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Author Topic: Changing Orthodoxy  (Read 18767 times) Average Rating: 0
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JHP17
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« on: July 01, 2004, 01:24:26 AM »

hi everyone,

Reading many of your stories I am very happy that you found the comfort and love in the Orthodox religion that you were looking for. But I have a gripe..........I was born and raised in an Orthodox family. From an early age I was taught that Orthodoxy is the only way to worship God. Coming from the balkans loving Orthodoxy and disliking Catholics and Muslims was the norm for me and to a point it still is. Now to the point of my story - I resent when converts try to change Orthodoxy to what they remember from their previous religion or Orthodox born people changing to be more western. The more I read on the web I realise it is happening significantly in the US. I now see pews when there wasn't any, beardless priests, men and woman on the same side of church. what do the converts and other Orthodox think about this or have I just misunderstood??? Another common thread I have noticed is that everyone seems to talk about different congregations as different religions. As far as I am aware an Orthodox person is able to enter any Orthodox Church ( those in communion with each other) and be received fully.

I hope I haven't offended anyone but I was curious as to what people thought about this.

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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2004, 02:22:05 AM »

hi everyone,

Reading many of your stories I am very happy that you found the comfort and love in the Orthodox religion that you were looking for. But I have a gripe..........I was born and raised in an Orthodox family. From an early age I was taught that Orthodoxy is the only way to worship God. Coming from the balkans loving Orthodoxy and disliking Catholics and Muslims was the norm for me and to a point it still is. Now to the point of my story - I resent when converts try to change Orthodoxy to what they remember from their previous religion or Orthodox born people changing to be more western. The more I read on the web I realise it is happening significantly in the US. I now see pews when there wasn't any, beardless priests, men and woman on the same side of church. what do the converts and other Orthodox think about this or have I just misunderstood??? Another common thread I have noticed is that everyone seems to talk about different congregations as different religions. As far as I am aware an Orthodox person is able to enter any Orthodox Church ( those in communion with each other) and be received fully.

I hope I haven't offended anyone but I was curious as to what people thought about this.



Anyone want to post that recent article from that British priest (I think 'interesting article' was the title to the thread)?

Now, to answer your questions:
Keep in mind, you're refering to Orthodoxy in America.  America is unlike any other country in that we are a potpouri of every culture.  We take every immigrant (well, historically).  The languange is english, but the heritage and part of the culture is multicultural.  America was not evangelized as other countries that became Orthodox were, because America does not consist of a homogenous people.  It started off as a mission of the Russian Church, but then the Russian Revolution happened, other immigrant groups (and their priests) and jurisidictional overlaps happened (not necessarily all of the previous in that order though).  Pews?  Well, many Orthodox churches are converted Protestant churches and a few others (e.g. many GOA) wanted to fit in with mainstream America (beardless priests a result of this as well).  Yes, from a traditional Orthodox (praxis) perspective a lot of this is lamentable, but the faith has stayed the same nonetheless.

I hope this helps.
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2004, 09:42:19 AM »

JHP,

I'm glad you posted.  My wife and I were received into the Serbian Orthodox Church a few months ago, after being Eastern Catholic (Ruthenian).  My wife is ethnic Slovak, so I suppose you can understand why we chose the Serbian Church when we decided to "dox".

The problem is that many converts (by no means all) don't appreciate or understand the connection between cultural and ethnic identity and religous identity in a proper sense.  They see what they call "little 't' traditions" as things that can be haphazardly discarded at the convenience of the individual.  They also see many of these practices as "Serbian things", or whatever the ethnic identity of the church is.

What they don't grasp is that these little "t" traditions are what forms our daily lives around our faith.  Certainly there are Serb practices the Russians or Arabs don't do, but if one is to live the life of the church in the Serbian Orthodox Church *to it's fullest,* the person *must* adopt, to the best of their abilities, the little *t* traditions that has guided that church, of which they chose to become members, in order to receive the fullness that their church can provide.

Yes, we are in America.  But, as stated above, American society is not Orthodox.  Our society finds it odd to pray and fast as much as we are called to pray and fast.  That is not to say that Orthodox in America cannot and should not come up with an *American* way of little fully implementing the faith.  The OCA is trying.  

Considering the jurisdictional chaos and the lack of leadership (oftentimes not because of its own fault) by the OCA in this regard, I think it would be imprudent and foolish for a convert to enter into an Orthodox church of a particular jurisdiction and then decide to live the life of the church in a way different from the church they have joined.

My family now celebrates Slava.  Why?  We *aren't* Serbs.  Because it is a practice that binds our family together in our faith.  Other churches have things that perform the same function.  But I'm not a member of those other churches.

Out of respect for those who suffered to bring me this Church and this Faith and this tradition, I try my best to follow the traditions handed down.
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2004, 09:48:26 AM »

I think I should point out that many of your complaints about what is happening to the Orthodox Church is not being done by converts but people who have grown up in the church. Many of the changes you mentioned where adopted in the between the 1920's and 1950's, when there was a very small convert population, in order to blend in with the rest of America. Since convets have been coming into the church you have seen an increase in churches without pews, and bearded clergy because they are better educated.

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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2004, 10:11:09 AM »

Arimethea,

True, concerning the issues of bearded clergy and pews.  I should have read the original post more carefully.
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2004, 10:40:41 AM »

99% of these complaints are all about maintaining Orthodox's ETHNICITY.
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2004, 12:11:01 PM »

Maintaining ORthodox ETHNICITY-I think we need an approriate sense of time in all these things, widespread conversions is basically a 25 year old phenomena. Old World Orthodox cultures had 1000-2000 years to develop. Priests without beards look funny to me, and I generally prefer men and women on opposite sides-but we should not let the lack of these things interfere with worship and living a christian way of life  life (or seeing the admirable qualities of those who lack them) Father Roman Braga has stated that the American church will become known for its generousity in highly organized almsgiving. This is a more worthy goal than ripping up pews.

The old world ethnicity and customs are good, in that they have been ways of preserving the orthodox family and an orthodox way of life from the world of greed and lust around us.....However, some converts have family and local cultures that can do this as well-The church should encourage them to retain beneficial aspects of their culture that allowed them to encounter Orthodoxy in the first place.

 

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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2004, 03:10:30 PM »

Well The US is not the Balkans.

There have been beardless priests for at least one hundred years here...just look at old photos.

As far as pews...besides converted buildings, it is nice for people to be able to take a seat when they need to. People with infirmities, pregnant women, the elderly...all can particpate more fully in the Liturgy when seating is avalable to them.

As far as converts....I have seen some converts in a local ROCOR parish who look like they are wearing costumes when they attend Liturgy. Old-fashioned dresses, head scarves. What is the deal with that? Such efforts to appear "humble" only draw attention to themselves . "Look at me I'm being humble."

I have never met a convert who weanted their Orthodox Parish to change...Now perhaps they have some experiences they can share that might be helpful ....but I don't see the point in becoming Orthodox only to then want your parish to become something else.

