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Author Topic: Western-rite Orthodoxy  (Read 48528 times) Average Rating: 0
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Keble
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« Reply #180 on: January 26, 2007, 12:23:49 PM »

No - the point remains that what Episcopalians did with liturgical features has no bearing on why we have rood screens and find them incompatible with having an altar rail.

Welllllll, are there any WR churches in this country with a screen? Looking about, I haven't seen any.

And I think you have forgotten what you originally asserted: that those Victorians made a mistake by putting rails and screens in the same buildings and ought to have omitted the rail. Those Victorians were, of course, Anglicans, and those Anglicans in the USA had no surviving rood screens to work with. As far as I can see, the rail was an established feature by the time they got to work, so it is hard not to understand what they did as adding screens to churches which they already knew were going to have rails.

The division by the screen into an outer and inner space is so obvious it needs no law to create it. But the question is whether the choir area should be so included. If the choir is so small that it holds only the clergy, then it is essentially subsumed into the sanctuary and the "rail or not to rail" question as division of the space is eliminated. But if it holds what in current usage we call the choir, then two issues arise. First, it tends to produce a "church within a church" structure (which indeed was what it was for in the first place) which may or may not be desirable. Second, it then raises the issue of whether the sanctuary proper needs division from the choir. What I see without exception in the parish photos is they do see the need for some sort of division at that point, even if it's not with a rail.

None of this has to do with what denomination is involved. It strictly has to do with how you adapt the form and appointments of a medieval church to modern use. We've reached a point where this "tradition" is nothing more than a set of notions about how to make this adaptation. That's fine, in its way, but then the implication of some sort of historical continuity is pretty much a fantasy, unless it traces back through the places these people came from. The various parish histories testify the ubiquity of Episcopal origins, and at that point I see the tradition tracing back through those Victorians.
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« Reply #181 on: January 27, 2007, 09:08:07 AM »

Welllllll, are there any WR churches in this country with a screen? Looking about, I haven't seen any.

Yes, there are. I know of at least one in the AWRV (in Texas). For ROCOR WRO purpose-built, yes as well (though its not a grand screen, and the chancel is so small no choir could fit in it.) Other ROCOR missions also have them - even if they are simply a doorway in a wall with the cross above the lintel. (Our Benedictine monastery might not - I can't recall. Then again, they are Benedictine in use.)

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And I think you have forgotten what you originally asserted:


No, I haven't - and to remind you, the assertion is that they were *miseducated*. If one has an altar rail because their liturgical tradition requires it (the American tradition for Episcopalians did develop so) then the rood screen isn't needed. There were of course American churches built with rood screens, but not as a liturgical feature. In such a case the rood screen was simply Anglophilia - old churches in England have them, isnt that nice, lets have one too. Some very few American churches had the screen and knew what it was for (Alcuin Club, unfortunately had a smaller influence in America than some of us would have liked. Of course, some of us WRO admire them for the work of their members in liturgical scholarship, ornamentation, and as advocates of similar ceremonial. Not for much else though.) The fact is, Episcopalian liturgy and ceremonial needs the altar rail, so it exists. It did not need the rood screen, so they were rare. Their existence is purely due to the two circumstances mentioned above (either Anglophilia or the rarer propoponents of English Use.) Part of my claim, implicit in my original statement, is that if they were properly educated they would have only built rood screens if they adopted the proper liturgy and ceremonial. My own pov, of course, is that to be educated on the matter that they would have been something just like Western Orthodoxy.

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But the question is whether the choir area should be so included.

Sorry, but that just isn't an issue for us - it might be for Episcopalians. Our WRO answer is a solid yes - the choir *is* included. We don't have the post-VII practice of 'concelebration', so the choir is where 'concelebrating' clergy are (in surplice and stole.) The tradition (which includes the medieval laws, which existed because of the ecclesiastical tradition) is that the quire is sacred space. The ultimate reason, which we WRO are consciously aware of, is that the quire is a monastic feature. So, yes it is desireable in WRO - though Episcopalians as another religion have their own feelings which pertain to their own use, though not to ours. Again and again, it matters only for WRO as we use buildings constructed for Episcopalian worship (or Lutheran, Roman Catholics, Syriac, Methodist) and must adapt them to our worship (whether the use of such space is permanent, temporary, or occasional has some bearing on how much the fabric can be changed - other considerations also apply. The AWRV has its own standards, as do we - which is why we have such things as our own Ordo, Customary, etc.)

