Author Topic: "western" traditions in converts  (Read 1399 times)

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Offline Daedelus1138

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"western" traditions in converts
« on: May 14, 2010, 11:13:17 AM »
   
  How do Orthodox feel about nativity sets?   This I guess is a Catholic/Protestant tradition (St. Francis started it).  For me it is a family tradition, last Christmas I put one up in my prayer corner. 

  Intellectually, i find the idea of Orthodoxy appealing, the theology, the practice, etc.  But my heart isn't always in it.   I really feel like a western Christian in many ways.   Not theologically so much, but I can understand some of the unique things of the West and don't see them as all bad, just potentially unbalanced.

Offline genesisone

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Re: "western" traditions in converts
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2010, 11:42:27 AM »
   
  How do Orthodox feel about nativity sets?   This I guess is a Catholic/Protestant tradition (St. Francis started it).  For me it is a family tradition, last Christmas I put one up in my prayer corner. 

  Intellectually, i find the idea of Orthodoxy appealing, the theology, the practice, etc.  But my heart isn't always in it.   I really feel like a western Christian in many ways.   Not theologically so much, but I can understand some of the unique things of the West and don't see them as all bad, just potentially unbalanced.
I have a nativity set that I am particularly attached to. It goes up every year. Not in my icon corner - it's not for veneration - but in the living room. My wife (still Protestant) has an ever-growing Christmas village that also goes up. We ran out out of space for a tree with all of that, so gifts end up under the tables on which these scenes are displayed  :). I see no reason to dump family and cultural traditions that do not contradict my Orthodox faith.

Offline Thomas

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Re: "western" traditions in converts
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2010, 01:07:47 PM »
Many Orthodox Christians, even in Greece, have Nativity figurine sets as decorations, most do not use it as a center of home worship as one may find with the Italian creche in a Roman Catholic home.

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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: "western" traditions in converts
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 01:19:43 PM »
I know an Orthodox family that does something fun with their Nativity set. On the first day of Advent, Nov. 15, the Wise Men appear on the opposite end of the house from where the manger is set up. And, each successive day, they move a little closer. This is for the benefit of the children, who find out where they are next, until on Christmas Day, they arrive at the manger to meet Christ.
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Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: "western" traditions in converts
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 01:40:11 PM »
   
  How do Orthodox feel about nativity sets?   This I guess is a Catholic/Protestant tradition (St. Francis started it).  For me it is a family tradition, last Christmas I put one up in my prayer corner. 

  Intellectually, i find the idea of Orthodoxy appealing, the theology, the practice, etc.  But my heart isn't always in it.   I really feel like a western Christian in many ways.   Not theologically so much, but I can understand some of the unique things of the West and don't see them as all bad, just potentially unbalanced.

I know of lots of Orthodox families that have Nativity sets (even priests!!), but as said before, they are not set up in the icon corners. Heck, I'd rather see a house full of crèche's than a house full of Santa Clause's! At least the crèche focuses on the real reason for the season. :) 

I can understand that it can be difficult for a person raised in Western culture to adopt Eastern ways. Have you looked to see if there is a Western Orthodox parish near your home? Perhaps this would make the transition easier for you?
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Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: "western" traditions in converts
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2010, 12:36:42 AM »
I can understand that it can be difficult for a person raised in Western culture to adopt Eastern ways. Have you looked to see if there is a Western Orthodox parish near your home? Perhaps this would make the transition easier for you?

  Yes, I have, and no, there aren't any remotely close to where I live.   I have several books by David Bentley Hart, though, who is Western Rite Orthodox.

  I really like the Anglican or Episcopalian service, and I've gone to alot of conservative Episcopalian or Continuing churches in the past 2 years (first inquiring into Christianity after years of doubt and apostasy, then to be a participant.  I was somebody that was ruined by delving into Evangelicalism).  I like the traditions and the style, I see it having alot of the things that many converts to Orthodoxy from something like Evangelicalism or Anabaptism often overlook (probably they overlook it because of the direction the church's leadership has taken); the worship is God-centered, it involves your body, and it is incarnational in the theology and even the piety.  I don't like the fact that alot of the Episcopalian leadership now days are material heretics or nicodemites.   I have looked into Continuing Anglicanism too, but I consider schism only slightly less worse than heresy (many of these groups are quite small and fragmented).  

  From what I have heard, if one is interested in WRO, one should just become Orthodox, then try to deal with finding a western rite parish.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2010, 12:44:06 AM by Daedelus1138 »

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: "western" traditions in converts
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2010, 12:43:41 AM »
I can understand that it can be difficult for a person raised in Western culture to adopt Eastern ways. Have you looked to see if there is a Western Orthodox parish near your home? Perhaps this would make the transition easier for you?

