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Author Topic: Western Orthodoxy and Conversion [Split from "Converts 'Protestantizing'"]  (Read 10884 times) Average Rating: 0
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epektasis
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« on: March 01, 2005, 10:30:59 PM »

I wonder...Do the proponents of an ethnic "American Orthodox" Church feel it is more meet and right to venerate  WAS0, WCO, WO* Saints in particular since the dominant "American" cultural milieu is Western European?  Wouldn't this type of veneration further the cause of American Orthodox identity in this country?  One might reasonbly argue that this would make the Orthodox Church more palatable to potential "real American" converts than "foreign" ethnicities such as: Russian, Greek, Serbian, Arab, etc.

* White Anglo-Saxon Orthodox, White Celtic Orthodox, Western Orthodox
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2005, 10:51:35 PM »

I don't understand why pro-American Orthodox Churchers are not piling into the Antiochian Western Rite parishes. 

In the words of P.W.S. Schneirla, Vicar General of the Western Rite:

"The Western Rite vocation of the Church is over a century old and was founded on this continent by a bishop since canonized as a saint by his branch of the Church (which also happens to be the most populous Patriarchate) and is an effective source of grace for many incapable of adapting to alien ethnicities." 

(http://www.holy-trinity.org/modern/western-rite/correspondence.html)

Perhaps this is the next step in the evolution of the American expression of Orthodoxy in this country?
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2005, 12:05:22 AM »

  I don't want to speak ill of some of the church leadership, so I'll just say that the growth of the western rite has something to do with the bishop that is over the diocese.  Most of the WR come under the leadership of Bishop Basil.  And we love Bishop Basil to pieces.
  Bishop Basil would tell you that the WR doesn't have to get larger than what it is, it is the simple fact that a congregation somewhere is using the WR, that is all that matters.
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2005, 03:21:18 PM »

I too think that Western Rite in Orthodoxy will be the less common form - like Byznatine Rite in the RC church, if it even becomes that common. But I also think that is is a legitimate expression within Orthodoxy. After all, already within eastern Orthodoxy we have two Byzantine Rites (Saints Basil and Chrysostom), one Semitic Rite (St. James) and one western rite (liturgy of presanctified by Pope Gregory).

But, looking at some of the WR web sites, they ARE reviving the knowledge of the saints and practices of the Celtic church which was Orthodox and not RC. And that should be a help and blessing to all Orthodox in the West, whether Celts, WASPs, western European, eastern European, Russian, Greek, Syrian/Lebanese - that there was indeed an Orthodox presence in the west at one time in past history.

Augustine of Canterbury was sent to England to get the Celtic Orthodox monks in line with and under the authority of the pope. It took 200 years and wasn't really fully accomplished until well after the Great Schism.Knowledge of these Celtic saints and recognition of western Orthodox practice in the Celtic church can be a help to us WASP converts - sort of like we are returning to our real roots. And in fact we are when we convert to Orthodoxy. We are in one sense victims of history - the spread of the pope's authority throughout the west and the reformers rebellion against it. I find it meaningful to be returning to my ancestors' faith in the Orthodox Church.

But one other thing. My hunch is that if we could time travel to Celtic Scotland, Ireland or northern England, we would find the liturgy to be much closer to the Byzantine rite than the western rite!

When I first discovered Orthodoxy I had wished there was a WR congregation near and I probably would have chosen it at the time. But now I am happy and thankful to be eastern rite (OCA).

P.S. all this talk of western Orthodox saints, like Patrick, Brigid, Columba... where do you think I got my user name -- St. Aidan of Lindesfarne!

Edited first line only to make sense w/topic ~ Pedro
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2005, 03:32:47 PM »

But one other thing. My hunch is that if we could time travel to Celtic Scotland, Ireland or northern England, we would find the liturgy to be much closer to the Byzantine rite than the western rite!

If you go back far enough, yeah.  Rome actually had an influence on the British Isles for centuries before they formally came under Roman rule.  The Sarum Rite--which is the rite unique to Britain--is actually thought to be somewhere between the two.  But no one really knows what Sarum looked like then; all we've got is the versions with the Anglo-Roman stuff fused onto it.

But I agree; it's like our brothers are coming back home.
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2005, 04:19:38 PM »

If you go back far enough, yeah. Rome actually had an influence on the British Isles for centuries before they formally came under Roman rule. The Sarum Rite--which is the rite unique to Britain--is actually thought to be somewhere between the two. But no one really knows what Sarum looked like then; all we've got is the versions with the Anglo-Roman stuff fused onto it.

But I agree; it's like our brothers are coming back home.

British Isles? Well, yes, I guess. But not in Ireland until the 10th or 11th century, from what I've read in non-internet, non-Orthodox sources.
Do you have a timeline, Pedro? I am very intersted in this subject.
Thanks, Demetri
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2005, 10:28:36 AM »

British Isles? Well, yes, I guess. But not in Ireland until the 10th or 11th century, from what I've read in non-internet, non-Orthodox sources.
Do you have a timeline, Pedro? I am very intersted in this subject.
Thanks, Demetri

Me too, for family/geneological reasons.  I'm at work right now, but you can check on this blog to see if anything's been posted.  If not, you can ask him yourself; I know he'll have something.

I'll look something up this evening.
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2005, 11:23:38 PM »

Sorry, Demetri; this was the blog to which I was referring.

Quote
British Isles? Well, yes, I guess. But not in Ireland until the 10th or 11th century, from what I've read in non-internet, non-Orthodox sources.
Do you have a timeline, Pedro? I am very intersted in this subject.
Thanks, Demetri

Some basic events, taken from the introduction to The Soul of Celtic Spirituality in the Lives of Its Saints by Michael Mitton (1997, Twenty-Third Publications) -- hardly a work of scholarly repute by many folks standards, but it's what I have in front of me and I've seen these dates before:

We know that Latin was used as early as the second century, as a pottery shard that is inscribed with an acrostic of the Our Father in Latin is in the Manchester Museum. 

The Roman Church basically gave up on the British Isles in the early 400s due to lack of success (pagan Anglo and Saxons invaders and what not) but with the settling down of these invaders Rome set up camp in Canterbury in 597.

This Roman plantation met with the indigenous Celtic Church at a synod in Whitby in 664, and the Celtic bishops were basically forced into union with Rome (by any means necessary--violent ones very much included) that resulted in, among other things, the use of Latin as the liturgical language, Roman additions to the Sarum and York rites, and the change in the British Church to the otherwise universal Christian celebration of Pascha (due to its previous isolation by its invaders' oppression, the Celtic Church had celebrated a different date for Pascha before the Synod of Whitby).

