The Roman (Latin) Rite is the largest Western Catholic Church. There are several Eastern Catholic Churches Rites: Armenian rite, Alexandrian rite, Byzantine rite, East Syrian or Chaldean rite, West Syrian or Antiochene rites, that are also in Union with Rome.
The Eastern Catholic Churches are 23 different particular Churches with their own cultural traditions and heritage formed from their geographical and historical roots. They are autonomous or self-governing, yet these churches, as all Catholic Churches, are in communion with each other and with the Pope of Rome.
Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk was elected Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to be the Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI.
Our church different customs and traditions go back centuries.
We are not Orthodox. Our church follows The Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, as do the Orthodox. The biggest difference is that Ukrainian Catholics acknowledge the supreme leadership of the Pope of Rome (Pope Francis). The Orthodox leadership is their Patriarch.
Holy Communion is given in the species of bread and wine. To receive Holy Communion open your mouth wide and the priest will gently drop the Holy Eucharist onto your tongue and never touches the mouth.
Instead of statues we worship icons.
Candles are blessed and distributed on the Feast Day of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple.
The large icon screen, called the Iconostas, separates the Sanctuary from the Nave of the church.
It is our tradition to give Holy Communion to infants and young children. Our belief is that children are innocent and should be able to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.
We bless ourselves from right to left as Jesus is seated on the right hand of the Father.
We do not genuflect before entering the pew but bow our heads and make the sign of the cross.
We stand from Easter Season until Ascension.
The celebrant of the Liturgy faces towards the East, where the sun rises and from which Scripture says Christ will return. Many churches were built, as does our church, faceing the East, thereby, having the church members and the celebrant facing God.
On special Feast Days we are anointed with oil - we call it Myrovannia.
On the Feast Day of Transfiguration we bless fruits. The first-fruits of the harvest is giving back to the Lord what is His and what comes from Him, and as a celebration of the promise of the final Transfiguration of all things in Christ.
On the Feast Day of Dormitation of the Mother of God, flowers are blessed.