Weclome to the U.S.A. Be thankful you are here. DO I detect in the first post though a desire to have every DIvine Liturgy be a trip back to the Old Country?
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2004, 03:24:58 PM »

Quote
I have seen some converts in a local ROCOR parish who look like they are wearing costumes when they attend Liturgy. Old-fashioned dresses, head scarves. What is the deal with that? Such efforts to appear "humble" only draw attention to themselves . "Look at me I'm being humble."

I whole heartedly agree here.  In this culture, as it has been for a very long time, a man "dresses up" by wearing a simple suit and tie and a woman, a non-revealing but comfortable dress, usually falling below the knee with a hat or head scarf.  

There is nothing extravagant or proud about wearing such attire, provided one doesn't go buy an Armani suit, Dormeiul tie, diamond cuff-links and custom shoes for church.  I really don't understand the inclination some converts have requring them to become 19th century Russian peasants to be Orthodox.  It truly boggles my mind.  There are perfectly 21st century American clothing that is perfectly Orthodox.
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2004, 03:41:19 PM »

Valid and interesting points coming in from both "sides" so far.  Too many strands have appeared to address in orderly fashion!

Yes, Protestants -- to stereotype and generalize -- most often are the ones who want to bring with themselves "comforting bits" retained from their old religion.

Yes, the immigrants themselves often have been the ones to innovate and to disregard Orthodox practices -- e.g. beardless priests, clerical "dog collars", scarfless women, pews and gag-me electronic organs, etc., etc.  If you ever have an opportunity to talk with some older Orthodox immigrants, you might be VERY surprised to learn how much social discrimination they sometimes endured upon coming to the U.S.A.  I do not at all agree that they were right to junk many of the externally-visible elements of Orthodoxy in order to "fit in better"; however, I certainly can understand how severe the social pressure must have been upon them and how they could have been tempted to give in as they often did.

I think there is a misperception that some/all of the changes listed were/are based solely on "ethnic" custom.  Look again, and you will find that there are theological explainations for them.

Yes, there are contemporary clothing fashions that are modest and, thus, appropriate for church attire.  HOWEVER -- please stop bashing those of us who wear clothing patterned after garments from an earlier age.  I wear long dresses because I LIKE HOW THEY LOOK !!!!!  I also find them extremely comfortable in the demonically hot climate where I live, easy to run fast in when the occasion calls for running, and simple to wash-and-care for.  I'm not trying to "look humble."  

As for pews, it long has been the custom to have seating at the rear of a church, or along the side walls, to allow the elderly, the pregnant, and the genuinely ill/exhausted (not the lazy) to sit down.  

Lastly, for JHP17 -- You are absolutely correct:  Orthodox is Orthodox is Orthodox is. . .

4Truth      

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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2004, 04:38:27 PM »

Hmm...

To give a bit of background...I've been attending Orthodox services for almost five years -- I converted three years ago -- after having come out of a (relatively short) lifetime lived in Evangelical Protestantism.

My thoughts on this are complicated, even to me.  While I see the various "ethnic" aspects of Orthodox worship as a viable part of said worship, there's a part of me, as someone who was born and reared in the US of A that feels slighted when this topic comes up -- like sort of a second-class citizen whose contrasting traditions don't really count -- which is something I have encountered online, but never in the parishes I have attended, thankfully.  I've put some various quotes that stuck out to me from the posts in this thread.

Quote
JHP17: Coming from the balkans loving Orthodoxy and disliking Catholics and Muslims was the norm for me and to a point it still is. Now to the point of my story - I resent when converts try to change Orthodoxy to what they remember from their previous religion or Orthodox born people changing to be more western.

I'm sorry that disliking Catholics and Muslims was a part of your growing up -- folks like me who grow up here obviously have no concept of the tension between those groups -- yet there are many Orthodox -- cradle and convert alike! -- who resent people from such-and-such an Orthodox country who use their picture of Orthodoxy as the one which should be imposed on all other traditions.

Quote
ELISHA: Anyone want to post that recent article from that British priest (I think 'interesting article' was the title to the thread)?

Here it is, I think.

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SPIROS: some converts have family and local cultures that can do this as well-The church should encourage them to retain beneficial aspects of their culture that allowed them to encounter Orthodoxy in the first place.

I agree wholeheartedly.  Fasting, prayer, confession, charitable works, regular church attendance and communion know no ethnic preference and can transfigure Americans just as much as they can anyone else.  Whether or not it will look like something others would immediately accept is another matter.

Quote
SCHULTZ: I really don't understand the inclination some converts have requring them to become 19th century Russian peasants to be Orthodox.

Haven't seen this, though I did meet one person who donned a faux Russian accent and took some impossible-to-pronounce Russian name and another who started studying the Russian language in order to "be more Orthodox" or "learn more about Orthodoxy," or something along those lines.  To me, you do this to become more Russian, not more Orthodox.

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4TRUTH: Yes, Protestants -- to stereotype and generalize -- most often are the ones who want to bring with themselves "comforting bits" retained from their old religion.

Would you mind giving some examples, please?  I'm not trying to challenge you here -- in fact, I lol-ed at the defense of long skirts which you gave, which is a practice also seen among conservative groups here in the States -- but it seems as though many people condemn things from the west/protestantism that converts "bring in" without actually citing anything.

This ends up leaving the convert adrift in some limbo where all they hear is something along the lines of, "You're doing it wrong / you're too American / You just wouldn't understand; you're not Greek/Russian/Lebanese/Whatever," with no actual instruction on how to be "more Orthodox" that doesn't just sound like "be/sound/eat/react like us as an ethnic group."
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2004, 04:40:37 PM »

Quote
Yes, there are contemporary clothing fashions that are modest and, thus, appropriate for church attire.  HOWEVER -- please stop bashing those of us who wear clothing patterned after garments from an earlier age.  I wear long dresses because I LIKE HOW THEY LOOK !!!!!  I also find them extremely comfortable in the demonically hot climate where I live, easy to run fast in when the occasion calls for running, and simple to wash-and-care for.  I'm not trying to "look humble."  

This is the proper attitude towards wearing long dresses: you like how they look, they're comfortable to you and also utilitarian.  I know plenty of women who feel the same way.  I suppose what I'm railing against are those people who feel like they must adopt a certain costume in order to be "Orthodox".  


Quote
Look again, and you will find that there are theological explainations for them.

I have to ask, did the theology come first, or did the certain ethnic practice take on a theological meaning after the fact?  I'm not asking this question on any specific ethnic practice, but as a general question one should ask.  What one culture considers to be a certain pious custom another may not.  Take for example the Eastern practice of bowing as opposed to the Western practice of genuflection.  Both are showing their deep reverence for God whilst in church, but also come with certain cultural meanings that the other culture lacks.
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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2004, 06:01:55 PM »

Schultz<<There is nothing extravagant or proud about wearing such attire, provided one doesn't go buy an Armani suit, Dormeiul tie, diamond cuff-links and custom shoes for church. >>

Awww man, time for plan B.
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2004, 07:13:37 PM »

Many of the untraditional practices in Orthodoxy in America was introduced by ethnic Orthodox.  Look no further than the GOA!  

