The Byzantine Catholic Rite


The Byzantine Rite is one of six main rites in the Catholic Church — the others are Alexandrian, Antiochean, Armenian, Chaldean, and Roman. Each rite takes its name from its place of origin. The Byzantine Rite refers to the rite developed in the city of Byzantium (later renamed Constantinople and now known as Istanbul).

Each rite includes several subdivisions. The Byzantine Rite has 12 subdivisions, each taking its name from the language by which the people expressed their faith. The Byzantine Ruthenian Rite originated among the people who lived in an area of the Carpathian mountains that now comprises modern-day Slovakia, southeast Poland, northeast Hungary, northwest Romania, and the western Ukraine.

Today, more than a half million Eastern Catholics live in the United States; approximately 300,000 of them are Byzantine Ruthenian Catholics.