Hope this helps.
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2005, 12:47:22 AM »

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After all, already within eastern Orthodoxy we have two Byzantine Rites (Saints Basil and Chrysostom), one Semitic Rite (St. James) and one western rite (liturgy of presanctified by Pope Gregory).

IMO it's rather disingenuous to refer to the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts as a "Western" rite. While its ultimate origins may lie in the pre-schism West, it is clearly a Byzantine service through-and-through. Likewise, the Byzantine liturgy of St. James bears little resemblance to the liturgies performed by the extant Semitic churches, both non-Chalcedonian and Nestorian.
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2005, 09:56:30 AM »

IMO it's rather disingenuous to refer to the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts as a "Western" rite. While its ultimate origins may lie in the pre-schism West, it is clearly a Byzantine service through-and-through. Likewise, the Byzantine liturgy of St. James bears little resemblance to the liturgies performed by the extant Semitic churches, both non-Chalcedonian and Nestorian.

Very true on both counts, and both are points worth making. 

On the first point: To say that we who come into Orthodoxy from western backgrounds should be "satisfied" with the "western" liturgy of the Presanctified is like saying that Orthodox coming into the Catholic Church should be satisfied with the Roman Rite, which, after all, should be called Greco-Latin, for it is based closely on and was originally translated from the Greek liturgies from whence it came.  The second idea doesn't work, and neither does the first.  St. Gregory was a representative from Rome living in Constantinople for a time, and merely picked up the oral tradition of the East and introduced it to Rome, where it is no longer celebrated (most likely due to its incompatible "flavor" with the rest of the rite).

On the second point: If we're really honest, the Byzantine Orthodox imposed the worship of the Empire upon all their faithful (and I'm sure would have done so in Europe as well had they been able to have done so canonically).

One of the things I (thought I) admired about Orthodoxy was its greater respect for other cultural expressions within worship (as opposed to Roman Catholicism).  While it is admirable that Orthodoxy has always insisted (present feelings of the Ecumenical Patriarch excepted) upon translating the Divine Liturgy into (an antiquated version of?) the language of the people, it is lamentable that the Divine Liturgy of St. Mark in Alexandria (among others) was suppressed in favor of the Greek rite of SJC, thereby making the latter rite THE rite of the Byzantine, Chalcedonian Church and thereby stamping out the litugical diversity that had been the natural state of the Church beforehand.

Rome did the same thing, BTW, though after the schism, in Trent, where all rites that did not have at least a 500 year existance were done away with and replaced w/the Roman Rite (leaving only the Mozarabic Rite and the Gallican rite, I believe).
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2005, 10:34:49 AM »

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(leaving only the Mozarabic Rite and the Gallican rite, I believe).

It actually left behind several rites -- the Ambrosian rite was the big one; the Mozarabic rite had been limited to being celebrated in only a few chapels for historical purposes. There were also the rite of Braga, and many of the monastic orders had their own rites, such as the Dominican, Carthusian, and Carmelite. The Mass of the Western Rites is the classic work on the different Latin rites.
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2005, 01:50:24 PM »

I've got mixed feelings about "western rite Orthodoxy."  In principle I'm for it, at least in the sense that I don't disagree with Bishops allowing it where they feel it's warranted/necessary.

Personally, while I have a deep affection for the Tridentine Latin Mass and the surrounding ritual and chant, I've developed an appreciation for the Orthodox Divine Liturgy (extant - given that at one time there were many other "Orthodox Divine Liturgies", including the old Gregorian-Carolingian Missal, which later developed into the Tridentine Mass) that has left me not feeling as if I'm missing anything - if anything, there are aspects about Orthodox usage (vs. modern "traditional RC Mass" usages) which I feel are more holistic, and probably have a lot in common with elements of older western usages which have fallen to the wayside.

I think if there were more Orthodox parishes emphasizing the use of vernacular in Church services, and perhaps being a little more sensitive to unambiguously Orthodox aspects of the western tradition (like say, the veneration of great western Saints like Patrick, Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, Benedict, Gregory the Great, etc.), there may be less of a perceived need for western rite Orthodoxy in it's various forms.  I'm not saying it can have no place (and certainly not in the instance of a mass entrance into Orthodoxy of western liturgical bodies), but I just think it probably wouldn't be as big of a thing.

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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2005, 03:05:07 PM »

I would respectfully disagree with Pedro and Beayf
I think it is disingenuous to say that Gregory's liturgy was really just a writing down of Byzantine oral tradition and therefor, though he was the pope of Rome, he leaned toward the east (because he spent itme in Consatantinople) and the liturgy of presanctified is really an eastern liturgy reduced to writing in the west. [Remember this same Gregory made the Latin Rite uniform according to his reforms; and it was he that sent Augustine of Canterbury to England to bring the Celtic bishops into line with Rome]

So, Basil and John Chrystostom's litugies were written down, but it took a western visitor to Constantinople to export this liturgy and then write it down to preserve it for the whole church? Pedro, you know the history better than I do, and I can't dispute the facts, but this sounds like one of those situations where we Orthodox like to claim all things we practice as our own inventions; we were totally independent of the Western chuch for theology and liturgy for the first thousand years and it got all that was good in it from us before the schism. [We know that's not true - the Cappadocian fathers in their disputes were backed by the pope of Rome - Leo ; but we sometimes sound like we just can't admit to taking anything from the West, even during the first thousand years]

I found what you wrote about the liturgical imperialisn of Byzantium within the empire to be a bit more credible.

As far as the Liturgy of St. James being semitic, Beayf, I'll stick by that. It's the earliest extant liturgy in the Church. It is credited to St. James, the brother (step-brother) of the Lord and from Jerusalem. The earliest Christians were Jews, James was Jewish, the liturgy grew out of the Jewish Jerusalem Church - sounds pretty semitic to me!
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2005, 03:47:44 PM »

And even if I am "off" a little bit on the precise history of our liturgies (since I am not a professional theologian or church historian) my point is that we are not a one-liturgy church.

We tend to think that we use ONLY the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, but we don't - we PREDOMINANTLY use his, but others are used as well.

