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Author Topic: Communing Infants in the West  (Read 3286 times) Average Rating: 0
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Marc1152
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« on: January 20, 2009, 11:04:33 PM »

Original thread:  Why do Orthodox claim that Jesus didn't use unleavened bread at the last supper?

-- Nebelpfade


Hello,

Do the Orthodox view unleavened bread as invalid and incapable of being transformed into the Eucharist?

Probably not but it is seen as yet another unnecessary development. It may have something to do with the West no longer communing infants
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 04:47:20 PM by Nebelpfade » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 11:09:02 PM »



Probably not but it is seen as yet another unnecessary development. It may have something to do with the West no longer communing infants

When did the West stop communing infants?

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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2009, 12:08:04 AM »



Probably not but it is seen as yet another unnecessary development. It may have something to do with the West no longer communing infants

When did the West stop communing infants?



It is now well established that in the early days of Christianity it was not uncommon for infants to receive Communion immediately after they were baptized. Among others St. Cyprian (Lib. de Lapsis, c. xxv) makes reference to the practice. In the East the custom was pretty universal, and even to this day exists in some places, but in the West infant Communion was not so general. Here, moreover, it was restricted to the occasions of baptism and dangerous illness. Probably it originated in a mistaken notion of the absolute necessity of the Blessed Eucharist for salvation, founded on the words of St. John (vi, 54). In the reign of Charlemagne an edict was published by a Council of Tours (813) prohibiting the reception by young children of Communion unless they were in danger of death (Zaccaria, Bibl. Rit., II, p. 161) and Odo, Bishop of Paris, renewed this prohibition in 1175. Still the custom died hard, for we find traces of it in Hugh of St. Victor (De Sacr., I, c. 20) and Martène (De Ant. Ecc. Rit., I bk., I, c. 15) alleges that it had not altogether disappeared in his own day. The manner of Communicating infants was by dipping the finger in the consecrated chalice and then applying it to the tongue of the child. This would seem to imply that it was only the Precious Blood that was administered, but evidence is not wanting to show that the other Consecrated Species was also given in similar circumstances (cf. Sebastiano Giribaldi, Op. Mor., I, c. 72). That infants and children not yet come to the use of reason may not only validly but even fruitfully receive the Blessed Eucharist is now the universally received opinion, but it is opposed to Catholic teaching to hold that this sacrament is necessary for their salvation (Council of Trent, Sess. XXI, can. iv).
The existing legislation with regard to the Communion of children has been definitely settled by the Fourth Lateran Council [1215], which was afterwards confirmed by the authority of the Council of Trent. According to its provisions children may not be admitted to the Blessed Eucharist until they have attained to years of discretion, but when this period is reached then they are bound to receive this sacrament. When may they be said to have attained the age of discretion? In the best-supported view of theologians this phrase means, not the attainment of a definite number of years, but rather the arrival at a certain stage in mental development, when children become able to discern the Eucharistic from ordinary bread, to realize in some measure the dignity and excellence of the Sacrament of the Altar, to believe in the Real Presence, and adore Christ under the sacramental veils.

[there's that adoration again: gotta stick it in wherever]

De Lugo (De Euch., disp. xiii, n. 36, Ben. XIV, De Syn., vii) says that if children are observed to assist at Mass with devotion and attention it is a sign that they are come to this discretion.

Thus it is seen that a keener religious sense, so to speak, is demanded for the reception of Communion than for confession. Moreover, it is agreed that children in danger of death ought to be admitted to Communion even though they may not have the same degree of fitness that would be required in ordinary circumstances. In answer to a question as to whether a certain episcopal ordinance should be upheld that fixed a definite age-limit under which children could not be admitted to First Communion, the Congregation of the Council replied in the affirmative, provided, however, that those children adjudged to have reached the discretion required by the Councils of Lateran and Trent might not be excluded (21 July, 1888). This reply bears out the interpretation already given of "the years of discretion" and it may be said in the words of the Catechism of the Council of Trent (pt. II, c. iv, q. 63) that "no one can better determine the age at which the sacred mysteries should be given to young children than their parents and confessor".

The duty of preparing candidates for First Communion is the most important that can fall to the lot of a pastor (O'Kane, Rubrics of Rom. Rit., p. 391).

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04170b.htm

It would seem it was the innovation of putting the requirement of the "age of reason," so necessary for confession, ordination and marriage, being introduced by the West as a requirement for confirmation (the explanation of the term itself embodying the change), unction, and communion that caused the change.  Of course, the Protestants and anabaptists only took this to its logical conclusion.  By their fruits will ye know them.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 12:09:29 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2009, 12:35:57 AM »

Thank you, Ialmisry, for the reference. Very informative.  So it's a  later development, or innovation. Interesting.
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009, 10:28:31 AM »

