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Author Topic: A Challenge to you Orthodox (from an English Baptist)  (Read 21999 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: November 18, 2008, 12:01:32 AM »

What a beautiful, colourful icon! I've never seen anything quite like it before. The style is very different from what I'm used to, but I like it in that it is cheerful, somehow.
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« Reply #46 on: November 18, 2008, 12:48:57 AM »

The old man is Satan for he is also depicted in the Nativity icon as a hunched back man talking to Joseph.  Satan enters the room precisely when Satan enters Judas' heart and dips his bread with the Lord.

Paul would have no business being in an icon of the Last Supper.
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« Reply #47 on: November 18, 2008, 03:39:33 AM »

This image is modelled on the "original" painted by Michael Damaskinos, in the mid-to-late 16th century. He was a talented artist in the technical sense, but, as this painting shows, became very heavily influenced (as did many of his Cretan School contemporaries, such as Emmanuel Tzannes) by Italian Renaissance paintings.



This Last Supper of his is an example of this significant Venetian influence. The drapes of the garments of the figures are much more rounded and fluid than those of classical iconography, the figures themselves show a much higher degree of animation than in conventional iconography, the inverse or reverse perspective of iconography has been replaced with the linear, naturalistic perspective widespread in Renaissance art, and there is a very distinct three-dimensionality in the entire composition, both in the individual figures, and in the composition as a whole. Unlike in iconography, where every detail and figure has a purpose and meaning, we see here the figures in the foreground of the two cherub-like children, whose presence seems to be essentially decorative.

The figure in the right-hand side coming through the draped doorway cannot be Apostle Paul, as this saint is always depicted in icons as a balding, dark-haired man with a beard of short to moderate length. Apostle Matthias is indeed depicted in icons as a white or grey-haired bearded man, but it still seems somewhat incongruous for him to be shown in this surreptitious way in this painting. As for the suggestion that this figure represents Satan, again, this is unlikely. If the hunched figure approaching St Joseph the Betrothed in icons of the Nativity of the Lord are anything to go by, the figure in the Damaskinos work is quite different. It is most likely that this person indeed represents the master of the house in which the Mystical Supper was held. It is also unknown in iconography to show any of the apostles wearing a cap or other head covering, as this figure is.
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« Reply #48 on: November 18, 2008, 07:09:43 AM »

The figure in the right-hand side coming through the draped doorway cannot be Apostle Paul, as this saint is always depicted in icons as a balding, dark-haired man with a beard of short to moderate length. Apostle Matthias is indeed depicted in icons as a white or grey-haired bearded man, but it still seems somewhat incongruous for him to be shown in this surreptitious way in this painting. As for the suggestion that this figure represents Satan, again, this is unlikely. If the hunched figure approaching St Joseph the Betrothed in icons of the Nativity of the Lord are anything to go by, the figure in the Damaskinos work is quite different. It is most likely that this person indeed represents the master of the house in which the Mystical Supper was held. It is also unknown in iconography to show any of the apostles wearing a cap or other head covering, as this figure is.
Thank you for including this image of the icon. I couldn't see the figure well enough in the one David Young uploaded. Yes, this is clearly not St. Paul, and I've never seen St. Matthias depicted wearing a hat. Your thesis that it is the master of the house would fit historically and theologically.
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« Reply #49 on: November 18, 2008, 01:26:40 PM »

Excellent detective work! Thank you all.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2008, 01:29:18 PM by David Young » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: December 06, 2008, 08:30:18 PM »

David,

I know I am late with this, but a topic that would be interesting is the idea of the Norman invasion being a Papal Crusade against Orthodox theology and practice that was still in evidence even after the "missionary" work of St. Augustine of Canterbury.


Shalom...
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« Reply #51 on: December 11, 2008, 11:34:40 AM »

a topic that would be interesting is the idea of the Norman invasion being a Papal Crusade against Orthodox theology and practice that was still in evidence even after the "missionary" work of St. Augustine of Canterbury.
My instinct is to respond very warmly to the work of Aidan, based on Lindisfarne, and a good deal less warmly to that of Augustine, based on Canterbury. Also, it is true the the papal banner fluttered over the field of battle in support of the invasion. But I doubt that it had a lot to do with theological differences (after all, it was only twelve years after 1054, and planning began a good while earlier). I suspect it was more to do with imperialist ambitions, and with papal disapproval of the current archbishop of Canterbury, Stigand, who for some reason I forget was out of favour in Rome.

It is not easy to discover much about the theology of the pre-Conquest church. The most prolific writer was Ælfric, first abbot at Eynsham, who died ca 1010. You can read about eighty of his sermons in the original or in translation. He was a sound Catholic of his time, and his sermons for the laity are full of life and of Christ. The late Lynne Grundy wrote a book on Ælfric's theology, but apart from that, there is very little. Books whose titles seem to offer the hope thereof turn out to be mainly about eschatology, for some reason. As well as Grundy, Paul Cavill's books are the best, written with warmth and love for his theme.

Simultaneously with this stream of sound preaching and teaching - by 11th century Catholic standards - there was a stream of weird, legendary preaching preserved in many anonymous sermons, mainly in the Vercelli Book and the Blickling Homilies, collections named after the places they were each found. Some quite lurid, impassioned preaching there - but probably not cause for a papally backed invasion of England!

Otherwise ad fontes! Read Ælfric, Wulfstan (archbishop of York, early 11th century) and Bede.
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« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2008, 11:15:56 AM »

David,

Do you have a sense of how long Greek was used in Britain and Ireland as the liturgical language?  It's a matter of discovering if Greek had strong native support, and Latin was brought over with William.

I plan on purchasing the book that your agency offers (as a self awarded Christmas gift) that offers readings by Aelfric in Albanian and English as a chance to build on my Albanian language skills.  What a cool idea for a book!  There are some very interesting ecclesiastical nuances within the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles I came across translating sections back in college.  Possibly that could be a source?  There is also a mention of a style of Latin used in the Breviloquium using words of Greek derivation (pretty sure that's tenth century).

Always thought it was ironic to find the Normans (including Bohemund) clambering up the Italian peninsula after the Normans received Papal support.  Also interesting that they invaded modern day Albania to face an allied force of Byzantines and Turks in lieu of that same combination returning decades later as the First Crusade with sides loosely switching alliances.

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« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2008, 03:49:10 PM »

Latin was not "brought over" with William. St. Bede the Venerable (672-735) wrote the Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum in Latin just to give one example. He wrote other things in Latin and in Anglo-Saxon.  Gildas in the sixth century wrote The History of the Britains in Latin. The Book of Kells created around 800 AD by monks in Ireland is in Latin. The Lindesfarne Gospels (late 7th/early 8th century) from the isle of Lindesfarne in Northumbria (northern England) is in Latin. 

There are are Gospels and other books of the Bible as well as prayers in Anglo-Saxon and Christian poetry also in that language.

May I ask what source you have for the idea that Greek was much used or the liturgical language in the British Isles?

Also, the Normans were present in Italy from around 999 as mercenaries, quite some time before William of Normandy and King Edward the Confessor.  Robert Guiscard was Count of Apulia in Southern Italy in 1057.

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle is a primary source record of what was happening in parts of England for some centuries up to and beyond 1066.  The Conquest was about power and land and influence and politics, not religion.  There are some other threads on the forum that discuss some of this topic.  The bishops of the English are recorded as always going to the Bishop of Rome for their Pallium, just to give an information point.

