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Author Topic: Attendance at a Western Rite Church  (Read 8302 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: November 14, 2010, 12:08:35 AM »

I'm tempted to go to WR liturgy tomorrow instead of normal ER... angel
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« Reply #91 on: November 14, 2010, 12:18:21 AM »

I think it is a blessing that the WRO have the opportunity to minister to the needs of dissaffected RC's and Anglicans.

and Westernized and Americanized Easterners.  I've been to a WRO parish where a large number of the parish were Eastern background (Arab, Greek, etc.) who had become Americanized. Far better WRO than the Episcopalians and Methodists (I knew someone who used to point out that you could find half of the Greek community at the GO Church and the other half at the local Methodists).
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« Reply #92 on: November 14, 2010, 12:20:49 AM »

But WR doesn't look like Methodism. It doesn't deliver the message that people go to Methodism for. It doesn't offer the kinds of connections that people might hope to gain by attending a Methodist church. Has anyone really considered Methodism and instead settled on WR instead?
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« Reply #93 on: November 14, 2010, 12:20:59 AM »

I think it is a blessing that the WRO have the opportunity to minister to the needs of dissaffected RC's and Anglicans.

and Westernized and Americanized Easterners.  I've been to a WRO parish where a large number of the parish were Eastern background (Arab, Greek, etc.) who had become Americanized. Far better WRO than the Episcopalians and Methodists (I knew someone who used to point out that you could find half of the Greek community at the GO Church and the other half at the local Methodists).

Interesting. I really see alot of opportunities for the WR here in America.
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« Reply #94 on: November 14, 2010, 12:42:25 AM »

But WR doesn't look like Methodism. It doesn't deliver the message that people go to Methodism for. It doesn't offer the kinds of connections that people might hope to gain by attending a Methodist church. Has anyone really considered Methodism and instead settled on WR instead?

I know plenty of Greek Methodists, Episcopalians etc. and they went because it was in English and American. As far as they were concerned, end of message.

Btw, I understand that the Lutherans in Ukraine have an Eastern Rite, for similar reasons but in reverse.
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« Reply #95 on: November 14, 2010, 12:50:26 AM »

But WR doesn't look like Methodism. It doesn't deliver the message that people go to Methodism for. It doesn't offer the kinds of connections that people might hope to gain by attending a Methodist church. Has anyone really considered Methodism and instead settled on WR instead?

I know plenty of Greek Methodists, Episcopalians etc. and they went because it was in English and American. As far as they were concerned, end of message.

Right. And the mainline Protestant churches will always be bigger, wealther, and more stocked with "normal" people and important members of the community. Also, their message is far more comfortable to the American consumerist lifestyle. Why would they switch to the typically small and humble WR, where the liturgy may be in English but is certainly not "American"? They only reason they would switch to WRO is if they cared more about the faith than externals, in which case they would never have left the Church to begin with.

Have you met or heard of any Greek (or Russian or Arab...) who actual returned from the Episcopalians or Methodists because of WR?
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« Reply #96 on: November 14, 2010, 01:08:15 AM »

But WR doesn't look like Methodism. It doesn't deliver the message that people go to Methodism for. It doesn't offer the kinds of connections that people might hope to gain by attending a Methodist church. Has anyone really considered Methodism and instead settled on WR instead?

I know plenty of Greek Methodists, Episcopalians etc. and they went because it was in English and American. As far as they were concerned, end of message.

Right. And the mainline Protestant churches will always be bigger, wealther, and more stocked with "normal" people and important members of the community. Why would they switch to the typically small and humble WR, where the liturgy may be in English but is certainly not "American"?
Bigger and wealthier had nothing to do with it (though for some that may have been determinative between Episcoplian, the cadillac of churches (which is now out of gas), but it did have a lot to do with normal people, i.e. ones who live in America, admit that, and live it. Not the "not a Greek-American but a Greek living in America" as if they were going to go back that many of them were raised in (or their parents: some are already second generation Protestants).

Btw, with a little looking, I found the "Byzantine Rite of the Augsburg Confession"
http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/saintsophiaseminary/liturgy.html

Interesting that its creed has the filioque (within parenthesis, a difference between WRO and this Byzantine Lutherans and the rites the Vatican uses in the East).  This is also interesting:
Quote
Pastor: Following the example of the Virgin Mary and of all the righteous, let us commend ourselves and all our life to Christ our God.

After the Gospels (it is in the beginning of the service in the usual Lutheran services):
Quote
THE CONFESSION OF SINS AND THE ABSOLUTION

(Instead of the following, an abbreviated form of the Confession of Sins and the Absolution may be used.)

Pastor: Beloved in Christ, the Lord! Because you wish to come to the Lord’s Supper and partake of the most holy body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, I call on you seriously to consider whether you will indeed be worthy participants in such a great and holy Mystery. Three things are necessary for a worthy reception of the Lord’s Supper, to which you should direct your attention: First, you are not to take lightly your sins, in which you were conceived and came into this world, and which you have committed in thought, word or deed, secretly or openly, but instead you are to recognize that you have justly deserved God’s wrath, and his temporal and eternal punishment. Such a recognition should move and awaken in you a sincere sorrow that you have previously led such an evil life, and that with your transgressions you have so often offended your Heavenly Father. Second, you should recognize this truth, that by your own deeds and merits you cannot blot out your sins and transgressions, and neither can you earn God’s forgiveness. The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is the only sufficient ransom for our transgressions, and for the cleansing of our souls. Rest in this hope and faith, and with tears of sincere repentance call on God, your Heavenly Father, and implore him that for the sake of Christ, and his own great mercy, he will forgive you your sins and transgressions. Third, you must earnestly desire, by the help of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit, to change and amend your evil existence and life! Put aside any anger and hatred toward any of your neighbors that you may have had until now; forgive any insult ever done to you; and call upon God, who will forgive you your sins and transgressions, and bestow on you the gift of his Holy Spirit, so that you will be enabled worthily to receive the Mystery of the Lord’s Supper!

Pastor: Therefore, as a humble servant of Christ, and in the name of the Lord our God, I ask you, beloved in Christ: Do you believe that Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is our only Savior, and that it is only for the sake of Christ that you are able to receive, and desire to receive, the forgiveness of all your sins and transgressions? If so, then declare it by saying: I do so believe!

Penitents: I do so believe!

Pastor: Are you truly sorry that you have offended the Lord your God, the highest Good and the greatest Love? If so, then declare it by saying: I am sorry!

Penitents: I am sorry!

Pastor: Do you reverently and firmly intend to amend your sinful life, and to forgive your neighbor any wrongs that have been committed against you? If so, then declare it by saying: I do so intend!

Penitents: I do so intend!

Pastor: On the basis of this your confession, that you are sincerely sorry for your sins, and in true faith seek comfort in the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, I -- his least worthy servant -- called and authorized to proclaim the Word of God, thereby declare to you the mercy of God and the forgiveness of all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pastor: Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Pastor: Merciful God, heavenly Father, we thank you with all our hearts that you have not turned away from us on account of our sins, but have sent your only begotten Son for our salvation, that we, with repentance and a living faith in him, may be accepted by you. You have not rejected us even now, when we with heavy consciences and broken hearts have sought from you forgiveness of sins, but through your only-begotten Son you have shown us your great favor and tender mercy. We thank you for your lovingkindness, and we implore you: Work in each of us your divine strength, that we may resist all temptation and serve you alone! By the remembrance of Christ’s suffering and death remove from us all sinful desires, that in faith we may abide always in your Son, who in his love for us gave himself to be sacrificed on the cross. Hear us, we beseech you, most merciful Father, for the sake of your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Instead of the Epiclesis (which the Lutherans do not believe):
Quote
Pastor: When he had come and had fulfilled all the dispensation for our salvation, on the night in which he was betrayed, he took bread and blessed it, and broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you [for the remission of sins]; Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same manner, after supper, he took the cup, and hallowed it and gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor: Remembering this salutary testament, and all those things which have been accomplished for us -- the sacrifice on the cross, the tomb, the resurrection and ascension -- we ask you, Lord, and pray you and supplicate you: Send down your Holy Spirit on all who will partake of your gifts, for the strengthening of their faith in your truth. O Lord, who did send down your most Holy Spirit on your apostles, do not take him from us, O good one, but by your Spirit renew us, who pray to you, and grant that with one mouth and one heart we may praise and glorify in song your most holy and majestic name, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

Congregation: Amen.

And the communion:
Quote
THE DISTRIBUTION ACCOMPANIED BY THE COMMUNION HYMN

Pastor: (to the communicants) Take and eat; this is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, broken for you for the remission of sins.

Pastor: (to the communicants) Drink of it, all of you; this is the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, shed for you for the remission of sins.

Note the difference:
Quote
Congregation: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Pastor: For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever and ever.
http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/saintsophiaseminary/liturgy.html
http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/saintsophiaseminary/liturgyukrainian.html
http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/saintsophiaseminary/ulc.html

Somewhere here we have a thread about Eastern Rite Baptists in Georgia.
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« Reply #97 on: November 14, 2010, 01:18:09 AM »

Why would you have a Liturgy in the evening? 

So people can actually go Smiley
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« Reply #98 on: November 14, 2010, 01:26:43 AM »

Wow, that liturgy text is fascinating. A complete bastardization, but fascinating. I'd be interested in seeing one of those services.
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« Reply #99 on: November 14, 2010, 01:39:48 AM »

I also find it interesting that they have suppressed the invocations of the Trinity at the end of litanies, and changed it to "God" instead. I wonder why? Too wordy? I confess I've completely lost my Protestant need for simplicity, so I don't understand. Tongue
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« Reply #100 on: November 14, 2010, 02:13:52 AM »

But WR doesn't look like Methodism. It doesn't deliver the message that people go to Methodism for. It doesn't offer the kinds of connections that people might hope to gain by attending a Methodist church. Has anyone really considered Methodism and instead settled on WR instead?

