OrthodoxChristianity.net
December 19, 2014, 04:27:26 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Reminiscences of Bishop Jerome, regarding Western Rite in the Orthodox Church  (Read 1109 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
ROCORWRVUK
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ROCOR Western Rite Vicariate
Posts: 31

Official account of the ROCOR Western Rite - UK


WWW
« on: May 23, 2013, 11:05:01 AM »

Quote
Christ is Risen!

Many probably know most of the following already: but, as Vladyka Seraphim (Ivanoff) of blessed memory said to me long ago, "In case you don't know, I'll remind you!"

I was raised in a small New England town, and till I was 16, in the Episcopal Church. But my godfather, and also the clergyman in the next town where we had our high school, told me that "the Orthodox Church has the same history as we do, and we are in communion with them: we can go to communion in their church, and they in ours".

That turned out not to be the case. When I began learning Russian and Greek at age 14, I started to hear more and more about the Orthodox Church, and I became more and more curious, and then more and more interested.

The obvious arguments for the unique truth of the Orthodox faith, you must all know. One of them is that there had been One Church, and that Rome had become separated from what was then the rest of the Orthodox Church, and later the Anglican Church from Rome, followed by the Puritans (Congregationalists), Methodists, and others, from the Church of England.

It was also pretty obvious that Rome had never been Byzantium, and England was not Russia. So the Western Church, as is clearly documented, was "Western" in the typicon it followed, long before there was any split between the Greek vs. Latin Christianity. What I discovered much later, and might surprise some, is that the typicon of Constantinople and Hagia Sophia, used once to be very similar to that followed in Rome.

I was received into the Orthodox Church on Dec. 22, 1963, which was the day after I turned 17. Shortly after that, I became an altar boy in Mahopac, where I served Vladyka Seraphim of Chicago and Detroit on his visits. I used to go there with an iconographer named Dimitri B. Alexandrow, who lived down what was then a country road from my childhood home, and who was also a neighbor from Mr. G. Tchaika, who gave me my first lessons in Russian pronunciation and conversation (and told me a little about the problems in the Russian Orthodox Church, where he had been kicked out of the choir and was insulted).

Mr. Alexandrow soon became Father Dimitri, and later on, Bishop Daniel of Erie. I learned a very great deal from him, and his advice and explanations set me on what I consider the straight path of Orthodoxy.

I had been received by chrismation, which in 1963 was the tradition in the Russian Church for accepting converts from Anglicanism. But a year and a half later, "Holy Transfiguration Monastery" in Brookline, Massachusetts, with its priestmonk Panteleimon, was received into ROCOR (by canonical transfer, which the Panteleimonites now deny). Very shortly after that, I began to be told that reception by Chrismation was "not strong enough", and that I was "still in my sins" and needed to be baptized.

I was fortunate enough to be able to consult Fr. Dimitri Alexandrow about this, and he showed me conclusively, from the Canons, that this was not the truth, not the teaching of the Orthodox Church. That was very impressive for me, and just as Mr. Tchaika had let me know there were day-by-day troubles in the Church, so Fr. Dimitri showed me that there were ecclesiological troubles, caused, not by "True Orthodox", but by disobedient people who try to spread their own, ultra-strict, but false, teachings.

We had, at that time, a Western Rite diocese in France. In Mahopac, I was shown their illustrated book called in French, Nos Eglises en France. I soon found out that the Panteleimonites opposed this, on two grounds: that "one must be Byzantine to be Orthodox", and "the New Calendar [in those days, ROCOR permitted the use of the New Calendar in non-Russian communities] is a heresy".

I asked Father Dimitri what he thought of the Western rite. Is it Orthodox?  His reply was: Yes, it is indeed Orthodox, but the question that can be asked, is this the same Western rite that was used historically?

After the loss of the French diocese in 1967, due to the pressure they had come under following the repose of their protector, St. John Maximovitch, Fr. Dimitri was very critical of the way the group that stayed, was forced by Archbishop Anthony of Geneva [now reposed - Ed.], to change over to the Eastern Rite. But a year or less went by, before a new group of Western rite parishes (three) was accepted into ROCOR, at that time with the support of Fr. George Grabbe (who later came under the influence of the Panteleimonites, however).

Fr. Dimitri, his mother and I, went to a church in Connecticut that followed the Western rite, to see what it was like. But, while the actual text of the Mass or Liturgy was entirely correct and historical, there was no music -- due, I think, to the small number of people and to a lack of musical ability on those involved.

