The Annunciation Byzantine Romanian Catholic Mission (www.bunavestire.org) celebrates The Divine Liturgy (Holy Mass) every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation at 12:30 PM at Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Churh
- Who We Are
- The Divine Liturgy
- Hints for Participating
- Byzantine Sign of the Cross
- Bows and Blessings
- Altar Bread
Icons are revelation in pigment and paint. In front of the altar, usually on an iconostasis, which is the screen partition that unites the mystical heavenly (sanctuary or Holy of Holies) to the earthly (nave), you see two icons flanking the altar. The icon of Mary with the Child Jesus in her arms reminds us of the first coming of Jesus, the God-man. The icon of Jesus by Himself represents His Second Coming at the end of time. The altar beckons us to enter into Gods presence and to put aside all earthly distractions. Icons make us remember: not a passive recollection of a past person or event, but a remembrance that transforms. This is one of the foundation stones of Christian liturgy - that the remembrance makes present the reality.Read More
We use incense as a sign of reverence for the sacred place and the sacredness of the people who are made in God's image and as a sign of preparing for something important about to happen in the Liturgy. It is our prayer ascending like the smoke of incense before the throne of God.Read More
We bow and make the Sign of the Cross many times during the Liturgy, as a sign of our faith, and the receiving and accepting of Gods blessings. Following the making of the Sign of the Cross, reverence to God is further expressed by bowing the head. We bless ourselves every time we mention the Persons of the Trinity by name, or whenever the priest blesses the congregation. We also bow and sign ourselves whenever we enter or leave the church.Read More
Our altar bread is made with yeast (leavened) to symbolize that Christ is risen! At the beginning of the Liturgy, the priest will cut a loaf of specially baked prosphora and prepare cubed particles that will be used for distribution of Holy Communion.Read More
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Byzantine Catholic Church really Catholic? +Emphatically, yes! The Byzantine Church is in complete communion and allegiance with the Pope in Rome and has all of the same valid sacraments as the Roman Catholic Church.
Does the Byzantine Divine Liturgy fulfill the Sunday obligation? +Yes. The Byzantine Divine Liturgy is the same re-creation of the Last Supper as the Roman Rite Mass. The Divine Liturgy is offered in our church by a validly ordained priest recognized by and in union with Rome.
Does the Byzantine Liturgy use musical instruments? +No, Byzantine liturgical tradition emphasizes that we offer ourselves to God as we are. We bring only ourselves and stand before the Creator and we worship with our God-given voices without any man-made instruments. All liturgical prayer, therefore, is sung a capella (without accompaniment).
Other than English, what language is used in the Liturgy? +St. John Chrysostom originally recorded the Divine Liturgy in Greek. Later, as SS. Cyril and Methodius brought Christianity to the Slavs, they translated the services into Slavonic, a language closely related to Russian. In Romania, one may hear Catholics and Orthodox worshipping in Romanian, a language related to Italian. In Canada and the United States today, many Byzantine Catholic churches use English.
Why does the priest have his back to the congregation? +Actually, he is facing to pray in the same direction as the worshipping faithful. The priest is the representative of the congregation. The sanctuary and tabernacle are the heavenly throne of God, so the priest faces God, the object of our prayers, and he speaks to God on our behalf.
Fr. Ionel MaierPastor of Romanian Catholic Mission
Fr. Emil JudeWeekend assistant of Romanian Catholic Mission