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Author Topic: Disappointed at a Western Rite Liturgy  (Read 2511 times) Average Rating: 0
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Carefree T
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« on: July 08, 2012, 04:11:05 PM »

I attended a High Mass at a western rite church today which uses the Liturgy of St. Tikhon because I haven't experienced the Anglican use before (and St. Tikhon personally founded my home parish as well as this parish), and my previous experience with western rite (Gregorian) was wonderful and tapped into something deep in me that kind of longs for the solemn and grand western style that I grew up with (as a Roman Catholic). Well, this church and this liturgy were disappointing. I felt like I was at a United Methodist church with icons rather than feeling anything orthodox. They used the corny church organ (is that allowed?) and flimsy upbeat 1940s Protestant American hymns. The priest didn't act solemn or serious, but rather like he was going through the motions, chuckling audibly when he messed up something and implicitly tongue-in-cheek criticized certain saints in his sermon, which left a bad taste in my mouth. They received the Blessed Sacrament in the hands (again, is that allowed?) so I didn't approach to receive.

Is this a representation of the Liturgy of St. Tikhon, or is it just this parish being kind of protestantized? I was a little scandalized by this especially since the Liturgy of St. Gregory I attended was so wonderful. I can kind of understand now the criticisms of the western rite when people see this kind of representation of the Liturgy of St. Tikhon. But I fully support the western rite anyway, I just hope this was only one poor performance of St. Tikhon's work.
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 04:12:37 PM »

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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 04:29:52 PM »

Some of what you describe certainly sounds like abuses to me. I hope this is not the norm for the WRO, and that this situation is resolved.
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 08:42:52 PM »

I attended a High Mass at a western rite church today which uses the Liturgy of St. Tikhon because I haven't experienced the Anglican use before (and St. Tikhon personally founded my home parish as well as this parish), and my previous experience with western rite (Gregorian) was wonderful and tapped into something deep in me that kind of longs for the solemn and grand western style that I grew up with (as a Roman Catholic). Well, this church and this liturgy were disappointing. I felt like I was at a United Methodist church with icons rather than feeling anything orthodox.

My parish uses the Divine Liturgy of St. Tikhon and I've had deeply mystical experiences during it. It was my first experience of any kind of Orthodoxy, and I ended up being catechized there and choose to remain there even after tasting the glories of the Eastern Rite. It has some of the most hauntingly beautiful aspects that I don't think you can find anywhere else.

I know which parish you're talking about, and it's unfortunate that you had this experience. Every parish will be different depending on the people that make up the congregation and the particular history of it, etc. But, I'm curious if you recall the precise moments that made you feel uncomfortable? If there is chuckling during the canon or the more solemn aspects of the Mass that's one thing, but certainly there can be moments that are more light-hearted, no? Clearly it's a serious affair, but it's also a joyful one.

Quote
They used the corny church organ (is that allowed?)

The organ is a traditional Western Mass instrument and has been since the 8th century, so yes, it's allowed. Some parishes, however, use what they can. Perhaps the corny organ was all they have available at this point?  Smiley

Quote
and flimsy upbeat 1940s Protestant American hymns.

A particular style of hymn can be, admittedly, a matter of taste. Part of the cultural aspect of the Antiochian Western Rite seeks to embrace all good elements of our Western patrimony that have come down to us in the received tradition of Western catholics (whether Anglo or Roman). I know you (and many others) associate their style with Protestantism, but don't mistake the cultural association with theological position. Most of the hymns in the 1940 hymnal are full of rich theology and striking poetry. The rubrics make room for the use of any "hymns, songs or anthems" and they are chosen based on the nature of the day's feast. Some use the hymns from the 1940 hymnal (again because that may be all they had available) some use other resources. There is much fluidity with these types of things, just as there was in the ancient Church.  Smiley

Quote
The priest didn't act solemn or serious, but rather like he was going through the motions, chuckling audibly when he messed up something and implicitly tongue-in-cheek criticized certain saints in his sermon, which left a bad taste in my mouth.

That's understandable and, again, unfortunate.

Quote
They received the Blessed Sacrament in the hands (again, is that allowed?) so I didn't approach to receive.

Yes, as this is a very ancient custom. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, writing in the 4th century, says:  "Approaching do not come with thy palms stretched flat nor with fingers separated. But making thy left hand a seat for thy right, and hollowing thy palm, receive the Body of Christ, responding Amen. And having with care hallowed thine eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, take it, vigilant lest thou drop any of it. For shouldst thou lose any of it, it is as though thou wast deprived of a member of thy own body." "Then after Communion of the Body of Christ, approach the Chalice of His Blood, not extending thy hands, but bending low, and with adoration and reverence saying Amen, sanctify thyself by receiving also the Blood of Christ. And while thy lips are yet wet, touch them with thy hands, and sanctify thy eyes and thy forehead and thy other senses...”

Quote
Is this a representation of the Liturgy of St. Tikhon, or is it just this parish being kind of protestantized?

I can assure you it has nothing to do with the Liturgy of St. Tikhon itself, as this is a liturgy "compiled according to the instructions of the Orthodox Church, at the behest of Orthodox saints, by distinguished Orthodox theologians, blessed within the Orthodox Church, and celebrated within multiple patriarchates of the Orthodox Church for decades" as one Orthodox priest (Eastern Rite) put it. (http://westernorthodox.blogspot.com/2006/03/st-tikhons-liturgy-cranmerian-rite.html)

Quote
I was a little scandalized by this especially since the Liturgy of St. Gregory I attended was so wonderful. I can kind of understand now the criticisms of the western rite when people see this kind of representation of the Liturgy of St. Tikhon. But I fully support the western rite anyway, I just hope this was only one poor performance of St. Tikhon's work.

The experience you had of the Rite of St. Gregory should, in essence, have been identical to that of St. Tikhon. They are very much the same in structure, content and rubrics, and should be carried out in the same spirit. I would say, in all honesty, that your experience today was probably just the flavor of this particular community on this particular day. Some days are better than others, but that goes for any parish...
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 10:22:43 PM »

I attended a High Mass at a western rite church today which uses the Liturgy of St. Tikhon because I haven't experienced the Anglican use before (and St. Tikhon personally founded my home parish as well as this parish), and my previous experience with western rite (Gregorian) was wonderful and tapped into something deep in me that kind of longs for the solemn and grand western style that I grew up with (as a Roman Catholic). Well, this church and this liturgy were disappointing. I felt like I was at a United Methodist church with icons rather than feeling anything orthodox.

