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Author Topic: Why do so many Orthodox Churches have pews and kneeler?  (Read 9539 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dan Lauffer
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« on: November 09, 2002, 05:06:22 PM »

Do the Orthodox in America have some deep seated desire to be just like Roman Catholics?

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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2002, 05:29:48 PM »

Well, maybe you'll think Im liberal, but I don't see anything wrong with that, I don't think it is a "latinization."
Kneeling is a way to express piety and devotion, in our cultures and it is not condemned by any Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2002, 05:35:40 PM »

True true, but does this really represent Orthodox theology? I seem to recall a ban on kneeling during communion unless it is during a time of great fast.  Seems curious that any Orthodox Church would have kneelers and use them year around.  

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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2002, 06:21:08 PM »

A lot of Orthodox churches are buildings purchased from Protestant congregations and seeing that the pews are already in place have chosen to not remove them.  In any case pews, although not my preference, do not take away from the Liturgy.  IMHO, but I know some who would disagree with this.  Smiley

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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2002, 06:39:47 PM »

Our parish has pews but no kneelers.  Formerly, the building was "University Baptist Church".  It has pews because they were already there and many Orthodox in the US are used to pews.

BTW, your question reads more like a troll.
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2002, 07:34:11 PM »

Slava Isusu Christu!

I can see kneelers used from a pastoral perspective in older Orthodox parishes that have been doing it for a while and find that appropriate for them.  But in newer parishes there really is no excuse to have pews, since they have every opportunity to restore the older practice of having all stand during the august Liturgy.

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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2002, 08:11:01 PM »

[Do the Orthodox in America have some deep seated desire to be just like Roman Catholics?]

If  that were true Dan, then we would enforce celibacy on our priests, institute the Rosary & Statons of the Cross, allow our priests to serve more than one Liturgy on the same Altar during a 24 hour period, and change our pre Communion fasting to one or two hours before receiving as your church has.

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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2002, 10:05:33 PM »

[Do the Orthodox in America have some deep seated desire to be just like Roman Catholics?]

If  that were true Dan, then we would enforce celibacy on our priests, institute the Rosary & Statons of the Cross, allow our priests to serve more than one Liturgy on the same Altar during a 24 hour period, and change our pre Communion fasting to one or two hours before receiving as your church has.

Orthodoc

Oh, yeah, Dan, and we would institute "bination" and have "Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament" like some of your Byzantine Catholic parishes still do in imitation of the Latins.  Do the Byzantine Rite Catholics have some deep seated desire to be just like their Latin Rite Roman Catholic brethren?

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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2002, 10:39:33 PM »

Hypo,

It would appear from the common practices that we (Orthodox and others) all do.  The point of my question was to address the essential duplicity of accusing the BC's of Latinizations when they are clearly in Orthodoxy not in communion with Rome.

Orthodoc,

"If  that were true Dan, then we would enforce celibacy on our priests, institute the Rosary & Statons of the Cross, allow our priests to serve more than one Liturgy on the same Altar during a 24 hour period, and change our pre Communion fasting to one or two hours before receiving as your church has."

I fast from midnight through Eucharist. So does our priest and other members of our Church.  Not all do but do all of your parishioners fast from midnight on?   We do not have stations of the cross.  Some of our women use the Rosary.  Others use the Chotki.  I use the Chotki.  

Enforced celibacy is a serious problem.  We are reclaiming our married clergy.  I don't claim perfection for our Church.  I do claim that we are trying our best to obey Jesus' prayer in  John 17.

On a less polemical note: What is the theological purpose of no communion twice on the same altar within a 24 hour period?  We don't offer Eucharist on the altar more than once a day, but I don't know why.

Dan Lauffer
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2002, 10:50:35 PM »

Quote
I think it has to do with breaking one's fast.  Receiving Communion by the priest more that once during a 24 hour period traditionally is receiving after breaking the fast of the first Communion of that particular day.  I hope I am forwarding this properly, if not, someone will no doubt correct me.  

Joes


On a less polemical note: What is the theological purpose of no communion twice on the same altar within a 24 hour period?  We don't offer Eucharist on the altar more than once a day, but I don't know why.

