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Author Topic: increase of latin language in western rite will increase orthodox praxis  (Read 10501 times) Average Rating: 0
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Christopher McAvoy
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« on: May 16, 2011, 02:02:12 AM »

Christus resurrexit!

Orthodox christianity has never known a monolithic liturgical language to dominate and exclude all others. Clearly their are traditional liturgical languages which form the root and basis of our oldest liturgies to hold the standard of translations high and to unite ourselves in times when theological questions arise.

Just as we can find many languages used in Eastern rite liturgies, we should be able to find a certain diversity within the western rite liturgies. Just as we find certain Eastern Churches which uphold Slavonic language libaries and liturgies we might also see there is an equal gift for Western rite Churches to have Latin language libraries and liturgies.

At this time 99%, possibly close to 100% of the approximately 45 missions and churches within the Antiochian and Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia in the USA have only one language for nearly everything they do regarding their faith. That language is english.

It is my belief that if the western rite(s) within orthodox christianity do not take stronger care to defend and uphold the preservation of knowledge, study and liturgical usage of the latin language they will not be able to fully represent western christianity and maintain themselves to be legitimate forebears of this holy precious patrimony, which has in recent times been greatly weakened within both protestant and latin papal christianity.

    Many of the difficulties and disagreements which exist within understanding "who we are" as western rite orthodox christians could better be resolved if their were more usage or knowledge of latin, in any way, no matter how small, it would help.

In no way do I dismiss that english is a legitimate language to be used. However if one takes more care to focus on the culture that their church produced in the latin language one will have a much clearer meaning of what it means to be both "western" and "orthodox".

Additionally, with greater knowledge and usage of latin there would be a greater respect from some of those within the west who would be most sympathetic toward collaborating in some fashion with the Orthodox Church. Traditional latin/roman rite catholics.

I can see nothing but good to come from greater knowledge of Latin.
It is for that reason that the prosarium/hymnal I hope to have published in 2012 will include all texts fully notated in both languages.

Your thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 02:10:51 AM »

Latin is the glory of the Western Church.  While English will I imagine always dominate for pastoral reasons in the Western-rite in English speaking nations, I hope that priestly formation will encompass learning Latin, and that solemn Latin masses especially for hierarchical services, ordinations etc have some place in the Western-rite.
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 02:13:32 AM »

I always thought that the Orthodox ideal was liturgy in the local language and not a dead one? 

With the (Supposed) Current resurgence of the Tridentine mass in the modern Roman rite, Are you not afraid that doing something like this will lead to accusations that Western rite Orthodoxy is a form of reverse uniatism?
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 02:19:42 AM »

I think Latin has some parallels with Church Slavonic, which I strongly favour retaining within ROCOR, at least in conjunction with English for those parishes where it is warranted. My comment was really about the veracity of Latin culturally.  There are many arguments for - and against having a Western-rite Church which has the potential as you say to be a Western parallel to the Eastern Catholic Churches. There is in particular a risk of western syncretism and a failure to interiorize Orthodoxy in its fullness, however that is perhaps more a measure of my own nature, than a comment on anyone else's.  For me Orthodoxy is encapsulated within the Chrysostom Liturgy, in whatever language it is served in, and I would always choose that -  because that is what I am comfortable with, in any canonical jurisdiction over attendance at a Western-rite mass.
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 03:52:44 AM »

No dead languages in the Liturgy. They create a false dichotomy between the Church and secular life.
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2011, 03:54:23 AM »

No dead languages in the Liturgy. They create a false dichotomy between the Church and secular life.
What false dichotomy?
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2011, 03:57:10 AM »

That the Church is some special place where other rules are obligatory than in normal life, that it's the place for worshipping God and other places aren't, than people should behave well there and they don't have to outside the Church.

People should behave well and remember God no matter where they are.
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2011, 06:28:07 AM »

No dead languages in the Liturgy. They create a false dichotomy between the Church and secular life.

Yeah, that's why people speak French, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Romansch today- because Latin is so 'dead.'  Roll Eyes Also, we hear a form of Greek in my church that is very different from what you would hear if you went to Greece. It may not be the Greek of the ancient philosophers, but it's certainly not the Greek of, say, a news report this morning. I am not a native speaker of Greek, and I experience a dichotomy between my life and parish life every time I go to church. Still, I don't feel that going to church is a useless experience at all.

I assume there are parts of Wales where you would pretty much have to hold the liturgy in Welsh. Yet the Welsh language had almost disappeared, and was only revived in the last century or so.

Go to Russia and ask people what they speak, and they'll tell you Russian. Go to church and what do you hear? Old Slavonic.

It's not hard at all to get simple booklets which have Latin on one side and English or some other local language on the other. I own a couple of these. Latin is not that hard to pronounce, if you give it a shot.

There is something to be said for things that are simply beautiful in their own right. If the people who go to a given parish enjoy hearing the Latin, why is that bad? You can hear other languages at other parishes, if you need to.

If the people in this particular church want to hear Latin, I think they will still be able to get along okay after they go home.
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2011, 06:37:41 AM »

That the Church is some special place where other rules are obligatory than in normal life, that it's the place for worshipping God and other places aren't, than people should behave well there and they don't have to outside the Church.

People should behave well and remember God no matter where they are.

This is the same reasoning people use to make churches look like dentist offices or corporate meeting rooms. The fact is, the church is a special place. Even when our liturgies are in the vernacular, even when translators try very hard to be informal, we don't use the same sort of language we do in ordinary conversations.
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2011, 08:14:40 AM »

Christ is risen!
No dead languages in the Liturgy. They create a false dichotomy between the Church and secular life.
What false dichotomy?
That what you do on Sunday has nothing to do what you do the rest of the week, especially as what you do on Sunday is out of date.
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2011, 12:40:41 PM »

Many of the difficulties and disagreements which exist within understanding "who we are" as western rite orthodox christians could better be resolved if their were more usage or knowledge of latin, in any way, no matter how small, it would help.

In no way do I dismiss that english is a legitimate language to be used. However if one takes more care to focus on the culture that their church produced in the latin language one will have a much clearer meaning of what it means to be both "western" and "orthodox".
I don’t have a problem with Latin, but I don’t buy this argument at all. One of the biggest objections I have to WRO is the liturgical and theological archeology involved in producing its rites; it is hard to define the Orthodox west when the west hasn’t been orthodox for a minimum of 800 years and – depending on which timeline you use – possibly as many 1,200.  Very often what you get are mutilated liturgies that have been purged of their Romanism (or Protestantism) but are trumpeted as “restored.”