I would suggest to WR brethren, that they too should on various feasts or other occasions use the other four rites, out of repect and solidarity, even if they use WR 90% of the time dufing the year.
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2005, 05:00:30 PM »

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I think it is disingenuous to say that Gregory's liturgy was really just a writing down of Byzantine oral tradition and therefor, though he was the pope of Rome, he leaned toward the east (because he spent itme in Consatantinople) and the liturgy of presanctified is really an eastern liturgy reduced to writing in the west. [Remember this same Gregory made the Latin Rite uniform according to his reforms; and it was he that sent Augustine of Canterbury to England to bring the Celtic bishops into line with Rome]

It should be more than abundantly clear to even the casual observer that whatever the Liturgy of the Presanctified's ultimate origin, it is today a thoroughly Byzantine liturgy, having undergone extreme Byzantinization and bearing little resemblance to any extant Western liturgy. The silent prayers of the priest may have their origin in the West, but the entire first half is a Byzantine vespers service, and the second half is obviously modelled after the Byzantine liturgy -- everything from the entrance with the Mysteries to the litany before the Lord's Prayer to the hymns sung after communion and the prayer before the ambo.

Quote
As far as the Liturgy of St. James being semitic, Beayf, I'll stick by that. It's the earliest extant liturgy in the Church. It is credited to St. James, the brother (step-brother) of the Lord and from Jerusalem. The earliest Christians were Jews, James was Jewish, the liturgy grew out of the Jewish Jerusalem Church - sounds pretty semitic to me!

Oh, I agree that the Liturgy of St. James is of Semitic origin. Like the Liturgy of the Presanctified, though, it has taken the non-Byzantine kernel and covered it with Byzantinizations, though not nearly to the degree as the Liturgy of the Presanctified has. It definitely differs much from the liturgies served by the extant Semitic churches.

Quote
And even if I am "off" a little bit on the precise history of our liturgies (since I am not a professional theologian or church historian) my point is that we are not a one-liturgy church.

We are not a one-liturgy church, but we *are* a one-rite church. Rite != liturgy; it encompasses the entire liturgical praxis of a church, including the Divine Liturgy and the hours, but also includes language, vestment, style of chant, architecture, iconography, down to things like the direction one crosses oneself and whether the priest holds the censer's chain in the left or the right hand while censing. The Orthodox Church is overwhelmingly of the Byzantine rite, with a very few churches using the pre-Nikonian usage, and the few, scattered churches in the past century who have started using the WR. The Roman Catholics, for all their vaunted uniformity, actually have and had more rites and usages than the Orthodox do today.

Quote
I would suggest to WR brethren, that they too should on various feasts or other occasions use the other four rites, out of repect and solidarity, even if they use WR 90% of the time dufing the year.

But what benefit would come by mixing rites like this? The Western liturgy is sufficient for the Western rites, and the Byzantine liturgy is sufficient for the Byzantine rite. If this is insisted on, however, then the only fair thing to do would be to have Byzantine churches celebrate a Western liturgy on various feasts as well. Alternatively, the WR churches could celebrate an ordinary liturgy with one of the Byzantine anaphoras plugged in, instead of the Roman canon, and recited silently; the resultant liturgy would certainly be as "Eastern" as the Liturgy of the Presanctified is "Western."
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2005, 05:49:45 PM »

I wonder...Do the proponents of an ethnic "American Orthodox" Church feel it is more meet and right to venerate WAS0, WCO, WO* Saints in particular since the dominant "American" cultural milieu is Western European? Wouldn't this type of veneration further the cause of American Orthodox identity in this country? One might reasonbly argue that this would make the Orthodox Church more palatable to potential "real American" converts than "foreign" ethnicities such as: Russian, Greek, Serbian, Arab, etc.

* White Anglo-Saxon Orthodox, White Celtic Orthodox, Western Orthodox

I would disagree because to become Orthodox means to deny the validity of the denomination that you came from and join the One True Church. If you are willing to do that I think you would also be willing to use the Eastern Rite. Don't get me wrong I am all in favor of the Western Rite if it is truly rooted in pre-Schismatic Western European Orthodoxy and not High Medieval and some even later additions of Roman Catholicism which seem to be present in the Antiochian Western Rite. Also keep in mind most Caucasians are mixed ethnically and do not have a truly distinct Anglo-Saxon or Celtic heritage. Though I admit there are a lot of Irish where I live I don't think they are ready to abandon Roman Catholicism. The ones who are usually conservative and do not like Vatican II usually just go to SSPX church instead of denying Roman Catholicism altogether. The point is that there really are not all that many people of Anglo-Saxon or Celtic heritage rushing to become Orthodox but strongly desiring to keep their Western Rite. Heck the people I know who come from Roman Catholicism say they liked the Eastern Rite more once they saw it.

Quote
Augustine of Canterbury was sent to England to get the Celtic Orthodox monks in line with and under the authority of the pope. It took 200 years and wasn't really fully accomplished until well after the Great Schism.Knowledge of these Celtic saints and recognition of western Orthodox practice in the Celtic church can be a help to us WASP converts - sort of like we are returning to our real roots. And in fact we are when we convert to Orthodoxy. We are in one sense victims of history - the spread of the pope's authority throughout the west and the reformers rebellion against it. I find it meaningful to be returning to my ancestors' faith in the Orthodox Church.

But one other thing. My hunch is that if we could time travel to Celtic Scotland, Ireland or northern England, we would find the liturgy to be much closer to the Byzantine rite than the western rite!
-Brother Aidan

Why does this sound wrong to me? Brother Aidan please do not construe what I am about to say as a personal attack. First White Anglo-Saxon is not Celtic. In fact the Anglo-Saxons, as I am sure you know, were converted by Sts.Augustine of Canterbury, Paulinus, and others who were in the Roman Patriarchate and used the Roman method for dating Pascha and baptism (whatever difference there was we don't know.) Now I assume you just ment WASP as in 'really White' but ethnically mixed Western Europeans? But that is the other point: there really is no pure Celtic ethnic heritage. Sure a lot has come down in Ireland but the population during the time of the Vikings became very mixed and in fact there is even more uncertainty in parts of Ireland about who is more Celtic or more descended from the original native Irish; I am sure you have heard of the 'Black Irish' who most likely are more descended from the original non-Celt Irish.
But the most basic problem that I have with what you and others are stating is that it seems to make the Celts somehow extremely different from the rest of Western Europe. While the were some very interesting societal differences, as I have found in the course I am currently taking which deals with Celtic Spirituality, there was no essential difference in Christian Theology between the Celtic church and the Roman church, nor any significant similarity anymore than Rome with the Eastern Patriarchates.
Also St.Augustine was very fair with the Celts, as is mentioned in St.Bede's Ecclesiastical History
Quote
"Many things ye do which are contrary to our custom, or rather the custom of the universal Church, and yet, if you will comply with me in these three matters, to wit, to keep Easter at the due time; to fulfil the ministry of Baptism, by which we are born again to God, according to the custom of the holy Roman Apostolic Church; and to join with us in preaching the Word of God to the English nation, we will gladly suffer all the other things you do, though contrary to our customs."
This is in Chapter 2 http://www.ccel.org/b/bede/history/htm/v.ii.ii.htm
As for Whitby I do not think I would take this too far. I mean there were Saints on both sides of the issue. We should not make it out to have been the Saintly Celts versus the Evil Romans.
Also it seems that some people here are entertaining the idea that the early Celtic church was somehow more Eastern and even opposed to 'Roman authority.' Which ironically would include the Byzantine or more properly the Eastern Roman Empire. Rome was just as Orthodox, and 'Eastern' as the rest of the Patriarchates, with some notable exceptions, until the Schism. It seems that what happened later to Western Europe or the West is being imputed to before the Schism which is incorrect and not conducive to a proper appraisal of Orthodoxy as was in Western Europe before the Schism. Southern Italy was under the Patriarchate of Constantinople until the Middle Ages, most of the 'Western' Fathers wrote in Greek or at least were proficient in Greek and had read the 'Eastern' Fathers. St.Theodore of Tarsus, a Greek, became Archbishop of Canterbury. And the list goes on. There really was no East vs. West dichotomy until after the Schism.

