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Author Topic: Sacrament of Ordination to the Holy Diaconate  (Read 6605 times) Average Rating: 0
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Vicki
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« on: December 28, 2003, 04:14:24 PM »

My friend Nikolaos was ordained to the diaconate today in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Lynn, MA, by his Eminence, Metropolitan  METHODIOS. I thought I would post a description of the ordination service for those who had never seen one.  I ask prayers for Deacon Nikolaos, his wife Linda, and their three children. AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS!!!


At the end of the Orthros Service (Matins) Nikolaos was led over and presented to the Metropolitan. At this point he was vested in a plain white dalmatic.  He receives the blessing and prayer from the Metropolitan, who then ordained him as a sub-deacon.  The new sub-deacon was given a white towel, an ewer, and a basin of water; he washed the Metropolitan's hands and then the towel was draped over his head and he was lead to stand in prayer in front of the icon of Christ at the iconostasion.  The Divine Liturgy then began.

During this time Sub-Deacon Nikolaos was reciting secretly the Trisagion prayers three times, the Creed, the prayer, "Pardon, remit, forgive, O God, our transgressions, both voluntary and involuntary, whether of word or deed, known or unknown, whether of the day or night, of mind or by mention, forasmuch as Thou art good and lovest mankind," and various other prayers and spontaneous prayers.

The Liturgy Countinued until at the end of the Cherubic Hymn Sub-Deacon Nikolaos was led before the Royal Doors and presented to the Metropolitan who washed his hands, wet his eys, ears, nostrils and lips.  His head was then covered with the towel again and he was led to stand before the iconostasion again, this time in front of the icon of the Theotokos.

After the "Axion Estin" of the Divine Liturgy and the blessing "May the Mercies of the Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you all", Sub-Deacon Nikolaos was brought before the Royal Doors with all the clergy lind up on either side.  He bowed, and the clergy called "Kelevson" (call forth, command) "Kelevasate" "Kelevson" Despota, To nin prosferomeno soi"  Sub-Deacon Nikolaos stood facing the Metropolitan and the altar and read his Statement of Intent in both Greek and English.  The Metropolitan Received him throught the Royal Doors, then sat in front of the Holy Table, on the right side. Sub-Deaon Nikolaos was led around the Holy Table by the other clergy three times, each time kissing the four corners of the altar, the Metropolitan's epigonation and hand.  While this was done, 3 hymns were sung:

" O Holy Martyrs, who fought the good fight and have received your crowns; entreat ye the Lord that our souls may be saved."
                       (then)
"Glory to thee, O Christ-God, the Apostle's boast, the Martyr's joy, whose preaching was the consubstantial Trinity."
                      (then)
"Rejoice, O Isaiah! A virgin is with child, an d shall bear a Son, Emmanuel, both God and man; and Orient is his name; whom magnifying we call the Virgin blessed."

The Metropollitan then had Sub-Deacon Nikolaos kneel in front of the Holy Table on the right side of the Metropolitan, and only on the Sub-Deacon's RIGHT KNEE, saying, "O Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner." (The Jesus Prayer). His palms were then placed on the Holy Table in the form of a cross and he placed his brow upon his hands.  The Metropolitan placed his hand and stole upon Sub-Deacon Nikolaos's head, the congregation knelt, and the Metropolitan proclaimed:
      "The Grace Divine, which always heals that which is infirm, and completes that which is wanting, elevates throught the laying-on-of-hands, Nikolaos, the most devout sub-deacon, to be a deacon; Wherefore, let us pray for him, that the grace of the all-holy Spirit may come upon him."

 "Kyrie Eleison" was then chanted continously while the Metropolitan prayed secretly and the priests offered petitions.  Then Metropolitan METHODIOS proclaimed: "For Thou art our God, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages."

Fr. Deacon Nikolaos was then presented to the faithful with the proclamation of: AXIOS! (He is worthy!) He was then vested by the Metropolitan. With each piece of vestment (sticharion, orarion, and cuffs) the AXION was proclaimed by the Metropolitan and echoed by the faithful, and then chanted joyfullly by all!

