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Author Topic: What liturgy did St. Vladimir's envoys see the Germans performing?  (Read 1401 times) Average Rating: 0
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samkim
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« on: October 08, 2010, 03:51:28 PM »

What liturgy did St. Vladimir's envoys see the Germans performing in the account from the Primary Chronicle?

Apparently, not a very beautiful one.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 03:51:52 PM by samkim » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2010, 03:56:14 PM »

I would imagine that by that time they should have been fairly uniform with Rome.  Huh
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2010, 04:01:33 PM »

I really like traditional western liturgy. In my mind, I see no reason why a pre-schism western mass would have been any less Orthodox than any eastern liturgy.

If the envoys didn't think the mass was very impressive, does that raise doubts about the Orthodoxy of the pre-schism western mass? Since Orthodoxy values "beauty" so highly and all...

Again, personally, I find both traditions beautiful.
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2010, 04:56:04 PM »

If the envoys didn't think the mass was very impressive, does that raise doubts about the Orthodoxy of the pre-schism western mass?

No, not at all. It only means that for theologically unprepared non-Christians it is probably easier to behold God's glory in Eastern Liturgy than in Western.

Btw, there are two Orthodox priests in Germany who occasioanally serve the Divine Liturgy in Western rite. One of them published online some liturgical materials (including the Liturgy itself) in Latin and Church Slavonic: http://www.orthodoxia.de/Slavonica.htm
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 05:13:37 PM by Michał » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2010, 06:43:11 PM »

There is more to a liturgy than the words and mechanics. The Holy Spirit plays the most important role and it may very well have been lacking in the German "performance".
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2010, 09:34:24 PM »

If the envoys didn't think the mass was very impressive, does that raise doubts about the Orthodoxy of the pre-schism western mass?

No, not at all. It only means that for theologically unprepared non-Christians it is probably easier to behold God's glory in Eastern Liturgy than in Western.

Btw, there are two Orthodox priests in Germany who occasioanally serve the Divine Liturgy in Western rite. One of them published online some liturgical materials (including the Liturgy itself) in Latin and Church Slavonic: http://www.orthodoxia.de/Slavonica.htm

Very nice un-Byzantinized version of the Latin Liturgy: no Byzantine Epiclesis or Communion Prayer inserted,  "merits of Your Saints" unchanged.
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2010, 12:38:35 AM »

Well, let's keep in mind that St. Vladimir's envoys saw the full-blown imperial liturgy at the Hagia Sophia. I don't think the comparison is very fair.
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2010, 02:53:55 AM »

There is more to a liturgy than the words and mechanics. The Holy Spirit plays the most important role and it may very well have been lacking in the German "performance".

Can you elaborate?

Are you're saying that certain celebrations of the mass in the pre-schism (and therefore presumably Orthodox, at least formally) Christian west lacked the blessing of the Holy Spirit? If so, how can one know if the Holy Spirit is active in an Orthodox Divine Liturgy and when He is not?
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2010, 12:05:09 AM »

There is more to a liturgy than the words and mechanics. The Holy Spirit plays the most important role and it may very well have been lacking in the German "performance".

Can you elaborate?

Are you're saying that certain celebrations of the mass in the pre-schism (and therefore presumably Orthodox, at least formally) Christian west lacked the blessing of the Holy Spirit? If so, how can one know if the Holy Spirit is active in an Orthodox Divine Liturgy and when He is not?


The envoys were able to tell the difference. Discernment itself is a spiritual gift.
"they do not understand that the whole meaning of the Church is to have Christ in the heart, but that one can go through the whole of Orthodox Church life without having one's heart awakened.  In that case, one is just like the pagans."
The question is not wether the Holy Spirit is active in the Liturgy but wether the Holy Spirit is active in your own heart. God's rays shine everywhere. Even to a simple service performed in the woods with only an antimension, cup, and plate. But some will still prefer to be in the dark even in the most ornate cathedral and most elaborate liturgy.
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2010, 09:05:11 PM »