Ebor (Anglo Saxon and Norse history geek)
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« Reply #54 on: December 13, 2008, 01:36:27 AM »

I must admit that I am confused.  You admit that you are a Baptist but you are giving talks on different confessions of Christianity but for what purpose.  Your theme of "learning from other Christians" is much different than "learning about other Christians" which I surmise is not what you want to do with such talks.  Let me ask this, then?  Do you find Baptist theology insufficient or lacking and thus you want these other confessional viewpoints so individual members can pick and choose what they want with regards to their praxis and belief?

Forgive me, I'm not trying to be difficult, but I am just curious as to what point this serves if not to give your fellow church members choices to supplement or even supplant Baptist teaching.

you do not understand the evangelical mindset - the non-fundamentalist and non-charismatic/pentecostal evangelical at least. There is a concensus of common belief in essentials: the dual nature of Christ, the Trinity, the authority of Scripture, the reality of miracles, the Virgin Birth, justification by faith, personal commitment to Christ; then there are secondary issues that separate these kind of evangelicals: views on baptism, ecclesiology, God's sovereignty/man's freedon and eschatology. Then there are a whole host of areas that they see where they can learn from other traditions and communions, the disciplines of the early and medieval church.

So there is no sense of deficiency in one's own tradition's theology - there is a lot of cross-fertilization and borrowing of theological constructs and praxis in the second and third tier areas that occur all the time within thoughtful evangelicalism
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« Reply #55 on: December 13, 2008, 01:48:15 AM »

back to the OP
I would suggest theosis as a topic
also the value of written prayers as a complement to extemporaneous prayer

another would be the Orthodox view of the relationship between the Church militant and the Church triumphant - as a matter of information you could show your congregation that this is the basis of Orthodox Christians relationship with the saints. We believe we enter into the heavenly worship of the saints already going on in heave during Divine Liturgy. God is the God of the living not the dead. The saints are alive. We honor their memory and sacrifice (veneration) and ask their prayers, perfected in heaven (prayers to saints), just as we ask people advanced in the spiritual life that we know to pray for is.

I think a better understanding here would be very helpful to protestant Christians and make their lives richer at the minimum. Some may even come to see the value of asking a saint to pray for a particular concern. At the very least, it may help them to see that we are not communicating with the dead or worshipping idols!
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« Reply #56 on: December 13, 2008, 08:33:11 AM »


Ebor (Anglo Saxon and Norse history geek)

I have a longstanding interest in the language, literature, theology and general life of the Anglo-Saxon church, and a pleasure I often enjoy is reading the West Saxons Gospels or from Ælfric's "Catholic Homilies" (the ones written for the laity) of an evening. But I have never found a satisfactory forum on the subject, similar to this one on Orthodoxy, where there can be discussion and sharing with likeminded serious 'geeks' (to use your word! Smiley). Can you point me in the right direction, please?

Ic þancie þe eaðmodlice,
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« Reply #57 on: December 13, 2008, 09:21:13 AM »

Latin was not "brought over" with William. St. Bede the Venerable (672-735) wrote the Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum in Latin just to give one example. He wrote other things in Latin and in Anglo-Saxon.  Gildas in the sixth century wrote The History of the Britains in Latin. The Book of Kells created around 800 AD by monks in Ireland is in Latin. The Lindesfarne Gospels (late 7th/early 8th century) from the isle of Lindesfarne in Northumbria (northern England) is in Latin. 

There are are Gospels and other books of the Bible as well as prayers in Anglo-Saxon and Christian poetry also in that language.

May I ask what source you have for the idea that Greek was much used or the liturgical language in the British Isles?

Also, the Normans were present in Italy from around 999 as mercenaries, quite some time before William of Normandy and King Edward the Confessor.  Robert Guiscard was Count of Apulia in Southern Italy in 1057.

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle is a primary source record of what was happening in parts of England for some centuries up to and beyond 1066.  The Conquest was about power and land and influence and politics, not religion.  There are some other threads on the forum that discuss some of this topic.  The bishops of the English are recorded as always going to the Bishop of Rome for their Pallium, just to give an information point.

Ebor (Anglo Saxon and Norse history geek)

There might be some confusion here with Rome (and the Vatican's) suppression of the Celtic Church in England (Cantebury), then Scotland (Queen Margaret), then Ireland (Adrian's Crusade.  Ironic for the Irish Republicans that a pope of Rome made the English king Lord of Ireland).
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« Reply #58 on: December 13, 2008, 09:50:49 AM »


you do not understand the evangelical mindset ... There is a concensus of common belief in essentials: the dual nature of Christ, the Trinity, the authority of Scripture, the reality of miracles, the Virgin Birth, justification by faith, personal commitment to Christ; then there are secondary issues that separate these kind of evangelicals: views on baptism, ecclesiology, God's sovereignty/man's freedon and eschatology. Then there are a whole host of areas that they see where they can learn from other traditions and communions, the disciplines of the early and medieval church.

So there is no sense of deficiency in one's own tradition's theology - there is a lot of cross-fertilization and borrowing of theological constructs and praxis in the second and third tier areas that occur all the time within thoughtful evangelicalism

Thank you! This is exactly right. It explains, of course, why it is probably a good deal easier for me as a Baptist to come on to this forum to learn and benefit from you, than it is for Orthodox to come on hoping to learn from us. What the scriptures teach we must and do willingly and gladly accept ('sola scriptura' being the basic principle); other matters - the "second and third tiers" of the above excellent quote - are open for discussion, for debate, for the modification of one's views.

I cannot see which faith is listed as Brother Aidan's, but he obviously is or was a Protestant, or as an Orthodox has achieved a clearer understanding of us than many Orthodox have. I have yet to understand the Orthodox mindset as well as he ours!
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« Reply #59 on: December 13, 2008, 10:00:58 AM »


There might be some confusion here with Rome (and the Vatican's) suppression of the Celtic Church in England ...
Orthodox over here in Britain often claim that the pre-Conquest church was Orthodox, and that we ought therefore to be Orthodox again. I think some reasons are:
- before 664 AD the northern churches celebrated Easter on the Orthodox date
- the same northern churches, based on Lindisfarne, were not linked with Rome or Canterbury
- married priests remained common till after the Conquest of 1066
- we once had a Greek brought over as archbishop of Canterbury
- Ælfric, the most prolific writer of the late Saxon period, denies the emerging Roman teaching of transubstantiation.

In fact of course, this question of Greek, not really germane to the thread, has stumbled on a major stimulant of the Reformation. It was the 'rescue' of the forgotten Greek New Testament, brought west from Byzantium at the time of the Moslem invasions, that led to its publication in the west by Erasmus, and thence to Luther's and other vernacular translations of the New Testament from the Greek into various western European languages.

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« Reply #60 on: December 13, 2008, 10:18:48 AM »

Ebor,

I'm not suggesting that the Norman landing introduced Latin to Britain, but rather did it signal an end to the use of Greek in liturgical services by reinforcing the Roman Catholic vision?  As a Western Rite parish member, I've been trying to get a better understanding of what being a Christian in Anglo-Saxon England looked like in terms of worship. 

Had Greek played a major role in Church texts, or had Latin been the standard all along?  Also, when someone made the sign of the cross was it the Roman form, or had the Irish and English monks been using the Orthodox form?

Western Rite seems to be trying to establish some of the norms that were characteristic of the Old West, and my interest lies in the ecclesiastical realm rather than the political, warfare arena so pardon me if that was not clear.

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« Reply #61 on: December 13, 2008, 04:00:38 PM »


you do not understand the evangelical mindset ... There is a concensus of common belief in essentials: the dual nature of Christ, the Trinity, the authority of Scripture, the reality of miracles, the Virgin Birth, justification by faith, personal commitment to Christ; then there are secondary issues that separate these kind of evangelicals: views on baptism, ecclesiology, God's sovereignty/man's freedon and eschatology. Then there are a whole host of areas that they see where they can learn from other traditions and communions, the disciplines of the early and medieval church.

