penta ([personal profile] penta) wrote2011-12-17 12:20 pm
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A hunt for the details

So, I am writing again.

This, because of my...proclivity for wanting to get details right (and writing unfamiliar terrain), leads me to have questions:

1. In one writing setting (a modern-era thing) I have an American military chaplain...Celebrating a Catholic Mass in the UK for an internationally-drawn congregation (IE, Catholics from a whole horde of countries). Presume, for argument's sake, he's celebrating the Ordinary Form in the vernacular. Which country's calendar and missal is he supposed to use? (And, double the question when his unit deploys...)

2. Do Catholic parish churches in Italy (this for another setting, a sci-fi thing) even use pews as Americans know of them? Never been overseas, and I know not to take what I see on TV (ie, massive Papal masses, or basilicas like St Peter's) as normative for, say, a small parish somewhere.

3. Moving eastwards...In the same sci-fi setting, I have a Catholic character attending Orthodox Divine Liturgy (because he's in Greece, and the nearest Catholic parish is...a long way away). I don't have an Orthodox parish really nearby to visit (or look at pictures of) IRL, so...

A. Could someone describe to me the basics of furnishing, contrasting versus a Catholic parish? For instance, are there pews or seats at all? (I know there's likely a difference between an Orthodox DL in the US and one in, say, Greece...But I'll take what answers I can get!)
B. I am presuming the Orthodox rites use a standardized arrangement not unlike the Roman Missal in function (IE, there is something of an unchanging part to the Divine Liturgy, aside from the variable bits according to liturgical season). I seem to recall they do! Do they, or is that a Catholic thing which has no counterpart?
C. Is there anything like the Missal in an Orthodox parish, in terms of "Newbies can look at the book and follow along"?
cheyinka: the words 'glory, glory, send your glory' on a golden background (religious)

I can answer question #1!

[personal profile] cheyinka 2011-12-17 08:56 pm (UTC)(link) informs me that chaplains in the US armed forces are granted faculties by the Archdiocese for the Military (rather than being incardinated into it), but either way every military installation and government mission is under the territorial jurisdiction of said archdiocese, so I assume it's the calendar and missal for the United States. At least, there's nothing mentioned specifically about the missal, and the holy days of obligation are explicitly mentioned as being the same as the ones for the US, so I assume the list of solemnities, memorials, and optional memorials (especially which feasts count as which) is also the same.
mythalive: (Default)

[personal profile] mythalive 2011-12-22 03:30 am (UTC)(link)
I've been to Italy, and they do have pews. Just about the same as we do. Big difference is the language (and the churches over there are SO pretty).

I'm sure I have pictures of a the insides of a few if you want them.

Never been to an Orthodox liturgy...I've been to Byzantine rite, but that's about as far as my adventures took me.
mythalive: (Default)

[personal profile] mythalive 2011-12-22 06:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Everything tended to be designed toward the same goal (and not the goal we use these days!).

What I remember most about the smaller old churches - and I hope this isn't being colored by my memory of all the other countries, though they were all more similar to each other than to the USA especially here in Texas - is that the churches are darker and narrower. Not quite as much lighting, and rows of pews going straight back rather than arranged in a circle or semi-circle or other thing. Bigger churches had pillars on the insides and side altars and things, and might be more open and better lit. Not that the small ones are dark really, just not bright lighting all over the place.

Older downtown east coast churches (those I've seen, those that would have been built more immediately upon arrival from Europe) are a much better comparison than anything I'm familiar with in this part of the country.

I don't have the pics with me, they didn't make it into the photo album which means they're still in MI, so can't really verify my memory.