The Divine Liturgy then continued to its conclusion, with the new Fr. Deacon Nikolaos having the honor of being able to call the faithful to draw near to receive the Body and Blood of Christ when the time came for the Eucharist...an honor I am certain he was overwhelmed to be given!  AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS!

Please keep him and his family in your prayers!




« Last Edit: December 29, 2003, 01:36:36 AM by Vicki » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2003, 04:27:02 PM »

Good stuff. Keep going Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2003, 04:49:13 PM »

Vicki - it's a very clear description - most helpful.

next installment ASAP please Wink

grrrh - why can't I proofread ?
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2003, 11:04:16 AM »

Well of course I am only a subdeacon and therefore the prayers for making a subdeacon are subsumed in your description to the section:

Quote
At the end of the Orthros Service (Matins) Nikolaos was led over and presented to the Metropolitan. At this point he was vested in a plain white dalmatic.  He receives the blessing and prayer from the Metropolitan, who then ordained him as a sub-deacon.

This is pretty much as simple as it is in the Coptic Orthodox praxis. Of course a subdeacon is not ordained in the sense that even a Deacon is. He is to assist the Deacon in his service. But prayers are said over the candidate and he is vested appropriately.

I don't have the text to hand but it is an interesting comparison of the rites for subdeacon/deacon/priest/bishop to understand the variety of ministries.

Mine, as subdeacon, included keeping heretics out of the Church.

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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2003, 11:23:15 AM »

I'm fortunate to have found a home in the COP. Her monasteries are filled with intelligent educated men and women who have truly given up much for a greater treasure. And many of the lay folk I know are extremely devout and intelligent. We had a vist from the mother of an ethnically Coptic woman who worships with us because our services are all in English. I was rather expecting a devout but simple Egyptian woman but in fact her mother was as impressively intelligent as her daughter and had a very firm grasp of Orthodoxy and church matters.

It doesn't need taking back Smiley

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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2003, 11:37:34 AM »

He was a German and no King of mine. The blood line of King Harold Godwinson, the last true and Orthodox king of England has now been restored to the English royal family however, legitimising Queen Elizabeth. Now if we can get her husband to openly confess Orthodoxy, and if we can get Prince Charles to convert then I'll be happy.

Actually one of the BOC churches is rented from Her Majesty the Queen at a peppercorn rent and is on the edge of the Sandringham estate. Prince Charles walked over with the King of Rumania to show him the building earlier on in the year. We will have to keep trying to get him to come to a liturgy when our bishop is there to welcome him.

The more I think of it the more it is obvious that the army of the dead is meant to represent the disloyal US, waiting for long centuries to be able to redeem the dishonour of their treachery. Tongue
 
PT
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2003, 12:27:07 PM »

He was a German and no King of mine. The blood line of King Harold Godwinson, the last true and Orthodox king of England has now been restored to the English royal family however, legitimising Queen Elizabeth.

A fantasy Orthodoxy, dwelling in a fantasy world. Too many places (and way too many of them Orthodox) dwell in these fantasies of the past. Oh, the glories of Moscow and Kiev! The shining star of Serbia! And yet Russia itself is literally dying out through sin and despair, and Serbia's murderous assaults on its neighbors are well-recorded.

The Anglican medievalists were, in a sense, deluding themselves too. And yet they arose and built churches and other buildings and institutions which gave their fantasies of nobility and faith a noble and faithful existence. The Orthodox Harold epitomizes the "Orthodoxy" of Lost Caues, which is one with the Jacobites and Confederates and White Russians, a song of loss and sadness which continues though the very gravestones themselves are blank with age.

Isn't it time to do something with the present?
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2003, 12:46:58 PM »

I don't see your problem. This land is my land. I am English. I am British. The Church before the Conquest was Orthodox, not is some fantasy world but in reality. I am doing an M.A. in Celtic Christianity and this constantly surprises with connections between the faith and praxis of East and West.