I am not against the WRO, but I don’t think that restoring Latin will bring about a western Orthodox revival. That’s dreaming in the same way that FSSP priests in Catholic circles think that if only they bring back enough traditional liturgies the Catholic Church in the U.S. will turn around.
One does not have to be Eastern to be Orthodox, but I feel like many of our western efforts are just shooting in the dark.
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2011, 02:36:59 PM »

I don’t have a problem with Latin, but I don’t buy this argument at all. One of the biggest objections I have to WRO is the liturgical and theological archeology involved in producing its rites;

Could you elaborate on which aspects you believe are liturgical & theological archaeology?

Because, at least within the Antiochian Church, the only theology we hold to is Apostolic theology, as expressed by the Fathers and Saints of the undivided, truly Apostolic Church. And the only liturgies we use are those that have been kept alive and handed down to us today. Did you have specific things in mind, that have been dug up from the past?

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it is hard to define the Orthodox west when the west hasn’t been orthodox for a minimum of 800 years and – depending on which timeline you use – possibly as many 1,200.  Very often what you get are mutilated liturgies that have been purged of their Romanism (or Protestantism) but are trumpeted as “restored.”

Some specifics might be nice Smiley

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I am not against the WRO, but I don’t think that restoring Latin will bring about a western Orthodox revival. That’s dreaming in the same way that FSSP priests in Catholic circles think that if only they bring back enough traditional liturgies the Catholic Church in the U.S. will turn around.
One does not have to be Eastern to be Orthodox, but I feel like many of our western efforts are just shooting in the dark.

What are your suggestions, then? Because we really only have 3 options available to us: 1) revive and bring back into use liturgies that existed intact before 1054, 2) adapt living liturgies within specific guidelines set out by the Orthodox Church, or 3) create something entirely new.

There's a reason why option 2 was adopted by the Antiochians, for mainly pastoral (rather than purely ideological) reasons. It might not be without its "problems" but I think one has to agree that options 1 & 3 wouldn't be without their own sets of problems and challenges as well.

We can't forget, when all is said and done, what the point of it all is anyway because that's what should determine the routes we take. The point is to worship God in spirit and in truth, to commune with our Savior and to become one with him, to be within the shelter and safety of the Ark of Salvation.
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2011, 02:52:56 PM »

The Liturgy has always been in the language of the people. Latin died out long ago as a spoken, common language.

Yes, I know that Koine Greek and Church Slavonic are no longer spoken, but from my experience in Greece, Koine didn't appear to be extremely different. (but that is another debate)

I don't have much problem with a few things being in Latin, but the vast majority of the service ought to be in English, or the common, vernacular language of the people.

That is one of the very few things that Vatican II in the Roman Church actually got right.



For comparison:

Current Greek Liturgy:
Ἐν εἰρήνῃ τοῦ Κυρίου δεηθῶμεν.
(In peace, let us pray to the Lord)

In modern Greek, that would be mostly the same, except 'Ev would be replaced by "Στην". And the extra marks would be removed. (in Modern Greek, words only have 1 emphasis mark) I'm not sure, but the order of the words might also change around.

Whereas, if you take Latin...
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
(In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.)

Then in Italian (forgive me, this was translated by Google Translate):
Nel nome del Padre e del Figlio e dello Spirito Santo. Amen.

You can see a relation, but Latin would still be unintelligible to even an Italian who doesn't know Latin. Latin is a dead language, but it is unlike Koine Greek or even (to a degree) Church Slavonic, whose modern variants were still pretty similar.

The services ought to be in the vernacular, that is why Latin should not be used. No one speaks it anymore as a vernacular language.
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2011, 03:44:26 PM »

There's a reason why option 2 was adopted by the Antiochians, for mainly pastoral (rather than purely ideological) reasons. It might not be without its "problems" but I think one has to agree that options 1 & 3 wouldn't be without their own sets of problems and challenges as well.

I suppose that my answer to all of this is “I  don’t know.” I’m of the opinion that it will take more than using rites that are more palatable to the western tongue to develop a true Western Orthodoxy.

I think using rites that are strikingly similar to the one used in heterodox circles can be problematic for potential converts (especially those used to those same rites), but I am loathe to contradict St. Tikhon or the tradition of economia in the Church as a whole. What liturgy gets used is the bishop’s prerogative, and that’s that as far as I am concerned. If the choice was between a WRO-English language church or a Byzntine-Greek language Church, I would attend the WRO one without a second thought.

What I don’t like is people digging up disused and sometimes incomplete rites (e.g. the Sarum) or other western rites (e.g. like the OP has suggested in multiple threads) and declaring, “Ha! We have restored Western Orthodoxy!” The faith is more than the liturgy. (And I guess that is both my critique and affirmation of WRO.)

I am on my lunch break right now, and I will try to bring back some examples of what I mentioned earlier.

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We can't forget, when all is said and done, what the point of it all is anyway because that's what should determine the routes we take. The point is to worship God in spirit and in truth, to commune with our Savior and to become one with him, to be within the shelter and safety of the Ark of Salvation.
Amen. Amen. Amen.
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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2011, 04:24:48 PM »

There's a reason why option 2 was adopted by the Antiochians, for mainly pastoral (rather than purely ideological) reasons. It might not be without its "problems" but I think one has to agree that options 1 & 3 wouldn't be without their own sets of problems and challenges as well.

I suppose that my answer to all of this is “I  don’t know.”


That's refreshing to hear, especially on this topic!

Quote
I’m of the opinion that it will take more than using rites that are more palatable to the western tongue to develop a true Western Orthodoxy.

This is true. However, it will take more than merely translating the St. Chrysostom liturgy into English to develop a true Western Orthodoxy as well. It will have to be a combination of things, not the least of which is having an authentic liturgical use for contemporary Western people (of whatever provenance, whether East or West), thorough catechesis, thorough exposure to the Fathers (both East and West) and time.

And, as has been said before, this is going to be true for converts no matter what rite they eventually worship within.

Quote
I think using rites that are strikingly similar to the one used in heterodox circles can be problematic for potential converts (especially those used to those same rites),

It can be problematic for some, but it has also proven to be anything but. There's a very real temptation to say nothing good ever came out of insert-whatever-tradition-so-and-so-convert-came-out-of and to dive headlong into "Eastern" Orthodoxy, merely because everything seems so "new" and "different" and it feels like they're discovering Christianity for the very first time and the next thing you know they've got a beard down to their nipples and they're trying to perfect their Greek accent. However, this doesn't lessen the dire need for one to truly convert, and this is also not without its own problems and challenges.