Hi all!
In support of what Ialmisry just accurately wrote, I offer to you another document showing that at least before 1200 AD the Western Churches used to give baptism (by thrine immersion), chrism and eucharist at once. This is an analysis made by a learned Italian author who, in a chapter of his "Antichità italiane" ("Italian Antiquities") studies the history of the ambrosian rite in comparison with the Roman rite of his time (1700s). To do this, as he worked for the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, he had the possibility to read a 1150 AD liturgical text which states thus (translation is mine):
"Then, describing baptism, trina mersio (=thrine immersion) is prescribed; then the Litanies; and thereafter 'facit crucem infantis in cerebro, quum Chrisma dat, et dicit Domine, Pater Domini Nostri Jesu Christi ' (he makes a cross on the forehead of the infant, in order to give Chrism, and says "Lord, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ") like in the Roman. This is followed by Communion, administered with such words: 'Corpus Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Sanguine suo tinctum conservet animam tuam in vitam aeternam' (=The Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, plunged in His blood, preserve your soul for life everlasting)"
This is more then a sufficient proof that the original scheme of Initiation was being preserved in the West even in the first two centuries after the Schism
If you can read Italian and Latin, this is an online copy of this treatise of Muratori: http://www.classicitaliani.it/muratori/dissert57.htm
In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2009, 11:11:24 AM »

Hi all!
In support of what Ialmisry just accurately wrote, I offer to you another document showing that at least before 1200 AD the Western Churches used to give baptism (by thrine immersion), chrism and eucharist at once. This is an analysis made by a learned Italian author who, in a chapter of his "Antichità italiane" ("Italian Antiquities") studies the history of the ambrosian rite in comparison with the Roman rite of his time (1700s). To do this, as he worked for the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, he had the possibility to read a 1150 AD liturgical text which states thus (translation is mine):
"Then, describing baptism, trina mersio (=thrine immersion) is prescribed; then the Litanies; and thereafter 'facit crucem infantis in cerebro, quum Chrisma dat, et dicit Domine, Pater Domini Nostri Jesu Christi ' (he makes a cross on the forehead of the infant, in order to give Chrism, and says "Lord, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ") like in the Roman. This is followed by Communion, administered with such words: 'Corpus Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Sanguine suo tinctum conservet animam tuam in vitam aeternam' (=The Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, plunged in His blood, preserve your soul for life everlasting)"
This is more then a sufficient proof that the original scheme of Initiation was being preserved in the West even in the first two centuries after the Schism
If you can read Italian and Latin, this is an online copy of this treatise of Muratori: http://www.classicitaliani.it/muratori/dissert57.htm
In Christ,   Alex

Thanks for the link.  Btw, the Ambrosian rite kept married clergy, until that was suppressed by the Vatican too.
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2009, 09:39:22 PM »



Probably not but it is seen as yet another unnecessary development. It may have something to do with the West no longer communing infants

When did the West stop communing infants?



It is now well established that in the early days of Christianity it was not uncommon for infants to receive Communion immediately after they were baptized. Among others St. Cyprian (Lib. de Lapsis, c. xxv) makes reference to the practice. In the East the custom was pretty universal, and even to this day exists in some places, but in the West infant Communion was not so general. Here, moreover, it was restricted to the occasions of baptism and dangerous illness. Probably it originated in a mistaken notion of the absolute necessity of the Blessed Eucharist for salvation, founded on the words of St. John (vi, 54). In the reign of Charlemagne an edict was published by a Council of Tours (813) prohibiting the reception by young children of Communion unless they were in danger of death (Zaccaria, Bibl. Rit., II, p. 161) and Odo, Bishop of Paris, renewed this prohibition in 1175. Still the custom died hard, for we find traces of it in Hugh of St. Victor (De Sacr., I, c. 20) and Martène (De Ant. Ecc. Rit., I bk., I, c. 15) alleges that it had not altogether disappeared in his own day. The manner of Communicating infants was by dipping the finger in the consecrated chalice and then applying it to the tongue of the child. This would seem to imply that it was only the Precious Blood that was administered, but evidence is not wanting to show that the other Consecrated Species was also given in similar circumstances (cf. Sebastiano Giribaldi, Op. Mor., I, c. 72). That infants and children not yet come to the use of reason may not only validly but even fruitfully receive the Blessed Eucharist is now the universally received opinion, but it is opposed to Catholic teaching to hold that this sacrament is necessary for their salvation (Council of Trent, Sess. XXI, can. iv).
The existing legislation with regard to the Communion of children has been definitely settled by the Fourth Lateran Council [1215], which was afterwards confirmed by the authority of the Council of Trent. According to its provisions children may not be admitted to the Blessed Eucharist until they have attained to years of discretion, but when this period is reached then they are bound to receive this sacrament. When may they be said to have attained the age of discretion? In the best-supported view of theologians this phrase means, not the attainment of a definite number of years, but rather the arrival at a certain stage in mental development, when children become able to discern the Eucharistic from ordinary bread, to realize in some measure the dignity and excellence of the Sacrament of the Altar, to believe in the Real Presence, and adore Christ under the sacramental veils.

[there's that adoration again: gotta stick it in wherever]

De Lugo (De Euch., disp. xiii, n. 36, Ben. XIV, De Syn., vii) says that if children are observed to assist at Mass with devotion and attention it is a sign that they are come to this discretion.

