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Author Topic: Eastern Catholic vs. Western Orthodox?  (Read 41481 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #360 on: December 16, 2010, 09:19:59 PM »

I just want to let people know of a question posed in another thread which ties in with this thread but could be easily overlooked.

See message 19

"Orthodox revised Book of Common Prayer"

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24362.msg507791.html#msg507791

The question is posed to Michal but it could well be answered most ably by other WR listmembers, either Fr Michael or Arisitibule.   Fr Michael made a couple of contributions to "Western Rite ROCOR?" a couple of months ago.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 09:25:02 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #361 on: December 17, 2010, 08:59:12 AM »

This written earlier in 2010 is a great summation of the views of those of us who are challenged by the arguments advanced by the western proponents of a 'western-rite' Orthodoxy: (by Iconodule:) It is quoted without any editing by me:

The arguments for Western Rite are often phyletistic. They suggest that, on the basis of his culture or ethnicity, an Orthodox believer should be able to have a rite that most conforms to his background. The supporters of WR on this thread have not offered any reason why each little subculture in the church, or even each individual parish, should not be allowed to devise its own rite. In fact, they seem to be indicating that this would be a desirable situation. Maybe you have a different point of view- I'd be curious to hear it, if so.

What is so hard to adapt to in the Eastern rite? Is it the language? We have many parishes offering services in English and other Western languages. Is it the iconography? Well, the art of the Orthodox West wasn't that profoundly different- in fact, many WR parishes simply use Byzantine icons. Is it the hymnody? Western Orthodox hymns sound just as strange to modern Western ears. And besides, many Russian parishes have very westernized music. If you want to hear the Orthodox answer to Palestrina or Handel you can probably find it in a Russian church.

Yes, the Orthodox Church had many rites before. Their passing/ suppression is perhaps lamentable. Nevertheless, the Church, which we all confess to be guided by the Holy Spirit, has allowed this to happen and has not in any way compromised the integrity of the faith and Holy Tradition in doing so. There is something to be said for diversity, but there is also something more to be said about unity and the Church has leaned toward the latter. Now the Church has one rite (let's face it, WR will never be a major force unless Anglicans or RC's convert en masse). It is not really the Eastern rite anymore. It's not the "Byzantine rite". It's the Orthodox rite that we have today. It's the same rite celebrated by Aleuts, Chinese, Greeks, Russians, Kenyans, Romanians, Georgians, Japanese, Haitians... It's not a Greek rite or a Russian rite now- it's our rite. I'm sure this rite, along with the rest of the faith, seemed very strange to the Aleuts or Chinese Orthodox when they first encountered it. Nevertheless, they made it their own. Why can't some Westerners do the same? I say "some Westerners" because more Western converts do not have such liturgical hang-ups and have come to love the liturgy deeply.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 09:00:19 AM by SubdeaconDavid » Logged

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« Reply #362 on: December 17, 2010, 09:37:41 AM »

So modern WR is against Holy Spirit's guidance. So, is it pastorally unwise, heresy, liturgical abuse or something else? One cannot attain theosis through WR? Bread and wine remain Bread and wine in WR masses?
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« Reply #363 on: December 17, 2010, 11:30:53 AM »

This written earlier in 2010 is a great summation of the views of those of us who are challenged by the arguments advanced by the western proponents of a 'western-rite' Orthodoxy: (by Iconodule:) It is quoted without any editing by me:

The arguments for Western Rite are often phyletistic. They suggest that, on the basis of his culture or ethnicity, an Orthodox believer should be able to have a rite that most conforms to his background. The supporters of WR on this thread have not offered any reason why each little subculture in the church, or even each individual parish, should not be allowed to devise its own rite. In fact, they seem to be indicating that this would be a desirable situation. Maybe you have a different point of view- I'd be curious to hear it, if so.

What is so hard to adapt to in the Eastern rite? Is it the language? We have many parishes offering services in English and other Western languages. Is it the iconography? Well, the art of the Orthodox West wasn't that profoundly different- in fact, many WR parishes simply use Byzantine icons. Is it the hymnody? Western Orthodox hymns sound just as strange to modern Western ears. And besides, many Russian parishes have very westernized music. If you want to hear the Orthodox answer to Palestrina or Handel you can probably find it in a Russian church.

