were received into the Orthodox Church from the Episcopal Missionary Church (EMC), a continuing Anglican jurisdiction that had its origin as a missionary diocese of the old Episcopal Synod of America (ESA), the precursor of Forward in Faith North America (FIFNA).

Fr. Seraphim Byrd is a former Baptist pastor and missionary. Having studied himself into Orthodox Christianity he left the 1,200 family Baptist church that he was pastoring to  enter the Orthodox Church as a layman. A member of St. Thomas Orthodox Church, a Western Rite parish in Mountain Home, Arkansas, pastored by former ACNA bishop Fr. Samuel Seamans, he continued his theological education and worked his way up through minor orders and the diaconate, and was ordained to the presbyterate last week. He has been assigned to assist Fr. Samuel Seamans at St. Thomas.

On Friday, April 20, the newly ordained Fr. Serafim and Fr. Deacon Michael celebrated Holy Mass at St Joseph's Orthodox Church in Sarasota, Florida in the presence of Metropolitan Hilarion.  They served primarily in Swedish, with some English. The Vicar General, Fr. Mark Rowe writes, “It was a beautiful service, and Fr. Serafim mentioned it was a great honor as he had never served with a Metropolitan on the throne.”

Orthodox clergy who were present for the ordinations include, Vicar General Fr. Mark Rowe, Hieromonk Ezekiel and Fathers John Cook, George Fuchs, Andrew Gomez and Brendan Dougherty. Fathers Mark Rowe, John Cook, George Fuchs, Andrew Gomez and Brendan Dougherty are all former Anglican priests. Fr. Mark Rowe is a former Anglican Archdeacon, and Fr. John Cook was a priest of the Missionary Diocese of All Saints, ACNA.

This is the third series of Western Rite ordinations so far this year, and it is only April.  Among those ordained to the priesthood earlier this year are three men that I have gotten to know well:

Fr. Germain Hoernschemeyer, St. Genevieve of Paris — St. Louis, Missouri.

Fr. Thomas Janikowski, St. Athanasius — Davenport, Iowa.

Fr. Mark Grant, St. Tikhon — Richmond, Virginia.

Fr. Germain Hoernschemeyer comes to the ROCOR Western Rite Communities from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a traditional Roman Catholic priestly society that uses the traditional Latin Mass exclusively. Fr. Thomas Janikowski is a Nashota House graduate and had been a Dean in the Diocese of Quincy, ACNA, and the director of Quad Cities Anglican Radio before his reception into the Orthodox Church. Fr. Mark Grant is also a Nashota House alumni and was a priest at the largest diocesan cathedral in the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC) before being received into Orthodoxy in February.

The ROCOR Western Rite Communities are growing rapidly in numbers of clergy, congregations and faithful, both in America and Abroad. What began as a trickle is becoming a flood. In addition to the ordinations so far this year, we have also seen the development of Western Rite Radio, and are preparing for our first annual Western Rite Orthodox youth camp this summer. Western Rite Radio can be heard on-line here: https://wroradio.blogspot.com; and the St. Gabriel Youth Camp will be held from July 23 through 27 in Resaca, Georgia. More information on the Orthodox Western Rite Communities can be found here: https://www.rocor-wr.org

The Western Rite has been restored, the Western Church is being rebuilt and the post-Christian West is being re-evangelized. Whether Eastern Rite or Western Rite, we are all united in the 330 million-member Orthodox Church, are brethren, and are coworkers in the Lord’s harvest field. The Orthodox Church is the oldest Church in the world, with a continuous and unbroken history going back some 2,000 years to Jerusalem — to our Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles; and the Orthodox Church remains firmly rooted in Jerusalem and the Middle East to this day. Unchanged and unchanging in Faith and Morals after 2,000 years, the Orthodox Church continues to firmly hold the Orthodox Catholic Faith that has been believed “everywhere, always and by all” (Canon of St. Vincent of Lerins). 

