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sohma_hatori
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« on: October 20, 2007, 09:32:50 PM »

Greetings everyone!

In western rite wafers are used and Leavened bread to Orthodoxy. Is there a great significance in the exact type of bread we use during the Eucharist? And what caused both Churchs to differentiate the bread it uses?

Thanks so much...
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2007, 09:46:13 PM »

I think in the Orthodox Church the leaven in the bread represents the Resurrection, as it is the resurrected Body and Blood we partake of.  Someone more knowledgeable than I can clarify this better. 

I belong to the only Orthodox Church which uses unleavened bread, the Armenian Church.  We use unleavened bread to show that Christ was without sin, the leaven representing impurity in our tradition.  At least that is what I understand. 

I don't know why the Catholics use unleavened bread.  I would be interested in knowing the symbolism in their tradition regarding this.
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2007, 09:48:56 PM »

I know that part of it too is that there are Orthodox councils condemning the use of unleavened bread, so thus this would have kept the Orthodox from ever adopting the use of unleavened bread. 
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2007, 09:55:19 PM »

In western rite wafers are used and Leavened bread to Orthodoxy.
By "Western Rite" do you mean "Western Rite Orthodox"? The Western Rite Orthodox use leaven bread as far as I know, not unleavened bread.
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2007, 11:38:36 PM »

By "Western Rite" do you mean "Western Rite Orthodox"? The Western Rite Orthodox use leaven bread as far as I know, not unleavened bread.

Well its technically leavened...there is some leaven but its so small you cant tell at all unless you like stand there analyzing it.
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2007, 12:54:43 AM »

Im sorry for the unclarity of my statement..

By western rite I mean The one being use in Roman Catholicism...
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2007, 11:37:15 PM »

I've been to a Western Rite Orthodox parish too, I was quite surprised to see unleavened bread being used.

If you read some of the rather nasty letters sent between emissaries of Rome and Constantinople between the 9th and 11th centuries, it appears that the use of unleavened bread was *at least* as much of a hot issue as the role of the Bishop of Rome - if not more.

The Byzantines disdainfully called the western Christians "azymites" for their use of the "azyme" - unleavened bread.
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2007, 11:51:59 PM »

Here's what the Catholic Encyclopedia has to say on the subject (with its own particular slant, of course).

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02172a.htm
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2007, 03:37:41 PM »

By "Western Rite" do you mean "Western Rite Orthodox"? The Western Rite Orthodox use leaven bread as far as I know, not unleavened bread.

That is correct with regard to the Western Rite of the Antiochian Archdiocese.  The bread we use is leavened, although it is formed into individual round hosts.  They're just not flat like their unleavened counterparts used by Catholics and Anglicans.
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2007, 03:43:00 PM »

umm, Anglicans will use just about anything that is made of baked ground grain, at least in my experience.  Unleavened ("Angelic fish food wafers") will keep well (being pretty inert) for things like visiting the sick or small groups.  But leavened bread is very common in many forms.

Ebor
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2007, 03:47:14 PM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

I think in the Orthodox Church the leaven in the bread represents the Resurrection, as it is the resurrected Body and Blood we partake of.  Someone more knowledgeable than I can clarify this better. 

I belong to the only Orthodox Church which uses unleavened bread, the Armenian Church.  We use unleavened bread to show that Christ was without sin, the leaven representing impurity in our tradition.  At least that is what I understand. 

I don't know why the Catholics use unleavened bread.  I would be interested in knowing the symbolism in their tradition regarding this.

I am a part of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and as Salpy points out, the use of leaven (i.e. yeast) symbolically does represent sin.  The reason the Coptic Church does use leaven bread is because 'Christ became sin so that we might become righteous'.  I believe that is what this is representative of, the fact that Christ took on sin within His body so that we could be healed. 
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2007, 04:47:04 PM »

Just as yeast is used in fermentation of wine to make it living. We also use yeast in our bread to make it alive. It is linked to our resurrected lord. Could you imagine using grape juice instead of wine?
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2007, 06:32:56 PM »

A lot of Protestants, most of them I think, already do that.
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2007, 06:40:17 PM »

It usually comes from an objection to alcohol use. Such people blame alcohol for domestic abuse and drunkenness in a vain attempt to avoid having self-control.