I know plenty of Greek Methodists, Episcopalians etc. and they went because it was in English and American. As far as they were concerned, end of message.

Right. And the mainline Protestant churches will always be bigger, wealther, and more stocked with "normal" people and important members of the community. Also, their message is far more comfortable to the American consumerist lifestyle. Why would they switch to the typically small and humble WR, where the liturgy may be in English but is certainly not "American"?
Maybe you haven't noticed, but we don't have Orthodox Monarchs, so almost all the Orthodox except for the Japaenese Orthodox, the Arab Orthodox in parts of the Middle East and those in the British Commonwealth have had to make the same adjustments the Anglican Church had to do when the Americans rebeled against the Crown. (a comparison between the Anglican branches in the US, Canada and Mother England would be interesting).

I bring that up because that can be the only "American" issue.  At Jamestown, where America (to be US-centric) began, the church still stands where the colonists held services like the Rite of St. Tikhon, and Frances Grymes Ludwell, the mother of the first known Orthodox in America, Philip Ludwell III, is buried. Mr. Ludwell was given special dispensation from the Russian Holy Governing to attend services (again, the direct ancestor of the Rite of St. Tikhon) at the church to which the baptisry from Jamestown was brought with the transfer of the capital (and perhaps he was baptized in), in the Virginian capital of Willaimsburg, at a time when VA looked like this:


Quote
Let’s begin with Colonel Philip Ludwell III, a third generation Virginian. He was the man who in 1753 gave George Washington his commission in the army and they exchanged frequent correspondence. Ludwell was a cousin of Washington’s wife, Martha. He was also a relative of Confederate General Robert E Lee and Presidents William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison, amongst many other distinguished figures of American history. His grandfather, Philip Ludwell I was the first British Governor of the Carolinas and his father, Philip Ludwell II a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and Rector of the College of William and Mary. (The second oldest college in the USA and its first University.) Ludwell’s English manservant, John Wayles, was the father in law of Thomas Jefferson and the father of Jefferson’s African American mistress, Sally Hemings!...His reception was authorised at a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia, who blessed him to take the Holy Gifts back to Virginia and which approved of his translation into English of the “Orthodox Confession” written by Peter Moghila, Metropolitan of Kiev, one hundred years earlier.  They also granted him a dispensation to continue attending the Anglican church in Virginia, taking into account his position as “an important Royal official” and recognising that “apart from the Province of Pennsylvania, all religions but Protestantism are banned.”
http://orthodoxhistory.org/2009/11/orthodoxy-in-colonial-virginia/#comments
Ludwell's grandfather was the governor of the Carolinas and then speaker of the Virginia House of Burgess, and one of the founders of Williamsburg, VA: the parish, just next to the Ludwell's house and near the capitol, was named Bruton in honor of his birthplace. At the time of the Revolution, 6 of the colonies had the nascent Protestant Episcopal Church (which still have services (but revised) at the parishes in Jamestown and Williamsburg) as their state church.
So the first Orthodox family in America were attending services which now bear St. Tikhon's name.

When the Orthodox Episcopate was ceded to the US
Quote
Bishop Johannes [Mitrophanes, first bishop of the new Diocese of Alaska, 1870), of the Russo-Greek Church on the Pacific coast, has ordered the prayer for the President of the United States, contained in the Liturgy of the Episcopal Church, to be used by the Greek Priests.
http://orthodoxhistory.org/2010/07/prayers-for-the-president/#comments

The goofiness that goes on in the Episcopal church is world wide, not just in the US. That shoulldn't obscure its hierarchical and liturgical roots, which the St. Tikhon rite continues.

Quote
They only reason they would switch to WRO is if they cared more about the faith than externals, in which case they would never have left the Church to begin with.
It's always painful when theory meets reality. I'm just repeating what they told me, which makes sense. I can also tell you stories of Greeks who when over to the Latins because there was no local Orthodox Church, or none in English.

Quote
Have you met or heard of any Greek (or Russian or Arab...) who actual returned from the Episcopalians or Methodists because of WR?
Two.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 02:15:37 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #101 on: November 14, 2010, 05:14:00 AM »


Why would you have a Liturgy in the evening?  And is Lauds another word for Matins or Orthros?

Our Priest works full time as a high school teacher-so he is only available in the evening on weekdays. We are a very small mission parish, and hope to grow enough one day to support a priest full time.  Of course, if major feast fall on a weekday, he does take the time off...We observe all the major saints feast (our WR calendar is a bit different) and on weekday, Liturgy is celebrated at 6pm (with vespers beforehand).  Lauds is kind of like Orthros...it's one of the monastic prayer hours-lauds, matins, vespers, compline, etc.  
It include several Psalms and propers for the day, and ends with a hymn to the Blessed Virgin (which changes 4 times a year according to the seasons).  
It's all chanted in Gregorian fashion with the Psalms sung antiphonally (sp?)  One part of the congregation sings a verse and the other half sings the nexts verse-back and forth.  If you have listened to any Gregorian chant CD's it would give you an idea of what our liturgy sounds like.  I am sure you could find some examples on Youtube or other Liturgical sites.  But there is no choir.  The entire congregation sings the whole liturgy ...it took awhile to learn but we are pretty good at it now and it can get pretty tricky since the tones of the Psalms change not only with the seasons, but on varying feast days. Shocked
Our Priest has a strong and beautiful voice and he is easy to follow and expects (and usually gets) the best out of us even when there are only a handful of us at a weekday Liturgy.
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« Reply #102 on: November 14, 2010, 09:54:56 AM »

wow. I didn't know we WRO were such a mysterious animals. Huh
Antiochian Western Rite...anybody asks my religious affiliation-it's Eastern Orthodox; no hybrid adjectives about east, west Catholic, Orthodox, or who I am in communion with...The Liturgy is celebrated exactly like Eastern Rite Liturgies I have visited...there is no census taken on who is Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Catechumen...that's the Priest's business to know and deal with
....
We are not aliens and our reason for being Orthodox are the same as any other Orthodox
....
I have been WR over 4 years.  I.... don't know I "chose" WR; it was just the place I happened to land when I converted...

I appreciate your candor, Kaarina.  I especially appreciate that you do not use vague terms as you described.  I prefer it when things are explained simply, and you did just that.

Quote
We have Vespers Sat evening and Lauds before morning liturgy (vespers before an evening liturgy).

Why would you have a Liturgy in the evening?  And is Lauds another word for Matins or Orthros?
Somewhere here we have a thread on evening DL (they are quite common/usual in the Antiochian Archdiocese Constantinopolitan Rite, and evdiently are common in the Slav and Greek Churches, because there is lot of lecturing against them).
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« Reply #103 on: November 14, 2010, 10:20:03 AM »

Isa- my main problem with your argument is that you seem to be saying that not only should WR be available to Orthodox living in the West, but that they should attend such services, and if they prefer the Eastern Rite, there is something wrong or abnormal with them (unless they are immigrants off the boat). Please tell me I am misinterpreting you.
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« Reply #104 on: November 14, 2010, 10:58:44 AM »

Isa- my main problem with your argument is that you seem to be saying that not only should WR be available to Orthodox living in the West, but that they should attend such services, and if they prefer the Eastern Rite, there is something wrong or abnormal with them (unless they are immigrants off the boat). Please tell me I am misinterpreting you.

I just find it odd observing people who 6 days of the week embrace the cultural heritage of the West and then get a dual, Eastern, personality on Sunday. Observing the reverse as well (Latin rite in the Middle East, Arab Lutherans, etc.) has only solidified my views. One doesn't have to become Ukrainian, Russian, Greek, Romanian, Arab (or stop being Ukrainian...) etc. to be Orthodox. And I've known too many liturgic heterodox who found EOy too exotic for being home.

We can get into what is exactly is "Western" and what is "Eastern," but that is a digression from the fact that there is a difference. Cross that cultural divide running along the Dioclesian line up to Finland, and you see that immediately.
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« Reply #105 on: November 14, 2010, 12:43:31 PM »

I'm tempted to go to WR liturgy tomorrow instead of normal ER... angel

Me too. Unfortunately I don't have an opportunity Wink
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« Reply #106 on: November 14, 2010, 01:24:20 PM »

We can get into what is exactly is "Western" and what is "Eastern," but that is a digression from the fact that there is a difference. Cross that cultural divide running along the Dioclesian line up to Finland, and you see that immediately.
What is this dioclesian line?
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« Reply #107 on: November 14, 2010, 01:58:07 PM »

How large (in attendance #s) are some of the Western Rite Churches?
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« Reply #108 on: November 14, 2010, 02:02:28 PM »


Quote
We have Vespers Sat evening and Lauds before morning liturgy (vespers before an evening liturgy).

Why would you have a Liturgy in the evening?  And is Lauds another word for Matins or Orthros?

In WR and ER the first service of the liturgical day is Vespers. I cannot speak for other jurisdictions, but the Antiochian Archdiocese allows, and most celebrate, vesperal liturgies for feast days that fall during the week - both ER and WR. For example, if Transfiguration is on Tuesday, we have Vespers and Mass Monday evening. The ER has Vespers and Divine Liturgy Monday evening in the same way. People need to live the liturgical life of the Church, which includes celebrating her major feast days. I'll leave the debate about vesperal liturgies for others, but this authorization to celebrate them gets parishoners in the door to celebrate the important days, and also brings in visitors an opportunity to attend the Orthodox Church as she celebrates these days - instructs them and regular communicants the imporance of these days and shows that church is not just a thing you do for a few hours on Sunday morning.