It seems to me to be surpremely important. The Orthodox Catholic faith is not alien to these islands at all. The saints of these islands did not confess a faith that has simply vanished into the sands with the ebbing tide. It is a faith that still lives, and their names are once more pronounced with honour and veneration.

Your attitude is that of Denethor. Smiley Last of the stewards after how many centuries. Able to live without the rag tag relics of Kings wandering in the wastelands. But this is the age of the Return of the King. Anglicanism is not historic English Christianity. Indeed had St Augustine been around to object to the establishment of the Anglican Church he would likely have found himself hung, drawn and quartered on the gates of Canterbury Cathedral.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

These sentiments could be attacked with the same criticism you level against Orthodox mission in the West. But they do express some of the feelings that those of us who are Orthodox, and especially those of us who live in the ancient lands such as Britain do really have.

Anglicanism is not Orthodoxy. Nor was the Protestant Revolution a return to Orthodoxy. The Norman Conquest had already placed the English Church under an un-Orthodox yoke. This is fact. We have already asked why communion in two kinds and baptism by immersion fell into disuse only in the West in the lands under Frankish papal rule.

Harold was an Orthodox king. His family married into Orthodox kingdoms. Many of the English nobility left Norman England and served in Orthodox Constantinople, where at the time of the first Crusade English Orthodox swords defended the city against the Norman terror.

This is history.

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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2003, 12:48:08 PM »

Actually I thought there is no historical information on Arthurian legends, most say he was most likely a pre-Anglo-saxon chieftain, but little to no actual historical information.

Most of the traditional literary sources (Geffrey of Monmouth, Maistre Wace, Chretien de Troyes, Robert le Boron, and Sir Thomas Mallory) were never intended as historical documentation, but as fiction.  

Here are a few good webpages on the subject:

http://www.caerleon.net/history/arthur/
http://www.britannia.com/history/h12.html
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/4186/Arthur/htmlpages/kingarthur.html
http://www.legends.dm.net/kingarthur/history.html
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2003, 12:54:37 PM »

Well I didn't mention Arthur, but you are right, there is little enough information. He wasn't exactly pre-AS since he is renowned for having fought the AS to a standstill.

He might have been Ambrosius Aurelianus, or a commander of the British army. The Celtic hagiography doesn't present him entirely as a goody-goody. Much more rough around the edges.

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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2003, 12:56:02 PM »

MEMO NOTE: WHO SAW THE TRAVESTY TRAILER FOR THE MOVIE ON KING ARTHUR??? being given 2 thumbs down by me already for historical inaccuracy.


I just saw it myself.  What historical inaccuracies are you referring to?  I'm curious, as a bit of an Arthurian myself.
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2003, 01:13:50 PM »

Oh...the costumes....the armor....
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2003, 01:19:27 PM »

Quote
As to you, Keble...feeling repressed?

Maybe his condition is caused by the realization the sole reason for the founding of his "church" was the sexual desires of a king...
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2003, 01:34:02 PM »

I'll start w/ the longbows, the young lady fighting with them, (yes, SOME tribes did that, but she wouldn't have been the only one, don't get me going on that), the structure of the buildings...


I've had discussions with Dr. Kelly Devries, one of the world's foremost experts on ancient and medieval weaponry, about this very subject (albeit not in relation to this film).  From what I saw, the "longbows" in question are not longbows at all, but really "short bows" that just happen to be a little long.  Such bows were used from the early 4th century until about 8th century in Western Europe and in the British Isles, where the Welsh took it and made it longer and more sleek, creating the famed "English longbow" that the Continentals feared so much.

As far as the armor and the buildings, it didn't look that off.  It seems that the Arthur being portrayed here is the Roman Briton-type, fighting an almost reactionary war as the Emperor recalled the troops to Rome to fight the barbarian hordes at the gates, so to speak.  This tyep of Arthur was not a Celt (except by blood) but a citizen of Rome and damn proud of it.  His story is one of preservation of the Roman way of life against pagan Anglo-Saxon invaders.  The armor and buildings show do indeed have a Romanesque look to them, which would fit in with the presumed plot of the film.

