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Author Topic: Western Orthodoxy and Conversion [Split from "Converts 'Protestantizing'"]  (Read 10683 times) Average Rating: 0
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aurelia
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« Reply #45 on: April 05, 2005, 08:19:40 AM »

I dont know that this will add much, but the other night we had a retreat, and one of our speakers was Rev Fr Roman Braga (a beautiful delightful man...what a life!) and he said, dont lose your heritage, just because you are coming to Greek [or whatever--he is not goa, but still orthodox, from Romania] Orhtodoxy, dont forget your family, your heritage. Dont try and become Greek, be who you are, it is all important. 

So why not teach the kids about the lives of the (in my case) Anglo saiints?  Were their lives any less remarkable becaue they weren't Orthodox?

oh, if you are interested,here is a link, http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/frroman1.aspx and scroll down to the bottom of the page read about Fr Roman.  It was nice to met him, i was introduced and he said how are you, i said fine, how are you? He sorta shrugged, "fine, not bad." made me chuckle.  That and the fact he said "I dont know why you asked me here, a monk is perhaps not the best one to ask about family..."*the retreat was on womens family spirituality*
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« Reply #46 on: April 05, 2005, 08:41:30 AM »

So why not teach the kids about the lives of the (in my case) Anglo saiints? Were their lives any less remarkable becaue they weren't Orthodox?

Aurelia,

If you're talking about the same saints, say Cuthbert, Bede, Aidan or David, that I was then they were Orthodox, so of course there's nothing wrong with teaching your children about their lives. In fact I'd say that you really ought to do so. If, on the other hand, you're talking about post-Schism Roman Catholic saints, then I think you have to be a lot more careful.

Fr. Roman is absolutely right, you shouldn't give up your culture when you become Orthodox by becoming Greek or, in my case, Romanian. you should take what is good from your own culture and history and bring it into the Church with you, being careful to discard the bad things.

I have become a little Romanian since my conversion (but I don't think that's bad - I haven't rejected my Slav/German roots) simply because I converted to the Romanian church in Romania, married a Romanian girl, speak Romanian, love Romanian food (I'm really looking forward to my sarmale and especially pasc-â this Pascha) and Romanian traditions and have a son who I'm determined won't lose his roots - from either side of the family.

James
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« Reply #47 on: October 17, 2006, 11:56:55 AM »

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

This is an interesting question.  What's the answer?
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AncientFaith
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« Reply #48 on: October 17, 2006, 01:01:15 PM »

This is an interesting question.  What's the answer?

Well, for my part its due to geography and time of day.  Sunday school starts at the nearest Antiochian parish at such a time that getting the kids up and going would be a definite struggle.  Plus, frankly, the building they have to use right now is not very handicapped friendly.  This should change over the next couple of years as they are close to acquiring property of their own, but that property would place them even further away.  Its somewhat unfortunate as its a great community and the priest is an exceptional preacher (he's one of the Campus Crusade gang).

So, we went to a Greek parish which is closer.  The priest and presbytera are absolutely fantastic, as is the community.  Yes, we've had to pick up a bit of Greek to keep up with the service, as its only about 50% English.  I print out the hymns in English each week so everyone in the family can at least read them and understand the teaching.  Once time permits, I'm going to make an effort to learn more Koine.  We've started cooking more Greek dishes at home, etc.  Why?  Well, its good stuff.  So yes, we have become a bit Greek.  OTOH, when I married my Swiss wife, I became a bit Swiss (I was taught how to make killer fondue by her Dad).  So now I've joined a community of mostly Greek folks, and I've become a bit Greek. 

I think its important to remember that Greek, Russian, Romanian, etc., culture has been influenced significantly by Orthodoxy.  For years before we became Orthodox we would use a Mediterranean cookbook to help plan meals for the fasts.  Why?  Well, because Mediterranean cultures were sufficiently influenced by Christianity that you find a lot of very complete vegetarian dishes.  I find the degree to which men are involved in the Church refreshing, and that is, in part, due to cultural influences.  So there is a lot to be said for adopting a bit of these Orthodox cultures.  Over time, God willing, we'll see a growing influence of Orthodoxy in American culture (like there is residual Catholic influence - for instance the fact that McDonalds will not offer burger specials on Fridays, etc.).  I think its important to remember that America's strength is in the amalgamation of many cultures.
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« Reply #49 on: October 17, 2006, 01:51:11 PM »

This is an interesting question.  What's the answer?

I think the answer lies in whether one is heavily attached to the Western rite or not.  I came to the Orthodox from the Mormon Church thru the Episcopalian Church.  While I enjoy going to the Western Rite, it is not the Episcopal Church that I knew. I have become very fond of the Eastern Rite of Orthodoxy.  It will not keep me from attending and fellowshiping with my Western Orthodox bretheren, its just not where I feel called to worship.  I do have the St Andrews Prayerbook  by the Antiochian Archdiocese and occassionally read a vespers or morning Prayer from there in my daily worship, but it is to the Eastern Rite that I have chosen to worship in primarily.

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« Reply #50 on: October 18, 2006, 02:13:14 PM »

I guess my question is specifically this.