BTW Matins or lauds is equivalent to Orthros celebrated in the ER prior to the Divine Liturgy that takes place in the morning. Our parish refers to it as Matins.
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« Reply #109 on: November 14, 2010, 02:04:14 PM »

Isa- my main problem with your argument is that you seem to be saying that not only should WR be available to Orthodox living in the West, but that they should attend such services, and if they prefer the Eastern Rite, there is something wrong or abnormal with them (unless they are immigrants off the boat). Please tell me I am misinterpreting you.

I just find it odd observing people who 6 days of the week embrace the cultural heritage of the West and then get a dual, Eastern, personality on Sunday.

Perhaps being "odd" is just a feature of modernity. One could just as well wonder why 21st century Americans are attempting to re-enact 10th century rites from England, or why anyone would still be a Christian in an essentially godless culture. I'm sure some might find it silly to see our priests with their medieval vestments, waving incense around the iconostas, who then drive home in their cars to their TV's and computers. Modern life is full of apparent contradictions and confusions. We even have myrrh streaming from paper reproductions of medieval icons that came out of laserjet printers. Strange world this is. You have to get somewhat comfortable with it to survive.

But seriously, how is the Western Rite more attuned to modern, 21st century Western culture any more than the Eastern rite? How does it hold any special meaning to the large swaths of Americans who have never experienced anything approaching the old Anglican or Roman rites (watching Tudors on Showtime doesn't count)? And give a concise, pertinent, and straightforward answer please- no tangents about Jamestown, no maps.
 
Quote
And I've known too many liturgic heterodox who found EOy too exotic for being home.

 I agree that WR is good for evangelizing high church Anglicans and RC's. The problem is when you start spinning it as the proper rite for all "Westerners," because apparently everyone imbued with Western culture is mystically attuned to medieval Latin rites, even if he has never experienced such a rite.

Quote
We can get into what is exactly is "Western" and what is "Eastern," but that is a digression from the fact that there is a difference. Cross that cultural divide running along the Dioclesian line up to Finland, and you see that immediately.

Your personal observations drawn from your ecclesial tourism don't in themselves make a serious argument. Many others have crossed that divide and come away with different conclusions. While I can certainly respect your breadth of knowledge and experience, I think it is insufficiently tempered by an understanding of how real people and real cultures function around you. In a given context, knowledge can be impressive and persuasive; in other contexts it can seem to show an imbalanced and unwholesome obsession. Sometimes seeing you debate people gives me the same feeling I get when I try to discuss history with certain battle re-enactors or tabletop miniature war gamers. A meaningful discussion of history is put on the back burner in favor of an avalanche of statistics, dates, names, casualty figures, and weapon specifications, all of dubious relevance. One wonders if the one talking is aware that there are two distinct human beings in the discussion.

So let's cut to the chase, or, if you prefer, condescend to my simple-mindedness and intellectual laziness:

1. What do Russians, Greeks, Georgians, Romanians, Syrians, and Egyptians all have in common that "Westerners" do not?

2. How is this reflected in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, especially when it is celebrated entirely in English and other Western languages?

3. How is this important for the average American Orthodox living today?
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« Reply #110 on: November 14, 2010, 04:39:43 PM »

We can get into what is exactly is "Western" and what is "Eastern," but that is a digression from the fact that there is a difference. Cross that cultural divide running along the Dioclesian line up to Finland, and you see that immediately.
What is this dioclesian line?
The line draw here by the Emperor Dioclesian, between the purple and red
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« Reply #111 on: November 14, 2010, 06:28:47 PM »

While many today are un-churched, there is a large part of the Western landscape that has grown up within the traditional Western Christian expression.  It is that that the Western Rite is seeking to bring into Orthodoxy (and, coincidentally, why the Antiochians utilized the BCP rather than, as some have said, "re-enact 10th century Latin rites").

I don't think the WR is trying to appeal to contemporary, non-churched people by saying, "Hey, we're Western!  Check us out!"  In fact, many un-churched contemporary people who end up turning toward the Church are seeking refuge from a consumeristic culture run amok, and would likely prefer the ER simply because it's so exotic and different from anything Western.

The fact is, anyone who has not grown up within a traditional Eastern/Western expression is going to find any liturgical traditional expression to be foreign and exotic.  I speak from personal experience, having grown up Evangelical and having my first liturgical experience of any kind be that of the Western Rite.  It was otherworldly!

Any focus on rites tends to be toward those who have already grown up within one or the other, not toward those with no liturgical background.
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« Reply #112 on: November 14, 2010, 08:43:31 PM »

Isa- my main problem with your argument is that you seem to be saying that not only should WR be available to Orthodox living in the West, but that they should attend such services, and if they prefer the Eastern Rite, there is something wrong or abnormal with them (unless they are immigrants off the boat). Please tell me I am misinterpreting you.
I just find it odd observing people who 6 days of the week embrace the cultural heritage of the West and then get a dual, Eastern, personality on Sunday.
Perhaps being "odd" is just a feature of modernity.
Hardly.
One could just as well wonder why 21st century Americans are attempting to re-enact 10th century rites from England,
Why would 18th century Americans attempt to re-enact 6th century B.C. government from Rome.

Why do Atticists speak in a language which was dead for centuries? and when the Katharevouists imitated it, dead for millenia? Why did King Josaiah try to reform the Hebrew cult on the basis of a liturgical and canon book and synaxarion (which we know as the book of Deuteronomy) over half a millenium old and found discarded in a dusty corner of the Temple?

Why would EO Churches built in the 19th century redo their iconography in the 20th century in "neo-Byzantine" style based on Paleologan art of the 14th century, or Russian revival style based on the Novgorod school of the same era?

or why anyone would still be a Christian in an essentially godless culture.
That's a different question. You seem to want to conflate the two.

I'm sure some might find it silly to see our priests with their medieval vestments, waving incense around the iconostas, who then drive home in their cars to their TV's and computers.
You are straying from the point. Let's get back on: why do we use candles and not electric bulbs (though some do that) and air freshiners? Same reason we spend millions on fanfare to watch a government functionary (according to his job description) take the oath of office on the steps of the Capitol every four years, even when he was the one who did it last time.

Modern life is full of apparent contradictions and confusions.
And pre-modern life wasn't?

We even have myrrh streaming from paper reproductions of medieval icons that came out of laserjet printers. Strange world this is. You have to get somewhat comfortable with it to survive.
You seem to be confusing the WRO with the Amish.

But seriously, how is the Western Rite more attuned to modern, 21st century Western culture any more than the Eastern rite?

Because it's Western.  It is similar to trying to translated modern novels across languages.  Not such a big problem going from French to English. Westernization has only made it somewhat easier from Russian/Greek to English, and even then it's a stretch. Arabic, Hindi and Chinese aren't usually translatable without some radical reworking (I remember the translator of Pu Yi the last emperor of China's biography going into this problem, and the problem the adaptor of the indian epic the Mahabharata had with Western audiences).

How does it hold any special meaning to the large swaths of Americans who have never experienced anything approaching the old Anglican or Roman rites (watching Tudors on Showtime doesn't count)? And give a concise, pertinent, and straightforward answer please- no tangents about Jamestown, no maps.


Interesting how you are overlook those "large swarths of Americans" who have that experience to focus on lesser numbers who haven't. And those who haven't, how many do not have being the alter ego of those who have the experience of the old Anglican or Roman rites as those raison d'etre/modus vivendi? And those who do not, how rooted is their culture?
 
And I've known too many liturgic heterodox who found EOy too exotic for being home.
I agree that WR is good for evangelizing high church Anglicans and RC's. The problem is when you start spinning it as the proper rite for all "Westerners," because apparently everyone imbued with Western culture is mystically attuned to medieval Latin rites, even if he has never experienced such a rite.
At least 33% of all Americans, Christian and non-Christian, imbue themselves with such rites at least occasionally, if not weekly.

We can get into what is exactly is "Western" and what is "Eastern," but that is a digression from the fact that there is a difference. Cross that cultural divide running along the Dioclesian line up to Finland, and you see that immediately.
Your personal observations drawn from your ecclesial tourism don't in themselves make a serious argument. Many others have crossed that divide and come away with different conclusions.
Are you such a person? If so, let us hear your observations. If not, do have others' experience to share? Otherwise, let's not speculate.

While I can certainly respect your breadth of knowledge and experience, I think it is insufficiently tempered by an understanding of how real people and real cultures function around you. In a given context, knowledge can be impressive and persuasive; in other contexts it can seem to show an imbalanced and unwholesome obsession. Sometimes seeing you debate people gives me the same feeling I get when I try to discuss history with certain battle re-enactors or tabletop miniature war gamers. A meaningful discussion of history is put on the back burner in favor of an avalanche of statistics, dates, names, casualty figures, and weapon specifications, all of dubious relevance. One wonders if the one talking is aware that there are two distinct human beings in the discussion.
What do you call "a meaningful discussion?" I prefer facts that can be substantiated, disproven, whatever.  Theoretical constructs of historiographers doesn't quite make it.

So let's cut to the chase, or, if you prefer, condescend to my simple-mindedness and intellectual laziness:

1. What do Russians, Greeks, Georgians, Romanians, Syrians, and Egyptians all have in common that "Westerners" do not?
Baklava. The Westerners have strudel.

2. How is this reflected in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, especially when it is celebrated entirely in English and other Western languages?
The DL of St. John, like the Armenian, Coptic (and the original EO of Alexandria), Syriac (and the original EO of Antioch) have the same pomp for pomp sake and symbolism for symbolism sake that the Liturgy shares with secular culture in Greece, Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Armenia etc. The Proskomedia and Great Entrance and the corresponding actions in the other Eastern rites contrast the corresponding actions in the Roman and other Western rites as much as they do, for instance, as an Eastern Wedding procession and a Western wedding march.


