Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A few more reflections

I have grown so tired of these posters on Byzcath.org attacking good people such as Prof. Thompson and Fr David Petras for their involvement with the revision. I know Prof. Thompson from my trips to Pittsburgh for the MCI classes over the last 6 years. (Five flights each year!) I travelled with him to Uzhorod last summer where I have pictures of him with Metropolitan Nicholas.

My own experience with crossover between jurisdictions has always been positive.

Last year while visiting in Perth Amboy, NJ (after just having been in Uzhorod, with Prof Thompson) I wound up singing a Parastas at the ACROD church since there was no cantor available. I had gone in on a Monday morning hoping for the possibility of attending a liturgy only to find no one inside. I went up to the icon at the tetrapod to venerate it. I heard a rustling in the sacristy and hoped that Fr would come out if there wasn't going to be a liturgy. He did. He indicated that originally he was going to have a Parastas/Panachida that morning but the cantor wasn't able to make it. Being a cantor myself, I volunteered my services. Fr. accepted, and I sang the Panachida, Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox style! It helped that I had already met him a few years back.

This church, St John the Baptist, was the same church that my grandfather had been assigned to by Bishop Basil Takach in the 20's. In the 30's the parish council voted to go orthodox (ACROD) and told the catholic parishioners they could leave. My grandfather was one of those who remained Catholic and left, helping to form a new parish (St Nicholas) located only a mile away. When I first visited the ACROD parish three years ago, I learned that my grandfather had not completly severed ties to that parish and was in fact fondly remembered.

Many times, I have sung with my local OCA church choir for Vespers and even some of the all Slavonic liturgies they do once a month. I have even chanted the psalms at the Antiochian Orthodox parish. The priests at both parish know I am Byzantine Catholic and have even come to some of our parish dinners.