My parish uses the Divine Liturgy of St. Tikhon and I've had deeply mystical experiences during it. It was my first experience of any kind of Orthodoxy, and I ended up being catechized there and choose to remain there even after tasting the glories of the Eastern Rite. It has some of the most hauntingly beautiful aspects that I don't think you can find anywhere else.

I know which parish you're talking about, and it's unfortunate that you had this experience. Every parish will be different depending on the people that make up the congregation and the particular history of it, etc. But, I'm curious if you recall the precise moments that made you feel uncomfortable? If there is chuckling during the canon or the more solemn aspects of the Mass that's one thing, but certainly there can be moments that are more light-hearted, no? Clearly it's a serious affair, but it's also a joyful one.
Right, I understand that certain communities of believers have certain needs, and this style fulfills that for them (I think it was one of the Anglican parishes that came to Orthodoxy as a whole). The parts I was uncomfortable with (not extreme, just mostly unfamiliar I guess) were the congregation singing the hymns with the organ. What I was actually uncomfortable with was the priest's sermon. It was on judging others. He said it isn't possible for us to not judge, then he said, and I'll try to transcribe his exact words, "Some saints have their claim to sainthood in that they never judged anyone. I don't know about that, if that can be true. I guess I hope so if that's what they told everyone at the monastery."

And I do understand that there is room for lightheartedness, as it is a joyous occasion; my priest is very friendly and lighthearted and makes some little jokes during his sermons. But this whole mass seemed kind of flimsy like it was all informal.

Quote
They used the corny church organ (is that allowed?)

The organ is a traditional Western Mass instrument and has been since the 8th century, so yes, it's allowed. Some parishes, however, use what they can. Perhaps the corny organ was all they have available at this point?  Smiley
Thanks for the info. I guess they could just be working with what they have. Not every church can have a monolithic pipe organ you can imagine Bach hammering away on. But the Gregorian chant of the Gregorian Liturgy church seems much more "appropriate" I guess, for lack of a better word, to better represent the western tradition. I visited many Anglican churches when I was in England and there was a huge choir section and if there was an organ at all it was a big ol' baroque pipe organ; the emphasis was on the chant.

Quote
and flimsy upbeat 1940s Protestant American hymns.

A particular style of hymn can be, admittedly, a matter of taste. Part of the cultural aspect of the Antiochian Western Rite seeks to embrace all good elements of our Western patrimony that have come down to us in the received tradition of Western catholics (whether Anglo or Roman). I know you (and many others) associate their style with Protestantism, but don't mistake the cultural association with theological position. Most of the hymns in the 1940 hymnal are full of rich theology and striking poetry. The rubrics make room for the use of any "hymns, songs or anthems" and they are chosen based on the nature of the day's feast. Some use the hymns from the 1940 hymnal (again because that may be all they had available) some use other resources. There is much fluidity with these types of things, just as there was in the ancient Church.  Smiley
True, I wasn't questioning the theological purity of anything they did - the bishop blessed their practice and that means they're Orthodox. The hymns combined with the electric organ just felt more Episcopalian or Methodist than High Church Anglican or Anglo-Catholic if you will. But a very good point about the diversity and cohesion of the early Church Smiley

Quote
The priest didn't act solemn or serious, but rather like he was going through the motions, chuckling audibly when he messed up something and implicitly tongue-in-cheek criticized certain saints in his sermon, which left a bad taste in my mouth.

That's understandable and, again, unfortunate.

I did rather like their deacon; he seemed very serious about it, and he seemed to be from somewhere in Britain. He rolled his 'R's and spoke in a pronounced British accent (not that that makes any difference).

Quote
They received the Blessed Sacrament in the hands (again, is that allowed?) so I didn't approach to receive.

Yes, as this is a very ancient custom. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, writing in the 4th century, says:  "Approaching do not come with thy palms stretched flat nor with fingers separated. But making thy left hand a seat for thy right, and hollowing thy palm, receive the Body of Christ, responding Amen. And having with care hallowed thine eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, take it, vigilant lest thou drop any of it. For shouldst thou lose any of it, it is as though thou wast deprived of a member of thy own body." "Then after Communion of the Body of Christ, approach the Chalice of His Blood, not extending thy hands, but bending low, and with adoration and reverence saying Amen, sanctify thyself by receiving also the Blood of Christ. And while thy lips are yet wet, touch them with thy hands, and sanctify thy eyes and thy forehead and thy other senses...”
Thank you for the information; I didn't know that. I just read about Catholic woes about the "new" practice of receiving in the hands as scandalous.

Quote
Is this a representation of the Liturgy of St. Tikhon, or is it just this parish being kind of protestantized?

I can assure you it has nothing to do with the Liturgy of St. Tikhon itself, as this is a liturgy "compiled according to the instructions of the Orthodox Church, at the behest of Orthodox saints, by distinguished Orthodox theologians, blessed within the Orthodox Church, and celebrated within multiple patriarchates of the Orthodox Church for decades" as one Orthodox priest (Eastern Rite) put it. (http://westernorthodox.blogspot.com/2006/03/st-tikhons-liturgy-cranmerian-rite.html)
Yes, I do believe that it isn't any fault of St. Tikhon's liturgy, as the the Book of Common Prayer it's based on is very expressive of the richness of western Catholic Christianity, and the churches of Antioch and Russia found it Orthodox with a few adjustments.

Quote
I was a little scandalized by this especially since the Liturgy of St. Gregory I attended was so wonderful. I can kind of understand now the criticisms of the western rite when people see this kind of representation of the Liturgy of St. Tikhon. But I fully support the western rite anyway, I just hope this was only one poor performance of St. Tikhon's work.

The experience you had of the Rite of St. Gregory should, in essence, have been identical to that of St. Tikhon. They are very much the same in structure, content and rubrics, and should be carried out in the same spirit. I would say, in all honesty, that your experience today was probably just the flavor of this particular community on this particular day. Some days are better than others, but that goes for any parish...
[/quote]
Indeed! I fully understand that the folks of this parish cherish that style of worship as their own because of their background, but I think I'm just spoiled as my home parish is a Byzantine Rite cathedral Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 10:40:39 PM »

What I find interesting is that this particular priest, in personal correspondence with me, was very concerned about a "skeptical" approach to the lives of saints. I was asking him about the Anglican Breviary and how it compared to the Monastic Diurnal put out by Andrewes Press and that was his main concern; the fact that the Anglican Breviary tended to treat it all as "legend" and had an impious attitude in general. Perhaps he worded his thoughts poorly today  Smiley

I'm with you though; the spirit in which something is carried out is of utmost importance. I'm glad your experience of the Gregorian rite was pleasant.
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2012, 11:48:30 PM »

I attended a High Mass at a western rite church today which uses the Liturgy of St. Tikhon because I haven't experienced the Anglican use before (and St. Tikhon personally founded my home parish as well as this parish), and my previous experience with western rite (Gregorian) was wonderful and tapped into something deep in me that kind of longs for the solemn and grand western style that I grew up with (as a Roman Catholic). Well, this church and this liturgy were disappointing. I felt like I was at a United Methodist church with icons rather than feeling anything orthodox. They used the corny church organ (is that allowed?) and flimsy upbeat 1940s Protestant American hymns. The priest didn't act solemn or serious, but rather like he was going through the motions, chuckling audibly when he messed up something and implicitly tongue-in-cheek criticized certain saints in his sermon, which left a bad taste in my mouth. They received the Blessed Sacrament in the hands (again, is that allowed?) so I didn't approach to receive.