3. How is this important for the average American Orthodox living today?
The average American Orthodox has an Eastern background, and therefore the answer differs.
The average American Orthodox isn't called to Hellenize, Russify, Arabize...or orientalize America. They are, however, all called to evangelize it.

But to pick up on theoretical constructions:are you arguing that nothing would have been different in Rus' culture if Rome Christianized Kiev and not new Rome?
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« Reply #113 on: November 14, 2010, 08:54:18 PM »

We can get into what is exactly is "Western" and what is "Eastern," but that is a digression from the fact that there is a difference. Cross that cultural divide running along the Dioclesian line up to Finland, and you see that immediately.
What is this dioclesian line?
The line draw here by the Emperor Dioclesian, between the purple and red

You are perhaps aware that ecclesiastically that line didn't mean anything, since all Illyria and Greece (the  Balkans) were under the jurisdiction of the pope almost without dispute on Constantinople's side , up to the iconoclastic period, when one of the Iconoclastic emperors transferred them under C-politan jurisdiction. After that the area swayed for a while between the two patriarchates.
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« Reply #114 on: November 14, 2010, 09:32:49 PM »

We can get into what is exactly is "Western" and what is "Eastern," but that is a digression from the fact that there is a difference. Cross that cultural divide running along the Dioclesian line up to Finland, and you see that immediately.
What is this dioclesian line?
The line draw here by the Emperor Dioclesian, between the purple and red

You are perhaps aware that ecclesiastically that line didn't mean anything, since all Illyria and Greece (the  Balkans) were under the jurisdiction of the pope almost without dispute on Constantinople's side , up to the iconoclastic period, when one of the Iconoclastic emperors transferred them under C-politan jurisdiction. After that the area swayed for a while between the two patriarchates.
Yes. And yet all the areas in purple throughtout celebrated the rite of St. Basil, not St. Gregory, even those who spoke Latin.
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« Reply #115 on: November 14, 2010, 09:38:05 PM »

They celebrated-from the scanty evidence we have- a rather hybrid rite, of the Gallican type, heavily influenced by the Eastern rites (Antiochene, Alexandrian and C-politan).
The problem is that we do not have enough material evidence, but the few Italo-Illyrian rites better preserved  (Aquileia, for instance) show this strong Eastern influence grafted on a Western liturgy.
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« Reply #116 on: November 14, 2010, 09:44:08 PM »

They celebrated-from the scanty evidence we have- a rather hybrid rite, of the Gallican type, heavily influenced by the Eastern rites (Antiochene, Alexandrian and C-politan).
The problem is that we do not have enough material evidence, but the few Italo-Illyrian rites better preserved  (Aquileia, for instance) show this strong Eastern influence grafted on a Western liturgical stem.
One of the Scythian monks (IIRC St. John Cassian) explicitely says that the DL of St. Basil is celebrated throughout the East, and then quotes from it.

The Gallican is supposedly derived from the Antiochian rite, i.e. what the Syriac and Maronites preserve and continued until today. After all, ultimately, all rites are "Eastern."

As for influence, that would make sense, given the sway of New Rome in the area even after Old Rome fell.
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« Reply #117 on: November 14, 2010, 10:07:29 PM »

Why would 18th century Americans attempt to re-enact 6th century B.C. government from Rome...Why do Atticists speak in a language which was dead for centuries? and when the Katharevouists imitated it, dead for millenia? Why did King Josaiah try to reform the Hebrew cult on the basis of a liturgical and canon book and synaxarion (which we know as the book of Deuteronomy) over half a millenium old and found discarded in a dusty corner of the Temple?...Why would EO Churches built in the 19th century redo their iconography in the 20th century in "neo-Byzantine" style based on Paleologan art of the 14th century, or Russian revival style based on the Novgorod school of the same era?

Exactly. Orthodox Westerners adopting the Eastern rite is no more "odd" than any of these other things. You seem to think I have a problem with all the abovementioned things when in fact I have no problem with them. I'm just pointing out the inconsistency of saying Westerners on the Eastern rite are "odd" when you accept equally odd, or odder, things.

Quote
You are straying from the point. 

Nay, but rather you missed it completely. 

Quote
But seriously, how is the Western Rite more attuned to modern, 21st century Western culture any more than the Eastern rite?

Because it's Western.  It is similar to trying to translated modern novels across languages.  Not such a big problem going from French to English. Westernization has only made it somewhat easier from Russian/Greek to English, and even then it's a stretch. Arabic, Hindi and Chinese aren't usually translatable without some radical reworking (I remember the translator of Pu Yi the last emperor of China's biography going into this problem, and the problem the adaptor of the indian epic the Mahabharata had with Western audiences).

So give some specific examples where such misunderstandings have arisen in the Eastern rite in English.

Quote
Interesting how you are overlook those "large swarths of Americans" who have that experience to focus on lesser numbers who haven't.

Sorry, Western Rite would strike most Americans as awfully frilly and elaborate. "Popery," as they used to say. The problem is you are pretending that a modern United Methodist service is just a stone's throw away from Western Rite. My wife is raisedMethodist and her family is certainly allergic to basic things like chanting or incense. They described the local Lutheran church as "just like the Roman Catholics." Why? "Because they make you stand up and sit down all the time throughout the service."

Are you such a person? If so, let us hear your observations. If not, do have others' experience to share? Otherwise, let's not speculate.[/quote]

Yes. I'm a Chinese-American(also part Irish)  and have lived in China. I've also traveled throughout Southeast Asia with my family, many of whom live in Malaysia, where my mother was from. I made many observations, but a prevailing one is that people who talk all the time about the differences between East and West and the inscrutability of one to the other are more interested in mystification and their own pet theories than in actually promoting understanding and a meaningful cultural interaction. Your own ramblings about the magical Diocletian line strike me as your own pet theories. Even the Western Rite enthusiasts would probably have difficulty accepting such nonsense. Sleeper certaily doesn't seem to buy it- he accepts that the WR will appeal primarily to those of a high church Anglican or RC background. To his credit, he doesn't attribute some mystical quality of "Westernness" to it.
Quote
What do you call "a meaningful discussion?" I prefer facts that can be substantiated, disproven, whatever.  Theoretical constructs of historiographers doesn't quite make it.

For starters, you try to define ambiguous ideas, especially if they form the lynchpin of your argument. In your case you have yet to give any real definition of what distinguishes "East" and "West" so solidly, yet these comprise your only argument. Your magical "Diocletian line" seems only to hold such pervasive sway in your imagination.

Quote
1. What do Russians, Greeks, Georgians, Romanians, Syrians, and Egyptians all have in common that "Westerners" do not?
Baklava. The Westerners have strudel.


Cute. So in other words, you've got nothing.

Quote
The DL of St. John, like the Armenian, Coptic (and the original EO of Alexandria), Syriac (and the original EO of Antioch) have the same pomp for pomp sake and symbolism for symbolism sake that the Liturgy shares with secular culture in Greece, Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Armenia etc. The Proskomedia and Great Entrance and the corresponding actions in the other Eastern rites contrast the corresponding actions in the Roman and other Western rites as much as they do, for instance, as an Eastern Wedding procession and a Western wedding march.

Pomp? Really? That's all you can say? I've been to several Roman Catholic weddings, thanks to my Irish cousins. They certainly had every bit as much pomp to them as any Orthodox rite I've witnessed. In some ways, even more- as someone accustomed to the Eastern rite, I was actually overwhelmed by certain aspects. The thing about "pomp" is that it's a rather subjective perception. And certainly pomp in the Great Entrance is not "for pomp's sake" but is quite appropriate to the occasion. As for the Latin rites:

"Nope, no pomp here!"



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Quote
But to pick up on theoretical constructions:are you arguing that nothing would have been different in Rus' culture if Rome Christianized Kiev and not new Rome?
No, I'm not arguing that. But would it have made such a difference that the Rus' and their descendents would have some magical connection to the Western rites for the next millenium or so, such that the Eastern rite would  be insurmountably alien to them? No.
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« Reply #118 on: November 14, 2010, 10:21:07 PM »

...the WR will appeal primarily to those of a high church Anglican or RC background. To his credit, he doesn't attribute some mystical quality of "Westernness" to it.

FWIW, I do not come from a high church Anglican or RC background, but if there were a WR Orthodox Church within a hour's drive (or two hours or three or four...), I would attend. Ironically, it has taken being ER Orthodox for several years for me to better appreciate Western Christianity. In this sense, I guess it is like learning one's own language better by studying a foreign language.
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« Reply #119 on: November 14, 2010, 10:56:28 PM »

...the WR will appeal primarily to those of a high church Anglican or RC background. To his credit, he doesn't attribute some mystical quality of "Westernness" to it.

FWIW, I do not come from a high church Anglican or RC background, but if there were a WR Orthodox Church within a hour's drive (or two hours or three or four...), I would attend. Ironically, it has taken being ER Orthodox for several years for me to better appreciate Western Christianity. In this sense, I guess it is like learning one's own language better by studying a foreign language.

Okay. What are the aspects of WR that attract you? How this relate to your personal background? I can certainly see attractive aspects in WR, but it is more because it is "exotic" and new to me.
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« Reply #120 on: November 14, 2010, 10:58:00 PM »

...the WR will appeal primarily to those of a high church Anglican or RC background. To his credit, he doesn't attribute some mystical quality of "Westernness" to it.

