If in the Western Rite we Orthodox must stick to liturgies as they were handed down to modern Western people from preceding generations, then we have these problems or conundra:
I didn't say they must
, just that that's the rationale behind Antioch's approved liturgies. Any self-ruling church is free to do as they wish. I think thoughtful points could be made about both "approaches" as each have potential strengths and weaknesses. But surely we can agree that, whatever their provenance, all liturgies approved are now
1. The Anglican liturgy certainly was not something handed down, at the time it was created. It was a revolutionary break with the Christian past, crafted in order to destroy and overturn the Christian heritage of that people in many respects.
Which Anglican liturgy are you referring to? The 1549 or one of it's subsequent revisions? The English liturgy of the Non-Jurors? The 1928? There are vast differences between them.
And whether or not it (the 1549) was "revolutionary" is up for debate. Being as familiar as you are with the Sarum Use, you should be able to recognize the clear structural similarities, conventions of language, etc. Even the title demonstrated that the Church of England was carrying out a reform rather than a "revolution": The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church: After the Use of the Church of England.
The Church of England which had several Uses of the Roman Rite would now have one national Use, but the new Prayer Book was still recognized as a “Use” of the Roman Rite. I'm sure you don't agree, but the intention was not to create something new and novel, it was to restore their heritage to a more primitive standard. Whether they succeeded or not is, perhaps, debatable, but hardly revolutionary.
Indeed, one could be so bold as to say that this reformation of the liturgy was no different than the reformations of the Eastern liturgy carried out by St. Basil, or St. John Chrystostom. Even their reasons were similar. Proklos of Constantinople says, “When the great Basil...saw the carelessness and degeneracy of men who feared the length of the Liturgy - not as if he thought it too long - he shortened its form, so as to remove the weariness of the clergy and assistants" (De traditione divinae Missae
, P.G., XLV, 849).
Reforming the liturgy is nothing new, so long as it's done in an "organic" manner. But, in terms of Orthodox liturgy and the Western Rite, this is beside the point. No one is using the Book of Common Prayer. There are similarities between it (them) and The English Liturgy
of ROCOR and the Liturgy of Saint Tikhon
of the AWRV, but both of them eclipse any of the Prayer Books.
But if it is permissible nowadays because of the fact time has passed since the revolution, then don't worry, using pre-schism Western Liturgy will also become permissible ere long, on sheer grounds of the passage of time, following the same logic.
And there would be nothing wrong with that. Again, each self-ruling church can do as it wishes.
2. If we must take what was handed down, then the Western Rite has to be the Novus Ordo. The pre-Novus Ordo didn't really make it past the 1960s as a mainstream Liturgy of Western (Catholic) Christians.
I'm not sure what your point is here. The Western Rite Vicariate of Antioch was formed before the Novus Ordo, in 1958. The approval of their liturgical heritage (corrected of course) was merely what their received tradition was. Are you implying we have to "change with the times"?
3. If we must take what was handed down to our generation in the mainstream West, which is the Novus Ordo and the 1978 BCP, there is the problem that these themselves were not cases of "handing down" from the Christian past.
The approval of the Rite of St. Tikhon happened in 1977, before the '78 BCP, and indeed, what was approved was the American Missal
anyway. And, yes, they were "handed down" from the Christian past, blending much with the received tradition found in the "Tridentine" missal tradition.
The Sarum Use is just a variant of the ancient Roman rite, as is the Tridentine Use, but the Novus Ordo is a serious break with the past, and likewise the 1978 Episcopalian creation. So you defeat the principle.
Again, I'm not sure what you mean. Both of the approved liturgies of the AWRV happened before either of the ones you mentioned, as the received tradition of the parishes entering, and continuing on in a living tradition to today.
4. If you decide, "Well, we'll use what came down to the 1960s fairly intact (Tridentine Use of the Roman rite, 1928 form of the Anglican), since they are somewhat modern," you can't reconcile that to the fact that they are by now foreign to almost all Roman Catholics and Anglicans in the world.
Why would that matter? For evangelizing purposes?
So what you're doing, is making a bold strike at doing something Orthodox, over doing something familiar or well-known to people. Catholics today who can remember pre-Vatican II, are not many in number, e.g. Same with Anglican liturgy--the 1928 BCP is not something mainstream Anglicans/Episcopalians know anymore. So, IF you are going to do something unfamiliar to Westerners anyway, on the grounds that it is more Orthodox, the crowning logic of that bold act is to use things still more Orthodox in teaching and culture, due to their having continuity with the West's Orthodox past. One example (and not the only one possible!) would be the Sarum Use of the Roman rite.
If we were talking about liturgies that were in the process of being approved today
, I suppose I could follow what you're getting at. But we're not. The approved liturgies have been approved for decades
. And the communities using them have been doing so for decades. Those parishes know nothing else.
5. But, as Christopher pointed out, the Sarum Use and other older uses, like the monastic uses of the Roman rite, were in continuous use throughout all the intervening centuries since the Reformation. The Sarum was done in the 10th century, and 11th, and 12th, and 13th, and 14th, and 15th, and 16th, and 17th, and 18th, and 19th, and 20th., and now 21st (though sometimes on a very small scale). So it is not so much a break in the Roman tradition, as the more Orthodox-leaning part of that tradition. And out of the two words "Western" and "Orthodox," isn't the more important word "Orthodox"?
That's great. I did not know that the Sarum had continued use. From what I've seen/read on it, it's a beautiful liturgy and I wish it all the success in the world.