That said, those who do have a tendency to drink to excess whenever they drink would do well to avoid alcohol. As a general rule, however, drink but don't get drunk. Blaming alcohol, which cannot exercise any fruits of the Spirit, is not going to solve the problem.
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2007, 11:35:54 AM »

It could be that some just use grape juice because it's what their elders used, or because wine is more expensive or not as available or other reasons.  However, it is useful to recall that grape juice as a common beverage until Dr. Thomas Welch pasteurized it as "unfermented sacramental wine" for his church where he was "Communion Steward".  He was in the Temperance movement.  Here is a link to information about him written by his son: http://www.vineland.org/history/welchs/DrTBWelch.html

Ebor
 
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2007, 07:35:52 PM »

However, it is useful to recall that grape juice as a common beverage until Dr. Thomas Welch pasteurized it as "unfermented sacramental wine" for his church where he was "Communion Steward".
Do you mean to say that grape juice was NOT a common beverage until Dr. Welch did his thing?
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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2007, 11:03:40 AM »

Do you mean to say that grape juice was NOT a common beverage until Dr. Welch did his thing?

No it wasn't. Because left on its own (not pasturized for example) grape juice and other juices will start to ferment.  In college I had a carton of pineapple-orange juice that I kept outside on my window ledge to keep cool (it was Fall/Winter).  Well, after time it became slightly fizzy and was trying to be orange-pineapple "beer" as it were.  I've had the same thing happen with fresh apple cider.  It will start to go 'hard' after a few days.

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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2007, 10:14:36 PM »

No it wasn't. Because left on its own (not pasturized for example) grape juice and other juices will start to ferment.  In college I had a carton of pineapple-orange juice that I kept outside on my window ledge to keep cool (it was Fall/Winter).  Well, after time it became slightly fizzy and was trying to be orange-pineapple "beer" as it were.  I've had the same thing happen with fresh apple cider.  It will start to go 'hard' after a few days.

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I had something like that happen once with an old carton of orange juice. Tongue
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2007, 09:11:10 AM »

And when it is pasteurized, it just starts to go bad. Milk is the worst example. Yuck. I miss the raw stuff I grew up with (neighbor was a dairy farmer).
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2007, 11:21:30 AM »

And when it is pasteurized, it just starts to go bad. Milk is the worst example. Yuck. I miss the raw stuff I grew up with (neighbor was a dairy farmer).

fermented fizzy milk= Kumis.  Of course the Mongolians use mare's milk for that.  Wink

Ebor
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« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2007, 09:12:12 PM »

I've been to a Western Rite Orthodox parish too, I was quite surprised to see unleavened bread being used.



If the Western Rite parish was in the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate, the bread was leavend. Many parishes buy hosts that are smashed down, practically, and look like the ones Anglicans and Romans use. Many parishes, like mine, bake their own hosts (both priest's hosts and communicants' hosts). The dough is rolled out and stamped with the stamp. In either scenario, the bread is indeed leavened.
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« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2008, 08:00:37 AM »

The insistence of contemporary Orthodox hierarchs that all Western Rite priests must use leavened bread is not forcing them to accept a "Byzantization" for the sake of Eastern Orthodox sensitivities. It is, rather, a return to the authentic first millennium usage of the Western Church. Like their brothers in the East they also used leavened bread.



CATHOLIC SCHOLARS SAY THAT THE CHURCH OF ROME USED LEAVENED BREAD
for the first 800 and more years.

The change to unleavened bread in Rome took place towards the end of the first millennium.


Fr. Joseph Jungman -- in his The Mass of the Roman Rite -- states that:


"In the West, various ordinances appeared from the ninth century on, all demanding the exclusive use of unleavened bread for the Eucharist. A growing solicitude for the Blessed Sacrament and a desire to employ only the best and whitest bread, along with various scriptural considerations -- all favored this development.


"Still, the new custom did not come into exclusive vogue until the middle of the eleventh century. Particularly in Rome it was not universally accepted till after the general infiltration of various usages from the North" [Rome itself, conservative as alwaysr, did not change to unleavened bread until a few decades after the schism.]

~ Joseph Jungman, The Mass of the Roman Rite, volume II, pages 33-34


Fr. Jungman goes on to say that:


". . . the opinion put forward by J. Mabillon, Dissertatio de pane eucharistia, in his answer to the Jesuit J. Sirmond, Disquisitio de azymo, namely, that in the West it was always the practice to use only unleavened bread, is no longer tenable."