AT least they're not wearing full plate like in Excalibur (which is still one of my favorite films regardless of "historical" inaccuracies).
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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2003, 01:36:40 PM »

Off-topic(but then again most of this discussion is), I love the scene in Excalibur where Arthur regains his strength and leads the knights through the blooming apple orchard with O Fortuna playing...great moment.
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« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2003, 01:48:58 PM »

Quote
As to you, Keble...feeling repressed?

Maybe his condition is caused by the realization the sole reason for the founding of his "church" was the sexual desires of a king...

Nectarios, you're channelling a modern sentiment.
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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2003, 02:02:19 PM »

Quote
A fantasy Orthodoxy, dwelling in a fantasy world. Too many places (and way too many of them Orthodox) dwell in these fantasies of the past. Oh, the glories of Moscow and Kiev! The shining star of Serbia! And yet Russia itself is literally dying out through sin and despair, and Serbia's murderous assaults on its neighbors are well-recorded.

Hear, hear.

Quote
Isn't it time to do something with the present?

Yes, but I think most of us including you agree that the Novus Ordo RC way and Griswoldian Anglicanism, both of which are claimed to be the way to do just that, aren't the ways to do it.
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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2003, 02:06:51 PM »

I don't see your problem. This land is my land. I am English. I am British. The Church before the Conquest was Orthodox, not is some fantasy world but in reality. I am doing an M.A. in Celtic Christianity and this constantly surprises with connections between the faith and praxis of East and West.

Well, yes-- but isn't that just as likely to be a reflection of the fact that both are CHRISTIAN??

Quote
It seems to me to be surpremely important. The Orthodox Catholic faith is not alien to these islands at all.

But the Eastern Orthodox faith most assuredly is alien, it is that tradition which has arrived to "restore" the faith. This is the inevitable problem that comes up: there is no faith to restore, because it was always there, however defective. It is this preexisting faith which called Orthodoxy in and which made a place for it when (for instance) the communists drove it out.

The faith of England does not lead from Constantinople nor from Moscow nor from Mt. Athos. It leads from Rome.

Quote
Your attitude is that of Denethor. Smiley

You'ld better smile when you say that.

How much history are you willing to deny? It is but 500 years from Hastings to Henry, and yet another 500 years to the present. Half of this history is Anglican, is it not? How historical is it to deny most of the history of England?

Orthodoxy, now, is Eastern. England has never been Eastern; it has been Celtic and Latin (and in Harold's day it most certainly was Latin), but it has never been Eastern.

At any rate, you completely ignored the central point. Fundamentally it does not matter whether Harold was or was not Orthodox. What matters is what you do with yourself now. Laying claim to England's past is useless unless you do something with England's present.
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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2003, 02:14:43 PM »

Keble it is spelled Nektarios.


This is something niether you nor your ecumenist comrades will ever understand, that there is one Church of Christ.  If that is true then All lands even in the West were Orthodox before the Schism.  Orthodox does not equal Eastern.  If that is not true then there was no undivided Church, thus Christ himself was liar.  I know the later isn't true, so who is it that lives in fantasy land?
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« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2003, 02:15:47 PM »

Keble: a shout-out from the amen corner here.

To hear the tune, read the words and read more about 'Jerusalem', check this out.
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« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2003, 02:21:13 PM »

What word is better to describe those who absolutly don't believe a Church of Christ exists?
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« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2003, 02:36:53 PM »

++ +Ü-à -ü+¦++-é

I agree that you are partially correct. Keble and others and the board please forgive me.

BUT I don't think it is right to have such blatant misinformation about Orthodoxy stand uncontested  on an Orthodox message board.
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« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2003, 02:38:01 PM »

Keble it is spelled Nektarios.

My apology.

Quote
This is something niether you nor your ecumenist comrades will ever understand, that there is one Church of Christ.  If that is true then All lands even in the West were Orthodox before the Schism.

