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OlgaK
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« on: January 17, 2014, 06:31:41 PM »

I have questions about WR that might have been covered in depth elsewhere, so please forgive me if that's the case. I'm Orthodox and have never been to a WR church, but from what I've gathered here and elsewhere it seems there's a very strong link between the Anglican tradition and WRO, especially in the AWRV with the Liturgy of St. Tikhon. What's the reasoning for this? Is it because converts who attend WR churches are mostly coming from an Anglican background and will simply find the Anglican influence familiar? Is it because of an affinity for the pre-schism British Isles (I could be wrong about this, but that's just what I've noticed)? If that's the case, is the Anglican tradition really that close to what we believe the pre-schism Western Church looked like?

Also, what about the US where the Anglican presence is represented by the Episcopal church? What's the relationship between the Episcopal church and WRO? I know there's an "Anglican" movement in the US currently, but I'm under the impression it isn't actually in communion with the Anglican church in Britain and is more a reaction to the various issues going on in the Episcopal church. Are American converts who come to Orthodoxy in WR churches largely from an Episcopal background?

I hope I don't come across as disrespectful. I'm just having trouble understanding how the strong Anglican (and Episcopal?) influence functions within WRO. Any input would be very much appreciated!
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 06:36:11 PM »

AFAIK in times of St. Tikhon in the USA there was a group within Anglicans that appealed to him to be received to the Church with the Western Rite. Their Liturgy was examined by the Russian Synod and after some changes it was allowed to be used. Therefore service based on the Anglican Liturgy was among the first that were used to reintroduce Western Rite to the Orthodox Chuch.
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2014, 07:58:52 PM »

I have questions about WR that might have been covered in depth elsewhere, so please forgive me if that's the case. I'm Orthodox and have never been to a WR church, but from what I've gathered here and elsewhere it seems there's a very strong link between the Anglican tradition and WRO, especially in the AWRV with the Liturgy of St. Tikhon. What's the reasoning for this?

This is correct and the reasoning is quite straightforward. As Michael already pointed out, there was a group of Anglicans seeking to come into Orthodoxy with the desire to preserve as much of their heritage as would be allowed. St. Tikhon sent the 1892 Book of Common Prayer to the Holy Russian Synod for examination and advice, and the Synod responded with the necessary changes that would need to be made. They advised St. Tikhon to do as he saw fit. This laid the groundwork for what ultimately became the Divine Liturgy of St. Tikhon, which is named in his honor for obvious reasons.

In addition to that, yes you are correct, most of the parishes that entered the WRV of Antioch were formerly Anglican and their desire was the same as those who approached St. Tikhon; "Can we become Orthodox and retain as much of our heritage as possible?" Without getting into the history of it all, Antioch replied in the affirmative and thus many of the parishes that are now WRO have deep ties with their English heritage.

Quote
If that's the case, is the Anglican tradition really that close to what we believe the pre-schism Western Church looked like?

Well, the Patriarch of Antioch insisted that any Western Rite would be based upon the living tradition of the West, adjusted as necessary to come into full conformity with Orthodoxy. So it's not so much "Is it like it was back then?" (which in most respects it certainly is), but "Can we honor the living, organic tradition of these parishes approaching us and see that heritage fulfilled in Holy Orthodoxy?" So it's kind of a both/and situation. Most of the Western catholic heritage remained unchanged from pre-Schismatic times. Other aspects did not come to fruition until after the Great Schism and even after the Reformation, but Antioch set out clear guidelines for how those were to be approached: They must be consonant with Holy Orthodoxy and they must, in their words, "be logically derived from pre-Schism usage." This balanced approach preserves the integrity of the living tradition whilst simultaneously pointing it in the right direction, through correction, supplementation, and ongoing faithful use.

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Are American converts who come to Orthodoxy in WR churches largely from an Episcopal background?

It depends. Only whole, stable parishes who really want to become Orthodox are allowed to come into the Vicariate, as opposed to individuals. So it depends on what you have in mind.

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I hope I don't come across as disrespectful. I'm just having trouble understanding how the strong Anglican (and Episcopal?) influence functions within WRO. Any input would be very much appreciated!