"Now, the fact that the West changed its practice and began using unleavened bread in the 8th and 9th century -- instead of the traditional leavened bread -- is confirmed by the research of Fr. William O'Shea, who noted that along with various other innovative practices from Northern Europe, the use of unleavened bread began to infiltrate into the Roman liturgy at the end of the first millennium, because as he put it, "Another change introduced into the Roman Rite in France and Germany at the time [i.e., 8th - 9th century] was the use of unleavened bread and of thin white wafers or hosts instead of the loaves of leavened bread used hitherto"


~ Fr. William O'Shea, The Worship of the Church, page 128


"Moreover, this change in Western liturgical practice was also noted by Dr. Johannes H. Emminghaus in his book, The Eucharist: Essence, Form, Celebration, because as he said:


"The Eucharistic bread has been unleavened in the Latin rite since the 8th century -- that is, it is prepared simply from flour and water, without the addition of leaven or yeast. . . . in the first millennium of the Church's history, both in East and West, the bread normally used for the Eucharist was ordinary 'daily bread,' that is, leavened bread, and the Eastern Church uses it still today; for the most part, they strictly forbid the use of unleavened bread. The Latin Church, by contrast, has not considered this question very important."


~ Dr. Johannes H. Emminghaus, The Eucharist: Essence, Form, Celebration, page 162


"Thus, with the foregoing information in mind, it is clear that the use of leavened bread by the Eastern Churches represents the ancient practice of the undivided Church, while the use of unleavened bread by the Western Church was an innovation introduced near the end of the first millennium."
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« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2008, 08:30:13 AM »

Thank you, Father, for the references!
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« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2008, 10:20:27 AM »

This was one of the issues I faced coming to Orthodoxy.

In brief, leaven represents sin.
Those who offer unleavened bread say Christ is without sin.
Those who offer leavened bread say the leaven is burnt off in the baking process just as Christ took our sin and removed it.

Interestingly, the Ethiopians offer unleavened bread only on Holy Thursday of the Paschal week (for that night Christ had not yet taken our sin).
Can somebody confirm this last point please?
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« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2008, 01:16:26 AM »

This was one of the issues I faced coming to Orthodoxy.

In brief, leaven represents sin.

Unleavened bread is very inappropiate for the Christian Eucharist.

1. Unleaven bread is always the "Bread of Affliction" as in Deuteronomy 16:3-4

"Seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction:
for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste:
that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt
all the days of thy life. "

2.  The Jewish law forbade the use of unleavened bread as a temple sacrifice, for the same reason - it is the bread of sorrow and affliction.  This alone should prevent it being used in the eucharistic sacrifice.

3.  God's law permitted the Jews to eat unleavened bread for only 7 days of the year.

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« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2008, 01:28:50 AM »

Interestingly, the Ethiopians offer unleavened bread only on Holy Thursday of the Paschal week (for that night Christ had not yet taken our sin).
Can somebody confirm this last point please?

See reply 13 in this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10855.msg147573.html#msg147573
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« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2008, 12:37:02 AM »

Something interesting from  Fr John H Erickson, Dean of Saint Vladimir's Seminary

http://www.svots.edu/Faculty/John-Erickson/articles/beyond-dialogue.html/

"...... Particularly instructive are the ways in which certain distinctive Armenian liturgical practices, such as the use of azymes (unleavened bread) and a chalice unmixed with water in the eucharist, come to be linked to Christological doctrine.  The origins of these practices are unknown, but they certainly antedate any division of the churches.  By late sixth century, however, they were becoming symbols of Armenian identity vis-a-vis the Greeks, who used leavened bread and wine mixed with warm water in the eucharist. 

"Refusing an invitation from Emperor Maurice to come to Constantinople to discuss reunion, Catholicos Movses II in 591 declared:  “I will not cross the River Azat nor will I eat the baked bread of the Greeks or drink their hot water.” [9]   

"By the late seventh century these distinctive liturgical practices, already symbols of national identity, have become even more potent symbols of Christological doctrine.  Reflecting the aphthartodocetism of Julian of Halicarnassus, which was then in the ascendency in the Armenian Church, Catholicos Sahak III (d. 703) writes:  “Now we profess the body of Christ [to be] incorrupt and all-powerful always and constantly from [the moment of] the union of the Logos.  This is why we take azymes [unleavened bread] for the bread of holiness with which we offer the salvific sacrifice, which signifies incorruptibility.” [10]   Then, after a barrage of typological and moral arguments supporting the use of unleavened bread, Sahak goes on in like manner to associate the unmixed chalice, free from the adulteration of added water, with the incorruptible blood of Christ. 

"The Byzantine Church quickly enough responded in kind.  The Synod in Trullo (691-92) almost certainly had Sahak’s treatise in mind when it decreed that any bishop or presbyter who does not mix water with the wine in the eucharist is to be deposed, on the grounds that he thus “proclaims the mystery incompletely and tampers with tradition” (canon 32). [11]   Very possibly Trullo also had Armenian liturgical practice in mind when it decreed “Let no man eat the unleavened bread of the Jews...” (canon 11).  In any case, in subsequent  polemical literature the issue of the bread and wine of the eucharist figures prominently, frequently to the exclusion of deeper theological reflection. 