But since Harold was king in a Latin land after the schism, how was he then Orthodox?

The ULTIMATE ecumenist assertion is that the Church IS One, and that no amount of schism-loving Orthodoxy or heresy-hating Catholicism can break this. It is these ecumenists who would not only claim to understand what you're saying, but then turn around and condemn you for reducing this unity to a mere political unity.

This is quite beside the point. What isn't is that trying to make a distinction between the "Orthodox" Harold and the "heretical" William is nothing but a modern invention. As far as church fealty is concerned, both were pledged to Rome, and as far as individual piety is concerned, we have next to no record in either case. Why does it matter? Well, it seems to matter in this case because the legend of Orthodox Saxon England fighting off Heretic Invaders is a powerful legend. But its power may be used for good or ill, and Orthodoxy in the past has largely used similar legends for ill.
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« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2003, 02:48:22 PM »

I'm not Eastern Orthodox, I'm not even Oriental Orthodox, save for convenience in discussions. I am Orthodox. I am Western Orthodox. British Orthodox in fact. I live in Britain, was born in Britain, love Britain and her pre-Conquest heritage dearly.

I do see the rest of English history as varying in interest but generally as a punishment. Especially the post-Protestant Revolution. It is no wonder that we are experimenting on embryos, have the most teenage pregnancies and divorces since we have thrown the relics of our saints onto rubbish heaps, turned our monasteries into all manner of commercial buildings, and destroyed places of worship wholesale. How can this not have demonic consequences.

I do not live in the past. But I am connected with the past of this land where I live and breath. A few miles away I can visit an ancient Roman villa which turned part of its complex into a christian centre. In another direction I can find a Roman baptistery which would have been known by St Augustine who established a church at the same place. I can sit at the side of the place where my patron St Theodore is buried. I can see the marks in the ancient concrete where the coffins of St Paulinus and other sainted bishops were laid.

I am surrounded by places made holy by the presence of holy and Orthodox men and women.

So I am committed to evangelism. I am committed to helping as many people appreciate as far as possible how their ancient forbears lived and prayed and worshipped. Every day I wonder what more I can do.

I am not Eastern. Except for the sense that Our Lord chose to become incarnate as an Israelite, and many of the great fathers were all from Alexandria, Antioch and Constantinople. I produce a Western kalendar of feast each year for the BOC. I organise pilgrimages to British places of pilgrimage. I am producing a book of daily prayers from the British Orthodox tradition. I am interested in using a Western rite when appropriate. I am trying to learn plainchant and Latin.

I am Orthodox.

That's why the COP has also constituted a French Coptic Orthodox Church for French people seeking Orthodoxy, with French bishops and priests, serving in French, venerating French saints. And it is working on missions in Mexico, in Sub-Saharan Africa, even in the USA and Canada, So that people can receive Orthodoxy in their own ethnicity without becoming Egyptian.

Orthodoxy belongs to the whole world. It is the Catholic faith. It was the faith of the pre-Conquest church in its own ethnicity and with its own cultural emphases.

PT
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« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2003, 02:54:20 PM »

William's relationship with the Frankish controlled papacy was completely different to that of England and Harold. It was the Pope who urged William to invade and gave his support to it. England sat very much more loosely to any papal authority. In the time of St Theodore there were many papal commands sent to England. None of them were obeyed. Yet the Pope was still honoured.

The first action of William was to kill and imprison all the English bishops. It was a different church altogether that entered the post-Conquest period.

And the great schism? Well I don't believe it happened in 1054 so that date is irrelevant. What matters is the faith of a folk. Why did the English nobility sail to Hungary and Constantinople if they looked Romeward so much?

PT
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« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2003, 03:13:01 PM »

My last post in this thread before I withdraw....