And Tom, I am curious which of these complaints are ethnic based?
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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2004, 07:24:30 PM »

"However, some converts have family and local cultures that can do this as well-The church should encourage them to retain beneficial aspects of their culture that allowed them to encounter Orthodoxy in the first place."

This is quite true, as it has always been in Orthodoxy.  However, the Americas are not receiving Orthodoxy in the traditional manner either.  My patriarch is not your patriarch, my bishop is not your bishop, etc.  That leaves us in the care of a particular church.  This has certain limitations that must be understood and considered.  The OCA is certainly one option.  I don't feel comfortable with the OCA.  I don't like the feeling of cultural anarchy that does not guide the believer in a way offered by the older churches.  

What is needed is one primary "mother" church guiding American Orthodoxy into its own.  We don't have that and I don't think it's helpful to act as though we do.

"I have to ask, did the theology come first, or did the certain ethnic practice take on a theological meaning after the fact? "

The answer depends on the custom.  

I don't think it is a very relevant question, however.  If that custom is important and difficult to replace in that tradition and the custom is guiding its adherents to the ultimate goal of Orthodoxy, how God introduced or used that custom in His church is irrelevant.

I think it is important to remind the revisionists of traditional customs that these are practices through which God has revealed Himself to that church.  You cannot and should not expect the members of that church to give up these practices in order to make it more culturally relevant.  That seems rather presumptive to me.  

We in the United States have a tendency to want things delivered immediately, while God knows the right time.  I have no doubt that God will reveal Himself more fully in an American way.  We are a very young country.  I'm not certain if any Orthodox country had less jurisdictional and cultural confusion after a mere 200 years of existence of conversion . . .  and we are not an Orthodox country!  

So be patient and do your best to live the Orthodox faith the way it was handed down to your spiritual ancestors in your church.
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« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2004, 11:35:01 PM »

Quote
You cannot and should not expect the members of that church to give up these practices in order to make it more culturally relevant.  That seems rather presumptive to me.

I agree, but nor can you expect a Hispanic person, for example, to have to adopt a Russian cultural mindset in order to experience Orthodoxy.  It seems rather presumptive to me that a man should practically have to change his name from Jose to Josef in order to be "Orthodox", and, sadly, that is what many people experience, if not explicitly then definitely implicitly.
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« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2004, 01:13:29 PM »

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nor can you expect a Hispanic person, for example, to have to adopt a Russian cultural mindset in order to experience Orthodoxy.

Well, to an extent, if he is a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, to understand his church he is going to *have* to adopt parts of a Russian cultural mindset because his church is Russian.

The answer isn't in asking a Russian church to reject a Russian mindset, it is in creating an Orthodox church for the culture in question.  The Russian Church can help that to come about, but one cannot expect the Russian Church to stop being Russian anymore than one can expect an American of whatever flavor to stop being an American.

Quote
It seems rather presumptive to me that a man should practically have to change his name from Jose to Josef in order to be "Orthodox", and, sadly, that is what many people experience, if not explicitly then definitely implicitly.

The linguistic form of a person's first name is not an issue of religous custom, but one of language.  I was not and am not arguing that a person's name must be changed in order to sound Russian.  It is also obvious that whether one calls oneself Jose or Josef adds nothing to "the manner in which God has communicated Himself to that church."

I have yet to meet a Russian or a Serb who thought I should do that, although I have met some "Russified" Americans who did.  

I do, however, follow the customary fasts and celebrations of my church at church and at home.  I still have a hillbilly sounding first name.  The only person who cares about name issues is a convert who has a pagan first name.  He goes by another name for liturgical purposes.  I have a pagan orginated first name and go by it all the time.  

Am I a Serb?  No, and no one expects me to be one.  BUT I am not just Orthodox, I am Serbian Orthodox and how I practice my faith revolves around my Serbian church.  If that entails me adopting some practices, such as Slava celebrations, then I will not deny that part of my faith by terming it a "little 't' tradition."
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« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2004, 01:24:19 PM »

By the way, one of the answers to the cultural issues does not always involve the rejection of one particular church's customs.  It can involve cultural additions and modifications.  

My wife grew up in a mixed home.  Her father was half Polish and half Slovak and her mother was Slovak.  They maintained their Christmas and Easter customs even after they stopped attending church.  My family now practices those traditions at home, along with some of the other Serbian traditions, which differ only slightly.  We have found the Serbian Church to be not only cordial in allowing us these customs, even when we bring them to church (like our lovely Slovak Pascha basket), but they are extremely supportive and are very happy to see my wife carrying on the customs that were passed on to her by her family.

Customs don't have to be an either-or proposition.  They can, at times, include both.  That is how a trully American Orthodoxy must develop.  This is the way all Orthodox customs have developed: through living the life of the Church with the Holy Spirit as guide.
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« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2004, 02:49:11 PM »

Quote
I have yet to meet a Russian or a Serb who thought I should do that, although I have met some "Russified" Americans who did.  

And the "Russified Americans" are who I'm talking about, not the genuine immigrant Slavs.  

I think, overall, you and I are arguing for the same thing, only from different directions and experiences. Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2004, 03:59:14 PM »

There are several reasons why I hate internet message boards:

1.  What people really think doesn't come through for several days and posts.
2.  People can't discuss things over beer (or tea for fasting times)
3.  People can agree and never know it.
4.  People can't have a beer while they are discussing things.
5.  It takes too long to say anything.
6.  Beer is unavailable.
7.  No beer.
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« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2004, 03:58:15 AM »

Schultz: nor can you expect a Hispanic person, for example, to have to adopt a Russian cultural mindset in order to experience Orthodoxy.
 
cizinec: Well, to an extent, if he is a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, to understand his church he is going to *have* to adopt parts of a Russian cultural mindset because his church is Russian.

Help me understand, here.  If this Church that is to be established is "for the culture in question," i.e., that of America, how is adopting a "Russian cultural mindset" conducive to bringing this about?  

And when would the "transfer of power" be allowed to take place from one culture to another?  IOW, when is it OK for an American Church to replace Russian traditions that were present at the Church's founding with distinctly American ones?

Quote
No beer.

Ay, you said it...I think I need some Cuervo....  Grin
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« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2004, 12:45:13 PM »

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 IOW, when is it OK for an American Church to replace Russian traditions that were present at the Church's founding with distinctly American ones?

Which Russian/Greek traditions need to be replaced (besides language) in America?
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« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2004, 01:04:57 PM »

Dear JHP17,

I think many of your observations are valid.  In light of this, I'll offer a few comments reflecting my own experiences/opinions.

1) While there have been examples of converts trying to do it "their way", the truth is most of the alterations of practices that you've observed are the result of "ethnic" so called "born" Orthodox people, not converts.  If anything, I've noted a pretty decent split in converts, regarding how they view such changes to traditional piety (some ambivilent, others very much against it.)  You can see that in this forum - some converts expressing less than enthusiastic views about other converts who grow beards and do not dress in a worldly manner in the Churches (women using the traditional head scarf, etc.), where as other converts would defend this to the bitter end.  In reality, both reflect differences which begin with the "ethnic Orthodox" themselves.

