22 February 2017

Liturgical attitudes (Experiences from the Assyrian church of the East)

 I was blessed with the opportunity to experience Liturgy in Aramaic for the past few Sundays, while my parish had suspended Sunday Liturgy, I share my experiences to perhaps to bring a different perspective to some of the debates we see in western circles.

a. Attitude is everything.

The priests and deacons were in prayer before the Divine Liturgy, praying Orthos in Aramaic. (I was praying mine in Russian). None of this casual atmosphere as one finds in many of the western parishes.

Afterwards, the priest and I had a brief introduction, I stayed for Liturgy. it was quite nice to hear the language of Our Lord being used. Fortunately, there was a Latinised version of the Aramaic so I could somehow attempt to sing the Liturgy. It not being among the languages that I do speak, was a little hard to sing at first.

Everyone was attentive to the Liturgy and the various actions within the Liturgy, from the sign of peace to the incensations, and when the deacon went around with the incense. Seeing as the Liturgy was nearly 2 hours long, this non-Byzantine rite definitely had much motion, but there was plenty of genuflecting by the priest and deacons....it was very interesting to observe the various points. I think on a non-Sunday Liturgy, we would be kneeling with them. ...

Something that I've repeated on this blog and elsewhere, it's hard to take things seriously, when those that around us don't. This wasn't a problem. Everyone knew their piece and did what they were supposed to do.

b. Come time for Holy Communion....

As an Eastern, we really don't do Communion in the Hand...so needless to say that I was taken back when Our Lord was placed in my hand. However, it really wasn't so much in the hand, as our hands acting as a paten. Something that Bishop Schneider refers to in his book Dominus Est, and also on his interview on EWTN. We brought our palms to our mouths and did not touch the Host. I must say the external attitude made this much easier to deal with, it wasn't casual, with reverence to the cross on the tetrapod. If Communion in the Hand was done this way at parishes it'd be much less of a bother instead of the irreverence that's often shown elsewhere.

If you have the chance to visit them, by all means do so. It was definitely a different experience.


12 February 2017

Unpopular opinions...

Once again observing the interwebs, you learn that people fail to think, and unfortunately buy into the fear mongering that is promoted by either side of the ideological agenda. So In the order of correction, I think these things ought to be pointed out.

a. Our New SOE.

People don't seem to realise that one can separate their opinions on subjects from the job or task at hand. We do this every day as a part of our existence. It doesn't matter what field we work in, we all do it, here are some examples of times where one's opinion might have to be placed aside:


  • The one student that annoys the heck out of you, but you still must teach them.
  • The defendant you know is guilty, but you must defend them
  • The rude customer that comes into the store, yet you must serve them
  • The friend(s) who are marrying someone you're not a fan of, but because you actually care about your friends you show up at their wedding, as broken as you are.
  • That one co-worker that gets on your nerves, yet you must work with them.
  • And I'm sure there are countless other examples.
Does it mean that everyone will simply put their opinions aside and do the job that's asked of them? Of course not (Exhibit A: His Humbleness)...But the point is that people can do something without their opinions getting in the way. 

I happen to be a product of public education and have had some great teachers and professors along the way, and I wouldn't trade my experience with them for anything. (I've talked about one teacher that's had a major influence on my person quite a bit.) Granted things when I was in public school were not anywhere near as bad as they are now, we could speak fairly openly about Faith (some teachers were very open about their Faith, I can remember one of my English teachers being very open about her Catholicism), and other matters, and I did feel that I could come to my teachers with problems. (And I had several problems I had to deal with back in those days)....

I can't believe that people are buying into the fearmongering that public education is going to disappear from the face of the US. That's not going to happen! If anything, this could well turn into a blessing in disguise, because we all know some the various things that teachers complain about.

  • In situations where often teachers' have to buy their own supplies
  • In situations where certain pedagogies are being forced to be used against a teacher's wishes.
  • In situations where teachers often feel they must teach to a particular test, rather than actually teaching the subjects they're assigned to teach. 
  • In situations where teachers feel powerless because they're unable to discipline students due to lack of administrative support.
  • More reasons I'm sure that can be added here. 
But as the old saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt. That is to say, sometimes those that are on the inside of a situation are unable to be objective because of their attachment to the various situations that they are in. (In this case, education). So perhaps having someone that's outside of the circle could well be a blessing in disguise. To be able to address some of the problems that do happen.

This, of course, isn't to say that the new SOE would have been my first choice if I was president. (She wouldn't have been, as a matter of fact, I would have appointed my former math teacher because she gets, and more often times than not agrees with my philosophies on teaching)....but I do believe people should be given a chance before judging them.

(But if we're perfectly honest, th e national department of education should not exist because it's unconstitutional, but that's another argument for another day, yes, I support HB 338)

Instead of fear-mongering, become the change that one wishes to see, get involved with the local school boards, get on the committees, help determine the direction of where things are going. help determine the budgets so that teachers aren't in the various situations pointed out. It gets so frustrating to see people when faced with an obstacle do nothing about it, and just use social media and start throwing hashtags around as if that actually matters. 

