Author Topic: Small Differences of OO/EO in worship services and life style wont help unity  (Read 1312 times)

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Offline alexp4uni

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I will explain myself: I didn’t like posting on this board because of how I felt about this issue of OO and it won’t change my opinion. My opinion on OO churches is little similar but I sincerely want the Malankara and OO to be reunited and commune with EO. If that is possible when that day comes I would be fully satisfied with the spiritual differences in each OO church. I wont accept these OO churches after reunification because of the way their tradition for 1500 years is far different with EO churches. But hear me out: I can respect the liturgies, the communion within OO and it’s tradition and they are powerful, refreshing and stimulating but it wont be apart of Eastern orthodoxy. This will never happen within our lifetime. My guess would be 200 years in the making of dialogue, many jurisdictions will have their own forumla of worship, but still no TRUE unity. Both spiritual communities don’t see an agreement on how the formula of worship is done on Sundays. That is the "meat and potatoes" of my spirituality.

If I am going off topic I simply state the difference between these churches  in worship
Such as calendar feast days, the Malankara have feast days on the Western calendar that is not similar to many of the New calendarists. Far different! This Sunday there wont be a Public and a Pharisees service but I believe the IOC has something with the Third Sunday of lent for the fifty days (a friend of mine told me about this). Lent already started for Indians but Great Lent for Julian calendar hasn't started yet. The Jacobite churches have a Greogorian type calendar that is not equal to the EO. That’s one example. The other is Easter it should be celebrated on the Sunday when spring starts after the vernal equinox. They don’t have a Vernal equinox. But all Christians last year celebrated Pascha or “Easter” on the same day, which was Sunday. Another thing that is different are the veneration of Icons; I don’t view them as Frescos or amazing depictions of Christ but real living images that aren't suppose to be pretty but rather mawksih, I also adore the Coptic Icon of Saint Nicholas.  But Icons are what  Christ’s Resurrection and his Second Coming will be of the real image that we were intentionally suppose to see no different from Coptic Icons, but I’m not aware if they have an Iconstasis to uphold the images in full liturgical service. I do know that Malankara parishes don’t have Icons and never bothered to create canons for Icons. Even though this in the Seventh Ecumenical Council and OO only accept 3 of them. The church was a split group at the time of the seventh council and the OO should have continued to stress the theology of Icons, which if the divine grace and the Holy Spirit was with them then it would've been realized. But Malankara churches have Western Paintings of the Theotokos holding the Infant Jesus and the patron saint but they never taught the Icon in full use and how icons are spiritually within us. "We are the Living Icons". And I understand that Iconodules Controversy was within the West and the East but in the turn of the 21st century it is still not fully acknowledged. I know that the feasts of Mary is celebrated in India but they do not have Akathist Hymns like the Greek tradition or when Salutations happen during Great Lent of every Friday everyone recognizes the Theotokos at the splendor and beauty, their is none like it in the IOC.

Saints are not appreciated in the each other churches. I believe that no amount of talking could realise how angry EO would feel if Gregorious of Paramala or Severus of Antioch in the church would be recogized.  I do have a respect for Gregorious of Paramala because he lived a pious life.I'm going to end it there

The Hymns of the Malankara are far different and dont have an approachable touch to being apart of the people from the West who want to partake in this liturgy. I went to the Russian church on Thomas Sunday and the chior had nice beautiful voices and the chanting had made me excited to continue to be in this parish. The role on REPETITION helped as I recoginize the Kontakion
Thomas touched Your life
giving side with an
eager hand O Christ Our God
when you came to your
apostles through closed doors.
He cried out with all
You are My Lord and My God

( I will always remember this chant and I feel it is preface to where I want to go in my life. Perhaps to go to in India to help in Humanitarian Aid
 But here a few examples of differences any others.

Offline Anastasios

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First of all, it was very difficult for me to read your post. I will approach this from a non-dogmatic point of view, and just focus on the EO and OO liturgical rites. The problem isn't that the Oriental Orthodox liturgies can't hold up to the Byzantine, the problem is you have never learned to appreciate your own Church.

The Hymns of the Malankara are far different and dont have an approachable touch to being apart of the people from the West who want to partake in this liturgy.

I don't understand really what you are saying but I think you are saying that EO is better suited to Americans.  I disagree for 2 reasons: 1, not everyone agrees and 2, Greek Orthodox use a style of chant that is very similiar in many respects to Indian, so EO are not automatically more close to Western.  I have been to Malankara Churches and read the hymn books as well as been to Coptic.  The content of the hymns is identical to the Byzantine in quality because all are from the Orthodox tradition of liturgy.

About saints, if there were a reunion, St Gregorios would easily be accepted. But Severos might be a problem, although it could be worked out similar to the situation of St David of Gareja.

If you like the Byzantine Rite better, fine. Be Byzantine Rite. But don't say your native rite is inferior because it is not.

Of course, I don't think you should base decisions like this on what rite is more aestetically pleasing (if I thought this way I would consider going Coptic since I often prefer the Coptic tradition) but rather based on faith (Chalcedon, etc).

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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Dear Alex,

You still never responded to my messages to you.  I can appreciate that you are busy with many things in your life; so am I.  But I wrote them last December.  I hope you will consider taking some time to think about them and write back.

Meanwhile, it seems from your posts (in my opinion, anyway) like you are trying to justify yourself regarding your desire to switch from OO to EO.  If you really want to do this, then go with God, and with my prayers that He will sanctify you in your new spiritual home.  I ask just one thing: please don't pretend that you know what it is like to be Malankara Orthodox.  You yourself wrote in the past about how cut off from your Indian community you were.  Why should I believe that you know what you're talking about when it comes to the Indian Church?  You observe, but without understanding.  I could take your post and explain each of your points, but it's late, I'm tired, and I'm not sure you would even care to hear it.  If you would like to understand, then maybe I will return to this.     

Forgive me.  May God bless you.   
Mor Ephrem is a nice guy.  Just say sorry and it will all be ok. Say I had things that were inside troubling me but I didn't know how to express appropriately. I will not behave that way again but I am seeking help.

thank you so much Mor ephrem you are a hero!