I see the point you make Keble that if political unity is only what is being striven for and not the mystical unity of the Church it is a most preverse kind of ecumenism.  But this kind of mystical unity over the outward unity has always been the case in Orthodoxy, especially with all the "schisms" within the Russian Church by an underlying spiritual unity.  Same with autocephaly debates and such that caused schisms and the like in past centuries.  Along the same lines that is why I have no problem venerating a Saint who is Orthodox in belief and praxis no matter what land they come from.  And even if you don't entire concept of "Orthodox England/ Gaul / Ireland etc" at least appreciate that the work done to research these saints has brought Saints that had fallen into obscurity even in the West into greater light and in the end glorifing Christ.
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« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2003, 04:07:24 PM »

++ +Ü-à -ü+¦++-é

I agree that you are partially correct. Keble and others and the board please forgive me.

BUT I don't think it is right to have such blatant misinformation about Orthodoxy stand uncontested  on an Orthodox message board.  

Correct with humility, then, pethaki.

 Roll Eyes Who died and made you the resident +¦+¦+¦+¦+¼
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« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2003, 04:11:37 PM »

Spell yiayia correctly.

http://www.kypros.org/cgi-bin/lexicon

+ñ++ +++¦+++¦+¦-î +¦-ü+«+¦+¦ 1 +++¡++++.
The dictionary found 1 word.
 
grandmother =  +¦+¦+¦+¦+¼ , gigia
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« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2003, 04:12:47 PM »

What is a bastooni?  Non-hellenic minds want to know... Smiley
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« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2003, 05:49:08 PM »

OOooh is  the relationship of Cypriot Greek compared with Greek Greek like that of Northern Portugese to Portugese ?

In Northern Portugese vowels can be ommitted -- even more so when they are the initial letter of the word - most confusing :cwm29:
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« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2003, 11:49:39 PM »

I am surrounded by places made holy by the presence of holy and Orthodox men and women.

It would be more to the point to refer to them as Christian men and women.

Quote
So I am committed to evangelism. I am committed to helping as many people appreciate as far as possible how their ancient forbears lived and prayed and worshipped. Every day I wonder what more I can do.

Well, you seem to say that there are Methodists in your ancestry, and their forebearers worshipped in Anglican churches, I would guess, and their forebearers were medieval Catholics, and after that things get obscure. So you get two choices: you can try to deny or go around some of your true ancestry, or you can try to reform the present. But this reform itself is contaminated by this very "UnOrthodox" ancestry, so how can it really be accomplished?

If I recall correctly, you came to Orthodoxy because you were already faithful. And thus you are trying to invent a new past for yourself, a new heritage to graft in place the the real heritage you have cut off. Only it doesn't really work that way. You are a modern man, and the real route to your heritage crosses the very territory you revile. It seems to me that this is where your faith lies, and that the real Orthodox Church, which is of the East, comes in only to legitimize this faith. But then, how is this faith truly Orthodox?

I just don't see it working. You cannot be a pre-Conquest Christian because you are very, very post-Conquest, and your real connection to whatever Orthodoxy they had is split from the same root a dozen centuries ago, centuries before the conquest. It just doesn't come together, at least not to my eye.
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« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2003, 06:47:12 AM »

Keble, Orthodoxy is supra-time and place. It does not require a direct continuity in one place to be the same Church then as now. The fact that I am Orthodox, and that my patron St Theodore was Orthodox means that we are the same Church.

Anglicans I have met claim an historic continuity with the past, but that doesn't stack up. It is not possible to be in continuity with a Church whose doctrines and practices are rejected and even penalised.

I may not have that historic continuity of use of buildings and titles, but I do have the spiritual continuity which is more important.

St Augustine would have been martyred in England for rejecting the supremacy of the Pope. He cannot then be claimed as the forbear of Anglicanism.
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« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2003, 09:28:04 AM »

Keble...am I reading this right? or am I confused...you re arguing that because Sub-Deacon Peter is a convert, he cannot feel Orthodox? In a true sense?

It's not that he is a convert; it's how he is a convert (at least if I understand his history correctly).