Yes, the Orthodox Church had many rites before. Their passing/ suppression is perhaps lamentable. Nevertheless, the Church, which we all confess to be guided by the Holy Spirit, has allowed this to happen and has not in any way compromised the integrity of the faith and Holy Tradition in doing so. There is something to be said for diversity, but there is also something more to be said about unity and the Church has leaned toward the latter. Now the Church has one rite (let's face it, WR will never be a major force unless Anglicans or RC's convert en masse). It is not really the Eastern rite anymore. It's not the "Byzantine rite". It's the Orthodox rite that we have today. It's the same rite celebrated by Aleuts, Chinese, Greeks, Russians, Kenyans, Romanians, Georgians, Japanese, Haitians... It's not a Greek rite or a Russian rite now- it's our rite. I'm sure this rite, along with the rest of the faith, seemed very strange to the Aleuts or Chinese Orthodox when they first encountered it. Nevertheless, they made it their own. Why can't some Westerners do the same? I say "some Westerners" because more Western converts do not have such liturgical hang-ups and have come to love the liturgy deeply.


I agree with this very strongly. In a few days we'll sing at Great Compline the text from Isaiah: "God is with us! Understand all ye nations, and submit yourselves!" Our liturgy isn't simply a nice way of observing the Lord's supper. Besides being very beautiful (for whatever my aesthetic opinion may be worth), we're taught that it is "true theology." But I also feel when a person seeks God's truth in the Orthodox faith, there should be no sense of trying to have one's own way about anything. Many of the posters on this thread seem to be honest and humble people, and I don't want to presume to know their motives. I just can't imagine asking or expecting the church to give me something different from the liturgy it's been serving for all these long centuries.
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« Reply #364 on: December 17, 2010, 04:34:30 PM »

This written earlier in 2010 is a great summation of the views of those of us who are challenged by the arguments advanced by the western proponents of a 'western-rite' Orthodoxy: (by Iconodule:) It is quoted without any editing by me:

The arguments for Western Rite are often phyletistic. They suggest that, on the basis of his culture or ethnicity, an Orthodox believer should be able to have a rite that most conforms to his background. The supporters of WR on this thread have not offered any reason why each little subculture in the church, or even each individual parish, should not be allowed to devise its own rite. In fact, they seem to be indicating that this would be a desirable situation. Maybe you have a different point of view- I'd be curious to hear it, if so.

What is so hard to adapt to in the Eastern rite? Is it the language? We have many parishes offering services in English and other Western languages. Is it the iconography? Well, the art of the Orthodox West wasn't that profoundly different- in fact, many WR parishes simply use Byzantine icons. Is it the hymnody? Western Orthodox hymns sound just as strange to modern Western ears. And besides, many Russian parishes have very westernized music. If you want to hear the Orthodox answer to Palestrina or Handel you can probably find it in a Russian church.

Yes, the Orthodox Church had many rites before. Their passing/ suppression is perhaps lamentable. Nevertheless, the Church, which we all confess to be guided by the Holy Spirit, has allowed this to happen and has not in any way compromised the integrity of the faith and Holy Tradition in doing so. There is something to be said for diversity, but there is also something more to be said about unity and the Church has leaned toward the latter. Now the Church has one rite (let's face it, WR will never be a major force unless Anglicans or RC's convert en masse). It is not really the Eastern rite anymore. It's not the "Byzantine rite". It's the Orthodox rite that we have today. It's the same rite celebrated by Aleuts, Chinese, Greeks, Russians, Kenyans, Romanians, Georgians, Japanese, Haitians... It's not a Greek rite or a Russian rite now- it's our rite. I'm sure this rite, along with the rest of the faith, seemed very strange to the Aleuts or Chinese Orthodox when they first encountered it. Nevertheless, they made it their own. Why can't some Westerners do the same? I say "some Westerners" because more Western converts do not have such liturgical hang-ups and have come to love the liturgy deeply.


I agree with this very strongly. In a few days we'll sing at Great Compline the text from Isaiah: "God is with us! Understand all ye nations, and submit yourselves!" Our liturgy isn't simply a nice way of observing the Lord's supper. Besides being very beautiful (for whatever my aesthetic opinion may be worth), we're taught that it is "true theology." But I also feel when a person seeks God's truth in the Orthodox faith, there should be no sense of trying to have one's own way about anything. Many of the posters on this thread seem to be honest and humble people, and I don't want to presume to know their motives. I just can't imagine asking or expecting the church to give me something different from the liturgy it's been serving for all these long centuries.
This idea of submitting to God and doing so through the Church is fundamental to the Orthodox faith.  There is in my view a huge difference between eastern and western in both rite and culture especially the level of understanding that liturgy equals true theology.  The liturgy as the vehicle for disseminating the faith is critical and the weakness of the western-rite liturgical movement is that it focuses on local preferences.  Almost every Western-rite monastery use different liturgical rites - some more Latin in tone, others call it Sarum, others Orthodox-ise the BCP.  One has to ask why so many versions of the Western-rite? 

