Herewith, for your perusal and amusement, and hope…

Herewith, for your perusal and amusement, and hopefully your comments, is a ditty I composed regarding the quest to switch to the Byzantine Rite (of myself and children, and my friend ByzCat and her family) – followed by the letter I wrote to the Metropolitan Archbishop, Basil M. Schott, OFM, requesting said switch:

(Sing to “Go Down, Moses”)

When we were down in NO land,
Let my people go.
Masses so bad we could hardly stand,
Let my people go.

(Chorus) You go, Basil,
Let my people go.
Tell ol’ Michael,
Let my people go.

No more should they abuse endure,
Let my people go.
Let them go where the Faith is pure,
Let my people go.

(Chorus)

Who cares about ethnicity,
Let my people go.
They want to worship with dignity,
Let my people go.

(Chorus)

A “Light in the East” they now have seen,
Let my people go.
They were born to be Byzantine!’
Let my people go!

(Chorus)

BTW Michael is Bp. Michael J. Bransfield, Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, formerly Rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The ‘ethnicity’ line is in reference to a letter Bp. Bransfield sent to my friends about their request to switch – it seemed like he was concerned that they weren’t the right ethnic heritage to appreciate or be at home in the Byzantine Church.

OK, enough with the humor, here’s my letter to His Eminence:

(Nov. 21, 2006)

My children and I are Latin rite Catholics attending St. Mary’s Holy Protection Church in Morgantown. I was received into full communion with Rome in 1991; my children are aged 9, 7 and 5 and were baptized in the Latin Rite as infants. My 9-year-old son has also received the sacraments of First Confession and First Holy Communion according to the Latin rite, and the younger two have made their First confession. I would like to transfer from the Latin Rite to the Byzantine Rite, along with my children, for the following reasons:

My personal spiritual journey includes a realization that in order to advance in holiness, a person must have a deeply personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “Without Him, I can do nothing.” Jesus calls me, my children, and all who have been baptized into Christ, to “be perfect, even as our Heavenly Father is perfect.” God has given me these shildren to raise. According to Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church, I have the duty and the right to instill in my children the knowledge that will help them have this same personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In the Byzantine Rite I have found that this need for a personal realtionship with Jesus is taught from earliest childhood, and the Byzantine Catholics I have come to know in St. Mary’s parish are good examples of the living-out of this teaching.

I am a life-pledged member of a private association of Catholics, the Confraternity of Penitents. Its members strive to live the Gospel in today’s world by following the Franciscan Rule of 1221, with constitutions amending it to be able to be lived in modern times. We are especially called to be witnesses to Christ through continual conversion of life, service to tohers, and membership in a community of Christians. In the Light for Life series of adult instructional books, published by the Byzantine Seminary Press, these three elements of an authentically Christian life are presented in a very clear way, as metanoia (conversion), diakonia (service or ministry), and koinonia (community or fellowship).

By participation in the liturgical life of St. Mary’s parish, I am contiually reminded of my smallness before God and His indescribable Love in calling me and my children to be a part of His Kingdom on Earth. We as a family are united with both our fellow worshippers and the choirs of angels in an incomprehensible way during the divine Liturgy. The Sacred and Holy Mysteries are just that – mysteries – and we will only fully understand what they signify when we are called to our heavenly Home to be with Him Who loved us “even before we were formed in the womb.”

I am also inspired to a greater devotion to the Theotokos,m the Mother of God, In a mysterious and special way she was sanctified from her conception to be worthy to bearing in her womb the Savior of the world, and through her intercession both I and my children can be led to a greater closeness to Jesus. My devotion to Mary will naturally transfer to my children.

Finally, on a purely temporal note, I find I am very comfortable with the spirituality of the Byzantine Rite in general, and of St. Mary’s parish in particualr. I find my fellow parishioners to be friendly, approachable, and eager to help me and my children learn about our new church home and family. I understand that a transfer of Rite is permanent, and I mke this request freely in the belief and hope that it is a part of God’s plan for me and my children. I would be honored and pleased to be accepted as a Byzantine Catholic, and look forward to your response.

In trusting supplication, through Our Precious Lord and Mary, the Holy theotokos, I am your humble and obedient servant,

/s/

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2 responses to “Herewith, for your perusal and amusement, and hope…

  1. Carolina Cannonball

    I too have gone back & forth about changing rites. Either way there is no Latin mass of Byz rite within a 3 hours drive. I am in a spiritual NO wasteland.

    Good luck on oyr journey to cahnging rites.

  2. I saw in your letter that you are life-pledged to the CfP. I am an Inquirer and will be entering the Postulancy on Ash Wednesday.