FWIW, I do not come from a high church Anglican or RC background, but if there were a WR Orthodox Church within a hour's drive (or two hours or three or four...), I would attend. Ironically, it has taken being ER Orthodox for several years for me to better appreciate Western Christianity. In this sense, I guess it is like learning one's own language better by studying a foreign language.

Okay. What are the aspects of WR that attract you? How this relate to your personal background? I can certainly see attractive aspects in WR, but it is more because it is "exotic" and new to me.

I like the liturgy of St. Gregory
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« Reply #121 on: November 14, 2010, 11:55:47 PM »

I'm sure there are more specific, concrete examples of what one might classify as "differences" between East and West.  But I think what I've noticed the most is the way things are carried out.  I realize that's quite vague, but what I have in mind (and what others have pointed out as being the "major" differences) is that Eastern expression tends to be "circular" whereas Western expression tends to be "linear."  I think there is some truth to this.  The East seems to repeat things a lot, whereas the West says something once and moves on.  Those are generalities of course, but I think it would be noticeable to an objective onlooker.  This "linearality" of the West can be seen in the architecture, the movements of the celebrants, etc.

That being said, I think that is one thing that might appeal to non-Churched Westerners, for whom liturgy of any sort would be foreign and exotic.  Our cultural thought-patterns are a part of who we are, how we function, how we process the world around us and I think that can make a big difference to people looking for a fulfilling form of worship.
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« Reply #122 on: November 15, 2010, 12:22:00 AM »

I'm sure there are more specific, concrete examples of what one might classify as "differences" between East and West.  But I think what I've noticed the most is the way things are carried out.  I realize that's quite vague, but what I have in mind (and what others have pointed out as being the "major" differences) is that Eastern expression tends to be "circular" whereas Western expression tends to be "linear."  I think there is some truth to this.  The East seems to repeat things a lot, whereas the West says something once and moves on.  Those are generalities of course, but I think it would be noticeable to an objective onlooker.  This "linearality" of the West can be seen in the architecture, the movements of the celebrants, etc.

That being said, I think that is one thing that might appeal to non-Churched Westerners, for whom liturgy of any sort would be foreign and exotic.  Our cultural thought-patterns are a part of who we are, how we function, how we process the world around us and I think that can make a big difference to people looking for a fulfilling form of worship.

I must say, I found the western liturgy to be pleasantly succint. I think this has to do with some of the things you mentioned.
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« Reply #123 on: November 15, 2010, 12:54:10 AM »

Why would 18th century Americans attempt to re-enact 6th century B.C. government from Rome...Why do Atticists speak in a language which was dead for centuries? and when the Katharevouists imitated it, dead for millenia? Why did King Josaiah try to reform the Hebrew cult on the basis of a liturgical and canon book and synaxarion (which we know as the book of Deuteronomy) over half a millenium old and found discarded in a dusty corner of the Temple?...Why would EO Churches built in the 19th century redo their iconography in the 20th century in "neo-Byzantine" style based on Paleologan art of the 14th century, or Russian revival style based on the Novgorod school of the same era?

Exactly. Orthodox Westerners adopting the Eastern rite is no more "odd" than any of these other things. You seem to think I have a problem with all the abovementioned things when in fact I have no problem with them. I'm just pointing out the inconsistency of saying Westerners on the Eastern rite are "odd" when you accept equally odd, or odder, things.
Redoing EO iconography in the Eastern manner isn't odd. I wish they had done so in Christ the Savior:when I see pictures of the "iconography," I want to shriek.

Josiah promulgating and enforcing lost scripture isn't odd.  The perpetuation of the debasement of the cult of Jerusalem presented as much a monstracity as the perpetuation of the debasement of the Orthodox episcopate under the Ottomans, rather than returning to the episcopate of the Fathers before Constantinople's twilight.

I am a Katharevousist, but its fate is sealed, cutting the Greeks off at their roots (btw. Ataturk's westernization only accomplished that for the Turks, casting them totally adrift), which has led to the Frankiisation of the Westoxicated once proud sons of Homer.  In the East, preservation of the Classical Standard is the norm, not the exception. In 1776, in the West no language had a standard 300 years old. In the East, the standards used were many times older (Romanian alone, depending on how you analyze it, making the sole possible exception).

That the Americans emulated the only example of a republic replacing a monarchy in their cultural heritage isn't odd at all. As de Tocqueville said, history is many copies and few originals.

You are straying from the point.  

Nay, but rather you missed it completely.
Quite sure you made it at all?

But seriously, how is the Western Rite more attuned to modern, 21st century Western culture any more than the Eastern rite?

Because it's Western.  It is similar to trying to translated modern novels across languages.  Not such a big problem going from French to English. Westernization has only made it somewhat easier from Russian/Greek to English, and even then it's a stretch. Arabic, Hindi and Chinese aren't usually translatable without some radical reworking (I remember the translator of Pu Yi the last emperor of China's biography going into this problem, and the problem the adaptor of the indian epic the Mahabharata had with Western audiences).

So give some specific examples where such misunderstandings have arisen in the Eastern rite in English.

"Why is repeat so much?" "Why the florid language?" "Why does every simple thing have to be elaborated?" "Why the recherche lyrics?" "Why no hymns?"

I priest I knew didn't go to his graduation because he thought that going up in a gown was too much ceremony. When I pointed out that he didn't have a problem with the Great Entrance, he said "but that's Church." Point is, in the East processions are part of daily life, and that is why it in the DL, not because it's "in Church." Just like those who prefer the Latin Mass in Latin because it's "more religious that way": every survey I've seen of the Traditionalists of the Vatican has found that they would prefer the Tridentine in English over the Novus Ordo in Latin. Good for them! Otherwise it would be-like pomp in Church you wouldn't tolerate outside of Church-religiosity, not religion.

Interesting how you are overlook those "large swarths of Americans" who have that experience to focus on lesser numbers who haven't.

Sorry, Western Rite would strike most Americans as awfully frilly and elaborate.

Is that what "most Americans" have told you?

"Popery," as they used to say.
LOL. Over a quater of all Americans are officially part of "popery." And I've known those who aren't who went to their local outlet of "popery" for weddings. They like the frills and elaboration.

You seem to hold that American culture (for focus, I haven't even touched the issues of Canada and Latin America, where your objections have even less chance of surviving scrutiny) subsists in the megachurch and storefronts. For the formative majority of American history, the "frilly and elaborate" liturgical churches predominated, smells and bells and all.


The problem is you are pretending that a modern United Methodist service is just a stone's throw away from Western Rite.
I didn't say a thing about Methodists, United or otherwise.

My wife is raisedMethodist and her family is certainly allergic to basic things like chanting or incense. They described the local Lutheran church as "just like the Roman Catholics." Why? "Because they make you stand up and sit down all the time throughout the service."
Just like the Lutherans, "just like the Roman Catholics," just like the Episcopalians. Just like the WRO.

Was it "And a River Runs through It" which describes Methodists as "Baptists who can read?" Anyway, on a related issue, I question how keyed in the congregationalists etc. are into their own culture.

Are you such a person? If so, let us hear your observations. If not, do have others' experience to share? Otherwise, let's not speculate.

Yes. I'm a Chinese-American(also part Irish)  and have lived in China. I've also traveled throughout Southeast Asia with my family, many of whom live in Malaysia, where my mother was from. I made many observations, but a prevailing one is that people who talk all the time about the differences between East and West and the inscrutability of one to the other are more interested in mystification and their own pet theories than in actually promoting understanding and a meaningful cultural interaction.
Yeah, and this just fits right in with the rest of Canton.

Btw, the one on the right is a mosque.

I didn't say a thing about either being inscrutible. And I've heard plenty of Westerners who like the mystification of the Eastern right, i.e. it's exotic.

Your own ramblings about the magical Diocletian line
Observations made crossing it several times, and repeated by anyone I know who has done the same.  You seem to claim to see know difference between the Far East and the Far West, so I'm not sure how observant of the transition between Eastern and Western Europe you would be.

strike me as your own pet theories.

Far from. I was there shortly before people started killing each other over it.  One of the times I crossed it, a Croatian soldier told me that it didn't matter, and everyone was just Yugoslavian. Shortly there after, it was no man's land when those "Yugoslavians" started trambled over each other to go their seperate ways.

Even the Western Rite enthusiasts would probably have difficulty accepting such nonsense.
I'll let them speak for themselves.

Sleeper certaily doesn't seem to buy it- he accepts that the WR will appeal primarily to those of a high church Anglican or RC background.
And? They are primarily the Churches, with the Lutherans latter, who formed much of American high culture. A little leaven....

To his credit, he doesn't attribute some mystical quality of "Westernness" to it.

Neither do I, so what is your point?

What do you call "a meaningful discussion?" I prefer facts that can be substantiated, disproven, whatever.  Theoretical constructs of historiographers doesn't quite make it.
For starters, you try to define ambiguous ideas, especially if they form the lynchpin of your argument. In your case you have yet to give any real definition of what distinguishes "East" and "West" so solidly, yet these comprise your only argument. Your magical "Diocletian line" seems only to hold such pervasive sway in your imagination.
This is a picture of a Melkite parish, a "sui juris Eastern church," the second largest (after the Urkainians) in fact.

It's the same parish. Notice anything different?

1. What do Russians, Greeks, Georgians, Romanians, Syrians, and Egyptians all have in common that "Westerners" do not?
Baklava. The Westerners have strudel.


Cute. So in other words, you've got nothing.
Got plenty. But you seem hades bent on not seeing what is there.

The DL of St. John, like the Armenian, Coptic (and the original EO of Alexandria), Syriac (and the original EO of Antioch) have the same pomp for pomp sake and symbolism for symbolism sake that the Liturgy shares with secular culture in Greece, Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Armenia etc. The Proskomedia and Great Entrance and the corresponding actions in the other Eastern rites contrast the corresponding actions in the Roman and other Western rites as much as they do, for instance, as an Eastern Wedding procession and a Western wedding march.