Hieromonk Ambrose (Young) wrote: T"the great challenge for Orthodoxy in the near future is not to find new and better ways of adapting to the dominant culture by assimilation and thus becoming "relevant"; the challenge is to establish and maintain genuine continuity with the Saints and Fathers of the past. This means more education, for ignorance of the Faith among many Orthodox today is appalling and is the single greatest factor in the crisis we are now facing."


It seems to me that our task needs to be not to demand rites that suit our version of our western history - especially if those versions sanitise the Great Schism - the separation of all of Western Europe from the faith through their schism and slide into heterodoxy. Surely we western converts need to distrust our own attraction to the history of our nations, of our western-culture which produced heterodoxy and has become spiritually bankrupt?

Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna wrote: We see that the psychology of the Orthodox Fathers, far more complex and expansive than the psychologies of contemporary social scientists, frightfully challenges the limitations of the Western intellect, truncated as that intellect is by its mentalistic and spiritualistic poverty. This is especially true for Western converts to Eastern and for Christians born into the Orthodox Church but raised in the West. They intuitively realize, when they are painfully honest with themselves, that the Orthodox world of the spirit, in the Orthodox theological system, is integrally bound up with the world of the Orthodox mind. To be Orthodox is not just to hold a belief; it is to have a psychology, a peculiar psychology which blends what one believes with the way that one behaves and thinks. It becomes suddenly apparent, In the process of honest self-analysis, that Orthodox belief and Western behavior and patterns of thinking are not fundamentally compatible.

The Westerner, whether Orthodox or not, must come finally to understand that an acceptance of Orthodox belief is an acceptance of an Orthodox way of thinking, of an Orthodox psychology which formed the great Orthodox empires of Byzantium and Holy Russia, among others. He must come to the sometimes disconcerting conclusion that, despite the inevitable limitations of these Orthodox societies (which polemical heterodox writers have exploited at the cost of the tremendous accomplishments of the empires), they represent the blending of spirit and mind, lifted to the level of the blending of religion and culture, which is the psychology of the Fathers. With this realization there often comes an immediate repulsion, the Westerner musing: "Must I give up my own culture to be Orthodox?" And as often as not, this repulsion gives way to an accusation of philetism against those who properly exalt the classical model of Orthodox society epitomized in the Byzantine and Russian empires. The repulsion prompts a distorted understanding of the principle of accommodation to diverse cultures which is a touchstone of the Orthodox missionary tradition.

This misunderstanding is a further failure to grasp the psychology of the Fathers. Just as the mind and the spirit cannot be separated, so religion and culture, in the Orthodox Weltanschauung, cannot be separated. Virtues are formed by the harmonious interaction of the mind and the spirit, guided by the Divine Will. So, too, a worldly society is exalted and transformed when its culture and religion reflect the Divine Will. As alien as such a concept may be to those whose not on of theocracy is limited to the Papacy or Calvin's Geneva, this reflection is, after all, the triumph towards which every Orthodox society has striven. This reflection is the image of the icon of the earthly realm ascending toward the archetype of the heavenly city. The cultures of the Orthodox Fathers were the joint expressions of their minds, just as the Church, in the great Orthodox empires, was the joint expression of their spirits, the true ekklesia.

Where this psychology prevails, whether among Greeks, Russians, Serbs, or I (perhaps eventually) Americans, it transcends nationality and culture as we commonly understand them. It is a deep expression of Orthodoxy itself, and it is incumbent upon us that we honor and emulate this cultural psychology. It calls us to a vision of the heavenly homeland, moving us away from the mundane into conformity with the spiritual. We give up a culture which is not truly a culture for an internal spiritual sense, for a transformed view of society, for a spiritual culture, as it were. And this is not for us philetism, for philetism exalts the worth of the societies of man, seducing us, in our love for them, to ask if we "must give up our own culture to be Orthodox." To know 'the psychology of an Orthodox society is to know an elemental force in the spiritual evolution of all mankind. It is to enter a realm where philetism cannot be.

