Author Topic: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?  (Read 2244 times)

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Offline DennyB

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Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« on: July 29, 2012, 03:02:46 AM »
Isn't Liturgical unity a much better route for union , rather than a unity through reason and debate? That is why I think unification is a more obtainable goal,especially when I consider Eastern Rite Catholics. 

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2012, 03:12:24 AM »
Problem is, theology is all wrapped up in the liturgy, and the liturgy is all wrapped up in theology.
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Offline DennyB

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2012, 03:19:39 AM »
Problem is, theology is all wrapped up in the liturgy, and the liturgy is all wrapped up in theology.

Maybe I worded it wrongly, I merely meant seeking theological unity through a common liturgy,rather than through debating and lecturing each other?? Isn't it through the liturgy that God unifies us? That is why I mentioned the Eastern Catholics, they have a common liturgy,so to speak,with Eastern Churches,and many of them are more easily convinced of Eastern thought and practice,than their Western counterparts.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2012, 03:23:07 AM by DennyB »

Offline Alpo

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2012, 04:18:14 AM »
Nope. I feel much closer with a traditionalist Catholics who sticks faithfully with Catholicism than an Eastern Catholic who doesn't believe what Old Rome teaches but still maintains communion with her. The first attitude is much closer to Orthodoxy.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2012, 05:41:56 AM »
Isn't Liturgical unity a much better route for union , rather than a unity through reason and debate? That is why I think unification is a more obtainable goal,especially when I consider Eastern Rite Catholics. 
Hasn't worked for them, or the Anglicans.
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Offline LBK

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2012, 06:09:00 AM »
Quote
That is why I mentioned the Eastern Catholics, they have a common liturgy,so to speak,with Eastern Churches,and many of them are more easily convinced of Eastern thought and practice,than their Western counterparts.

No, the Eastern Catholics don't have a common liturgy with us. Their Divine Liturgy might be almost identical, but you're forgetting their Vespers and Matins are often different in content to ours, such as their feast of the Conception by St Anna of the Mother of God, which has hymnography in it which proclaims the Immaculate Conception. There is no such hymnography in any Orthodox menaion, because the IC is not Orthodox doctrine.

 NicholasMyra is dead right. Lex orandi, lex credendi.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2012, 06:09:48 AM by LBK »
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 03:12:15 PM »
Even if the liturgy were exactly the same, the grace of the Holy Spirit comes on those confessing the faith of the Church, the faith of the Apostles. Faith is theology. Bad theology is bad faith.
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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2012, 03:24:28 PM »
Absolutely not. The Church has NEVER maintained liturgical "unity." We've always had a plethora of liturgies and other rites. The unity of the Eastern Orthodox Church with the Byzantine rite is an historical anomaly.
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2012, 04:52:07 PM »
No, proper Orthodox practice comes from having the proper Orthodox Faith, NOT vice versa.

Offline Peter J

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2012, 05:40:21 PM »
Isn't Liturgical unity a much better route for union , rather than a unity through reason and debate? That is why I think unification is a more obtainable goal,especially when I consider Eastern Rite Catholics.  

Interesting question.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2012, 05:53:21 PM by Peter J »
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2012, 06:01:23 PM »
No it isn't, OP. Why would it be? Is it all about praxis, or is praxis somehow to be divorced from theology?

Offline William

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2012, 06:03:23 PM »
Absolutely not. The Church has NEVER maintained liturgical "unity." We've always had a plethora of liturgies and other rites. The unity of the Eastern Orthodox Church with the Byzantine rite is an historical anomaly.

An anomaly which has occurred for about 50% of the church's existence?
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Offline Melodist

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2012, 06:56:48 PM »
Isn't Liturgical unity a much better route for union , rather than a unity through reason and debate?

Orthodoxy has had liturgical diversity for the majority of its existence, and while the diversity isn't that great, in mot cases, still does to a small extent within different eastern rite parishes depending on local custom and tradition. I can go to the Antiochian church here and here different antiphons in the beginning of the liturgy than in my own OCA church. There's differences from parish to parish even within a local diocese on what prayers  are read aloud vs silent, who says the "amen"s to what, and other small things. We also have three different eastern rite liturgies (St John, St Basil, and St James less commonly) that are used and we have (although a minority of parishes) a number of western rite parishes using a small handful of different liturgies under at least two different jurisdictions that I'm aware of. We're called to be united in a common faith, not a common liturgy, even though there is a common basic structure to our different liturgical traditions with common elements. So while right faith will produce right practice, there has been multiple ways of properly expressing the Orthodox faith for just about all of our history. Even in the west, liturgical unity wasn't imposed in the Roman Catholic Church until the 16th century, which even then just codified what was being used in Rome and made it a universal standard for those in commmunion with Rome, which still excludes the Eastern Rite(s) Catholics and the use of an Anglican liturgy which Rome has had for use but seldom allowed for a period of some time (I don't know how long off the top of my head) before the large ingress of Anglo-Catholics and the formation of their new ordinariate.