2) American Orthodoxy is still feeling it's way around, and has to do so in some conditions which while in a temporal/worldly sense are very good, often times weight in against the spirituality of the Church.  Westerners like their sufferings in bite size pieces, that appraisal including many of the so called "ethnic Orthodox" who have been here for a significant period of time (such as second and third generation types.)  While we should have gratitude for the great bounty of material goods provided for us here, the truth is we actually quite ungrateful (myself included), knowing nothing else.  Even where actual poverty is absent, Christians must strive for the spirit of poverty and humility - a task which becomes doubly hard (at least!) in this social climate.  There is also an incredible moral decadence here, which can make it difficult for people to gauge just what is objectively right - too often it is easy to be satisfied with being a "few steps to the right" of our neighbours.

3) While we westerners owe our experience of Orthodoxy to the "mother countries" (Greece, Russia, Romania, Serbia, etc.), and it is true that Orthodoxy is much more "natural" over there (ex. in a real sense it can be said the "Russian God" is the Lord God adored by the Orthodox Church, even in the details...the same cannot be said of western countries), I think it has to be said that we cannot take everything that occurs in the mother countries as emblematic of the "Orthodox ideal."  For example, phyletism is a heresy as far as the Church is concerned; yet the growth of nationalism in traditionally Orthodox lands has created a tacit disregard for this amongst many people, and that implied phyletism (associated with etnicity/national origin) has been imported over here (thus explaining in large part the completly uncanonical situation of overlapping "juristictions").  Also, while Orthodox here often err too often on the side of a false (and indeed heretical) ecumenism in their thinking about heterodox confessions, I think it also needs to be said that a lot of the distance put between Orthodox and non-Orthodox in traditionally Orthodox lands is less due to a strong dogmatic consciousness on the part of the Orthodox, but long standing ethnic/nationalistic bias (ex. it's not just because group "x" is Roman Catholic and adheres to an incorrect understanding of the Church that is the problem, but also that they were Polish, with memories of the struggles between "traditionally Roman Catholic" and "traditionally Orthodox" peoples thrown into the mix.)

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« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2004, 03:15:39 PM »

Which Russian/Greek traditions need to be replaced (besides language) in America?

Well, some things I or friends of mine have done that we've found resistence to from cradle Orthodox, right off the top of my head:

  • Making the sign of the cross at "inappropriate times," i.e., other than @ "Fr., Son, HS" and "It is truly meet."
  • Saying responses such as "Indeed, He is risen!" or, "He is, and ever shall be!" in a manner that was accused, at first, of being "too loud," and, when volume was turned down, of being "too enthusiastic" or even, in my personal case, of saying them in "non-Orthodox languages" (-íEn verdad, ha resucitado!)
  • Bringing things like seafood gumbo, crawfish etouffee or fish tacos to coffee hour because they "weren't Orthodox" or "from Orthodox countries."
  • Asking why the priest sounded bored while praying (in contrast to the words of Fr. Peter Guilquist(sp?) -- "A little boy heard my name and said, 'Oh, you're the one who shouts when he preaches!' I don't think I'll ever get to the decibel level that some cradle Orthodox would like...") -- and being told that "enthusiasm is not the 'Orthodox way.'"  Not that we need to be swinging from the chandeliers, but why sound bored saying prayers to the All-Holy Trinity?
  • Being "called on the carpet" for going to confession and communion "too frequently" by people who were NOT the priest (and who, truthfully, were the kind who came once, maybe twice a year to confession themselves, some of them just as often to commune)...these people were pretty much given tacit approval to do this parish-wide, as they were some of the founding members ("And they came OVER from the old country, you know!") and wanted to "safeguard against some people's (read: converts') 'abusing the sacraments'"! Angry
Why should Americans' tendencies towards these things be looked down upon?

Respetuosamente (I hope,  :-),

Pedro
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« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2004, 04:08:01 PM »

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Making the sign of the cross at "inappropriate times," i.e., other than @ "Fr., Son, HS" and "It is truly meet."

This is something that I don't understand.  I tend to make the sign of the cross A LOT, whereas I've noticed others make it rather rarely.... I have always thought it was a personal devotion (mostly) and people can make as they feel.  Eitherway I don't see that as an ethnic or cultural thing at all.  Eitherway as long as someone isn't being disruptive I think they should cross themselves however often they wish.

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Saying responses such as "Indeed, He is risen!" or, "He is, and ever shall be!" in a manner that was accused, at first, of being "too loud," and, when volume was turned down, of being "too enthusiastic" or even, in my personal case, of saying them in "non-Orthodox languages" (-íEn verdad, ha resucitado!)

I know of no ethnic custom against saying things with emotion.  And are you saying "En verdad, ha rescucitado" to someone who speaks Spanish?  

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Bringing things like seafood gumbo, crawfish etouffee or fish tacos to coffee hour because they "weren't Orthodox" or "from Orthodox countries."

Compromises can be worked out.  Orthoodx immigrants don't want to lose their ethnic heritage (nor should they they be pressured to).  But that is more of a matter of certain people being rude, not ethnicity.

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Asking why the priest sounded bored while praying (in contrast to the words of Fr. Peter Guilquist(sp?) -- "A little boy heard my name and said, 'Oh, you're the one who shouts when he preaches!' I don't think I'll ever get to the decibel level that some cradle Orthodox would like...") -- and being told that "enthusiasm is not the 'Orthodox way.'"  Not that we need to be swinging from the chandeliers, but why sound bored saying prayers to the All-Holy Trinity?

I'm used to the Athonite way of doing things, and yes many priests do read prayers in a more subdued style and do not jump up and down.  But a number of prayers are supposed to be read +£-Ã -â-ä+¦+¦-ë-é - silently.  It is quite prideful though to accuse a priest of being bored because he doesn't act like an evangical protestant.  I am told that Metr. Paisios from Saint Irene's though "preaches llike a baptist preacher" from various people - so for many it is a matter of thier personal preference.  To me it is rather rude to come to the Orthodox Church and expect things to be done in Evangical Protestant style.

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Being "called on the carpet" for going to confession and communion "too frequently" by people who were NOT the priest (and who, truthfully, were the kind who came once, maybe twice a year to confession themselves, some of them just as often to commune)...these people were pretty much given tacit approval to do this parish-wide, as they were some of the founding members ("And they came OVER from the old country, you know!") and wanted to "safeguard against some people's (read: converts') 'abusing the sacraments'"!

There are trends towards communion at EVERY liturgy with very rare or no confession at all - especially among converts.  So there is some justification for this.  

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Why should Americans' tendencies towards these things be looked down upon?

1) People should respect the practice of the place they are at.  So if no one else says greetings and responses loudly and doing so would be disruptive do not do so.  When in Rome....