Pomp? Really? That's all you can say? I've been to several Roman Catholic weddings, thanks to my Irish cousins. They certainly had every bit as much pomp to them as any Orthodox rite I've witnessed. In some ways, even more- as someone accustomed to the Eastern rite, I was actually overwhelmed by certain aspects. The thing about "pomp" is that it's a rather subjective perception. And certainly pomp in the Great Entrance is not "for pomp's sake" but is quite appropriate to the occasion. As for the Latin rites:

"Nope, no pomp here!"



"Nothing to see here."
In comparison

no. Nothing to see there.

But to pick up on theoretical constructions:are you arguing that nothing would have been different in Rus' culture if Rome Christianized Kiev and not new Rome?
No, I'm not arguing that. But would it have made such a difference that the Rus' and their descendents would have some magical connection to the Western rites for the next millenium or so, such that the Eastern rite would  be insurmountably alien to them? No.
The Czech Lands, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland form rather large refutations.
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« Reply #124 on: November 15, 2010, 01:13:08 AM »

...the WR will appeal primarily to those of a high church Anglican or RC background. To his credit, he doesn't attribute some mystical quality of "Westernness" to it.

FWIW, I do not come from a high church Anglican or RC background, but if there were a WR Orthodox Church within a hour's drive (or two hours or three or four...), I would attend. Ironically, it has taken being ER Orthodox for several years for me to better appreciate Western Christianity. In this sense, I guess it is like learning one's own language better by studying a foreign language.
Exactly.
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« Reply #125 on: November 15, 2010, 12:10:23 PM »

My wife is raisedMethodist and her family is certainly allergic to basic things like chanting or incense. They described the local Lutheran church as "just like the Roman Catholics." Why? "Because they make you stand up and sit down all the time throughout the service."
Just like the Lutherans, "just like the Roman Catholics," just like the Episcopalians. Just like the WRO.
And the Baptists of my experience. They are all drawing water from the same liturgical source, whether they realize it or not.

...the WR will appeal primarily to those of a high church Anglican or RC background. To his credit, he doesn't attribute some mystical quality of "Westernness" to it.

FWIW, I do not come from a high church Anglican or RC background, but if there were a WR Orthodox Church within a hour's drive (or two hours or three or four...), I would attend. Ironically, it has taken being ER Orthodox for several years for me to better appreciate Western Christianity. In this sense, I guess it is like learning one's own language better by studying a foreign language.

Okay. What are the aspects of WR that attract you? How this relate to your personal background? I can certainly see attractive aspects in WR, but it is more because it is "exotic" and new to me.

Sleeper provided a fine explanation in reply 121. To this, I will add my own anecdotal evidence, although I draw from a pool that is much, much smaller than Isa's. The first non-doctrinal criticism I ever heard of Eastern Orthodoxy was that it was too exotic. This was from a man who eventually converted from a non-liturgical Protestant background to the Episcopal Church, which, whatever else we may say about it, is a WR church. The most recent non-doctrinal criticism I heard of Eastern Orthodoxy was of our repetitiveness, ("Lord, have mercy" 3x, 12x, 40x), which fits well with Sleeper's observation of circular ER vs. linear WR.

What aspects of WR attract me? Lots of aesthetic things: architecture, chant, standing, sitting, brief periods of silent contemplation.  Basically any aspect that approaches that Medieval time-frame when the cultural expressions of Western Europe were channeled almost exclusively into the Church. Not easy to find these days, but when I do, it's like remembering something I didn't know I'd forgotten. I don't think it is a "mystical quality." I think Sleeper is closer, with "cultural thought-patterns." But whatever it is, it's there. If I could worship in that way and keep Orthodox doctrine, I would switch from ER to WR without a moment's hesitation.
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« Reply #126 on: November 15, 2010, 11:39:31 PM »

J.J. Overbeck, who played a very important role in bringing the Western expression back into canonical Orthodoxy put it well:

"My dear Eastern friends, I conjure you not to undervalue the difference of the Eastern and Western minds, and their different forms of thinking and worshipping…it is a requisite of paramount importance, not to lose the Western ground, not to attempt to assimilate, extrinsically the Eastern and Western Orthodox Church. Both, through having the same faith and fundamental constitution of the Catholic Church, must keep their formal peculiarities, which have become a part of their inmost life, and which cannot be changed like a dress. Divine Providence formed the Western Church on the Western Mind; therefore our Western form is inalienable from our Western minds. Our difference from the East is only formal; but I venture to maintain that often formal obstacles were a more serious bar to unity than even material ones."

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« Reply #127 on: November 23, 2010, 07:12:36 PM »

Just came across this about the present AoC
Quote
Nevertheless, the article does reveal that the Anglican Archbishop’s first encounter with God was at a liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church, when he was aged 14. Here he met the ‘living God’ and when he left he felt that he ‘had seen glory and praise for the first time’. ‘I felt I had seen and heard people who were behaving as if God were real. I came away with the sense of absolute objectivity and majesty and beauty of God which I have never forgotten. If people worshipped like this, I felt God must be a great deal more real (than) I have ever learnt him so far’.

The question that arises is why the teenage boy, like many before and since, did not join the Orthodox Church? In order to answer this, let us imagine for a moment that he had done so. What would his future have been?

First of all, he would probably have had to wait to join the Orthodox Church until he was eighteen years old - unless of course his parents had given him permission to join the Church as a minor and the receiving Orthodox priest had agreed to receive him at such a young age. Secondly, he would have had to take the name of a saint, rather than that of a tree. For the sake of argument, perhaps the name ‘Roman’, sufficiently similar to his first name, would have done.

With his academic bent, the young Roman would have gone to University and perhaps studied theology. He would not have studied in the theoretical way he did study, but, as an Orthodox, he would have lived theology. Given his inclinations, he would have gone on to do a doctoral thesis, perhaps on a Church Father, either ancient or perhaps contemporary. He would have made pilgrimages to Orthodox lands and monasteries. He would have learnt not only Patristic Greek, but also perhaps Russian. Had he wanted to serve not only as an academic, but also as a priest, he would have married an Orthodox. Given his religious inclinations, he would eventually have become a priest - Fr Roman Williams.

So far we can see several parallels between his real life and his imaginary life. But at this point all parallels stop. Firstly, as a married Orthodox man, he would never have become a bishop. Secondly, as a non-Russian and non-Greek (and non-Serb and non-Romanian), he would have been treated as a second-class citizen by whatever jurisdiction he belonged to. Without the right ethnic surname and background, he would have ended up as an unpaid priest in a small parish, living off the fruits of his secular labours, struggling by himself to fund the purchase of a family home, and the establishment of a small parish church, juggling to balance priestly, professional and family life. After thirty or forty years hard labour, he might have received some small token of appreciation, which, had he had an ethnic surname, he would have received after thirty or forty months.
http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/whydidab.htm
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« Reply #128 on: November 23, 2010, 09:39:54 PM »

Just came across this about the present AoC
Quote
Nevertheless, the article does reveal that the Anglican Archbishop’s first encounter with God was at a liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church, when he was aged 14. Here he met the ‘living God’ and when he left he felt that he ‘had seen glory and praise for the first time’. ‘I felt I had seen and heard people who were behaving as if God were real. I came away with the sense of absolute objectivity and majesty and beauty of God which I have never forgotten. If people worshipped like this, I felt God must be a great deal more real (than) I have ever learnt him so far’.

The question that arises is why the teenage boy, like many before and since, did not join the Orthodox Church? In order to answer this, let us imagine for a moment that he had done so. What would his future have been?

First of all, he would probably have had to wait to join the Orthodox Church until he was eighteen years old - unless of course his parents had given him permission to join the Church as a minor and the receiving Orthodox priest had agreed to receive him at such a young age. Secondly, he would have had to take the name of a saint, rather than that of a tree. For the sake of argument, perhaps the name ‘Roman’, sufficiently similar to his first name, would have done.

With his academic bent, the young Roman would have gone to University and perhaps studied theology. He would not have studied in the theoretical way he did study, but, as an Orthodox, he would have lived theology. Given his inclinations, he would have gone on to do a doctoral thesis, perhaps on a Church Father, either ancient or perhaps contemporary. He would have made pilgrimages to Orthodox lands and monasteries. He would have learnt not only Patristic Greek, but also perhaps Russian. Had he wanted to serve not only as an academic, but also as a priest, he would have married an Orthodox. Given his religious inclinations, he would eventually have become a priest - Fr Roman Williams.

So far we can see several parallels between his real life and his imaginary life. But at this point all parallels stop. Firstly, as a married Orthodox man, he would never have become a bishop. Secondly, as a non-Russian and non-Greek (and non-Serb and non-Romanian), he would have been treated as a second-class citizen by whatever jurisdiction he belonged to. Without the right ethnic surname and background, he would have ended up as an unpaid priest in a small parish, living off the fruits of his secular labours, struggling by himself to fund the purchase of a family home, and the establishment of a small parish church, juggling to balance priestly, professional and family life. After thirty or forty years hard labour, he might have received some small token of appreciation, which, had he had an ethnic surname, he would have received after thirty or forty months.
http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/whydidab.htm

Just like little Timothy Ware never amounted to much in the Orthodox Church, either.
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« Reply #129 on: November 23, 2010, 10:14:00 PM »

Just came across this about the present AoC
Quote
Nevertheless, the article does reveal that the Anglican Archbishop’s first encounter with God was at a liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church, when he was aged 14. Here he met the ‘living God’ and when he left he felt that he ‘had seen glory and praise for the first time’. ‘I felt I had seen and heard people who were behaving as if God were real. I came away with the sense of absolute objectivity and majesty and beauty of God which I have never forgotten. If people worshipped like this, I felt God must be a great deal more real (than) I have ever learnt him so far’.

