Eastern Rite of the Catholic Church

Although most Christians believe there is only one major type of
Catholics, there are actually many types of groups of Catholics. From before
330 AD many different Catholic groups stood out because of their differences.
These differences later became the reason for a great split and the Eastern Rite
Church was formed. Although the Eastern Rite Church and the Roman Catholic
church are very a like they also have many differences.
The two churches began to split apart in 313 when Constantine granted
freedom to practice Christianity freely. In 330 the church reached a great
conflict when Constantine moved the capital from Rome to Constantanople.
This later became the Eastern Christendom. Later in 1054 the church reached
its breaking point and that is when the great schims occurred. There were two
main reasons for the church to split apart. One large part is when the church
leaders were arguing about a phase which was added to the
Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed known as the filiogue. The second reason and
probably the larger reason was the Roman Papal said he was the leader and the
authority over the entire church. The conflict came about between Photius, the
Patriarch of Constantinople, and Pope Nicholas I. These same conflicts
continued until 1054 when Pope Leo the IV excommunicated the Patriarch of
Constantinoble. Later the Patriarchs called together a council to excommunicate
the papal delegates and the new Eastern Rite of the church was born.
The Eastern Rite church is made up of eastern Christians that are in
unison with the catholic church. There are many things that separate the
Eastern Rite Church from the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern Rite Church
uses a very Greek oriented tradition with their own liturgy and hymns. The
Eastern Rite Church also uses more elaborate icons than the Roman Catholic
Church. Eastern Rite Churches are extremely elaborately decorated to remind
people that they are in the presence of God. They also use a lot of chandeliers,
candle, and the Byzantine cross.
The Church divides itself into families, there are about five major types;
the Alexandrine Byzantine, Antiochene, Chaldean, and Armenian. Each of these
five major types is headed by many patriarchs who preside over the bishops
clergy members and the people of the faith. The Eastern Rite Church still
recognizes the Pope as their leader.
After observing one of these masses you can truly see the differences in
culture. We observed a Ukrainian Church mass and which had many
differences from the Roman Catholic Church. When we entered the church we
saw many candles and there were two chandeliers. At the very front of the
church was the tabernacle and some very elaborate icon screens which were
opened before the mass started. The priests said the whole mass in Russian
with his back turned to us. The mass was very hard to understand and follow
because it was sung in the same melody which makes the mass a lot longer than
the Roman Catholic Church mass. Communion is given in the form of bread
cubes and wine which is dropped into your mouth by using a small golden
spoon. After the mass we observed a Holy Water blessing ceremony. The
ceremony began with readings from the scripture and then the water was
blessed. Lit candles were then taken and placed into the water which caused
the flames to be extinguished. After all of this is over, they allowed us to drink
the water and eat bread. From there the mass is finally over. After observing a
Ukrainian mass I would highly recommend observing one of these masses to all
The Eastern Orthodox Church also known as the Eastern Church is much
like the Roman Catholic Church. The main difference is that they donít see the
Pope as their church leader, they only see him as a very Holy man. The Eastern
Orthodox Church says that they use the same traditions as the apostles and the
early Christians. Their sacraments are mostly the same except for the fact that
married men may become priests but not bishops or monks. The communion is
distributed in the form of bread and wine which they believe is the body and
blood of Jesus Christ. All of their liturgy is sung or chanted. They also see
Greeks as the center of spiritual vitality.
The Coptic Church is the greatest Christian organization in Egypt. The
faith separated from the Roman Church in the fifth century because of their
beliefs that Jesus Christ only had one nature or the belief in monophysitism.
The word Coptic which in Greece mean Egyptian represents