The issue is (as it all too often is in any online discussion of orthodoxy) that he was a Christian before he was an Orthodox Christian, and that indeed he is Orthodox because he was Christian first.
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« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2003, 10:36:35 AM »

Keble, Orthodoxy is supra-time and place. It does not require a direct continuity in one place to be the same Church then as now. The fact that I am Orthodox, and that my patron St Theodore was Orthodox means that we are the same Church.

Have I not heard this before? Do I even dispute it?

You are completely missing the point, and it seems to me that this is because you are using a lot of Big Small words-- church, faith-- without really heeding their distinctions.

The unasked question now needs to be asked: why should you even bother with some other Orthodoxy besides the real, very present modern Orthodoxy? Why shouldn't you be in one of the various ex-pat churches?

The path you have chosen requires re-creating a tradition which you yourself say is broken. So how are you going to re-create it? Where are you going to recreate it from?

In Anglicanism the historic continuity with the past is plainly there for all to see.  Not because there are not "breaks", but because these "breaks" are crises within one continuous history. Indeed, one could interpret the Anglican crisis as the Conquest crisis come back to haunt the pope. But that is a distraction. The point is, it is all one history.

And what you are trying to do is make most of it go away. It is the English church, in both its Catholic and Anglican lines, that remembers the old Saxon church and the older Celtic church. (Well, with help from the other British churches.) The Coptic Church doesn't know any of this stuff, nor does any other historical Orthodox church.

But more importantly, you know this stuff through the mediation of the very history you are trying to be rid of. It is in the air, the fabric of the countryside, in your upbringing and in your education. Every aspect of you carries this history.

Thus, we reach the ultimate irony: that this act of reformation that you attempt is guided by the very history you are trying to undo, in dialogue with the real historic Orthodoxy. Thus we get "Avalon Meets Kosovo", and politics gets crossed with legend-making to create a religous invasion out of a political crisis. We get a pre-Raphaelite icon of Harold the Martyr: an Orthodox oxymoron if ever there was one.
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« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2003, 11:12:52 AM »

OK...Time out. No more e-cafe for you. You've joined the Anglican ROAC, haven't you? So, if Sub-Deacon Peter were Jewish, say, before he converted, that would be OK, then he could fully experience Orthodoxy, untainted, as it were, but because he was, "Christian, other", he unknowingly has "baggage" from that faith that colors his view of Orthodoxy and contaminates it so whether he knows it or not, wills it or not, it isn't historic Orthodoxy, is that what you are saying? Because there are always mental residuals learned from the other faiths?

Well, yes and no.

It is one thing to be transplanted onto the branch of another plant. Remember, I, too, am a convert. But I don't try to recover some ancient pre-Presbyterian Scots church and go around Presbyterianism. The thought doesn't even occur to me.

Also, the ways of our conversions were, by all evidence that I see, quite different. I did not theologically reject the Presbyterian church; I simply went more or less dormant. And then I was abruptly plunged into a very vigorous Anglicanism, and my spirit was reawakened and called forth into this new church. That does not seem to be the pattern for Peter, nor for very many of those who post here (TomS being an exception). There is a consistent pattern of Orthodoxy gaining converts through the theological judgements of the convert himself. This poses two perils.

The more obvious one is the ROAC-y one: the convert's judging keeps going to the point where he makes himself his own pope. We've discussed this into the ground.

It's the other that is popping up here. One church has made the convert a Christian, but, finding fault in it, he goes to another, and he goes to one which rejects utterly the value of the first church. This has a basic cognitive dissonance built into it, because the first church has created the Christian who has then condemned it. Faith really came from the first church, not the second; the second has only gathered what the first church sowed.

One way to try to resolve this dissonance is to try to purify this first church by going back into the past. But the reality is that it isn't some ancient church that made the Christian, but the very modern and offensive church.

It seems to me that the real resolution lies in getting rid of "There is no grace outside the church" and admitting that God is really doing something through all the variously defective churches. That's not a reason to stay in them or even give them real "legitimacy"; clearly one should prefer a perfected product to a crippled one. But I just cannot see a bunch of converts denying the grace that was plainly planted first through the churches they have since departed.