Also I am not sure we can say that the Eastern Roman Empire was as oppressive of other liturgies as you think Pedro. Recently I looked at this http://www.odox.net/Liturgy1-Peter.htm and I was shocked. I mean what would a group of Cossack Old Believers be doing with a Liturgy called the Liturgy of St.Peter? While I admit there was 'Byzantinization' taking places I am not sure if it was nearly as oppressive as what the later Roman Pontiffs did. More than that I am also not sure it was the Church so much as civil authority that was behind this oppression.
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2005, 04:26:35 AM »

Sabbas,

Good post. I, too, was a little surprised to see the rather Protestant sounding views on Roman involvement in the evangelisation of Britain. Augustine was not sent to 'bring  Celtic bishops in to line' as someone wrote, but to convert pagan Saxons in south east England. Likewise, the Synod of Whitby was not a lording over of the Celtic church by Rome, but an attempt to bring Celtic practices back in line with those of the whole Church. Neither the Roman nor the Celtic churches were more Orthodox, they just had different customs. To argue otherwise would be like me arguing that the Romanian church is more Orthodox than the Russian - nonsense. The Roman and Celtic saints who evangelised the Anglo-Saxons were all Orthodox, as were the Anglo-Saxons they converted, at least until the 11th century. All such saints are worthy of veneration by Orthodox Christians and should be venerated by us in the west if by nobody else.
The sort of anti-Augustine, anti-Whitby arguments I usually see are indicative of 'romaphobia', to steal someone else's amusing term, - an irrational hatred of all things Roman. It really isn't until the period of the Papally blessed Norman invasion (until when the majority of the English church seems to have remained completely Orthodox), that you can start contrasting the the British and Roman churches in the way that is here applied to the time of Augustine, by some posters at least. It is true that as Rome and the East began to diverge, so did Rome and Britain and in that sense, the British church was 'eastern'. It is also true that the Normans replaced the native English church with a Roman Catholic one, and that many Saxon refugees fled to southern Russia and Constantinople. It's even true that when the Normans invaded Ireland they found them still commemorating the eastern Emperor, but it is a complete anachronism to transfer the antagonism between the British churches and Norman Roman Catholicism to an earlier time when Rome remained Orthodox and her Patriarch was no less than St. Gregory the Great!

James
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2005, 11:04:06 AM »

Thsi in reply to Beayf's post # 14

On your first several points, I will defer to you on these because you obviously have more background in liturgics and their history than I do!

Regarding WR's occassionally using SJC or Basil or S. James liturgies not as a as a demand or to "punch their card" as being sufficiently Orthodox, but rather, unless they are to be an obscure, isolated minority within Orthodoxy, in order to participate with more familiarity in pan-Orthodox gatherings it would be helpful. The familiarity would make them feel more a part of the wider Orthodox community.

On the other hand, in American Orthodoxy, it may not be a bad thing to honor say, St. Patrick, with a WR liturgy in our ER churchs (man I am going to get clobbered on this forum for saying that!) I am not suggesting it, lobbying for it or anything like that.  I am only saying that if one accepts WR as legitimate (and many do not), then in American Orthodoxy in may not be a bad thing to use it - say once a year like the St. James lit. Please, don't anyone go ballistic - it ruins the forum.

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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2005, 12:50:03 PM »

Beayf and Bro Aiden,
This discussion thread is very interesting-I am Desertrose a newbie,a catechumen,  who readily admits that she doesn't know much yet.
I attend a little mission parish (OO-Syrian/Indian) and  we use both the St. James liturgy and a Western rite alternate weeks. The Western rite is easier for converts like myself to feel comfortable with. BUT, I love the " texture" if you will,  richness and depth of the Eastern rite. To one who has spent her spiritual life in large, plain auditoriums with a plain cross and maybe some flowers near the pulpit with some simple preaching and singing, I feel like I have only just now even begun to taste worship!  Switching to a food analogy, the difference between my protestant worship experience and the Eastern rite is like going from baby food to a 5 course gourmet French feast. I am so thankful that our Priest incorporates both rites because it allows for a gentler transition!  Just some thoughts!

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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2005, 12:55:09 PM »

Sabbas
no offense taken - yes I used WASP in sense of caucasian western European - French,German, Scotish, English (perhaps British - Northumbria on my father's side);

Check out the Road to Emmaus Journal www.roadtoemmaus.com; issue # 5 Spring 01 and issue # 15 Fall 03; there is alot of Russian Orthodox interest in the Celtic Church

There was obviously SOME difference between the Celtic and western church at the time of Augustine of C. and Gregory DID want to make the western church uniform under his liturgical reforms. At the very least the Celts looked more to the early desert fathers than to Rome and their organization was more monastic than ecclessial.

Also, although there was one Church and both were Orthodox, political pressures were beginning to isolate the western Church from the east and draw the popes into worldly affairs, if for no other reason than to prevent the slaughter of their people by barbarian invasion. East and West were closer in 300 than in 600 and closer in 600 than in 900 - the schism didn't happen in a vacuum.
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« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2005, 01:19:32 PM »

jmb
thanks too for your comments
actually, as an evangelical, before converting, I often preferred Roman Catholic writers to the rather facile protestants that dominated the bookshelves of the local Christian bookstore. Like many protestants I had virtually no contact with Orthodoxy. I was blessed to stumble upon the True Faith through reading about contemporary worship churches that were introducing liturgical services to appeal to twenty-something post-moderns and came across Frederica Mathewes-Green. The first page of her book At the Corner of East and Now blew me away with its description of the liturgy and I knew I had to find that!

btw, the strongest anti-Roman views I have encountered have come from Orthdox and not the Protestants I circulated among (except for a small number of virulent hyper-Calvinists)

Anyway, thanks for shedding light on the English Church.