Fr. Dimitri, who was a learned medievalist and linguist, and active in the Old Rite, giving him a broader liturgical perspective, told me that this service should have been in Gregorian chant, and at least partly in Latin. He had lived in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, and had seen the old Mass as it was kept in those places in the 1940's and early 1950's.

This idea inspired me, because it made sense: this was what Orthodox worship had once been like, before the separation of the Western Church -- and wonderful as the Russian Church and Russian tradition are, not everyone was as able to adapt to them as I had been.

But if Orthodoxy is the True Faith, it can't be only for people of a certain cultural background, or with a linguistic and cultural flexibility: it had to be for everyone. Fr. Dimitri described the other "special Rites" in the Orthodox Church, such as that of the Old Believers or of the Syro-Chaldeans (whose bishop lived out his days in our Spring Valley convent of Novoe Diveevo). In 1965, there was also a plan to receive a group of former Syro-Jacobites (West Syrian tradition as opposed to East Syrian).

As the years went by, Fr. Dimitri, later Bishop Daniel, always encouraged me to study and to try to revive the Western Rite in the Orthodox Church.

Vladyka Seraphim of Chicago, whom I got to know while I was in high school and college, agreed entirely with Fr. Dimitri. So did Archbishop Nikon of blessed memory, who told me that Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky had been another big supporter of this idea. So were Bishop Alexander (Mileant), Bishop Mitrofan (Znosko-Borovsky) and others whom I respected and learned from.

I was rather taken aback, when in college I mentioned to one of my Russian professors a custom that exists in the Old Rite. Her immediate reaction was, "Whereas, what do the Orthodox do?" I was wasting my breath trying to tell her that the Old Rite was Orthodox.

I also recall a conversation I once had with Archbishop Ionafan Kopalovich [now reposed -Ed.], who was the Moscow Patriarchate administrator in New York City at the time of the autocephaly issue [resulting in the creation of the OCA - Ed.]. I said something to him about the Old Rite, and his reaction was that "The Old Rite is a heresy".

Was St. Sergius of Radonezh a heretic, then?

Many of the same problems seem to come up whenever an unfamiliar church service is met with. A certain outspoken priest recently wrote, and I believe put on his website, that the Liturgies of St. James and St. Mark are "not Orthodox".

But grasping the idea of "various typicons in the Church" is, as Patriarch Kyrill said in a private conversation with me at the Sobor in Moscow,* not only very Orthodox, but a key element in the education of future clergy. That was why he, himself, when he taught candidates for the priesthood, used to celebrate such rare Liturgies, and why he has continued to encourage me in this direction.

"There are 17 ways to do everything in the Orthodox Church", as one of our departed hierarchs was wont to say, "and 17 ways to do each of the 17 ways".

In Christ,
+Bishop Jerome

The article was originally shared with the ROCOR WR clergy by Bishop Jerome and is now available online at http://sarisburium.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/reminiscences-of-hierarch-regarding.html

ROCORWRVUK
Logged

primuspilus
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America - Western Rite Orthodox
Posts: 6,667


Inserting personal quote here.


WWW
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2013, 12:01:35 PM »

Good read Smiley

PP
Logged

"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker
WPM
Revolutionary Writer
Moderated
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,735



« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2013, 01:06:51 PM »

I know where Western Rite services are available.
Logged
primuspilus
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America - Western Rite Orthodox
Posts: 6,667


Inserting personal quote here.


WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2013, 01:30:28 PM »

I know where Western Rite services are available.
Yeah at my church Smiley

https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=715+Main+Street+Lynchburg+Virginia&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.46865395,d.dmg&biw=1163&bih=850&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl

PP
Logged

"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker
Christopher McAvoy
Never forget the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate & all persecuted christians!
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: orthodóxis, atque cathólice et apostólice fídei
Jurisdiction: Latin Catholic from the 12th c.
Posts: 443



WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 02:38:16 AM »

How marvelous that he wrote this letter to inspire and educate his clergy and laity.
So many of the experiences he speaks of I have also had, and are rare to encounter except amongst those involved in the WR orthodox and perhaps some similar experience. (some resemblence to the eastern byzantine roman catholics comes to mind as well).

Quote
Fr. Dimitri, his mother and I, went to a church in Connecticut that followed the Western rite, to see what it was like. But, while the actual text of the Mass or Liturgy was entirely correct and historical, there was no music -- due, I think, to the small number of people and to a lack of musical ability on those involved.

Fr. Dimitri, who was a learned medievalist and linguist, and active in the Old Rite, giving him a broader liturgical perspective, told me that this service should have been in Gregorian chant, and at least partly in Latin. He had lived in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, and had seen the old Mass as it was kept in those places in the 1940's and early 1950's.