The question that arises is why the teenage boy, like many before and since, did not join the Orthodox Church? In order to answer this, let us imagine for a moment that he had done so. What would his future have been?

First of all, he would probably have had to wait to join the Orthodox Church until he was eighteen years old - unless of course his parents had given him permission to join the Church as a minor and the receiving Orthodox priest had agreed to receive him at such a young age. Secondly, he would have had to take the name of a saint, rather than that of a tree. For the sake of argument, perhaps the name ‘Roman’, sufficiently similar to his first name, would have done.

With his academic bent, the young Roman would have gone to University and perhaps studied theology. He would not have studied in the theoretical way he did study, but, as an Orthodox, he would have lived theology. Given his inclinations, he would have gone on to do a doctoral thesis, perhaps on a Church Father, either ancient or perhaps contemporary. He would have made pilgrimages to Orthodox lands and monasteries. He would have learnt not only Patristic Greek, but also perhaps Russian. Had he wanted to serve not only as an academic, but also as a priest, he would have married an Orthodox. Given his religious inclinations, he would eventually have become a priest - Fr Roman Williams.

So far we can see several parallels between his real life and his imaginary life. But at this point all parallels stop. Firstly, as a married Orthodox man, he would never have become a bishop. Secondly, as a non-Russian and non-Greek (and non-Serb and non-Romanian), he would have been treated as a second-class citizen by whatever jurisdiction he belonged to. Without the right ethnic surname and background, he would have ended up as an unpaid priest in a small parish, living off the fruits of his secular labours, struggling by himself to fund the purchase of a family home, and the establishment of a small parish church, juggling to balance priestly, professional and family life. After thirty or forty years hard labour, he might have received some small token of appreciation, which, had he had an ethnic surname, he would have received after thirty or forty months.
http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/whydidab.htm

Just like little Timothy Ware never amounted to much in the Orthodox Church, either.
So he was told. When he converted, he was told he could never receive orders. When he became a monk, he was told he could never be ordained. When he was ordained, he was told he never could become a bishop.

Given how he has (unintentionally) characterized his Metropolitinate, a picture of an ethnic enclave of Cypriot Greeks (run by an Archbishop whose hometown is in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus), I'm not sure what to make of it. Btw, much of his success comes from his career at Oxford. He was consecrated an auxiliary bishop only after his appointment as a Fellow at Oxford.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #130 on: November 24, 2010, 12:28:25 AM »

Just came across this about the present AoC
Quote
Nevertheless, the article does reveal that the Anglican Archbishop’s first encounter with God was at a liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church, when he was aged 14. Here he met the ‘living God’ and when he left he felt that he ‘had seen glory and praise for the first time’. ‘I felt I had seen and heard people who were behaving as if God were real. I came away with the sense of absolute objectivity and majesty and beauty of God which I have never forgotten. If people worshipped like this, I felt God must be a great deal more real (than) I have ever learnt him so far’.

The question that arises is why the teenage boy, like many before and since, did not join the Orthodox Church? In order to answer this, let us imagine for a moment that he had done so. What would his future have been?

First of all, he would probably have had to wait to join the Orthodox Church until he was eighteen years old - unless of course his parents had given him permission to join the Church as a minor and the receiving Orthodox priest had agreed to receive him at such a young age. Secondly, he would have had to take the name of a saint, rather than that of a tree. For the sake of argument, perhaps the name ‘Roman’, sufficiently similar to his first name, would have done.

With his academic bent, the young Roman would have gone to University and perhaps studied theology. He would not have studied in the theoretical way he did study, but, as an Orthodox, he would have lived theology. Given his inclinations, he would have gone on to do a doctoral thesis, perhaps on a Church Father, either ancient or perhaps contemporary. He would have made pilgrimages to Orthodox lands and monasteries. He would have learnt not only Patristic Greek, but also perhaps Russian. Had he wanted to serve not only as an academic, but also as a priest, he would have married an Orthodox. Given his religious inclinations, he would eventually have become a priest - Fr Roman Williams.

So far we can see several parallels between his real life and his imaginary life. But at this point all parallels stop. Firstly, as a married Orthodox man, he would never have become a bishop. Secondly, as a non-Russian and non-Greek (and non-Serb and non-Romanian), he would have been treated as a second-class citizen by whatever jurisdiction he belonged to. Without the right ethnic surname and background, he would have ended up as an unpaid priest in a small parish, living off the fruits of his secular labours, struggling by himself to fund the purchase of a family home, and the establishment of a small parish church, juggling to balance priestly, professional and family life. After thirty or forty years hard labour, he might have received some small token of appreciation, which, had he had an ethnic surname, he would have received after thirty or forty months.
http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/whydidab.htm

Just like little Timothy Ware never amounted to much in the Orthodox Church, either.
So he was told. When he converted, he was told he could never receive orders. When he became a monk, he was told he could never be ordained. When he was ordained, he was told he never could become a bishop.

Given how he has (unintentionally) characterized his Metropolitinate, a picture of an ethnic enclave of Cypriot Greeks (run by an Archbishop whose hometown is in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus), I'm not sure what to make of it. Btw, much of his success comes from his career at Oxford. He was consecrated an auxiliary bishop only after his appointment as a Fellow at Oxford.

What does it matter what they told him?  What matters is what he did in spite of that.

Besides, for all we know, Rowan Williams may have done better for his own salvation as an anonymous Orthodox priest somewhere, than as the head of a heterodox church.
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- C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces
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ialmisry
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« Reply #131 on: November 24, 2010, 01:33:26 AM »

Just came across this about the present AoC
Quote
Nevertheless, the article does reveal that the Anglican Archbishop’s first encounter with God was at a liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church, when he was aged 14. Here he met the ‘living God’ and when he left he felt that he ‘had seen glory and praise for the first time’. ‘I felt I had seen and heard people who were behaving as if God were real. I came away with the sense of absolute objectivity and majesty and beauty of God which I have never forgotten. If people worshipped like this, I felt God must be a great deal more real (than) I have ever learnt him so far’.

The question that arises is why the teenage boy, like many before and since, did not join the Orthodox Church? In order to answer this, let us imagine for a moment that he had done so. What would his future have been?

First of all, he would probably have had to wait to join the Orthodox Church until he was eighteen years old - unless of course his parents had given him permission to join the Church as a minor and the receiving Orthodox priest had agreed to receive him at such a young age. Secondly, he would have had to take the name of a saint, rather than that of a tree. For the sake of argument, perhaps the name ‘Roman’, sufficiently similar to his first name, would have done.

With his academic bent, the young Roman would have gone to University and perhaps studied theology. He would not have studied in the theoretical way he did study, but, as an Orthodox, he would have lived theology. Given his inclinations, he would have gone on to do a doctoral thesis, perhaps on a Church Father, either ancient or perhaps contemporary. He would have made pilgrimages to Orthodox lands and monasteries. He would have learnt not only Patristic Greek, but also perhaps Russian. Had he wanted to serve not only as an academic, but also as a priest, he would have married an Orthodox. Given his religious inclinations, he would eventually have become a priest - Fr Roman Williams.

So far we can see several parallels between his real life and his imaginary life. But at this point all parallels stop. Firstly, as a married Orthodox man, he would never have become a bishop. Secondly, as a non-Russian and non-Greek (and non-Serb and non-Romanian), he would have been treated as a second-class citizen by whatever jurisdiction he belonged to. Without the right ethnic surname and background, he would have ended up as an unpaid priest in a small parish, living off the fruits of his secular labours, struggling by himself to fund the purchase of a family home, and the establishment of a small parish church, juggling to balance priestly, professional and family life. After thirty or forty years hard labour, he might have received some small token of appreciation, which, had he had an ethnic surname, he would have received after thirty or forty months.
http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/whydidab.htm

Just like little Timothy Ware never amounted to much in the Orthodox Church, either.
So he was told. When he converted, he was told he could never receive orders. When he became a monk, he was told he could never be ordained. When he was ordained, he was told he never could become a bishop.

Given how he has (unintentionally) characterized his Metropolitinate, a picture of an ethnic enclave of Cypriot Greeks (run by an Archbishop whose hometown is in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus), I'm not sure what to make of it. Btw, much of his success comes from his career at Oxford. He was consecrated an auxiliary bishop only after his appointment as a Fellow at Oxford.

What does it matter what they told him? 
For the mission of the Church? A great deal.
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #132 on: November 24, 2010, 09:14:32 PM »

Just came across this about the present AoC
Quote
Nevertheless, the article does reveal that the Anglican Archbishop’s first encounter with God was at a liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church, when he was aged 14. Here he met the ‘living God’ and when he left he felt that he ‘had seen glory and praise for the first time’. ‘I felt I had seen and heard people who were behaving as if God were real. I came away with the sense of absolute objectivity and majesty and beauty of God which I have never forgotten. If people worshipped like this, I felt God must be a great deal more real (than) I have ever learnt him so far’.

The question that arises is why the teenage boy, like many before and since, did not join the Orthodox Church? In order to answer this, let us imagine for a moment that he had done so. What would his future have been?

First of all, he would probably have had to wait to join the Orthodox Church until he was eighteen years old - unless of course his parents had given him permission to join the Church as a minor and the receiving Orthodox priest had agreed to receive him at such a young age. Secondly, he would have had to take the name of a saint, rather than that of a tree. For the sake of argument, perhaps the name ‘Roman’, sufficiently similar to his first name, would have done.