Thus it is seen that a keener religious sense, so to speak, is demanded for the reception of Communion than for confession. Moreover, it is agreed that children in danger of death ought to be admitted to Communion even though they may not have the same degree of fitness that would be required in ordinary circumstances. In answer to a question as to whether a certain episcopal ordinance should be upheld that fixed a definite age-limit under which children could not be admitted to First Communion, the Congregation of the Council replied in the affirmative, provided, however, that those children adjudged to have reached the discretion required by the Councils of Lateran and Trent might not be excluded (21 July, 1888). This reply bears out the interpretation already given of "the years of discretion" and it may be said in the words of the Catechism of the Council of Trent (pt. II, c. iv, q. 63) that "no one can better determine the age at which the sacred mysteries should be given to young children than their parents and confessor".

The duty of preparing candidates for First Communion is the most important that can fall to the lot of a pastor (O'Kane, Rubrics of Rom. Rit., p. 391).

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04170b.htm

It would seem it was the innovation of putting the requirement of the "age of reason," so necessary for confession, ordination and marriage, being introduced by the West as a requirement for confirmation (the explanation of the term itself embodying the change), unction, and communion that caused the change.  Of course, the Protestants and anabaptists only took this to its logical conclusion.  By their fruits will ye know them.


Wow....Thanks..That's what I was going to say   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2009, 10:25:12 PM »

It would seem it was the innovation of putting the requirement of the "age of reason," so necessary for confession, ordination and marriage, being introduced by the West as a requirement for confirmation (the explanation of the term itself embodying the change), unction, and communion that caused the change.  Of course, the Protestants and anabaptists only took this to its logical conclusion.  By their fruits will ye know them.

The age of reason is generally held to be about 7 years of age. Now, can you honestly say that those younger than that should be getting married or ordained? Shocked
Confession requires -- sins to be confessed. An infant is incapable of this. And what sins does a toddler have to confess? Part of sinning is knowing it is sinful - which is a use of reason.

Why is confirmation delayed? As the Catechism explains:

1290 In the first centuries Confirmation generally comprised one single celebration with Baptism, forming with it a "double sacrament," according to the expression of St. Cyprian. Among other reasons, the multiplication of infant baptisms all through the year, the increase of rural parishes, and the growth of dioceses often prevented the bishop from being present at all baptismal celebrations. In the West the desire to reserve the completion of Baptism to the bishop caused the temporal separation of the two sacraments. The East has kept them united, so that Confirmation is conferred by the priest who baptizes. But he can do so only with the "myron" consecrated by a bishop. (Cf. CCEO, can. 695 § 1; 696 § 1.)

And the USCCB Catechism puts it this way:

     In the early Church, sacramental initiation always involved the bishop; the bishop was the ordinary minister of both Baptism and Confirmation. However, pastoral practice changed as the Church expanded rapidly. When bishops could no longer be present at all celebrations of Baptism, they chose to retain a role in the process of initiation by continuing to be the ordinary minster of Confirmation.
     In the Latin Church, with the bishop as the minister of Confirmation, it is evident how this Sacrament can serve to strengthen the person's bond with the Church and her apostolic origins. However, there are also times when the bishop entrusts the celebration of the rite of Confirmation to a priest, such as in the case of the Baptism of an adult or the reception of an adult from another Christian community into full communion with the Church. Bishops may also give this permission in other cases.
     In the Eastern Churches, Confirmation is conferred by a priest at the time of Baptism, and in some of these Churches, it is followed by the reception of the Eucharist. This practice underlines the unity of the three Sacraments of Initiation. The priest confirms with the Myron or oil consecrated by the bishop. This expresses the apostolic unity of the Church.


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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2009, 08:57:06 AM »

It would seem it was the innovation of putting the requirement of the "age of reason," so necessary for confession, ordination and marriage, being introduced by the West as a requirement for confirmation (the explanation of the term itself embodying the change), unction, and communion that caused the change.  Of course, the Protestants and anabaptists only took this to its logical conclusion.  By their fruits will ye know them.

The age of reason is generally held to be about 7 years of age. Now, can you honestly say that those younger than that should be getting married or ordained? Shocked
no
that's why I said "so necessary for"

Quote
Confession requires -- sins to be confessed. An infant is incapable of this. And what sins does a toddler have to confess? Part of sinning is knowing it is sinful - which is a use of reason.

that's why I said "so necessary for."

Quote
Why is confirmation delayed? As the Catechism explains:

1290 In the first centuries Confirmation generally comprised one single celebration with Baptism, forming with it a "double sacrament," according to the expression of St. Cyprian. Among other reasons, the multiplication of infant baptisms all through the year, the increase of rural parishes, and the growth of dioceses often prevented the bishop from being present at all baptismal celebrations. In the West the desire to reserve the completion of Baptism to the bishop caused the temporal separation of the two sacraments. The East has kept them united, so that Confirmation is conferred by the priest who baptizes. But he can do so only with the "myron" consecrated by a bishop. (Cf. CCEO, can. 695 § 1; 696 § 1.)