So there is no sense of deficiency in one's own tradition's theology - there is a lot of cross-fertilization and borrowing of theological constructs and praxis in the second and third tier areas that occur all the time within thoughtful evangelicalism

Thank you! This is exactly right. It explains, of course, why it is probably a good deal easier for me as a Baptist to come on to this forum to learn and benefit from you, than it is for Orthodox to come on hoping to learn from us. What the scriptures teach we must and do willingly and gladly accept ('sola scriptura' being the basic principle); other matters - the "second and third tiers" of the above excellent quote - are open for discussion, for debate, for the modification of one's views.

I cannot see which faith is listed as Brother Aidan's, but he obviously is or was a Protestant, or as an Orthodox has achieved a clearer understanding of us than many Orthodox have. I have yet to understand the Orthodox mindset as well as he ours!
IIRC, BrotherAidan is an Orthodox Christian who came to the Church from one of the Calvinist traditions--Presbyterian, I believe.
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« Reply #62 on: December 13, 2008, 06:44:31 PM »

I must admit that I am confused.  You admit that you are a Baptist but you are giving talks on different confessions of Christianity but for what purpose. 

you do not understand the evangelical mindset ...

I should like to come back to these quotes from Scamandrius and Brother Aidan, as they seem so essential, or crucial, or central to these discussions.

The idea of "the one true church" is totally alien to our whole way of thinking, our mindset, our world view. There is no place for it. We don't really grasp it. Oh, we could translate the phrase accurately into another language's words: in that sense we understand it. But it lies entirely outside the sphere of our actual thinking.

But (I think) you Orthodox grow up with it, or (if not cradle Orthodox) you come into an feel for and acceptance of it, and it is very much a part, nay an essential part, of your faith, your mindset, world-view, way of thinking.

So when you talk about being the only true church, to us it sounds weird: I don't mean that offensively; I merely mean, we react by feeling, "What an odd way to think!"

Whereas when Scamandrius and no doubt countless others see a Christian from one Protestant denomination naturally and unaffectedly accepting members of other denominations as fully brothers and sisters in Christ in every true sense of that phrase, disregarding our differences, worshipping together, working together in church-planting and other projects, praying, breaking bread together, and so on and so on... it raises the kind of question or even bafflement that Scamandrius has perceptively highlighted.

If a major purpose of this forum is not to convince but to understand each other, the two posts quoted above surely point significantly in the right direction.
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« Reply #63 on: December 14, 2008, 09:48:22 AM »

back to the OP
I would suggest ... the value of written prayers as a complement to extemporaneous prayer


Good advice. In fact, over the past year or two I have, in services where I am leading, introduced prayers from the Anglican "Book of Common Prayer" and from the Methodist hymn and service book (published 1933), which has some deep, strong prayers going back to John Wesley, and on which I was brought up. I have ear-marked one or two others also, notably from Anselm.

I haven't been 'bold' enough to ask the congregation to pray them aloud in unison, and after all I am not the pastor, but I have at least introduced them and used them. Maybe that will be a further step.

But I have two problems:

1) Where do I find ancient, beautiful, strong, theo- or christocentric prayers which I can use, either in my private devotions or in public services?
2) A lot (such as most of Anselm's, and many from the Liturgy  of John Chrysostom) contain phrases which would be inappropriate in a Baptist context - phrases like "through the intercessions of... [name of a saint, perhaps Mary]."

Books which are anthologies of prayers seem to contain a lot of modern material, or materials from the ages, even from Moslem sources, which do not provide what I find in the time-honoured prayers of Methodism and Anglicanism.

Guide me, if you can, please.
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« Reply #64 on: December 14, 2008, 09:53:41 AM »

Ebor,

I'm not suggesting that the Norman landing introduced Latin to Britain, but rather did it signal an end to the use of Greek in liturgical services by reinforcing the Roman Catholic vision? 

Your previous post read as though that was what you meant, I think. Well, to ask again, what sources do you have that indicate that Greek was used much in Anglo Saxon England, please?  Where does your idea that it was come from?

Quote
As a Western Rite parish member, I've been trying to get a better understanding of what being a Christian in Anglo-Saxon England looked like in terms of worship. 

May I ask why you want to do this, please?  Is there an idea to do as they did?  There is Bede and the letters that St. Augustine of Canterbury wrote to Pope Gregory that might be of interest.

Quote
Had Greek played a major role in Church texts, or had Latin been the standard all along?  Also, when someone made the sign of the cross was it the Roman form, or had the Irish and English monks been using the Orthodox form?

I apologize if I am not understanding you here, but it seems that you think that there was a strong division between Greek and Latin, between "Orthodox" and "Roman" practices and usages in Anglo Saxon Times.  As has come up in other threads, there seems to be some application of the names "Orthodox" and "Roman/ Roman Catholic" in the modern senses that did not apply in times before there was a clear split.  There were Christians and Christian churches with various practices and rites.  One might have asked if the persons of the British Isles used the "eastern" form in Signing, but to call it "Orthodox" in the 5th to 11 centuries is, I suggest, to give a meaning to it that did not exist then as it does now.    For more context there was Christianity in Britain from Roman times with St. Alban as the 'proto-martyr' in the third century.  St. Patrick came from Romano-British stock and was kidnapped by pirates and taken to Ireland in the 400s. There were Christians there prior to the sending of St. Augustine of Canterbury as King Aethelbert had married a Christian Frankish princess, Bertha. It's just that there were as many and Christianity had grown in Ireland and sent missionaries to the northern parts (Columba and the island of Iona and then beyond).  



Quote
Western Rite seems to be trying to establish some of the norms that were characteristic of the Old West, and my interest lies in the ecclesiastical realm rather than the political, warfare arena so pardon me if that was not clear.

But the assertion that William of Normandy's invasion was based on religion or ecclesial matters is not accurate.  There is a long history and convoluted threads of relations and control and struggles for power.

Ebor
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« Reply #65 on: December 14, 2008, 10:15:31 AM »


Ebor (Anglo Saxon and Norse history geek)

I have a longstanding interest in the language, literature, theology and general life of the Anglo-Saxon church, and a pleasure I often enjoy is reading the West Saxons Gospels or from Ælfric's "Catholic Homilies" (the ones written for the laity) of an evening. But I have never found a satisfactory forum on the subject, similar to this one on Orthodoxy, where there can be discussion and sharing with likeminded serious 'geeks' (to use your word! Smiley). Can you point me in the right direction, please?

Ic þancie þe eaðmodlice,
David Young

There is the "Englisc Forum" at
http://www.rochester.edu/englisc/
 Anglo Saxon is, shall we say, a smaller field for geeking then EO.  Smiley   I was fortunate to have a roommate many years ago who was working on a Ph.D in English specializing in Anglo Saxon and Old Norse.  So the apartment had sagas and poems and histories and more in both the original and modern translations and I read them and they fit in with my interest of history. 

You might find this entertaining: The New Anglo Saxon Chronicle which has been noting the news in AS for the last 11 years or so.  Here is some bits from this year:

From August:
Anno MMVIII Weodmonað
- Her in Beijing ceastre in Cinalande ongunnon þa .xxix.oþe Olympisce plegan.