What I have seen born out in experience is that often those who stay within their own tradition in Western Orthodoxy, are often far more capable of truly become Orthodox, because they don't mistake the forest for the trees. It's very easy to equate Orthodoxy with Eastern Christianity (and, let's be honest, many popular Orthodox writers don't care to make the distinction) and they don't have to get comfortable with, or learn to be as authentic within an entirely new and foreign tradition. They don't equate "Orthodoxy" with onion domes and iconostases and pew-less naves and the liturgies of Ss Chrysostom & Basil and all of the other external expressions of Eastern cultures that have come to incarnate the Apostolic faith. They're able to see the Apostolic faith incarnated within their own tradition as it was expressed by the Western cultures of the first millennium in an equally authentic and beautiful way.

And that's all Western Rite Orthodoxy is, when all is said and done. It's the Western expression of the Apostolic faith as it has been kept alive by Western peoples. Does that mean every single aspect of the total expression is identical, or hasn't undergone development, or hasn't been grafted in from outside of the Church's boundaries? No, but that's not true of the Eastern expression either.

We can't lose site of the whole reason we have liturgies and calendars and written prayers, etc., in the first place, or we're no different than the Pharisees who honored God with their lips (and their externals) but whose hearts were far from Him.

Quote
but I am loathe to contradict St. Tikhon or the tradition of economia in the Church as a whole. What liturgy gets used is the bishop’s prerogative, and that’s that as far as I am concerned. If the choice was between a WRO-English language church or a Byzntine-Greek language Church, I would attend the WRO one without a second thought.

Again, that's refreshing to hear. I know that's not true of everyone...

Quote
What I don’t like is people digging up disused and sometimes incomplete rites (e.g. the Sarum) or other western rites (e.g. like the OP has suggested in multiple threads) and declaring, “Ha! We have restored Western Orthodoxy!” The faith is more than the liturgy. (And I guess that is both my critique and affirmation of WRO.)

I agree, I'm not a fan of liturgical archaeology either. It may prove necessary in some instances, but overall, there's a certain unmistakeable wisdom in Antioch's approach to the Western Rite.

Restoring Western Orthodoxy, to my mind, is to bring to the Orthodox Church a heritage that truly has a Western memory, which goes much deeper than honoring Western saints and translating things into English. To have a Western Orthodoxy that is truly Western requires that the overall expression and life of the Western Orthodox Church(es) be that of actual Western culture; that which was and is born out of our common Western experience.

In other words, a true restoration of Western Orthodoxy would mean for it to be both truly Western meaning genuinely having emerged and embodied and crafted by Western peoples, and truly Orthodox meaning the Apostolic faith that was once delivered unto the saints.

And this is what we have and see within canonical WRO today, especially within the AWRV. We celebrate, and participate in, the Divine Mysteries of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church by means of the cultural and spiritual heritage of the ancient Christian West, as it has been handed down to us today. Plain and simple. It is both Western and Orthodox.
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« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2011, 04:32:34 PM »

My problem with the Western Rite is that it removes some of the Liturgical unity that I believe is important.  However, that is a personal opinion, and the calendar issue has already pretty much done that.  So, since we have a Western Rite, I am not all that particular with what language they want to use.  All of the WR people that I know came out of the Anglican Communion.  Latin is not thier language of choice, but rather English.  I guess that if a boat load of Old Catholics came on board, I would not object to them using Latin - even if I did actually have anything to say about it.  Now, if I could attend one of the old Liturgies from Venice during the time of Geovanni Gabrielli, I could easily be converted to the Western Rite.
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2011, 04:59:29 PM »

My problem with the Western Rite is that it removes some of the Liturgical unity that I believe is important.  However, that is a personal opinion, and the calendar issue has already pretty much done that.  So, since we have a Western Rite, I am not all that particular with what language they want to use.  All of the WR people that I know came out of the Anglican Communion.  Latin is not thier language of choice, but rather English.  I guess that if a boat load of Old Catholics came on board, I would not object to them using Latin - even if I did actually have anything to say about it.  Now, if I could attend one of the old Liturgies from Venice during the time of Geovanni Gabrielli, I could easily be converted to the Western Rite.

Well, hopefully the only thing some converts to is Orthodoxy, not a ritual expression Wink

However, I would like to point out that when the Apostolic Catholic Church was at its closest unity, it was most diverse in its expression. True, as we saw in the East, liturgical uniformity can be important when its the only thing uniting people under great persecution and limited freedom, but that's not the situation under which those parts of the world where Western Orthodoxy makes sense finds itself. If history shows us anything, in fact, it would actually be that unity is brought about when individual cultures express and incarnate the Apostolic Faith in their own peculiar ways.
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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2011, 05:07:02 PM »

My problem with the Western Rite is that it removes some of the Liturgical unity that I believe is important.  However, that is a personal opinion, and the calendar issue has already pretty much done that.  So, since we have a Western Rite, I am not all that particular with what language they want to use.  All of the WR people that I know came out of the Anglican Communion.  Latin is not thier language of choice, but rather English.  I guess that if a boat load of Old Catholics came on board, I would not object to them using Latin - even if I did actually have anything to say about it.  Now, if I could attend one of the old Liturgies from Venice during the time of Geovanni Gabrielli, I could easily be converted to the Western Rite.

Well, hopefully the only thing some converts to is Orthodoxy, not a ritual expression Wink

However, I would like to point out that when the Apostolic Catholic Church was at its closest unity, it was most diverse in its expression. True, as we saw in the East, liturgical uniformity can be important when its the only thing uniting people under great persecution and limited freedom, but that's not the situation under which those parts of the world where Western Orthodoxy makes sense finds itself. If history shows us anything, in fact, it would actually be that unity is brought about when individual cultures express and incarnate the Apostolic Faith in their own peculiar ways.

That is a good point.  I guess that I get caught up too much on what I consider Unity.  To be fair, I guess that I could say that as long as we all celebrated the Feasts and Fasts at the same time, how we did it would not be as important to me.  However, that belief came with age, because I certainly did NOT believe that in my younger days when I believed that even changing “thou” to “you” was a direct attack by the devil.
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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2011, 05:12:32 PM »

I love the DL in Church Slavonic.  Even though I was not fluent in Cyrillic, I still thought that the music and chanting was great, especially compared to the rather dull sounding English versions.  Luckily I went to a ROCOR parish which did around 90% of the DL in Slavonic (Complete with a bi lingual Russian/English sermon by an extemporaneous preacher).  I had a copy of the "Chlib Dusi" with English on one page and phonetic Slavonic on the other.  Even though this translation was obviously Carpatho Russian in origin (Complete with the soft H instead of G for "Gospodi") I had no problem following the DL with this help.  The priest even commended me for being creative enough to use such a book in following the liturgy and told me that this was how he learned Slavonic originally.

