Friday, July 28, 2006

Ukies to the Kingdom

Inspired by a post in For God, for Country, and for Yale on searching YouTube for Catholic videos, I found these two clips of a Greek Catholic Mass in a Ukrainian Village. Make sure you turn down the volume before playing these, as the chanting is loud. This first one is, I think, interesting to non-Ukrainian speakers only for the first few minutes or so, though the camera pans around the church towards the end. No reggae "Alleluia" for this church, that's for sure.

This second video gives an altarside view of the Holy Communion service — until just under four minutes in, when the priest waves the cameraman away. The priest then addresses the congregation in Ukrainian until 6 minutes 46 seconds in, when he suddenly switches to English — presumably for the benefit of the folks on YouTube. What he has to say about faith in the Ukraine is worth hearing.

I'm stunned by the beauty of the old church, and also impressed at the congregants' devotion. The service itself also seems majestic and deep — it makes me want to attend a service of that rite. I have attended a Russian Catholic Mass and an Antiochan Orthodox service and appreciated their traditions and faith, but I'm struck by the richness and intensity of this Mass.

Another thing that strikes me is the intimacy of the church's layout, and especially the altar, which seems to me to be strongly reminiscent of the ancient Temple's Holy of Holies.