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Author Topic: Centrality of Liturgy in RC vs. EO Faith  (Read 657 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dave in McKinney
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« on: July 15, 2010, 09:25:37 AM »

It is said in the RCC Catechism that the Mass is the source and summit of Catholic life.  How does this compare in Orthodoxy?

It seems to me that 99% of the Catholic life is put into the Mass, and the statement from the catechsim supports that to the point that many are Catholics for just 1-hr on Sunday instead of living the Catholic faith 24/7.  I give some Protestants credit for trying to build a Christian community outside of the 1 or 2 hours on Sunday.  Grant it I am generalizing to an extent buut there's a bit of truth to it IMO.
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 12:37:49 PM »

It is said in the RCC Catechism that the Mass is the source and summit of Catholic life.  How does this compare in Orthodoxy?

It seems to me that 99% of the Catholic life is put into the Mass, and the statement from the catechsim supports that to the point that many are Catholics for just 1-hr on Sunday instead of living the Catholic faith 24/7.  I give some Protestants credit for trying to build a Christian community outside of the 1 or 2 hours on Sunday.  Grant it I am generalizing to an extent buut there's a bit of truth to it IMO.
For the Orthodox, as a local community, the Divine Liturgy is the most important common action of the people.  It constitutes the Orthodox Church. All of the members of local community must be gathered together with their pastor in one place at one time, for the Liturgy, and not more than once a day, usually on the Lords day.  It is so important that it may seem like that is all there is to Orthodox Church life also. 

That is not the case; it is just the most public part of Church Life.  For each community member themselves, Christian life is more private and personal. Fasting, prayer, and alms giving are done individually, but the Liturgy is something else, and eclipses everything else. It is a taste of the eternal life of the Kingdom of the Blessed Trinity.   

There are some that just attend on Sunday and then go back to their "normal life" until the next Sunday, (and some until the next Easter), but even these folks must have some personal connection with God, or why do they come at all?
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 02:07:24 PM »

I think there are Orthodox who put an emphasis on living your faith 24/7, but it is up to the people to decide whether to embrace that or not. Some groups probably help their people cultivate this more than others. For instance, at one point when I was a Protestant, I was going to church 4-5 days a week. Sunday was the service, Monday was men's group (Promise Keepers), Tuesday was Bible Study, Saturday was a prayer service, and on one of the other days the guys would sometimes get together and play basketball in the rec hall. My whole life essentially revolved around spiritual activities. But how many people didn't go to these activities? And of those who went, for how many people did all this stuff merely amount to spiritual busy work? I don't know. I think all Christians have an inkling that the "life in Christ" should be a full time thing... we all just have varying degrees of success in making that a reality. I think the same goes for this or that Christian group, some probably do a better job than others in encouraging and helping their members live this kind of life. For that matter, it probably differs from parish to parish.
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JLatimer
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010, 06:58:16 PM »

I know plenty of Catholics who live their faith 24/7. There are people in all 'denominations' who are 1hr on Sunday Christians. But by the way, I'm also not convinced that all the 'programs' and 'events' and 'classes' Protestants put energy unto do any of them that much good. I'm more inclined to think a Catholic who goes to Mass every Sunday, prays their rosary and practices lovingkindness to their neighbors is on the right track, as opposed to an Evangelical who goes to a guitar-and-drums 'worship service', slaps a fish on their car, talks about Jesus all day long, and votes Republican. [end anti-Protestant rant] That said many many Prots are also living lives of virtue and faith every day. I agree that with pretty much every group it's a parish to parish, person to person thing.
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 07:31:04 PM »

There is something to be said for the highly greater use of the canonical hours in the public life of the laity in the Eastern Christian churches in comparison to the West.
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JLatimer
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 07:45:12 PM »

There is something to be said for the highly greater use of the canonical hours in the public life of the laity in the Eastern Christian churches in comparison to the West.

Agreed.
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Dave in McKinney
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 09:07:56 PM »

There is something to be said for the highly greater use of the canonical hours in the public life of the laity in the Eastern Christian churches in comparison to the West.

OK so what are the canonical hours of public life?
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JLatimer
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2010, 10:01:38 PM »

There is something to be said for the highly greater use of the canonical hours in the public life of the laity in the Eastern Christian churches in comparison to the West.