"Thus, despite their common rejection of Chalcedon and the generally Severan orientation of their shared Christology,  the Armenian and Syrian churches in the Middle Ages sometimes attacked each other precisely because of such liturgical differences.  So also, as schism yawned between the Byzantine and Latin churches in the eleventh century, Byzantine polemicists transferred their anti-azyme arguments from the Armenians to the Latins, notwithstanding the latters’ manifestly Chalcedonian Christology.  Use of leavened bread and mingled wine, or conversely of unleavened bread and pure wine, immediately marked a community as either heretic or orthodox, no matter what Christological doctrine the community in question actually held!"
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« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2008, 01:59:15 AM »

This was one of the issues I faced coming to Orthodoxy.

In brief, leaven represents sin.

Unleavened bread is very inappropiate for the Christian Eucharist.

1. Unleaven bread is always the "Bread of Affliction" as in Deuteronomy 16:3-4

"Seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction:
for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste:
that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt
all the days of thy life. "

2.  The Jewish law forbade the use of unleavened bread as a temple sacrifice, for the same reason - it is the bread of sorrow and affliction.  This alone should prevent it being used in the eucharistic sacrifice.

3.  God's law permitted the Jews to eat unleavened bread for only 7 days of the year.

I have a general point to make first followed by a brief address of the specific points you raise:

General point:

Sorry, but I find it plain silly that one would appeal to their own pre-conceived notions as to what leavened bread symbolically represents so as to then condemn those who adopt an entirely different set of pre-conceived notions in the course of their interpretation of the same. Signs and symbols mean whatever they are made to mean by their beholder.

One could easily use your own method against you. One may refer to the fact leaven represents sin in the Old Testament, and then reason that including this element in preparation of the body of Christ is to in effect signify that Christ’s Humanity was defiled by sin, and that leavened bread for the Eucharist is thus inappropriate.

Ultimately, we would be talking past each other…

In relation to the specific points you raise:

1.   So what? Unleavened bread was regarded the "bread of affliction" because it was to remind the Jews of their afflictions in Egypt and hence inspire a sense of humility and gratitude in them. It was not the bread of affliction on account of its being unleavened; it was unleavened on account of its being the bread of affliction. One could say that the Eucharist is also "the bread of affliction" in two senses: 1) that it is to similarly inspire humility and gratitude in us as we recall the afflictions suffered by our race under the life of sin and death (which Israel's life of bondage in the land of Egypt allegorically represents) which reigned over us prior to Christ offering His Holy Body and Blood on the Cross, 2) the bread of the Eucharist is offered not only to confess Christ’s Resurrection, but to proclaim His death also—it testifies to the fact that the Body we consume is truly that in which the Logos was afflicted, died, and then rose.

2.   Numbers 6….? Leviticus 2...?

3.   So what? And they were the most relevant seven days to the very occasion which the offering of the Eucharist commemorates…
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« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2008, 02:57:03 AM »

Fr. Erickson's "Beyond Dialogue" article was a good one.  I recall a couple of years ago we had some fun with it in the private forum.  I think we OO's were chuckling over what was said about the EO's eating eggs and cheese during the Fast of Ninevah as a way to refute the Armenian's "damnable heresy," or some such thing.  It's weird how polemical people will take ancient practices and give them meaning they were never meant to have.

As Fr. Erickson pointed out, the Armenian practice of using unleavened bread is ancient and predates any Christological schisms.  During the time that some of our leadership got into Julianism (which was officially condemned by St. John Otsnetsi at the Council of Manzikert in 726) it was given a Julian interpretation.  What I have heard, though, is that leaven represents sin and that we don't use it because Christ has no sin. 
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« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2008, 06:07:10 AM »

What I have heard, though, is that leaven represents sin and that we don't use it because Christ has no sin. 
What then does this say about the majority of the Churches, Byzantine and Oriental, who do use bread with leaven?  It would not be acceptable to say that they wish to symbolize that there is sin in Christ.
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« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2008, 07:12:52 AM »

But Father, that just goes back to the point I made in my previous post:

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Sorry, but I find it plain silly that one would appeal to their own pre-conceived notions as to what leavened bread symbolically represents so as to then condemn those who adopt an entirely different set of pre-conceived notions in the course of their interpretation of the same. Signs and symbols mean whatever they are made to mean by their beholder.


