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Author Topic: Why do so many Orthodox Churches have pews and kneeler?  (Read 10175 times) Average Rating: 0
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OrthodoxyOrDeath
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« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2002, 01:02:34 PM »

Serge,

I’m surprised you agree with me on the commemoration of bishops.

By the bishops you commemorate you declare each week that you recognize the Mysteries of the Latins as being truly the Eucharist, truly Baptism, truly Chrismation, recognize them as a sister Church, and share the same faith with them. Essentially, you declare there is nothing separating you except administrative disagreements, which is why you also recognize Purgatorial fire.

Tell me this is not true and explain.



Mor Ephrem,

Yes we declare our faith by the faith of the bishop we commemorate. Orthodox commemorate Orthodox bishops, Iconoclasts commemorate iconoclast bishops, Nestorians commemorate Nestorian bishops, and just like “Eastern Catholics” who commemorate the pope, so to, new-calendarists commemorate bishops who share the same faith as the pope, and thus all their appearances of Orthodoxy is for nothing.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2002, 01:08:55 PM by OrthodoxyOrDeath » Logged
Orthodoc
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« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2002, 01:07:55 PM »

[Try again. Catholicism never defined what exactly goes on in purgatory so this is nothing but attacking a strawman.]

Really Serge!

From New Advent the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia -

I. CATHOLIC DOCTRINE

Purgatory (Lat., "purgare", to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions. The faith of the Church concerning purgatory is clearly expressed in the Decree of Union drawn up by the Council of Florence (Mansi, t. XXXI, col. 1031), and in the decree of the Council of Trent which (Sess. XXV) defined: "Whereas the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from the Sacred Scriptures and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in Councils and very recently in this Ecumenical synod (Sess. VI, cap. XXX; Sess. XXII cap.ii, iii) that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar; the Holy Synod enjoins on the Bishops that they diligently endeavor to have the sound doctrine of the Fathers in Councils regarding purgatory everywhere taught and preached, held and believed by the faithful" (Denzinger, "Enchiridon", 983). Further than this the definitions of the Church do not go, but the tradition of the Fathers and the Schoolmen must be consulted to explain the teachings of the councils, and to make clear the belief and the practices of the faithful.

Temporal Punishment

That temporal punishment is due to sin, even after the sin itself has been pardoned by God, is clearly the teaching of Scripture. God indeed brought man out of his first disobedience and gave him power to govern all things (Wis. x, 2), but still condemned him "to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow" until he returned unto dust. God forgave the incredulity of Moses and Aaron, but in punishment kept them from the "land of promise" (Num., xx, 12). The Lord took away the sin of David, but the life of the child was forfeited because David had made God's enemies blaspheme His Holy Name (II Kings, xii, 13, 14). In the New Testament as well as in the Old, almsgiving and fasting, and in general penitential acts are the real fruits of repentance (Matt., iii, 8; Luke, xvii, 3; iii, 3). The whole penitential system of the Church testifies that the voluntary assumption of penitential works has always been part of true repentance and the Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, can. xi) reminds the faithful that God does not always remit the whole punishment due to sin together with the guilt. God requires satisfaction, and will punish sin, and this doctrine involves as its necessary consequence a belief that the sinner failing to do penance in this life may be punished in another world, and so not be cast off eternally from God.

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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2002, 01:12:59 PM »

Serge,

I don't feel comfortable with your insinuation that Orthodoxy has a belief in something that approximates the Roman Catholic concept of Purgatory.

In the Roman Catholic Purgatory, the soul is punished, however temporarily, by "fire," however purifying, for what was done in the body.  The body, however, is not touched by purgatorial fire.  Where is the Divine Justice in that?  In the final Hell are not body and soul to be punished *together* for what unrepentant sins were committed in the body?  

Now, if we believe in something akin to the Roman Catholic Purgatory, can we believe in "Indulgences" ("Partial" and "Plenary" from the treasury of merits) too to more quickly expedite the souls of our dearly departed from the purgatorial fires?  And what about "Limbo" (*NO* beatific vision!) for the souls of those poor unbaptized babies?