Is this a representation of the Liturgy of St. Tikhon, or is it just this parish being kind of protestantized? I was a little scandalized by this especially since the Liturgy of St. Gregory I attended was so wonderful. I can kind of understand now the criticisms of the western rite when people see this kind of representation of the Liturgy of St. Tikhon. But I fully support the western rite anyway, I just hope this was only one poor performance of St. Tikhon's work.
Wasn't my experience.  Where is the parish, IIMA?
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 11:55:09 PM »

I was also disappointed when I attended an Antiochian Western Rite Liturgy (St. Tikhons) back in 1996.
It just appeared too Protestant and not at all like an ancient (pre-schism) liturgy.

I have not been back to a WRO liturgy since then.
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 01:16:53 AM »

Well, considering it follows pre-schismatic Occidental worship in virtually every aspect, perhaps it was your presumptions going in that colored your experience? Smiley

You should check it out again, if you get the chance.
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 02:09:43 AM »

The organ is a traditional Western Mass instrument and has been since the 8th century

Did they have congregational singing accompanied by organs?
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 08:01:31 AM »

They used the corny church organ (is that allowed?)...

St John Chrysostom expressed the view that instruments were necessary to supplement the voices of worshippers under the Old Covenant because the light of the Incarnate, Resurrected, and Ascended Christ had not yet shone on those people or indeed the world, but that now that we who have received the True Light are under the conditions of the New Covenant, such supplementing of the human voice is not necessary.

While this view has generally influenced eastern practice, it has never, to my knowledge, been a universal understanding within Orthodoxy and was never enshrined in the canons. First-millennium practice of the use of organs would seem to corroborate this.  It is a pious thought and must not be dismissed but must also not be imposed as though it is some universal law.

Quote
The priest didn't act solemn or serious, but rather like he was going through the motions, chuckling audibly when he messed up something...

I have seen this in Byzantine parishes too.  I have only ever seen convert clergy do this.  I can only imagine that they are perhaps embarrassed by the Liturgy or the fact that perhaps they have not been taught how to serve it properly.  Either way, I agree that it is a trial and a distraction that has as its source the very person who should be providing the opposite, and it will not do.

Quote
They received the Blessed Sacrament in the hands (again, is that allowed?) so I didn't approach to receive.

We should always approach the Holy Mysteries with awe and trepidation, aware of our own unworthiness to receive and thankful for God's mercy in allowing us to approach despite this.  We should not stay away for petty reasons like objecting to communion in the hand.

This is an ancient practice of the Church in both east and west.  It is only for reasons of superstitious abuse and irreverence that the practice of giving communion directly into the mouth was introduced (yet even the rubrics of the Liturgy of St James still indicate that Communion is to be given in the hand exactly how many places do this is unknown to me).  I think that it is a beneficial practice and it is nearly universal within Orthodoxy but there is absolutely nothing wrong with Communion in the hand provided that people are reverent and careful.  Those hands were baptised and are part of the new creature n Christ.  Those hands were anointed with Holy Chrism when the person received the Holy Spirit.  We must not call unclean what God has made holy.

We - all of us converts - bring some baggage with us, but I think that we should really leave behind us the arguments of our past homes.  Many of the principles of so-called "traditional" Catholics are based on ignorance, or what was done in the middle of the 20th century, just before the revisions, with little regard to the fact that many of these things are themselves departures from traditional practice.  Their hang-up about communion in the hand is a good example of this.  Another example of false "traditionalism" is insisting on kneeling for various parts of the Mass, including on Sundays, when the universal practice of east and west since very early times, enshrined in the writings of numerous saints and the canons of at least two ecumenical councils, is that Christians do not kneel for prayer on Sundays.  It is better for converts to leave behind arguments between traditional and modern Catholics and just embrace Orthodoxy.

Quote
I just hope this was only one poor performance of St. Tikhon's work.

Is it St Tikhon's work?  I didn't think so.  I thought that this Liturgy was named in his honour because of the part that he played in enabling the Western Rite but that the actual composition was the work of others.  Is that not the case?  (I have worshipped in the Western Rite but have no direct experience of the St Tikhon Liturgy.)
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2012, 08:13:24 AM »

Informative, thoughtful, tactful, and well written posts Sleeper and Subdeacon Michael!
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2012, 08:21:05 AM »

ill comment when I get on break Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2012, 11:08:47 AM »

Carefree,

I will first state very clearly that I am no fan of the Western Rite as it is currently celebrated by the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate and that it should be discarded.  I agree, in principle, that there could be a Western Rite, but when you consider that the Rite of St. Tikhon is a cut and paste job and represents the low point of development, I would just say to be prepared for more disappointments.  The Western Rite is not growing and many parishes that start off as Western Rite either switch to Eastern Rite or close down.  There is no actual seminary for Western Rite and as many of the western rite priests are ordained after they convert, I think it brings a number of bad habits and a lack of conformity and uniformity that one would hope for.

As far as the hymnody goes, I agree with you entirely.  Having grown up Lutheran I was thoroughly instructed in the chorales and the great settings by composers like Cruger, Hermaan, Schein, Scheidt, Schutz, Telemann and, of course, J.S. Bach.  I could never understand why my church at the time would import all these campy hymns from the 1900s and from other traditions like the Wesleyans.  IMHO, a WR would have more credibility with those hymns (many of which are completely orthodox in content) than from the English tradition.
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« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2012, 11:22:42 AM »

Quote
I will first state very clearly that I am no fan of the Western Rite as it is currently celebrated by the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate and that it should be discarded
On what grounds?