2) People tend to be proud of their ethnicity.  Some converts (such as the Eastern rite protestants, i.e. the Antiochians) have the attitude that they want to go on some holy crusade to free pure Orthodoxy from the shackles of (insert ethnicity here) customs.  People get offended by this.  

3) A lot of people in general bring a very modernist view to Orthodoxy.  So when ethnic Orthodox see people skipping vigil/vespers and confession and recieving communion every single liturgy they get alarmed.  The demands of many converts do not stop at wanting all English liturgy (which IMO English is a good thing).  Soon you see royal doors staying open all the time or disapearing altogether, sercives being shortened, the anaphora being read out loud etc.  

4)  There are a lot of arrogant and mean people - both ethnic Orthodox and converts.  I've seen a tendancy whenever a convert runs into a mean sprited ethnic person they suddenly want to cleanse Orthodoxy of all ethnicity. Thus an ideology is built because of personal disagreements.  

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Respetuosamente

I don't speak Spanish.

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« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2004, 10:30:24 PM »

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Being "called on the carpet" for going to confession and communion "too frequently" by people who were NOT the priest (and who, truthfully, were the kind who came once, maybe twice a year to confession themselves, some of them just as often to commune)...these people were pretty much given tacit approval to do this parish-wide, as they were some of the founding members ("And they came OVER from the old country, you know!") and wanted to "safeguard against some people's (read: converts') 'abusing the sacraments'"!


Quote
There are trends towards communion at EVERY liturgy with very rare or no confession at all - especially among converts.  So there is some justification for this.

Quote
3) A lot of people in general bring a very modernist view to Orthodoxy.  So when ethnic Orthodox see people skipping vigil/vespers and confession and recieving communion every single liturgy they get alarmed.  The demands of many converts do not stop at wanting all English liturgy (which IMO English is a good thing).  Soon you see royal doors staying open all the time or disapearing altogether, sercives being shortened, the anaphora being read out loud etc.

I am more of an observer on this thread as of now, but just a clarification point, if you read Pedro's initial statement, he has been scoffed at for attending confession as well as communion "too frequently." It is not fair to directly respond to this particular plight (twice), and justify the treatment he has received, by citing trends that do not apply to his case.

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I don't speak Spanish.

I'm pretty sure Respetuosamente means "Respectfully," and Pedro, by my standards your personal encounters were related quite so. Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2004, 12:43:23 AM »

You got it, Donna -- and thanks.

I have always thought [the sign of the Cross] was a personal devotion (mostly) and people can make as they feel.  Eitherway I don't see that as an ethnic or cultural thing at all.

Exactly, though it has been treated as such by folks of an ethnicity which shall remain unnamed (such things happened in more than one parish of this jurisdiction, which I do not attend) -- why folks were even paying attention to me or to my friends is beyond me.

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And are you saying "En verdad, ha rescucitado" to someone who speaks Spanish?

Yeah -- this was actually a minor "issue."  Can't even really call it an issue, as our Abp. speaks perfect Spanish and gives the call and response to all his priests.  It was mostly just from a few folks in the parish turning their noses up at it, saying it sounded like we were riding a horse, and that "voistinu voskress" was just fine, thank you very much.

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But that is more of a matter of certain people being rude, not ethnicity.

I agree.

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I'm used to the Athonite way of doing things, and yes many priests do read prayers in a more subdued style and do not jump up and down.


If you read my post again, you'll see I specifically mentioned not doing such ridiculous things.  There's a big difference between "jumping up and down" and simply reading the prayers as though they mean something to you.  And yes, I know one does not have to be emotionalistic to genuinely feel joy -- one could argue that joy transcends emotion -- yet pastorally, the priest is attempting to convey something life-altering to his flock; if he sounds as though it's about to put him to sleep, they will (and have; I've seen it) follow suit.

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But a number of prayers are supposed to be read +£-à -â-ä+¦+¦-ë-é - silently.

Fine.  I'm talking about the spoken prayers.

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It is quite prideful though to accuse a priest of being bored because he doesn't act like an evangical protestant.

I will be frank here -- it is also quite rude, sir, to assert that that was what I was implying.  I know of many evangelical protestant pastors (for this is "where I grew up") who, frankly, go overboard in their volume, intensity, etc.  In no way was I stating I wanted to hear such ruckus from an Orthodox priest.  But again, there is a difference between sounding out of control and simply sounding sincere.

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To me it is rather rude to come to the Orthodox Church and expect things to be done in Evangical Protestant style.

Again -- not Evangelical Protestant necessarily!  It was simply a plea from someone who noticed that the priests seem to be "running through the motions" up there.  Is it impossible to think that perhaps there are trends within the praxis of the Church (or, at least, in certain geographical sections thereof) which need to be addressed?

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There are trends towards communion at EVERY liturgy with very rare or no confession at all - especially among converts.  So there is some justification for this.


Donna dealt with this -- the issue was people protesting to TOO FREQUENT CONFESSION...which was my personal experience, BTW.  I understand the importance of frequent confession with regards to communion, sir.  The [ethnicity] apparently did not, and said that in the [ethnic] tradition of the Church, this was not how things were done...which I didn't buy, and I'm sure, from your above quote, that you don't buy, either.

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People should respect the practice of the place they are at.  So if no one else says greetings and responses loudly and doing so would be disruptive do not do so.  When in Rome....

Understandable.  What if you are the only person (or one of the few) doing so at all?

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People tend to be proud of their ethnicity.  Some converts (such as the Eastern rite protestants, i.e. the Antiochians) have the attitude that they want to go on some holy crusade to free pure Orthodoxy from the shackles of (insert ethnicity here) customs.  People get offended by this.  


As I'm sure people get offended by being called "Eastern-Rite Protestants."  Many cradle (and converts) are so paranoid of even one word outside of the language, much less any deviation from the status quo, that one could say that the "crusade" goes both ways.

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So when ethnic Orthodox see people skipping vigil/vespers and confession and recieving communion every single liturgy they get alarmed.

This is the exact opposite of what I've experienced.  In the parish where I was chrismated (which was not in the "unnamed" jurisdiction; it was Eastern-Rite Protes -- er -- Antiochian), one gentleman cornered us (the to-be converts) about how we shouldn't wear just slacks and polo shirts to our first Holy Week(this being only our first one!).  The priest overheard this, then, a bit miffed, said, "well, maybe when I see him at Orthros a little more often he can make that judgement!"  Turns out that the Orthros service, as well as the start of the Divine Liturgy, was attended mostly by converts.  The cradle often shuffled in during the antifons, after the Creed, right before communion, etc.

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The demands of many converts do not stop at wanting all English liturgy (which IMO English is a good thing).  Soon you see royal doors staying open all the time or disapearing altogether, sercives being shortened, the anaphora being read out loud etc.

All of which were instigated (and defended!) by men and women who had been Orthodox their whole lives, born to Orthodox parents, etc.

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I've seen a tendancy whenever a convert runs into a mean sprited ethnic person they suddenly want to cleanse Orthodoxy of all ethnicity. Thus an ideology is built because of personal disagreements.