Anno MMVIII Blotmonað
- iv d: Her wæs heahfolccyre for þæm foresittendscipe in þæm USAn ond Barack Obama feng to rice.

and one other, a site with Anglo Saxon words for computers:
http://www.u.arizona.edu/~ctb/wordhord.html

with such wonderful words as
asynchronous communication -unstundgymendmæðelcwide (m)
cathode-ray tube -niðerstigendescimapipe (f)

and a "bug" is a "wyrm" or "budda"  Cheesy

Ebor
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« Reply #66 on: December 14, 2008, 10:24:07 AM »

There might be some confusion here with Rome (and the Vatican's) suppression of the Celtic Church in England (Cantebury)

Are you referring to the matters that brought about the Synod of Whitby in 664 which was called by Abbess Hilda?  There are records of it and it wasn't a matter of one Church suppressing another but more like the settling of questions of practice as happened at Nicea.  For example, at both gatherings there was the problem of more then one calendar/method of setting the date of Easter.  Also, are you saying that all England was a "Celtic" Church and that it was centered on Canterbury?  I apologize if I do not understand what you mean.  There was more "Celtic" in the northern parts of Britain, while the southern areas were re-missionized by those sent from Pope Gregory the Great. ( Augustine and a group of monks from Rome in 597).

Ebor
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« Reply #67 on: December 14, 2008, 10:35:08 AM »

back to the OP
I would suggest ... the value of written prayers as a complement to extemporaneous prayer


Good advice. In fact, over the past year or two I have, in services where I am leading, introduced prayers from the Anglican "Book of Common Prayer" and from the Methodist hymn and service book (published 1933), which has some deep, strong prayers going back to John Wesley, and on which I was brought up. I have ear-marked one or two others also, notably from Anselm.

I haven't been 'bold' enough to ask the congregation to pray them aloud in unison, and after all I am not the pastor, but I have at least introduced them and used them. Maybe that will be a further step.

But I have two problems:

1) Where do I find ancient, beautiful, strong, theo- or christocentric prayers which I can use, either in my private devotions or in public services?
2) A lot (such as most of Anselm's, and many from the Liturgy  of John Chrysostom) contain phrases which would be inappropriate in a Baptist context - phrases like "through the intercessions of... [name of a saint, perhaps Mary]."

Books which are anthologies of prayers seem to contain a lot of modern material, or materials from the ages, even from Moslem sources, which do not provide what I find in the time-honoured prayers of Methodism and Anglicanism.

Guide me, if you can, please.

The Morning Prayer of St. Patrick, called the Breastplate/Lorica of Saint Patrick. It is based, supposedly, of the form of the Druidic incantation for protection.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

 
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation

St. Patrick (ca. 377)
 
Also there Akathists/Parakleisis to Our Lord.  I think the Jordanville prayerbook has one.
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« Reply #68 on: December 14, 2008, 11:13:17 AM »

Ebor,

I'm not suggesting that the Norman landing introduced Latin to Britain, but rather did it signal an end to the use of Greek in liturgical services by reinforcing the Roman Catholic vision? 

Your previous post read as though that was what you meant, I think. Well, to ask again, what sources do you have that indicate that Greek was used much in Anglo Saxon England, please?  Where does your idea that it was come from?

I've seen things in Greek Churches claiming that St. Patrick was really Greek, from Asia Minor.  Such could be the source of the misinformation.

The Celtic Church did have contact with the East, but it was mostly (if not all) Coptic.

Quote
As a Western Rite parish member, I've been trying to get a better understanding of what being a Christian in Anglo-Saxon England looked like in terms of worship. 

Quote
May I ask why you want to do this, please?  Is there an idea to do as they did?  There is Bede and the letters that St. Augustine of Canterbury wrote to Pope Gregory that might be of interest.

In Anglo-Saxon England it would look what St. Augustine said it would look like, at least since the Synod of Whitby (660).  The Anglo-Saxons since there arrival to within a century of the Synod were largely pagan.  The Anglo-Saxons were not Celt, hence the name Welsh (a germanic term for foreigner from England, ie. Angles' land, to Valakh in Greece).   I know that the Anglican church looks for roots of independence from Rome in the Celtic Church, but the Anglo-Saxons cut that off at the root.

Quote
Had Greek played a major role in Church texts, or had Latin been the standard all along?  Also, when someone made the sign of the cross was it the Roman form, or had the Irish and English monks been using the Orthodox form?

Quote
I apologize if I am not understanding you here, but it seems that you think that there was a strong division between Greek and Latin, between "Orthodox" and "Roman" practices and usages in Anglo Saxon Times.  As has come up in other threads, there seems to be some application of the names "Orthodox" and "Roman/ Roman Catholic" in the modern senses that did not apply in times before there was a clear split.  There were Christians and Christian churches with various practices and rites.  One might have asked if the persons of the British Isles used the "eastern" form in Signing, but to call it "Orthodox" in the 5th to 11 centuries is, I suggest, to give a meaning to it that did not exist then as it does now.    For more context there was Christianity in Britain from Roman times with St. Alban as the 'proto-martyr' in the third century.  St. Patrick came from Romano-British stock and was kidnapped by pirates and taken to Ireland in the 400s. There were Christians there prior to the sending of St. Augustine of Canterbury as King Aethelbert had married a Christian Frankish princess, Bertha. It's just that there were as many and Christianity had grown in Ireland and sent missionaries to the northern parts (Columba and the island of Iona and then beyond). 
 

Actually, we know on no less an authority than Pope (not so) Innocent III (the one who profited from the sack of Constantinople) that in Rome it was done "Orthodox" at late as the 13th cent.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13785a.htm
which also shows that it was so done in York.

The problem for the Anglicans is that their rite, Sarum or Roman, was established on crushing the bones of the Celtic rites, as the Anglo-Saxons crushed the Celts (hence the reference to the Anglo-Saxon foe in the Irish anthem).



Quote
Western Rite seems to be trying to establish some of the norms that were characteristic of the Old West, and my interest lies in the ecclesiastical realm rather than the political, warfare arena so pardon me if that was not clear.

Quote
But the assertion that William of Normandy's invasion was based on religion or ecclesial matters is not accurate.  There is a long history and convoluted threads of relations and control and struggles for power.

Ebor


William's invasion was not based on religion, but his church policy was based on submission to Rome and her "eldest daugher" France.  History being what is, as you stated, many of the Anglo-Saxons fled to Constantinople and joined the emperor in the fight against the Normans in Sicily (remember, 1054 happened because of Norman oppression of the Orthodox in Southern Italy).  The English (and Danes) were the only ones who successful withstood the Crusaders at Constantinople in 1204.
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« Reply #69 on: December 14, 2008, 02:41:13 PM »

Nice to see you here David,

Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church (117th successor to the Throne of St. Mark) has some excellent books available online on quite a number of topics such as:

The Spirituality of Fasting (http://tasbeha.org/content/hh_books/fasting/index.html) - something sorely missing in the West.

The Divinity of Christ (http://tasbeha.org/content/hh_books/Divofchr/index.html) - perfect for refuting JWs and other heretics.

Tears in the Spiritual Life (http://tasbeha.org/content/hh_books/tears/index.html) - having read this one however it comes with the recommendations of many others.

The Holy Virgin Saint Mary (http://tasbeha.org/content/hh_books/the_holy_virgin_st_mary/index.html) - provides an historical view of the lady who travelled around Egypt with Christ her Son.

Many more are available here: http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/pope/index.html however sadly The Love of God is not amongst them. It's a wonderful book if you are able to obtain it. If you contact the British Orthodox Church they should be able to provide you with a copy.

do Baptists (in your experience) not pray for the dead?  If not, may I ask why? 

No. For two reasons:

1. The usual 'sola scriptura' principle: it isn't found in the scriptures (except, of course, the deuterocanonical books, which we do not treat as authoritative).

