"...for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it."

-Pope Pius XI, Encyclical "Mortalium Animos"

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Russian Rite

The two Apostles of the Slavs, Saints Cyril (869 AD) and Methodius (885 AD), of Greek origin, being brothers, were both born in Macedonia. Their missionary work among the Slavs brought the Russian peoples to Christ. The Russian Rite developed its characteristics after the Baptism of Saint Vladimir and the people of Kiev-Rus' in 988 AD. The Divine Liturgy is celebrated in Old Church Slavonic.

After the Consecration and Our Father the priest blesses the warm water and pours a few drops into the chalice to signify the union, in faith and charity, of our humanity with Christ. He says: "The fervour of the Faith, the fullness of the Holy Ghost." The Russian rite uses leavened bread. The particles are placed on the pattern in special positions to represent Our Lord, Our Lady, the angels, prophets, martyrs and saints, the living and the dead.