Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Video: FULL(er) Christmas Eve Mass with Dom James Deschene

Last week, we posted a condensed clip of Christmas Eve Mass celebrated by Dom James Deschene at the Church of Our Lady of Glastonbury, the chapel attached to Christ the Saviour Monastery (Christminster), a Western Orthodox Benedictine monastery in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Dom James and Reader Polycarp Sherwood notified us of a longer clip: 59 minutes long, containing nearly the full Midnight Mass of Christmas as celebrated at this Western Rite Church, according to the Liturgy of St. Gregory. It can be viewed on the church's website or Google Video, and I've embedded it below.

This video, which contains nearly the full Divine Liturgy, answers many, many prayers for those who would love to get a sense of what Western Rite Orthodoxy is like but live too far to visit one of our churches. This is what the Western Rite is all about. As Dom James wrote, "I believe it important for people to 'come and see' (or at least 'see') before critiquing our services. The best education in western-rite liturgy is to worship in it and to pray it." Thanks to him, Rdr. Polycarp, and all those who made this video possible.

As a liturgical note, you may notice this Mass has an Old Testament reading (in this case, from the Prophet Isaiah) in addition to an Epistle and Gospel; and it contains an ancient litany following the Nicene Creed (though not the Great Litany from the Byzantine liturgy, as some claimed for years, even when informed otherwise and asked to issue a correction). These elements (and a few others) are unique to Christminster's recension of the Mass.

This video gives new meaning to the phrase, "Watch, and pray."

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Blogger Unknown said...

I was wondering what your thoughts are concerning an active dialog between the WR and the Polish National Catholic Church?

They seem like a great fit, theologically and liturgically!

7:25 PM  
Blogger Ben Johnson said...

There was a longstanding dialogue between the Old Catholic communion as a whole and Orthodoxy until Utrecht began ordaining women, etc. Perhaps now, free of this baggage, the PNCC can build upon that until, Lord willing, unity comes about.

3:52 PM  

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