“I had supposed that worship is fundamentally an act of communication, in which one expresses to God one’s adoration and devotion and, presumably, receives some sort of message in return. But Orthodox worship is not like that. It is not so much an act of communicating something to God as that of entering into his presence. Better yet, it is to enter into the presence not of God alone, but of the angels, saints, and all of creation, all joined in unceasing praise of the Holy Trinity.”
As many of you know, my family and I came into full communion with the Catholic Church in 2013. This momentous event took place at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic Mission in Raleigh NC – an Eastern Catholic parish of the Byzantine Rite.
Most of my Protestant friends and, surprisingly, the majority of Roman Catholics I know, have never encountered the eastern Church. In fact, most assume “Eastern Catholicism” is just another name for Eastern Orthodoxy.
This common mistake is understandable. Practically speaking, Eastern Catholics are Orthodox – they use the same liturgy, and share a common theological and spiritual tradition. Like the Orthodox, Eastern Catholics utilize icons and incense in their worship and have married priests.
The only substantive difference is that Eastern Catholics are in full communion with Rome and the Pope. That means that they are fully Catholic.
If you find any of this interesting I encourage you to watch the video above! Also, I would urge you to read this powerful apostolic letter written by St. John Paul II: Oriental Lumen.