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None of this has to do with what denomination is involved. It strictly has to do with how you adapt the form and appointments of a medieval church to modern use.

Whether you like it or not (and I see you don't) it absolutely does have to do whether one is speaking about their denomination, or whether they are speaking about the Church Visible. It isn't about 'adapting a form' either - we use the form according to its proper and original use.

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That's fine, in its way, but then the implication of some sort of historical continuity is pretty much a fantasy, unless it traces back through the places these people came from. The various parish histories testify the ubiquity of Episcopal origins, and at that point I see the tradition tracing back through those Victorians.

Implication? No - explicit, and no fantasy. Western Rite Orthodox are Western Catholics, not in communion or belief connected to Protestantism. So, a continuity of *Catholic* tradition - and again I'll point out that the origins are *English Catholicism* not American Episcopalianism (Noting, the Oxford Movement began a scarce 30 years before Western Orthodoxy, and in fact as a concept Western Orthodoxy was in fact older.) Whether a Protestant Episcopalian restores portions of the worship, or we Western Orthodox restore all of it as is right for worship (Orthodox) - there is still a continuity. Our claims to continuity also are due to our being far closer in liturgical and theological agreement with those who existed before the Anglican Communion (in fact, as being identical on our part with those in the first millenium as to the absolutes.)  As for the parish histories, no - they aren't 'ubiquitous' as to Episcopal origins. Not *one* of our missions or monasteries is Episcopalian in origin. Many in the AWRV are not either (but rather Old Catholic or Lutheran in origin.) Just off hand, I know for sure of 8 parishes not Episcopalian in origin in the AWRV - from what I do know they have, that is about a third of their numbers? As a fact, WRO historically and at present are not Episcopalian in origin (the origins are largely Old Catholic, and there are no numbers as to 'origins' - but only in America would any likely be ECUSA in origins.) That claim is one you and others will have to put away - it isn't 'only Episcopalians', 'ubiquitous', or anything else of the sort. Sure, there are many of Episcopalian origin, but of the sort that wouldn't have stayed Episcopalians. The recommendations of the Liturgical Commitee of the Russian Synod in 1907 were only begun due to Western Christians wanting to restore visible unity with what they believed to be the Church (Orthodoxy) - if they believed that the PECUSA was it, there would have been no initiative for St. Tikhon to respond to. The facts of those existing parishes from 1977 onwards in the Antiochian Patriarchate exist for the same reasons - the PECUSA is not where they belonged, either in liturgy, praxis, morality, or for any other reason (as a side-note, a few of those had already left the ECUSA for the PNCC, or other groups before becoming Orthodox. There are also some AWRV missions that began as collections of 'orphan' Western Christians and not as a 'converting parish'.) I'll point out, if you read Overbeck - corporate reunion was never the basis of WRO. The idea was always 'individual by individual, stone by stone, parish by parish' - not limited to Anglicans, Episcopalians or any other group.

I'll make a counter-charge of 'fantasy' - particularly in the way of Episcopalian self-assessment as to their own identity, claims to spiritual or temporal authority, ownership of English/Scottish/American heritage or leadership, etc. Neither the COE or ECUSA *ever* had unified spiritual leadership over Western Christians in our countries. The whining about Western Rite Orthodoxy (which has gone on at least 140 years) seems to be more out of jealousy and particularly uncharitable - especially towards us Western Christians who would have no spiritual home otherwise - noting that the Orthodox Church *is* our natural and promised home. It is also disrespectful towards the bulk of the Orthodox Church, disrespectful of its claims to being the visible Church of Christ in toto. These are Absolutes (ie, generalized principles) that can be illustrated by the particulars. In example, no liturgy that is legally in use in the Anglican communion is used by Western Rite Orthodox (no 1979 American BCP or ASB or CW or 1662 English BCP, etc.) Lex orandi, lex credendi in our case means that how we worship is not acceptable to Episcopalians or Anglicans (either in its exclusivity vs. 'comprehensiveness' or in its Orthodox elements.)
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« Reply #182 on: January 29, 2007, 01:49:37 PM »