It is to no small extent that we see in contemporary Orthodoxy in the West—and, one might venture to say, even to a limited degree in the East, as in the xenophilous fervor of many young intellectuals in Greece today – not only a misunderstanding of the encompassing psychology of the Fathers, but a vehement resistance to it. A new convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, for example, finding little significance in some of the "externals" of more traditional Orthodox worship, recently wrote a friend referring to these liturgical traditions as a preoccupation with "bells and smells." Undoubtedly the writer's feelings were expressed with sincerity and honesty. However, they betray an internal resistance to the notion that the ritualistic practices of the Church transmit, through the transformation of the mind (indeed, of the senses, even the olfactory and acoustic senses), a spiritual perception; i.e., an awareness of a psychology of ritual, of a psychology in this realm too (that of worship), formed in classical Orthodox societies and passed down by them to those of us in the West.


The Orthodox mindset has culturally been lost in the West with the slide into heterodoxy.  One cannot separate the Reformation, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, Cromwell's Commonwealth and the French and American Revolutions from the ongoing slide of Western society and Christianity away from the Fathers of the East, away from the traditions of Orthodox monarchy and of society that was albeit fallible, but nonetheless focused on holiness in obedience to the Holy Orthodox Church.  It is also little wonder that the Bolsheviks forced the Orthodox monarchies of Russia, Serbia, Rumania to become republics because the very notion of a republic is contrary to the Orthodox order and mindset of the Byzantine Christian Empire.

The bottom line is we in the West need to distrust our own intellects and attraction for our own post-Schism ecclesial history and seek to acquire an Orthodox mindset.  Archbishop Chrisyostomos sums up:
or is the process of relegating the Christian East to the annals of pedantic history unintentional. Much of the memory loss is self-serving, a defense mechanism. This is because, in its ascendancy in the last few centuries, Western society has developed a certain smugness (particularly a religious smugness), to which the East is a living challenge. The East lays claim to an authenticity to which the West cannot. Their complacency challenged, many Westerners respond with a telling enmity for all that is Eastern. Thus it is that a theologian much involved in the ecumenical movement, ironically enough, recently decried the irritant presence of Eastern Orthodoxy in the modern ecclesiastical picture. He bemoaned the fact that one fifth of the world's some billion Christians have survived as a kind of institutional fossil that by all rights, irrelevant as it is to modern Christianity, should not have survived. Claiming to be the genuine Church of the Apostles, with an historical witness matched by no other Christian body, the Eastern Orthodox Church is both a challenge and a threat to modern Christianity, which has been pulled from its roots and which apparently is not anxious to find them, save on its own terms.

Ultimately, the Patristic mind calls the West to a psychology which it has lost, which it knows only in part. The Westerner is scarcely able to grasp this expansive psychology, let alone to acknowledge and correct his own spiritual and intellectual misapprehensions. He finds it difficult to Imagine that, as far as the East is from the West, as the Psalmist intones, so far too is Western Christianity from the Christianity of the ancient Church, which, as Mary Chitty once remarked, "the Eastern Orthodox Church of to-day preserves in continuity from the monks of old." It is only by an immense act of will that the Westerner can come to realize that the wisdom of the Orthodox East is not an "alternative" knowledge, not a cognitive system engendered by a strange and foreign culture, but that it is the true light from the East, dawning over "the paradise of God planted toward the East"—an East existing not geographically, but noumenally and ontologically. It is therefore appropriate that we should begin our series on this Patristic wisdom, on the psychology of the Orthodox Fathers, with a volume on humility. For it is only through humility, with a meek spirit, that the West can ever rise to that act of willful submission by which the Patristic mind will be revealed to it.

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« Reply #365 on: December 17, 2010, 05:29:20 PM »

This written earlier in 2010 is a great summation of the views of those of us who are challenged by the arguments advanced by the western proponents of a 'western-rite' Orthodoxy: (by Iconodule:) It is quoted without any editing by me:

The arguments for Western Rite are often phyletistic. They suggest that, on the basis of his culture or ethnicity, an Orthodox believer should be able to have a rite that most conforms to his background. The supporters of WR on this thread have not offered any reason why each little subculture in the church, or even each individual parish, should not be allowed to devise its own rite. In fact, they seem to be indicating that this would be a desirable situation. Maybe you have a different point of view- I'd be curious to hear it, if so.

What is so hard to adapt to in the Eastern rite? Is it the language? We have many parishes offering services in English and other Western languages. Is it the iconography? Well, the art of the Orthodox West wasn't that profoundly different- in fact, many WR parishes simply use Byzantine icons. Is it the hymnody? Western Orthodox hymns sound just as strange to modern Western ears. And besides, many Russian parishes have very westernized music. If you want to hear the Orthodox answer to Palestrina or Handel you can probably find it in a Russian church.

