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Author Topic: Old Believer Liturgy  (Read 5981 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jennifer
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« on: November 06, 2004, 02:02:24 PM »

Was rite does the Old Believer church that joined ROCOR use?  I remember reading that the Russian Church established an old rite to bring Old Believers back into the Church.  Do I remember that correctly?  

Also, are there Old Believers left in Russia?  

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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2004, 04:11:46 PM »

Most of Nativity Church in Erie joined ROCOR and went from being a Priestless church with the iconostasis against the wall to having a priest, an altar and Liturgy and Communion on Sunday. (A faction didn't join and remain Priestless - I've met the nephew of their lay pastor.) To see the recension they use you can read the beautiful prayer book printed by that church. The differences in spelling and wording are more obvious in Slavonic than in English but still minor.

Yes, I think that's true that the Church of Russia eventually accepted churches that use the older forms.

There is a separate Old Believer Church in Russia to this day with their own Metropolitan of Moscow and All Rus'.
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2004, 05:00:59 PM »

Jennifer --

They use the old beliver pre-Nikonian rite.  As Serge mentions, they've published a prayer book.  The differences between the old rite and the Nikonian would strike most people as minor, from what I have reviewed in this book.

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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2004, 11:08:58 PM »

Erie, PA, brings a lot of strange things.  I should know, since I was born there Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2004, 01:04:20 AM »

Erie, PA, brings a lot of strange things.  I should know, since I was born there Smiley

I wasn't born there but grew up there.  Just tonight I sent email to my siblings back in Erie explaining why I converted to Orthodoxy... and because of a post on another Orthodox forum, I recommended that they look into the Nativity old rite parish in Erie - supposedly has a vibrant young congregation that holds hours-long vigils.

Did I send them to a kooky place???  I hope not.

George
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2004, 07:49:28 AM »

i don't think it's fair to label the old believers as kooky! (i am one) there are also non rocor old believer parishes in the states, and the Archbishop is based in Gervais in Canada. I know Oregon and Alaska have some churches (not exactly sure where) and yup: there are heaps of old believers in russia with numerous bishops.
the web page of the Russian Old Believers is www.rspc.ru there is also the jurisdiction of Belakrinitsa (Braila) which is in communion with Moscow and runs the show out of russia, eg. USA, Canada, Australia, etc etc Smiley

cheers
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2004, 07:51:22 AM »

ooops i mean www.rpsc.ru Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2004, 01:43:11 PM »

the Archbishop is based in Gervais in Canada. I know Oregon and Alaska have some churches (not exactly sure where)

Michael,

Actually, Gervais is in Oregon, not far from Woodburn, which is where the Old Believers are concentrated. The estimated 8-10,000 Old Believers in OR are the largest group of them anywhere in the US. There's an Old Believer museum there, as well. Curiously, it's located at a Benedictine Catholic monastery, Mt Angel Abbey.

If I remember the story correctly, there was, briefly, a small community among the Oregonian Old Believers who entered into communion with Rome. They turned to the Abbey for pastoral care and a Benedictine hieromonk from elsewhere who had Byzantine faculties was dispatched to OR to serve them. The Catholic community is gone from what I understand (returned to Orthodoxy? assimilated into local Latin or Eastern Catholic parishes? I don't know). But, a Byzantine chapel survives at the Abbey, as does an Old Believer museum, which the Old Believers themselves staff, from what I've been told. The cultural effects on the broader community are significant - the U of Oregon's Russian Studies Program, for example, is quite renowned; not much reason to believe it would have been sited there were it not for the Russian presence in the state as a whole.

Here's a few links:

History of Oregon's Old Believer Community

Praise Old Believers - this site has some great photos

Russian Old Believers Hang On In Oregon

The Alaskan community is about 2-3 thousand in all, nowhere near as large as it was once projected to become. Here's an article about those at a place called Nikolaevsk:

Old Believers in Alaska

There's also been some extension of them from Oregon up into Alberta and British Columbia, I believe.

Many years,

Neil
« Last Edit: December 21, 2004, 01:43:48 PM by Irish Melkite » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2005, 06:07:52 PM »

Hi, I'm a member of the Old Rite parish in Erie that came under the ROCOR Bishops. The Rite that is used is the Old Rite of the Russian Orthodox Church; if you buy the prayer book from the parish, you can see that the entrance and departure prayers are present for each service, and there are a few other minor differences, but most differences are in ritual and in the Znamenny chant that is used. In other words, you could visit our parish from a New Rite parish and follow the service perfectly well.

The parish is warm and welcoming and offers the best environment that I have encountered in which to strive to live a traditional Orthodox life - and our family has lived in many places and experienced quite a few parishes. I'm not bashing any place, just highly recommending this one.