I do not interpret your original statement as implying anything about "miseducation", but I think you have hit closer to the mark with some of your remarks here.  I think we agree that they weren't really thinking liturgically when they included them, and the English themselves were just as guilty. But "Anglophilia" is just not a good explanation.

The problem goes back to Gothic revival itself. Why revive it? Well, partly because it was (and still is) seen as the characteristic Western ecclesiastical style. But more importantly, it was revived out of a nostalgia, longing, or what-have-you for medieval piety and its omnipresence in medieval life. It was a very romantic relationship to the past, for both good and ill. For good, because such buildings made material the godly desires of their designers and re-established contact with the past; but for ill, because like all passions it fomented the cross contamination of emotion and reason.

I suspect that the main reason that Gothic revival churches got screens is because original Gothic churches had them. So I don't think the problem was education, but rather being blinded by allegiance to the superiority of Gothic style to the point of not questioning the relevance of its various details. I'd be more inclined to ascribe it to unclear or incomplete thinking rather than to a lack of education.

We also seem to agree on the connection between the choir and monasticism. But that simply leads right to the problem: where there are no monastics, what does the feature mean? Gothic revival is inevitably faced with the issue that much of the medieval church culture has passed on and is not so easily revived as by erecting a building.

And another issue is that conversion itself is a profoundly romantic act, again both for good and ill. Convert mentality is an expression of it.

As for the connections of these parishes with their Episcopalian pasts: one need but look at their websites. While the one which claims a founding date in the 1800s is perhaps an extreme case, it does not surprise me that "Episcopal Church" appears in the first sentence of nearly every parish history I found. They are, by my reading, heavily invested in picturing themselves as purified versions of their own institutional past. I am simply finding it impossible to square your claims in this regard with what I can see for myself.

Let me conclude by saying that I cannot object to the notion that the WR parishes cannot devise their own praxis. It's the notion that I or anyone else-- even someone who is Orthodox-- has some intellectual obligation to view these decisions as anything but present day decisions prompted by present day concerns.
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« Reply #183 on: January 29, 2007, 03:54:38 PM »

The problem goes back to Gothic revival itself. Why revive it? 

The issues you have with the Gothic do apply to the wider adoption of the style by Anglicans, but the Catholic origins of the Gothic Revival have different reasoning. Pugin and Ruskin are not of one mind. Pugin's sense of the Gothic was in reference to the relevance of his details. But, as to unclear or incomplete thinking, sure - but I still see that as a product of miseducation (not lack of education.)

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We also seem to agree on the connection between the choir and monasticism. But that simply leads right to the problem: where there are no monastics, what does the feature mean?


It means that the ethos is inherently monastic - monastic being the Apostolic life. In a way, evangelical and charismatic as opposed to latitudinarianism. It isn't 'Gothic as culture' but 'Gothic as theological tradition'. This has to do also with the question of 'mediaeval theology', which has not passed on - Orthodoxy is mediaeval theology, and I mean that only in the positive sense. At the university, the term 'modern Christianity' is indeed used for the majority position of the Anglican church and much else in mainstream Protestantism or post-Vatican II Catholicism (though the latter still has plenty of 'mediaeval theology' which is having a bit of a renaissance under Pope Benedict XVI.) A colleague of mine, Peter Farrington, addressed a letter on the same topic to one of my professors. The gist is that there are *many* of us Christians (Western Christians as well) for whom 'mediaeval theology' is their living 21st c. tradition, and for whom 'modern theology' does not represent progress or advancement.

