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Author Topic: Vatican II, the good, the bad the ugly  (Read 12113 times) Average Rating: 0
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AlexanderOfBergamo
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« Reply #45 on: October 13, 2009, 03:49:14 PM »

Quote
Just as an iconographer should be a person of great prayer, penance, and devotion to our Lord, so too should be the architects who design God's temples.
Precisely. Otherwise, if a temple (aka church) weren't as sacred as an icon, why did God instruct Solomon directly on the building of the Temple of Jerusalem?

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #46 on: October 13, 2009, 06:13:03 PM »

I agree that things started going downhill after World War II. Most of the 1950s churches aren't very nice---though certainly preferable to what came not long after.

As for tradition and beauty being more expensive, consider the Cathedral of Los Angeles.



Nearly $200 million for this big box.

Check out the $3 million, 25-ton bronze doors:



Or the $1 million tabernacle:



Or the $1 million cathedra:



Or the $5 million altar:



-----

I highly recommend two really good books to read if you want to learn about the heretical theology behind this kind of church architecture:



http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933184442/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1928832369&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0CREZ2N5FP60JPH2BC1Q



http://www.amazon.com/No-Place-God-Transcendence-Architecture/dp/1586171534/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_c




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lubeltri
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« Reply #47 on: October 13, 2009, 06:24:31 PM »

There's a growing tend to build more traditional these days. For example, the $23 million chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas College in California, dedicated in 2009:





Sure, the "experts" will say that the architecture is "stodgy" and "derivative," but do you think the chapel's happy worshippers will care one whit?
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« Reply #48 on: October 13, 2009, 06:42:11 PM »

Sure, the "experts" will say that the architecture is "stodgy" and "derivative," but do you think the chapel's happy worshippers will care one whit?

If the alternative is new and vibrant, then color me stodgy.
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« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2009, 06:42:57 PM »

I like the architecture in the St. Thomas Aquinas Church but there's too much white.  Get a good  iconographer and he'll fix the problem!  Smiley
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« Reply #50 on: October 13, 2009, 06:52:41 PM »

I like the architecture in the St. Thomas Aquinas Church but there's too much white.  Get a good  iconographer and he'll fix the problem!  Smiley

That's probably what they had the money for at the time. I'm sure iconography will be added in due time. Smiley

Fr. Rutler, pastor of the Church of Our Saviour in New York, had one of his parishioners (a Chinese muralist he baptized into the Catholic faith) paint this huge 24-foot Christ Pantokrator in the apse several years ago. The church itself was built in the late 1950s.



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« Reply #51 on: October 13, 2009, 07:10:21 PM »

I like the architecture in the St. Thomas Aquinas Church but there's too much white.  Get a good  iconographer and he'll fix the problem!  Smiley

That's probably what they had the money for at the time. I'm sure iconography will be added in due time. Smiley

Fr. Rutler, pastor of the Church of Our Saviour in New York, had one of his parishioners (a Chinese muralist he baptized into the Catholic faith) paint this huge 24-foot Christ Pantokrator in the apse several years ago. The church itself was built in the late 1950s.





Hmmmmm... Looks like they are trying to Byzantinize a Latin Church.  Wink
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« Reply #52 on: October 13, 2009, 07:11:03 PM »

I like the architecture in the St. Thomas Aquinas Church but there's too much white.  Get a good  iconographer and he'll fix the problem!  Smiley
I like the white. I'm hoping for more white statues as time goes on in this Church.
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« Reply #53 on: October 13, 2009, 07:54:13 PM »


Hmmmmm... Looks like they are trying to Byzantinize a Latin Church.  Wink

Romanesque and Byzantine can go well together, I think. Western Romanesque painting is much closer to Byzantine, anyway. Consider this c.a. 1100 Spanish apse, which you can see at the Cloisters Museum in New York:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%27The_Virgin_and_Child_in_Majesty_and_the_Adoration_of_the_Maji%27,_Romanesque_fresco_by_the_Master_of_Pedret_from_the_apse_of_the_Church_of_Saint_Joan_at_Tredos,_Lleida,_Spain,_c._1100.jpg


I think the Church of Our Saviour (finished in 1959) is more successful an example of Byzantine-Romanesque than the upper church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, which was completed in the same year.

I think the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and Westminster Cathedral in London are even more successful examples of Byzantine-Romanesque.
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« Reply #54 on: October 13, 2009, 08:05:50 PM »

Just as an iconographer should be a person of great prayer, penance, and devotion to our Lord, so too should be the architects who design God's temples.