With the fall of Soviet communism and the Iron Curtain, a New Springtime has begun for the Orthodox Church, a New Pentecost. As Tertullian said, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. The Work of the Great Commission is advancing world-wide and the restoration of the Western Rite and the rebuilding of the Western Church has begun. These are exciting times for Orthodox Christians. The Church is on the move and Church history is being written. 

Every Western Christian, whether Roman Catholic, Anglican or Protestant, has ancestors who were Orthodox Christians. Becoming Orthodox is nothing more than coming home to your family Church. You can come home again, and you are wanted. You will be welcomed with love and open arms. I know, because at Holy Cross parish we were. This month we celebrated our sixth Pascha (Easter) as a Western Rite Orthodox parish, and we have never been happier. We love being Orthodox and you will too. We can help. Let us hear from you!


Monday, April 16, 2018

HOLY SHROUD PRESENTATION — Sunday, April 22 at Noon

"If Christ is risen - then nothing else matters” — Jaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006)

Have you ever heard of the Holy Shroud, commonly called the Shroud of Turin?

This coming Sunday, April 22nd, Mr. James Bertrand, a certified Shroud Presenter will be at our church to make a detailed power point Presentation on the Holy Shroud. 

The Holy Shroud — the burial Shroud of our Lord — was taken to Antioch from Jerusalem in the first century because of the persecution in the Holy City. When the Persian army threatened Antioch, the Holy Shroud was taken by Patriarch Ephraemius of Antioch to Constantinople in AD 540, where it remained for more than six and a half centuries. In 1201, Nicholas Mesarites, the overseer of the Imperial Relic Collection, published an inventory of the relics kept in the chapel of the palace in Constantinople. The Holy Shroud was included in the inventory. 

Just days before the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, by the Crusaders who were supposed to be peacefully passing through on their way to the Holy Land, Robert de Cari, a French knight, writes in his memoirs that he had seen the Holy Shroud as it was displayed every Friday in St. Mary’s Church “so that the features of Our Lord could be plainly seen there.” With the sacking of Constantinople, the Holy Shroud was looted, taken to France and then eventually on to Turin, Italy where it remains. 

The Holy Shroud was a relic in the possession of the Orthodox Church for some twelve centuries before it was looted during the sack of Constantinople. If indeed authentic, the Shroud of Turin is a very important relic for all Orthodox Christians, and is perhaps the most important relic there is.

The Shroud of Turin is the most studied artifact in history. And as more information about the Shroud has been gathered, the wealth of scientific observations show an increasingly coherent story, which is consistent with the Gospels and authenticity. Each person can consider the information that will be presented and come to his or her own reasonable judgment regarding the Shroud.

James Bertrand has been teaching science for 37 years and has given over 130 Shroud presentations as a Certified Presenter for The American Confraternity of the Holy Shroud.  Mr. Bertrand is an affiliate of the Turin Shroud Center in Colorado Springs, headed by the world’s foremost authority on the Shroud, Dr. John Jackson. Dr. Jackson's more than four decades of research have been summarized into a publication called The Critical Summary. Mr. Bertrand will present an overview of that document with high-resolution photos as part of a 60 minute power point Presentation to be given in our parish hall on Sunday, April 22 at Noon. This Presentation is open to the public and there is no charge to attend. A free will offering will be taken. A replica of the Holy Shroud will be on display. The Critical Summary containing his presentation and much, much more will be available for purchase after the presentation.

Sunday Matins is at 9:15 AM, with the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist at 10:00 AM,  followed by the Presentation on the Holy Shroud at Noon, immediately after the Liturgy. Refreshments will be served during the Presentation. The public is invited and everyone is welcome to attend. Invite your family and friends. Join us for Worship and remain for the Presentation on the Holy Shroud, or just come for the Presentation, but come! The Presentation will be informative, edifying and may just change your life.  

We hope to see you there!

HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH
7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127
(402) 573-6558

Saturday, April 7, 2018

THE HOLY FIRE HAS DESCENDED IN JERUSALEM! JOIN US FOR THE GREAT VIGIL OF PASCHA TONIGHT (Saturday, April 7) AT 11:00 PM

THE GREAT VIGIL OF PASCHA (THE EASTER VIGIL) — Tonight at 11:00 PM

The Great Vigil of Pascha (Easter), followed by the Solemn Paschal Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist will begin at 11:00 PM tonight. The Great Vigil includes the Lighting of the New Fire and the Paschal Candle, the Prophecies, the Reception of Catechumens, the Litany, and the Solemn Paschal Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist. After the Liturgy there will be fellowship and refreshments in our parish hall in celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. There are no Services scheduled for later on Sunday morning.

THE HOLY FIRE HAS DESCENDED IN JERUSALEM!!!

The Holy Fire has descended in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, as seen on the live stream on the Facebook page of the Jerusalem Patriarchate and on RIA-Novosti. You will want to view the video and photos on these sites.

The Holy Light descended at about 2:20 PM (7:20 AM Eastern Standard Time). The Holy Fire appeared in the edicule (the small chapel built over the burial place of Christ) just a few minutes after the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, entered there to pray and wait.

The descent of the Holy Fire was preceded by a complex ceremony: the doors of the Sepulchre were sealed with a large wax seal as a sign that its inspection had finished, and in it was found nothing that would allow the Patriarch of Jerusalem to ignite a fire by any ordinary means.

By this time the church was, as always, filled to overflowing with thousands of believers—both local Arab Orthodox and Orthodox pilgrims from all around the world. When the Patriarch of Jerusalem arrived his person was carefully searched to ensure that nothing capable of igniting a fire was brought in the Sepulcher of Christ.

The Holy Fire descends from heaven and into the Sepulchre of Christ which is located within the ancient Church of the Holy Sepluchre and ignites candles brought in by the Patriarch. Often candles held by the faithful and lampadas hanging in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre also spontaneously ignite, and sometimes the spontaneous ignitions also occur in neighboring Orthodox churches.

The Miracle of the Holy Fire has occurred in Jerusalem on the Vigil of Orthodox Pascha (Easter) since the first century. When the Roman Catholic Crusaders conquered Jerusalem and seized the Holy Places from the Orthodox, the Miracle of the Holy Fire ceased. After the Crusaders withdrew from Jerusalem and the Holy Places returned to the Orthodox Church, the annual Miracle of the Holy Fire resumed. The Miracle of the Holy Fire which occurs year after year and century after century is a yearly reminder that Christ remains with His Church as its Head.

At the ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was present a delegation of the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation, which, closer to midnight, will deliver the fire to the patriarchal Paschal Service in the Church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, Russia. Delegations from other Local Orthodox Churches, such as the Romanian, Serbian, Greek, Bulgarian, etc. also took part in the ceremony and received the Holy Fire to take back to their own Churches. Last year the Holy Fire was brought to the United States for the first time and we were privileged to receive it at Holy Cross parish.

You can find more information on the descent of the Holy Fire in 2018 here:


The Evangelical Protestant magazine, Christianity Today had a good article on the Holy Fire titled, 

IN PICTURES: STUNNING SCENES FROM ORTHODOX EASTER HOLY FIRE CEREMONIES


Here is a two hour video of today's events in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,

HOLY FIRE DESCENDS ON JERUSALEM’S CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE (VIDEO)


HOLY PASCHA — THE FEAST OF FEASTS!

Holy Pascha is the Feast of Feasts and the holiest day of the Christian Year. Everyone in warmly invited to join us at church tonight, Saturday, April 7, at 11:00 PM for the Great Vigil of Pascha. 

In the Orthodox Church the Paschal Liturgy (Easter Mass) is always celebrated at Midnight. Bring the children — Pascha is a day to make memories that will last a lifetime. Invite everyone you know to attend — family, friends, neighbors, everyone. Hearts will be touched and lives changed.

Everyone is invited to attend and visitors are always welcome. Come and share the ancient Paschal Greeting, “Christ is Risen!” With the response, “He is Risen Indeed!” Come and share the Paschal Joy! It will be a joyous and glorious night. We are a faithful, friendly, vibrant and growing parish, and we have a place for you!