Quote
I agree, in principle, that there could be a Western Rite, but when you consider that the Rite of St. Tikhon is a cut and paste job and represents the low point of development, I would just say to be prepared for more disappointments
How so? St. Tikhon made the liturgy completely orthodox, and Orthodox.

Quote
The Western Rite is not growing
Evidence?

Quote
There is no actual seminary for Western Rite
Nor should there be.

Quote
I could never understand why my church at the time would import all these campy hymns from the 1900s and from other traditions like the Wesleyans
I do agree with you on this point.

PP
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« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2012, 11:30:46 AM »

Carefree,

I will first state very clearly that I am no fan of the Western Rite as it is currently celebrated by the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate and that it should be discarded.

The mighty scamandrius has spoken, let all hierarchs know that the convert has made up his mind!

Quote
I agree, in principle, that there could be a Western Rite, but when you consider that the Rite of St. Tikhon is a cut and paste job

Every liturgy in use is a cut and paste job.

Quote
and represents the low high point of development

Fixed that for you.

Quote
I would just say to be prepared for more disappointments.  The Western Rite is not growing and many parishes that start off as Western Rite either switch to Eastern Rite or close down.

Stats please Smiley if you got 'em...

Quote
There is no actual seminary for Western Rite

Things take time, but there are more important things than rite-specific seminaries. Any Orthodox seminary is good.

Quote
and as many of the western eastern rite priests are ordained after they convert, I think it brings a number of bad habits

Fixed that for you.

Quote
and a lack of conformity and uniformity that one would hope for.

Who would hope for such a thing? Liturgical diversity is the natural state of the Church, thank God.

Quote
As far as the hymnody goes, I agree with you entirely.  Having grown up Lutheran I was thoroughly instructed in the chorales and the great settings by composers like Cruger, Hermaan, Schein, Scheidt, Schutz, Telemann and, of course, J.S. Bach.  I could never understand why my church at the time would import all these campy hymns from the 1900s and from other traditions like the Wesleyans.  IMHO, a WR would have more credibility with those hymns (many of which are completely orthodox in content) than from the English tradition.

Thankfully personal tastes aren't foisted upon the people. And thankfully you are not in charge of the Vicariate Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2012, 12:26:51 PM »

Sleeper,

Sarcasm does not become you.  I will correct your "corrections" one by one.

Carefree,

I will first state very clearly that I am no fan of the Western Rite as it is currently celebrated by the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate and that it should be discarded.

The mighty scamandrius has spoken, let all hierarchs know that the convert has made up his mind!

I was not addressing hierarchs nor have I addressed any hierarchs on this issue.  Besides when you consider that only two jurisdictions in the world of Orthodoxy recognized the Western Rite (ROCOR and Antiochian), I don't need to convince them.

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I agree, in principle, that there could be a Western Rite, but when you consider that the Rite of St. Tikhon is a cut and paste job

Every liturgy in use is a cut and paste job.

Wrong.  The Liturgies of St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom were organic developments over time.  The Rite of St. Tikhon was created by going through the BCP and inserting and deleting "un-Orthodox" elements.  That's hardly organic and organic development has always been the standard by which the lex orandi has changed.


Quote
and represents the low high point of development

Fixed that for you.

It didn't need fixing.  The fixed low point was sixteenth century by which time a number of ridiculous feasts (e.g. Corpus Christi) and bad theology had infiltrated the Western Rites.  The high point was pre 10th century.

Quote
I would just say to be prepared for more disappointments.  The Western Rite is not growing and many parishes that start off as Western Rite either switch to Eastern Rite or close down.

Stats please Smiley if you got 'em...

Regrettably, no firm statistics, but I have this information from a friend of mine whose father is a deacon in the Western Rite, from St. Benedict of Nursia in Texas.  Bishop BASIL of DOWAMA has said that this is the model parish for all WRs, but that it has not been followed.  Plus, here in Omaha, more and more people are leaving the Western Rite parish for Eastern Rite parishes whether Antiochian, Serbian or Greek.
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There is no actual seminary for Western Rite

Things take time, but there are more important things than rite-specific seminaries. Any Orthodox seminary is good.

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and as many of the western eastern rite priests are ordained after they convert, I think it brings a number of bad habits

Fixed that for you.

Again didn't need fixing.  Though there are cases when a convert becomes ordained almost immediately after being received via chrismation into Eastern Rite parishes, that number pales when compared to the Western RIte parishes.  Besides, how many men go to seminary to one day serve in a Western Rite parish?  I don't know, but I'm sure there are statistics on that.

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and a lack of conformity and uniformity that one would hope for.

Who would hope for such a thing? Liturgical diversity is the natural state of the Church, thank God.

I'm not talking about the small "t" traditions and you damned well know that.

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As far as the hymnody goes, I agree with you entirely.  Having grown up Lutheran I was thoroughly instructed in the chorales and the great settings by composers like Cruger, Hermaan, Schein, Scheidt, Schutz, Telemann and, of course, J.S. Bach.  I could never understand why my church at the time would import all these campy hymns from the 1900s and from other traditions like the Wesleyans.  IMHO, a WR would have more credibility with those hymns (many of which are completely orthodox in content) than from the English tradition.

Thankfully personal tastes aren't foisted upon the people. And thankfully you are not in charge of the Vicariate Smiley

I'm not asking that personal tastes be foisted upon people but when you consider that the hymnals used in WR parishes take disproportionately from the English/Anglican rite, why no room for what was going on in 16th century Germany.

I don't want to be in charge; whatever gave you that idea?  Oh, right.  Anytime anyone has points of disagreement he must be insisting he be put in charge, right? 
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« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2012, 12:30:16 PM »

I was not addressing hierarchs nor have I addressed any hierarchs on this issue.  Besides when you consider that only two jurisdictions in the world of Orthodoxy recognized the Western Rite (ROCOR and Antiochian), I don't need to convince them.

You forgot Poland...

and Czechs, Romanians and Serbians.
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« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2012, 12:56:38 PM »

Quote
I was not addressing hierarchs nor have I addressed any hierarchs on this issue.  Besides when you consider that only two jurisdictions in the world of Orthodoxy recognized the Western Rite (ROCOR and Antiochian), I don't need to convince them
Recognize isnt the correct word. All of orthodoxy recognizes the Western Rite. I can receive communion in any jurisdiction. There are only 2 jurisdictions that have WR parishes.

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but I have this information from a friend of mine whose father is a deacon in the Western Rite, from St. Benedict of Nursia in Texas
No offense, but that is really weak for a base of argument about the WR declining.