Wonderfully said! I attended Ave Maria University for 2 semesters and the church there looked like a rocket ship. Apparently it was supposed to be resemble a Bishop's Mitre. Clever idea, but I think sticking with the tradition of beautiful western architecture would have sufficed.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #55 on: October 13, 2009, 11:19:08 PM »

Grace and Peace,

My fear as one moving toward Orthodoxy isn't a Vatican II or a top-down change but erosion from Parishioners slowly wooed by an anti-sacral Secular Culture.
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« Reply #56 on: October 14, 2009, 10:34:05 AM »

Dear lubeltri,
I love of the churches you proposed in your images. I have nothing contrary to that "white abundance".
And now for Papist,
that Pantocrator has a Byzantine symbology AND a Latin approach, since there are shades of colour both on the Christ himself and in the background. It must be said that the Latin Church made a large use of Byzantine iconography during the first centuries - or better, we should say that the same basic elements of ancient iconography were present in every part of the world despite the few differences due to artistic sensibility. There's a large use of iconography in many Italian RC churches of the First Millennium and even after. St Paul outside-the-walls in Rome and st. Mark in Venice are beautiful examples of this.

Of both churches I can say they fully respond to the vocation of Christian art: praising the Lord with TRUE art and immersing the faithful in a "divine" setting. On the contrary, that horrendous 200-million-dollars abomination called "Cathedral" is nothing but a Protestant temple and can barely be called a church, despite the presence of an altar.

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #57 on: October 14, 2009, 11:12:04 AM »

I agree, Alexander.

When this destructive fit of Iconoclasm plaguing the West passes away, that "cathedral" (which they call the Taj Mahony, after Cardinal Roger Mahony, the monstrous bishop behind the monstrosity) will be sold off and something proper will eventually be built.
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« Reply #58 on: October 14, 2009, 11:44:46 AM »

Quote
Just as an iconographer should be a person of great prayer, penance, and devotion to our Lord, so too should be the architects who design God's temples.
Precisely. Otherwise, if a temple (aka church) weren't as sacred as an icon, why did God instruct Solomon directly on the building of the Temple of Jerusalem?

In Christ,   Alex

What do you think of hiring a Jewish(or other non-Christian) Architect to design a Christian Church? I know of some who have done this, and I often wondered about that...Would Jews hire a Christian to design their synagogues?
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« Reply #59 on: October 14, 2009, 12:36:06 PM »

Sincerely, the best architect and artist for a religious faith is the one that shares 100% of that faith. Jews just couldn't understand Christian art, and they would make a synagogue of any church they want to build. Synagogues are completely empty of any sacred picture, so we'll have only void walls. It is a problem of their religion that they just can't portray characters from the Bible... and how could they portay Jesus himself, whom they consider an impostor, with a symbology which acknowledges him as God himself? The same for Muslims, who use to decorate their mosques with floreal motifs but are forbidden to represent living creatures (I mean animals, humans, angels and of course God himself).
The same is valid for the contrary: we are so used to Christian art (and I'm referring only to non-iconoclastic Christians of course) that an artist building a synagogue would fail to understand the absence of pictures in it. The temple is a place *taken apart* (from the Greek "temno" which means to cut off, to separate) for the divinity, and as lubeltri, Papist and I already have said, temple building is like iconography... it is a sacred art.
I think the only ones who would benefit an artistic work from a Jewish architect might be a iconoclastic Protestant church, but still I don't see how that could work. Which doesn't mean that Jewish architects aren't good artists, but just that they make wonderful synagogues, but they couldn't make a good church (this is my opinion of course). The fact that a temple is as sacred as an icon appears clearly by the fact that the church must be consecrated by a bishop, like an icon, to the matter with grace, otherwise it's just a building, exactly like icons are beautiful but useless pictures until their blessed. The work of the artist - be he iconographer or architect - should be to prepare not a piece of art, but a religious place or object... and the Church has the task to overlook the genuinity and validity of that temple or picture to become holy... which is something the Pentateuch clearly tries to transmit with all those concerns with purity, perfection and holiness.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #60 on: October 14, 2009, 02:40:02 PM »

Just as an iconographer should be a person of great prayer, penance, and devotion to our Lord, so too should be the architects who design God's temples.

Wonderfully said! I attended Ave Maria University for 2 semesters and the church there looked like a rocket ship. Apparently it was supposed to be resemble a Bishop's Mitre. Clever idea, but I think sticking with the tradition of beautiful western architecture would have sufficed.

In Christ,
Andrew
I have hear rumors that traditional liturgy is discouraged on that campus in favor of more "charismatic" style worship. Would you agree with this statement?
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« Reply #61 on: October 14, 2009, 02:43:12 PM »

Dear lubeltri,
I love of the churches you proposed in your images. I have nothing contrary to that "white abundance".
And now for Papist,
that Pantocrator has a Byzantine symbology AND a Latin approach, since there are shades of colour both on the Christ himself and in the background. It must be said that the Latin Church made a large use of Byzantine iconography during the first centuries - or better, we should say that the same basic elements of ancient iconography were present in every part of the world despite the few differences due to artistic sensibility. There's a large use of iconography in many Italian RC churches of the First Millennium and even after. St Paul outside-the-walls in Rome and st. Mark in Venice are beautiful examples of this.