And the USCCB Catechism puts it this way:

     In the early Church, sacramental initiation always involved the bishop; the bishop was the ordinary minister of both Baptism and Confirmation. However, pastoral practice changed as the Church expanded rapidly. When bishops could no longer be present at all celebrations of Baptism, they chose to retain a role in the process of initiation by continuing to be the ordinary minster of Confirmation.
     In the Latin Church, with the bishop as the minister of Confirmation, it is evident how this Sacrament can serve to strengthen the person's bond with the Church and her apostolic origins. However, there are also times when the bishop entrusts the celebration of the rite of Confirmation to a priest, such as in the case of the Baptism of an adult or the reception of an adult from another Christian community into full communion with the Church. Bishops may also give this permission in other cases.
     In the Eastern Churches, Confirmation is conferred by a priest at the time of Baptism, and in some of these Churches, it is followed by the reception of the Eucharist. This practice underlines the unity of the three Sacraments of Initiation. The priest confirms with the Myron or oil consecrated by the bishop. This expresses the apostolic unity of the Church.

The problem with this little "explanation" (I'd say excuse, given the circumstances) is that the innovation was introduced long after (like, a millennium) after the Church expanded in the West.  And as I said, it was tied to a (mis)understanding of the age of reason, which directly led, with its "explanations" to the rejection of it as a sacrament by much of the West.
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2009, 09:03:43 AM »

Dear Athanasios,
I perfectly know the problems subject to a full and immediate initiation of children - which you strikingly underlined following the words of RC Magisterium. As you already appointed, the practice of having the bishop celebrating confirmation in the early centuries of the Church is per se undeniable (I'd be a stupid to do that). But let's follow some reasonings starting from your points.
1) The sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion are not linked to the sacrament of Confession. Not directly, at least. On the contrary, they are linked with spiritual purity, which is an other matter. As you noticed, a children under the age of 7 generally don't have any knowledge of sin (but not always - i've got evidence that modern-day children have a better comprehension of what's wrong or right even around 4 or 5); but that's why we give Confirmation and Holy Communion immediately after baptism! We must approach to holy Communion with a pure spirit, and as children have no knowledge of sin, they are pure enough to receive holy Chrismation and holy Communion since the time of baptism.
2) Children who are newly-born in the waters of baptism are ready to experience a new life in Christ Jesus. But how can they grow in faith if they have no spiritual guide and no mystical nourishment? Of Jesus the gospel of Luke said that he was growing "in spirit"; the Holy Spirit given at Confirmation is a sacramental guide for the child to strengthen in faith and the Body and Blood of Christ sustain the soul in one's fight against sin. Are we leaving the future generations without any spiritual support against the Devil??? I tribute most of the heresies and atheist approaches of the West to the lack of spiritual gifts which are delayed too far in time for children. At least in Italy Communion is given at about 8 and Confirmation at about 13... and most of the times they receive them without any knowledge of faith: all they do (with a few but noticeable exceptions) is accomplishing the will of their parents and receiving gifts from the relatives, but after Confirmation they leave the churches till their marriage (which is also religious for the same two reasons I just gave you). Faith is not just a choice which once made saves us; faith is something we must grow in!
3) Tradition is means of understanding faith... If the Church Fathers chose to preserve this holy tradition of keeping baptism, chrismation and communion all together then we should follow their certain path... As an Italian proverb says: "Chi lascia la via vecchia per la nuova, sa quel che lascia ma non sa quel che trova", translated: "Who leaves the old way for the new, knows what he left but not what he'll find"
4) How should we need chrism if we have bishops to administer the sacrament directly? Also I noticed that to have a bishop celebrating the eucharist you had to introduce auxiliary bishops... which is against the episcopal monarchy of st Ignatius of Antioch: one church=one bishop!
In Christ,  Alex
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2009, 03:39:36 PM »

How is the reception of sacraments handled in the Western Rite Orthodox churches? Do babies receive Baptism, Chrismation and the Eucharist all at once? Do they commune infants?
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2009, 05:09:29 PM »

The problem with this little "explanation" (I'd say excuse, given the circumstances) is that the innovation was introduced long after (like, a millennium) after the Church expanded in the West.  And as I said, it was tied to a (mis)understanding of the age of reason, which directly led, with its "explanations" to the rejection of it as a sacrament by much of the West.

You must have majored in the "new" math. Roll Eyes We can see evidence towards this separation of rites beginning around the 6th-7th century (i.e., Saint Isidore and Saint Bede).

You keep using the word "innovation" as a pejorative term. Should I remind you of some of the "innovations" of that the Eastern Orthodox Church fully embraces--

1) The Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom was a whittled down version of the Liturgy of Saint Basil, which was itself a whittling down of a more apostolic Liturgy.
2) The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed was not in the Church for the first 3-1/2 centuries.
3) The title Mary, Mother of God
4) The Nikonian reforms (and Old-Calendarist reject this as an "innovation" with more ferocity than you tend to reject so-called Catholic "innovations").
5) According to Orthodoxwiki: Cheirotonia and cheirothesia formerly were used almost interchangeably, but came to acquire distinct meanings. Bishops are also referred to as being "consecrated" rather than "ordained," but such a distinction was not present in the early Church (ODCC, p. 1189)
6) need I go on?
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 05:32:30 PM by Athanasios » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2009, 05:31:30 PM »

1) The sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion are not linked to the sacrament of Confession. Not directly, at least. On the contrary, they are linked with spiritual purity, which is an other matter. As you noticed, a children under the age of 7 generally don't have any knowledge of sin (but not always - i've got evidence that modern-day children have a better comprehension of what's wrong or right even around 4 or 5); but that's why we give Confirmation and Holy Communion immediately after baptism! We must approach to holy Communion with a pure spirit, and as children have no knowledge of sin, they are pure enough to receive holy Chrismation and holy Communion since the time of baptism.
Confirmation and the Eucharist are directly linked by being, as the Catholic Church calls them, Sacraments of Initiation (along with Baptism). Confirmation in the Catholic Church is the fulfillment of being initiated into the Church of Christ. One of the reasons, I think, that the Sacrament is called Confirmation is because it is a confirming of those baptismal vows which were, for Christians baptized as infants, promised by someone in proxy. It is also a confirming of the graces of God upon the soul and of our call to be Christians.