Just because we understand leavened bread to mean X, it does not follow that those who use unleavened bread mean not-X. They could very well mean Y, where Y has nothing at all to do with X. Likewise just because those who use unleavened bread understand it to mean Y, it does not follow that those who use leavened bread mean not-Y; for they understand it to mean X, where X has nothing at all to do with Y.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 07:14:51 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2008, 12:12:15 PM »

Fr. Erickson's "Beyond Dialogue" article was a good one.  I recall a couple of years ago we had some fun with it in the private forum.  I think we OO's were chuckling over what was said about the EO's eating eggs and cheese during the Fast of Ninevah as a way to refute the Armenian's "damnable heresy," or some such thing.  It's weird how polemical people will take ancient practices and give them meaning they were never meant to have.

As Fr. Erickson pointed out, the Armenian practice of using unleavened bread is ancient and predates any Christological schisms.  During the time that some of our leadership got into Julianism (which was officially condemned by St. John Otsnetsi at the Council of Manzikert in 726) it was given a Julian interpretation.  What I have heard, though, is that leaven represents sin and that we don't use it because Christ has no sin. 

I've tried to see something on the origin of the practice, with no luck.  I'm just guessing it came about from the same reasons it did in the West, emphasis on a OT prototype on the Mystical Supper as a Seder (as opposed to the preceding Eve of Passover dinner, when the last of the leaven is consumed).  Such thinking occured in Armenia centuries before the West, as the Armenia modeled their martyrology on the Maccabbees, claimed Hebrew roots (something genetic studies now back up), etc. 

The relative isolution of the OO from each other I would think prevented this from becoming too much an issue, except, as Father mentioned, when they bumped into the Syriacs.

I would wonder if the Georgian Church, which was attached to the Armenian at one time, has any history of this practice or of abandoning it.  Alas, I know no Georgian.
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« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2008, 12:39:37 PM »

What I have heard, though, is that leaven represents sin and that we don't use it because Christ has no sin. 
What then does this say about the majority of the Churches, Byzantine and Oriental, who do use bread with leaven?  It would not be acceptable to say that they wish to symbolize that there is sin in Christ.

I think we just accept that the EO's use leaven to represent the Resurrection and our fellow OO's use it, I think, to represent that Christ took our sins from us.  (Someone correct me if I am wrong about what the EO's and other OO's mean.)  We just look at the underlying belief.  If there is nothing wrong with with the belief behind it, we're OK with the practice being different from ours.

If you look at the OO Church, we're not as big on uniformity in practice as the EO's are.  The Syriac Church and Armenian Church at one time argued over the leaven issue, but I think that was all related at the time to the issue of Julianism.  As indicated above, there was a period of time when some leaders in the Armenian Church thought Julianism was OK, and our Syriac brothers took us to task about that.  In fact, I think Syriac bishops were present at the council where St. John condemned the heresy.  Because some people at that time were evidently associating unleavened bread with the Julian heresy, that was brought into the dispute, even though the use of unleavened bread predated Julianism.  However, after Julianism was condemned, leaven pretty much ceased to be an issue.  I can't think of any other time when the OO's quarreled over leaven in the Eucharist.  

Another example of diversity in practice among the OO's with regard to the Eucharist, is the communion spoon.  Armenians don't use the spoon.  The priest takes the Holy Body, dipped in the Holy Blood, and places it in the mouth of the faithful, using his fingers.  I think there are ancient councils condemning the use of a spoon, but the EO's and the other OO's use the spoon anyway.  I think if an EO Church were to start doing Communion without the spoon, it would be a problem.  However, with the OO's, we are not bothered by the difference in practice.  We just look at the underlying faith.  We all believe the same thing, so it doesn't matter that the Copts use a spoon and the Armenians don't.  There are a lot of other things we do a little differently, but, again, we just look at the underlying belief behind the practice.  If there is not a problem with the underlying belief, we don't have a problem with the practice.  
« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 10:52:11 PM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2008, 04:31:58 PM »

What I have heard, though, is that leaven represents sin and that we don't use it because Christ has no sin. 
What then does this say about the majority of the Churches, Byzantine and Oriental, who do use bread with leaven?  It would not be acceptable to say that they wish to symbolize that there is sin in Christ.

To answer your question more directly, Father, you are right that it would be unacceptable to say that others who use leaven wish to symbolize there is sin in Christ.  We would never say that.  I've never heard that said in my Church about other Churches that use leaven.  That would be attributing beliefs to other Churches that they don't have.  It would be, in effect, lying about others.  I have never known my Church to do that to other Churches.  We would just accept whatever explanation the other Churches give for their use of leaven, rather than coming to conclusions of our own.   Smiley
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Tags: communion Fr. John Erickson Armenian Church Eucharist diversity in practice azymes Julianism 
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