Don't buy into the fear, and be the change that you need to be. And perhaps things will get done.

And one more point, competition is a good thing. With school choice, it does force schools to try and get better. If a school isn't being supported, there's a reason for it is there not? School choice doesn't mean eradicating public schools, it means giving the freedom to the parents to choose the best path for their children. If more people are choosing the private system, is it possible that something would need to be looked at and corrected? heck, if I had my way, I'd probably abolish the whole concept of districts and let parents freely choose where their kids want to go to school. Districts were a good idea in the days without mass transit....Now, not so much I don't believe....In short, the way to prevent the eradication of public education (which again won't happen) is to simply get better at it :p)

b. The not so Muslim ban...

The executive order (that I would have not written) that banned travel from 7 countries for a temporary period....was NOT a Muslim ban. It affected everyone who lived in those countries. Those who were already in the country, would not be affected. Those who were on their way to America weren't affected. 

As I oftentimes state, if you're going to give out information, the least one can do is be accurate about what was actually done. (Even if one disagrees with it, and I do)....the least we can do is be accurate about what was done. Spinning something into something it isn't, doesn't change objectively what something is....Now, what could have been done to avoid all this flack? Simple, stop travel for everyone. As a nation, we do have a right, and a duty to protect our borders from enemies within and not in the country. Or the other solution is to buy out the rest of the world. (Oh wait, we're 20 trillion in the hole, we can't do that :p)

Okay, enough politics, onto more important th ings....

c. I've heard National Single's Awareness day is coming....

And the boycott is back, this time involving fire.....I have a particular hatred for this day....Let's just say I have my fair share of horror stories on this day. Fortunately, nothing says love quite like getting one's head chopped off :p. So instead it's the death of Saint Cyril...(in the Byzantine Calendar), He hasn't been bought off by Hallmark, Hershey's and Zales. :p

So I'm throwing an Anti-Valentine party, just because :D.....Rebel with a cause this week :p

d. Updating videos at my channel...

I think I'll finally be getting around to editing videos and things....

Hope that all is well. Pray for me, as I am for all of you.

Мир тебе


07 February 2017

Thought of the day

I suppose it's quite well possible to state things really are that crazy.

30 January 2017

Thought of the day

Headlines used to be able to get people to read the actual articles, now they get them to ignore the rest of the article. This is what happens when opinion is placed above fact.


19 January 2017

Thought of the day

Tolerance can and should be a two way street, the free exchange of ideas in of itself isn't evil or horrible.

17 January 2017

14 January 2017

Some Spiritual Struggles

a. A couple of Saturdays ago, I was out of town on vacation, when I came to a crazy realisation. The Roman Liturgy (OF) as practised in the vast majority of parishes is virtually impossible to pray, at least for myself.

The propers of the introit, gradual, offertory, communion verses are gutted from the Liturgy, thus the chances to meditate upon Scripture, and the doctrine of the church are minimised, or downright eliminated for some hymn which more often times than not is completely banal or theologically questionable at best.

I do not have patience for this anymore!, It really has become impossible to pray. (And I grew up with this Liturgy so one would think that I'd at least be able to pray it, heavens no).

Bad Liturgy is such a turn-off, it really does become to the point of a cross, and a burden to my soul rather than what Liturgy is supposed to be, a window into heaven.

As a dear friend has said of me, I have OCO, Obsessive Compulsive Orderliness when it comes to the Liturgy. It is impossible for me to do bad Liturgy. How can anyone be expected to take the Faith seriously, if our worship isn't taken seriously?

b. Surely, it's quite obvious, when the Pope is teaching the Faith, or put in a slightly more colloquial way, restating the obvious, he's infallible. But is that not true of the other Bishops' and priests as well? In short, it's pretty hard to screw up, when one is stating exactly what the Faith is. But that percentage is so small, was it necessary to define this as a dogma for the western church? (We have to bear in mind before the 2nd Vatican Council, the Eastern churches that were in communion with Rome were NOT allowed to theologise according to their own traditions, and so it is impossible really for the vast majority of eastern churches to accept this, and this was not received by the Orthodox (who were excommunicated prior to 1976 (albeit illegally)). I would make an argument that calling a council when something was not in question is a very bad idea. The infallibility of the Pope was not in question at the time. The different isms (liberalism, modernism, etc) were philosophies and strictly speaking NOT theologies, making me wonder if was an issue worth addressing at a council? and not through another means?

c. Isn't it interesting often times that when we open up our hearts to a particular person, they manage to successfully break us. It's rather interesting in this regard because I was near close to accepting a situation that I thought was a good thing. It's a good thing I do not give up so easily. When the tell all book comes out about my various struggles, I swear the royalties are going to be huge. But I do ask for your prayers, I'm definitely going to need them.

Why write at past 2 am? I guess I must be awake.....Please keep me in your prayers, and I will keep you in mine.