We are talking about the German Mass in the Tenth Century and from what I've read it was not entirely uniform with Rome. Rome maintained many old traditions as did the other Patriarchates that were special to the Great Cathedrals. The Germans were likely already practicing the use of unleavened bread while Rome was very late, from all that I've read about this, in accepting this innovation. Studying Liturgical History involves a lot of speculation about large areas and large periods of time and often you will read people quoting speculative arguments for this or that practice being general in a given area as being proven fact for the whole of Europe which contributes to disinformation and angry arguing. This has only increased with RC historians who want to justify the reformed Latin Rite that came about after Vatican II.
All that I want to add to the discussion is that from the great story of St.Vladimir's conversion to Holy Orthodoxy we can learn nothing about the German Mass. From what little we know about the German Mass of this time is that it was likely modeled on the Roman Mass with many small differences. But we cannot and should not speculate because we don't know the Church, we don't know the size, we don't specifically know where, we don't know who served, the size of the choir, if the priests and or bishops were notorious for corruption and lack of piety and high in immorality? We don't know. What we do know is that Hagia Sophia was the most magnificent Cathedral in all of Christendom for hundreds of years with even its own variation on the Church services, the Asmatic Services, filled with iconography, beautiful architecture, a large magnificent choir, etc. It was a beautiful icon, when it was at its best, of the Heavenly Kingdom of New Jerusalem.
Nothing can be said about whether the German Mass or German Church Services of the time were more or less Orthodox from reading the Primary Chronicle.  We could speculate endlessly about the corruption prior to the Gregorian Reforms in Germany or the lack of genuine piety in priests and bishops in feudalism and argue but there really is no point. The most traditional Masses of today are in Churches with architecture, furniture, iconography and Rites that differ a great deal from the German Churches and Mass of the beginning of the Tenth Century.
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2012, 02:37:59 AM »

Btw, there are two Orthodox priests in Germany who occasioanally serve the Divine Liturgy in Western rite. One of them published online some liturgical materials (including the Liturgy itself) in Latin and Church Slavonic: http://www.orthodoxia.de/Slavonica.htm

I am aware of Fr. Benedikt, who is the second one?
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2012, 11:46:16 AM »

We are talking about the German Mass in the Tenth Century and from what I've read it was not entirely uniform with Rome. Rome maintained many old traditions as did the other Patriarchates that were special to the Great Cathedrals. The Germans were likely already practicing the use of unleavened bread while Rome was very late, from all that I've read about this, in accepting this innovation. Studying Liturgical History involves a lot of speculation about large areas and large periods of time and often you will read people quoting speculative arguments for this or that practice being general in a given area as being proven fact for the whole of Europe which contributes to disinformation and angry arguing. This has only increased with RC historians who want to justify the reformed Latin Rite that came about after Vatican II.
All that I want to add to the discussion is that from the great story of St.Vladimir's conversion to Holy Orthodoxy we can learn nothing about the German Mass. From what little we know about the German Mass of this time is that it was likely modeled on the Roman Mass with many small differences. But we cannot and should not speculate because we don't know the Church, we don't know the size, we don't specifically know where, we don't know who served, the size of the choir, if the priests and or bishops were notorious for corruption and lack of piety and high in immorality? We don't know. What we do know is that Hagia Sophia was the most magnificent Cathedral in all of Christendom for hundreds of years with even its own variation on the Church services, the Asmatic Services, filled with iconography, beautiful architecture, a large magnificent choir, etc. It was a beautiful icon, when it was at its best, of the Heavenly Kingdom of New Jerusalem.
Nothing can be said about whether the German Mass or German Church Services of the time were more or less Orthodox from reading the Primary Chronicle.  We could speculate endlessly about the corruption prior to the Gregorian Reforms in Germany or the lack of genuine piety in priests and bishops in feudalism and argue but there really is no point. The most traditional Masses of today are in Churches with architecture, furniture, iconography and Rites that differ a great deal from the German Churches and Mass of the beginning of the Tenth Century.

Totally agree with this. (If I understand it correctly)
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2012, 12:20:57 AM »

Seriously :-). The Byzantine Rite is already far more dramatic and colorful than the Roman Rite, but to then contrast a Mass in an ordinary parish (or even some feudal German cathedral) with the Divine Liturgy at the Hagia Sophia of that day is not fair at all :-).