But, back to the point of the monastic ethos. It is something where some Western Rite Orthodox agree with a certain 20th c. Anglican historian (I forget his name) as to the influences on the English tradition (of which Anglicanism is historically apart.) He begins with Celtic monasticism, and then also the Benedictines, Austin Canons, Cistercians - all monastic influences which gave a very 'monastic' character to the spiritual life of English Catholics. Where we depart, of course, is where both the Protestant, Enlightenment, and secularization of Catholicism affect the English tradition. We agree on many of the same problems in the Church historically, and even with ideas such as ad fontes, but our solutions are quite different. Those solutions, of course, are based upon doctrinal and ecclesiastical unity for us.


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And another issue is that conversion itself is a profoundly romantic act, again both for good and ill. Convert mentality is an expression of it.

I think that is a rather sweeping statement - not all conversions are of similiar quality nor made for the same reasons. Some conversions (including my own) were profoundly rational. "Convert mentality", of course, is not a guaranteed condition for any convert - and not all as common as some think. In fact, I think it has become a boogey-man of sorts, where all converts of any sort are considered as irrational fanatics or worse.

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As for the connections of these parishes with their Episcopalian pasts: one need but look at their websites. ... I am simply finding it impossible to square your claims in this regard with what I can see for myself.


Likely because you are only reading parish histories available from the few parishes that have converted from Episcopalianism. Since they come from crisis, it tends to be a more important part of their public narrative - not so important for those from Old Catholic backgrounds. It is probably also because the parishes and missions that lack websites tend to be those that did not come from the Episcopalian conversions. Most missions do not have active websites nor parish histories (there are only a few online.) I should note - it is unfair to count St. Mark's, as they came to us from the PNCC. The same goes for other bodies, such as in Florida or Australia that came from the Continuum - any criticism then would also have to extend to the Old Catholics and Continuing Anglicans.

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Let me conclude by saying that I cannot object to the notion that the WR parishes cannot devise their own praxis. It's the notion that I or anyone else-- even someone who is Orthodox-- has some intellectual obligation to view these decisions as anything but present day decisions prompted by present day concerns.

I'll ask for some clarification: are you agreeing that WR parishes cannot devise their own praxis? If so - again, yes - we depend on not only the liturgical guidance of our bishops as is normative for Orthodox. We also have canonical guidelines for what we can and cannot have (the Russian synodal decisions on Overbeck's mass, the Liturgical Comittee of the Russian Synod's guidelines on the adaption of BCP services in answer to St. Tikhon's request, the various 20th c. Patriarchal edicts providing the basis and guidelines for Western Rite practice, etc.)

 I'm not sure about 'anything but present day decisions prompted by present day concerns'. Such is true on a certain level - the mortal facts of human lifetimes. But I do not believe it recognizes the generational and perennial nature of the idea. The seeds are far older than the sprouting (and we haven't even got so far as 'blossoming'.) So, yes - present day decisions as far as the salvation of individual souls is concerned, but present day concerns only in that many of the concerns have existed for centuries. The present day decisions were only possible at the present day because conditions finally became favorable. That is, it took until the last century for the people on both sides to be in the right place to act on the concerns.

As to what those 'present day concerns' are, I'm not sure what all you mean. We can discuss them if you like - I suspect the list might actually be longer than you might expect.
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« Reply #184 on: November 12, 2007, 10:42:33 AM »

Eh, I don't think that your argument necessarily proves the point; he may not have worked on the doctrinal "explicitness" if he didn't think it was necessary, but it doesn't mean that it isn't necessary now, or that it wasn't necessary then.

It would be akin to the argument about the Holy Spirit being "omoousios" in the Creed - why did generations of fathers, and 5 other Ecumenical Councils as well as countless Endemousa Synods and local councils not add it?  They felt it wasn't necessary.  But one can argue effectively that it belongs in the Creed if the Creed is to be the one-stop, all-inclusive definition of the necessary core of our belief.

So too, the WR liturgy may need to be more "doctrinally explicit" (I don't know - I haven't read it) even though St. Tikhon went over it with a fine-tooth comb; or it may not.  If someone wanted to do a textual study here on OC.net of the WR liturgy, then maybe the issues could get hashed out.

