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Report from Paris - I

posted Jun 27, 2014, 3:30 PM by Rochester Ordinariate   [ updated Jun 28, 2014, 2:01 AM ]
Dear friends,

I promised a report from my activities in Paris, but the time has flown by, and I will return to Rochester soon.  So, let me give a brief summary of church related activities for those interested, and all other pressing matters --- such as the proper balance between the crunchiness and chewiness of the croissant --- can be relayed in person.

I will say that I have had a very wide range of experiences of different churches.

I go chronologically, and will make a separate post for each visit:

My first Sunday, I attended the church of my close friends here, who are Romanian Orthodox:

My friend, Iosif, in addition to being a string theorist, is also the priest!  It was the first time I had seen him in that role since his ordination, which was quite fun to see.  The Divine Liturgy was well done, as Iosif is quite competent in these matters.  The service was mostly in Romanian, of which I speak not a word, but he also switched rapidly back and forth into French.  The service was mainly chanted by choir and priest.  They had a good turn out, about a hundred people, most all of whom are Romanian.  I understand Paris has a very large Romanian population.  Iosif also chanted some parts of the liturgy in English as a welcome to me.  It was a nice gesture, but I understand that this can cause problems with a few of the French ladies in the congregation, for whom English is not a welcome language!  They also had a nice reception afterwards, with a very kind welcome to me from several members of the congregation.  In many ways, I saw parallels with our little group - there was also a community feel, and attention to good liturgy.  Despite being a complete foreigner there, I felt closer to them in many ways than I do to my parish down the street from my house.  Their congregation meets there twice a month, renting the church from the Catholic diocese.  They also set up and take down every week!  On other Sundays, there is another Romanian church they join at another location.

Not being a member of the Orthodox communion, after a nice visit with Iosif and his wife, Cristina, I went downtown for a later mass....