- Pathfinder

Reply To: Are there elements of ancient and/or modern Near Eastern Christianity that are present in your own church/faith life? If so, what are they? If not, would you be open to implementing any?

Michael Caplan

At my college Newman Center one of the daily Mass participants was a Byzantine Rite Catholic who requested and received permission to chant the readings and psalms in the manner Eastern Christians do. I truly appreciated this added element to the liturgy that allowed an extra degree of reverence for listening to Holy Scripture. He also personally practiced standing for more portions of the Mass then was required-in alignment with many Eastern denominations today. As others have stated, incorporating greater use of the senses (hearing, smell, etc.) enables us to participate more corporally as members of one Body of Christ. It truly is remarkable to reflect on how many of the liturgical practices of struggling Christian communities in the Near East have been continuously practiced for nearly two millennia. Including those liturgical elements, where appropriate, forges greater unity between the divergent strands of Christianity and connects us to ancient Christian communities whose legacy lives on today.