The "Chlib Dusi" (Heavenly Bread) is a great service book for laity who attend a Slavonic DL.  It is unfortunately hard to get and can only be (to my knowledge) ordered from a Church supply company in Pennsylvania.  Well worth it though!
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2011, 06:58:33 PM »

Robb,

I noticed the same thing, both in Slavonic Churches and Latin ones.  While it is really great for people to hear the service in their own language, often the original tongue does not translate well into English and keep the same meter.  I wish that we in the Orthodox world could do what was done in a heavily German section of the United States.  Three weeks out of the month the Service was in English, and one in German.  It was interesting hearing the German hymns in the language and meter that they were originally written. I am not so sure that it always has to be one way or the other when it comes to language.
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« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2011, 08:01:57 PM »

My problem with the Western Rite is that it removes some of the Liturgical unity that I believe is important.  However, that is a personal opinion, and the calendar issue has already pretty much done that.  So, since we have a Western Rite, I am not all that particular with what language they want to use.  All of the WR people that I know came out of the Anglican Communion.  Latin is not thier language of choice, but rather English.  I guess that if a boat load of Old Catholics came on board, I would not object to them using Latin - even if I did actually have anything to say about it.  Now, if I could attend one of the old Liturgies from Venice during the time of Geovanni Gabrielli, I could easily be converted to the Western Rite.

Well, hopefully the only thing some converts to is Orthodoxy, not a ritual expression Wink

However, I would like to point out that when the Apostolic Catholic Church was at its closest unity, it was most diverse in its expression. True, as we saw in the East, liturgical uniformity can be important when its the only thing uniting people under great persecution and limited freedom, but that's not the situation under which those parts of the world where Western Orthodoxy makes sense finds itself. If history shows us anything, in fact, it would actually be that unity is brought about when individual cultures express and incarnate the Apostolic Faith in their own peculiar ways.

This is a very good point.  Before any of the schisms that last even unto today, there was the Assyrian liturgy, the liturgy of Alexandria, of St. James, of Constantinople, of Syria, probably some Indian one given that St. Thomas went there, and of course a whole host of Western rites.  Too often it seems people forget that the Liturgy of St. John Crysostom didn't fall out of the sky on the day of Pentecost (though, it is also important to remember it was originally crafted by St. James, then redacted by St. Basil, and then St. John Crysostom), and in fact that there were many Orthodox liturgies for some time in th Church.

As for Latin being the WR, I don't know why it should be desired.  I mean, no one today speaks Latin as their everyday language - not even the people in the Vatican.  It would be akin to the Antiochian Church all of a sudden deciding to start serving the liturgy in Assyrian instead of Arabic, or the Alexandrian Church deciding that starting next Sunday they will use Coptic.  When the people who are being served by the Church in a particular parish do not speak the language being used (or a descendent of that language), then there is a problem.  However, if traditionalist Roman churches started to join the Orthodox Church, then I wouldn't say they must change from using Latin to using English, just as - in the event of a union between the OO and EO, no one should demand that the Armenians cease to use Classical Armenian or that the Copts take out all elements of Coptic from the liturgy.
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« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2011, 09:57:14 PM »

I am an inquirer into WRO. I am a cradle practicing RC, who was disturbed by the direction of the church so I started investigating Orthodoxy. I took classes at a GO churn and attended a liturgy mainly in Greek.it was nice but I had no real clue what was going on. The Antiochian church I am now attending has a service that is very familiar to me, but the theology is definitely Orthodox. Another point is that my wife has macular degeneration and has memorized most of the RC liturgy, so the change for her would be less if she decides to convert also. Having an English translation of the Greek service would do her no good. I was very glad to find the WRO. As far as Latin goes I understand a good part of the Latin liturgy but do agree that English services were one of the only good things from VII.
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« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2011, 10:14:17 PM »

Why oh Why didn't the western rites Orthodox churches  take up The Ancient Liturgy Of St. James ,Instead of using the revised and revised Liturgiy/mass.....The Liturgy of St. James could be served with the priest facing the congragation or his back towards them and with in a iconastasis or without one..... police
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« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2011, 12:35:27 AM »

Umm...perhaps because it is like 5 hours long?  Do you want to go to Church for five hours every week?

Also, they frequently like to have a bit of continuity with the liturgy they had prior to becoming Orthodox.  Would you expect the Romans to start using the Liturgy of St. James if they became Orthodox, or would you think it ok for them to use a revised form of their present liturgy (or, preferably, of the Roman Rite)?
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« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2011, 12:43:27 AM »

I witnessed the Liturgy of St. James being served in the serbian church as a kid, it wasn't 5 hr. long about 2 hours give or take...The priests served out side the Iconastasis ,Facing the people ,communion was given seperate  ,not mingled in a chalice... .....

Maybe your thinking about the oriental Litugy of St.james maybe that ones longer.....

Umm...perhaps because it is like 5 hours long?  Do you want to go to Church for five hours every week?

Also, they frequently like to have a bit of continuity with the liturgy they had prior to becoming Orthodox.  Would you expect the Romans to start using the Liturgy of St. James if they became Orthodox, or would you think it ok for them to use a revised form of their present liturgy (or, preferably, of the Roman Rite)?
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« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2011, 01:12:35 AM »

I witnessed the Liturgy of St. James being served in the serbian church as a kid, it wasn't 5 hr. long about 2 hours give or take...The priests served out side the Iconastasis ,Facing the people ,communion was given seperate  ,not mingled in a chalice... .....

Maybe your thinking about the oriental Litugy of St.james maybe that ones longer.....

Umm...perhaps because it is like 5 hours long?  Do you want to go to Church for five hours every week?

Also, they frequently like to have a bit of continuity with the liturgy they had prior to becoming Orthodox.  Would you expect the Romans to start using the Liturgy of St. James if they became Orthodox, or would you think it ok for them to use a revised form of their present liturgy (or, preferably, of the Roman Rite)?

Not sure why they'd face the people. Facing liturgical east has always been the practice...
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« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2011, 01:19:57 AM »

That Liturgy was so unusual ,Different from what i was use too , that it stuck in my mind ,I was traumatized ,and i never forgot about it....... police




I witnessed the Liturgy of St. James being served in the serbian church as a kid, it wasn't 5 hr. long about 2 hours give or take...The priests served out side the Iconastasis ,Facing the people ,communion was given seperate  ,not mingled in a chalice... .....

Maybe your thinking about the oriental Litugy of St.james maybe that ones longer.....

Umm...perhaps because it is like 5 hours long?  Do you want to go to Church for five hours every week?

Also, they frequently like to have a bit of continuity with the liturgy they had prior to becoming Orthodox.  Would you expect the Romans to start using the Liturgy of St. James if they became Orthodox, or would you think it ok for them to use a revised form of their present liturgy (or, preferably, of the Roman Rite)?