With his academic bent, the young Roman would have gone to University and perhaps studied theology. He would not have studied in the theoretical way he did study, but, as an Orthodox, he would have lived theology. Given his inclinations, he would have gone on to do a doctoral thesis, perhaps on a Church Father, either ancient or perhaps contemporary. He would have made pilgrimages to Orthodox lands and monasteries. He would have learnt not only Patristic Greek, but also perhaps Russian. Had he wanted to serve not only as an academic, but also as a priest, he would have married an Orthodox. Given his religious inclinations, he would eventually have become a priest - Fr Roman Williams.

So far we can see several parallels between his real life and his imaginary life. But at this point all parallels stop. Firstly, as a married Orthodox man, he would never have become a bishop. Secondly, as a non-Russian and non-Greek (and non-Serb and non-Romanian), he would have been treated as a second-class citizen by whatever jurisdiction he belonged to. Without the right ethnic surname and background, he would have ended up as an unpaid priest in a small parish, living off the fruits of his secular labours, struggling by himself to fund the purchase of a family home, and the establishment of a small parish church, juggling to balance priestly, professional and family life. After thirty or forty years hard labour, he might have received some small token of appreciation, which, had he had an ethnic surname, he would have received after thirty or forty months.
http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/whydidab.htm

Just like little Timothy Ware never amounted to much in the Orthodox Church, either.
So he was told. When he converted, he was told he could never receive orders. When he became a monk, he was told he could never be ordained. When he was ordained, he was told he never could become a bishop.

Given how he has (unintentionally) characterized his Metropolitinate, a picture of an ethnic enclave of Cypriot Greeks (run by an Archbishop whose hometown is in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus), I'm not sure what to make of it. Btw, much of his success comes from his career at Oxford. He was consecrated an auxiliary bishop only after his appointment as a Fellow at Oxford.

What does it matter what they told him? 
For the mission of the Church? A great deal.

I can't see how it makes any difference.  He did all the things they said he would never do because God willed it.  Although I don't agree with a lot of the stuff he writes these days, his life story is inspiring to me.
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« Reply #133 on: November 25, 2010, 12:06:13 AM »

Just came across this about the present AoC
Quote
Nevertheless, the article does reveal that the Anglican Archbishop’s first encounter with God was at a liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church, when he was aged 14. Here he met the ‘living God’ and when he left he felt that he ‘had seen glory and praise for the first time’. ‘I felt I had seen and heard people who were behaving as if God were real. I came away with the sense of absolute objectivity and majesty and beauty of God which I have never forgotten. If people worshipped like this, I felt God must be a great deal more real (than) I have ever learnt him so far’.

The question that arises is why the teenage boy, like many before and since, did not join the Orthodox Church? In order to answer this, let us imagine for a moment that he had done so. What would his future have been?

First of all, he would probably have had to wait to join the Orthodox Church until he was eighteen years old - unless of course his parents had given him permission to join the Church as a minor and the receiving Orthodox priest had agreed to receive him at such a young age. Secondly, he would have had to take the name of a saint, rather than that of a tree. For the sake of argument, perhaps the name ‘Roman’, sufficiently similar to his first name, would have done.

With his academic bent, the young Roman would have gone to University and perhaps studied theology. He would not have studied in the theoretical way he did study, but, as an Orthodox, he would have lived theology. Given his inclinations, he would have gone on to do a doctoral thesis, perhaps on a Church Father, either ancient or perhaps contemporary. He would have made pilgrimages to Orthodox lands and monasteries. He would have learnt not only Patristic Greek, but also perhaps Russian. Had he wanted to serve not only as an academic, but also as a priest, he would have married an Orthodox. Given his religious inclinations, he would eventually have become a priest - Fr Roman Williams.

So far we can see several parallels between his real life and his imaginary life. But at this point all parallels stop. Firstly, as a married Orthodox man, he would never have become a bishop. Secondly, as a non-Russian and non-Greek (and non-Serb and non-Romanian), he would have been treated as a second-class citizen by whatever jurisdiction he belonged to. Without the right ethnic surname and background, he would have ended up as an unpaid priest in a small parish, living off the fruits of his secular labours, struggling by himself to fund the purchase of a family home, and the establishment of a small parish church, juggling to balance priestly, professional and family life. After thirty or forty years hard labour, he might have received some small token of appreciation, which, had he had an ethnic surname, he would have received after thirty or forty months.
http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/whydidab.htm

Just like little Timothy Ware never amounted to much in the Orthodox Church, either.
So he was told. When he converted, he was told he could never receive orders. When he became a monk, he was told he could never be ordained. When he was ordained, he was told he never could become a bishop.

Given how he has (unintentionally) characterized his Metropolitinate, a picture of an ethnic enclave of Cypriot Greeks (run by an Archbishop whose hometown is in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus), I'm not sure what to make of it. Btw, much of his success comes from his career at Oxford. He was consecrated an auxiliary bishop only after his appointment as a Fellow at Oxford.

What does it matter what they told him? 
For the mission of the Church? A great deal.

I can't see how it makes any difference.  He did all the things they said he would never do because God willed it.  Although I don't agree with a lot of the stuff he writes these days, his life story is inspiring to me.
But his life story has less inspiring things to say about the Church as an institution on a mission.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Orual
Orthodoxy = 7, not 3
High Elder
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Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Sunday Morning Costume Parade
Posts: 942


I'm just here for the food.


« Reply #134 on: November 25, 2010, 02:00:36 AM »

Just came across this about the present AoC
Quote
Nevertheless, the article does reveal that the Anglican Archbishop’s first encounter with God was at a liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church, when he was aged 14. Here he met the ‘living God’ and when he left he felt that he ‘had seen glory and praise for the first time’. ‘I felt I had seen and heard people who were behaving as if God were real. I came away with the sense of absolute objectivity and majesty and beauty of God which I have never forgotten. If people worshipped like this, I felt God must be a great deal more real (than) I have ever learnt him so far’.

The question that arises is why the teenage boy, like many before and since, did not join the Orthodox Church? In order to answer this, let us imagine for a moment that he had done so. What would his future have been?

First of all, he would probably have had to wait to join the Orthodox Church until he was eighteen years old - unless of course his parents had given him permission to join the Church as a minor and the receiving Orthodox priest had agreed to receive him at such a young age. Secondly, he would have had to take the name of a saint, rather than that of a tree. For the sake of argument, perhaps the name ‘Roman’, sufficiently similar to his first name, would have done.

With his academic bent, the young Roman would have gone to University and perhaps studied theology. He would not have studied in the theoretical way he did study, but, as an Orthodox, he would have lived theology. Given his inclinations, he would have gone on to do a doctoral thesis, perhaps on a Church Father, either ancient or perhaps contemporary. He would have made pilgrimages to Orthodox lands and monasteries. He would have learnt not only Patristic Greek, but also perhaps Russian. Had he wanted to serve not only as an academic, but also as a priest, he would have married an Orthodox. Given his religious inclinations, he would eventually have become a priest - Fr Roman Williams.

So far we can see several parallels between his real life and his imaginary life. But at this point all parallels stop. Firstly, as a married Orthodox man, he would never have become a bishop. Secondly, as a non-Russian and non-Greek (and non-Serb and non-Romanian), he would have been treated as a second-class citizen by whatever jurisdiction he belonged to. Without the right ethnic surname and background, he would have ended up as an unpaid priest in a small parish, living off the fruits of his secular labours, struggling by himself to fund the purchase of a family home, and the establishment of a small parish church, juggling to balance priestly, professional and family life. After thirty or forty years hard labour, he might have received some small token of appreciation, which, had he had an ethnic surname, he would have received after thirty or forty months.
http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/whydidab.htm

Just like little Timothy Ware never amounted to much in the Orthodox Church, either.
So he was told. When he converted, he was told he could never receive orders. When he became a monk, he was told he could never be ordained. When he was ordained, he was told he never could become a bishop.

Given how he has (unintentionally) characterized his Metropolitinate, a picture of an ethnic enclave of Cypriot Greeks (run by an Archbishop whose hometown is in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus), I'm not sure what to make of it. Btw, much of his success comes from his career at Oxford. He was consecrated an auxiliary bishop only after his appointment as a Fellow at Oxford.

What does it matter what they told him?  
For the mission of the Church? A great deal.

I can't see how it makes any difference.  He did all the things they said he would never do because God willed it.  Although I don't agree with a lot of the stuff he writes these days, his life story is inspiring to me.
But his life story has less inspiring things to say about the Church as an institution on a mission.

It says there are people in the Church who are not exactly mission-minded, but that God works through the Church to accomplish missionary work anyway.  Our responsibility to evangelize others is not in any sense diminished by this, but I really think it would be unfair to blame ourselves entirely.  If we did, we would forget that it's not fancy convert literature or English-language liturgies, or anything about us individually at all, that converts people to the Orthodox faith.  The Holy Spirit does that.

It's great that we are a bit more accessible these days, but 1950's-60's era England had neither of those things.  Timothy/Met. Kallistos Ware was received into the Church; Rowan Williams walked away.  I don't think any brooding hypothetical stories can really say much, because we really don't know what would have happened had Williams joined the Church as a teenager.  

Perhaps Rowan Williams would have found it too difficult and fallen away on his own within a few years, as many adult converts do in this age despite the plethora of English liturgies and cozy Conciliar Press pamphlets.  

Perhaps Rowan Williams would be a nice married archpriest, who raised the dead, and converted the whole Royal Family back to Orthodoxy!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 02:03:13 AM by Orual » Logged

He spoke it as kindly and heartily as could be; as if a man dashed a gallon of cold water in your broth and never doubted you'd like it all the better. 

- C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces
f.k.a. Matron.a
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