Author Topic: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction  (Read 230 times)

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Offline Ignatius II

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Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« on: July 13, 2019, 12:40:47 PM »
I have had an opportunity to visit quite a few churches of different Orthodox jurisdictions primarily in America and Eastern Europe. I was curious if other felt it was a fair statement to say that Russian Orthodox tend to be a little more traditional or conservative than Greek Orthodox and maybe even Antiochian Orthodox. I know they are all of the same faith but the atmosphere is a little different in each. Just my observation. Your thoughts?

Offline hecma925

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2019, 01:04:32 PM »
What do you mean by "traditional"?
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Offline JTLoganville

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2019, 01:33:57 PM »
I have had an opportunity to visit quite a few churches of different Orthodox jurisdictions primarily in America and Eastern Europe. I was curious if other felt it was a fair statement to say that Russian Orthodox tend to be a little more traditional or conservative than Greek Orthodox and maybe even Antiochian Orthodox. I know they are all of the same faith but the atmosphere is a little different in each.

Russians follow the Old Calendar, and women attending services usually wear head coverings.

If those are the marks of "traditional or conservative" so be it.

Offline platypus

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2019, 02:02:28 PM »
Does anyone really have any doubts as to what traditional and conservative mean, to the point where they need quotation marks?

Here's a few items:
- Are you more likely to hear a sermon about Christianity, or the latest trend in popular morality?
- Are the worshippers able to do bows and prostrations at the appropriate times, or are there pews to prevent this?
- Are the faithful encouraged to fast, or has the pastor given up on it?
- If you confess a paricularly vile sin, are you more likely to hear "It's best if you abstain from communion for a while" or "that's not something to worry about"?
- Are headcoverings an irrelevant cultural custom or is scripture supposed to affect what we do somehow?

I'm not sure how much jurisdictional lines have to do with it, but it's possible for a parish to seem rather nontraditional while still being canonically orthodox.
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 02:05:55 PM »
Yeah, because different parishes have different things that they call "traditional".
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Offline Ignatius II

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2019, 02:23:24 PM »
I was struggling for the right words to describe my thoughts, and not sure if that is actually the word I wanted to use. Part of my impressions may simply be the churches in eastern Europe had a long running history whereas in the US there were a large number of converts from different walks of life.

In the US this is indeed encouraging that Orthodoxy is growing and attracting those outside the faith. I guess with the large number of converts I wonder if  most are immersing themselves in the faith or they are gradually incorporating thoughts or practices other than Orthodoxy. I know from Catholicism that converts oftentimes were more inclined to be more "dedicated" practitioners of the faith than cradle born. Not in all cases, but it was in many.

Not sure if my explanation made my question clearer or more muddied. It was not a slam on any jurisdiction but, simply  an inquiry to see if some were more altered than others.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2019, 02:24:49 PM »
Does anyone really have any doubts as to what traditional and conservative mean, to the point where they need quotation marks?

Here's a few items:
- Are you more likely to hear a sermon about Christianity, or the latest trend in popular morality?
- Are the worshippers able to do bows and prostrations at the appropriate times, or are there pews to prevent this?
- Are the faithful encouraged to fast, or has the pastor given up on it?
- If you confess a paricularly vile sin, are you more likely to hear "It's best if you abstain from communion for a while" or "that's not something to worry about"?
- Are headcoverings an irrelevant cultural custom or is scripture supposed to affect what we do somehow?

I'm not sure how much jurisdictional lines have to do with it, but it's possible for a parish to seem rather nontraditional while still being canonically orthodox.
Great points. Also: is the liturgy commemorated in its full form? "Full form" means different things across little-t traditions, but if they're regularly skipping whole antiphons...
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 02:25:29 PM by RaphaCam »
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Offline Ignatius II

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2019, 02:26:14 PM »
Does anyone really have any doubts as to what traditional and conservative mean, to the point where they need quotation marks?

Here's a few items:
- Are you more likely to hear a sermon about Christianity, or the latest trend in popular morality?
- Are the worshippers able to do bows and prostrations at the appropriate times, or are there pews to prevent this?
- Are the faithful encouraged to fast, or has the pastor given up on it?
- If you confess a paricularly vile sin, are you more likely to hear "It's best if you abstain from communion for a while" or "that's not something to worry about"?
- Are headcoverings an irrelevant cultural custom or is scripture supposed to affect what we do somehow?