  Yes, I have, and no, there aren't any remotely close to where I live.   I have several books by David Bentley Hart, though, who is Western Rite Orthodox.

  I really like the Anglican or Episcopalian service.   I like the traditions and the style.  I don't like the fact that alot of the Episcopalian leadership now days are material heretics or nicodemites.   I have looked into Continuing Anglicanism too, but I consider schism only slightly less worse than heresy (many of these groups are quite small and fragmented).  

  From what I have heard, if one is interested in WRO, one should just become Orthodox, then try to deal with finding a western rite parish.

If you haven't been to an Orthodox parish yet, I would strongly encourage you to check it out. Although Eastern, many parishes are open to converts and try to do what they can to make them feel welcome. I remember when I visited St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church in Atlanta, they used choral arrangements from multiple Orthodox traditions, did the entire service in English, and made sure to greet every single person that came in through the door. Even though I am probably the furthest thing from Arab descent (Irish and German on Mom's side, Ukrainian and Hungarian on Dad's) I felt very comfortable and very welcome there.

At my current UOC parish in NJ, we just ordained a man of Scottish/Irish descent to the deaconate, and have a man of Italian descent studying for the priesthood.

If you haven't already, attend a vespers service or Divine Liturgy. You'll be glad you did. :)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2010, 12:44:43 AM by HandmaidenofGod »
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Offline David Lanier

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Re: "western" traditions in converts
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2010, 02:17:38 AM »
If you haven't been to an Orthodox parish yet, I would strongly encourage you to check it out. Although Eastern, many parishes are open to converts and try to do what they can to make them feel welcome. I remember when I visited St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church in Atlanta, they used choral arrangements from multiple Orthodox traditions, did the entire service in English, and made sure to greet every single person that came in through the door. Even though I am probably the furthest thing from Arab descent (Irish and German on Mom's side, Ukrainian and Hungarian on Dad's) I felt very comfortable and very welcome there.

At my current UOC parish in NJ, we just ordained a man of Scottish/Irish descent to the deaconate, and have a man of Italian descent studying for the priesthood.

If you haven't already, attend a vespers service or Divine Liturgy. You'll be glad you did. :)

This touches on an issue that should be a separate topic, but it is time for us Orthodox in America to stop thinking of ourselves in phyletist (ethnocentric) ways. The Holy Orthodox Faith has so much to offer to this country and even though most "ethnic" parishes are now made up of 2nd, 3rd, 4th generations removed from their immigrant ancestors who came here, and culturally are more than likely more American than Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, etc., there are still some parishes that practice phyletism and that is NOT Orthodox.

Indeed, the bishops from all dioceses and jurisdictions are meeting this month and again later this year with the Ecumenical Patriarch and we should all pray that they will do the right thing and establish ONE Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church here in America.

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: "western" traditions in converts
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2010, 02:52:13 AM »
Ordain more Irishmen.  Look what a great job the Irish have done over the last few centuries establishing their Catholic faith all over the globe.   :laugh:

Offline ialmisry

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Re: "western" traditions in converts
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2010, 05:06:58 AM »
I can understand that it can be difficult for a person raised in Western culture to adopt Eastern ways. Have you looked to see if there is a Western Orthodox parish near your home? Perhaps this would make the transition easier for you?

  Yes, I have, and no, there aren't any remotely close to where I live.   I have several books by David Bentley Hart, though, who is Western Rite Orthodox.

  I really like the Anglican or Episcopalian service, and I've gone to alot of conservative Episcopalian or Continuing churches in the past 2 years (first inquiring into Christianity after years of doubt and apostasy, then to be a participant.  I was somebody that was ruined by delving into Evangelicalism).  I like the traditions and the style, I see it having alot of the things that many converts to Orthodoxy from something like Evangelicalism or Anabaptism often overlook (probably they overlook it because of the direction the church's leadership has taken); the worship is God-centered, it involves your body, and it is incarnational in the theology and even the piety.  I don't like the fact that alot of the Episcopalian leadership now days are material heretics or nicodemites.   I have looked into Continuing Anglicanism too, but I consider schism only slightly less worse than heresy (many of these groups are quite small and fragmented).  

  From what I have heard, if one is interested in WRO, one should just become Orthodox, then try to deal with finding a western rite parish.
Yes, as we and the WRO are one and the same (I've been to a couple of WRO, but just for moral support as I am quite Eastern.  In one parish, a number of parishioners were not converts, but from EO backgrounds).
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