2. On the basis that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgement: the dead are either with Christ (in which case they do not need our prayers), or are in hell awaiting the final judgement (in which case our prayers cannot avail them).

I post this only (and willingly) to reply to your question, not to make it in any way a 'bone of contention' between us.

St. Paul prayed for the soul of a departed Christian in 2nd Timothy 1:16-8:

The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain... The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day....

St. Paul speaks of the house of Onesiphorus but of him personally in the past tense even though in verses 15, 11 and 8 he speaks of people on earth in the present tense. In verse 5 he speaks of Timothy's grandmother in the past tense. Now why might that be?
Again, St. Paul asks for the Lord's mercy towards Onesiphorus "in that day" (ie. Judgment Day).
Obviously Onesiphorus is dead and St. Paul is praying for his soul just as Christians have always done as evidenced from the Church Fathers as well as the Books of the Maccabees which clearly show the Jews of old prayed for the dead.

ICON QUESTION
I have an icon on my wall....

But I do not understand all of it, for one day I suddenly noticed that it does not show only our Lord and the Twelve around the table, but Jesus, 12 disciples, two little servers bringing food, and an extra bearded man standing at the door as if he is just entering.

Can anyone tell me who this 13th man is? I asked two Orthodox priests, and neither knew. One suggested Judas (which cannot be right, surely, as he was one of the twelve at table), the other suggested the landlord who owned the house where the room was. But I am not aware of any spiritual significance attaching to the landlord. A friend suggested Matthias; I wondered whether it might be the Apostle Paul. The last two guesses, of course, require that the man be symbolic – which I understand to be entirely consonant with iconography.

Can anyone solve the mystery?

Thank you for showing us the icon. May I hypothesise that, as the Last Supper was held in the upper room of St. Mark's house, it could well be St. Mark's father? He was the man who carried the pitcher and St. Mark also makes mention of himself in 14:51 as a young man. The man in the icon you showed us is clearly not young so it makes sense that it would be his father.
(By the way, the Coptic Church knows these things because St. Mark founded our Church upon the Rock of Christ in 42 AD. Our sisters in the Syrian Orthodox Church still pray in the same room where the Last Supper was held.)