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Plus, here in Omaha, more and more people are leaving the Western Rite parish for Eastern Rite parishes whether Antiochian, Serbian or Greek
I know of more than one WR parish growing quite well..mine included Smiley

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« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2012, 03:50:23 PM »

Sleeper,

Sarcasm does not become you.  I will correct your "corrections" one by one.

I was not addressing hierarchs nor have I addressed any hierarchs on this issue.  Besides when you consider that only two jurisdictions in the world of Orthodoxy recognized the Western Rite (ROCOR and Antiochian), I don't need to convince them.

Someone already pointed this out, but this just simply isn't true. In the establishing edict of the AWRV (which can be found on the Archdiocesan website, http://www.antiochian.org/western-rite), we read:

"He (then Met. ANTONY) turned for guidance to the late Patriarch Alexander III of Antioch who, in May, 1958, after consultation with the other Autocephalous Churches, gave an affirmative reply." This in spite of the fact that the Church had already demonstrated it's full support of a Western Rite over the last 140 years; Churches including, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Moscow, ROCOR (when it was not yet in communion with Moscow), Romania, and Poland.

This, saying nothing of the saints involved in bringing about the Western Rite. To my knowledge, there are zero saints who were actively opposed. It's up to you, of course, who you decided to throw your lot in with...

Wrong.  The Liturgies of St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom were organic developments over time.  The Rite of St. Tikhon was created by going through the BCP and inserting and deleting "un-Orthodox" elements.  That's hardly organic and organic development has always been the standard by which the lex orandi has changed.

False. In his classic work, The Organic Development of the Liturgy, Dom Alcuin Reid describes the manner in which genuine organic development happens.

1. A necessity for the development
2. A profound respect for liturgical Tradition
3. Little pure innovation
4. The tentative positing of newer liturgical forms alongside the old, and
5. The integration of the newer forms following their acceptance over time.

"This is the principle of the organic development of the liturgy in operation. It combines profound respect for the received liturgical tradtion, with an openness to necessary development. Continuity and harmony with tradition are primary concerns. Liturgical orthopraxy and orthodoxy are thus ensured, without precluding necessary and natural development...Progress in liturgy must be an enrichment by the acquisition of new forms rather than by the violent loss of the ancient ones.” (emphasis mine, pg. 381 (Kindle edition).

This is, of course, precisely what we have with the Mass of St. Tikhon. This was wonderfully laid out in a masters thesis by Benjamin Andersen, a seminarian at St. Vladimir's, entitled An Anglican Liturgy in the Orthodox Church: The Origins and Development of the Antiochian Orthodox Liturgy of Saint Tikhon, under the direction of Paul Meyendorff. Rather than being "created by going through the BCP and inserting and deleting "un-Orthodox" elements" as you were unfortunately misinformed, the development of this liturgy was a long tradition, spanning over half a millennium, of developing the the English liturgy by people who had a profound respect for antiquity (and a deep knowledge of it), some of whom formally sought union with the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Elizabethans, the Caroline Divines, the Non-Jurors, the Scotch, Americans, Tractarians and Anglo-Catholics, all re-shaped their liturgical heritage precisely the way liturgical development has always organically taken place. By the time the Holy See of Antioch set out to formally adapt the culmination of this liturgical development (as found in the American Missal) in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Synod of Moscow, there quite frankly wasn’t a whole lot left to do, because it had already happened.

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and represents the low high point of development
The fixed low point was sixteenth century by which time a number of ridiculous feasts (e.g. Corpus Christi) and bad theology had infiltrated the Western Rites.  The high point was pre 10th century.

I don't think Fr. Reardon is the best to follow in this regard, as you seem to be doing (he said this exact thing at the Vicariate meeting a while back). As a Cistercian monk, he was trained in the liturgical movement which preceded the Vatican II (whence came the Novus Ordo). As he himself admitted, he is not a liturgist and his approach leaves a bit to be desired, as there are numerous problems with liturgical archeology, both in theory and what has been born out in experience.

1. It relies solely the kind of rationalistic Scholasticism that Orthodoxy tends to reject. "Uncovering" the liturgy depends completely on scholarship.
2. That scholarship could (and has) turn out to be wrong.
3. What we would have (a foreign concoction forced upon the faithful, lacking any continuity, any continuing history of worship by the faithful) would ultimately stand on nothing but its scholastic pedigree.

As traditional people (in the true sense of the word) we hold to living experience of worship, not historical reenactments or recreations. A prime, but sad example, is The French Orthodox Church (L'ECOF). They tried such archeology for awhile, in the "Liturgy of St. Germanus" and ended up tossing it, because the evidence turned out to be thinner than advertised. It was a liturgy that had no real constituency at any point in the Church's history. As far as I know, they are now out of communion with Orthodoxy.

Regrettably, no firm statistics, but I have this information from a friend of mine whose father is a deacon in the Western Rite, from St. Benedict of Nursia in Texas.  Bishop BASIL of DOWAMA has said that this is the model parish for all WRs, but that it has not been followed.  Plus, here in Omaha, more and more people are leaving the Western Rite parish for Eastern Rite parishes whether Antiochian, Serbian or Greek.

Patently false. The WR parish in Omaha, though small, has added 6 parishioners over the last two years, with another 4 half way through catechesis as we speak. I know the priest there personally. While that seems like small potatoes, in context it is anything but. We're talking about a parish with less than 30 individuals on their roster (I have the most recent copy). That's a 33% increase.

And if we want to get into additional hard numbers, the recent study conducted on the number of active Orthodox Christians in North America (which can be read here: http://www.hartfordinstitute.org/research/OrthodoxUS101mapsAK.pdf) show that there are slightly less than 800,000 Christians identifying as Orthodox in the United States. Of that number, only 206,000 "attend Church regularly" and there is a direct correlation between the size of the parish and the frequency with which its members attend; the smaller the parish, the greater and more consistent the attendance. Parishes with 1-25 members (quite close to the parish in Omaha) have a 66% attendance average. The state of Nebraska as a whole is one of seven that has an attendance average of over 40% (Glory be to God!).

So, not only is the Omaha parish growing, it is technically-speaking among the most well-attended parishes in the country in terms of member-attendance. We can snidely jab at the size of Western Rite parishes and their number in this country, but the facts seem to indicate that they are producing some of the most faithful Orthodox Christians in the country.

If we pan out worldwide, I have it on good authority that there are over 10,000 families in the Philippines poised to come into the Antiochian Church as Western Rite parishes, under the Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand.

Though there are cases when a convert becomes ordained almost immediately after being received via chrismation into Eastern Rite parishes, that number pales when compared to the Western RIte parishes.  Besides, how many men go to seminary to one day serve in a Western Rite parish?  I don't know, but I'm sure there are statistics on that.