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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2005, 07:18:53 PM »

And a BIG welcome to oldritekatherine!  Smiley
As I am "nearby" in Punxsutawney I have been meaning tio visit your parish. Now I have an extra reason to do so. There are others of us in the area; we might coordinate a roadtrip soon.

Demetri
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2005, 11:29:25 PM »

I know this is an old thread but I recently found this book available http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/mall/BookStore/Oldrite.asp
I hope to buy it this summer but I was wondering if anyone else has it or has read it. What is it like? Does the book tell you what was changed by Patriarch Nikon? why? what significance this had? I found it very interesting and a great blessing that we have such a translation available to us.
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2005, 12:43:04 AM »

I know this is an old thread but I recently found this book available http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/mall/BookStore/Oldrite.asp
I hope to buy it this summer but I was wondering if anyone else has it or has read it. What is it like? Does the book tell you what was changed by Patriarch Nikon? why? what significance this had? I found it very interesting and a great blessing that we have such a translation available to us.

Sabbas,

You can surmise what was changed by comparing the above prayer book to a Nikonian (modern) prayer book in the Russian usage. It is a prayer book, it doesn't say what was changed or why (why would it, it does not contain such changes).

If you are interested in Old Rite issues and want to know more about them I suggesthttp://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/088141090X/qid=1114490312/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-7161467-2164849?v=glance&s=books as it covers the contents of the reforms and the history surrounding them in English.

Tony
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2005, 12:09:02 PM »

Thank you for the suggestion TonyS though I have learned to beware Paul Meyendorff due to the bad scholarship and flagrant errors in his book http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0913836117/002-7624303-6283265?v=glance I do not know if that may also be true of this book but I would not be suprised. I simply go with what St.John of San Francisco taught: Patriarch Nikon was a great man.
But still thank you for the suggestion and I will look into it further.
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2005, 12:29:47 PM »

Actually, Fr. Meyendorff's book on the Old Rite is extremely good, if very technical (i.e. you'll need to know Slavonic to get a lot of the points he's making). It does clearly show that in many cases the Old Rite recension is superior to the Nikonian reforms, both in terms of language and of rubrics; Nikon actually introduced errors in several places, and in all areas was simply doing a literal translation of the current Greek texts of the day, rather than correcting the Old Rite texts in any meaningful way.
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2005, 01:23:07 PM »

katherine,

I have a quick question concerning the Znamenny you use.  Is it congregational or is their almost always the exclusive use of a reader/cantor/choir?

If this needs to be split into another thread, so be it.
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2005, 02:41:21 PM »

Thank you for the suggestion TonyS though I have learned to beware Paul Meyendorff due to the bad scholarship and flagrant errors in his book http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0913836117/002-7624303-6283265?v=glance I do not know if that may also be true of this book but I would not be suprised. I simply go with what St.John of San Francisco taught: Patriarch Nikon was a great man.
But still thank you for the suggestion and I will look into it further.

Sabbas,

If you know Slavonic and have access to the sources you can do the comparisons yourself then.  But, notice one thing.  I suggested a book to you by Paul Meyendorff and you respond citing a book by John Meyendorff.  They are two distinct persons, one living one dead.  Even Paul Peyendorff has been known to criticize his father's work.  But since apparently one Meyendorff's errors are so flagrant perhaps you can share them with us. 

I can't help but ask myself, if you go with what St. John of San Francisco taught, then why the questions in the first place?

Beayf

The Book, Russian Ritual and Reform is by Paul Meyendorff, not a priest.  Fr. John Meyendorff was his father. 

T
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2005, 04:35:59 PM »

Ach, always am I getting those two confused. It's still a good solid book, though.
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2005, 04:54:52 PM »

Ach, always am I getting those two confused. It's still a good solid book, though.

I agree it's a useful book for those interested in such matters.  It is "liturgical archeology" to some extent.  I am not aware of any other study in English similar to it.   

Fr. J Meyendorff is more published than P Meyendorff.  Perhaps in the end they will even out, one lived a lifetime the other is still living. 
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2005, 05:29:41 PM »

I simply go with what St.John of San Francisco taught: Patriarch Nikon was a great man.

From what I gather the Nikonian reforms were much like 1066 and All That's summary of the English Civil War, with Nikon taking the part of the roundheads ("Right but Repulsive") and the Old Believers as the cavaliers ("Wrong but Romantic").
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2005, 06:50:47 PM »

Quote
From what I gather the Nikonian reforms were much like 1066 and All That's summary of the English Civil War, with Nikon taking the part of the roundheads ("Right but Repulsive") and the Old Believers as the cavaliers ("Wrong but Romantic").