Hope that helped mate.

~~~

Just so you're aware, I'm a former Seventh Day Baptist who has also attended and is familiar with many first day Baptists.
Whilst I realise being in Wales you may not be able to answer this I thought I might ask nonetheless. I very much like the Baptist hymn I Cannot Tell (http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/i/c/icnotwhy.htm). Whilst it is difficult to interpret the last verse in an Orthodox manner (although it can be done despite how it was intended), I still very much love this hymn. But for some reason the latest edition of the hymnals Baptist use has changed the fifth line "But this I know, that He was born of Mary" to exclude any reference to St. Mary.
Why has this been done? Isn't not like the line in any way goes against Baptist teachings. Indeed, it was penned by a Baptist in the first place! The only reason that has been provided me is that Baptists hate and reject St. Mary entirely. If this is not the case, then please tell me why this line would be replaced?

+Pray for the unity of all in the unchanged Truth which was once delivered to the saints.
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« Reply #70 on: December 14, 2008, 05:16:15 PM »

I cannot see which faith is listed as Brother Aidan's, but he obviously is or was a Protestant, or as an Orthodox has achieved a clearer understanding of us than many Orthodox have. I have yet to understand the Orthodox mindset as well as he ours!
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I am Orthodox, OCA.

I went to look at my profile and to ammend it. In both cases I did not see the place to state my Orthodox religion and my jurisdiction.

I was challenged not too long back in a different regarding not having these things posted in my profile. But one can only reply to what is asked for and I don't see the place to state these.

Perhaps the moderator could either PM me and tell me how to list these two pieces of information or insert them into my profile for me.

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« Reply #71 on: December 14, 2008, 05:19:33 PM »

DY correctly guesses that I was a protestant. I was a brodad church evangelical in a mainline presbyterian denomination with strong Reformed leanings.
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« Reply #72 on: December 14, 2008, 05:29:36 PM »

back to the OP
I would suggest ... the value of written prayers as a complement to extemporaneous prayer


But I have two problems:

1) Where do I find ancient, beautiful, strong, theo- or christocentric prayers which I can use, either in my private devotions or in public services?
2) A lot (such as most of Anselm's, and many from the Liturgy  of John Chrysostom) contain phrases which would be inappropriate in a Baptist context - phrases like "through the intercessions of... [name of a saint, perhaps Mary]."

Guide me, if you can, please.


Get a copy of an Orthodox Prayer Book. There are numerous prayers that can be said by a protestant as written because they do not call upon the saints or Mary for intercession. Many other prayers you can pray and as a matter of conscience (if you haven't arrived at the appropriate place in your journey) you can not-repeat the phrases that invoke the saint or the Theotokos.

I gave copies of Orthodox Daily Prayer, edited by Anthony Coniaris (Light and Life Publishers) to two protestant pastors and to my sister and all have enjoyed some of the prayers in that volume.

You could also edit out any potentially offending portions of the prayers for public use among those in your congregation so no one has a conniption!
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« Reply #73 on: December 14, 2008, 05:33:20 PM »

the latest edition of the hymnals Baptist use has changed the fifth line "But this I know, that He was born of Mary" to exclude any reference to St. Mary.
Why has this been done? Isn't not like the line in any way goes against Baptist teachings. Indeed, it was penned by a Baptist in the first place! The only reason that has been provided me is that Baptists hate and reject St. Mary entirely. If this is not the case, then please tell me why this line would be replaced?

+Pray for the unity of all in the unchanged Truth which was once delivered to the saints.

I'll be brief, as I typed a long, detailed reply and before I could press 'post' I got a daft message saying the webpage had expired.  Sad

Every hymnbook I have (Methodist, Pentecostal, Baptist, Calvinist) has the words you quote "But this I know, that He was born of Mary." So I guess that the version you knew in the past was in fact the one which had altered the words by inserting the word "saint".

Baptists all believe unanimously in the virgin birth of Christ and respect his mother as one of God's choicest, saintliest and most obedient servants. There is no animosity towards her. All generations call her blessed - even Baptists today! Anyone who does not respect her needs to seek forgiveness and a change of heart.

But there is a cult of Mary which we see in some places which creates a strong impression that it is she and not her Son who is being worshipped, and you have probably sensed a reaction - maybe even an over-reaction - to that.

Also, we never use the word 'saint' in any religious context to mean any other than a Christian, which we believe is the scriptural use. This also makes it seem likely to me that the word was inserted by a later hand, not by W Y Fullerton the Baptist evangelist and pastor.

A hearty Amen! to your words +Pray for the unity of all in the unchanged Truth which was once delivered to the saints.
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« Reply #74 on: December 16, 2008, 11:58:02 AM »


Tears in the Spiritual Life (http://tasbeha.org/content/hh_books/tears/index.html) - ...with the recommendations of many others.
Thank you. I have transferred it to a Word document to make for more comfortable reading.
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« Reply #75 on: December 16, 2008, 12:14:41 PM »

But there is a cult of Mary which we see in some places which creates a strong impression that it is she and not her Son who is being worshipped, and you have probably sensed a reaction - maybe even an over-reaction - to that.

If it is an over-reaction on our part it is because time and again, we have reminded you (and your fellow Baptists) that our honour of Mary (which is never worship; just because you can't tell the difference doesn't mean we cannot) is inextricably linked to Christ.  The same is with all of the saints.  In front of our iconstases, which depict the saints, it is traditional to light candles which symbolize that the light of Christ "which is never overtaken by night" is burning in them.  St. John Chrysostom says that the greatest gift God gave to mankind was the incarnation of His only-begotten Son.  And how did such an event occur without Mary in the picture?  We cannot separate the two. Mary is most often depicted holding her son and pointing towards Him that he is the way.  Mary worships Christ as do we.  She is not pointing at herself saying, "I am the Way."

Also, we never use the word 'saint' in any religious context to mean any other than a Christian, which we believe is the scriptural use. This also makes it seem likely to me that the word was inserted by a later hand, not by W Y Fullerton the Baptist evangelist and pastor.

There is no Scriptural prohibition against referring to those men and women who have fought the good fight and have been taken up into the glory of the counteance of God.  It's a both...and thing, not either...or.  We are holistic.
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« Reply #76 on: December 16, 2008, 06:38:23 PM »

David,

I would suggest the hymns from the services of the Office like: "O Joyful Light" and "Glory to God in the Highest", the Scriptural Canticles, and the Resurrectional Stichera, Aposticha, and Troparia from Sunday Vespers and Orthros, these are all Christological and cetainly the most ancient hymns the Byzantine Churches possess.

Here are someof the the sixth set (there are eight) of Resurrectional Hymns:

Stichera for the Lamp-lighting Psalms:

Bring my soul out of prison that I may give thanks to your name.

Triumphant over Hades, O Christ, you ascended upon the cross to raise up with yourself those dwelling in the darkness of death. Free from among the dead, you pour forth life from your own light. Almighty Savior, have mercy on us.

The righteous will surround me; for you will deal bountifully with me.

Today, Christ, having trampled upon death, according to his word, rose up bestowing joy upon the world, so that all of us shouting this hymn might say: O Fount of life, light that no person may approach, O almighty Savior, have mercy on us.

Out of the depths I cry to you O Lord. Lord, hear my voice.

Where shall we sinners fly from you, O Lord, who are everywhere in creation? Into heaven? Your abode is there. Into hell? You have trampled upon death. Into the uttermost parts of the sea? Your hand reaches there, O Master. We run to you and falling before you we pray: You, who rose from the dead, have mercy on us.

Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.

We exult in your cross, O Christ, and we praise and glorify your resurrection. You are indeed our God; we know no other Lord but you.

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you.

Ever blessing the Lord, we praise his resurrection. For by enduring the cross, he destroyed death by death.

For your name’s sake I have waited for you, O Lord; my soul waits for your word. My soul has trusted in the Lord.

Glory be to your might, O Lord, for you have destroyed the power of death, and you have renewed us through your cross, bestowing on us life and incorruption.

From the morning watch 'til night from the morning watch let Israel trust in the Lord.

Your burial, O Christ, burst asunder the bonds of Hades; your resurrection from the dead gave light to the world. To you, O Lord, be glory.

Resurrectional Aposticha

Angels in heaven sing the praises of your resurrection, Christ our Savior. Grant that we too on earth may with pure hearts glorify you.

The Lord reigns; he has clothed himself with honor; the Lord has clothed and girded himself with strength.

After smashing the gates of brass and breaking the bolts and bars of Hades, you, almighty God, raised up fallen mankind. Therefore, with one accord, we cry: O Lord, risen from the dead, Glory to you.

For he has established the world, and it shall not be moved.

Wishing to lift us out of the ancient corruption, Christ was nailed upon the cross and laid in the tomb. In tears the women bearing myrrh searched for him and said lamenting: Woe to us! O Savior of all, how did you consent to stay in a tomb? And as you stayed there willingly, how were you stolen? How were you moved? What place now hides your life‑giving body? O Master, appear to us as you have promised, and dry up the fountain of our tears. Thereupon as they wept, an angel came to them and cried: Cease your weeping and tell the apostles that the Lord is risen, granting the world forgiveness and great mercy.

Holiness becomes your house, O Lord, for length of days.

Crucified according to your will and despoiling death by your entombment, O Christ, you rose in glory on the third day as God, granting the world life everlasting and great mercy.

Resurrectional Troparion

The angelic powers appeared at your tomb, and those guarding it became as dead. Mary stood at your grave seeking your pure body. You stripped the power of Hades, yet remained untouched by its corruption. You met the Virgin and bestowed life. O Lord, who rose from the dead, glory to you.