There's nothing wrong with liturgical diversity as long as the same truth is being proclaimed and put into practice. This is our history, not a "what if", but a "what is". If anything, the imposition of strict liturgical unity might be a source of division within Orthodoxy or continued division where it already exists.

Just a few thoughts.
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Offline mike

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2012, 03:38:02 AM »
An anomaly which has occurred for about 50% of the church's existence?

When?

Offline DennyB

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2012, 05:07:26 AM »
The reason I address this,is that I remember hearing a podcast involving an interview of an Eastern Catholic priest,and He was saying that their liturgy,or liturgies were the same as that of Eastern Churches. The only difference being that they submit to the Pope, and that for many Eastern Catholics even this is questionable,and they were discussing possible unification.

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2012, 06:11:00 AM »
The reason I address this,is that I remember hearing a podcast involving an interview of an Eastern Catholic priest,and He was saying that their liturgy,or liturgies were the same as that of Eastern Churches. The only difference being that they submit to the Pope, and that for many Eastern Catholics even this is questionable,and they were discussing possible unification.

The problem is that this EC priest is telling the truth, but not the whole truth. See post #5 above.
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Offline Cavaradossi

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2012, 07:31:53 AM »
Absolutely not. The Church has NEVER maintained liturgical "unity." We've always had a plethora of liturgies and other rites. The unity of the Eastern Orthodox Church with the Byzantine rite is an historical anomaly.

An anomaly which has occurred for about 50% of the church's existence?

Perhaps he means anomaly in the sense of an accident or coincidence.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 07:32:12 AM by Cavaradossi »
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2012, 04:35:42 PM »
No, proper Orthodox practice comes from having the proper Orthodox Faith, NOT vice versa.
^ This.

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Offline Father H

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2012, 04:38:06 PM »
The reason I address this,is that I remember hearing a podcast involving an interview of an Eastern Catholic priest,and He was saying that their liturgy,or liturgies were the same as that of Eastern Churches. The only difference being that they submit to the Pope, and that for many Eastern Catholics even this is questionable,and they were discussing possible unification.

The problem is that this EC priest is telling the truth, but not the whole truth. See post #5 above.

I agree with LBK.  Also agree with Isa's #4. 

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2012, 05:06:36 PM »
Absolutely not. The Church has NEVER maintained liturgical "unity." We've always had a plethora of liturgies and other rites. The unity of the Eastern Orthodox Church with the Byzantine rite is an historical anomaly.

An anomaly which has occurred for about 50% of the church's existence?

Perhaps he means anomaly in the sense of an accident or coincidence.

Essentially, yes. The fact that the Byzantine rite has been the sole rite in the Eastern Orthodox Church says nothing about the Orthodoxy of other rites, especially the pre-schism rites of both East and West. The dominance of a single rite came about due to politics and schism, and not theological issues with the other rites. Also, no other Christian communion (Catholic or Oriental Orthodox) has ever been dominated by a single rite. Though, one can argue about the suppressing of western rites by the Latins, other rites (such as that practiced by the Melkites and Marionites of Antioch) have always maintained communion with Rome, which continues to allow more and more Eastern rites, and has also become friendlier towards other Western rites, such as the recent allowance of the Anglican rite. I believe there are also small pockets of others such as the Mozarabic and Ambrosian rites that have been given more freedom than in the past.
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2012, 06:53:58 AM »
Firstly, liturgical diversity is a richness of the Orthodox Church. It doesn't matter if I attend Liturgy in Poland, Serbia, if it's byzantine, Coptic or Armenian - I feel it's Orthodox, the basis is the same.