Well, Nikon was right in that he was the chief hierarch of the church and the clergy should have obeyed the bishops (notice that no bishops went along with the Old Believer schism -- the popovtsy had to have their hierarchs consecrated abroad). But the Old Believers were right in that Nikon's reforms weren't correcting anything, but just aping Greek practice and discarding legitimate practices that the Russians had preserved but the Greeks had lost.
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2005, 09:22:47 PM »

I know this is an old thread but I recently found this book available http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/mall/BookStore/Oldrite.asp
I hope to buy it this summer but I was wondering if anyone else has it or has read it. What is it like? Does the book tell you what was changed by Patriarch Nikon? why? what significance this had? I found it very interesting and a great blessing that we have such a translation available to us.

Beleive it or not, I am not an Old Believer, but attend an ROCOR here in Australia.  I bought this Prayer Book myself off the Internet, and use it every Sunday in Church.  Of course, there are a few minor differences in the service, but nothing too much to get confused over.  What I love most about this Prayer Book are the Hours, which we read before every Liturgy.  I also love the prayers before Communion.

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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2005, 10:53:36 AM »



Michael,

Actually, Gervais is in Oregon, not far from Woodburn, which is where the Old Believers are concentrated.  The estimated 8-10,000 Old Believers in OR are the largest group of them anywhere in the US.  There's an Old Believer museum there, as well. Curiously, it's located at a Benedictine Catholic monastery, Mt Angel Abbey. 

If I remember the story correctly, there was, briefly, a small community among the Oregonian Old Believers who entered into communion with Rome.  They turned to the Abbey for pastoral care and a Benedictine hieromonk from elsewhere who had Byzantine faculties was dispatched to OR to serve them.  The Catholic community is gone from what I understand (returned to Orthodoxy? assimilated into local Latin or Eastern Catholic parishes? I don't know).  But, a Byzantine chapel survives at the Abbey, as does an Old Believer museum, which the Old Believers themselves staff, from what I've been told.  The cultural effects on the broader community are significant - the U of Oregon's Russian Studies Program, for example, is quite renowned; not much reason to believe it would have been sited there were it not for the Russian presence in the state as a whole.

***This is not quite right. The hieromonk you mention has the view that the Old Believers were never actually in schism with Rome, but I don't think that any Old Believers out here in Oregon have entered into communion with Rome; the hieromonk was baptized by Old Believers in Romania and is a member of the OB congregation that has a priest, so *he* may be an Old Believer in communion with Rome, but the parish as a whole is in communion with the Belokrinitsa Old Rite group in Romania. There is a Byz. Catholic mission in Portland, but I don't think that the Old Believers have any contact with them at all. Apart from this parish, the others Old Believers here are without the priesthood,  but are not strictly _bezpopovtsy_ or "Priestless" Old Believers, because they think that a true priesthood survives somewhere and hope to find it. They reject the claim of the Belokrinitsa hierarchy to be that true priesthood, however.

Stephen
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« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2005, 05:02:25 PM »



Sabbas,

If you know Slavonic and have access to the sources you can do the comparisons yourself then. But, notice one thing. I suggested a book to you by Paul Meyendorff and you respond citing a book by John Meyendorff. They are two distinct persons, one living one dead. Even Paul Peyendorff has been known to criticize his father's work. But since apparently one Meyendorff's errors are so flagrant perhaps you can share them with us.

I can't help but ask myself, if you go with what St. John of San Francisco taught, then why the questions in the first place?

Beayf

The Book, Russian Ritual and Reform is by Paul Meyendorff, not a priest. Fr. John Meyendorff was his father.

T
Sorry! I was not aware there are two Meyendorff's writing books however I do not think we should forget the old saying, "Like father, like son." But seriously I will probably take a look at the book this summer and as I wrote before I appreciate the help.
Quote
But since apparently one Meyendorff's errors are so flagrant perhaps you can share them with us.
Fr.John Meyendorff's book on St.Gregory Palamas was loaded with errors and I would not recommend anyone read it. Fr.John Romanides wrote extensively correcting the errors Meyendorff made http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.15.en.notes_on_the_palamite_controversy.01.htm
His first paragraph summarizes an error that you would expect from a freshmen Philosophy major
Quote
Perhaps the most amazing and most revolutionary claim of Father Meyendorff is that Barlaam was both a nominalist and a Neo-Platonist or Platonist. Until now the histories of philosophy and theology have been presenting these traditions as mutually exclusive. It was commonly agreed that William of Occam destroyed the Platonic basis of mediaeval scholasticism by his denial of the objective existence of universals both in the essence of God and in creation, undercutting thereby the very basis of analogia entis and its natural theology and law, and preparing the way for an exclusive emphasis on analogia fidei - characteristic of a large bulk of the Protestant tradition. Had Father Meyendorff explained how it is possible for one and the same person to be both a nominalist and a Platonist he would have revolutionized our knowledge of the intellectual history of Europe. Unfortunately, he never attempts to do so, and leaves one bewildered with the question of how and why he could make such an extraordinary (and certainly original) claim.
This is not to blacken the memory of Fr.Meyendorff but such blatant errors need to be pointed out.
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« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2005, 11:14:02 AM »