Of both churches I can say they fully respond to the vocation of Christian art: praising the Lord with TRUE art and immersing the faithful in a "divine" setting. On the contrary, that horrendous 200-million-dollars abomination called "Cathedral" is nothing but a Protestant temple and can barely be called a church, despite the presence of an altar.

In Christ,    Alex
I was actually Joking about the "Byzantinization".  Cheesy. I really do think that the use of Icons in a Church is a great things, just so long as Latins don't lose our tradition of using statues.

I agree with you about that modernist Cathedral being an abomination. It almost makes me sick to look at it. I think it should be torn to the ground personally. In fact, I don't think its an appropriate church for any Christian of any denomination who professes the faith of the Creed and that would include Protestants.
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« Reply #62 on: October 14, 2009, 02:43:37 PM »

I agree, Alexander.

When this destructive fit of Iconoclasm plaguing the West passes away, that "cathedral" (which they call the Taj Mahony, after Cardinal Roger Mahony, the monstrous bishop behind the monstrosity) will be sold off and something proper will eventually be built.
Let us pray for that.
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« Reply #63 on: October 14, 2009, 03:41:26 PM »


I have hear rumors that traditional liturgy is discouraged on that campus in favor of more "charismatic" style worship. Would you agree with this statement?

The Latin Mass is pretty well attended, but there is a lot of Protestantization that crept in to the other Masses, namely female altar servers. The evening Masses during the week include the infamous "praise and worship music" and the evening Mass on Sunday does, too. I told one of my friends there (who happened to be into the "charismatic" stuff) that if I wanted to worship like a Protestant, I would become one again. He said that "we can learn a lot from the Protestants!" Shocked There is a rather strong "traditional movement" and apparently a strong, bitter rivalry between them and the modernists. I never really noticed it publicly.

But sadly, all things "charismatic" are preferred over the richness of the traditional western patrimony. The VP of the college and his wife go to charismatic conferences all the time (they're in their late 60s!) and I had a class taught by a self-proclaimed "charismatic" Benedictine Nun. It was....interesting to say the least.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #64 on: October 14, 2009, 04:39:53 PM »

In the choice between "charismatic" schools, I would choose the Franciscan University of Steubenville over Ave Maria---especially since the fine Jesuit Fr. Fessio got fired from the latter.

I know quite a number of young men from Steubenville who are now Dominicans. They tell me they were quite comfortable carving out their own traditional niche there. It also helped that a fine Dominican was a favorite professor there until he was elected Prior of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC.

I remember having lunch with this friar a couple of years ago (while he was still at Steubenville). I recall asking him (he is a liturgical scholar) what he thought of the forthcoming new (much more accurate and beautiful) English translations of the Mass.

His response: "Thank God. Finally!"

That's exactly what faithful Catholics the world over are saying about the ongoing Benedictine Restoration.
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« Reply #65 on: October 14, 2009, 06:11:36 PM »


That's exactly what faithful Catholics the world over are saying about the ongoing Benedictine Restoration.
I can't wait until every priest faces the right way in every parish during the canon of the mass.
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« Reply #66 on: October 15, 2009, 07:33:54 AM »

I know you were joking on "Byzantinization", dear brother Papist. I was just putting as an evidence how the *traditional* forms of Christian art in the "catholic churches" have a wonderful common base and they can still be different. I sincerely appreciate both the Byzantine and Latin religious arts when they make use of the proper symbologies, a thing that is now very difficult to achieve in newly-built churches of the Latin Church due to V2.
I join in your prayers for a restoration of the ad Orientem Mass. Anyway, am I wrong if I say that the same tendency of a High and Low Church in Anglicanism is creeping into the Roman Catholic Church, despite the intensive work of Pope Benedict XVI? I say this because we can find both a tendency to modernism (charismatic orders, "low" masses in the vernacular with Gospel choruses, priests celebrating like pastors "versus populum" etc) on one side, and an attempt to restore a traditionalist Catholic piety (strict religious rules, "high" masses in Latin with Gregorian Chant, priests celebrating "ad Orientem" etc) on the other. Would you apply, as I do, these tendencies to the progressive incorporation of a flourishing relativism into the Roman Catholic Church, as it happened in the Anglican Communion due to Protestant contaminations in the past centuries?