To this day the only times I have experienced a WR rite orthodox liturgy that has actually fully met these standards , at least as I understand them, has been times where I was personally involved with maintaining them and singing them, including the mission I am part of. However, I do know that such conditions do exist, though not as often, or as nearby where I live as they ideally ought to. When on rare occasions I visit other WR churches/missions I must be content to be satisfied with a more minimalist "4 hymn sandwich" approach, as is rather typical amongst western churches of any sort. While they do usually have a few of the simplest gregorian chants in english (the ordinary of the mass and propers with a psalm tone), by far what often attracts more notice because they spend more time on them, is the metrical hymns which are "superimposed" as aliens onto the liturgy rather than being directly part of it, as the gregorian chants are. (generally it is post reformation style hymnody in melody and words, though without any theology opposed to orthodox teachings).

Though I always appreciated all manner of traditional music, I had very little experience singing or sight reading music until I was forced by my experience with Church to do so, as no one else was interested in pursueing it due to time, perceived lack of talent, cultural factors or time consumed learning it. I have to say that when I first began I was probably not very good, but I have become quite adequate, perhaps even good, after enough years of practice. It's been a very worthwhile experience and one that makes me naturally fit into the Orthodox Church, because these skills translate perfectly into the sung liturgy of the byzantine rite as well, even though the music and notation may be slightly different, if you can sing one, you can sing them all eventually.


Quote
But grasping the idea of "various typicons in the Church" is, as Patriarch Kyrill said in a private conversation with me at the Sobor in Moscow,* not only very Orthodox, but a key element in the education of future clergy. That was why he, himself, when he taught candidates for the priesthood, used to celebrate such rare Liturgies, and why he has continued to encourage me in this direction.

"There are 17 ways to do everything in the Orthodox Church", as one of our departed hierarchs was wont to say, "and 17 ways to do each of the 17 ways".

This is quite true. Amongst a few of the more conservative Roman Catholic Seminaries operating today there has been a trend toward allowing them to experience a byzantine rite liturgy at least once a year as a sort of "field trip". I once saw this happen in person and was very pleased and inspired to see it.  (Not very many seminaries are doing this, but as a few of the ones that do are very large, it does in fact have a profound impact over time.)

The problems of misunderstanding and ignorance of different liturgies within the Church is a recurring challenge that has had negative results in both Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic church. To encourage appreciation and respect toward this multiplicity of historic orthodox liturgies is integral to missionary activity in multi-cultural societies. One doesnt have to be a "deranged ecumenist masonic modernist liturgist" in order to appreciate genuine historic timeless liturgical diversity as the various Saints and Fathers of the Church bear witness to in their writings. The Church faithful only grow stronger to understand in a casual way how these things are possible and how they historically were there, unbeknownst to many.

Thank you for sharing that letter!

Ad multos annos Epíscopo Hieronymus (Jerome) et omni clero ei commísso pax, vita et salus perpétua!
(Many years to Bishop Jerome and to all the clergy under his charge, everlasting peace life and salvation! )
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 02:53:54 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
Cyrillic
Warned
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Posts: 10,029


Cyrillico est imperare orbi universo


« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 05:05:46 AM »

Ad multos annos Epíscopo Hieronymus (Jerome) et omni clero ei commísso pax, vita et salus perpétua!
(Many years to Bishop Jerome and to all the clergy under his charge, everlasting peace life and salvation! )

Wouldn't this be grammatically better: Multi anni Hieronymo episcopo et omnibus presbyteris diaconisque ejus pax, vita aeterna en salus animorum eorum

(Many years to Jerome the bishop and peace, everlasting life and the salvation of their souls to all his priests and deacons)

« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 05:10:01 AM by Cyrillic » Logged

"Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy."
-Dr. Samuel Johnson
primuspilus
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America - Western Rite Orthodox
Posts: 6,667


Inserting personal quote here.


WWW
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 06:26:47 AM »

Last Sunday we had a family of out-of-towner Greeks visit (probably 12 or so.....does 12 constitute a gaggle of Greeks?) and it was their first time in a WR liturgy. We helped them out with the liturgy, songs, etc and afterwards they said how wonderful it was, and in many ways similar to what they were used to (sans the Greek parts). They said that when they were in town they would come back, and that it was a blessing in disguise that the Greek Church was closed that day (they dont have a regular priest).

One of them, who I talked with for some time, said that in his opinion, the west existed before Roman Catholicism and that he was glad that it was Orthodox "westerners" that was trying to show folks just a bit of what it would look like if the Church reunited, and not Greeks or Russians.

PP
Logged

"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.061 seconds with 34 queries.