Dan Lauffer
 
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2002, 10:53:28 PM »

Joe S,

Thanks for your reply.  But would that present a problem if different people were at each Eucharist?

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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2002, 11:05:28 PM »

But Dan, the priest would have broken his fast at an earlier Liturgy.

And on a practical level, having everyone attend the same Divine Liturgy help the church truly be a community, as you see everyone. In  churches with multiple liturgies/masses/services/etc. yuo could attend for years and never meet most of the people.

I know there are probably deeper reasons that the two I mentioned, but I'll leave that to those more knowledgable than me. God Bless!
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2002, 11:29:11 PM »

 [Not all do but do all of your parishioners fast from midnight on? ]

Yes they do.  All except those who may have a dispinsation from the priest because of health reasons.  My priest will refuse Communion to anyone who has not observed the fast.  I have seen him refuse people because he smelled cigarette breath on them.  He also refuses those who have not gone to Confession and/or Communion.

[But Dan, the priest would have broken his fast at an earlier Liturgy.]

Also, the Consecration is the vocal point of the Liturgy.  To have the priest perform it more than once a day kind of makes it seem like a magical act and lessens  its imortance.



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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2002, 08:08:55 AM »

Orthodoc,

Thank you.  Sounds like good discipline.  

If a Church had more people coming than could be accomodated in one Divine Liturgy would "pre sanctified" elements be acceptable in Orthodoxy?

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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2002, 08:59:24 AM »

[If a Church had more people coming than could be accomodated in one Divine Liturgy would "pre sanctified" elements be acceptable in Orthodoxy?]

Usually an Orthodox Catholic Church with that many people is either  a Cathedral.  As such, it either has a side Altar or a separate Chapel.  My parish is a Cathedral and has a beautiful separate Chapel which can hold about 80 people.

They would also either have a second priest assigned or bring in a second priest in to serve the second Liturgy.  Those who do not  have a side Altar, will set up another Altar in front  of the first  or in the Church auditorium.  

I only know of one instance when I belonged to a small Albanian parish where the priest took sick and was rushed to the hospital prior to the Liturgy.  The local MP priest came after serving at his parish and brought the Consecretated Elements with him from the Liturgy he served.  He then served a modified Liturgy (without the consecration ) and gave out the presanctified Element from his own parish and Liturgy.  So,I guess this can be done in emergencies with the permission of the Bishop but not as a standard practice.

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« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2002, 09:45:12 AM »

Do the Orthodox in America have some deep seated desire to be just like Roman Catholics?

Dan Lauffer Huh

Since you must mean 'Orthodox in communion with Rome,' the answer is.....YES! Just like the RCs. 'Kissin cousins--or is it 'dissin' cousins from the Latin side of the family?-- two peas in a pod, joined at the hip, etc.


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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2002, 05:21:25 PM »

True true, but does this really represent Orthodox theology? I seem to recall a ban on kneeling during communion unless it is during a time of great fast.  Seems curious that any Orthodox Church would have kneelers and use them year around.  

Dan Lauffer

Most of the parishes that have pews and kneelers, Dan, at least in the OCA, came from Uniate pasts and were used to kneelers/pews from that time--a hard habit to break.  Check out the parishes in the ACROD (American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese of the USA): like their Byzantine-Ruthenian Rite Catholic counterparts, these parishes are inclined even more than those in the OCA to have pews and kneelers, a holdover from Uniate days.

I know of several older OCA parishes which are attempting to "clean up their act" in this regard, i.e., discarding most pews and kneelers and just retaining a few pews for the infirm and elderly around the inner periphery of the church.  It takes time to do this: some families donated these pews back in the 40's thinking they were doing the right thing.  Some of their descendants are happy so long as the name-plates of the benefactors are still on display somewhere in the church.  Other OCA parish churches have *never* had pews and still don't--hard to do processions or those "poklons" during Great Lent with pews in the way!