OK so what are the canonical hours of public life?

I think what he means is that there are a greater 'array' of services, including the canonical hours, available at church (as opposed to at home in private)
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2010, 03:53:58 AM »

It is said in the RCC Catechism that the Mass is the source and summit of Catholic life.  How does this compare in Orthodoxy?

It seems to me that 99% of the Catholic life is put into the Mass, and the statement from the catechsim supports that to the point that many are Catholics for just 1-hr on Sunday instead of living the Catholic faith 24/7.  I give some Protestants credit for trying to build a Christian community outside of the 1 or 2 hours on Sunday.  Grant it I am generalizing to an extent buut there's a bit of truth to it IMO.

I would have to disagree with that. Perhaps in many modern western societies, practicing Catholics don't do much more beyond regular Mass and prayer. However, for the vast majority of Catholics in the world and throughout history, it has been much more than that. In my father's house, the rosary and evening prayers were said by the whole family every day, fasts were observed, and Catholic moral teachings were followed. Western society has changed so much that this is now considered fanaticism or fundamentalism, and people who live such lifestyles of piety are now socially estranged. However, for much of the Catholic world in Asia, Africa, Latin America and many parts of Europe, such levels of piety are fairly common.
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Dave in McKinney
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2010, 07:12:08 AM »

It is said in the RCC Catechism that the Mass is the source and summit of Catholic life.  How does this compare in Orthodoxy?

It seems to me that 99% of the Catholic life is put into the Mass, and the statement from the catechsim supports that to the point that many are Catholics for just 1-hr on Sunday instead of living the Catholic faith 24/7.  I give some Protestants credit for trying to build a Christian community outside of the 1 or 2 hours on Sunday.  Grant it I am generalizing to an extent buut there's a bit of truth to it IMO.

I would have to disagree with that. Perhaps in many modern western societies, practicing Catholics don't do much more beyond regular Mass and prayer. However, for the vast majority of Catholics in the world and throughout history, it has been much more than that. In my father's house, the rosary and evening prayers were said by the whole family every day, fasts were observed, and Catholic moral teachings were followed. Western society has changed so much that this is now considered fanaticism or fundamentalism, and people who live such lifestyles of piety are now socially estranged. However, for much of the Catholic world in Asia, Africa, Latin America and many parts of Europe, such levels of piety are fairly common.

Of course I was generalizing to some extent.  I certainly didn't mean this as a comment to cover all of history -- only the present day & age.  Yes I was specifically talking about the U.S., I should have been more explicit. 
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2010, 10:58:46 AM »

It is said in the RCC Catechism that the Mass is the source and summit of Catholic life.  How does this compare in Orthodoxy?

It seems to me that 99% of the Catholic life is put into the Mass, and the statement from the catechsim supports that to the point that many are Catholics for just 1-hr on Sunday instead of living the Catholic faith 24/7.  I give some Protestants credit for trying to build a Christian community outside of the 1 or 2 hours on Sunday.  Grant it I am generalizing to an extent buut there's a bit of truth to it IMO.

I would have to disagree with that. Perhaps in many modern western societies, practicing Catholics don't do much more beyond regular Mass and prayer. However, for the vast majority of Catholics in the world and throughout history, it has been much more than that. In my father's house, the rosary and evening prayers were said by the whole family every day, fasts were observed, and Catholic moral teachings were followed. Western society has changed so much that this is now considered fanaticism or fundamentalism, and people who live such lifestyles of piety are now socially estranged. However, for much of the Catholic world in Asia, Africa, Latin America and many parts of Europe, such levels of piety are fairly common.

In the Catholic Church, world wide, there are many millions of people world wide who are third order Franciscans, Dominicans, Carmelites, Benedictines and associates of many other religious orders where the focus of their spirituality is contemplative prayer and the daily recitation of the divine office.

Catholic faithful do pray devotional cycles daily such as rosaries and novenas and chaplets, many attend daily liturgies, and many millions of them recite the holy hours and those who have time will recite the major and the minor hours.

To suggest that there are more Orthodox, even proportionately, reciting the Holy Hours daily would not hold up in reality.  It is a myth that Orthodox faithful tell one another but it is false.


Mary
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