Confession, as you noted a Sacrament of Healing for the advancement toward purity, has a special place in the preparation for reception for Holy Communion.


2) Children who are newly-born in the waters of baptism are ready to experience a new life in Christ Jesus. But how can they grow in faith if they have no spiritual guide and no mystical nourishment? Of Jesus the gospel of Luke said that he was growing "in spirit"; the Holy Spirit given at Confirmation is a sacramental guide for the child to strengthen in faith and the Body and Blood of Christ sustain the soul in one's fight against sin. Are we leaving the future generations without any spiritual support against the Devil??? I tribute most of the heresies and atheist approaches of the West to the lack of spiritual gifts which are delayed too far in time for children. At least in Italy Communion is given at about 8 and Confirmation at about 13... and most of the times they receive them without any knowledge of faith: all they do (with a few but noticeable exceptions) is accomplishing the will of their parents and receiving gifts from the relatives, but after Confirmation they leave the churches till their marriage (which is also religious for the same two reasons I just gave you). Faith is not just a choice which once made saves us; faith is something we must grow in!
Who knows? It seems that for several, if not many or most, who are baptized as infants and later defect from the Faith, it began with their parents who gave heretical instruction -- one such example I read about was a father who told his daughter on her First Communion that the Eucharist (which is Jesus) is not important, her pretty dress and all the attention she would get is what was most important that day.


3) Tradition is means of understanding faith... If the Church Fathers chose to preserve this holy tradition of keeping baptism, chrismation and communion all together then we should follow their certain path... As an Italian proverb says: "Chi lascia la via vecchia per la nuova, sa quel che lascia ma non sa quel che trova", translated: "Who leaves the old way for the new, knows what he left but not what he'll find"
I agree that Holy Tradition is very important. But the Faith is also not stagnate -- at least not in praxis (also called in the Catholic Church - discipline). Our understanding of the Faith is constantly growing as the Holy Spirit continues to guide the Mystical Body of Christ to all truth. And our praxis must adapt to face each new generation -- usually minor adaptions are all that is necessary, sometimes more rigorous adaptions must be employed. For example, who today would readily benefit from or even understand being allowed to go to the Sacrament of Confession only one time after Baptism, for their entire life.


4) How should we need chrism if we have bishops to administer the sacrament directly? Also I noticed that to have a bishop celebrating the eucharist you had to introduce auxiliary bishops... which is against the episcopal monarchy of st Ignatius of Antioch: one church=one bishop!
I'm not sure I understand the question. Holy Chrism is consecrated once a year at the Chrism Mass (in the Catholic Church) by the Bishop. He consecrates not only that oil which will be used in Confirmation, but also used at Baptism and Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick.

I have no idea how Auxillary Bishops are necessary for the Bishop to celebrate the Eucharist? Many dioceses don't have an Auxillary Bishop and the Bishop celebrates Mass just the same.

And Auxillary Bishops are named to usually non-existent dioceses (well, they usually existed at one time). This is the same in the Orthodox Church as well. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware doesn't have an actual local Church to lead, he is a Titular Metropolitan.
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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2009, 03:01:10 PM »

Not for the Eucharist but for Confirmation. You reserved Confirmation to the bishop alone, and posticipated it for children only (or primarily) for that reason. But now you have auxiliary bishops to give Confirmation on behalf of the bishop (and sometimes even monks or ordinary priests do that). Then your purposes were good but useless. Every parish is led by a representative of the bishop who serves on his behalf. The Chrism - being consecrated by the bishop - is ALREADY a representative of the bishop's presence... then why do we need another priest, or a bishop without a diocese (which is a real contradiction...) to give Chrismation?
And where is it written that Confirmation is to confirm faith? In Christian initiation, Holy Chrismation is the pars costruens, where Holy Baptism is the pars destruens... the latter eliminates the "old and sinful man", the former builds us as christs in the true Christ, as full members of the Kingdom of God! And as full member of the Kingdom, why should we be kept far from the Feast of Joy that is called Holy Eucharist?
The Church has power to administer the sacraments, but can't change their form, their meaning and their purposes. You RCs dared to do so and now can't demonstrate your continuity with the First Millennium Church, while we Orthodox CAN.