In Christ,  Alex
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« Reply #67 on: October 15, 2009, 08:56:12 AM »

When I was a novice in the Franciscans, I remember my Novice Master telling me that the Liturgy originally produced at Vatican II was rejected due to it being totally radical.  The Liturgy that came out was a compromise between the conservatives and the liberals.
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« Reply #68 on: October 15, 2009, 10:50:46 AM »

When I was a novice in the Franciscans, I remember my Novice Master telling me that the Liturgy originally produced at Vatican II was rejected due to it being totally radical.  The Liturgy that came out was a compromise between the conservatives and the liberals.
...and thus it is too liberal for the conservatives, and too conservative for the liberals LOL
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« Reply #69 on: October 15, 2009, 11:57:11 AM »

There are definitely what Anglicans call churchmanships (not only different ceremonial but rival theologies, some of them un-Catholic) in the RC Church. The Tridentine people are roughly equivalent to Anglo-Catholics like the Orthodox are. (One big difference: in Anglican culture Anglo-Catholics are often gay and practise that undercover. So you see lots of bachelors in their churches and not a lot of married people or kids.) Low Church historically meant Evangelical, which in the Church of England meant Calvinist: Presbyterian theology with the Book of Common Prayer liturgy and the minister in surplice and black scarf. The closest equivalent to that among RCs might be conservative Novus Ordo especially the now-waning charismatic movement: theologically conservative but not very liturgical. Modernists are Broad Churchmen, the difference again being Anglicans often have better liturgical sense (they don't hate nice things in church like liberal RCs do) although as has been mentioned 'your mileage may vary' locally (Episcopalians can be old hippie flakes).

I'd read that a draft of the new Mass was done at the Vatican shortly after the council and the clergy reviewing it didn't like it at all.

It seems to me, though, that the compromise Mass was the 1965 modifications to the 1962 Missal. Which wasn't that bad.

The Novus Ordo was in practice an unconditional victory for the liberals even though many of the old practices weren't in fact banned.

(Two compromises I know of: the writers of the NO wanted to get rid of the mediæval Orate, fratres and Ecce agnus Dei verses and responses but they were kept: they're among the few congregational responses in the NO that are uniquely [Roman] Catholic.)

Of course Orthodoxy has churchmanships as well: shades of difference from ROCOR to the OCA to the Antiochians for example, or from natural, un-self-consciously traditional ethnics to scrupulously rule-following converts to rather assimilated ethnics, all of them well to the right of the Novus Ordo and the Episcopalians, thank God.
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« Reply #70 on: October 15, 2009, 02:34:06 PM »

I'd read that a draft of the new Mass was done at the Vatican shortly after the council and the clergy reviewing it didn't like it at all.

It seems to me, though, that the compromise Mass was the 1965 modifications to the 1962 Missal. Which wasn't that bad.

The Novus Ordo was in practice an unconditional victory for the liberals even though many of the old practices weren't in fact banned.

Sincerely, I think the true problem is with the 1969-1970 version of the Novus Ordo, that approved by Paul VI, which introduced the worst effects, such as the versus populum Mass, which were absent in the previous Missals (including that of 1962 by Pope John XXIII). Also, the few modifications in the 1962 Missal are just limited to the addition of st. Joseph in the Confiteor (which the 1970 version has reduced to a few lines), to the elimination of the anti-semitic word "perfidis" referenced to the Jewish people on Good Friday (which was an obvious change after the events of WW2) and the suppression of the "Last Gospel", that is the practice of singing the Hymn to the Logos of st. John evangelist after the Ite, missa est. These changes didn't affect the nature and the solemnity of the rites. On the contrary, the new orientation of the priest, the use of a symplistic language, the introduction of THREE different canons for the Mass, the translation into the vernacular, the use of low mass made ordinary, etc... have made the entire rite a Protestantized ceremony. To add some other elements for discussion, all the editions of the Ordo Missae up to 1969 included a double version of the Confiteor which is a true public confession and a beautiful rite in its original. The double version presented a form used by the priest PRIOR to the celebration of the Holy Mysteries, so that the priest ask forgiveness before the Confiteor of the faithful. This rite made the role of the priest apparent while the use of pronouncing the Confiteor both priest and assembly altogether reduced its value and massified priest and laypeople, putting them on the same level - a consequence of the "universal priesthood" concept.
Also consider the changes in the Confiteor as it appeared in the two editions of the Missal:
Quote
    I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the Saints, and to you brethren, that I have sinned exceedingly, in thought, word and deed: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the Saints, and you brethren, to pray to the Lord our God for me.[2]
Quote
     I confess to almighty God,
    and to you, my brothers and sisters,
    that I have sinned through my own fault,
    in my thoughts and in my words,
    in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do;
    and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
    all the angels and saints,
    and to you, my brothers and sisters,
    to pray for me to the Lord our God. 

You can clearly see the differences BEFORE and AFTER Protestantization of the Mass in 1970...

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #71 on: October 15, 2009, 02:52:22 PM »

A handy checklist, courtesy of Michael Davies, comparing the Novus Ordo to Cranmer. Those not familiar with the history of the Latin rite might find this list worth a good read:
http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/newmass/ordo.htm

The confiteor is optional and not every Mass I have been at recites it. In Canada, we use the Apostle's creed, not the Nicene/Constantiniople. When I went directly from Anglican to Catholic in 1984, it was one of the first things I noticed. (Our family did not formally convert to Anglicanism - but we attended an Anglican parish for about half a dozen years including Anglican first communion). Of course, the Apostle's creed is easier to remember, but it's one of the main differences between American and Canadian Masses.