Stichera at the Praise Psalms

To execute upon them a written judgment: this honor have all his saints.

Your cross, O Lord, is the life and resur­rection for your people; and assured of this, we sing to you our risen God: Have mercy upon us.

Praise him in his saints. Praise him in the firmament of his power.
Your burial, O Master, opened paradise to the human race, and we, delivered from cor­ruption, sing to you our risen God: Have mercy upon us.

Praise him for his might acts; praise him according to his excellent greatness.

Let us praise Christ with the Father and the Spirit. Let us cry aloud to him from the dead: You are our life and resurrection. Have mercy upon us.

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet; praise him with psaltery and harp.

On the third day, O Christ, you rose from the tomb as it was written, having raised our forefather with you. Therefore all people glorify you and praise your resurrection.

Praise him with the timbrel and dance; praise him with the stringed instruments and organ.

O Lord, great and awesome is the mystery of your resurrection. For you have come forth from the tomb as a bridegroom from his cham­ber, destroying death by death that Adam might be set free. Therefore, the angels in heaven rejoice and people on earth glorify the compassion that you have shown towards us, O loving God.

Praise him upon well‑tuned cymbals; praise him upon loud cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

O wicked Jews, where are the seals and the pieces of silver that you gave to the guards? The treasure was not stolen, but rose up according to his power. You were put to shame by deny­ing Christ, the Lord of glory, who suffered and was buried and rose from the dead. Him let us worship.

Arise, O Lord my God, lift up your hand; forget not your poor forever.

How were you robbed, O Jews, when the tomb was sealed and you had placed the guards and seals on it? Though the doors were closed, the king came out. Now either show him as dead or worship him with us as God and say: Glory to your cross and resurrection.

I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will speak of all your marvelous works.

The myrrh‑bearing women came in tears to your life‑bearing tomb, O Lord, and carried with them spices with which to anoint your all pure body. But they found an angel seated on the stone who called out to them and said; Why do you weep for him from whose side flows life to the world? Why do you seek him who is immortal as dead in the tomb? Go rather and announce to his disciples the good tidings of his resurrection, the joy of all the world. Hav­ing also enlightened us by it, O Savior, grant us forgiveness and great mercy.

The other set can be found at:
http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/vespers
http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/sundayorthros

Fr. Deacon Lance (Byzantine Catholic deacon with Presbyterian wife)
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« Reply #77 on: December 16, 2008, 06:49:47 PM »

we have reminded you (and your fellow Baptists) that our honour of Mary ... is never worship; just because you can't tell the difference doesn't mean we cannot
There is no Scriptural prohibition against referring to those men and women who have fought the good fight and have been taken up into the glory of the countenance of God.  It's a both...and thing, not either...or.  We are holistic.
The problem is probably partly because we never come across Orthodox people, either individuals or churches, so we (I don't mean "I", but British Christians generally) assume that you are really basically Roman Catholic without the Pope. Then we see RC churches adorned with statues and huge pictures of Mary, hear Catholics saying their "Hail, Mary!", read (whether it's true or not I don't know) that even such a conspicuous Catholic as Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (a.k.a. Mother Teresa) want Mary to be upgraded to co-redemptrix with Christ, see huge processions in honour not of Christ but of Mary in Spain and other Mediterranean lands... and so on. The impression is that it is she who is really worshipped, and that she eclipses her Son. This is then assumed to be true also of Orthodox ("Catholic without the Pope").

I'm not saying any of this is right, or just, or accurate - only explaining why it happens. Whether the impression is true (of RCs) is a different debate, not relevant here. Because of my frequent visits to Albania and Greece, and of the reading I have done, I am aware that you are not Catholics without the Pope. Most western Christians are not.

Similarly, I was only trying to answer the poster's question about why the word "saint" (as a title) seemed to have been dropped from a hymn. Several biblical words have been turned into titles by one church or another - Father, Reverend, Pastor to give just three examples - and you have pointed out that "saint" falls into the same category. But if someone asks why the word "saint" seems to have been dropped from a hymn, my attempt at explaining it (assuming it had been there originally) was that it is not our custom to use that particular word as a title. I didn't say you are wrong to do so: I merely offered a tentative explanation for the two versions of the same well-loved hymn.
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« Reply #78 on: December 16, 2008, 07:24:48 PM »

The problem is probably partly because we never come across Orthodox people, either individuals or churches, so we (I don't mean "I", but British Christians generally) assume that you are really basically Roman Catholic without the Pope. Then we see RC churches adorned with statues and huge pictures of Mary, hear Catholics saying their "Hail, Mary!", read (whether it's true or not I don't know) that even such a conspicuous Catholic as Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (a.k.a. Mother Teresa) want Mary to be upgraded to co-redemptrix with Christ, see huge processions in honour not of Christ but of Mary in Spain and other Mediterranean lands... and so on. The impression is that it is she who is really worshipped, and that she eclipses her Son. This is then assumed to be true also of Orthodox ("Catholic without the Pope").

1.  Those who want to elevate her to "co-redemptrix" are in error.  Not something I can control.

2.  You are taking these services, processions, etc. out of context....and Protestants need to realize this.
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« Reply #79 on: December 16, 2008, 10:06:47 PM »

[Then we see RC churches adorned with statues and huge pictures of Mary, hear Catholics saying their "Hail, Mary!", read (whether it's true or not I don't know) that even such a conspicuous Catholic as Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (a.k.a. Mother Teresa) want Mary to be upgraded to co-redemptrix with Christ, see huge processions in honour not of Christ but of Mary in Spain and other Mediterranean lands... and so on. The impression is that it is she who is really worshipped, and that she eclipses her Son. This is then assumed to be true also of Orthodox ("Catholic without the Pope").

The honour paid towards Mary is ultimately paid to her Son, the Christ.  She is not being elevated to co-redemptrix.  This is the Orthodox way.  Those Catholics who wish to see such a title bestowed upon Mary are in error, but I guarantee that if you ask an everday Roman Catholic person if the worship money, I'd bet good money he'd say "No" emphatically.
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« Reply #80 on: December 17, 2008, 07:15:02 AM »


2.  You are taking these services, processions, etc. out of context....

I dare say. But what is the context? People on holiday (or business) in Spain or wherever don't see the context, they see the processions, statues etc. When I get off the bus at 'Mary Roundabout' in Fier, I don't see the context, I see the new RC church with a huge statue of Mary on the roof over the main entrance.

Of course I am aware that sincere Catholics worship Christ - else I wouldn't read Bernard of Clairvaux, Aelred of Rievaulx, Walter Hinton or any others. I am explaining why the ordinary bloke on holiday in the Mediterranean gains a strong impression that RCs worship Mary first, and perhaps Jesus behind her - that she eclipses him in their real, daily spirituality and religious devotion. The impression may be right, it may be wrong, but it is certainly given.

But we have wandered off the thread. I dare say that neither you nor I are drawn to Catholicism. Evangelicalism and Orthodoxy are far more appealing.
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« Reply #81 on: December 17, 2008, 08:46:51 AM »


2.  You are taking these services, processions, etc. out of context....

I dare say. But what is the context? People on holiday (or business) in Spain or wherever don't see the context, they see the processions, statues etc. When I get off the bus at 'Mary Roundabout' in Fier, I don't see the context, I see the new RC church with a huge statue of Mary on the roof over the main entrance.

Of course I am aware that sincere Catholics worship Christ - else I wouldn't read Bernard of Clairvaux, Aelred of Rievaulx, Walter Hinton or any others. I am explaining why the ordinary bloke on holiday in the Mediterranean gains a strong impression that RCs worship Mary first, and perhaps Jesus behind her - that she eclipses him in their real, daily spirituality and religious devotion. The impression may be right, it may be wrong, but it is certainly given.

But we have wandered off the thread. I dare say that neither you nor I are drawn to Catholicism. Evangelicalism and Orthodoxy are far more appealing.

You do realise that you have these first impressions because your tradition is minimalistic.
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« Reply #82 on: December 17, 2008, 12:01:12 PM »


You do realise that you have these first impressions because your tradition is minimalistic.

I think you are partly right. The externals of our religious life are a good deal more simple - bare, if you like - than in most Catholicism (or Orthodoxy), from buildings through vestments, ceremony etc. But I suspect there really is what we might call 'folk Catholicism' where there  is superstition or ritualism, where the call to a changed and holy life-style is not deeply recognised, and where Christ really is eclipsed.

As an earlier posting replied to me, it's not a matter of either/or, but of both/and. The deeply devotional Catholicism of writers I have read and referred to in this forum and of many secular and religious Catholics, where Christ is adored and loved as the Son of God and only Redeemer, is contrasted with the external folk Catholicism observed by visitors to various Latin countries.

I was alone one Christmas and spent it at a Catholic monastery, where I enjoyed the conversation and felt the services were deeply reverential. It was a blessing. That doesn't cancel out my sense that there is another Catholicism abroad in the world too.

Would you not think it true that any form of Christianity, and perhaps of other religions, attracts both sincere, thoughtful followers of the true ideals, and others who are hooked on, and get no further than, the showy externals of striking ceremonies?
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« Reply #83 on: December 17, 2008, 12:25:12 PM »

your tradition is minimalistic.