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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2002, 08:35:38 PM »

Emmaus,

"Since you must mean 'Orthodox in communion with Rome,' the answer is.....YES! Just like the RCs. 'Kissin cousins--or is it 'dissin' cousins from the Latin side of the family?-- two peas in a pod, joined at the hip, etc."

I suppose that since Orthodox not in communion with Rome have adopted some Latin practices then you all must be dissin cousins as well.

Dan Lauffer




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« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2002, 08:41:16 PM »

Orthodoc,

Thank you for your helpful explanations.  However, it does seem to me that since I have agreed not to refer to the Byzantine Churches as "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" I would hope that you would follow the Administrators admonition and not call us "Uniates".  When you continue to do this it rather clouds the points you are otherwise trying to make.  It is sort of like kicking a person in the groin while looking him straight in the eye and professing ones friendship.  You may not care how I feel about it but remember I wear shoes as well.

Dan Lauffer
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« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2002, 09:17:17 PM »

Emmaus,

"Since you must mean 'Orthodox in communion with Rome,' the answer is.....YES! Just like the RCs. 'Kissin cousins--or is it 'dissin' cousins from the Latin side of the family?-- two peas in a pod, joined at the hip, etc."

I suppose that since Orthodox not in communion with Rome have adopted some Latin practices then you all must be dissin cousins as well.

Dan Lauffer






'Missin' cousins would be a more accurate description.

Also, in some jurisdictions, 'latinizations' would be more accurately defined as 'anglicanizations' since many immigrant congregations enjoyed the hospitality of Episcopalian parishes and Greeks were advised to worship at Episcopal parishes in the absence of an Orthodox one.

I hope we thanked them enough.

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« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2002, 09:22:42 PM »

However, it does seem to me that since I have agreed not to refer to the Byzantine Churches as "Orthodox in Communion with Rome" I would hope that you would follow the Administrators admonition and not call us "Uniates".  When you continue to do this it rather clouds the points you are otherwise trying to make.  It is sort of like kicking a person in the groin while looking him straight in the eye and professing ones friendship.  You may not care how I feel about it but remember I wear shoes as well.

Dear Dan,

I have read this thread through and don't see an instance where Orthodoc has used to term "Uniate".  If it is here and I don't see it, please let me know.  However, I do see that Hypo-Ortho has used the term, and so I'll just remind everyone again that the proper term for Eastern Catholics in communion with Rome is just that: Eastern Catholics.  

With that said, I noted that in reply no. 8 as well as in your next to last reply you used the phrase Orthodoxy not in communion with Rome; if we are going to call Eastern Christians in communion with Rome Eastern Catholics, I would submit that there is no such thing as "Orthodoxy not in communion with Rome" only because it implies that there is an "Orthodoxy in communion with Rome".  True, Orthodoxy is out of communion with Rome, but that doesn't make the particular term you used appropriate because it implies that there is something like "Orthodoxy in communion with Rome", a term we have banned for reasons mentioned a few times before.  So please refrain from these terms.  Thank you to all!
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« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2002, 09:53:51 PM »

 [I would hope that you would follow the Administrators admonition and not call us "Uniates".  When you continue to do this it rather clouds the points you are otherwise trying to make.]

Dan:  can you please quote from the recent post (after the agreement was made) where I used the 'U" word?  
Getting a little paranoid, aren't we?

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« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2002, 12:27:05 AM »

Orthodoc,

My apologies.  It was hypo who used the term.  

Mor Ephrem,

The terminological restrictions are a bit much.  It may be impossible to post in any sensible way on this board.  I'll have to think about this.  I know the Romans wish we didn't exist.  I know whatever you folks are wish we didn't exist.  Maybe if I disappear you can pretend that we don't.

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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2002, 12:37:31 AM »

The terminological restrictions are a bit much.

I wish they weren't necessary, but more often than not this sorta thing leads to seemingly incessant arguments, and we'd just like to be rid of those.

It may be impossible to post in any sensible way on this board.  I'll have to think about this.

I'd be interested in knowing why you think it might be impossible to post here.  Surely one could post as intelligently without using the word "Uniate" as they could without using the phrase "Orthodox in communion with Rome".  I thought I was being quite fair with regard to the names.  