In Christ,   Alex

PS: Today on TV I saw the Divine Liturgy of st John Chrysostom celebrated in a parish in Rome by Ukrainian Catholics. I was so moved by that event, seeing babies and children rejoicing to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, that no matter what you say, that makes me sure that's the way it's meant to be... I also prayed that one day this wonderful liturgy be restored by the Pope: maybe if you do that, and eliminate the Filioque from your Creed, a chance for union will come...
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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2009, 11:36:57 PM »


The age of reason is generally held to be about 7 years of age. Now, can you honestly say that those younger than that should be getting married or ordained? Shocked
Confession requires -- sins to be confessed. An infant is incapable of this. And what sins does a toddler have to confess? Part of sinning is knowing it is sinful - which is a use of reason.

Does this age of reason refer to physical years or mental years.  I know plenty of adults who have the minds of a three year old!   Grin 

This is a totally arbitrary standard.  Would you honestly expect a person who has a serious mental illness to be denied the life giving body and blood of our Saviour because he lacks articulation in what is sinful and not?  Or what about a person who is mentally retarded (I know that's not a politically correct term)?  Do you expect him to be able to enumerate his/her sins and then to be able to analyze whether he is "suitable enough" for the Mysteries?  What of a mute?  Would you presume to know what is in his heart and mind as to deny him the Mysteries?  Does this mean that I am in favor of giving the Eucharist to just anybody?  Of course not!  Christ said that His blood was shed for you and for many (not all!).  The point is that the standard is arbitrary and the WEstern Churches, particularly the Roman Catholics, lack any kind of oeconomia instead preferring the letter of the law.   I can give you all sorts of other hypothetical situations, but why would we deny a gift-let me repeat that:  a gift--of our Lord to anyone because he or she fails to measure up to some medieval standard which was picked out of thin air?

I'm confused about what you mean by part of sinning is knowing that it is sinful and that is the gift of reason.  No, sinning is devoid of reason.  Besides, the realization of our sin is borne from our faith.  Look at the recipients of the many miracles of Christ.  IN how many of those did Christ say that the person's reason had saved them.  No, it is our faith, a gift from God which makes us realize our separation from him.  If that is a gift from God, then how can anyone reasonably (no pun intended) expect that the mysteries be dispensed according to the reason of another person adhereing to an obvious trumped up standard?
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« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2009, 11:40:08 PM »

[
1) The Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom was a whittled down version of the Liturgy of Saint Basil, which was itself a whittling down of a more apostolic Liturgy.

This is a myth.  In many churches according to their respective customs, the Liturgy of St. Basil was celebrated every Sunday and feast day while others used the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.  But St. John's was not a modification of St. Basil's--it was his own through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Check out their respective anaphoras to see how much they radically differ and come back and tell me that one is merely a reduction of the other.  I bet you can't and if you do, you are being blind.
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« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2009, 08:22:42 AM »

Thanks Scamandrius,
your post is really enlightening and tried to express perfectly what I didn't manage to tell!
Only GOD can look within our soul and say whether we're mature or not!
Life is a gift from God, and God offers it to everybody. You can mistreat this gift, and even put it away, but God still offers it...
Separating baptism from chrismation and communion, RCs are just giving for the first decade of one's life a sort of half life. The youth are suspended between the sinful condition they were cleansed of in the baptismal waters and the fruits of rebirth and life eternal in Christ which they are to receive in confirmation and communion.
Dear Athanasios, we tend to "mix up" (I don't know this term may be correct) the Sacraments as if they were all the same. That's not true. There are sacraments which provide one's salvation: these are Baptism (the gift of life eternal), Confirmation (a guide to sanctity in the Holy Ghost) and Eucharist (the food sustaining our soul in the struggle against sin); there are sacraments who restore the grace of baptism after a sin, such as Confession and Holy Unction; and finally there are sacraments which communicate a grace functional to the building of the church, such as Holy Orders (without them the other sacraments can't be performed) and Matrimony (necessary for the edification of the future generation of faithful).
For this reason you can't say that giving Confirmation and Eucharist to a child is like saying they are mature enough to marry... Marriage is a vocation to a specific role of membership in the Church! Marriage and Holy Orders don't provide salvation to the one who receives them, but to those who benefit of the fruits of that Marriage or Ministry. For that reason it'd be absurd to give such sacraments to a baby!
In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2009, 10:14:14 AM »

Just came across this.
The problem with this little "explanation" (I'd say excuse, given the circumstances) is that the innovation was introduced long after (like, a millennium) after the Church expanded in the West.  And as I said, it was tied to a (mis)understanding of the age of reason, which directly led, with its "explanations" to the rejection of it as a sacrament by much of the West.

You must have majored in the "new" math. Roll Eyes We can see evidence towards this separation of rites beginning around the 6th-7th century (i.e., Saint Isidore and Saint Bede).

You keep using the word "innovation" as a pejorative term. Should I remind you of some of the "innovations" of that the Eastern Orthodox Church fully embraces--

1) The Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom was a whittled down version of the Liturgy of Saint Basil, which was itself a whittling down of a more apostolic Liturgy.
The DL of St. Basil is still celebrated, as is that of St. James (the "more apostolic liturgy" according to tradition).  The relationship of the liturgies hasn't changed.  Transforming chrismation into confirmation has radically changed its nature.


Quote
2) The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed was not in the Church for the first 3-1/2 centuries.

No, the Creeds from which it was taken were used, as every Creed that follows it (i.e. the Definitions of the Ecumenical Councils) must be based it, just as it was based on the previous Creeds going back to the Apostles. 