Hypo-Ortho
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emmaus
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« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2002, 01:20:56 PM »

Bishop Kallistos would say that the majority of Orthodox theologians reject purgatory as a state for the 'satisfaction' of sin,'for when a person dies in God's grace, God forgives all his sins and there is no need for further expiatory suffering or penalties since Christ--the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world--is our only atonement and salvation.

rtss
« Last Edit: November 13, 2002, 01:31:55 PM by emmaus » Logged
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« Reply #49 on: November 13, 2002, 01:22:53 PM »

None of the quotations given prove Catholicism dogmatically teaches 'purgatorial fire'. I see no difference in either side's reasons to pray for the dead, though of course 'temporal punishment' is Western theological language, not Byzantine. Hypo-Ortho, limbo never was Catholic dogma, only an opinion of some theologians.

As far as indulgences go, compare them to that favorite book of some converts to Eastern Orthodoxy, Pedalion/The Rudder. Canonical penance is something both sides do. Indulgences are the Western form of substituting one canonical penance for another.

Quote
By the bishops you commemorate you declare each week that you recognize the Mysteries of the Latins as being truly the Eucharist, truly Baptism, truly Chrismation, recognize them as a sister Church, and share the same faith with them. Essentially, you declare there is nothing separating you except administrative disagreements, which is why you also recognize Purgatorial fire.

I can't speak for your non-Orthodox church, but the bishops of the Orthodox communion don't dogmatize about non-Orthodox sacraments or the Churchness of non-Orthodox. One may believe all those things as opinions.

Once again we're looped in a discussion about the Catholic Church. And it's not just the fault of the Catholic-friendly here. Several of the zealots here seem very preoccupied with that corner of Christendom for some reason. Maybe this topic should be a new thread in the appropriate folder.

I think the topic of pews has been spent.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2002, 01:35:54 PM by Serge » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: November 13, 2002, 01:38:14 PM »

None of the quotations given prove Catholicism dogmatically teaches 'purgatorial fire'. I see no difference in either side's reasons to pray for the dead, though of course 'temporal punishment' is Western theological language, not Byzantine. Hypo-Ortho, limbo never was Catholic dogma, only an opinion of some theologians.

As far as indulgences go, compare them to that favorite book of some converts to Eastern Orthodoxy, Pedalion/The Rudder. Canonical penance is something both sides do. Indulgences are the Western form of substituting one canonical penance for another.

In RCism, Serge, canonical penances are prescribed as a punishment to satisfy God's anger, even after confessing and being absolved.   Canonical "penances" in Orthodoxy are not to be seen as "punishment" per se, but as curative, i.e., "medicinal," and cannot be applied to the souls "in Purgatory" (which we don't believe in) in any case.

Indulgences may be applied in the RC Church to those souls in Purgatory to shorten (Partial Indulgence) or eliminate entirely (Plenary Indulgence) the time to be spent in Purgatory for the punishment due for confessed or unconfessed venial sins, even though some have been confessed, forgiven and absolved.

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« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2002, 01:49:32 PM »

Quote
In RCism, Serge, canonical penances are prescribed as a punishment to satisfy God's anger, even after confessing and being absolved.  Canonical "penances" in Orthodoxy are not to be seen as "punishment" per se, but as curative, i.e., "medicinal,"

Good point - a real difference between the Latin and Byzantine approaches. But heresy?

Quote
and cannot be applied to the souls "in Purgatory" (which we don't believe in) in any case.

But both sides do believe in intercessory prayer and prayer for the dead.

Quote
Indulgences may be applied in the RC Church to those souls in Purgatory to shorten (Partial Indulgence) or eliminate entirely (Plenary Indulgence) the time to be spent in Purgatory for the punishment due for confessed or unconfessed venial sins, even though some have been confessed, forgiven and absolved.

OK, partial and plenary don't refer to 'time off' purgatory - a common error. They refer to canonical penance: in the old Raccolta book of indulgenced Roman Catholic prayers, 200 days meant that prayer was the equivalent of 200 days of canonical penance.
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« Reply #52 on: November 13, 2002, 02:01:01 PM »

Quote
In RCism, Serge, canonical penances are prescribed as a punishment to satisfy God's anger, even after confessing and being absolved.  Canonical "penances" in Orthodoxy are not to be seen as "punishment" per se, but as curative, i.e., "medicinal,"

Good point - a real difference between the Latin and Byzantine approaches. But heresy?