I know the Romans wish we didn't exist.  I know whatever you folks are wish we didn't exist.  Maybe if I disappear you can pretend that we don't.

I don't see what relevance this has to the names.  I personally don't mind the existance of Eastern Catholics...I like them.  I'm sure there are others who do, but I'm also sure there are others who agree with me.  Whether Romans wish you guys didn't exist, I don't know...everything I've seen leads me to believe differently.
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« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2002, 09:42:28 AM »

<It may be impossible to post in any sensible way on this board.  I'll have to think about this.>

[I'd be interested in knowing why you think it might be impossible to post here.  Surely one could post as intelligently without using the word "Uniate" as they could without using the phrase "Orthodox in communion with Rome".  I thought I was being quite fair with regard to the names. ]

Your are being fair in regards to the names. And you are right  in the above assessment.  I agree with your confusion as to why the name restrictions make it impossible to post here.  That is, unless one comes in here to either troll or proseltyze.

I think I have gone out of my way to explain why the terminology 'Orthodox In Communion With Rome' is offensive to Orthodox Catholics.  I've also explained why, since this is an Orthodox Catholic website, that it is offensive to come in here and try and identify us by Roman Catholic standards.  Wheher we are 'in' or  'out' of communion with Rome has nothing to do with our 'Orthodox' identity.  Neither is our 'Orthodox' identity geared to our ritual practices alone.

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« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2002, 10:27:45 AM »

Mor Ephrem,

"Whether Romans wish you guys didn't exist, I don't know...everything I've seen leads me to believe differently."

I wonder why neither of us are welcome to post on YourCatholic.com?

Dan Lauffer Shocked Huh  

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« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2002, 10:36:22 AM »

Orthodoc,

I see your point and appreciate your sensibilities.  My own preference would be to label the Roman Catholics as Catholics not in communion with Orthodox and the Orthodox not in communion with the Catholics.  I'd label the Eastern Catholics as Haberingers of the Future and Obedient to Christ.

But I don't suppose you would agree.

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« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2002, 10:54:17 AM »


[I see your point and appreciate your sensibilities.  My own preference would be to label the Roman Catholics as Catholics not in communion with Orthodox and the Orthodox not in communion with the Catholics.  I'd label the Eastern Catholics as Haberingers of the Future and Obedient to Christ.

But I don't suppose you would agree.]

No, I don't agree.  You are playing the word game.  Lets identify each other by the the doctrines we uphold rather than the ritual we practice or our commmunion with whatever Patriarchate we recognize.  Your above ananysis is also a shrewd way of getting me to acquiesce the term 'catholic' to Rome and I ain't following for it.

 I have no doubt of Eastern Catholics obedience to Christ but hardly see them as haberingers of the future.  Even your own Roman Patriarch who you accept as the 'infallible Vicar of Christ on earth' has agreed that 'Eastern Catholicism' IS NOT the bridge between the RCC and the OCC.

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« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2002, 11:04:38 AM »

Orthodoc,

As I said, both the Romans and the Orthodox wish we didn't exist.

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« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2002, 11:24:28 AM »

As the question why some Orthodox churches have pews and kneelers seems to have been answered, why not start another thread in the Orthodox-Catholic folder on whether Romans and the Orthodox wish the Byzantine Catholic churches didn't exist?
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« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2002, 01:10:10 PM »

Orthodoc,

My apologies.  It was hypo who used the term.  

Mor Ephrem,

The terminological restrictions are a bit much.  It may be impossible to post in any sensible way on this board.  I'll have to think about this.  I know the Romans wish we didn't exist.  I know whatever you folks are wish we didn't exist.  Maybe if I disappear you can pretend that we don't.

Dan Lauffer

Dan, I'll have to remember not to use the "U" word.  I apologize if it got to you.  I was born with the "U" word (were you?), and my grandmother often referred to herself as such, so to us, it just wasn't a big deal, just acceptance of a fact.  Old habits remain, so when a good part of my family returned to Holy Orthodoxy, some of our speech patterns from "the old days" returned with us.