Quote
3) The title Mary, Mother of God.

St. Elizabeth, full of the Holy Spirit, calls her Mother of the Lord.


Quote
4) The Nikonian reforms (and Old-Calendarist reject this as an "innovation" with more ferocity than you tend to reject so-called Catholic "innovations").

You mean Old Believers.  Old Calendarists accept the innovations, which are minor and inconsequential.  That's the problem with the Old Believers, but not the Old Ritualist, who are in communion with the rest of Orthodoxy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinoverie


Quote
5) According to Orthodoxwiki: Cheirotonia and cheirothesia formerly were used almost interchangeably, but came to acquire distinct meanings. Bishops are also referred to as being "consecrated" rather than "ordained," but such a distinction was not present in the early Church (ODCC, p. 1189)

The minor orders were not changed, nor the major ones. The early Church did not see the reader as being consecrated nor the bishop as being tonsured.  Rather hairsplitting irrelevant point.

Quote
6) need I go on?

Please do.
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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2009, 10:35:16 AM »

Might as well toss in the sign of the cross as an Orthodox "innovation." No, not the right to left thing - the Latins innovated the left to right for the laity. No, last year, a Greek Orthodox priest last year explained to me that a few centuries ago, Constantinople wanted your thumb and first two fingers together (signifying the trinity) instead of the traditional two-fingered version (without thumb). The final two fingers held together, represented, if I remember, the two natures of Christ. Technically this is an innovation from the original form, and this was one of the Nikonian reforms that was rejected as well by the Old Believers. But it was the first time I heard about it, and I thought it was a great trinitarian innovation to one of the trinitarian prayers of the church.


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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2009, 12:00:07 PM »

Might as well toss in the sign of the cross as an Orthodox "innovation." No, not the right to left thing - the Latins innovated the left to right for the laity. No, last year, a Greek Orthodox priest last year explained to me that a few centuries ago, Constantinople wanted your thumb and first two fingers together (signifying the trinity) instead of the traditional two-fingered version (without thumb). The final two fingers held together, represented, if I remember, the two natures of Christ. Technically this is an innovation from the original form, and this was one of the Nikonian reforms that was rejected as well by the Old Believers. But it was the first time I heard about it, and I thought it was a great trinitarian innovation to one of the trinitarian prayers of the church.




Just a note on the icon: Christ is not holding his hand in the position you are describing.  He is holding it (as He always is in icons) in the posture that the clergy use in benediction: the fingers are supposed to represent the name of IC XC (J[esu]s C[hris]t).

http://www.st-george-church.org/ImageFiles/SGeorgeGraphics/Blessing_Hand.jpg
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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2009, 02:08:27 PM »

Might as well toss in the sign of the cross as an Orthodox "innovation." No, not the right to left thing - the Latins innovated the left to right for the laity. No, last year, a Greek Orthodox priest last year explained to me that a few centuries ago, Constantinople wanted your thumb and first two fingers together (signifying the trinity) instead of the traditional two-fingered version (without thumb). The final two fingers held together, represented, if I remember, the two natures of Christ. Technically this is an innovation from the original form, and this was one of the Nikonian reforms that was rejected as well by the Old Believers. But it was the first time I heard about it, and I thought it was a great trinitarian innovation to one of the trinitarian prayers of the church.




Just a note on the icon: Christ is not holding his hand in the position you are describing.  He is holding it (as He always is in icons) in the posture that the clergy use in benediction: the fingers are supposed to represent the name of IC XC (J[esu]s C[hris]t).

http://www.st-george-church.org/ImageFiles/SGeorgeGraphics/Blessing_Hand.jpg

WOW ! This is a little spooky. I had this exact conversation with my new wife who is a Catechuman just last night. We were talking about crossing with Two Fingers like the Old Believers do and she said "like how Christ holds his fingers in Icons." I replied " That's something different"... And here is a discussion of it.. Sorry..  It's just pretty coincidental.

God Bless.
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« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2009, 03:16:54 PM »

Might as well toss in the sign of the cross as an Orthodox "innovation." No, not the right to left thing - the Latins innovated the left to right for the laity. No, last year, a Greek Orthodox priest last year explained to me that a few centuries ago, Constantinople wanted your thumb and first two fingers together (signifying the trinity) instead of the traditional two-fingered version (without thumb). The final two fingers held together, represented, if I remember, the two natures of Christ. Technically this is an innovation from the original form, and this was one of the Nikonian reforms that was rejected as well by the Old Believers. But it was the first time I heard about it, and I thought it was a great trinitarian innovation to one of the trinitarian prayers of the church.




Just a note on the icon: Christ is not holding his hand in the position you are describing.  He is holding it (as He always is in icons) in the posture that the clergy use in benediction: the fingers are supposed to represent the name of IC XC (J[esu]s C[hris]t).

http://www.st-george-church.org/ImageFiles/SGeorgeGraphics/Blessing_Hand.jpg

WOW ! This is a little spooky. I had this exact conversation with my new wife who is a Catechuman just last night. We were talking about crossing with Two Fingers like the Old Believers do and she said "like how Christ holds his fingers in Icons." I replied " That's something different"... And here is a discussion of it.. Sorry..  It's just pretty coincidental.