Not sure why they'd face the people. Facing liturgical east has always been the practice...
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« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2011, 01:21:52 AM »

My problem with the Western Rite is that it removes some of the Liturgical unity that I believe is important.  However, that is a personal opinion, and the calendar issue has already pretty much done that.  So, since we have a Western Rite, I am not all that particular with what language they want to use.  All of the WR people that I know came out of the Anglican Communion.  Latin is not thier language of choice, but rather English.  I guess that if a boat load of Old Catholics came on board, I would not object to them using Latin - even if I did actually have anything to say about it.  Now, if I could attend one of the old Liturgies from Venice during the time of Geovanni Gabrielli, I could easily be converted to the Western Rite.

Well, hopefully the only thing some converts to is Orthodoxy, not a ritual expression Wink

However, I would like to point out that when the Apostolic Catholic Church was at its closest unity, it was most diverse in its expression. True, as we saw in the East, liturgical uniformity can be important when its the only thing uniting people under great persecution and limited freedom, but that's not the situation under which those parts of the world where Western Orthodoxy makes sense finds itself. If history shows us anything, in fact, it would actually be that unity is brought about when individual cultures express and incarnate the Apostolic Faith in their own peculiar ways.

I agree with Punch on this point.

What troubles me most about the Western Rite is that it seems every parish has its own very distinct way of doing things. I realize this is true in the Eastern Rite as well, but the differences are with musical settings and things, not so much in the "meat" of the liturgy. It troubles me that, essentially, the divine services are conducted according to the liturgical interests of the priest. I know a WR priest and it seems that a lot of his material is the result of his own personal liturgical archaeology, and I get the sense that is true elsewhere too.

This is not the same as the liturgical diversity of old, because the bishops still were intimately involved in those matters. Early on, the Churches were few and far-between, so bishops were personally present in many of the parish communities. But today, there are no Western Rite bishops. Our bishops—God bless them—in general have neither the time nor the knowledge to supervise these things. Their forte is the Eastern Orthodox ways as they have always been.

I would feel a lot more comfortable if there was a dedicated WR bishop(s) in the Churches that have WR parishes. But for now, it seems like the WR is a group of priests, to a large extent unsupervised, who are conducting liturgical experiments in their own little laboratories. Such things need to be done I suppose, and it was done in the past, but it should then be intimately overseen by bishops, whose Orthodoxy is thoroughly ingrained and above reproach.
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« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2011, 01:23:40 AM »

Could someone provide more info on the length of the Divine Liturgy of St. James, given that St. Basil's liturgy is a shortened version of it and St. Chrysostom's is a shortened version of St. Basil's?
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« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2011, 01:27:35 AM »

I witnessed the Liturgy of St. James being served in the serbian church as a kid, it wasn't 5 hr. long about 2 hours give or take...The priests served out side the Iconastasis ,Facing the people ,communion was given seperate  ,not mingled in a chalice... .....

Maybe your thinking about the oriental Litugy of St.james maybe that ones longer.....

Umm...perhaps because it is like 5 hours long?  Do you want to go to Church for five hours every week?

Also, they frequently like to have a bit of continuity with the liturgy they had prior to becoming Orthodox.  Would you expect the Romans to start using the Liturgy of St. James if they became Orthodox, or would you think it ok for them to use a revised form of their present liturgy (or, preferably, of the Roman Rite)?

Not sure why they'd face the people. Facing liturgical east has always been the practice...

St James' liturgy is served facing the people, I'm pretty sure.
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« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2011, 01:34:10 AM »

Could someone provide more info on the length of the Divine Liturgy of St. James, given that St. Basil's liturgy is a shortened version of it and St. Chrysostom's is a shortened version of St. Basil's?

St James' is done very rarely, though I know an old priest who loves it a great deal and serves it occasionally. It's several hours long. Not sure exactly on the length.

This is going a little afield, but the Liturgy of St John is not a straight-up revision of St Basil's. IIRC, St Basil's is Constantopolitan while St John's is Antiochene, coming from different traditions and distinct liturgical schools. Over time they kind of merged, and by the 1300-1400s or so, they were interchangeable to a large extent. The biggest differences are the priest's secret prayers; the litanies and almost all the hymns are the same. I don't know if this was always the case though. I imagine they were more distinct originally.
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« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2011, 01:43:15 AM »

The biggest divide in WRO parishes seems to be between those who want to use the Gregorian liturgy (Former RC's I'm guessing) and those who want to use the St Tikhon Liturgy (Former Anglicans I'm guessing).  There are a number of other forms used by WRO, but these two are, I have heard the most prevalent. 

They also have a mass called the "Rite of Port Royal", but I think its just a Tridentine Mass.  BTW, why would a WR community be named for a bunch of schismatic nuns of the RCC (Jansenist ones too)?
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« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2011, 01:51:48 AM »

The biggest divide in WRO parishes seems to be between those who want to use the Gregorian liturgy (Former RC's I'm guessing) and those who want to use the St Tikhon Liturgy (Former Anglicans I'm guessing).  There are a number of other forms used by WRO, but these two are, I have heard the most prevalent. 

I believe that's true for the AWRV. And I personally think that's a fine approach; the two liturgies are rather distinct from each other. I am somewhat troubled by using the BCP liturgy though, since the Anglican Church's entire existence was in schism with Orthodoxy. But that's the AWRV's general approach: Anything that is not objectionable may be used. I'm not sure how I feel about that approach though, since orthodoxy is often more subtle than simply the words written on the page....I don't know.

I have heard that ROCOR's WR is not quite as organized though, and there are almost as many rites as parishes, with varying degrees of quality. But I don't know that for a fact, it's all gossip and hearsay. Lips Sealed
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« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2011, 04:04:52 AM »

Could someone provide more info on the length of the Divine Liturgy of St. James, given that St. Basil's liturgy is a shortened version of it and St. Chrysostom's is a shortened version of St. Basil's?

St James' is done very rarely, though I know an old priest who loves it a great deal and serves it occasionally. It's several hours long. Not sure exactly on the length.

This is going a little afield, but the Liturgy of St John is not a straight-up revision of St Basil's. IIRC, St Basil's is Constantopolitan while St John's is Antiochene, coming from different traditions and distinct liturgical schools. Over time they kind of merged, and by the 1300-1400s or so, they were interchangeable to a large extent. The biggest differences are the priest's secret prayers; the litanies and almost all the hymns are the same. I don't know if this was always the case though. I imagine they were more distinct originally.