One thing I am glad you both have made clear is that there ideed was One Church until the Schism. That can be forgotten if one gets too romantically attached to the "Celtic Church."  I like what jmb says about venerating these pre-schism western saints. I know some Orthodox who will not venerate ANY western saint, even pre-schism
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« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2005, 01:28:55 PM »

Desert Rose

The Lord bless you on your journey

I like your board name. Did you know that Chris Hillman of the Byrds, Souther-Hillman-Furay Band and Stephen Stills Manassas is now Orthodox?  Anyway, he formed a band in the eighties/nineties called the Desert Rose Band.
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« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2005, 01:45:16 PM »

Sabbas,

Good post. I, too, was a little surprised to see the rather Protestant sounding views on Roman involvement in the evangelisation of Britain. Augustine was not sent to 'bring Celtic bishops in to line' as someone wrote, but to convert pagan Saxons in south east England. Likewise, the Synod of Whitby was not a lording over of the Celtic church by Rome, but an attempt to bring Celtic practices back in line with those of the whole Church. Neither the Roman nor the Celtic churches were more Orthodox, they just had different customs. To argue otherwise would be like me arguing that the Romanian church is more Orthodox than the Russian - nonsense. The Roman and Celtic saints who evangelised the Anglo-Saxons were all Orthodox, as were the Anglo-Saxons they converted, at least until the 11th century. All such saints are worthy of veneration by Orthodox Christians and should be venerated by us in the west if by nobody else.
The sort of anti-Augustine, anti-Whitby arguments I usually see are indicative of 'romaphobia', to steal someone else's amusing term, - an irrational hatred of all things Roman. It really isn't until the period of the Papally blessed Norman invasion (until when the majority of the English church seems to have remained completely Orthodox), that you can start contrasting the the British and Roman churches in the way that is here applied to the time of Augustine, by some posters at least. It is true that as Rome and the East began to diverge, so did Rome and Britain and in that sense, the British church was 'eastern'. It is also true that the Normans replaced the native English church with a Roman Catholic one, and that many Saxon refugees fled to southern Russia and Constantinople. It's even true that when the Normans invaded Ireland they found them still commemorating the eastern Emperor, but it is a complete anachronism to transfer the antagonism between the British churches and Norman Roman Catholicism to an earlier time when Rome remained Orthodox and her Patriarch was no less than St. Gregory the Great!

James

Thank you for your post! I often wonder though whether things were going south in Britain before the Normans. I am just not sure if Lay Investiture had been abused or was as problematic as some professors would indicate though I do not like the idea of a Bishop carrying a sword and getting involved in temporal affairs. Then again I am not sure how widespread this was? Of course by the death of Anselm I think it is safe to say that Orthodox England was pretty much gone with some pockets of Orthodox spirituality surviving here and there. I am also still not sure how to feel about the English Medieval Mystics.

Quote
Augustine was not sent to 'bring Celtic bishops in to line' as someone wrote, but to convert pagan Saxons in south east England. Likewise, the Synod of Whitby was not a lording over of the Celtic church by Rome, but an attempt to bring Celtic practices back in line with those of the whole Church. Neither the Roman nor the Celtic churches were more Orthodox, they just had different customs.

I think this is a very good and succinct summary of what I was trying to get at. I think a lot of people are attracted to the customs and understandably get the idea that they are more Orthodox or more 'Eastern.' I am also attracted to the Celtic customs very much particularly the images of Celtic Crosses, green fields, coastlines, the ocean around you, the clouds, the holy wells, beehive cells, etc. However these are customs that I would say are very compatible with a new flourishing of Orthodoxy in Ireland, though I do not expect that to happen. And I also would not say they are more Orthodox than what the Saxons did after they were converted.

Sabbas
no offense taken - yes I used WASP in sense of caucasian western European - French,German, Scotish, English (perhaps British - Northumbria on my father's side);

Check out the Road to Emmaus Journal www.roadtoemmaus.com; issue # 5 Spring 01 and issue # 15 Fall 03; there is alot of Russian Orthodox interest in the Celtic Church

There was obviously SOME difference between the Celtic and western church at the time of Augustine of C. and Gregory DID want to make the western church uniform under his liturgical reforms. At the very least the Celts looked more to the early desert fathers than to Rome and their organization was more monastic than ecclessial.

Also, although there was one Church and both were Orthodox, political pressures were beginning to isolate the western Church from the east and draw the popes into worldly affairs, if for no other reason than to prevent the slaughter of their people by barbarian invasion. East and West were closer in 300 than in 600 and closer in 600 than in 900 - the schism didn't happen in a vacuum.

The link you gave did not work but I found this to be helpful http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/articleextracts.html It has two other good articles. I would also like to see the other articles you mentioned.

Quote
There was obviously SOME difference between the Celtic and western church at the time of Augustine of C. and Gregory DID want to make the western church uniform under his liturgical reforms.

I do not think that St.Augustine was unfair or brutal towards the Celts as seemed to be indicated by others. Also I think that the quote I give speaks for itself. St.Augustine was prepared to allow the Celts to keep their customs and practices if they would only agree to join together in certain practices with the Roman Patriarchate so that they could celebrate Pascha together and work together to convert the remaining Pagans on the island, and there were quite a few left at the time, which naturally explains why they needed to have the same Baptismal Rite.

Quote
At the very least the Celts looked more to the early desert fathers than to Rome and their organization was more monastic than ecclessial.