I personally know two in seminary right now for this very purpose, and I don't know that many people Smiley I agree though, it would be interesting to see some hard data.

I'm not talking about the small "t" traditions and you damned well know that.

Sorry if I misrepresented you, I guess I'm not sure what you mean then if you weren't speaking of liturgy.

I'm not asking that personal tastes be foisted upon people but when you consider that the hymnals used in WR parishes take disproportionately from the English/Anglican rite, why no room for what was going on in 16th century Germany.

My guess is that it is parishes from this stream of tradition that are embracing Orthodoxy (not a surprise actually). Why would they abandon their heritage?

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I don't want to be in charge; whatever gave you that idea?  Oh, right.  Anytime anyone has points of disagreement he must be insisting he be put in charge, right?  

No, it's just your tone and air of condescension toward a work of God in His Holy Orthodox Church that I find troubling. Saying "it should be discarded" as if it's simply not open for debate, an obvious conclusion that any reasonable person would come to, etc., implies you're not merely ambivalent but actively opposed.
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« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2012, 06:35:08 PM »

Wasn't my experience.  Where is the parish, IIMA?
South Denver.

They used the corny church organ (is that allowed?)...

St John Chrysostom expressed the view that instruments were necessary to supplement the voices of worshippers under the Old Covenant because the light of the Incarnate, Resurrected, and Ascended Christ had not yet shone on those people or indeed the world, but that now that we who have received the True Light are under the conditions of the New Covenant, such supplementing of the human voice is not necessary.

While this view has generally influenced eastern practice, it has never, to my knowledge, been a universal understanding within Orthodoxy and was never enshrined in the canons. First-millennium practice of the use of organs would seem to corroborate this.  It is a pious thought and must not be dismissed but must also not be imposed as though it is some universal law.
Wasn't aware of that; thank you.

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The priest didn't act solemn or serious, but rather like he was going through the motions, chuckling audibly when he messed up something...

I have seen this in Byzantine parishes too.  I have only ever seen convert clergy do this.  I can only imagine that they are perhaps embarrassed by the Liturgy or the fact that perhaps they have not been taught how to serve it properly.  Either way, I agree that it is a trial and a distraction that has as its source the very person who should be providing the opposite, and it will not do.
Of course it happens all over the Church; I didn't mean to imply that it was the fault of the rite somehow.

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They received the Blessed Sacrament in the hands (again, is that allowed?) so I didn't approach to receive.

We should always approach the Holy Mysteries with awe and trepidation, aware of our own unworthiness to receive and thankful for God's mercy in allowing us to approach despite this.  We should not stay away for petty reasons like objecting to communion in the hand.

This is an ancient practice of the Church in both east and west.  It is only for reasons of superstitious abuse and irreverence that the practice of giving communion directly into the mouth was introduced (yet even the rubrics of the Liturgy of St James still indicate that Communion is to be given in the hand exactly how many places do this is unknown to me).  I think that it is a beneficial practice and it is nearly universal within Orthodoxy but there is absolutely nothing wrong with Communion in the hand provided that people are reverent and careful.  Those hands were baptised and are part of the new creature n Christ.  Those hands were anointed with Holy Chrism when the person received the Holy Spirit.  We must not call unclean what God has made holy.

We - all of us converts - bring some baggage with us, but I think that we should really leave behind us the arguments of our past homes.  Many of the principles of so-called "traditional" Catholics are based on ignorance, or what was done in the middle of the 20th century, just before the revisions, with little regard to the fact that many of these things are themselves departures from traditional practice.  Their hang-up about communion in the hand is a good example of this.  Another example of false "traditionalism" is insisting on kneeling for various parts of the Mass, including on Sundays, when the universal practice of east and west since very early times, enshrined in the writings of numerous saints and the canons of at least two ecumenical councils, is that Christians do not kneel for prayer on Sundays.  It is better for converts to leave behind arguments between traditional and modern Catholics and just embrace Orthodoxy.
Wonderful words, thank you for enlightening me. The reason I didn't approach for communion wasn't because I was being a petty rigorist, I was just unsure if that was an orthodox practice and didn't want to do it if I didn't know; we receive from the spoon, and the Catholics used to receive on the tongue, so I was under the impression that the hands of the clergy were the only ones blessed to touch the Body and Blood of our Savior in the Sacrament. It was ignorance, not pettiness Smiley

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I just hope this was only one poor performance of St. Tikhon's work.

Is it St Tikhon's work?  I didn't think so.  I thought that this Liturgy was named in his honour because of the part that he played in enabling the Western Rite but that the actual composition was the work of others.  Is that not the case?  (I have worshipped in the Western Rite but have no direct experience of the St Tikhon Liturgy.)
Well by "St. Tikhon's work" I meant the adoption of the Book of Common Prayer into an Orthodox liturgy - it was his effort that gave us the Western Rite. Certainly he didn't concoct the rite/liturgy himself.
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« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2012, 06:45:03 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Personally, I just don't feel the Mass (from any jurisdiction) when chanted in English, and I am a native speaker of the English language Wink

I think that English is a bastard language, and that in the spiritual sense, a lot of priests just don't take it seriously.  Native speaking priests perhaps, but in the Oriental parishes I've attended, when the English parts come on I feel they are as half-hearted as the services described by the OP.  Luckily the Grace of the Divine Mysteries is not dependent upon the enthusiasm or proficiency of the celebrating clergy, but for me, it goes a long way.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2012, 08:27:53 AM »

Quote
Personally, I just don't feel the Mass (from any jurisdiction) when chanted in English, and I am a native speaker of the English language
Fair enough.

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I think that English is a bastard language
All languages are.

PP
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« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2012, 06:46:23 PM »

Native speaking priests perhaps, but in the Oriental parishes I've attended, when the English parts come on I feel they are as half-hearted as the services described by the OP.

This also seems to happen in the so-called "Byzantine" churches.

One priest I know has such beautiful pronunciation in Greek, but his English is so Western-Sydney-person-of-Mediterranean-extraction, I sometimes prefer he not bother.

I was once blessed to attend celebration of St Tikhon's liturgy. The priest was an Englishman who intoned the priestly parts with dignity and proper elocution. Some nice rolled R's, too. The choral responses were in the English plainchant style. It was all reverent and beautiful.
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« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2012, 07:18:35 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I was once blessed to attend celebration of St Tikhon's liturgy. The priest was an Englishman who intoned the priestly parts with dignity and proper elocution. Some nice rolled R's, too. The choral responses were in the English plainchant style. It was all reverent and beautiful.

