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Re: CHAT: Religions (was: Visible planets)

From:Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Date:Sunday, November 16, 2003, 18:36
At 01:06 AM 11/16/03 -0500, you wrote:
>Isidora Zamora scripsit: > > > > They usually do it in mirror > > >fashion to what their teacher does - i.e., they > > >cross in Eastern fashion, since the teacher will > > >cross herself left to right, the children see it > > >as right to left. > > > > I've seen them get it in the wrong direction frequently. It takes awhile > > before they get it right. > >Why not simply explain to Latin-rite kids that they should push and >Byzantine-rite kids that they should pull,
I may be confused here, but I think that is backwards, since Eastern fashion is from right shoulder to left shoulder, which seems more of a pushing motion than a pulling one. Otherwise, it is a great idea, and one I hadn't thought of before. I may use that description, if I ever get the chance. (My own children have long had it right except for sloppiness, which I need to insist that they correct, and I don't have any young godchildren.) But even such a good idea may not get you very far when you are dealing with a two or three year old. They start trying to cross themselves very young. Even before they're able to cross themselves, often the parent or godparent will take the infant's hand and cause the child to cross themself. At least, I see Orthodox do this all the time. We also give Holy Communion to infants, as long as they've been baptized. Children are fully participating in the liturgical life of the Church from before they can even remember. Anyone know if Eastern Rite Catholics bring infants to Communion? Padraic, have you seen it? (Or have you seen any other children obviously too young for First Communion in the Latin Rite receiving Communion in the Eastern Rite parishes you've visited? That would also indicate the same thing.) Does the West have anything like the naming of the child and the Churching of mother and child? On the eighth day after the birth of the child (and we count inclusively, so we would think of it as the seventh, whereas Orthodox call it the eighth - it's the same day of the week as the child was born on), the priest comes and there is a little service of naming the child. (I know one priest who told a story about one couple who kept going back and forth on what they were going to name the child. When he came to their house on the eighth day to name the child, he told them that they had better make up their minds _now_, because, once he named the child, that was its name.) On the fortieth day after the birth of the child, the mother and child return to Church. The mother, at least, hasn't been to Church since the birth, and the child hasn't been brought unless it was to be baptized. (The parents aren't necessary at all for the baptism of the child, only the godparents. I felt rather left out, to tell the truth.) There are prayers of churching said in the narthex, then the mother and baby enter the nave of the Church. I can't remember what the priest does with the child if it is a girl, but a boy is taken into the sanctuary and the priest walks three times around the altar table with him, then comes out and returns him to his mother, with another prayer or two. (I might have a few of the details slightly off, but you get the general idea. And, whenever we proceed around something, it is always done in a counter-clockwise direction, for whatever reason.)
> at least the right-handed ones?
No matter which is your dominant hand, you always cross yourself with your right. I'm left handed, in fact. The only time I have ever seen anyone cross himself with his left hand was when a man in our parish, who was recovering from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, did it. His right arm in a sling, and he was still in considerable pain. Later on, when there was less pain, he reverted to his right hand in spite of the sling.
>Even I can remember that despite my leftrightsia.
You too? I can't keep track of how many people on this list have admitted to left-right confusion (myself among them.)
>(I note that Latins are allowed to use the Orthodox style.)
Yes. That is probably because of the existence of Eastern Rite Catholics. Orthodox don't ever cross themselves left to right as the Latins do, as far as I know. There are a few Western Rite Orthodox parishes in the U.S., but they do not have the same sort of origin as the Eastern Rite Catholics, (and their Liturgy is based on the Book of Common prayer adapted to conform to Orthodox usage), and I doubt that they cross themselves in the Western direction, but I might be wrong. If my husband were here, he might be able to tell me how is was that East and West came to cross themselves differently. I believe that it dates from before the Schism. Isidora


Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>
John Cowan <cowan@...>