Not ALL ethnicity -- there's much there that is beneficial!  Perhaps it's useful to ask why the cradle Orthodox is mean-spirited.  Perhaps the mean-spiritedness is caused by feeling uncomfortable about change -- especially about being shown the need for change by "that upstart convert over there."  There are, at times, changes that need to happen, as people can get stuck in traditions that are, in fact, detrimental to spiritual growth within the Church.  Whether it comes from a cradle or a convert makes not the slightest difference.

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I don't speak Spanish.

Lo siento...sorry.
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« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2004, 03:30:21 AM »

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I am more of an observer on this thread as of now, but just a clarification point, if you read Pedro's initial statement, he has been scoffed at for attending confession as well as communion "too frequently." It is not fair to directly respond to this particular plight (twice), and justify the treatment he has received, by citing trends that do not apply to his case.

I commented on the communion without confession and people saying something since I have witnessed that.  As to Pedro's situation where frequent confession was ridiculed - that is truly sad.  Still I believe that is an issue of rude people, not ethnicity.

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Exactly, though it has been treated as such by folks of an ethnicity which shall remain unnamed (such things happened in more than one parish of this jurisdiction, which I do not attend) -- why folks were even paying attention to me or to my friends is beyond me.

Ethnics pale in comparison to wrath of a super correct convert.  Like I've said already I think these are rude people, not an ethnic situation.   Some of nicest, most tolerant and loving Orthodox Christians that I have met were born and raised in Greece.  

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Yeah -- this was actually a minor "issue."  Can't even really call it an issue, as our Abp. speaks perfect Spanish and gives the call and response to all his priests.  It was mostly just from a few folks in the parish turning their noses up at it, saying it sounded like we were riding a horse, and that "voistinu voskress" was just fine, thank you very much.

How very odd, since isn't it kind of the norm thing to say Christ is Risen in as many languages as possible?  Then there is the whole Agape vespers deal.  I've had priests ask me how to say it in Polish before and also to read the Latin Gospel for agape vespers - hardly "Orthodox Languages" and this was in an ethnic parish too!  

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If you read my post again, you'll see I specifically mentioned not doing such ridiculous things.  There's a big difference between "jumping up and down" and simply reading the prayers as though they mean something to you.  And yes, I know one does not have to be emotionalistic to genuinely feel joy -- one could argue that joy transcends emotion -- yet pastorally, the priest is attempting to convey something life-altering to his flock; if he sounds as though it's about to put him to sleep, they will (and have; I've seen it) follow suit.

But the style of reading prayers is NOT an ethnic thing.  Greeks (who I deal with a lot) are incrediblely emotional people, like teh stereotypical Italian.  This is more an issue of not agreeing with the Typikon.

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Is it impossible to think that perhaps there are trends within the praxis of the Church (or, at least, in certain geographical sections thereof) which need to be addressed?

But I know several Hieromonks that are VERY soft spoken yet overflowing with a very sutble joy - they would most likely fall under your catagory of not being joyfull or expressive enough, but that is the way athonite hieromonks are (and many traditional parish priests).  True holiness doesn't need a show.  

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Understandable.  What if you are the only person (or one of the few) doing so at all?

I've served the altar at two different GOA parishes, in one the "Christ is in our midst" greetign is always said, in the other it is never said.  I just follow the practice of where I am at.  At Saint Anthony's monastery no one does the greeting, so I don't either.  If I notice that people start the practice - I better learn it in Greek Wink  !

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Many cradle (and converts) are so paranoid of even one word outside of the language, much less any deviation from the status quo, that one could say that the "crusade" goes both ways.

Oh I agree entirely.  It's actually very funny to me.  I often find myself trying to convince my Greek friends that there is such a thing as non- GREEK Orthodoxy AND trying to convince my fellow converts to be more tolerant of ethnic Orthodoxy.  In the end nobody thinks I'm on thier side.

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All of which were instigated (and defended!) by men and women who had been Orthodox their whole lives, born to Orthodox parents, etc.

I think we may be talking about two different ethnic groups.  I meant the traditonal very pious ethnic Orthodox when I made this statement - but I do know the type you are refering to here.  That type is frustrating beyond belief to me.

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Not ALL ethnicity -- there's much there that is beneficial!  Perhaps it's useful to ask why the cradle Orthodox is mean-spirited.  Perhaps the mean-spiritedness is caused by feeling uncomfortable about change -- especially about being shown the need for change by "that upstart convert over there."  There are, at times, changes that need to happen, as people can get stuck in traditions that are, in fact, detrimental to spiritual growth within the Church.  Whether it comes from a cradle or a convert makes not the slightest difference.

I see a lot of this though as a two way street.  A few small things converts can do, can put the ethnics at ease.  Saing "Christ is risen" and other greetings and small talk in the ethnic language is a great start....it shows people you aren't out to destroy thier heritage and that you respect it.  A little of this at first and down the road people will start to catch on that English is spoken and that this is America... but baby steps first.
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« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2004, 09:01:18 AM »

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2) People tend to be proud of their ethnicity.  Some converts (such as the Eastern rite protestants, i.e. the Antiochians) have the attitude that they want to go on some holy crusade to free pure Orthodoxy from the shackles of (insert ethnicity here) customs.  People get offended by this.  

Eastern-rite Protestants?!? how charitable. I've been to a mostly convert Antiochian parish where they seemed to be adopting much eastern/ethnic custom and removing "western" things.  

And some of the converts I've read or heard about from "cradle" EO seem to be dedicated to taking on as much of the "old country" as they can and telling the people who were there before them how it should be done.

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« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2004, 02:31:12 PM »

Ethnics pale in comparison to wrath of a super correct convert.

Having gone to school with two very super-correct Byzantine Catholics turned super-correct Orthodox, I definitely know what you mean about the converts, yet I guess when you said
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I think we may be talking about two different ethnic groups,
you hit on the crux of the matter -- you and I have had very different events predominate our experience with cradle Orthodox.  So it is a matter of experience, I suppose; I agree with you about the devout, pious Orthodox.  As you can see, they're not the ones my acquaintances and I have had problems with.  Also....

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Some of nicest, most tolerant and loving Orthodox Christians that I have met were born and raised in Greece.

Ditto, but born/raised in Lebanon.

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But I know several Hieromonks that are VERY soft spoken yet overflowing with a very sutble joy - they would most likely fall under your catagory of not being joyfull or expressive enough, but that is the way athonite hieromonks are (and many traditional parish priests).  True holiness doesn't need a show.

True, yet again, I'm not asking for a "show."  The Hispanic hieromonk from the OCA who helps the GOA parish here with their Spanish-speaking mission is very subdued, yet very sincere.  He is one of many examples of clergy -- ranging from "yellers," I suppose, like Fr. Guilquist, to the subdued Fr. Efra+¡n -- who celebrate with joy and do not come across as bored and flat...I guess you've just never seen a liturgy done by a priest who was like this...count your blessings.