Thank you for the info, I was 90% sure I'd read somewhere that the liturgy was like 5 hours long but for the life of me I can't get even a vague hint of where I read this, I thought someone would either be able to back up the idea it is very long or tell me I'm nuts
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« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2011, 10:47:45 AM »

My problem with the Western Rite is that it removes some of the Liturgical unity that I believe is important.  However, that is a personal opinion, and the calendar issue has already pretty much done that.  So, since we have a Western Rite, I am not all that particular with what language they want to use.  All of the WR people that I know came out of the Anglican Communion.  Latin is not thier language of choice, but rather English.  I guess that if a boat load of Old Catholics came on board, I would not object to them using Latin - even if I did actually have anything to say about it.  Now, if I could attend one of the old Liturgies from Venice during the time of Geovanni Gabrielli, I could easily be converted to the Western Rite.

Well, hopefully the only thing some converts to is Orthodoxy, not a ritual expression Wink

However, I would like to point out that when the Apostolic Catholic Church was at its closest unity, it was most diverse in its expression. True, as we saw in the East, liturgical uniformity can be important when its the only thing uniting people under great persecution and limited freedom, but that's not the situation under which those parts of the world where Western Orthodoxy makes sense finds itself. If history shows us anything, in fact, it would actually be that unity is brought about when individual cultures express and incarnate the Apostolic Faith in their own peculiar ways.

I agree with Punch on this point.

What troubles me most about the Western Rite is that it seems every parish has its own very distinct way of doing things. I realize this is true in the Eastern Rite as well, but the differences are with musical settings and things, not so much in the "meat" of the liturgy.

What meaty differences did you have in mind? We aren't allowed to change the liturgies that have been approved for us, so it can't be that. Are you talking about the calendar? I know in some instances it's at the priest's discretion as to which saint will be honored on a particular day, but even then, most of that has already been worked out.

I'd be interested in what you experienced that was so different in substance from one WR parish to another.

Quote
It troubles me that, essentially, the divine services are conducted according to the liturgical interests of the priest. I know a WR priest and it seems that a lot of his material is the result of his own personal liturgical archaeology, and I get the sense that is true elsewhere too.

He shouldn't be doing that, if it's true. I mean, unless it's something minor. It concerns me, though, when you say "liturgical interest" because we cannot make adjustments to the approved liturgies.

If it's something else though, perhaps like a Stations of the Cross service, or something, then yes, you'll see parishes do those differently. Would that really trouble you though?

Quote
This is not the same as the liturgical diversity of old, because the bishops still were intimately involved in those matters. Early on, the Churches were few and far-between, so bishops were personally present in many of the parish communities. But today, there are no Western Rite bishops.

When we're talking about the liturgical diversity of old, it's mainly to demonstrate that the Apostolic Faith was always expressed differently by the cultures that incarnated the Faith, and also to show that true, genuine unity is not gained by liturgical uniformity, as many like to argue. Liturgical uniformity is an abnormality and, while it has proven to be useful to bolster unity in dire times, history also shows us that the Faith thrives when a people takes it and makes it their own.

Quote
Our bishops—God bless them—in general have neither the time nor the knowledge to supervise these things. Their forte is the Eastern Orthodox ways as they have always been.

Our bishops supervise our parishes to the same extent they supervise any other parish, whether ER or WR. They don't treat us differently and we're not left to do as we wish according to our own desires. In fact, you could make a case that because the AWRV is so small (comparatively) that we are more closely monitored than any ER parishes, which are not exempt from innovation in praxis just because they use the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom.

Quote
I would feel a lot more comfortable if there was a dedicated WR bishop(s) in the Churches that have WR parishes.

I think you'll find that most of us agree on this (although I've grown quite fond of my Bp. BASIL and would miss him dearly) and I don't think it's too far out where this will be the case.

Quote
But for now, it seems like the WR is a group of priests, to a large extent unsupervised, who are conducting liturgical experiments in their own little laboratories.

Again, I'm very interested to hear what gave you this impression, because I can't help but say it's a gross caricature that I've not seen born out in my experience at all. The AWRV not only has bishops that we answer to, we also have our Vicar General and his assistant to answer to, as well as Met. PHILIP, whom we technically answer to directly. We have been given approved texts for our services, and exercise freedom in those areas where we've been given permission to do so (such as devotional services).

If priests are going rogue and changing the liturgy or incorporating elements that they have not been given permission to do, that is definitely a singular offense and should probably be reported.

Quote
Such things need to be done I suppose, and it was done in the past, but it should then be intimately overseen by bishops, whose Orthodoxy is thoroughly ingrained and above reproach.

Agreed, and honestly, if you spend any decent amount of time in a WR parish, I think you'll find this to be the case. Certain people like to spread the false meme that WR parishes are nothing but High Church Protestants who wanted to stay what they were but be "legit" under one of the truly Apostolic Churches, of which the Orthodox Church was the only one left. It's not only preposterous, it's outright deceit and dangerous.

Come to one of our humble parishes and ask yourself what we have gained if that were the case, since so many priests lost their friendships, their homes, their pensions, so many parishioners lost their church property, etc. We did NOT stay what we were, and that was fine by us, even though it required vast amounts of sacrifice. We became Orthodox because we believe in the Orthodox confession of Faith, and recognize that the Holy Orthodox Church is truly Christ's Bride, the guardian of Truth.

The biggest divide in WRO parishes seems to be between those who want to use the Gregorian liturgy (Former RC's I'm guessing) and those who want to use the St Tikhon Liturgy (Former Anglicans I'm guessing).  There are a number of other forms used by WRO, but these two are, I have heard the most prevalent. 

I believe that's true for the AWRV. And I personally think that's a fine approach; the two liturgies are rather distinct from each other.

It's true, but I wouldn't call it a "divide" for there is no animosity. There's no greater divide between us than there was between the Church in the British Isles (which is the patrimony of our Liturgy of St. Tikhon) and the Church of Rome (which is, obviously, the patrimony of the Liturgy of St. Gregory).

Quote
I am somewhat troubled by using the BCP liturgy though, since the Anglican Church's entire existence was in schism with Orthodoxy.

First of all, we don't use the BCP liturgy. The Liturgy of St. Tikhon was based upon the Anglo-Catholic Mass found in the American Missal with certain things incorporated from the 1928 BCP, which was itself the fruit of a centuries-long tradition away from the distinctly Protestant tradition of subsequent BCP's from 1549 on. It's actually a fascinating history, which would require a thread of its own Smiley

However, I understand the initial impulse to hold the rite suspect because of its presence amongst Anglicans. But the first BCP itself was not the whole-cloth fabrication of an entirely new liturgy. It was, more than anything, a translation into English of the latin services that had been in use since the 9th century at least. Yes, it underwent developments, as all living things do, but the Latin liturgical heritage that was assumed into the first English BCP, and subsequently developed by the Elizabethans, Caroline Divines, Non-Jurors, Anglo-Catholics, etc., (some of whom formally sought union with the Eastern Orthodox Church) was of genuine, pre-Schism, Apostolic origin. It has been said that the Anglicans reformed a Catholic Church, they didn't start a Protestant one. I think that's true. Aside from breaking communion with the Pope of Rome, their was no vast break from that which came before (at least at first) and there has always been bodies within the Anglican Church (some of which I mentioned above) that emphasized their truly historic and Catholic heritage, keeping what they had inherited in line with that ancient spirit.