Well, let's keep in mind that St. Vladimir's envoys saw the full-blown imperial liturgy at the Hagia Sophia. I don't think the comparison is very fair.
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2012, 12:36:37 AM »

Quote
The Byzantine Rite is already far more dramatic and colorful than the Roman Rite, but to then contrast a Mass in an ordinary parish (or even some feudal German cathedral) with the Divine Liturgy at the Hagia Sophia of that day is not fair at all :-).

Not entirely true. In my time on earth, I've been to more than a few liturgies in "ordinary parishes", and, it must be said, vespers and matins services with only three or four singers/readers, that made my hair stand on end for all the right reasons. Not to mention weddings and baptisms. Orthodox services, even held at parish level, are, if everything cooks, quite capable of blowing one's mind.
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2012, 12:38:23 AM »

Naturally, but have you been to a Sunday Liturgy in a cathedral in Russia or Ukraine? (Or, presumably, Greece or Egypt or elsewhere?) Absolutely stunning :-). (And I've been to many parish services that I found heavenly, grand or not.)

Quote
The Byzantine Rite is already far more dramatic and colorful than the Roman Rite, but to then contrast a Mass in an ordinary parish (or even some feudal German cathedral) with the Divine Liturgy at the Hagia Sophia of that day is not fair at all :-).

Not entirely true. In my time on earth, I've been to more than a few liturgies in "ordinary parishes", and, it must be said, vespers and matins services with only three or four singers/readers, that made my hair stand on end for all the right reasons. Not to mention weddings and baptisms. Orthodox services, even held at parish level, are, if everything cooks, quite capable of blowing one's mind.
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2012, 12:57:14 AM »

Naturally, but have you been to a Sunday Liturgy in a cathedral in Russia or Ukraine? (Or, presumably, Greece or Egypt or elsewhere?) Absolutely stunning :-). (And I've been to many parish services that I found heavenly, grand or not.

Yes, I have. On several occasions. And yet, I stand by my post that I have attended Orthodox services outside these historically Orthodox countries that were no less reverent and stunning as those in the "mother countries".
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2012, 09:59:29 AM »

Western Liturgies, especially the Roman Rite, have always been more austere then Eastern Liturgies. I figure this is probably an extention of the different theological emphasis between the two. There is more focus in the East as the Divine Liturgy as "heaven on earth." The sacrificial nature of the Mass seems to be more stressed in the West.

The first couple times I attended a DL I couldn't help but think that I was viewing a performance rather then a worship service. No offense intended; just to my Latin outlook on things. My perspective has since changed the more I delve into the theology of the East.

Perhaps if St. Vladimir's envoys had seen this, history would have been different  Wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Clk6yM8ds4
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2012, 11:07:40 AM »

Mass at St. Nicholas' is lovely :-) (perhaps moreso sans organ) - I was blessed one Sunday to attend their early Mass and then the Divine Liturgy at St. Genevieve's (a French-speaking Russian Orthodox parish in the city).

Is the difference also perhaps an outgrowth of the West's emphasis on contemplation and stillness? The first few times I attended Western Orthodox services they were rather off-putting (I went mostly to see my heritage as an Orthodox Christian of Dutch/Irish heritage), but the last time I went I found the stillness and brevity incredibly refreshing. In the East we seem to throw a thousand words a prayer at ourselves in the hopes of a few of them 'sticking,' whereas in the West it seems fewer words are prayed in the hopes of all of them 'sticking' :-).

Western Liturgies, especially the Roman Rite, have always been more austere then Eastern Liturgies. I figure this is probably an extention of the different theological emphasis between the two. There is more focus in the East as the Divine Liturgy as "heaven on earth." The sacrificial nature of the Mass seems to be more stressed in the West.

The first couple times I attended a DL I couldn't help but think that I was viewing a performance rather then a worship service. No offense intended; just to my Latin outlook on things. My perspective has since changed the more I delve into the theology of the East.

Perhaps if St. Vladimir's envoys had seen this, history would have been different  Wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Clk6yM8ds4
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