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primuspilus
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« on: May 31, 2011, 12:19:46 PM »

Hello,
As some know, I have began my journey that will eventually lead to me becoming Orthodox. I went to my first full service on Sunday at Holy Trinity in Lynchburg VA and I have some comments/concerns I'd like to have addressed.

1. Fr. Alban and everyone at the church could not have been more warm and welcoming to me. There was no clique'ish behavior and everyone helped me through the service and the various books/phamplet to get through. I could not have been happier with my people experience.
2. I came away from my experience thinking that although the liturgy is orthodox, to me it seemed that it was not ORTHODOX....if my meaning is understood. Is this a legitimate feeling or is this due to my lack of experience in the faith?
3. I do know how the WR came to be, and I did see some similarities in the liturgy to other faiths. With the Eastern Rite would I see certian similarities?
4. Do any locals (Lynchburg, Bedford, etc) know if an ER church that I can experience?
5. I have heard of some Orthodox state that the WR is the  "Diet Coke" of Orthodoxy and is meant to make westerners more comfortable with Orthodoxy. Also, that most WR adherents eventually go to the Easter Rite. Is this true? If so, why if WR and ER are both orthodox?



Thank you so much for answering!
primuspilus
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"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker
Shlomlokh
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 12:23:37 PM »

Hello,
As some know, I have began my journey that will eventually lead to me becoming Orthodox. I went to my first full service on Sunday at Holy Trinity in Lynchburg VA and I have some comments/concerns I'd like to have addressed.

1. Fr. Alban and everyone at the church could not have been more warm and welcoming to me. There was no clique'ish behavior and everyone helped me through the service and the various books/phamplet to get through. I could not have been happier with my people experience.
2. I came away from my experience thinking that although the liturgy is orthodox, to me it seemed that it was not ORTHODOX....if my meaning is understood. Is this a legitimate feeling or is this due to my lack of experience in the faith?
3. I do know how the WR came to be, and I did see some similarities in the liturgy to other faiths. With the Eastern Rite would I see certian similarities?
4. Do any locals (Lynchburg, Bedford, etc) know if an ER church that I can experience?
5. I have heard of some Orthodox state that the WR is the  "Diet Coke" of Orthodoxy and is meant to make westerners more comfortable with Orthodoxy. Also, that most WR adherents eventually go to the Easter Rite. Is this true? If so, why if WR and ER are both orthodox?



Thank you so much for answering!
primuspilus
Greetings!

The liturgies in use by the WR Orthodox are fully Orthodox. Wink I happen to live 1 hour west of Lynchburg. You are more than welcome to visit our parish at any time. It's St. Innocent of Alaska in Salem. Send me a PM and I'll send you our service schedule. Smiley Nice finding someone else in the area!

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2011, 12:30:52 PM »

Some people may have a  negative reaction to Western Rite Orthodoxy because they are attracted/impressed more by he exoticism of Eastern Rite services. Although, I could say, modern Western Rite is small, still in flux, and does not exactly resemble ancient Western Rite Orthodoxy. However, I would imagine, that if you were to go to a mass in 7th century Ireland, you may not be all that impressed, either. The farther west you go, the shorter the prayers. One needs to realize that the quality of a prayer is not its length or language, but the activity that goes on in the heart.
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primuspilus
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 12:33:27 PM »

That makes sense Shanghaiski. Thanks for that....totally agree.

Shlomlokh, I'd definitely like to take you up on that. Im really wanting to find others around here...kind of tough with the Liberty University Empire so close by Smiley
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"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2011, 12:42:36 PM »

Hello,
As some know, I have began my journey that will eventually lead to me becoming Orthodox. I went to my first full service on Sunday at Holy Trinity in Lynchburg VA and I have some comments/concerns I'd like to have addressed.

1. Fr. Alban and everyone at the church could not have been more warm and welcoming to me. There was no clique'ish behavior and everyone helped me through the service and the various books/phamplet to get through. I could not have been happier with my people experience.
2. I came away from my experience thinking that although the liturgy is orthodox, to me it seemed that it was not ORTHODOX....if my meaning is understood. Is this a legitimate feeling or is this due to my lack of experience in the faith?
3. I do know how the WR came to be, and I did see some similarities in the liturgy to other faiths. With the Eastern Rite would I see certian similarities?
4. Do any locals (Lynchburg, Bedford, etc) know if an ER church that I can experience?
5. I have heard of some Orthodox state that the WR is the  "Diet Coke" of Orthodoxy and is meant to make westerners more comfortable with Orthodoxy. Also, that most WR adherents eventually go to the Easter Rite. Is this true? If so, why if WR and ER are both orthodox?



Thank you so much for answering!
primuspilus
The answer to your last question is the path of least resistance.  Having an Orthodox Church nearby in this country is miracle enough, let alone a WRO one.

And I'd match the Orthodoxy of the WRO I've been to to many EO parishes any day.

And yes, there are many similarities between the Eastern and Western liturgies.
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 06:02:45 PM »

Not much else to add to what other have already put so well, but I think it didn't feel "Orthodox" for the reason Shanghaiski pointed out: when people inquire into Orthodoxy, there are inevitably portions of almost every book that speak about the liturgy and what it's like, and it's always speaking about the St. John Chrysostom liturgy, so it's no surprise that things might've felt different than you expected.

I take issue with point/question #5 because there are not shades of Orthodoxy, there is nothing that is "more" Orthodox, or "less" Orthodox or "diet versus regular" Orthodox. It's either Orthodox or it's not. And that begs the question, What is Orthodoxy?

Orthodoxy is, most simply put, Apostolic Christianity. It is a pure confession of faith, an experiential reality and a visible ecclesiastical body, all of which are necessary to live fully in Christ.

It is not beards, pew-less naves, Byzantine chant, Byzantine architecture, Byzantine dress, so on and so forth. Those things, as wonderful as they are, are cultural expressions and embodiments of the Faith. And for the first 1100-1200 years of the Church's existence, there was a Western embodiment of the Faith that equally expressed and held the same Faith, ushered people into the same experiential reality of the life in Christ through His Body the Church. Only when the Western Church forsook the pure confession of faith and formally removed themselves from the visible ecclesiastical Body (and thus losing the true experiential reality) did she cease to be "Orthodox/Apostolic."

The Western Rite within the Orthodox Church, then, is the restoration of all that is salvageable from the Western tradition back into it's proper habitat of a pure confession of faith, experiential spiritual reality and reunion with the visible ecclesiastical, historical Body, which is now found in what we call the "Orthodox Church." Though really, it's simply the Apostolic Church, that has always existed and always held true to the pure faith and always lived within the experiential reality of Christ, etc.

So, while it might "feel" different, it shouldn't feel different, because it is the same confession of pure faith, it is the same reality that is being experienced and entered into through the liturgy and the Eucharist and it is connected to the same One and Only Holy Church of Christ.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 06:04:10 PM by Sleeper » Logged
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