I do totally agree with you on this but I think the same can be said for many early churches. Look at France. Fr.Seraphims translation and Introduction to Vita Patrum tells this excellently. However I do think the Irish connection to the Egyptian deserts needs further exploration. I recently found this interesting quote
Quote
In the Book of Kells, the portrait of the Madonna seems almost certainly modelled on Coptic original. There is strong literary evidence of links as well. In the life of John the Almsgiver, it speaks of a voyage to Cornwall. The Book of Leinster remembers the feast day of "the seven Egyptian monks buried at Disert Ullaigh". In addition, there are many inexplicable analogies: the style of the monks' cells, the crowns worn by bishops, the use of bells and of flabellum (fans). Moreover, the Book of Antiphons of the monastery of Bangor says quite clearly: "This house full of delights was built on rock, and on the true vine coming out of Egypt
Also when you look at the SEVERE asceticism practiced early on it is incredible. One sight I think you would be interested in seeing pictures of is Skellig Michael http://images.google.com/images?q=Skellig+Michael+photos&hl=en&lr=&sa=N&tab=ii&oi=imagest
I also think most monastics in Ireland referred to the Psalms as the 'Three Fifties' and often said the whole Psalter daily, usually having it all memorized like many Eastern Orthodox monastics today.
Quote
East and West were closer in 300 than in 600 and closer in 600 than in 900 - the schism didn't happen in a vacuum.
I would disagree with this. I would say that if not for Charlemagne and the rise of the Germans with the Holy Roman Empire there may have never been a Schism at all. There is a monograph published by St.Hilarions monastery about the Amalfion (the Western Rite monastery that was on Mt.Athos) I think you would be interested in that shows just how unified the Orthodox in Italy and Southern Europe were with the Eastern Patriarchates until those Normans, Franks, and Germans ruined everything. The article used to be online and hopefully will be again. Later this week I will cite some of its interesting facts. Right now I am at school.
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« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2005, 02:24:57 PM »

Thank you for your encouragement, Bro Aiden!
I loved Stephen Stills' music back in dino days! Did I read you right? Stephen Stills  is Orthodox? Curiouser and curiouser!
 You are from an evangelical b/g? It is only in the last few months that I have become aware of the Orthodox church  on any level that is non-historical.
I love history-that is why I found this thread interesting, though I don't even pretend to understand everything of which you all speak.

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« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2005, 02:59:42 PM »

Sabbas
I look forward to your later posts
Unfortunately the article "From Moscow to Lindesfarne" is not available on-line. In it, the two Russian students speak of Celtic crosses in northern Russia - Valaam and somewhere else; also of Irish slaves in Russia via the Scandanavians that would have brought their Christianity with them. Anyway these two students went to Northumbria to study what they percieved to be Orthodox Celtic sites, which grew out of their studies at a Moscow Orthodox theological institute. The one student notes that in the Lindesfarne Gospels -like the Book of Kells- there is also definite Coptic influence.

In the Fall 04 issue of Road to Emmaus, there is an interview with a gentleman who traced the footsteps of St. Andrew - like the Irish slave possibility, there also is a window of opportunity, as yet not certainly established, that St. Andrew could possible have been in Scotland, as their tradition says. It's slim but it's there. That issue should get posted sometime soon. RTE is a great little journal. I recommend it to all on these boards!

There is also "Columba goes East" in the Spring 04 issue. You mentioned France - the article
"Brittany's Celtic Past" in the Fall 03 issue is very interestingas well.

Finally, I hear what you are saying about Charlemagne. I think there could be credence in that. But there is also the rising problem of the influence of the "other" Augustine (of Hippo), whose doctrine of original sin and displacement of attributes proper to the divine energies into the divine essence changed the western church into the Catholic church as much as the politics did. Increasingly the western church was becoming an Augustinian church, reaching its flower" with Aquinas. Of course, before Aquinas, Anselm, deeply influenced by Augustine, had already changed the understanding of Christ's death on the cross (to appeasing the wrath of God rather than trampling down death by death). So I am not sure how long there still would have been one Church.

Btw, back to jmb's post Re romaphobia. I do not suffer from that but I definitely have a case of "scholasticphobia." This (and the devastating crusades -especially the sacking of Constantinople) is when the western church lost it. The poor Reformers only reacted with what they had been taught - autonomous, rationalistic theology.

A great reason why I am Orthodox today and not Roman Catholic is that I did not want to leave arid Protestant rationalism for arid RC rationalism dressed up with liturgy and sacraments.
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« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2005, 03:06:43 PM »

Desertrose
Chris Hillman is Orthodox.
I don't know anything about Stephen Stills' spiritual journey.
Hillman has a song on Peter Jon Gilquist's Cross Culture Project CD - a recording of all Orthdoox musicians (kind of folk and soft rock music) see SaintRomanosrecords.com
I think in the seventies JD Souther, Richey Furay and Chris Hillman all became evangelical Christians, then later Hillman became Orthodox

And yes, I come out of an evangelical Protestant (Presbyterian) background
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« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2005, 03:08:21 PM »

One more thing Desertrose
I am not that far ahead of you in the history knowledge.
jmb and sabas know a whole lot more than I do; but it interesting to discuss and learn from them and hopefully each other
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« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2005, 03:24:51 PM »

Bro Aiden,
Romophobia, ( I get this) Scholastiphobia could you elaborate? Thanks! I am the sponge mode right now about all things Orthodox. Thanks for your correction on Chris Hillman and the suggestion pf the CrossCulture Project CD. I like soft rock/folk(among other forms of music)  and will check it out.
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« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2005, 04:02:32 PM »

Scholasticphobia was just my stupid play on words. I react negatively to scholastic theology.

An intellectual approach to theology or doctrine that is divorced from prayer and liturgy is dry bones. The attempt to penetrate every mystery of the Faith with a theological explanation and reduction is something that strips the Faith of its grandeur and easily leads to either pride or faulty understanding of precious truths and mysteries.

I love that Orthodoxy is comfortable with mystery and letting God be God.
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« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2005, 04:46:31 PM »

Bro Aiden,
The word that you used (scholastiphobia) is actually a very accurate term describing how many of us feel who are
emerging from protestantism into Orthodoxy .  I bug our Priest  and my sponsor/godmother regularly with "new" (to me)
nuggets of truth especially in relation to worship.  The depth and beauty of the traditions of Orthodoxy amaze me and add an entirely new dimension to my worship!
I like what Bishop Kallistos Ware says (in Inner Kingdom, I think) about the worship of Orthodoxy being "of the mind in the heart" (the idea of the mind descending into the heart..). As a protestant, I have worshipped with my mind and with my heart separately and have at other times worshipped with my body-raising hands in worship, but Orthodoxy has blessed me with the experience of whole person worship, my body, mind and spirit. Yikes! Perhaps God intends us to be whole people...instead of fragments! What a concept!
I also am  blessed with the Orthodox ideas of mystery and not putting God in a box. Hoorah! We don't have to explain every single theological concept to the nth degree!
The grandeur of the faith is what I am enjoying absorbing right now, what an incredible gift! I have been a Christian believer for nearly 30 years and I am so looking forward to my first Orthodox Easter/Pascha (it sounds a bit strange using some of the new Orthodox vocab still). Lent has meant more than I ever imagined that it could. We are on the calendar that celebrates Easter 3/27 this year...which one is that Julian or Gregorian (I forget the names)?
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« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2005, 05:00:59 AM »

BrotherAiden,

I'm an ex-Protestant convert too (Lutheran) and I have certainly seen more 'romaphobia' amongst Protestants than us Orthodox, though it's hardly uncommon amongst us either. I think the fact that my mother could give Ian Paisley (Northern Irish vicar and  unionist politician, in case you don't know who I mean) a run for his money on 'who's the best Protestant' perhaps colours my thinking on this, but the fact that so many Protestants see the externals of Orthodox, shout 'papist!' and recoil in horror (slight exaggeration for effect here), just shows the aversion Protestants often have to all they perceive to be - though often it isn't - Roman.