When all is said and done, the Liturgy of St. Tikhon is really nothing more than an adaptation of the Roman rite that was brought to the British Isles in the 6th century. That it was maintained and further developed by those outside the Church could cause one to balk at the idea of its use, but once you know who those people were, what their intentions were, and see the fruit of their labors, well, it's no wonder St. Tikhon went through all the trouble of sending the 1892 American BCP all the way to Moscow for review, and its no wonder the Holy Russian Synod thought it quite possible that the Orthodox faith could be expressed through it, and it's no wonder that it is today the liturgy in use by the majority of Western Orthodox parishes. And that's because its patrimony really is that of the ancient Orthodox West, and its the heritage that has been kept alive by the Western peoples until the present day, making it the ideal basis for any ongoing Western Orthodoxy into the future.

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But that's the AWRV's general approach: Anything that is not objectionable may be used. I'm not sure how I feel about that approach though, since orthodoxy is often more subtle than simply the words written on the page....I don't know.

That's not the whole of the approach, though. The use of "nothing objectionable" is only after all that is proper for an Orthodox Christian is in place.

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I have heard that ROCOR's WR is not quite as organized though, and there are almost as many rites as parishes, with varying degrees of quality. But I don't know that for a fact, it's all gossip and hearsay. Lips Sealed

The biggest difference between the AWRV and ROCOR's WR, to the best of my knowledge, is that the AWRV refused to bless individuals to the WR, but only allowed entire parishes to come in. ROCOR does seem to allow the use of a lot more liturgies than the AWRV, which has only blessed two, as well. But, there has been some recent dialog between the two entities and I think that's only a good thing, for both.
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« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2011, 01:50:53 AM »

It seems to me that some of the original intent and purpose of my comment was not presented clearly enough in order to be understood as well as I had hoped it may be.

The majority of theological works for the western church that are important and of quality are written in latin. Many of them have not been translated or are difficult to find in translation.

Therefore to understand the mind of the western church in it's most orthodox manner (the further back you go the more you find we could say, though it is plenty orthodox in important ways long past the 1054 date.) There is no way to do this without knowledge of the latin language. The 9 book mitrale of Sicardo of Cremona for example is something that could be made required reading for western rite seminarians, yet it does not exist in any translated books.

here for example is an example of what I mean.

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« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2011, 01:58:43 AM »

The Ambrosian tradition, which draws on the fourth-century Antiochene doctrine of the somatic real presence of Christ under the forms of bread and wine, is exemplified by Ambrose of Milan and pseudo-Faustus of Riez. They employ a notion of consecration of the bread and wine, which corresponds to "conversion" of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Also Isidore of Seville employs consecration in the sense of the conversionist theology of the Eucharist favored by Ambrose.

   The followers of Augustinian tradition concerning the composition of the sacraments of the body and blood favour a theology which is more at home with the fifth-century Antiochene doctrine, favoured by the Patriarch Nestorious and Theodorest of Cyrus. They employ a concept of consecration which places in the foreground the idea of sanctification of the eucharistic elements through a divine action by which a grace is added to the eucharistic elements which otherwise remain unchanged. While Augustine himself views the grace as related to the eucharistic sacrament by extrinsic denomination and offered only to members of the Church, others understand the grace to be contained in the sacrament.

   Fulgentius of Ruspe (a fellow pronconsular african) probably follows Augustine's teaching regarding the sanctification of the eucharistic elements. But he refers the term explicitly to the sanctification of the liturgical assembly by which it is enabled to offer the acceptable sacrifice to God. Facundus of Hermiane seems to opt for the idea that consecration identifies the divine action by which the eucharistic grace is added to the eucharistic elements and thereby qualifies them as sacraments of the body and blood of Christ.

   Pope Gelasius's use of consecration includes the meaning atributed above to Facundus of Hermiane. In the referance to consecration of the the "divine mystery" in Epistle 7.2, it seems that Gelasius has in mind the theological outlook of theodoret of Cyrus: the sanctification of the elements of bread and wine, and the goal of the consecration of the elements, namely, the sanctification of the participants of the divine liturgy.

   The phrase "consecration of the body and blood" is used by Hilary of Poitiers, the presbyter Sedulius, and Caesarius of Arles. To this group can be added Pope Gregory the Great who introduces a similar saying. For hostia means, in some sense, the body and blood of Christ.

   Hilary refers to the historical body of Christ which has been consecrated by the sacrificial act of approved priests and, therefore, which exists under the formality of sacrament of the historical body: the eucharistic body of Christ which is qualified as consecrated body, because it is the body liturgically sacrificied. Sedulius refers to the action of Christ at the Last Suppper when he dedicated himself, his life, through the ritual offering of his body and blood. Here consecration has the meaning of sacrificial action.

   Caesarious of Arles says that the liturgical assmply both "sees and hears" the consecration of the body and the blood. Hence he is referring to the liturgical symbolic verbal and gestural language which expresses the sacrificial action of the Church in union with Christ accomplished over the eucharistic gifts, and in virtue of which the elements become the "body and blood," "spiritual sacraments," "divine sacrifices."

   Among the examples cited, Pope Gregory the Great projects the concept of consecration which unambiguously includes that of making the sacrament of the body and blood, the elevation of the sacrament to unity with the risen and glorified Lord, and the elevation of the earthly Church to unity with the heavenly Chruch. But it remains doubtful whether for him the phrase "consecration of the body and blood" bears the technical meaning of the inclusive notion that is clearly discernible in some early scholastic sources.

CONCLUSION:

   It seems probable that the explicit formulation of the distinction between two interpretations of the meaning of "consecration," as appled to the eucharistic gifts, is a contribution of early scholasticism. Before the middle of the twelth century the term could bear the meaning of ritual expression of the mystery of conversion of the eucharistic elements of bread and wine, or include also the transitus of the eucharistic flesh to the heavenly realm in order to be united to the glorified body of the Lord.

   The early scholastic theological analysis of the composition of the sacraments of the Eucharist preceded in time the narrowing of the meaning of the term consecration to the ritual expression of the conversion of the bread and wine. Moreover, it made possible the rejection of the inclusive concept of "consecration of the body and blood." In the end the classical tripartite analysis of the composition of the sacraments of the body and blood limited the "sacramentum et res" to the true body and blood of Christ; and the grace of ecclesial unity, ultimately signified, was placed outside the sacrament. At the same time the term consecration defined the ritual activity which serves as the medium of the conversion of the bread and wine, and, therefore, by extension could serve as a synonym for conversion.

WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF LATIN...no one could make these determinations and thereby gain a better understanding as to what western rite orthodoxy is and is not.
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« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2011, 02:05:59 AM »

In the West, the allegorical interpretation of the liturgy developed into an organized system only with Amalarius of Metz, who at the urging of Peter of Nonantola, decided to write  acomprehensive commentary on the liturgy. After Isidore of Seville (560-636) and his commentary De ecclesiasticis officiis, Amalarious was the major heir to the liturgical thinking of the Fathers of the Church, and he would be regarded as the undisputed master until Innocent III (1160-12126. His work would then be replaced by the great liturgical commetary of William of Durandus (1296).

Sicard, bishop of Cremona (1185–1215)

was a great canonist, who after having taught in Germany, became a diplopat, a renowned statesman, and bishop of Cremona, Italy. He wrote a "Mitrale sen De officiis ecclesiasticis summa" which depends closely on the Summa of Beleth, but also surprises us by the breadth of its treatment and by the wide range of sources used: constant citations of the Bible, patristic texts, and medieval commentators. Sicard takes into account the rite in use in Cremona and makes explicit references to what is in the sacramentary, but he has a far wider knowledge of liturgical books and takes into account liturgical usages from other traditions than that of Cremona.

   One aspect of his work should be pointed out: for every rite on which he comments he provides the reader with a great many interpretations, one after another, without ever singling out one as better or more meaninful than the others. All interpretations are logical and are strictly based on one or more passages of the Bible; all are traditional interpretations already developed by other authors, the Fathers or the medieval commentators, and all are equally possible and acceptable. For Sicard it is a matter of choosing a method, and this is something quite original; no less original is his realization that the method of the four senses, used in interpreting the Scriptures, can be applied also to the interpretation of the liturgy. He has thus grasped clearly, although perhaps unconsciously, a point that is characteristic of the patristric understanding of the liturgy, and he uses it skillfully and with freedom.

Why does Sicard multiply these figural explanations? Is there a reason for the many different explanations of each rite? There certainly is, and the reason is pastoral and catechetichal. The pastor of souls is meant to find in the Mitrale a collection of information and a source of inspiration for giving the faithful the explanations that he thinks most useful to them and best suited for ensuring a proper participation in the liturgy. Sicards commentary is concerned with what the faithful or the priest see during the Mass. Although he constantantly uses the word "transubstantiation" and is fully aware of its meaning, he is not interested in theology, does not construct a theory of sacramental realism, does not concern himself with the liturgical texts used in the Eucharist, and is not worried about these texts being understood. In order to better understand his, it is enough to read the commentary on the Preface and the Canon of the Mass, in which he comments not on the texts but on the titled of the various parts, the incipits, and, above all, on the pictures painted in the Sacramentary.
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« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2011, 02:20:27 AM »

I think Latin has some parallels with Church Slavonic, which I strongly favour retaining within ROCOR, at least in conjunction with English for those parishes where it is warranted. My comment was really about the veracity of Latin culturally.  There are many arguments for - and against having a Western-rite Church which has the potential as you say to be a Western parallel to the Eastern Catholic Churches. There is in particular a risk of western syncretism and a failure to interiorize Orthodoxy in its fullness, however that is perhaps more a measure of my own nature, than a comment on anyone else's.  For me Orthodoxy is encapsulated within the Chrysostom Liturgy, in whatever language it is served in, and I would always choose that -  because that is what I am comfortable with, in any canonical jurisdiction over attendance at a Western-rite mass.

Yes, there is a risk of western syncretism. I briefly visited a WRO parish while I was a inquirer/catechumen in the Eastern Orthodox Church. I chose not to join the WRO parish because of western teachings such as venial vs. mortal sin (a Council of Trent teaching). One of the priests was instructing the Orthodox faithful to list not only the type of sin but also to distinguish between mortal and venial sin. That type of teaching has led many Catholics to experience scrupulosity.

I think if the WRO uses the Latin Mass, then they should use the most ancient Divine Liturgy of Pope St. Gregory the Great, which this holy pope standardized in the 6th century. This Divine Liturgy in Latin and in Greek (the Kyrie Eleison and Trisagion hymn) is truly Orthodox and needs no modifications unlike the revisions (added epiclesis) made to the Tridentine Mass used in the WRO.
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« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2011, 08:42:07 AM »

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What meaty differences did you have in mind? We aren't allowed to change the liturgies that have been approved for us, so it can't be that. Are you talking about the calendar? I know in some instances it's at the priest's discretion as to which saint will be honored on a particular day, but even then, most of that has already been worked out.

I'd be interested in what you experienced that was so different in substance from one WR parish to another.

This is actually why I stopped attending my local WR parish.

My first experience with the Orthodox WR was in another city, where I had absolutely no complaints with the service. When I started attending the WR in my current city, I found the priest (who in all other respects is a wonderful man and pastor) to basically do what he wanted with the liturgy. Some of the changes were: upon running out of hosts at communion, consecrating more on the spot; replacing "Behold the Lamb of God..." with "Holy things for holy people"; omitting the Kyrie and the Agnus Dei during Paschaltide; omitting any of the offertory prayers; omitting *all* of the propers other than the Epistle and Gospel during low mass; omitting the Asperges, Introibo, and everything up to the Introit; omitting the Last Gospel; and not using a paten at communion, where multiple times the Body or Blood would fall on the carpet.

There is another WR parish that (at least at one point in the past year) was offering a contemporary praise and worship service before the Mass.

I eventually switched to a different (ER) parish, as I found myself wondering every week what changes were going to show up this time, rather than focusing on prayer and the Mass.
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« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2011, 08:48:15 AM »

Wow, I would've stopped going too! That's terribly unfortunate.
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« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2011, 09:04:41 AM »


Have you tried to contact the local bishop?
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« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2011, 09:09:41 AM »

Wow, I would've stopped going too! That's terribly unfortunate.

It's why we need a bishop, and actual official liturgical texts. The "Orthodox Missal" fails miserably as a service book. There needs to be a real and complete missal, breviary, and ritual published and approved, and a bishop who can make sure priests are saying what's in black and doing what's in red.
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« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2011, 09:15:54 AM »


Have you tried to contact the local bishop?

The priest says the bishop is OK with everything he's doing, and the bishop has visited the parish several times, so I assumed that's that. To be honest, I think the bishop is quite understandably unfamiliar with the WR, and so things that would appear outrageous to a person used to the WR would pass by unnoticed.
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« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2011, 09:24:08 AM »

It's my understanding that many WR priests have a vagante background and may still retain that mentality.
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