I've seen and heard a lot about the problem of the ethnic associations of the Orthodox Churches in this country, and that the church should (some suggest) de-emphasize or abandon these cultural associations.  My question is why aren't these same people advocating or joining the Western Rite, which would be free of the cultural assocations that are part and parcel of the Byzantine liturgical family?
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« Reply #51 on: October 18, 2006, 02:20:07 PM »

I guess my question is specifically this.

I've seen and heard a lot about the problem of the ethnic associations of the Orthodox Churches in this country, and that the church should (some suggest) de-emphasize or abandon these cultural associations.  My question is why aren't these same people advocating or joining the Western Rite, which would be free of the cultural assocations that are part and parcel of the Byzantine liturgical family?
because the Byzantine liturgical family is beautiful. Why would i give up the beauty of the eastern Liturgy for some stale grey gothic liturgy of the west/
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« Reply #52 on: October 18, 2006, 05:07:43 PM »

I guess my question is specifically this.

I've seen and heard a lot about the problem of the ethnic associations of the Orthodox Churches in this country, and that the church should (some suggest) de-emphasize or abandon these cultural associations.  My question is why aren't these same people advocating or joining the Western Rite, which would be free of the cultural assocations that are part and parcel of the Byzantine liturgical family?

I hadn't really paid attention when I responded before.  The Antiochian parish I was referring to still uses St. Chrysostom, not the Western/Sarum Rite.  Now, while this parish has a number of Middle Eastern parishioners, I know of others that are predominantly US converts.  So, while the name may be Antiochian, I would doubt you'd see a whole bunch of ethnicity there.  I was listening to an interview on Ancient Faith Radio the other day of a form Episcopal Priest whose OCA parish is mostly converts, so again, I can't imagine a significant Russian ethnic environment.  I would expect the chant style and the icons are probably Russian, but that would be largely because the U.S. hasn't had a lot of time to develop those (after all, Russia has had over 1,000 years).

So I guess I don't see much of a problem.  To those who assert that Greek parishes or Russian parishes should be less ethnic, I say give it time.  The only area where I have some issues is with language.  As I noted before, we're still about 50% Greek, which I can work around, as it was an excuse to learn some.  The Scripture readings are in English (although the Epistle is read in both languages), so only the hymns, which are occasionally in English, are the changing parts not in English.  What's unfortunate is that there are a lot of Greek parishioners who also don't understand the Greek, so I'm not clear on the benefit of retaining the language where a significant portion of the congregation doesn't understand.  Again, though, this will change over time.  I think it already has.  Patience is not an American virtue, and perhaps this is another area where Orthodoxy - and the Orthodox cultures - can influence our culture.
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« Reply #53 on: October 18, 2006, 05:14:03 PM »

I hadn't really paid attention when I responded before.  The Antiochian parish I was referring to still uses St. Chrysostom, not the Western/Sarum Rite.  Now, while this parish has a number of Middle Eastern parishioners, I know of others that are predominantly US converts.  So, while the name may be Antiochian, I would doubt you'd see a whole bunch of ethnicity there.  I was listening to an interview on Ancient Faith Radio the other day of a form Episcopal Priest whose OCA parish is mostly converts, so again, I can't imagine a significant Russian ethnic environment.  I would expect the chant style and the icons are probably Russian, but that would be largely because the U.S. hasn't had a lot of time to develop those (after all, Russia has had over 1,000 years).

So I guess I don't see much of a problem.  To those who assert that Greek parishes or Russian parishes should be less ethnic, I say give it time.  The only area where I have some issues is with language.  As I noted before, we're still about 50% Greek, which I can work around, as it was an excuse to learn some.  The Scripture readings are in English (although the Epistle is read in both languages), so only the hymns, which are occasionally in English, are the changing parts not in English.  What's unfortunate is that there are a lot of Greek parishioners who also don't understand the Greek, so I'm not clear on the benefit of retaining the language where a significant portion of the congregation doesn't understand.  Again, though, this will change over time.  I think it already has.  Patience is not an American virtue, and perhaps this is another area where Orthodoxy - and the Orthodox cultures - can influence our culture.

Very well said!
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« Reply #54 on: October 21, 2006, 12:24:33 AM »

Why would i give up the beauty of the eastern Liturgy for some stale grey gothic liturgy of the west

Because if you are a WASP by birth you are by nature stale, grey and gothic!
I know I am!

Nonetheless I have come to love the Eastern rite and now feel more at home there.
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« Reply #55 on: October 21, 2006, 12:41:42 AM »

Why would i give up the beauty of the eastern Liturgy for some stale grey gothic liturgy of the west

Because if you are a WASP by birth you are by nature stale, grey and gothic!
I know I am!

Nonetheless I have come to love the Eastern rite and now feel more at home there.

Hence, you understand sdcheung's comment as viewing the WR as another cultural variation and not necessarily 'American'?
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« Reply #56 on: October 22, 2006, 01:39:44 AM »

Good point Aristoklais
American and Western sometimes get used synonymously, but are two distinct things. Alot of converts to Eastern Orthodoxy and eastern rite, have some attachements to Western Church practices (if they are Christian converts and not pagan converts) that they miss or periodically pine for.