“At Easter, we would go into the hills and celebrate, but we had to be careful. There were police in civilian clothes watching for people like us. With our family and close friends, perhaps a group of 20 people, we would go to the ruins of a church and then light candles. My mother always made a prosphora (a small, circular loaf of bread marked with the cross). We also brought a little wine. We said simple prayers. It was a form of holy communion at that time when a real liturgy was a rare and very dangerous event.” (Fr Jani Trebicka in “The Resurrection of the Church in Albania”)

Apart from minor details (the candles, the cross on the bread) it sounds almost exactly like many Baptist and other Evangelical Communion services here in Britain or indeed in Albania today. Precious times - as those were for the Orthodox of Albania described by Fr Trebicka. Minimalism can be as much a context of the divine presence and blessing as splendour.
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« Reply #84 on: December 17, 2008, 02:17:57 PM »

Ebor,

I am actually looking/asking for sources in my posts.  My understanding is that the Celtic church was much closer to the Coptic church in its persona, and that local sources were used both both in Greek and Roman.  There seemed to be more a greater sense of  contextualization, much like one finds in the English church until Augustine was sent as a "missionary" to a Christian land.  It appears to me that his mission was to Romanize the faith.  The Normans brought motte and bailey, and another level of formalizing the legalistic flavor of Roman Christianity to Britain.  This is apparent since the church and state relationship became closer to what was already existing on the continent and held a WalMart style monopoly on society (the only game in town).  This already existed on a cultural level as well, as is evident in the mock title of "Gothic" to northern church architecture.

Why I am looking at pre-Schism Britain as a member of a Western Rite parish is because it interests me.  There are two liturgies available, with one being very much in-line with Book Of Common Prayer Rite One.  As someone that is interested in history, it's a matter of trying to peal away the effects of Rome and the Conquest and seeing what the faith community was like prior to the arrival of corporate style rule.  I believe that the Roman system of catholicity was finally and fully instilled in the British church based on the Norman invasion. Before then, the ecclesiastical landscape represented a more  open expression of faith, much like the Orthodox church works to keep alive.

Also, I'm not sure if you are familiar with Western Rite, but when the Orthodox Church developed this liturgical form, it was exactly the same sort of research involved to bring to light the worship style of pre-schismatic England.
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« Reply #85 on: December 17, 2008, 03:00:23 PM »

your tradition is minimalistic.
“At Easter, we would go into the hills and celebrate, but we had to be careful. There were police in civilian clothes watching for people like us. With our family and close friends, perhaps a group of 20 people, we would go to the ruins of a church and then light candles. My mother always made a prosphora (a small, circular loaf of bread marked with the cross). We also brought a little wine. We said simple prayers. It was a form of holy communion at that time when a real liturgy was a rare and very dangerous event.” (Fr Jani Trebicka in “The Resurrection of the Church in Albania”)

Apart from minor details (the candles, the cross on the bread) it sounds almost exactly like many Baptist and other Evangelical Communion services here in Britain or indeed in Albania today. Precious times - as those were for the Orthodox of Albania described by Fr Trebicka. Minimalism can be as much a context of the divine presence and blessing as splendour.


I have no doubt that the divine presence can be perceived even by such minimals of "ceremony", but Fr. Jani's description is about the faithful who were in danger for their lives and thus had to be secretive.  Here in the states we have no such fear (nor warrants for such a fear).  You may say, "If others can do so with such minimum acoutrements, so you can, too."  Yes, but why?  Being minimal for the sake of being minimal is not a reason. 

What is the purpose of ritual?  You equate it with superstition.  I would highly recommend that you read anything by Mercea Eliade, Professor of Religion from the University of Chicago.  Even though he is writing about mythology, he talks about "sacred time" which resonates much with how we Orthodox conduct our liturgies.  everything is conducted in the present tense as if the events of Christ's life (incarnation, baptism, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, etc.) are happening right now.  Our hymnography bears this out.  The ceremonies are recreations, reenactments, re-presentations, if you will, of all the things that have come to pass for us and for our salvation.  The two kingdoms become as one, that of the heavenly glory.  Angels and we sinful mortal men commingle together singing the holy hymn.  Thus, Shouldn't the liturgy and church look like heaven?  Shouldn't they sound like heaven?  The liturgies and offices, everything is conducted in a way for the congregation to come into the presence of God and that takes a lot.  One person does NOT simply enter into the presence of God--it takes time (that's why I don't understand those who advocate shorter liturgies; they don't seem to understand that simply walking into a church is not walking into God's presence since God is truly everywhere). 

The liturgy, the ceremony, the words, the incense, the sounds, the tastes, all of those are designed to propel us into the kingdom which we don't stumble upon simply.  For some, it takes less, for others more.  I'm probably one of the "more" crowd.

Liturgy is not superstition. It is divine. 

Can ceremonies be abused?  Of course, but that is the fault of men, not the liturgies or offices themselves.  You're like Luther, wanting to throw out the baby with the bath-water.

On a personal note, you don't know what you're missing.
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« Reply #86 on: December 17, 2008, 06:42:08 PM »

You may say, "If others can do so with such minimum acoutrements, so you can, too."  Yes, but why?  Being minimal for the sake of being minimal is not a reason. 

Shouldn't the liturgy and church look like heaven?  Shouldn't they sound like heaven?  You're like Luther, wanting to throw out the baby with the bath-water.

On a personal note, you don't know what you're missing.
These are good, searching questions, designed to make me think.

First, I don't think we are minimal for the sake of it. Then why are we? Mmm... I suppose for two reasons. One, that we are doing the same as you, namely, trying to pattern our Communion services on scripture, but we are using different passages. I guess you go to Isaiah, Malachi, Revelation, and we go to Acts, Corinthians, and we have evolved different forms of worship from the same motive. Two, because (which is sentiment, emotion, or culture), having grown up in that form and having met the Lord there, we naturally continue to seek and find him there. In the words of the great 20th century Methodist W E Sangster, "Who would not love the church that nurtured him in holy things?"

So, I'm definitely not saying anything like "Because you can do it, you ought to do it" [i.e. be minimalist]. I think I was saying that, when things must be reduced to a minimum (e.g. in Communist Albania) you and we both find that we meet the same Lord, with the same blessing, in very similar ways. I am not suggesting that things should continue in that pattern in freer times.

It may be true that I have thrown out the baby with the bath water; it is certainly true that I don't know what I'm missing, because I have never been in a liturgical context with all the ceremony that involves. I suppose I'm saying that I feel no objection to a liturgy with splendour, based on those passages of scripture which grant us a glimpse into the heavenly worship; I certainly don't think for a moment that God blesses the sincere worshipper any less in that kind of setting than in ours. I guess I'm saying that both can be justified from different passages of scripture; that God meets us in either if our heart is repentant and believing; and that some people, for reasons of culture, background, upbringing or character, will be attracted to one style rather than to the other. What matters, of course, is that we feed on him.

You say, ritual...  You equate it with superstition. No I don't; not at all. I merely say that it is possible to go to a ritual and to penetrate no further than the externals. This of course is just as true in the most minimalist setting. Do you not call these things "mysteries"? It is possible to look only on the outward ceremony, and to fail to penetrate, or even meditate about, the inner mystery. Then it becomes superstition - and I believe there are those in your churches and in ours who have fallen into that trap and who need, in our Lord's blessed words, to be born again.

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« Reply #87 on: December 18, 2008, 12:39:23 AM »

You say, ritual...  You equate it with superstition. No I don't; not at all. I merely say that it is possible to go to a ritual and to penetrate no further than the externals. This of course is just as true in the most minimalist setting. Do you not call these things "mysteries"? It is possible to look only on the outward ceremony, and to fail to penetrate, or even meditate about, the inner mystery. Then it becomes superstition - and I believe there are those in your churches and in ours who have fallen into that trap and who need, in our Lord's blessed words, to be born again.

Just because the externals could be abused is the most ridiculous reason for why it should be jettisoned. 
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« Reply #88 on: December 18, 2008, 05:46:25 AM »


Just because the externals could be abused is the most ridiculous reason for why it should be jettisoned. 

Indeed it is! That is why I have never suggested it (i.e. ceremonious worship) should be jettisoned. I have said no more than:

1) There is a risk of people getting stuck at the external and visual
2) There is a strong impression given in some places that many people do in fact fall into this trap.

Anyone jettisoning things which carried a risk would end up a Quaker or a Quietist (in the 18th century 'stillness' form), which both you and I are far from.
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« Reply #89 on: December 18, 2008, 06:55:00 AM »


Just because the externals could be abused is the most ridiculous reason for why it should be jettisoned. 

Indeed it is! That is why I have never suggested it (i.e. ceremonious worship) should be jettisoned. I have said no more than:

1) There is a risk of people getting stuck at the external and visual
2) There is a strong impression given in some places that many people do in fact fall into this trap.

Anyone jettisoning things which carried a risk would end up a Quaker or a Quietist (in the 18th century 'stillness' form), which both you and I are far from.

Thats right brother I was just about to say. Ceremonialism for the sake of itself and minimalism for its own sake are both detrimental as the former takes the focus away from the center (Christ) and the latter loses our ability to focus on the center. As always Orthodoxy is a medium between these dangerous extremes.
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