Roman Catholic Mass - Ukrainian Catholic Divine Liturgy

What is the difference?

One of the biggest differences most Roman Catholics would see between the Roman rite and Byzantine rite is the way the Mass or as it is called in the Byzantine rite, Divine Liturgy, is celebrated.

The whole liturgy is sung or chanted with a continuous back and forth between the priest and the congregation. The priest wears different vestments and uses different-looking religious articles or vessels during the celebration of the liturgy. For most of the liturgy, the priest leads the congregation in worship by facing east or with his back to the people. However, there is much more movement of the priest between the sanctuary and the nave of the church than in the Roman rite. Also, there are very few parts of the liturgy in which the congregation does not have an active part.

The prayers of the Byzantine liturgy, with the exception of the Creed (said without the Filioque) and Our Father, are different than in the Roman rite. There are more litanies throughout the liturgy and many more signs of the cross. The two main liturgies used, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and the Liturgy of St. Basil, are approximately 1,600 years old. The bread consecrated into the body of Christ is leavened bread instead of unleavened bread. This symbolizes that Christ is the leaven in our lives. The priest distributes the precious body and blood of our Lord that have been mixed together in the chalice by use of a spoon instead of placing an unleavened host in the hand or on the tongue as in the Roman rite.


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