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I see a lot of this though as a two way street.  A few small things converts can do, can put the ethnics at ease.  Saing "Christ is risen" and other greetings and small talk in the ethnic language is a great start....it shows people you aren't out to destroy thier heritage and that you respect it.

Agreed, definitely -- years of working with Hispanic missions has taught me that regard for the culture -- language especially -- will do wonders for convert/cradle relations.  Once this is established, the lax cradle Orthodox are much more likely to take their "shot in the arm," as my former priest put it, from the example of faithful converts.
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« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2004, 02:49:57 PM »

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Eastern-rite Protestants?!? how charitable. I've been to a mostly convert Antiochian parish where they seemed to be adopting much eastern/ethnic custom and removing "western" things.

And some of the converts I've read or heard about from "cradle" EO seem to be dedicated to taking on as much of the "old country" as they can and telling the people who were there before them how it should be done.

I agree. I've read some of these post in here & not sure what the hell they are talking about. The "eastern rite parishes" I've been to must do a great job at hiding their agenda because they sure do hold to all the traditions & customs of Orthodoxy. They are also much better Orthodox and really live thier faith from what I have seen as compared to the other jurisdictional parishes where the people casually stroll in half an hour later from the start of the divine liturgy. If you ask me, they have a very "protestant" attitude & have no respect for the church or others when they do such a thing. I guess this is why I could never see myself being part of a really "ethnic" parish  because they are "Orthodox lite" . This is just another reason why the Antiochians will be the premier church in America because not only have they held to the customs of Orthodoxy, they have focused on the core of the gospel. Nice to see all these "learned" converts throwing stones over the internet though, I'm glad I've never had to deal with this by anyone I've actually met.      

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« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2004, 02:59:02 PM »

Please refrain from referring to Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions by various "interesting" nicknames.  

This is not the first time I've seen people in "world Orthodoxy" do this.  Elsewhere I've seen the Greeks referred to as the Anglicans of Orthodoxy or some nonsense like that by an Antiochian.  I sometimes wonder why some of you are in your current jurisdictions if you cannot tolerate your brethren with whom you are in full communion.  It's not like you don't have choices: this is America, the land of a thousand bishops.  Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2004, 03:50:46 PM »

As many of you know I'm an Episcoplian "guest" in this forum, may I aks Nacho what exactly is "protestant" about wandering into church late? Over the years I've visited many different churches, and in all fairness at most protestant churches folks are there and ready for the service at the appointed time.  As much as I love Orthodox spirituality and worship, at most Orthodox churches I've visited many folks wander in very late, sometimes even the acolytes Shocked . I realize that with Matins being served before Liturgy on Sundays, the schedule may be off a few minutes, but if the sign says "Divine Liturgy, 10:00am" there is really no reason to be wandering in at 10:15 or 10:30.

If I may soap-box a bit, I've noticed that some people on this forum use the term "protestant" as a catch-all for anything they don't like or dont' agree with relating to church.

I think it would help communication if everyone would use the name of the specific denomination, or at least use a more descriptive phrase such as "liturgical" vs. "non-liturgical" churches. After all "protestant" is broad and includes some groups that have virtually nothing in common; Southern Baptists, United Methodists, Lutherans etc... all have very distinctive theologies, sacramental views and styles of worship. Beleive me, as someone who has worshipped in the Anglican liturgical tradition most of my life, I feel more at home worshipping with Orthodox or Roman Catholics then say the Assembly of God or Mennonites.
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« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2004, 03:59:02 PM »

[Eastern-rite Protestants?!? how charitable. I've been to a mostly convert Antiochian parish where they seemed to be adopting much eastern/ethnic custom and removing "western" things. ]


However, there is such a thing as 'Eastern Rite Protestants'.  Check out the folowing website regarding the Ukrainian Lutheran Church who uses a modified version of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy instead of the normal Lutheran service.  This church was started by former former Eastern Catholics not in communion with Orthodoxy -

http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/saintsophiaseminary/liturgy.html

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« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2004, 04:04:13 PM »

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As you can see, they're not the ones my acquaintances and I have had problems with

I have also had some nice meetings with that type of ethnic person, one lady told me that my last name was ugly, others will complain to me after service if I chanted in too much English.  At parishes that is a big problem, but my most common experience with ethnics is at a monastery which is entirely different (for the most part).

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Ditto, but born/raised in Lebanon.

What has frustrated me with my personal experiences with the Antiochians is that Arabs have been treated like dirt by many of the converts - PART of my not being overly fond of the entire jurisdiction.  I find the entire disregard for tradition among the antiochians to be alarming - but this is a problem in all of SCOBA.    

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And some of the converts I've read or heard about from "cradle" EO seem to be dedicated to taking on as much of the "old country" as they can and telling the people who were there before them how it should be done.
 

I'm sure this happens (I heard about in particular with various ROCOR parishes and slavophile converts) but IME with very very ethnic Greek Orthodoxy I have not really seen thist, except for converts learning Greek - but that is more practical than anything else.

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« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2004, 04:06:03 PM »

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It's not like you don't have choices: this is America, the land of a thousand bishops.

For people living back east, yes...not for those of us still living on the wild western frontier.
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« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2004, 04:09:35 PM »

..may I aks Nacho what exactly is "protestant" about wandering into church late?

I agree. The first thing I had to do when I converted to Orthodoxy was to get my GOA in-laws to get to church ON-TIME. As a Baptist it was very RUDE to show up for services after they had started -- it was considered showing disrespect to God.

I remember when my GOA wife first started trying to get me to go to church -- she woauld ask me about 20 minutes before the service started. I would say "No. The service starts in 20 mintues -- I am not going to walk in halfway through the service" To her that was normal.
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« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2004, 05:23:37 PM »

I do despise these jurisdictional pissing contests.  No jurisdiction is perfect. We all do some things well and some things poorly.  I must say, from my point of view at least, that complaining about those who arrive at Liturgy late strikes me as something that is characteristic of someone who is still in what I call "convert mode."  It is necessary at some point for the convert to simply become Orthodox, and stop thinking of himself as a "convert." Those who complain about people arriving to Liturgy late remind me of people standing on the front porch of the Church.  It's time to get off the front porch, come inside the Church and worship.  We cannot control the behavior of other people.  The only behavior we can control is ourselves, and none of us even do that very well.  If being at Divine Liturgy on time is important to you, then be on time.  I'm sure your priest will appreciate it.  I think you'll benefit from it spiritually too.  But, for heaven's sake, be polite and tolerant of those who are not early risers and who come into Liturgy late.  Greet them with a smile and not a prideful look of disdain.  And realize that even the Liturgy itself presupposes latecomers.  Ever notice that the Litany of Supplication, chanted AFTER the Sermon, the Cherubic Hymn and the Great Entrance says "For this holy house, and for those who ENTER with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord."? I daresay that arriving to Liturgy late, while certainly not a virtue or something to be encouraged, is a by product of a more relaxed attitude toward time charateristic of the Mediterrean world in general. In fact, it seems to me that only the Anglo and Germanic worlds have such an obsessive compulsive attitude about EVERYONE being there when a service starts.  Ever been to a Mexican Catholic Mass?  They come in late too, just like the ethnic Greek and Russian Orthodox do.  Are they any less faithful than the American Catholics that arrive at Mass on time?  I think not.
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« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2004, 05:35:26 PM »

Ever been to a Mexican Catholic Mass?.....are they any less faithful than the American Catholics that arrive at Mass on time?  I think not.