Of note to "Western Rite" historians, when the Russians got ahold of the of the Cranmer text, they inserted back some of what had been removed. I've never been able to find a complete list of the "St. Tikhon rite" changes, but it was kind of Cranmer in reverse.
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« Reply #72 on: October 16, 2009, 04:14:35 PM »

It seems that RCs are too concerned with charity missions and pro-life activism then with religious education for the faithful and a correct divine worship.

While I don't think that Orthodoxy in America has jumped on the "social gospel" bandwagon just yet, as far as catechizing goes I have yet to hear an Orthodox priest encourage a single person to read the Bible on a regular basis, or for anyone to bring one with them to the liturgy.  Our parish offers a "Bible Study", but really no one goes.

I repeatedly tell my people to read their bible.
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« Reply #73 on: October 16, 2009, 04:27:52 PM »

Unfortunately, I have heard some more "academic" Orthodox, and even some not-so-academic, with a move to "simplify" things on the basis of askesis.  To get back to more "simple" liturgical vestments and such (sound familiar?).  Many of them want to simplify the church more--less icons (would not go well in my church--our walls are filled with them--I would say 150 icons and it is not a large church), "simple" structure to the temple (low ceilings, less room).   Why does there need to be a tension between the aesthetic and ascetic?     

There are definitely what Anglicans call churchmanships (not only different ceremonial but rival theologies, some of them un-Catholic) in the RC Church. The Tridentine people are roughly equivalent to Anglo-Catholics like the Orthodox are. (One big difference: in Anglican culture Anglo-Catholics are often gay and practise that undercover. So you see lots of bachelors in their churches and not a lot of married people or kids.) Low Church historically meant Evangelical, which in the Church of England meant Calvinist: Presbyterian theology with the Book of Common Prayer liturgy and the minister in surplice and black scarf. The closest equivalent to that among RCs might be conservative Novus Ordo especially the now-waning charismatic movement: theologically conservative but not very liturgical. Modernists are Broad Churchmen, the difference again being Anglicans often have better liturgical sense (they don't hate nice things in church like liberal RCs do) although as has been mentioned 'your mileage may vary' locally (Episcopalians can be old hippie flakes).

I'd read that a draft of the new Mass was done at the Vatican shortly after the council and the clergy reviewing it didn't like it at all.

It seems to me, though, that the compromise Mass was the 1965 modifications to the 1962 Missal. Which wasn't that bad.

The Novus Ordo was in practice an unconditional victory for the liberals even though many of the old practices weren't in fact banned.

(Two compromises I know of: the writers of the NO wanted to get rid of the mediæval Orate, fratres and Ecce agnus Dei verses and responses but they were kept: they're among the few congregational responses in the NO that are uniquely [Roman] Catholic.)

Of course Orthodoxy has churchmanships as well: shades of difference from ROCOR to the OCA to the Antiochians for example, or from natural, un-self-consciously traditional ethnics to scrupulously rule-following converts to rather assimilated ethnics, all of them well to the right of the Novus Ordo and the Episcopalians, thank God.
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« Reply #74 on: October 16, 2009, 05:46:10 PM »

I forgot about that brand of Orthodox churchman, Father, the New Skete-ish sort-of liberals. (The kind who go to ecumenical conferences and tell the old liberal RCs how marvellous Vatican II was for being so Eastern.) Probably because there aren't that many of them and they definitely aren't in power. Still something to beware. Somewhere in the US is a Greek parish church that's 'Jetsons' ultra-modern with hardly any iconostasis yet even there the altar is far more traditional than a lot of Western places.
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« Reply #75 on: October 18, 2009, 12:00:17 AM »

I forgot about that brand of Orthodox churchman, Father, the New Skete-ish sort-of liberals. (The kind who go to ecumenical conferences and tell the old liberal RCs how marvellous Vatican II was for being so Eastern.) Probably because there aren't that many of them and they definitely aren't in power. Still something to beware. Somewhere in the US is a Greek parish church that's 'Jetsons' ultra-modern with hardly any iconostasis yet even there the altar is far more traditional than a lot of Western places.