We will be looking forward to seeing you at 11:00 PM tonight!

HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH
7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127
(402) 573-6558

Friday, March 30, 2018

HOLY WEEK SERVICE SCHEDULE


PALM SUNDAY, April 1

9:15 AMSolemn Matins
10:00 AMBlessing of Palms and the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist                     

SPY WEDNESDAY, April 4

11:00 – 11:25 AM Confessions
11:30 AM              Matins
11:55 AM             Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified


TRIDUUM SACRUM — The Sacred Triduum

MAUNDY THURSDAY, APRIL 5

6:30 PM Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist, Procession, Vespers, and the Stripping of the Altar

GOOD FRIDAY, April 6

10:00 AM Matins
Noon Stations of the Cross
6:30 PM Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified and Vespers (Burial of Christ)

GREAT VIGIL OF PASCHA (EASTER), Saturday, April 7

11:00 PM Vespers, Blessing of the New Fire and Paschal Candle, the Prophecies, Reception of Catechumens, Litany, and the Paschal Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist


HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH
7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127
www.holycrossomaha.net
(402) 573-6558

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Pope: “It is an Honor to be called a Revolutionary” (La Repubblica, Mar. 29, 2018)

The Chair of New Testament Studies at the Jesuit-run College of the Holy Cross is Professor Tat-Siong Benny Liew. He was appointed Chair of New Testament Studies at Holy Cross College in 2013. Breitbart reports that Professor Liew claims that Jesus was a “drag king.” Liew says that Jesus is not only “king of Israel” and “king of the Jews,” but “also a drag king,” as presented in the New Testament Gospel of John. Saint John’s constant references to Jesus wanting water, giving water, and leaking water “speak to Jesus’ gender indeterminacy and hence his cross-dressing and other queer desires,” Liew contends. You can read all about it here:

HOLY CROSS THEOLOGY PROFESSOR SAYS JESUS WAS A “DRAG QUEEN” WITH “QUEER DESIRES"


But there is no need to worry about blasphemy and the danger of hell because Pope Francis now says there is no hell! Perhaps the pope was just misunderstood,… yet again. You can read about it from Newsweek here:

DOES HELL EXIST? POPE FRANCIS SAYS NO IN NEW INTERVIEW THAT COULD CHANGE CATHOLIC CHURCH FOREVER


The Pope said, “It is an Honor to be called a Revolutionary” (La Repubblica, Mar. 29, 2018). God forbid! We are called to “guard the Deposit" of Faith, to “earnestly contend for the faith which once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), and NOT TO BE REVOLUTIONARIES. This is very serious and cannot be ignored. The Second Vatican Council was indeed the French Revolution in the Roman Church. People can only continue in the Roman Church at great peril to their souls. Extramural Roman Catholicism such as the SSPX or Sedevacantism is not the answer as they are at best lifeboats and are not the Church. 

Genuine Catholicism can be found in the Orthodox Catholic Church, and no where else. The Orthodox Church is the oldest Church in the world, the original Church that was established by our Lord Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, and she is still rooted in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The Orthodox Church has never experienced a Reformation, Counter-Reformation or a Vatican II-style Revolution. In the Orthodox Church it is an honor to be called faithful, not to be called a revolutionary. After some 2,000 years the Orthodox Church remains thoroughly Orthodox, and is unchanged and unchanging in Faith and Morals.  

For more information you will want to read:

AN APPEAL TO TRADITIONAL ROMAN CATHOLICS FROM AN ORTHODOX CATHOLIC PRIEST


It is time to come home to the fullness of the Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Faith. Please, share this with family and friends, and invite them to join us for Holy Mass this Sunday at 10:00 AM.  Make no mistake about it, souls are at stake. We are a faithful, friendly and vibrant parish and we have a place for everyone.

Blessings,

Father+

Fr. Victor Novak
Rector
HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH
7545 Main Street
Raston, Nebraska 68127
(402) 573-6558