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« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2002, 03:14:47 PM »

Hypo-Orthodox,

You are a gentleman.  Thank you for the explanation and I will remove my shoes.  Wink

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« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2002, 07:44:09 PM »

True true, but does this really represent Orthodox theology? I seem to recall a ban on kneeling during communion unless it is during a time of great fast.  Seems curious that any Orthodox Church would have kneelers and use them year around.  


Dan, that is not quite right. The canon on kneeling applies to Sunday, not liturgy. Kneeling is proper on other days of the week. Disregard if someone's already pointed that out.
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« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2002, 07:53:11 PM »

Loukas,

Right you are.  I meant on Sundays but did not state it.  It still seems odd to me that kneelers are used by many Orthodox Churches on Sundays during Divine Liturgy and not during the Great Fast.

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« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2002, 12:28:32 AM »

Loukas,

Right you are.  I meant on Sundays but did not state it.  It still seems odd to me that kneelers are used by many Orthodox Churches on Sundays during Divine Liturgy and not during the Great Fast.

Dan Lauffer

Dan, you're concentrating too much on accidentals and incidentals than on the "esse" of the Liturgy and the Orthodox Faith.  The kneelers, where found, seem to be more of an American thing, especially in the ACROD, GOA and AOCA.  Remember though that Americans represent but a tiny minority in the worldwide Orthodox Communion.

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« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2002, 01:04:06 AM »

Nobody could possibly defend kneelers when they are being routed on the subject of pews.

“Worship” essentially means to “Glorify”. For the Orthodox, to worship God is to place ourselves in the proper relationship to Him, knowing the truth about ourselves and acknowledging Him for what he is. The act of worship is therefore the purest expression of our human nature. We were made to worship the Lord.

While we can worship Him in many ways and at many different times and circumstances, in Church we recognize the presence of the “Kingdom of God”. In the usage of the Greek Scriptures and Fathers, with rare exception, 'vasileia' means the power or rule of God, His uncreated glory, light, and energies of the divine world. This is the mistranslated 'blessed kingdom' the Church invokes through the priest in order for the Divine Liturgy to start, because the kingdom or divine rule is in our midst in the Church. The divine world that embraces the participation of the Saints is within the Church both mystically and visibly (in the interior iconography, which has largely been lost in the West).

Thus our worship in Church must be complete and with every fiber of our body, heart, and soul; we are foretasting Heaven! This is why, as evidenced by the Typicon, the Apostles, and every century of the Church up until now, one does, with great eagerness make bows, touching the forehead to the floor (except on the Resurrection), and also by bending at the waste. We don’t do this because we are Pharisee’s as those who have lost this part of Holy Tradition will now spew forth. We do this because we recognize our own humility and unworthiness before God. And if we are not doing this, we are standing as “even the saints stand in Heaven before the throne of God” (Is. 6:2, I Kings 22:19, Dan 7:10, Rev. 7:11)

Now I ask, how can this be done with pews? Except for the physically challenged (who could use chairs), pews are a spiritual nuisance appealing only to those who, don’t need a break because “they are tired”, but to those who inevitably become bothered whenever they have to stand. And of course if these people are called to do a bow, it better be an easy Latin style kneel with soft cushions. How can anyone who is able, sit there comfortable in his seat and even look at a cross with Christ nailed to it for this persons sake? And they came into His house to worship Him(?), I would hardly even call this honoring Him.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2002, 01:18:21 AM by OrthodoxyOrDeath » Logged
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« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2002, 01:30:07 AM »

Nobody could possibly defend kneelers when they are being routed on the subject of pews.
<<BIIIIIIG SNIP!>>
Now I ask, how can this be done with pews? Except for the physically challenged (who could use chairs), pews are a spiritual nuisance appealing only to those who, don’t need a break because “they are tired”, but to those who inevitably become bothered whenever they have to stand. And of course if these people are called to do a bow, it better be an easy Latin style kneel with soft cushions. How can anyone who is able, sit there comfortable in his seat and even look at a cross with Christ nailed to it for this persons sake? And they came into His house to honor Him? Indeed.