I'm not sure how much jurisdictional lines have to do with it, but it's possible for a parish to seem rather nontraditional while still being canonically orthodox.

I think you have grasped what I was striving to put in to words

Offline Arachne

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2019, 02:36:51 PM »
- Are you more likely to hear a sermon about Christianity, or the latest trend in popular morality?

I have no idea how Americans roll, but in several parishes in Greece and the UK over several decades, I've never heard a sermon about anything but the feast or reading of the day.
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Offline Ignatius II

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 02:43:53 PM »


Russians follow the Old Calendar, and women attending services usually wear head coverings.

If those are the marks of "traditional or conservative" so be it.
[/quote]

You are indeed correct about Russia. For the most part my wife was fully expected to wear a head covering. That was not so common in US

Offline Ignatius II

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2019, 02:46:54 PM »
My quote box didn’t go quite right on the last post. Sorry

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2019, 07:45:23 PM »
Does anyone really have any doubts as to what traditional and conservative mean, to the point where they need quotation marks?

Here's a few items:
- Are you more likely to hear a sermon about Christianity, or the latest trend in popular morality?
- Are the worshippers able to do bows and prostrations at the appropriate times, or are there pews to prevent this?
- Are the faithful encouraged to fast, or has the pastor given up on it?
- If you confess a paricularly vile sin, are you more likely to hear "It's best if you abstain from communion for a while" or "that's not something to worry about"?
- Are headcoverings an irrelevant cultural custom or is scripture supposed to affect what we do somehow?

I'm not sure how much jurisdictional lines have to do with it, but it's possible for a parish to seem rather nontraditional while still being canonically orthodox.
I think for some, traditional and conservative can still carry the negative connotation of being legalistic, overbearing, and judgmental, and it isn't always known what the author's intent is, hence the quotes.

Our homilies tie the reading of the day to issues and struggles either common to all people, particular to our parish, or current in our society (or all three :D), and yes traditional Christian morals are encouraged. 
We have chairs, so prostrations don't happen loads, but they do happen.  The people who are the most active gravitate toward the aisles.
Fasting is encouraged, but in a sort of, "Do your best" sort of way.  I think how strictly people adhere to it varies pretty greatly.
Yes, our priest will deny people for certain things.
Headcovering is left to the faithful's discretion, but if anyone asks Father about it, he encourages it as a good thing.  The practice seems to be growing in my parish.

How representative that is of the jurisdiction, I have no idea.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no idea, so there’s that.

Offline platypus

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2019, 09:24:53 PM »
At the parish I am able to attend the most often, the main part of the church used to be filled with chairs, but when they moved from a storefront to a real church building last year they only put chairs around the edges. The priest is very faithful and a good confessor. Headcoverings are common but I don't think mandatory. I have been very blessed to attend there.

I have no idea how Americans roll, but in several parishes in Greece and the UK over several decades, I've never heard a sermon about anything but the feast or reading of the day.

That's good news! It is mostly very good here in the US too, at least at the parishes I've visited.

Also: is the liturgy commemorated in its full form? "Full form" means different things across little-t traditions, but if they're regularly skipping whole antiphons...

Yes, I didn't even think about that one. In one of the articles linked in the Old Believer thread, it mentioned the Old Believers in the US being pretty scandalized when they visited a parish from my jurisdiction and seeing how abbreviated the liturgy was. I don't know enough about liturgics to actually tell when something is being left out.

I think for some, traditional and conservative can still carry the negative connotation of being legalistic, overbearing, and judgmental, and it isn't always known what the author's intent is, hence the quotes.

That makes sense; I should've thought of that before I posted.
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Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. -Ecclesiastes 12:8

Offline Ignatius II

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Re: Differences in Orthodox Jusrisdiction
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2019, 07:02:47 AM »
I guess one question would be, do you ever see some parishes who in an effort to possibly be more ecumenical either consciously or unconsciously incorporate or modify practices to a small degree. I think in today's world there is a tendency to want to please people that in time can erode longstanding traditional practices. Not saying it does happen but it would seem with some parishes that have a large number of converts the potential is there.