To give a concrete example, in the Tridentine mass the celebrant refers to the "merits of Thy Saints whose relics lie here," and the Orthodox DL of St. Gregory says "prayers of Thy Sainst whose relics lie here."

The insertiion of the Eastern epiclesis and the prayer before communion, inserted by the Patriarch of Antioch, might be artificial in a way, but then again it is an organic addition in that the Patriarch is trying to remove a cause of scandal with the rest of the Orthodox, sort of laying out the WRO credentials.

Btw they have a fantastic office for the Neomartyrs of Russia.
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« Reply #185 on: November 13, 2007, 12:34:22 AM »

The insertiion of the Eastern epiclesis and the prayer before communion, inserted by the Patriarch of Antioch, might be artificial in a way, but then again it is an organic addition in that the Patriarch is trying to remove a cause of scandal with the rest of the Orthodox, sort of laying out the WRO credentials.

The epiclesis and other necessary emendations to the WEstern Rite were completed by St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, hence why it is referred to as the Rite of St. Tikhon.
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« Reply #186 on: June 05, 2008, 02:38:10 AM »

I have split off the discussion re: Sarum Rite vs. Liturgy of St. Tikhon and moved it here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,16300.0.html
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« Reply #187 on: June 05, 2008, 03:07:13 AM »

Thread is locked to allow for a period of cool off and research. - Arimethea
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« Reply #188 on: June 05, 2008, 10:20:41 AM »

Discussion about the Diptychs can be found here:  Diptychs, Diptychs, who is listed in the Diptychs?

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« Reply #189 on: April 08, 2011, 02:57:46 PM »

And I am also bothered that a layman such as yourself gives this 'Priest' who wrote the article.

What comes around goes around, one who is so dismissive of and disrespectful towards the Great Balsamon deserves no more respect.

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That venerable Liturgy [of St. James] (and the Liturgy of St. Mark of Alexandria) was needlessly suppressed in the 13th Century by "Patriarch" Theodore IV (Balsamon), who was a Greek bishop living at Constantinople and who never saw Antioch and never served the Liturgy of St. James.  The arrogance of those who discard sacred tradition does not belong only to the modern age.  Nor does such arrogance belong to the Latin West
http://www.westernorthodox.com/Lux-Occidentalis

Balsamon's supression of the rites of Antioch were without warrant, and we can't complain of forced Latinizations if Balsamon is our model.

He was the Patriarch of Antioch, it was perfectly within his rights to regulate and define the liturgical activities of his See.

I was reminded of this when I just came across this again
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Gangra c. 18. If any Bishop duly ordained to a diocese fail to go to the one to which he has been ordained, not through any fault of his own, but either because of the anfractuosity of the laity, or for some other reason for which he is not responsible, he shall retain the honor and office, only without causing any disturbance to the affairs of the church where he should be accorded a congregation. But he shall await the outcome of the decision of a complete Synod of the province in regard to his appointment.

(Ap. c. XXXVI.)


Interpretation.

Both the above Canon and the present one contain pretty much the same matter as Ap. c. XXXVI contains. For this Canon says that if any bishop who has been duly ordained fails to go to his province, not on account of any blameworthy action of his own, but either because of some disorderly behavior of the laity, or on account of some other outside interference, he shall continue to enjoy the honor of a prelate and to perform the sacred services incumbent upon a prelate, provided that this occasions no scandals and disturbances in strange or foreign provinces to which he might go (for without the consent and approval of the prelate in charge of the region in question, he himself can neither teach, nor perform any sacred function, nor ordain anyone, nor appropriate the proceeds of the church there). But he must wait until his fate has been determined by a complete Synod attended by a Metropolitan, before he can gain any definite provision and resource for a living and prebend. See also Ap. c. XXXVI.
http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/councils_local_rudder.htm#_Toc72635081

Having never performed the incumbent visitation of his see, let alone his patriarchate, "Pat." Balsamon should have minded his own business in Constantinople and left well enough alone in Antioch and Alexandria.
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