Quote
and cannot be applied to the souls "in Purgatory" (which we don't believe in) in any case.

But both sides do believe in intercessory prayer and prayer for the dead.

Quote
Indulgences may be applied in the RC Church to those souls in Purgatory to shorten (Partial Indulgence) or eliminate entirely (Plenary Indulgence) the time to be spent in Purgatory for the punishment due for confessed or unconfessed venial sins, even though some have been confessed, forgiven and absolved.

OK, partial and plenary don't refer to 'time off' purgatory - a common error. They refer to canonical penance: in the old Raccolta book of indulgenced Roman Catholic prayers, 200 days meant that prayer was the equivalent of 200 days of canonical penance.

Ah, but, Serge, Raccolta or not, WHERE are the indulgenced prayers or other acts of satisfaction (e.g., indulgenced pilgrimages) applied when it comes to souls in Purgatory?  The "200 days" means 200 days in God's time (whatever that is) not ours in human terms.  So it's still 200 days (or whatever) off in Purgatory, but simply not to be measured in human time.

And I agree with you: if we're going to be thrown off from pews and kneelers like this, we need yet another thread.

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« Reply #53 on: November 13, 2002, 02:05:26 PM »

Just as an aside, I'd like to hear from our Oriental Orthodox brethren in this latest discussion concerning Purgatory.  How do you guys approach this RC teaching?  Do you think we Orthodox have a belief similar to the RC's in this regard as Serge does?

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« Reply #54 on: November 13, 2002, 03:38:35 PM »

Serge: Are you cryptically saying you believe the Latins to be part of the Church, however imperfectly?
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« Reply #55 on: November 13, 2002, 05:33:58 PM »

Orthodoc,

"If there is, any suffering in the after life,  some Orthodox Catholic theologians teach,  it is of a purifying nature and not punitive."

This is what is taught by the Catholic Church as well. So what is the argument?

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« Reply #56 on: November 14, 2002, 12:18:28 AM »

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.

Well, we have some pews in our parish but the only kneelers are the people  Wink. It seems odd to me too, but it's not a faith issue. A primary reason for the practice is the absence of daily services in most Orthodox parish churches. And since the people don't get to do the prostrations that would come with that, they try to make up for it on Sunday. That's not a defense of it, just a factor.

Love, loukas
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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #57 on: November 14, 2002, 09:22:22 AM »

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.

Well, we have some pews in our parish but the only kneelers are the people  Wink. It seems odd to me too, but it's not a faith issue. A primary reason for the practice is the absence of daily services in most Orthodox parish churches. And since the people don't get to do the prostrations that would come with that, they try to make up for it on Sunday. That's not a defense of it, just a factor.

Love, loukas

Loukas, do the folks in your parish make actual full prostrations on Sundays or do they only kneel on their knees?  Is it a GOA church?  I have seen GOA folks regularly kneel on Sundays, but I haven't ever seen them do full prostrations--not even during Great Lent at weekday services or during Great and Holy Week; pews don't seem to be a factor as they could use the aisles for prostrations as I have seen done on Lenten weekdays in those OCA churches that have pews.

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« Reply #58 on: November 14, 2002, 11:25:53 AM »

Quote


Loukas, do the folks in your parish make actual full prostrations on Sundays or do they only kneel on their knees?  Is it a GOA church?  I have seen GOA folks regularly kneel on Sundays, but I haven't ever seen them do full prostrations--not even during Great Lent at weekday services or during Great and Holy Week; pews don't seem to be a factor as they could use the aisles for prostrations as I have seen done on Lenten weekdays in those OCA churches that have pews.


We have a range of practice from standing to kneeling (standing on the knees) to a full reverence. The full reverences are mostly limited to one, maybe two persons, but it happens. The predominant practice is kneeling. We're Antiochian.

Maybe prostrations are too demeaning (or demanding) for the Greeks, I don't know. I get the impression of there were visitors there that did prostrations alone, it would make them uncomfortable <groan>. A good friend of mine in the OCA said he almost wore the knees out of a new pair of jeans during his first Great Lent there. Ortho-robics.....
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