That's normal and to be expected. That is hasn't created a "rush" to Western rite is something I have pondered. I live in Western PA. With so many conservative Episcopalians and the crises of their denomination, I'm amazed there is not a single Western rite parish here (that I am aware of).

I think what it comes down to, is that when you are finally ready to leave (protestant mainline, evangelical, maybe fundamentalist or charasmatic) to become Orthodox, you are ready for a total change so you welcome eastern rite. There may be a lot of good you left behind and sometimes miss (like Christmas carols during the approaching nativity season; certain hymns; probably better preaching (sorry, no offense intended, but evangelicals emphasize preaching over everything else - they tend to be the connoseurs in this regard). It's the old "absence makes the heart grow fonder" but no one is going to leave over it or try to change the liturgy or anything.

I think what cradles should understand is that the above-named things are our perroghis! You still have to realize your identity, even as a convert to Orthodoxy. Just like many Orthodox immigrants had to maintain their identity even though new citizens in the US

On the other hand, I have no problem with the Western Rite and applaud the Antiochians and ROCOR for having it.

Now, back to "American" ...

What is uniquely American for American Orthodoxy is a completely different question from Western Church issues.The question of arriving at a uniquely American Orthodox Church is going to be an issue determined by Eastern Rite Orthodox. The Western Rite parishes will pretty much have to go along.

It will be the dynamic mix of cradle Orthodox and convert Orthodox in N. America that will create this American Orthodox Church (I see it as similar to the dynamic mix in the New Testament Church of the mix of Jewish and Gentile believers - in the short term, some tension. In the long-term something that will "shock and awe" the rest of Christendom, just as the Church did for both Jews and pagans.

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« Reply #57 on: October 24, 2006, 10:48:49 AM »

Because if you are a WASP by birth you are by nature stale, grey and gothic!

Well, I'm more a "heinz" as my mother used to say ("57 different varieties"  Wink )  and I'm only starting to go grey now at 50 (but having kids including the first teenager will do that to you.)  As for Gothic, I don't have pointed arches, nor have I raided and pillaged much lately. But "western" liturgy sure isn't "stale" for a lot of people.   Somethings are just a matter if personal taste.

 Smiley

Ebor
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« Reply #58 on: October 24, 2006, 10:54:10 AM »

I live in Western PA. With so many conservative Episcopalians and the crises of their denomination, I'm amazed there is not a single Western rite parish here (that I am aware of).

Well, some of them are going to Rome.  Others are working out ways to stay with the Anglican Communion, but not be part of the Episcopal Church and there are other things happening.

Quote
I think what it comes down to, is that when you are finally ready to leave (protestant mainline, evangelical, maybe fundamentalist or charasmatic) to become Orthodox, you are ready for a total change so you welcome eastern rite.

Maybe for some people, not for others.

Although the Antiochians and the ROCOR have some provision for WR, there is still opposition to any kind of "Western" liturgy in other EO groups, as well, as individuals from what I've read.  Undecided

Ebor
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« Reply #59 on: October 25, 2006, 10:32:40 PM »

Ebor
I have no opposition to WR personally

My comment about being ready for a total change was related to the fact that the majority do seem to adopt eastern rite.

Although, who knows what I would have adopted had there been a WR parish here; now I think it's too late -
I've been ER for 4 years
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« Reply #60 on: October 25, 2006, 11:29:41 PM »

Ebor
I have no opposition to WR personally

I understand that.  But I've come across others who oppose it vigourously.

Quote
My comment about being ready for a total change was related to the fact that the majority do seem to adopt eastern rite.

Well, if they don't/didn't have the option of a WR or the chance to experience or learn of the WR, if ER is the "only game in town" for being EO then what else can they do?

Ebor
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« Reply #61 on: November 06, 2006, 11:33:42 AM »

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My comment about being ready for a total change was related to the fact that the majority do seem to adopt eastern rite.

Its a myth - the majority of WRO missions and parishes have not adopted Eastern rite. The majority are still around, and many have been closed down with no replacement at times at the past. However, only a few changed to Eastern rite - and all but one of those few shortly after reception to Orthodoxy (mostly for reasons of mission - there being a large diaspora population of ethnic Orthodox with no Byzantine parish to attend.)

Happily, our Western Rite isn't 'grey' in any sense of the word.
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« Reply #62 on: November 07, 2006, 08:47:24 AM »

I was referring to individuals, not parishes
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« Reply #63 on: July 11, 2011, 09:02:36 PM »

The main reason for comming to Eastern orthodox Christianity is to go to eternal life land. So why should make this process hard , why should we should condition this process by wearing romanian pijamas, learning foreign languages and get first at Pentatlon?

Of course, in my view, if they want to venerate Western Eastern orthodox Saints, very good for them. I guess the saints are ready to help them. If they want parishes in their languages. very well. Just to be Eastern orthodox so they get best sacraments without Change.
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« Reply #64 on: July 12, 2011, 04:17:53 PM »

Due to the age of this topic I am locking it. if you wish to start a new topic please open a new one withreference to this. The topic was ended about 5 years ago.
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