No disrespect at all! The influence you may see was only to the extent that it was the received tradition of the parishes that came into the Church. After that point, the influence ceased. In other words, we aren't still looking to Anglicanism/Episcopalianism for any sort of liturgical/devotional ideas or influences. It was merely the received catholic tradition of the West reintegrated with Orthodox tradition.

I'll also note that much of what is carried out within WRO, that was part of said tradition, is not necessarily carried out in the same manner. So it's not necessarily adequate to draw parallels and assume that how it was done by "those Anglicans back then" is how it's done in an Orthodox context. Antioch has quite skillfully adapted the living tradition in such a way that the integrity of it remains but is now fuller and more refined to reflect our shared Orthodox faith.

I'll end with the best definition of WRO I've yet seen, which lays out the rationale for how it is carried out within Antioch:

“Western Orthodoxy is the rediscovery of the Orthodoxy which withered in the west, and its revitalization, not through the transferral of eastern Patristic thought and devotional attitudes, but by the patient searching out, assembly and coordination of the supratemporal factors which created and characterized pre-schismatic occidental Christianity in its essence, and the careful selection of valid survivals in contemporary western thought and culture. These supratemporal factors entail not just a rediscovery of liturgical practices but an appreciation of western Patristic thought, incipient devotional attitudes, practices and spirituality as they have evolved over the course of centuries.” - Fr Paul Schneirla, first Vicar General of the AWRV
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OlgaK
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2014, 01:23:47 PM »

Thank you both for your replies! You've answered many of my questions in a very detailed way. The fact that parishes who converted from Anglicanism were allowed to retain much of their tradition (those that didn't contradict with Orthodoxy, of course) leads me to another question, though. Hypothetically, what do you think would happen if, say, a Baptist congregation decided to convert to Orthodoxy? Would they be encouraged to keep as many of their traditions, as well, or do you think that privilege would generally be reserved for Protestant groups with a more liturgical tradition like the Anglicans and Episcopalians?
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2014, 02:11:32 PM »

Thank you both for your replies! You've answered many of my questions in a very detailed way. The fact that parishes who converted from Anglicanism were allowed to retain much of their tradition (those that didn't contradict with Orthodoxy, of course) leads me to another question, though. Hypothetically, what do you think would happen if, say, a Baptist congregation decided to convert to Orthodoxy? Would they be encouraged to keep as many of their traditions, as well, or do you think that privilege would generally be reserved for Protestant groups with a more liturgical tradition like the Anglicans and Episcopalians?
The faith of Anglo-Catholics coming to Orthodoxy is much closer than that of Baptists, and the aesthetic of worship isn't so alien to converts therein.

What traditions could the Baptists -- or low church Evangelicals -- keep, exactly? Much of the Baptist hymnal doesn't jibe with Orthodoxy, and revivalism ain't exactly our thing.
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2014, 02:25:29 PM »

I'm not arguing that the Baptists really have much that would be salvageable within Orthodoxy, Agabus. I agree with you. I was just curious if anyone thought that there would be an attempt to keep some traditions from other Protestant groups who wanted to come to WR Orthodoxy like there was with Anglicans and Episcopalians. Especially considering the large number of converts who come to Orthodoxy (both Eastern and Western Rite) from Protestant backgrounds. I don't know how I'd feel about that personally, and I'm a convert myself!

Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by the term "Anglo-Catholic?"
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2014, 02:30:23 PM »

What traditions could the Baptists -- or low church Evangelicals -- keep, exactly? Much of the Baptist hymnal doesn't jibe with Orthodoxy, and revivalism ain't exactly our thing.
Baptists at their best practice a deep respect for Scripture, and a deep respect for the mature believer's independent conscience (soul-competence.)  My lot at our best, and yours, at their best, have these things too.
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2014, 03:24:08 PM »

I'm not arguing that the Baptists really have much that would be salvageable within Orthodoxy, Agabus. I agree with you. I was just curious if anyone thought that there would be an attempt to keep some traditions from other Protestant groups who wanted to come to WR Orthodoxy like there was with Anglicans and Episcopalians. Especially considering the large number of converts who come to Orthodoxy (both Eastern and Western Rite) from Protestant backgrounds. I don't know how I'd feel about that personally, and I'm a convert myself!

Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by the term "Anglo-Catholic?"

Anglo-Catholic is a term for high church Anglicans who emphasize the Catholic aspects of Anglicanism.  It was coined to distinguish them from Roman Catholics.
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2014, 06:06:53 PM »

Thank you both for your replies! You've answered many of my questions in a very detailed way. The fact that parishes who converted from Anglicanism were allowed to retain much of their tradition (those that didn't contradict with Orthodoxy, of course) leads me to another question, though. Hypothetically, what do you think would happen if, say, a Baptist congregation decided to convert to Orthodoxy? Would they be encouraged to keep as many of their traditions, as well, or do you think that privilege would generally be reserved for Protestant groups with a more liturgical tradition like the Anglicans and Episcopalians?

It's an interesting question, for sure. My personal opinion is that they might try to absorb some of their distinctive qualities with the existing WRO tradition. This is ultimately what happened with the Rite of St. Tikhon; it was largely interwoven with the Roman Mass but kept many of its defining characteristics (Summary of the Law, Prayer for Christ's Church, Canon, Prayer of Humble Access, etc.). There are a host of other factors to consider though, both practical and pastoral. Do the parishes have their own building? Do they have icons? Do they wear vestments?

I mentioned in the last post that there essentially two guidelines set forth, both of which anything under consideration would have to meet, and I think they would apply here too:

1. Is the tradition consonant with Holy Orthodox (or can it be reasonably adapted to be so without killing the thing itself)?
2. Is it logically derived from pre-Schismatic usage.

I think the first would be easier to implement, the second perhaps not so much. That WR parishes were able to preserve so much of their heritage is testament to how close in form and spirit their tradition remained to the ancient West.

Now, for something more "official" all I can offer is this small section of the Vicariate's most recent Ordo (2013) which states the following:

Title III. LITURGICAL PRACTICE

A.) The clergy and laity of the Western Rite shall conform in all respects to the liturgical standards set by the Western Rite Commission and approved by the Metropolitan. No one shall introduce any modifications, variations, changes, amendments, revisions, “improvements,” omissions or alterations without the approval of the Commission. Where variations from the declared norms exist, they are to be moved toward conformity with prudent haste.

B.) Priests or others who may wish to suggest changes, revisions, or new rites or usages to the Western Rite Commission may do so at any time, but no such changes shall be introduced prior to approval by the Commission and authorized by the Vicar General.

C.) On the Mass:  The Ordinary of the Mass shall follow “The Ordinary & Canon of the Mass” for the Rite of St Gregory as approved by Metropolitan PHILIP, or St. Tikhon's Canon as published by the Vicariate in 1977.

Hope this helps!
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 12:29:02 PM »

Quote
a Baptist congregation decided to convert to Orthodoxy?
They could not keep anything really because they are so far from us. They have no liturgy, their hymns would be made to be Orthodox, which would basically transform them into new songs anyways, plus the fact that Baptists do not view the Eucharist as the body and blood of the Lord.......

PP
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 02:52:28 PM »

Quote
a Baptist congregation decided to convert to Orthodoxy?
They could not keep anything really because they are so far from us. They have no liturgy, their hymns would be made to be Orthodox, which would basically transform them into new songs anyways, plus the fact that Baptists do not view the Eucharist as the body and blood of the Lord.......

PP

I grew up Baptist and we had "communion" once a month consisting of salted oyster crackers and tiny cups of Welch's grape juice. And the pastor said explicitly every time, "We are only doing this because the New Testament commands us to."
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2014, 03:25:03 PM »

Quote
a Baptist congregation decided to convert to Orthodoxy?
They could not keep anything really because they are so far from us. They have no liturgy, their hymns would be made to be Orthodox, which would basically transform them into new songs anyways, plus the fact that Baptists do not view the Eucharist as the body and blood of the Lord.......