See I am really interested in that, I think I just could dig the liturgy intoned in the Queen's English. It makes sense.  English liturgy where English is native and indigenous Smiley


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2012, 09:05:56 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Personally, I just don't feel the Mass (from any jurisdiction) when chanted in English, and I am a native speaker of the English language Wink

I think that English is a bastard language, and that in the spiritual sense, a lot of priests just don't take it seriously.  Native speaking priests perhaps, but in the Oriental parishes I've attended, when the English parts come on I feel they are as half-hearted as the services described by the OP.  Luckily the Grace of the Divine Mysteries is not dependent upon the enthusiasm or proficiency of the celebrating clergy, but for me, it goes a long way.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

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« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2012, 02:23:22 AM »

All good things are bastardized; that is why mutts are always superior to pure bred dogs.

Yup. Can't speak for dogs, but mongrel cats live longer, have better overall health, and are far less likely to be neurotic than pedigree cats. After more than 35 years, it's still moggies for me, thank you.  Cheesy
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« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2012, 06:20:57 PM »

The only thing I find disagreeable about this original post is the Protestant-esque hymns and the lack of solemnity during the Liturgy on the part of the clergy or the laity. Then again, I'm a rabidly reactionary classical conservative with a penchant for Medieval culture, so I'm sure that automatically invalidates my opinion.
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« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2012, 07:00:10 AM »

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The only thing I find disagreeable about this original post is the Protestant-esque hymns
That is an odd thing, to be sure.

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the lack of solemnity during the Liturgy on the part of the clergy or the laity
Come to my parish sometime. Everything is taken quite serious.

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Then again, I'm a rabidly reactionary classical conservative with a penchant for Medieval culture, so I'm sure that automatically invalidates my opinion
Nah.

PP
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« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2012, 07:34:45 AM »

Then again, I'm a rabidly reactionary classical conservative with a penchant for Medieval culture

You've just had many friends on this forum. Nobody with that kind of views and interests can't be a bad person.
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« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2012, 01:33:30 PM »

Come to saint Paul's in houston . I have seen no lack of reverence.
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« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2012, 03:09:37 AM »

They used the corny church organ (is that allowed?)...

St John Chrysostom expressed the view that instruments were necessary to supplement the voices of worshippers under the Old Covenant because the light of the Incarnate, Resurrected, and Ascended Christ had not yet shone on those people or indeed the world, but that now that we who have received the True Light are under the conditions of the New Covenant, such supplementing of the human voice is not necessary.

While this view has generally influenced eastern practice, it has never, to my knowledge, been a universal understanding within Orthodoxy and was never enshrined in the canons. First-millennium practice of the use of organs would seem to corroborate this.  It is a pious thought and must not be dismissed but must also not be imposed as though it is some universal law.
Wasn't aware of that; thank you.

You're very welcome. I must agree with you, though, in questioning the use of anything corny.  The west has a noble and beautiful tradition of a capella singing, and if the best musical accompaniment that they can find is substandard, then surely reverting to this unaccompanied chant would be a more worthy offering to God - at least until some better provision can be made for accompaniment (if this is what is desired).

Quote
Quote
The priest didn't act solemn or serious, but rather like he was going through the motions, chuckling audibly when he messed up something...

I have seen this in Byzantine parishes too.  I have only ever seen convert clergy do this.  I can only imagine that they are perhaps embarrassed by the Liturgy or the fact that perhaps they have not been taught how to serve it properly.  Either way, I agree that it is a trial and a distraction that has as its source the very person who should be providing the opposite, and it will not do.
Of course it happens all over the Church; I didn't mean to imply that it was the fault of the rite somehow.

I realise that.  I didn't think that you were attributing this shortcoming to the Western Rite.  I was just commenting on the unfortunate state of things in some places.  It is difficult to know how to help without appearing rude or overstepping boundaries, especially when the people who do it do not realise that there is anything wrong.

Quote
Quote
They received the Blessed Sacrament in the hands (again, is that allowed?) so I didn't approach to receive.

We should always approach the Holy Mysteries with awe and trepidation, aware of our own unworthiness to receive and thankful for God's mercy in allowing us to approach despite this.  We should not stay away for petty reasons like objecting to communion in the hand.

This is an ancient practice of the Church in both east and west.  It is only for reasons of superstitious abuse and irreverence that the practice of giving communion directly into the mouth was introduced (yet even the rubrics of the Liturgy of St James still indicate that Communion is to be given in the hand exactly how many places do this is unknown to me).  I think that it is a beneficial practice and it is nearly universal within Orthodoxy but there is absolutely nothing wrong with Communion in the hand provided that people are reverent and careful.  Those hands were baptised and are part of the new creature n Christ.  Those hands were anointed with Holy Chrism when the person received the Holy Spirit.  We must not call unclean what God has made holy.

We - all of us converts - bring some baggage with us, but I think that we should really leave behind us the arguments of our past homes.  Many of the principles of so-called "traditional" Catholics are based on ignorance, or what was done in the middle of the 20th century, just before the revisions, with little regard to the fact that many of these things are themselves departures from traditional practice.  Their hang-up about communion in the hand is a good example of this.  Another example of false "traditionalism" is insisting on kneeling for various parts of the Mass, including on Sundays, when the universal practice of east and west since very early times, enshrined in the writings of numerous saints and the canons of at least two ecumenical councils, is that Christians do not kneel for prayer on Sundays.  It is better for converts to leave behind arguments between traditional and modern Catholics and just embrace Orthodoxy.
Wonderful words, thank you for enlightening me. The reason I didn't approach for communion wasn't because I was being a petty rigorist, I was just unsure if that was an orthodox practice and didn't want to do it if I didn't know; we receive from the spoon, and the Catholics used to receive on the tongue, so I was under the impression that the hands of the clergy were the only ones blessed to touch the Body and Blood of our Savior in the Sacrament. It was ignorance, not pettiness Smiley

Please forgive me.  It was wrong of me to attribute poor intentions to your actions, and doubly so for me to express that publicly. I am sorry.

I think that you are right to be cautious about taking part in things in church that leave you uncertain.  That is a healthy thing which will be beneficial in time.  As converts, in our early days of Orthodoxy, it can be difficult because our sense of what is and is not proper is formed largely by our experience outside of the Church.  However, as time goes by and we participate more and more in the life of the Church - in the prayers, in the services, in the hymns and chants, in the living of the Orthodox faith - our instinctive sense of things, indeed our conscience, changes, formed by our ever deepening experience.  "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me".

