Catholic Bucket List #1: Visit an Eastern Rite Parish

Lists and buckets

I’m a big fan of lists.

Seriously, lists are brilliant!

A little while ago, there was a film released called The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. In the movie, both characters are diagnosed with a terminal illness and, as a result, they decide to write a “bucket list” – a list of things which they want to do before “kicking the bucket”

If you google “bucket lists”, you will find them on many blogs. If you read a lot of them (and I have), you start to notice some commonalities among them. As in the film, the common theme that runs through all of them is that they are attempts to really try and experience the depth and breadth that that the world has to offer and to truly suck the marrow out of life.

The Catholic Bucket List

A little while ago I started thinking about a “Catholic bucket list”. What are the things I would suggest to fellow Catholics and non-Catholics that they should experience in this life in an attempt to fully appreciate the variety, beauty, depth and breadth of the Faith?

This post is the first in several I hope to write in the coming months. Each entry will look at a different item on my personal Catholic bucket list and will be an invitation to those who read this blog to engage some aspect of the Faith which they may have, until now, not experienced. If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments below.

Please let me be clear, I’m not saying that someone can’t be a good Christian without doing X, Y or Z. Not at all. Rather, in this endeavour I hope to display the richness of our Faith and the variety that can be found in devotion and worship. So often we assume that the only way to encounter God is the way in which we have encountered Him thus far. I hope that these posts will be invitations to step out of our boats, out of our comfort zones and to encounter Christ in a whole new way…

Bucket List Item #1: Visit an Eastern Rite Parish

During the school term, I help lead contemporary worship at a LifeTeen church, but while the kids are on vacation I attend a Byzantine parish. I absolutely love attending the services there and my suggestion in this first bucket list item is for you to attend a service at an Eastern Rite parish near you. In the San Diego area there are several Eastern Rite Catholic parishes, including some Chaldean churches in El Cajon. To get an idea as to what to expect, I would invite you read my earlier post where I introduce the Eastern Rite churches. If you do end up going, please leave a comment below.

When I attend Eastern Rite services I get a real sense of the true catholicity of the Church. The worship may look different and sound different from what I am used to, but it is still the same God, the same Eucharist and the same Church. Many of my friends have come with me to the Divine Liturgy (Mass) on Sunday and to Vespers (Evening Prayer) on Saturday night. I have yet to take anyone who has not been blown away by the experience.

Are you still not tempted to visit? Let a Catholic priest’s wife give you a few good reasons to visit

If you would like to come with me to a Divine Liturgy, please contact me, but please do soon soon, as the school term will be starting again shortly. In fact, it is the Feast of the Dormition (Assumption) this Monday, so if you’d like to come with me, you are more than welcome.


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