OoD, I couldn't agree with you more.  Pews and kneelers in an Orthodox temple are entirely out of place and interfere with: standing in awe before God, freely moving about in God's temple (where we are children in our Father's house), processional movements within the temple, and prostrations on the days that they are allowed or required by the Typikon.

I have been in the local GOA cathedral: no kneelers, but they *do* have pews.  And such nice pews!  With thick, plush cushions to soften the sitting on one's bottom for long periods.  Nicer cushions than you'd find in many of our homes!  Such luxury, such ease.  More like theatrical arrangements to enable the spectator to watch the drama unfolding before him/her with the greatest comfort.  Bah!

I much prefer a church without pews and/or kneelers.  But what does one do when that is the *only* kind of Orthodox church one finds in one's geographical area (except for the tiny ROCOR church on the other side of the river)?  At least I sing in the choir now so I personally don't have to put up with the pews/kneelers in my own parish church, but I'm afraid that many in the congregation are now so used to this modification that they'd think something Orthodox was missing if the kneelers/pews were removed!

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« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2002, 09:53:59 AM »

But what does one do when that is the *only* kind of Orthodox church one finds in one's geographical area (except for the tiny ROCOR church on the other side of the river)?  At least I sing in the choir now so I personally don't have to put up with the pews/kneelers in my own parish church...

I'm not comfortable with the fact that you are agreeing with me. Smiley

Of course, my suggestion is, if you cannot find a Traditional Orthodox Church nearby, move. I am not suggesting one move *just* because of pews, the traditionalist view is that your salvation is as stake for many others reasons; and you would move if your life was at stake wound'nt you?

In the mean time, people can stand in the back and set an example.

Quote
...but I'm afraid that many in the congregation are now so used to this modification that they'd think something Orthodox was missing if the kneelers/pews were removed!

And isn't this the attitude of all those who depart from Holy Tradition? Even the Latins when "excommunicating" the Greeks in 1054 cited the fact that the Greeks did NOT use the filioque and shave their faces like their Latin counterparts!!

God bless.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2002, 10:02:48 AM by OrthodoxyOrDeath » Logged
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« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2002, 10:03:36 AM »

I did this for two years.

"In the mean time, stand in the back and set an example."

I think I'll go back to doing it.

Dan Lauffer Grin

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« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2002, 11:17:19 AM »

Dan,

It’s good to see you are striving for Orthodoxy, and I truly pray you will continue to do so. And as long as you seem to truly be striving for Orthodoxy, I thought I would mention a few other things.

I personally don’t care if you call yourself “Orthodox in communion with Rome”, for me it seems very satirical; it’s almost like saying “Orthodox in communion with heresy”.

In Orthodoxy, we declare our faith each time we commemorate our bishop. And that bishop declares his faith by the bishops he commemorates. Therefore, if you are indeed Orthodox, you know that when you or your bishop commemorates the pope, you are essentially declaring that you share the same faith as him.

Tell me, at what point have the Orthodox recognized papal infallibility, purgatory, merits, and the supremacy of the pope who it seems you have given the authority to act contrary and supreme to Ecumenical Councils? How Orthodox is that really?

So stand in the back if you like, but remember the words of Saint Cyprian of Carthage: "He who has turned his back on the Church of Christ shall not come to the rewards of Christ; he is an alien, a worldling, an enemy. You cannot have God for your Father if you have not the Church for your mother. Our Lord warns us when He says: he that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.' Whosoever breaks the peace and harmony of Christ acts against Christ; whoever gathers elsewhere than in the Church scatters the Church of Christ." (Unity of the Catholic Church)
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« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2002, 11:31:35 AM »

I personally don’t care if you call yourself “Orthodox in communion with Rome”, for me it seems very satirical; it’s almost like saying “Orthodox in communion with heresy”.

We all know that 'in communion with Rome' really means 'under Rome'.

Quote
In Orthodoxy, we declare our faith each time we commemorate our bishop. And that bishop declares his faith by the bishops he commemorates.

By George, you've got it!

