... whenever I travel I have a decision to make. Which parish to attend to fulfill my Sunday obligation. This can be a particularly risky venture when visiting a church you are not familiar with. You never know what you'll get... tambourines and dancing women balancing bowls of incense on their heads. It's a crapshoot.... if you are a Roman.
Being Eastern Rite this isn't an issue. A Divine Liturgy is a Divine Liturgy is a Divine Liturgy.
It saddens me to make plans to attend mass and have friends suddenly warn me not attend a specific parish. How was I to know; how does any one know? They have parish directories. Even Latin mass directories. Maybe there should be a directory for, being charitable and not saying the "H" word, "liberal" parishes. So those who prefer to worship in the horizontal can not be shocked to stumble into a parish with incense pluming from thuribles instead of whirling Dervishes. I can only imagine how horrible that would be for them.
I only have every one's best interest at heart.
Which brings me back to Divine Liturgy. I think the concept of having "special" liturgies to fit every one's spiritual needs to be contradictory to the universal nature of the church. Isn't the point of having a Universal Church that you can celebrate mass anywhere in the world and it be mass? I have found myself in some Roman churches actually afraid to receive the Blessed Sacrament because the whole liturgy was so befuddled and convoluted and con-celebrated with pastors of different faiths. Yes, afraid.
I hear the argument that people are entitled to worship in the manner they are most comfortable. But are they really? Is that a legitimate "entitlement"? If the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass isn't about "us", but instead Christ, than why is there such a focus and movement among the Romans to have tailored liturgies... Charismatic Catholics, Hippy Mass, Halloween Mass, Children and Teen Masses... you get the idea.
This isn't something that one sees in the Eastern Church. At least I have not encountered a similar phenomenon among the Byzantines.
an oldie, but goodie motivational poster created ages ago by Steve.