God Bless.
I don't believe in coincidences.

Congratulations! btw.
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« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2009, 10:17:39 PM »

Some Presbyterian churches (the "Federal Vision" and "Reformed Catholic" crowd) practice infant communion (paedocommunion).

http://www.paedocommunion.com
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2009, 04:04:39 PM »

It must also be underlined that infant communion is still practiced by Eastern Catholics. Have children in the East a supernatural mind, so that they are "in the age of reason" when still in the cradle? Or are Western Catholics mentally ill for some years until they become sufficiently intelligent? It's just a provocation of course. How can the same sacrament have two incompatible uses within two branches of the same Church? In its definition, the age of reason is a necessary conditio sine qua non of the reception of Holy Communion, but evidently the Eastern Chrismation is not the same sacrament as the Western Confirmation, otherwise the two definitions wouldn't match. Now, if the Western practice is the correct one, we must say that the Pope allows (and has always allowed) the celebration of a rite which was not a sacrament, and the omission of the true sacraments from the Eastern Churches; on the contrary, if the Eastern practice is correct, the Pope is uselessly and fruitlessly denying the administration of a sacrament to most of the Western faithful who should merit it as baptised in the Lord.

On the question of the Sign of Cross, I recently saw a picture of pope John XXIII using the traditional two-fingered hand to bless, and I remembered that the pope was the last one to preserve this practice in the Western rite until it was suppressed following the reformations of the Second Vatican Council (don't know which pope suppressed it, anyway)

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2009, 04:23:46 PM »

Quote
(don't know which pope suppressed it, anyway)

John Paul I who was a Pope for a month or so.
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« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2009, 08:29:18 AM »

Oh, I understand. In so few days did he bring so much damage to his church? Anyway, I still consider him a good person, afterall. May God forgive him!

In Christ,  Alex
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« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2009, 08:31:50 AM »

Sorry. After John XXIII there was Paul VI. He was a Pope for 15 years. I forgot about him.
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« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2009, 09:50:00 AM »

Greek Orthodox priest last year explained to me that a few centuries ago, Constantinople wanted your thumb and first two fingers together (signifying the trinity) instead of the traditional two-fingered version (without thumb). The final two fingers held together, represented, if I remember, the two natures of Christ. Technically this is an innovation from the original form,

No, it was not an innovation of a few centuries ago but it is the ancient way.  If you see the quote below from England in 1000 AD they were using three fingers.

The way that the Orthodox make the sign of the Cross seems to have been common across all of Christendom, both East and West. (I don't know about the Copts and Ethiopians.)

At the period for which we have certain information [circa 10th century] the manner of making it in the West was identical with that followed at present in the East, i.e. only three fingers were used, and the hand travelled from the right shoulder to the left.

See the Catholic Encyclopedia
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13785a.htm

Pope Innocent III (1198 - 1216) has a commentary on the sign of the cross making clear that the three fingers were used and that it was, in his day, right to left still.

[snip] .... We know that in England the change from right shoulder first and probably also to indiscriminate use of the fingers was underway sometime in the 14th century, though there were holdouts (a 15th c. MS. York Missal has the Priest cross himself with the paten right to left).

There is an interesting sermon of Abbot Aelfric of Abingdon which he gave around the year 1000 in which he states, "Though a man wave wonderfully with his hand, yet it is not the sign of the Cross: With three fingers you shall sign yourself."
(Sermon for Sept. 14)

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« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2009, 10:32:39 AM »

Oh well, that's better to me! I'm happy it's not John Paul I's error, I appreciated him. On the contrary, i never liked Paul VI ;-)

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2009, 03:06:17 PM »

Greek Orthodox priest last year explained to me that a few centuries ago, Constantinople wanted your thumb and first two fingers together (signifying the trinity) instead of the traditional two-fingered version (without thumb). The final two fingers held together, represented, if I remember, the two natures of Christ. Technically this is an innovation from the original form,

No, it was not an innovation of a few centuries ago but it is the ancient way.  If you see the quote below from England in 1000 AD they were using three fingers.

The way that the Orthodox make the sign of the Cross seems to have been common across all of Christendom, both East and West. (I don't know about the Copts and Ethiopians.)

At the period for which we have certain information [circa 10th century] the manner of making it in the West was identical with that followed at present in the East, i.e. only three fingers were used, and the hand travelled from the right shoulder to the left.

See the Catholic Encyclopedia
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13785a.htm

Pope Innocent III (1198 - 1216) has a commentary on the sign of the cross making clear that the three fingers were used and that it was, in his day, right to left still.

[snip] .... We know that in England the change from right shoulder first and probably also to indiscriminate use of the fingers was underway sometime in the 14th century, though there were holdouts (a 15th c. MS. York Missal has the Priest cross himself with the paten right to left).

There is an interesting sermon of Abbot Aelfric of Abingdon which he gave around the year 1000 in which he states, "Though a man wave wonderfully with his hand, yet it is not the sign of the Cross: With three fingers you shall sign yourself."
(Sermon for Sept. 14)

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Father

Sorry, I am dense today. Are you saying the Old Rite Two Finger crossing is the ancient way or the current three finger?

( Is a thumb a finger:)
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