THE SACRAMENTAL MYSTERIES: LIFE IN CHRIST (Fr. David M. Petras)
This course provides an examination of the sacramental mysteries in the life of a Christian, particularly in the Byzantine church. We will particularly look at baptism and Chrismation as our entry into the Trinity through Christ; the sacramental mysteries of he
aling, which include anointing of the sick and penance; and the sacramental mysteries of our life calling, marriage and orders. Finally, we will consider how the Eucharist, which is the mystery of all mysteries, completes and holds all together in Christ.
THE PLAINCHANT MELODIES OF THE BYZANTINE CATHOLIC CHURCH (Jeff Mierzejewski)
This course is a comprehensive introduction to the different melodies of the Carpathian chant (prostopinije) as used in the Byzantine Catholic church. It will cover the melodies used for prayers, blessings, and the people’s responses; Scripture readings; psalmody, and the various kinds of hymns (troparia, kontakia, stichera, and irmosy) employed in the liturgical services of the Byzantine Rite. Students will learn how the melodies are organized, how the right melody is chosen for each part of the various services and how they work together to form a seamless liturgical prayer experience.
Experience with musical notation is helpful but not required; some familiarity with Byzantine liturgy is assumed. This is not a course on the practical aspects of liturgical singing. Instead, it is intended for anyone—cantors, clergy, or ordinary parishioners—who wishes to acquire an understanding of the system and structure of Carpathian chant.
THE GOSPELS (Dr. Sandra Collins)
The New Testament writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, provide unique pictures of the life and death of Jesus. These stories provide the very backbone to the Church—historically, liturgically, canonically and spiritually. We will work through each Gospel, reading it for its own perspective on the person and message of Jesus and then reflecting upon the early Church fathers, finding the common kerygma that continues to robustly form and informing our Christian faith.
INTRODUCTION TO CATHOLICISM (Fr. Johannes Oravecz)
This course offers a brief survey to Catholic theology. Questions we will consider include the following: What are the quintessential elements that constitute the Catholic way of co-operation with God, belief in Christ, openness to the Holy Spirit? Why is Mary not only the proto-model of discipleship of Jesus and Mother of God but at the same time the mother for all the faithful and the Church? How is joy the binding ingredient of our everyday life in the Church and its outreach to the world? Why is the ancient teaching of the revealed truths to our benefit? What is the role of celebrating the Holy Eucharist, popularly known as mass, that of the holy sacraments, the exemplary lives and inspiration of the myriad of saints with their serious and humorous sides? These and much more can be shared in this course that certainly will raise many legitimate questions as well as bust some “urban myths” from our current or the past centuries.
Byzantine Catholic Seminary Online is pleased to announce its courses offerings for spring 2013. Courses begin on Monday, January 28, 2013. All Byzantine Online courses are eight weeks in length and require no special hardware or software to participate. Students can direct questions to Dr. Sandra Collins, director of Byzantine Online, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 412-321-8383, ext. 23.
Introduction to Dogmatics (Father Jason DelVitto, St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Pittsburgh, Pa.; adjunct faculty member, Byzantine Catholic Seminary): This course introduces students to the dogmatic tradition of the Byzantine Church as it continues to develop within the holy tradition. Students will explore the dogmatic truths as they are celebrated within the worshipping community, especially the Eucharistic celebration and selected patristic and contemporary texts. The course focuses on readings, analysis and discussions of selected introductory texts.
Spirituality of the Great Fast: A Return to the Holy of Holies (Father Daniel Forsythe, St. Basil the Great Byzantine Catholic Church, Irving, Texas): This course highlights the spirituality embedded within the Eastern Christian celebration of the Great Fast. Students will look at the major biblical figures such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Joseph who are highlighted in the scriptural readings of the Great Fast. The course considers the themes of judgment, repentance, prayer, transformation and resurrection that each figure represents as the focus of the spiritual experience of the Great Fast.
History of the Eastern Church in America (Father David Petras, professor of liturgy, Byzantine Catholic Seminary): This course reflects on the story of Eastern Christianity in the New World, particularly the United States. The course focuses on the development of ethnic jurisdictions, both Catholic and Orthodox. The course makes some comparisons with the Roman Catholic and Protestant experiences because these are foundational to religion in the New World. Students will examine both Catholic and Orthodox Eastern churches, starting with the Russian missions in Alaska and following the immigration of various ethnic churches into the United States. The course gives special emphasis to the Eastern Catholic churches, the struggle over whether clergy members should marry and the resulting divisions. The final part of the class will be the assimilation and cultural questions that remain for Eastern churches as they struggle for a new identity in a new society.
Evil and Exorcism in the Eastern Christian Tradition (Father Stelyios Muksuris, Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox; professor, Byzantine Catholic Seminary): This course studies the concept of evil from the perspective of both an ontological force (demonology) and the voluntary rejection and absence of good. Students will explore the understanding of evil from various ideologies and religions, with particular emphasis on the Judeo-Christian tradition. Following a historical survey of how ancient indigenous cultures throughout the world dealt with the problem of evil and evil spirits (magic, shamanism, witchcraft, necromancy, mantras and other rituals), the course covers Eastern Christianity’s practice of baptismal exorcisms and their theological significance vis-à-vis Christian salvation. Students will examine exorcism prayers from the sacrament of baptism and isolated prayers of exorcism performed in individual cases of adults. Finally, the course briefly describes the Roman Catholic order of exorcists and unique cases of actual exorcisms performed in both the East and West, highlighting the meaning and ramifications of such an activity within the Christian life.
Byzantine Online is pleased to announce their slate of courses for Fall 2012. Courses begin Monday, September 24, 2012. All Byzantine Online courses are 8 weeks in length and require no special hardware or software to hear and participate in classes. Questions can be directed to Dr. Sandra Collins, director of Byzantine Online, at email@example.com or by calling 412-321-8383, ext. 23.
New Course Offering in May 2012
Byzantine Online is pleased to announce a new course offering in May 2012. Starting Monday, May 7, Byzantine Online will offer Theology of the Divine Office (LT 201) with V. Rev. Dr. Stelyios Muksuris, Ph.D., Professor of Liturgical Theology and Languages. (more…)