photo of the symbolic mosac of Lamb of God by Renáta Sedmáková

Roman Catholics have the mass as their central form of worship.  Do Eastern Catholics have the Mass as well?

For Roman Catholics, the eucharistic celebration is the central form of worship; they call this “the Mass.”  All Eastern Catholics have a eucharistic celebration as the primary focus fo their liturgical life.  There is a difference, however, in the liturgical life of Eastern Catholics and that of their Latin brothers and sisters.

In general, when Roman Catholics gather to celebrate a Liturgy it is to have the Mass.  Eastern Catholics, however, do not.  There is a rich and varied liturgical life to be found in the East; the Divine Liturgy (or Qorbono, Mass, Quddas) forms the hub around which the rest revolves.  Vespers, Matins, and Orthros (a combination of Matins and Lauds) are weekly staples for many Eastern Catholics.  In fact, Eastern Catholics can meet their “obligation” for attending church on Sunday by going to Saturday night vespers.

Roman Catholics may pray the Liturgy of the Hours either as individuals or in a group.  Since Liturgy is never a private prayer, it is preferable that the Liturgy of the Hours be prayed in a group (called “communal prayer”), but because of necessity individual prayer is fairly frequent.  The Liturgies that form the Liturgy of the Hours include Morning Prayer (Lauds), Evening Prayer (Vespers), and the Office of Readings (Matins).  There is also Night Prayer and Daytime Prayer (the latter may be said at three different times, mid-morning, noon, and mid-afternoon).


Excerpt from Faulk, Edward. 101 Questions and Answers on Eastern Catholic Churches.  (Paulist Press: Mahwah, NJ) 2007.