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.
and represents the 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.
low high point of development
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
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?
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.