P.S. "Anglican ROAC" is spelled "Continuing Anglican ChurchWestern Rite".
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« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2003, 01:37:56 PM »

I'm not trying to recreate an Anglo-Saxon Christian organisation, that is the subject of study and reflection. Rather the fact that I am British and Orthodox means that I am in continuity with the pre-Conquest Orthodox Church in the British Isles.

The Anglican church has no continuity beyond Henry VIII. How can an organisation which systematically exterminated any who maintained the previous confession be said to be in continiuity with them? Why were the saints, Mary, the real presence, the priesthood, pilgrimage, monasticism and so much more all thrown away if Anglicanism is continuous with the Roman Catholic Church in Britain, let alone the pre-Conquest Orthodox Church.

The fact is it was a new thing and is only as old as the Baptist movement, and a little younger than Lutheranism.

I do not believe that the history of the Church in Britain between the 11th and 21st centuries reflects God's will. He has certainly called out brave and devout men from time to time to bear witness to the truth, but we have only to look at the Anglican Church of the 19th century who persecuted anyone who seemed to be Roman Catholic, to the 21st century when the majority of priests, according to Anglican research, do not believe in key Christian doctrines, to see that it is not in continuity with the pre-Conquest Church.

On the contrary my own little Church, and even the other more ethnic Orthodoxies in the UK, have 80-90% in common in terms of praxis and 100% in terms of faith. This is where the real continuity lies.

As for your last point. Well the Plymouth Brethren rejected most aspects of historic Christianity. Though I became a Christian and started heading towards Orthodoxy while I was with them it was not because of them. Their teachings are error. They reject the sacraments, the priesthood, the saints, Mary, pilgrimage, monasticism, the teachings of the Fathers, the councils and much much more. Your argument seems to lead towards us saying that the Arians or even the Muslims must have grace because people become Orthodox who were Arians or are Muslims. I do not dispute the grace of God active among all people, but since my own church denied sacramental grace, as does my wife's Baptist background, I can't see how you can foist a grace upon them that they deny the presence of.
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« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2003, 03:44:36 PM »

Keble

Forgive me. It is not my intent to become argumentative. I pray rather that we both be used of God and be afforded a greater measure of illumination.

PT
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« Reply #37 on: January 01, 2004, 09:18:07 AM »

Quote
There is a consistent pattern of Orthodoxy gaining converts through the theological judgements of the convert himself.

Perhaps because before the 1980s in the US and perhaps still true among the ethnic rank and file, the Eastern Orthodox immigrants didn't aggressively proselytize in their Christian host countries. My guess is living in large numbers in diaspora in other Christian countries is historically new to them and they're still trying to figure out how to comport themselves.

Quote
Indeed, one could interpret the Anglican crisis as the Conquest crisis come back to haunt the pope.

I wouldn't. We've pretty much determined that the Evil Romans/Evil French crushing the Saxon Orthodox is a myth, and as Eamon Duffy has shown, late-medieval England was thoroughly churched - no simmering Arianism like perhaps in the rest of Germanic Europe. No, the Henrician schism was simply an exercise in Renaissance kingship and the Edwardine/Cranmerian imposition of their hotchpotch Protestantism by force only an extension of what was going on in Germany.

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The fact is it was a new thing and is only as old as the Baptist movement, and a little younger than Lutheranism.

You must mean the Anabaptist movement, in which case yes, Anglicanism is contemporaneous. The Baptist movement was a little later, an offshoot of an offshoot of Anglicanism - John Smythe, a Congregational minister, adopted the ideas of the German Anabaptists.
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« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2004, 07:05:22 AM »

It's the other that is popping up here. One church has made the convert a Christian, but, finding fault in it, he goes to another, and he goes to one which rejects utterly the value of the first church.

You left out another, where the Christian discovers the fullness of truth in Orthodoxy and embraces that, leaving behind though not rejecting the faith in which he was formed.
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