Is it only a manner of time? Perhaps. This is what fear the most in leaving the Roman Church is waking up years from now to find it wasn't simply the failure of the Western Churches but the length of exposure to that corrosive anti-sacral secular western mindset.  Cry
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« Reply #76 on: October 20, 2009, 03:12:24 PM »

Just thought I would let you all know that I'm attending Latin Mass regularly, and WOW!!! What a difference. I just can't wait to see how His Holiness' reforms affect the Liturgy over the next few years.
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« Reply #77 on: October 21, 2009, 01:22:52 AM »

Sincerely, the best architect and artist for a religious faith is the one that shares 100% of that faith. Jews just couldn't understand Christian art, and they would make a synagogue of any church they want to build. Synagogues are completely empty of any sacred picture, so we'll have only void walls. It is a problem of their religion that they just can't portray characters from the Bible... and how could they portay Jesus himself, whom they consider an impostor, with a symbology which acknowledges him as God himself? The same for Muslims, who use to decorate their mosques with floreal motifs but are forbidden to represent living creatures (I mean animals, humans, angels and of course God himself).
The same is valid for the contrary: we are so used to Christian art (and I'm referring only to non-iconoclastic Christians of course) that an artist building a synagogue would fail to understand the absence of pictures in it. The temple is a place *taken apart* (from the Greek "temno" which means to cut off, to separate) for the divinity, and as lubeltri, Papist and I already have said, temple building is like iconography... it is a sacred art.
I think the only ones who would benefit an artistic work from a Jewish architect might be a iconoclastic Protestant church, but still I don't see how that could work. Which doesn't mean that Jewish architects aren't good artists, but just that they make wonderful synagogues, but they couldn't make a good church (this is my opinion of course). The fact that a temple is as sacred as an icon appears clearly by the fact that the church must be consecrated by a bishop, like an icon, to the matter with grace, otherwise it's just a building, exactly like icons are beautiful but useless pictures until their blessed. The work of the artist - be he iconographer or architect - should be to prepare not a piece of art, but a religious place or object... and the Church has the task to overlook the genuinity and validity of that temple or picture to become holy... which is something the Pentateuch clearly tries to transmit with all those concerns with purity, perfection and holiness.

In Christ,   Alex

I think you are being extremely unfair.  A couple of examples.  FIrst, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem built by the Umayyad Caliphs based in Damascus modeled the mosque perfectly along Byzantine church aesthetic designs.  Granted, it was not built as a Christian place of worship (It was  built to give the Byzantine Emperor the finger in a way), but they had the ethos.  Here is a more modern and local example.  A jew built a synagogue modeled after Hagia Sophia in Constantinople with the minarets placed there by the Turjks.  This synagogue was bought by the Greek Orthodox faithful and still serves as their temple to this day.  Yes, the icons were added later, but though the faith of the architect may come into question, it shouldn't necessarily be a "break the deal" situation.



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« Reply #78 on: October 23, 2009, 12:20:19 PM »

Some posters have already commented to the effect that a somewhat reformed Novus Ordo is the desirable thing to work towards, and I agree.  I do agree that there was some throwing of the baby out with the bath water with the Vatican II reforms.  There are traditional elements that should be brought back.  For example: the priest facing the altar most of the time, more use of incense, chanting instead of reciting ("high-massy" qualities, if you will), and traditional chant.  A new English language translation is slated to be introduced into much of the English-speaking world next year.  I think this will be a great improvement on the paraphrase that is used today.  Otherwise, the prayers used in the new mass are not untraditional.  In fact, they may well be in essence far more traditional than those employed in the so-called Tridentine rite.  (I am not saying that I really like or see no problems with good Western liturgy, but I am of the opinion that the Orthodox have to meet Westerners halfway on this.  But this is a subject for another thread, perhaps one dealing with the Western rite in Orthodoxy.)

My criticisms of the Tridentine mass early in this thread have basically been ignored by a good many posting here.  So be it.  The fact remains that in spite of the way this mass can be served with great beauty, it is profoundly clerically elitist.  Tell me why it is such a great thing that the entire canon of the mass is whispered quietly by the priest and a deacon or acolyte, along with many other important parts of the liturgy.  The only way that laity have any clue about what is going on is by watching some of  the movements of the clergy or by listening to bells ringing.  No wonder that in the past it was so common to have laypeople attend mass and simply ignore the proceedings and do their own private devotions like the rosary, since they were also ignored!  (I should add that providing a translation is not the same thing as providing the possibility to participate in one's own tongue.)

Those who say that Latin chant should not be sung in the vernacular are either missing the entire point of liturgy (the common work of the people of God...hello?) or are simply elitists who don't care about whether or not the great unwashed masses can actually go to church and pray with understanding.

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« Reply #79 on: October 23, 2009, 01:09:17 PM »

I forgot about that brand of Orthodox churchman, Father, the New Skete-ish sort-of liberals. (The kind who go to ecumenical conferences and tell the old liberal RCs how marvellous Vatican II was for being so Eastern.) Probably because there aren't that many of them and they definitely aren't in power. Still something to beware. Somewhere in the US is a Greek parish church that's 'Jetsons' ultra-modern with hardly any iconostasis yet even there the altar is far more traditional than a lot of Western places.