As for the veneration of western saints, I also have known Orthodox who won't venerate saints like say Sts. Cuthbert or Aidan or Bede or Edward the Martyr, but there are Orthodox here in Britain who do and a number of Orthodox churches conduct pilgrimages to their holy places. Indeed, the relics of St. Edward the Martyr are held in a Russian Orthodox monastery. If you're interested in the western saints, you could do worse than look to the Orthodox England site. It has a lot of information about pre-Schism Orthodoxy (and some post-Schism) including a calendar of the feast days of western saints along with some details on their lives and some icons. If you have any specific question to ask of him, I've always found Fr. Andrew to be very helpful and extremely knowledgeable. If you haven't come across the site before, I hope you and the others here interested in the Orthodox saints of the British Isles and other parts of the west get a great deal out of it.

http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/hp.htm

One day I hope to try and collect as many lives of British (as in the Isles, not the country) saints into a book similar to my beloved Romanian Orthodox Patericon - but that's going to require a great deal of research first and I don't currently have time. I shan't be disappointed if somebody beats me to it! For the moment, and until such a book is written, the best resource for learning of western Orthodox saints is probably the internet and the Orthodox England site is a good place to start.

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« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2005, 04:15:11 PM »

On the topic of Western saints, does anyone know of any internet sellers that have good selections of icons of Western saints?  Western icons can be kind of hard to find.
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« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2005, 08:54:01 PM »

lellimore, try this web site: http://www.comeandseeicons.com  They even have an icon of Our Lady of Walsingham. 
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« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2005, 11:15:19 AM »

lellimore, try this web site: http://www.comeandseeicons.com They even have an icon of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Thanks!  That site's pretty much the sort of thing I was looking for.
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« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2005, 09:26:38 PM »

(Vagante Bishop topic moved to Free-For-All forum. ~ Pedro)
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« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2005, 12:04:00 PM »

You mentioned France - the article
"Brittany's Celtic Past" in the Fall 03 issue is very interestingas well.

I did find this article interesting though I was disappointed by the authors appraisal of Fr.Jean-Nectaire Kovalevsky and his revival of the Western Rite. I just could not understand why he would not acknowledge that St.John of San Francisco presided over it and found no problems in the Liturgy. Other than that it was interesting to learn of the Celtic past of Brittany.

However when I mentioned France I was referring to primarily the Orthodox France Fr.Seraphim wrote about in his introduction to St.Gregory of Tours book Vita Patrum Consider the Deserts that existed in the Jura and monastery at Lerins. That St.John Cassian dedicated his Conferences to St.Honoratus and St.Eucherius of Lyons. There was a thriving Orthodoxy in France during this time with many desert dwellers. St.Eucherius even wrote a book entitle De Laude Eremi or In Praise of the Desert. What I was trying to point out is that there is much more to Western Orthodoxy than just what the Celts were doing and that the desert monasticism of Egypt did not just spread to Ireland but was also prevalent in France particularly in the South.

Amalfion is very interesting and the information mentioned in the monograph I mentioned shows the close cooperation between Amalfion and Great Lavra.  There is also much evidence that a great number of the monastics who first came to Mt.Athos were Sicilian. The monograph also shows the Greeks who were in the west. For instance during the tenth century there was a Greek-Rite monatery at Monte Cassino called Valleluce that remained Greek Rite until 1014. It was started by St.Nilus of Rossano. In 977 Archbishop Sergius of Damascus fled to Rome with several Greek monks and was given the monastery of Sts.Boniface and Alexis which used both Greek and Latin Rite. Its second abbot Leo (981-999) was an Italo-Greek who became Archbishop of Ravenna in 999. And St.Gerard of Toul who set up a half-Greek half-Irish monastery during the tenth centuryl. During previous centuries the closeness and mixing is even more common.

many Saxon refugees fled to southern Russia and Constantinople. It's even true that when the Normans invaded Ireland they found them still commemorating the eastern Emperor

Please tell me more about this. I have never heard this before.

Unfortunately the article "From Moscow to Lindesfarne" is not available on-line. In it, the two Russian students speak of Celtic crosses in northern Russia - Valaam and somewhere else; also of Irish slaves in Russia via the Scandanavians that would have brought their Christianity with them. Anyway these two students went to Northumbria to study what they percieved to be Orthodox Celtic sites, which grew out of their studies at a Moscow Orthodox theological institute. The one student notes that in the Lindesfarne Gospels -like the Book of Kells- there is also definite Coptic influence.

I am also interested as I had never heard this. Celtic Crosses at Valaam! That suprised me.
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« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2005, 01:14:39 PM »

Celtic crosses at Valaam surprised me too
At some point soon, Road to Emmaus journal will post their fall '04 issue on-line - that is the one with the article about the gentelman who traced St. Andrews missionary journeys who allowed for the possibility that Andrew was in Scotland. I think Andrew is Scotland's patron saint.

Anyway, this would be another interesting twist in early Celtic Orthodoxy! If Andrew was really there, then St. Columba RE-evangelize Scotland.

Thanks too for the interesting info re. eastern Orthodox influence in France
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« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2005, 03:10:50 PM »

I wonder...Do the proponents of an ethnic "American Orthodox" Church feel it is more meet and right to venerate WAS0, WCO, WO* Saints in particular since the dominant "American" cultural milieu is Western European? Wouldn't this type of veneration further the cause of American Orthodox identity in this country? One might reasonbly argue that this would make the Orthodox Church more palatable to potential "real American" converts than "foreign" ethnicities such as: Russian, Greek, Serbian, Arab, etc.

* White Anglo-Saxon Orthodox, White Celtic Orthodox, Western Orthodox

Real American? Excuse me?  I'm sorry but I can't help but feel a bit offended and somewhat annoyed.  Those of us who are ethnic are just as American as those of British Isle or Western European descent. 