At the same time, we should be able to have a certain amount of trust that those who have been blessed and set apart by the Church for the performing of the Mysteries will do so in obedience.  I really do think that the flouting of proper Church discipline is the exception rather than the rule and that we can generally trust that what we see in our churches is ok.

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I just hope this was only one poor performance of St. Tikhon's work.

Is it St Tikhon's work?  I didn't think so.  I thought that this Liturgy was named in his honour because of the part that he played in enabling the Western Rite but that the actual composition was the work of others.  Is that not the case?  (I have worshipped in the Western Rite but have no direct experience of the St Tikhon Liturgy.)
Well by "St. Tikhon's work" I meant the adoption of the Book of Common Prayer into an Orthodox liturgy - it was his effort that gave us the Western Rite. Certainly he didn't concoct the rite/liturgy himself.

Oh, I see.  Thank you for clarifying.

M
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« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2012, 03:36:34 AM »

CarefreeT's first original post in this thread perfectly summarizes my own feelings at two particular WR Antiochian churches. (not to say ROCOR is free of it either.)

Some western rite Orthodox parishes apparently have not had enough living tradition of traditional western rite liturgy.
This is why it is ideal to have "Anglo-catholic" anglicans and ex-tridentine papal priests be received as Orthodox.
They already have a great understanding of what western rite Orthodoxy is ment to be in many profound ways.
The distance from Orthodox when heterodox for anglo or trad papal catholics was so much closer than those who were methodist and baptist.

An ex-methodist or baptist is more likely to desire in western rite orthodoxy a moderately "low church" refuge from the intense "high church" of the byzantine rite. Some of this may not be of course entirely intentional but accidental, "low church" being all one knew or felt competent to do, as odd as that sounds. Training in art, music, patristics can take some effort. Whereas an ex-anglo/tridentine papal catholic is much more likely to be in the western rite of Orthodoxy in order to preserve their western patrimony in the form handed down historically, a form harmonious with all the richness and elaborateness of the byzantine rite (which they are more equally comfortably with). As well as already be more talented in the necessities it takes to be an orthodox priest, all the artistic and philosophical studies being familiar.

Essentially if one wants the western rite to "escape" from byzantine rite, they need to not do it.
If one wants the western rite of orthodoxy to preserve the ancient western traditions as living expressions, with all accompanying ritual, not in any way as a reaction against the majority byzantine rite, than they are doing the rite thing.

These are much the same views as the westernrite critic website.

My first western rite experience was very similar to CarefreeT's recent experience.
There was much leftover protestant ethos and atmosphere in it which also left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Not to mention some distinctly "low church" practices and too limited an understanding of church Fathers writings.
That being said it was nevertheless significant superior to the post-vatican II masses, the beautiful words of the liturgy itself did not make me lose hope entirely, nevertheless I was disappointed with the prevailing attitude I encountered, which was not going to change anytime soon.
 
Because of that I spent a year at an FSSP papal Traditional Latin Mass church run by the highest of high ex-anglo-catholics
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Canons-Regular-of-the-New-Jerusalem/129365303759853
It also took few visits to an SSPX chapel as well. Where I found other people who were against all things modern and belived attending a "novus ordo mass' was sinful. Though I deeply respected their position, I Ultimately figured as long as I'm going to be viewed as a schismatic by mainstream latin papal 'catholicism" I may as well be a so-called "Orthodox schismatic", 300 million strong.

Despite the excellent qualities that many Traditional Latin Masses have, there are also certain inherent weaknesses and prejudices they face. These prejudices are in my mind actually worse than anything Western Rite Orthodoxy must endure. Most Trad latin masses in the papal communion are still rather exceptional and their clergy in order to be in good standing must accept the inconsistencies and novelties of the last 40 years in order to not be deemed schismatic. One of the ones I visited had to turn their altar around every sunday twice - once for east facing old mass and once again for the "people facing" new mass - a sort of liturgical "hokey pokey" which deeply disturbed me. Western rite orthodox clergy need accept nothing but that of the seven ecumenical councils and living right believing traditions the Patriarchates of the East, which have remained much less tempted by modernism.

So at that point this year I changed my mind to come back to Orthodoxy.
This time I am here to stay, after a long time having reflected on the matter, being prepared to hunker down comfortably within the byzantine rite until such time as particular western rite Orthodox church exists where they are better educated.



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« Reply #33 on: July 19, 2012, 04:10:20 AM »

I will also state that I disagree with user "Sleepers" defenses of the alleged abuses (or at least poor taste used) in that mass.
Over time these problems should disappear. I would not defend what was done, more than anything especially not communion in the hand (ridiculous - name any other orthodox church in the world that does this ).
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 04:11:20 AM by Christopher McAvoy » Logged

"and for all who are Orthodox, and who hold the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, remember, O Lord, thy servants" - yet the post-conciliar RC hierarchy is tolerant of everyone and everything... except Catholic Tradition, for modernists are as salt with no taste, to be “thrown out and trampled under foot
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« Reply #34 on: July 19, 2012, 09:31:28 AM »

Essentially if one wants the western rite to "escape" from byzantine rite, they need to not do it.
If one wants the western rite of orthodoxy to preserve the ancient western traditions as living expressions, with all accompanying ritual, not in any way as a reaction against the majority byzantine rite, than they are doing the rite thing.

Agreed. Reasons for conversion are complex, though, no matter what tradition someone is entering into. It is equally unhealthy to join a Byzantine parish out of a desire to jettison one's cultural heritage to become something else entirely.

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These are much the same views as the westernrite critic website.

I remember that site, always good for a laugh Smiley

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My first western rite experience was very similar to CarefreeT's recent experience.
There was much leftover protestant ethos and atmosphere in it which also left a bitter taste in my mouth.

These seem quite nebulous things, what exactly do you have in mind? What is a "protestant ethos" and how do you separate it from your own projections?

I will also state that I disagree with user "Sleepers" defenses of the alleged abuses (or at least poor taste used) in that mass.
Over time these problems should disappear. I would not defend what was done, more than anything especially not communion in the hand (ridiculous - name any other orthodox church in the world that does this ).

My only defense (and one that I seem to have to keep giving around here) is that these "abuses" are 1) Not unique to the Western Rite and can be found anywhere (lack of reverence, lack of education, etc.), 2) Are not indicative of the rites themselves (there are zero texts or rubrics that say "act like a Protestant" etc.) and 3) Are not arguments in favor or against anything, they are merely complaints.

And these "criticisms" rarely, if ever, seem to be based on anything besides perceptions of people's attitudes or the "critic's" own baggage he can't seem to shake.
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