To say that everything was bad about Vatican II, and nothing good at all, is to not to have seriously considered all of the evidence.  Yes, many abuses have happened in the Catholic Church because of a direct result of the council.  Yes, the very idea of an aggiornamento is in some ways heretical and anti-traditional.  But some things that were positive or perhaps neutral also came about as a result of Vatican II.  Latin ecclesiology has stepped closer to the Eastern view of the Church; probably as much as it can, given the current power structure.  Granted, the "anything goes" kind of nonsense that has come about as a result of the council has been  very damaging to the Catholic Church and for its relations with Orthodoxy.  But tell me: can you honestly say that the pre-1960's Catholic ethos was better with its almost fascist view of clerical authority?  Where people did what the priest told them to do "or else", with no explanation furnished?  Thousands of disaffected Catholics will tell you that this is not preferrable.  Things seem to me to be so very polarised in the Catholic Church in many ways: one is either "conservative" or "liberal" or a "traditionalist", and ne'er shall any of these camps meet.  ISTM that the Latin Church needs to find a gracious orthodoxy which is traditional and humane at the same time.  It needs to come to understand the concept of economia while rejecting the very idea that one has to accomodate worldly ideals and principles.  Indeed, I believe that this is something that all Christians need to strive for.
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« Reply #80 on: October 23, 2009, 01:34:19 PM »

Bob,

Are you equally outraged by all of the silent prayers in the Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom or St. Basil the Great?

There are parts of the mass that are reserved for clerics and not for the laity.  Common work does not mean that we are all doing exactly the same thing at exactly the same thing.  The insinuation that the clergy is somehow concealing things from the people is ridiculous.

I guess I'm an elitist as I do favor Greek (or Arabic) for Byzantine chant.  That chanting style is metrically geared towards those languages and not towards English.  Same thing with Gregorian plainsong.  It's best suited to Latin and not to English.  Besides, I don't think it's very difficult to pick up a little Latin for the ordinaries of the Mass.  I knew it by heart when I was 15 and I had never taken Latin before nor was I even Roman Catholic.  Similarly, I don't think it would be an issue if people knew some characteristic phrases of Greek and Latin beyond just "Lord, have mercy."  This is an aesthetics issue.  It can be corrected with the use of polyphony and other 4 part singing instead where English can be freely used. 
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« Reply #81 on: October 23, 2009, 02:27:23 PM »

Bob,

Are you equally outraged by all of the silent prayers in the Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom or St. Basil the Great?


While not directed towards me, I shall answer!  I am disturbed by the increasing number of prayers that are read aloud in the two aforementioned Divine Liturgies.  Not only does it chop up the flow or the prescribed liturgy it also takes away from the service as being a work of the people.  While we're praying To thee oh lord, the priest is praying silently for us, together we are praying as one.  He sings the concluding prayer as to sum up the two prayers that were going on.  What's next? Sing an antiphon and stop and have the priest recite the prayer of the antiphon aloud before the Little Litany?
My LEAST favourite is the Deacon's proclamation of Amens at the Epiclesis by the people.  The Epiclesis is to be said silently while the people sing "We Praise Thee, Tebe Pojem."

And actually I was thinking about the current Roman Missal yesterday for some reason.  There aren't any silent prayers except a few sentences during the communion rite...  if I remember correctly the minister picks up the chalice, recites a quiet prayer then does the same with the paten.  That's it! Oh except I think if the minister blesses the deacon to read the Gospel. 
The silent prayers being said while the faithful are praying their appointed prayers equates into a work of the people... after all isn't that what Liturgy is about Wink?
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« Reply #82 on: October 23, 2009, 02:43:08 PM »

I completely agree. A lot of this is "active" participation run amok.
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« Reply #83 on: October 23, 2009, 04:06:58 PM »

[I am disturbed by the increasing number of prayers that are read aloud in the two aforementioned Divine Liturgies.  Not only does it chop up the flow or the prescribed liturgy it also takes away from the service as being a work of the people.  While we're praying To thee oh lord, the priest is praying silently for us, together we are praying as one.  He sings the concluding prayer as to sum up the two prayers that were going on.  What's next? Sing an antiphon and stop and have the priest recite the prayer of the antiphon aloud before the Little Litany?
My LEAST favourite is the Deacon's proclamation of Amens at the Epiclesis by the people.  The Epiclesis is to be said silently while the people sing "We Praise Thee, Tebe Pojem."

EXACTLY!  I knew you and I could agree on something username!  You're back on my Christmas Card list.  It's this democratization, if not straight up Protestantization of the Liturgy, that makes me want to walk out while people are doing the Deacon's part! 
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« Reply #84 on: October 23, 2009, 04:44:25 PM »

I completely agree. A lot of this is "active" participation run amok.

Wow! We actually agree on something!  I got Orthodoc and Deacon Lance to agree on another thread.
And me and scamandrius are in agreement on this! I'm feeling all nobel peace prize like Smiley
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« Reply #85 on: October 23, 2009, 07:04:31 PM »

Are you equally outraged by all of the silent prayers in the Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom or St. Basil the Great?