Ireland, England and most of Western Europe do not have strong Orthodox heritage, unlike Greece or Russia. These countries have a strong Catholic and Protestant heritage.  I understand that those who are "White American Converts" feel lost sometimes without the cultural tie. I don't think grappling around for obscure pre split saints in order to find some sort of "culture tie" to Orthodoxy is going to further the cause. The only thing that will further the cause of a truely American Orthodox church is time. 
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« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2005, 06:32:57 AM »

PhosZoe,

Not all the western pre-Schism saints are obscure, and nor do we have to grope around to find them. What of Ss. Alban, Patrick, David, Cuthbert, Aidan, Gregory the Great? For those of English stock, St. Edward the Martyr is another wonderful saint, and his relics are held by a Russian Orthodox monastery. All of these should be venerated by all Orthodox regardless of nationality and not just western converts. St. John of Shanghai called on the Orthodox to do just that, and he was Russian. I don't think that we converts should venerate only western saints or western saints in preference to eastern, but they should be venerated. To be honest, I don't believe that the Church will grow appreciably here in Britain until we learn to venerate the saints of our own history as well as all the others, and if such veneration proves to be an easy way in for western converts then that is nothing but a good thing. I am Romanian Orthodox and venerate Romanian saints as those of my jurisdiction as well as British saints because this is where I grew up, all in addition to those saints known to all Orthodox everywhere. What's wrong with that?

James
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« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2005, 02:15:26 PM »

I agree with James
Like him my icon corner includes pre-schism saints of the East and West: St. George and St. Demitri, St. Nicholas, St. Herman of Alaska, the Apostle John, St. Zoe, St. Vera (that was my mother's name), the Three Holy Hierarchs (John, Gregory Nazianzas and Basil) and St. Aidan of Lindesfarne, along with many of the Theotokos, the mystical supper, Rublev's Trinity and scenes from the life and ministry of our Lord (the only unfortunate thing is that all are reproductions - not in the budget yet to buy antique or newly commissioned icons; as a convert you have to get started somewhere!)

Although I do not have their icons I also venerate and ask prayers from St. Macrina (sister of Basil and Gregory of Nyssa), St. Mary of Egypt and St. Moses the Hungarian and St. Monica (for my partying college age son), St. Barbara, St. Brigid, St. Genevieve of Paris, St. Seraphim of Sarov and St. Patrick of Ireland
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« Reply #40 on: March 30, 2005, 02:25:23 PM »

Phos Zoe
I think it's not that different for western euros* converting to look for something familiar than for ethnic cradle Orthodox keeping ethinic, old country traditions as something familiar and comfortable in Western American secular culture. Eveyone needs a few"posts" to hang their hat on

* I was going to say roast-beef-with-mayonaise-on-white-bread-eating honkies - that's what an African American friend of mine used to jokingly say! And I would laugh - it's true and I don't mind identifying myself that way!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2005, 02:27:52 PM by BrotherAiden » Logged
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« Reply #41 on: March 30, 2005, 02:51:19 PM »


* I was going to say roast-beef-with-mayonaise-on-white-bread-eating honkies - that's what an African American friend of mine used to jokingly say! And I would laugh - it's true and I don't mind identifying myself that way!

I prefer this recipe with roast lamb...this is going to be one long fast, I can tell.
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« Reply #42 on: March 30, 2005, 03:57:38 PM »

PhosZoe,

Not all the western pre-Schism saints are obscure, and nor do we have to grope around to find them. What of Ss. Alban, Patrick, David, Cuthbert, Aidan, Gregory the Great? For those of English stock, St. Edward the Martyr is another wonderful saint, and his relics are held by a Russian Orthodox monastery. All of these should be venerated by all Orthodox regardless of nationality and not just western converts. St. John of Shanghai called on the Orthodox to do just that, and he was Russian. I don't think that we converts should venerate only western saints or western saints in preference to eastern, but they should be venerated. To be honest, I don't believe that the Church will grow appreciably here in Britain until we learn to venerate the saints of our own history as well as all the others, and if such veneration proves to be an easy way in for western converts then that is nothing but a good thing. I am Romanian Orthodox and venerate Romanian saints as those of my jurisdiction as well as British saints because this is where I grew up, all in addition to those saints known to all Orthodox everywhere. What's wrong with that?

James

There is nothing wrong with venerating these saints but what perplexes me is creating a culture identity that isn't there. Over emphasizing these saints IMHO crosses the line of creating a fake cultural identity.   I understand to a degree that people want a "post to hang thier hat on"  Let's be honest, England is a Protestant country. It's not as if the Orthodox church does not exist there, it is not a strong part of the cultural fabric and it's traditions like Anglican church is.  On the other hand, Greece is an overwhelmingly Orthodox country which has also affected the cultural fabric and traditions.


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Great Martyr St. John the New of Suceava


« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2005, 03:23:29 AM »

PhosZoe,

If all you were trying to get at was that westerners shouldn't overemphasise western saints, then I think we agree. Frankly, for a westerner to venerate only saints from their own history would be little more than phyletism, but we are called to commemorate all the saints of the Church whatever nationality or ethnicity we come from, and this should include western ones, just as St. John of Shanghai suggested.

On the position of the Anglican church here, though, I couldn't disagree more. Anglicanism really has very little effect on British culture any more. If you'd been talking about the period before the 1950s I would have agreed, but modern Britain is profoundly secular and often anti-Christian (by which I mean it's deemed fine to attack Christianity in ways that would be considered beyond the pale for other religions such as Islam, Hinduism or Sikhism). I would never really have considered Anglicanism to be Protestant anyway, ranging as it does from extreme low church up to Anglo-Catholic beliefs, but rather a sort of convenient organisation for a range of disparate Christian groups. I certainly wouldn't call Britain a Protestant country - more like an ex-Protestant secular state.

Orthodoxy is starting to have an impact here also. When I was a child I'd never heard of the Orthodox Church, never seen one and outside of large cities wouldn't have been able to find one if I'd wanted to. Now nobody bats an eyelid or asks me to explain when I say I'm Orthodox, there are a lot more churches, we seem to be getting a lot of converts, particularly from those who despise the modernissation of the Anglican church and Orthodox heirarchs seem to be far more visible in the media. There's still a long way to go, but Orthodoxy always seems to take the slow but sure route and we certainly seem to be growing in Britain where most other Christian churches are shrinking rapidly - of course, Islam is growing even more rapidly, which is a worry.

James
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« Reply #44 on: March 31, 2005, 11:54:50 AM »

by the way, the mayo on white bread goes good with ham, chicken, turkey - just about anything!
Tuck this helpful tidbit away for Bright Week!
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