Secondly, the liturgical rite comes out from the theology, Liturgy illustrates the teaching of the Church. That's why Eastern Catholic Liturgy seems to be similar to the Orthodox one (and what Roman Catholics like to claim, especially if they see somebody who is interested in Eastern spirituality and they're afraid this person could convert into Orthodox Church), but in reality it is not. Latinizations, abbreviations, generally not maintained some traditions such as All-night vigil (or Vespers or Matins) etc. I know people who have attended Orthodox and Greek Catholic Liturgy; they were in agreement that they were different, in Greek Catholic church they felt almost like in Roman one. Sometimes I read also some forums of Polish Roman Catholic traditionalists. On the one hand, they appreciate byzantine Liturgy. But on the other hand, they would like to introduce such things as receiving Holy Communion in the kneeling position what's inappropriate in the Eastern Liturgy
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2012, 10:18:23 AM »
Hi Dominika. I notice you said that receiving Holy Communion in the kneeling position is inappropriate in the Eastern Liturgy ... is it permissible in WRO? (I just ask out of ignorance, since I don't have much experience with WRO.)
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2012, 10:23:56 AM »
How would it be possible to receive Blood while kneeling?

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2012, 10:30:09 AM »
How would it be possible to receive Blood while kneeling?

Well back in my Protestant days I used to receive both Body and Blood whilst kneeling - it's not hard.

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Offline Peter J

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2012, 10:42:27 AM »
How would it be possible to receive Blood while kneeling?

Is that an issue?
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Offline Melodist

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2012, 10:48:03 AM »
How would it be possible to receive Blood while kneeling?

On a spoon.  ;)
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2012, 10:50:24 AM »
How would it be possible to receive Blood while kneeling?

1.  Approach reverently
2.  If inclined to do so, bow deeply
3.  Kneel on right knee (or left if one cannot kneel on the right), or on both especially at an altar rail
4.  Say "Amen" after the Priest/Deacon/Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist (if necessary) presents the Chalice saying, "The Blood of Christ"
5.  Take Chalice and drink a small amount
6.  Cross yourself
7.  Rise
8.  Return to pew

Easy peasey  ;)!  Looks complicated but isn't.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 10:53:03 AM by J Michael »
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2012, 08:21:15 PM »
In the Antiochian Western Rite, we kneel for the reception of both Body and Blood.

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2012, 08:25:25 PM »


That seems awfully risky. Wouldn't it be easier and safer to distribute it by intinction?

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2012, 09:48:47 PM »
/snip

That seems awfully risky. Wouldn't it be easier and safer to distribute it by intinction?
What's wrong with using a spoon?

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2012, 09:53:41 PM »
/snip

That seems awfully risky. Wouldn't it be easier and safer to distribute it by intinction?
What's wrong with using a spoon?
They're not using a spoon in the picture.
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2012, 09:53:59 PM »
A spoon is just as risky as putting the chalice directly to the lips, if not more so. Intinction is certainly done in the West.

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2012, 09:58:04 PM »
In the Antiochian Western Rite, we kneel for the reception of both Body and Blood.
Yep and served with a spoon.
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2012, 10:53:50 PM »


Orthodox laymen are not allowed to touch or hold the chalice, other than to venerate its base after having communed in those traditions where this exists. Only ordained clergy are permitted to handle the holy vessels (chalice and paten).
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Offline Sleeper

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2012, 01:13:39 AM »


Orthodox laymen are not allowed to touch or hold the chalice, other than to venerate its base after having communed in those traditions where this exists. Only ordained clergy are permitted to handle the holy vessels (chalice and paten).

It is common practice for some amongst Western Orthodox to help guide the chalice to your lips when you commune. Certainly not a grabbing of it, as shown in this photo, but under the base.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 01:22:32 AM by Sleeper »

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2012, 03:00:50 AM »


Orthodox laymen are not allowed to touch or hold the chalice, other than to venerate its base after having communed in those traditions where this exists. Only ordained clergy are permitted to handle the holy vessels (chalice and paten).

It is common practice for some amongst Western Orthodox to help guide the chalice to your lips when you commune. Certainly not a grabbing of it, as shown in this photo, but under the base.

It still doesn't make it right.
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2012, 05:32:35 AM »
That seems awfully risky. Wouldn't it be easier and safer to distribute it by intinction?
Why would drinking from a cup be risky? I have been doing it several times a day for most of my life and haven't lost an eye yet.
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2012, 05:34:38 AM »
Hi Dominika. I notice you said that receiving Holy Communion in the kneeling position is inappropriate in the Eastern Liturgy ... is it permissible in WRO? (I just ask out of ignorance, since I don't have much experience with WRO.)

In the Antiochian Western Rite, we kneel for the reception of both Body and Blood.