The late Fr John Meyendorff was indeed sharply criticized by the late Fr John Romanides for his proposal to align Varlaam with the nominalists and not with the Thomists. This does not mean that everything he wrote is no good: look at his _Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes_ (New York: Fordham University Press, 1974) and _Christ in Eastern Christian Thought_ (Washington: Corpus Books, 1969).  It certainly does not mean that his descendents are to be categorized as incapable of writing good studies of this or other topics. Paul Meyendorff's book on the Nikonian 'reform' is indeed quite informative and judicious, and may be joined by an essay by the late Nicholas Uspensky, 'The Collision of Two Theologies in the Revision of Russian Liturgical Books in the Seventeenth Century,' included with two other articles by the same author in _Evening Worship in the Orthodox Church_, translated by Paul Lazor (Crestwood, New York: St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1985). The first essay in this collection, 'Orthodox Vespers,' also contains material relevant to this topic.

That the Old Rite is fully Orthodox is now recognized all around. The Old Believers may indeed look like 'kooks' to outsiders, but the 17th-century 'reform' may also be regarded as a bit 'kooky'--it prevailed not on its merits but on the backing of the state with its coercive powers. When Peter the Great reduced the Church organizationally to a department of the government, there was no effective opposition because those who would have undertaken it were already outside of the Moscow Patriarchate; so the Patriarchate could be abolished and the Russian Church subjugated in an efficient manner. Solzhenitsyn is right about this: we should be repenting of the persecution of the Old Believers and not denouncing them. Yes, they have their foibles; who does not? _The Way of a Pilgrim_ proposes the correct course: let us restore a reasonably full typikon in our schedule of services, and respect for traditional standards of church order, and we shall then be in a position to discuss frankly with the Old Belivers the differences that separated us. The Pilgrim was right: they set a good example for the rest of us; not that we should copy them in every respect, but that we should attend to a full offering of the prescribed services performed in a proper manner.

Stephen
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« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2005, 07:43:49 PM »

The late Fr John Meyendorff was indeed sharply criticized by the late Fr John Romanides for his proposal to align Varlaam with the nominalists and not with the Thomists. This does not mean that everything he wrote is no good: look at his _Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes_ (New York: Fordham University Press, 1974) and _Christ in Eastern Christian Thought_ (Washington: Corpus Books, 1969). It certainly does not mean that his descendents are to be categorized as incapable of writing good studies of this or other topics. Paul Meyendorff's book on the Nikonian 'reform' is indeed quite informative and judicious, and may be joined by an essay by the late Nicholas Uspensky, 'The Collision of Two Theologies in the Revision of Russian Liturgical Books in the Seventeenth Century,' included with two other articles by the same author in _Evening Worship in the Orthodox Church_, translated by Paul Lazor (Crestwood, New York: St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1985). The first essay in this collection, 'Orthodox Vespers,' also contains material relevant to this topic.

That the Old Rite is fully Orthodox is now recognized all around. The Old Believers may indeed look like 'kooks' to outsiders, but the 17th-century 'reform' may also be regarded as a bit 'kooky'--it prevailed not on its merits but on the backing of the state with its coercive powers. When Peter the Great reduced the Church organizationally to a department of the government, there was no effective opposition because those who would have undertaken it were already outside of the Moscow Patriarchate; so the Patriarchate could be abolished and the Russian Church subjugated in an efficient manner. Solzhenitsyn is right about this: we should be repenting of the persecution of the Old Believers and not denouncing them. Yes, they have their foibles; who does not? _The Way of a Pilgrim_ proposes the correct course: let us restore a reasonably full typikon in our schedule of services, and respect for traditional standards of church order, and we shall then be in a position to discuss frankly with the Old Belivers the differences that separated us. The Pilgrim was right: they set a good example for the rest of us; not that we should copy them in every respect, but that we should attend to a full offering of the prescribed services performed in a proper manner.

Stephen
Oh I do agree with you on everything you just said it is just that I do not think Patriarch Nikon should be condemned by modern scholars when men such as St.John were adamant that he was a great bishop. Remember Patriarch Nikon did go to great lengths to wipe out heretical sects that arose throughout Russia. Before you say that was also unjust keep in mind that these heretics held to some very odd cultic beliefs and practices.
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