PP

I grew up Baptist and we had "communion" once a month consisting of salted oyster crackers and tiny cups of Welch's grape juice. And the pastor said explicitly every time, "We are only doing this because the New Testament commands us to."
So often?

We had it quarterly, on a Sunday night, not on holidays.
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2014, 03:33:57 PM »

Quote
a Baptist congregation decided to convert to Orthodoxy?
They could not keep anything really because they are so far from us. They have no liturgy, their hymns would be made to be Orthodox, which would basically transform them into new songs anyways, plus the fact that Baptists do not view the Eucharist as the body and blood of the Lord.......

PP

I grew up Baptist and we had "communion" once a month consisting of salted oyster crackers and tiny cups of Welch's grape juice. And the pastor said explicitly every time, "We are only doing this because the New Testament commands us to."
So often?

We had it quarterly, on a Sunday night, not on holidays.

LOL.
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OlgaK
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2014, 04:03:42 PM »

Yeah, if I remember correctly from my childhood, I don't recall seeing the "Lord's Supper" (as it was called in Baptist churches) more than once every few months. Always on a Sunday night. Mostly attended by the elderly and the same few people who went up to the altar every Sunday morning to "rededicate themselves." LOL

Anyhow, sorry to turn this into a Baptist thread!  Cheesy Maybe another Protestant tradition would've been a better option to use for my example. The Methodists (since they're moving toward full communion with Episcopals now) or Lutherans, perhaps.
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2014, 04:25:23 PM »

I grew up Baptist and we had "communion" once a month consisting of salted oyster crackers and tiny cups of Welch's grape juice. And the pastor said explicitly every time, "We are only doing this because the New Testament commands us to."

What a burden...
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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2014, 04:28:53 PM »

Quote
a Baptist congregation decided to convert to Orthodoxy?
They could not keep anything really because they are so far from us. They have no liturgy, their hymns would be made to be Orthodox, which would basically transform them into new songs anyways, plus the fact that Baptists do not view the Eucharist as the body and blood of the Lord.......

PP

I grew up Baptist and we had "communion" once a month consisting of salted oyster crackers and tiny cups of Welch's grape juice. And the pastor said explicitly every time, "We are only doing this because the New Testament commands us to."
So often?

We had it quarterly, on a Sunday night, not on holidays.

The Seventh-day Adventist church I visited a couple times, IIRC, only had it twice a year. I think it accompanied foot-washing.
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« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2014, 04:34:46 PM »

Yeah, if I remember correctly from my childhood, I don't recall seeing the "Lord's Supper" (as it was called in Baptist churches) more than once every few months. Always on a Sunday night. Mostly attended by the elderly and the same few people who went up to the altar every Sunday morning to "rededicate themselves." LOL

Anyhow, sorry to turn this into a Baptist thread!  Cheesy Maybe another Protestant tradition would've been a better option to use for my example. The Methodists (since they're moving toward full communion with Episcopals now) or Lutherans, perhaps.

Classical Methodism has a lot of pious customs such as periodic "watch-nights" for the examination of ones soul that could be adapted, perhaps with an akathist. 

John Wesley had a lot of Greek spiritual influence.  The liturgy was basically Anglican lite except for the revivalist faction. 
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« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2014, 04:42:29 PM »

Yeah, if I remember correctly from my childhood, I don't recall seeing the "Lord's Supper" (as it was called in Baptist churches) more than once every few months. Always on a Sunday night. Mostly attended by the elderly and the same few people who went up to the altar every Sunday morning to "rededicate themselves." LOL

Anyhow, sorry to turn this into a Baptist thread!  Cheesy Maybe another Protestant tradition would've been a better option to use for my example. The Methodists (since they're moving toward full communion with Episcopals now) or Lutherans, perhaps.

Classical Methodism has a lot of pious customs such as periodic "watch-nights" for the examination of ones soul that could be adapted, perhaps with an akathist.  

It would most likely turn into "match-nights" with Netodox going out with their helpmeets for an akathist.
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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2014, 08:51:30 AM »

In all honesty, when I attended a Baptist church, the communion ceremony was pretty reverent and alot of soul searching was involved. That being said, the feeling was we did it because we had to.

PP
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