Interesting, thanks Sleeper. (Incidentally, I don't think I ever knew that you were WRO.)
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2012, 05:36:59 AM »
Isn't Liturgical unity a much better route for union , rather than a unity through reason and debate? That is why I think unification is a more obtainable goal,especially when I consider Eastern Rite Catholics. 
What do you mean by "Liturgical unity"? The whole point of the Liturgy is the Eucharist. Where the Body and Blood of Christ are not shared, there can be no unity.
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2012, 08:04:10 AM »
http://www.galeria.bazylianie.pl/#/content/07/02/19720515/28-277-Resizer-800RW9.jpg - here you have photos that show receiving the Holy Eucharist by spoon in a Greek Catholic church in Warsaw in 70'. As for me, it looks so strange for byzantine rite and there is a risk that some pieces of the Christ's Body and Blood can just fall on the ground.

The things are different with Latin rites: there is no spoon so it's much easier and safer to receive the Eucharist while kneeling, so if our WRO brothers do it, there is no issue.  Both positions, kneeling and standing symbolize respect, but I just think that receiving Eucharist with kneeling is strange and risky for byzantine rite.
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2012, 10:03:53 AM »


Orthodox laymen are not allowed to touch or hold the chalice, other than to venerate its base after having communed in those traditions where this exists. Only ordained clergy are permitted to handle the holy vessels (chalice and paten).

It is common practice for some amongst Western Orthodox to help guide the chalice to your lips when you commune. Certainly not a grabbing of it, as shown in this photo, but under the base.

It still doesn't make it right.

I don't doubt you are correct that a canon somewhere forbids this, but it seems odd to me that our lips and digestive system can receive the actual Blood of Christ, but we cannot touch the thing holding it. Is it because our hands have not fasted? :) Did not St Thomas stick his hand into the very side of our Lord?

At any rate, I agree it's better safe than sorry and deep respect needs to be shown toward all holy objects.

Offline J Michael

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2012, 10:30:34 AM »


Orthodox laymen are not allowed to touch or hold the chalice, other than to venerate its base after having communed in those traditions where this exists. Only ordained clergy are permitted to handle the holy vessels (chalice and paten).

It is common practice for some amongst Western Orthodox to help guide the chalice to your lips when you commune. Certainly not a grabbing of it, as shown in this photo, but under the base.

It still doesn't make it right.

First of all, how do you figure the chalice is being "grabbed", rather than reverently received?  I don't think you can assume that from the photo at all.

And secondly, just because what's shown in the photo isn't the practice at *your* church does not make it wrong.
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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2012, 12:06:39 PM »
there is a risk that some pieces of the Christ's Body and Blood can just fall on the ground.
At our church we alway hold a piece of cloth under the spoon so that doesn't happen.

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2012, 12:52:52 PM »


Orthodox laymen are not allowed to touch or hold the chalice, other than to venerate its base after having communed in those traditions where this exists. Only ordained clergy are permitted to handle the holy vessels (chalice and paten).

It is common practice for some amongst Western Orthodox to help guide the chalice to your lips when you commune. Certainly not a grabbing of it, as shown in this photo, but under the base.

It still doesn't make it right.

Is the chalice holier than the Eucharist, because I hear some priests even let parishioners put it in their mouths, and with the bishop's knowledge!
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Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Liturgical Unity,rather than Theological Unity?
« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2012, 01:20:26 PM »


Orthodox laymen are not allowed to touch or hold the chalice, other than to venerate its base after having communed in those traditions where this exists. Only ordained clergy are permitted to handle the holy vessels (chalice and paten).

It is common practice for some amongst Western Orthodox to help guide the chalice to your lips when you commune. Certainly not a grabbing of it, as shown in this photo, but under the base.

It still doesn't make it right.

I don't doubt you are correct that a canon somewhere forbids this, but it seems odd to me that our lips and digestive system can receive the actual Blood of Christ, but we cannot touch the thing holding it. Is it because our hands have not fasted? :) Did not St Thomas stick his hand into the very side of our Lord?

At any rate, I agree it's better safe than sorry and deep respect needs to be shown toward all holy objects.

Quite right. As a point of information, there is no canon that "forbids this," i.e. touching the chalice. There *is*, however, an ecumenical canon that requires the faithful to receive the Eucharist via their own hand. The reality is that communion on a spoon of both species together via intinction (the current Eastern Orthodox practice) is, at best, a practice introduced in the 8th century, probably later. This is one area where the Romans have preserved the older tradition.
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