Somehow, I knew that this would come up.  There is no comparison at all to the Tridentine canon of the mass and the anaphora of the two Byzantine liturgies when it comes to what is read silently by the priest.  In the worst cases in Byzantine practice, large parts of the anaphora are chanted and sung audibly, with the priest's prayers (unfortunately) recited inaudibly.  In the Tridentine rite the entire anaphora is recited silently, with no participation of the people, without exception!  If you want to suggest that this is what should be done in Eastern churches, then we can end the discussion now. 

Quote
There are parts of the mass that are reserved for clerics and not for the laity.

Are you suggesting that the entire anaphora is the property of the clergy only?  Beyond the prayer of the Cherubic Hymn and a few others that are clearly prayers specifically for the priest or deacon, which prayers in the Byzantine liturgy would you say are "only for clergy"? 

Quote
  Common work does not mean that we are all doing exactly the same thing at exactly the same thing. 

Who said that we should all be doing exactly the same thing?  What is not in doubt is that we should all be concentrating on the same thing, and that is the offering of the gifts.  If someone is standing there saying the rosary to themselves while the anaphora is in progress, then this is wrong.  Period. 

Quote
The insinuation that the clergy is somehow concealing things from the people is ridiculous.

It is painfully obvious that this has indeed been the case in the Western Church and arguably so in the Eastern Church at various places and times, to anyone who has the smallest knowledge of Church history.

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« Reply #86 on: October 23, 2009, 07:20:56 PM »

Pravoslavbob is right and I did want to address that difference.
In the Liturgies of Sts Basil and John the faithful are singing prayers WHILE the priest is reciting his silently.
In the 1962 and prior Roman Catholic Missals (aka tridentine masses) the faithful didn't participate at all, except by being there.  Sure if it is a sung low mass or high mass the choir sings but it doesn't mesh with what the priest is doing.  Like when they sing the Gloria the priest has ALREADY recited the gloria!!  But when the priest in a St. John liturgy is reciting say, prayer of the first antiphon.. indeed the faithful are singing the first antiphon.
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« Reply #87 on: October 23, 2009, 08:20:38 PM »

I am disturbed by the increasing number of prayers that are read aloud in the two aforementioned Divine Liturgies. 

That's too bad, because historically, this was what was insisted on.  The emperor decreed that all prayers of the liturgy should be chanted aubibly, but over time this was forgotten or deliberately ignored and these prayers eventually became "private" prayers of the priest.

Quote
Not only does it chop up the flow or the prescribed liturgy it also takes away from the service as being a work of the people.  While we're praying To thee oh lord, the priest is praying silently for us, together we are praying as one.  He sings the concluding prayer as to sum up the two prayers that were going on.

This is a nice idea, but it is not the opinion held by liturgical scholars.  If we truly adhere to the lex orandi, lex credendi school of thought surrounding the nature of liturgy, why would we insist that some prayers are just for a few members of the Church?  If the liturgy is truly the greatest teaching tool that the Church has to show what She is all about, why are we depriving the laity of the "meat and potatoes" of this teaching?

Quote
What's next? Sing an antiphon and stop and have the priest recite the prayer of the antiphon aloud before the Little Litany?

I have seen something like this done, and it seems to me to work quite well.  The deacon intones "let us pray to the Lord!", the people/choir respond with "Lord, have mercy" and the priest chants the entire prayer.  I have heard it said that the little litanies at the beginning of the liturgy are degenerate (and added to cover up the fact that illiterate priests could not read the prayers of the antiphons), and I would tend to agree.  What possible purpose do they serve except for filling up space?  I am not dead against them, or anything.  I think it is fine to have them there, but at least end with the prayer of the antiphon said aloud, since this is the important thing.  

Quote
My LEAST favourite is the Deacon's proclamation of Amens at the Epiclesis by the people.  The Epiclesis is to be said silently while the people sing "We Praise Thee, Tebe Pojem."

I don't mean to be presumptuous, but maybe you believe that this is the case because this is what you have always seen done from the time that you were a boy, or for other reasons that you have not disclosed.  And they may well teach at some seminaries that this is how it "should" be done, but I maintain the ancient view that this is an abuse and an innovation.


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« Reply #88 on: October 23, 2009, 08:35:23 PM »

In the Liturgies of Sts Basil and John the faithful are singing prayers WHILE the priest is reciting his silently.
In the 1962 and prior Roman Catholic Missals (aka tridentine masses) the faithful didn't participate at all, except by being there.  Sure if it is a sung low mass or high mass the choir sings but it doesn't mesh with what the priest is doing.  Like when they sing the Gloria the priest has ALREADY recited the gloria!! 

Yes, you make a very important point, Username!, in expanding on the nature of the Tridentine rite.
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