Quote
Therefore, if you are indeed Orthodox, you know that when you or your bishop commemorates the pope, you are essentially declaring that you share the same faith as him.

See my first comment.

Quote
Tell me, at what point have the Orthodox recognized papal infallibility, purgatory, merits, and the supremacy of the pope who it seems you have given the authority to act contrary and supreme to Ecumenical Councils? How Orthodox is that really?

Jury's been out on a long recess since the Middle Ages. Orthodox pray for the dead, which implicitly recognizes purgatory, otherwise it would make no sense, and there was a kind of primacy in the preschism Church.

Quote
So stand in the back if you like, but remember the words of Saint Cyprian of Carthage: "He who has turned his back on the Church of Christ shall not come to the rewards of Christ; he is an alien, a worldling, an enemy. You cannot have God for your Father if you have not the Church for your mother. Our Lord warns us when He says: he that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.' Whosoever breaks the peace and harmony of Christ acts against Christ; whoever gathers elsewhere than in the Church scatters the Church of Christ." (Unity of the Catholic Church)

Physician, heal thyself. The Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece is not in the Orthodox communion and would fall under St Cyprian's condemnation. And Dan doesn't deserve to be treated this way - he is not an Orthodox who left that communion; he is a sincere, orthodox Protestant-turned-Catholic.

I agree that the Byzantine Rite ideal is no pews but chairs and benches along the walls.

But it's not a matter of faith.
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« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2002, 12:31:15 PM »

In Orthodoxy, we declare our faith each time we commemorate our bishop. And that bishop declares his faith by the bishops he commemorates.

In another thread a while ago, we had a discussion on "canonicity", and whether it is communion with the bishops or the faith that is more important, and other related topics.  It seems that here we have come to an integration of both points.  Faith is indeed the important thing, but that faith is expressed by one's communion with the Orthodox bishops, no?
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« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2002, 12:37:36 PM »

But what does one do when that is the *only* kind of Orthodox church one finds in one's geographical area (except for the tiny ROCOR church on the other side of the river)?  At least I sing in the choir now so I personally don't have to put up with the pews/kneelers in my own parish church...

OoD<<I'm not comfortable with the fact that you are agreeing with me. Smiley  

Of course, my suggestion is, if you cannot find a Traditional Orthodox Church nearby, move. I am not suggesting one move *just* because of pews, the traditionalist view is that your salvation is as stake for many others reasons; and you would move if your life was at stake wound'nt you?>>

Hypo-Ortho<<Move, OoD?  Easier said than done.  I live on a fixed, below-poverty-level income.  I live in a poverty-level apartment building in a dangerous neigborhood.  It is all I can afford.  I am "stuck" here for reasons of health care and finances.  This is my "podvig."  I do not have the luxury--yes, luxury!--of moving.

Hypo-Ortho>>
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« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2002, 12:42:25 PM »

[Jury's been out on a long recess since the Middle Ages. Orthodox pray for the dead, which implicitly recognizes purgatory, otherwise it would make no sense, and there was a kind of primacy in the preschism Church.]


 From 'The Complete Book of Orthodoxy' regarding the Orthodox Catholic view of Purgatory -

The doctrine developed slowly in the Western Church and is not accepted by the Orthodox Catholic Church, which denies the "suffering of souls" in Purgatory.  If there is, any suffering in the after life,  some Orthodox Catholic theologians teach,  it is of a purifying nature and not punitive.  Others prefer to leave the entire concept alone as a mystery to which we should not attach human norms.

From "The Historical Dictionary of the Orthodox Church"

[When you look up 'purgatory' it references you to APOCATASTASIS.]