Right. They are both schismatics anyway, so what does it matter?  Grin
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« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2004, 06:28:50 PM »

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As many of you know I'm an Episcoplian "guest" in this forum, may I aks Nacho what exactly is "protestant" about wandering into church late?

Nothing at all. I'm using it in the context of the 'standards" of those on this forum. From what I have seen, Antiochians are somehow mysteriously equated with being protestants in the world of Orthodoxy. I'm by no means anti - protestant myself. I would rather worship along side a protestant that is trying his best at having a relationship with Christ than the stone throwers of "internet" Orthodoxy that throw a fuss over the smallest minutia etc. etc.....

Like I said, I'm glad I've never had to deal with this in the real world. Not even by the hardcore Orthodox russians I have met & talked with on numerous occasions in San Francisco who run a Orthodox bookstore where I buy most of my books. People should step out of thier fairytale beleif system of what consitutes a "perfect Orthodoxy"  that the rest of us fail to meet because they have raised the bar so high.
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« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2004, 07:52:34 PM »

Nothing at all. I'm using it in the context of the 'standards" of those on this forum. From what I have seen, Antiochians are somehow mysteriously equated with being protestants in the world of Orthodoxy. I'm by no means anti - protestant myself. I would rather worship along side a protestant that is trying his best at having a relationship with Christ than the stone throwers of "internet" Orthodoxy that throw a fuss over the smallest minutia etc. etc.....

Like I said, I'm glad I've never had to deal with this in the real world. Not even by the hardcore Orthodox russians I have met & talked with on numerous occasions in San Francisco who run a Orthodox bookstore where I buy most of my books. People should step out of thier fairytale beleif system of what consitutes a "perfect Orthodoxy"  that the rest of us fail to meet because they have raised the bar so high.    

Nacho,
I think that is because of the history of the AOA in Amercia.  Since the former EOC/AEOMers are all coverts and they have had such a huge influence upon the American Orthodox scene today,  you might hear that "protestant" label thrown around.  I don't take offense at it - and they are my history!  I just realize what   people are talking about and can see it from another perspective now that I've been attending parishes in another jurisdiction (OCA) for several years now.  There is an Antiochian mission with an old Arabic priest a few miles from my house.  I point out some of these same ("ecumenistic" issues for lack of a better term) that Nektarios brings up with his son who I hang out with sometimes.  I definitely see Nektarios's points.  Yes, we all have our shortcomings though.
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« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2004, 11:54:11 PM »

:where the people casually stroll in half an hour later from the start of the divine liturgy. If you ask me, they have a very "protestant" attitude & have no respect for the church or others when they do such a thing. :

I agree with what someone else said--how is this Protestant? It's vintage Orthodox, and it's something I learned to love while in Eastern Europe. It always seemed to me as if the liturgy was just there, going on all the time (it helped that Romanian churches generally don't post hours for services--at least I rarely found any such posting), and it didn't depend on me. I grant that there can be problems with this attitude, but the American Protestant idea that liturgy is purely something created by the gathered community also has its shortcomings . . . .

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« Reply #42 on: July 05, 2004, 09:03:46 AM »

Your discussion makes me want to puke :cwm8:

After all, what is "Church" all about?
What is Liturgy all about?
Why are you going to Church at all?
Why are you attenting Liturgy ?

When Jesus was still alive, where did He "fellowship" ?

And after His Ascencion, where did the Apostles go to "attend"?

And what was the purpose of coming together anyhow?

Please remember what Saint Paul says in 1.Cor.3:1-11

" And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
 2.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
 3.  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
 4.  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
 5.  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
 6.  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
 7.  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
 8.  Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
 9.  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
 10.  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
 11.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."


And your discussion reminded me of another fact, mentioned in Mt.27:18

"For he knew that for envy they had delivered him."

Shiloah, listening to all your disputing and having to think of the eight 'Woe's in Mt.23 which culminate in the words of Jesus in verse 37, saying

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
 38.  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
 39.  For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."


O yes, I took all these verse out of their context in the bible , only to apply them to the context of your discussion and the situation of the churches in this world, because looks like to me they are congruent.
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« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2004, 09:17:57 AM »

For people living back east, yes...not for those of us still living on the wild western frontier.

I dunno...the AZ valley has, what, five?

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I must say, from my point of view at least, that complaining about those who arrive at Liturgy late strikes me as something that is characteristic of someone who is still in what I call "convert mode."

OK, this, to me, is ridiculous (my apologies; I'm usually try to not be this blunt).  This brings us back, I think, to the original topic of "Changing Orthodoxy": there are some ethnic Orthodox who, I believe, hide behind their ethnicity when it comes to being late for Church, saying things like, "It's vintage Orthodox," which seems to me just to translate into a sneering, "get off my back, konvert."

Yes, perhaps, in the old country, signs weren't posted and priests said nothing.  This is not the old country.  This is not even Latin America, where, you're right, Tikhon29605, time is every bit as fluid, I'm sure, as in Europe.  This is the USA, where it's a well-established tradition -- independant of any direct Protestant label, I might add -- that, if something matters to you enough, you'll get there on time.

I posted earlier about things converts have been accused of by ethnic Orthodox; I guess this is a big "j'accuse" from me.  Every priest I've ever been under (which includes both convert and cradle) has addressed this from the "pulpit," saying that the beginning of the Liturgy is just as important as the rest.  They are given either rolling eyes or nothing in response, usually because after their late arrival, these folks are busy gabbing in the back of the nave.  Oh, well...I guess that's just "vintage Orthodoxy" that we converts have to accept as time-honored and venerable...I'm sure they're all just taking advantage of the liturgy in some "mystical" way we converts don't yet grasp.   Roll Eyes

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I grant that there can be problems with this attitude, but the American Protestant idea that liturgy is purely something created by the gathered community also has its shortcomings . . .

How so, Edwin?
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« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2004, 09:23:34 AM »

Your discussion makes me want to puke :cwm8:

After all, what is "Church" all about?
What is Liturgy all about?
Why are you going to Church at all?
Why are you attenting Liturgy ?

Shiloah, this is exactly why I made the points that I made -- why attend at all if you are going to skip the first half or third of Liturgy?

As for making you want to vomit...well, I agree that it's not a "fun topic" to discuss.  However, there's plenty in the epistles regarding "internal affairs" that the Apostles had to deal with, much of which was based on ethnicity!  It's not pretty, but it is reality, and it's better to air dirty laundry than have it mildew.

Pedro, determined to engage the human side of the Church, as well as the divine....
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