Like probably thirty percent of all.North American Orthodox Christians today, my ancestors in Europe were pious, faithful Eastern Catholics for centuries. They didn't wake up one day and say, "Yurko, let's stop being Pravoslavs today and submit to that Pope guy in Rome. " "OK, Vasil, sounds good to me." Nor did the reverse occur in the late 19th through middle 20th centuries when a crisis in faith caused a large shift to return to Orthodoxy.
I mention this because all of my life I've put up with the well intentioned (I presume) but tone deaf proclamations of "This or THAT is not Orthodox -enough!" Churches came over to Orthodoxy from the Unia intact, many with tiered altars and new ones, built as the faithful remembered them from Europe , often as a labor of love, by simple hard working people who not only chose to leave family and parishes they built twenty years before. They weren't retrofitted to.meet some arbitrary schedule.
To say it was disheartening for them to hear other Orthodox stand and condescendingly judge them as being "inferior" or not really Orthodox is an understatement. Like it or not, that attitude hardened feelings for generations and has much to do with our continuing lack of unity today in North America.
First Communion morphed into First Confession as a familial and cultural rite of passage. New facilities built across the OCA, ACROD and the UOCUSA reflected a correct vision of culture and faith as the people's understanding of why and how blossomed. Service books were gradually brought into compliance with Orthodox norms.
Thousands though who came to Orthodoxy but who were discouraged and disgusted by the unwelcoming "embrace" of the naysayers gave up and returned to the Greek Catholic faith.
Thanks be to God for wise and patient leaders like Patriarch Athenagoras, Archbishop Iakovas and the Metropolia' s Metropolitan Leonty and others, including hard working priests (who had to learn and adapt at the same time they led) who had the wisdom to know that Rome wasn't built in a day and a teaching patience would bear fruit in future generations.
Leave these people be to the pastoral counsel of their God fearing priests and Bishops as they learn to know and love Orthodoxy. Stop being like BOTH the Latinizing Romans and the judgmental Orthodox who played the role of the Pharisees in my story. Give them a break.
Also, in Slavic, non Russian tradition floral adornment of churches, including altar areas, is a small t tradition through the Carpathian lands including Romanian, Rusyn, Lemko,Slovak and Ukrainian Christians - both Orthodox and Eastern Catholic. Likewise one will find ornate hand embroidered vestments and altar covers with both floral and geometric regional patterning in such communities as well.
I wasn't going to comment, but you all struck a raw nerve.