APOCATASTASIS:  Fully, apocatastasis paton is "the restoration of all things."  The source of this phrase i.e., that all things and beings (angels, and demons included) will ultimately be restored to unity with God, is I Cor. 15, when God will be "all in all."  Its best known advocate was Origen of Alexandria, though Gregory of Nyssa a century later echoed the latter's views on this issue.  The proposal that hell cannot be eternal is surely to be ascribed to a certain optimism, with origins in Platonism, that evil cannot  reasonably have the last word for any rational creature.  Although this doctrine was condemnedby the Council of Constantinople (553), it took the work of Maximus the Confessor a century later to demonstrate that true respect for the depths of human freedom requires the possibility of an everlasting perdition.  Fear of a revival of the doctrine also lay behind the initial Greek reaction to the Latin Church's doctrine of purgatory, worked out in the 13th century.  The latter's  "purifying fire" smacked  all too much for the Greek  bishops at the Reunion of Ferra-Florence of Origen's view that hell was temporary.  While it is possible to give an Orthodox reading of the Latin teaching, it is also the case that the latter, based as it was (is?) on an idea of penalty and satisfaction, would itself have to undergo a certain evolution in order to satisfy Orthodox concerns.

Why Orthodox Catholics pray for the dead.  from "Dance, O Isaiah"

Question:  Are there prayers for the dead prescribed in the Bible?

Answer:  Yes.  Praying for the dead is a duty imposed by the Bible.  we are told -

'First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all men, (i Tim 2:1)

that is to say, for both the living and the dead, because to the Lord there is no distinction -- "to Him all are living" (Lk. 20:38).

Question:  But are explicit prayers for the dead found in the Bible?

Answer:  Yes.  We read that it is good "to pray for the dead....that they might be delivered from sin."  (2 Macc. 12:42-45).

Question:  Were prayers offered for the dead in the very early Church (1st and 2nd century)?

Answer:  Yes, they certainly were.  The Liturgy of St James (generally believed by scholars to have been largely formed prior to A.D. 200) offers a prayer that God will  'give rest there in the land of the living" to the deceased righteous "who are of the true faith"  (36)

Tertullian in about A.D. 204 mentions Christian offerings for the departed  (De corona militis).  He describes it as a long standing custom and not someting newly introduced.

The epitaph (composed by himself) of St Abercius, Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia (died about A.D. 175) asks Christian passersby to pray for him.  Also, from the 2nd century, other inscriptions on Christian tombs (notably the Roman catacombs) ask for prayers for the departed.
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« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2002, 12:50:11 PM »

Quote
The doctrine developed slowly in the Western Church and is not accepted by the Orthodox Catholic Church, which denies the "suffering of souls" in Purgatory.  If there is, any suffering in the after life,  some Orthodox Catholic theologians teach,  it is of a purifying nature and not punitive.  Others prefer to leave the entire concept alone as a mystery to which we should not attach human norms.

From "The Historical Dictionary of the Orthodox Church"

[When you look up 'purgatory' it references you to APOCATASTASIS.]

APOCATASTASIS:  Fully, apocatastasis paton is "the restoration of all things."  The source of this phrase i.e., that all things and beings (angels, and demons included) will ultimately be restored to unity with God, is I Cor. 15, when God will be "all in all."  Its best known advocate was Origen of Alexandria, though Gregory of Nyssa a century later echoed the latter's views on this issue.  The proposal that hell cannot be eternal is surely to be ascribed to a certain optimism, with origins in Platonism, that evil cannot  reasonably have the last word for any rational creature.  Although this doctrine was condemnedby the Council of Constantinople (553), it took the work of Maximus the Confessor a century later to demonstrate that true respect for the depths of human freedom requires the possibility of an everlasting perdition.  Fear of a revival of the doctrine also lay behind the initial Greek reaction to the Latin Church's doctrine of purgatory, worked out in the 13th century.  The latter's  "purifying fire" smacked  all too much for the Greek  bishops at the Reunion of Ferra-Florence (Serge: sic - it's Ferrara) of Origen's view that hell was temporary.  While it is possible to give an Orthodox reading of the Latin teaching, it is also the case that the latter, based as it was (is?) on an idea of penalty and satisfaction, would itself have to undergo a certain evolution in order to satisfy Orthodox concerns.

Try again. Catholicism never defined what exactly goes on in purgatory so this is nothing but attacking a strawman. And Patrick pointed out recently that there are whiffs of belief in a temporary hell in Orthodox writings like Fr Seraphim (Rose)'s. Which is saved from being heretical only if one believes in an intermediate state.
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