Yes, the Orthodox Church had many rites before. Their passing/ suppression is perhaps lamentable. Nevertheless, the Church, which we all confess to be guided by the Holy Spirit, has allowed this to happen and has not in any way compromised the integrity of the faith and Holy Tradition in doing so. There is something to be said for diversity, but there is also something more to be said about unity and the Church has leaned toward the latter. Now the Church has one rite (let's face it, WR will never be a major force unless Anglicans or RC's convert en masse). It is not really the Eastern rite anymore. It's not the "Byzantine rite". It's the Orthodox rite that we have today. It's the same rite celebrated by Aleuts, Chinese, Greeks, Russians, Kenyans, Romanians, Georgians, Japanese, Haitians... It's not a Greek rite or a Russian rite now- it's our rite. I'm sure this rite, along with the rest of the faith, seemed very strange to the Aleuts or Chinese Orthodox when they first encountered it. Nevertheless, they made it their own. Why can't some Westerners do the same? I say "some Westerners" because more Western converts do not have such liturgical hang-ups and have come to love the liturgy deeply.


I agree with this very strongly. In a few days we'll sing at Great Compline the text from Isaiah: "God is with us! Understand all ye nations, and submit yourselves!" Our liturgy isn't simply a nice way of observing the Lord's supper. Besides being very beautiful (for whatever my aesthetic opinion may be worth), we're taught that it is "true theology." But I also feel when a person seeks God's truth in the Orthodox faith, there should be no sense of trying to have one's own way about anything. Many of the posters on this thread seem to be honest and humble people, and I don't want to presume to know their motives. I just can't imagine asking or expecting the church to give me something different from the liturgy it's been serving for all these long centuries.
This idea of submitting to God and doing so through the Church is fundamental to the Orthodox faith.  There is in my view a huge difference between eastern and western in both rite and culture especially the level of understanding that liturgy equals true theology.  The liturgy as the vehicle for disseminating the faith is critical and the weakness of the western-rite liturgical movement is that it focuses on local preferences.  Almost every Western-rite monastery use different liturgical rites - some more Latin in tone, others call it Sarum, others Orthodox-ise the BCP.  One has to ask why so many versions of the Western-rite?
 
And the different usages of the rite of Constantinople? And the Eastern Rites of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, suppressed?

Quote
Hieromonk Ambrose (Young) wrote: T"the great challenge for Orthodoxy in the near future is not to find new and better ways of adapting to the dominant culture by assimilation and thus becoming "relevant"; the challenge is to establish and maintain genuine continuity with the Saints and Fathers of the past. This means more education, for ignorance of the Faith among many Orthodox today is appalling and is the single greatest factor in the crisis we are now facing."


It seems to me that our task needs to be not to demand rites that suit our version of our western history - especially if those versions sanitise the Great Schism - the separation of all of Western Europe from the faith through their schism and slide into heterodoxy. Surely we western converts need to distrust our own attraction to the history of our nations, of our western-culture which produced heterodoxy and has become spiritually bankrupt?
Romanticism of the East is not genuine continuity withteh Saints and Fathers of the past.

Quote
Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna wrote: We see that the psychology of the Orthodox Fathers, far more complex and expansive than the psychologies of contemporary social scientists, frightfully challenges the limitations of the Western intellect, truncated as that intellect is by its mentalistic and spiritualistic poverty. This is especially true for Western converts to Eastern and for Christians born into the Orthodox Church but raised in the West. They intuitively realize, when they are painfully honest with themselves, that the Orthodox world of the spirit, in the Orthodox theological system, is integrally bound up with the world of the Orthodox mind.
The Turkokratia? The Holy Governing Synod of St. Petersburg?

Quote
To be Orthodox is not just to hold a belief; it is to have a psychology, a peculiar psychology which blends what one believes with the way that one behaves and thinks. It becomes suddenly apparent, In the process of honest self-analysis, that Orthodox belief and Western behavior and patterns of thinking are not fundamentally compatible.
The Westoxification of the East would show that holding such views raises more problems that it dispenses with.

Quote
The Westerner, whether Orthodox or not, must come finally to understand that an acceptance of Orthodox belief is an acceptance of an Orthodox way of thinking, of an Orthodox psychology which formed the great Orthodox empires of Byzantium and Holy Russia, among others. He must come to the sometimes disconcerting conclusion that, despite the inevitable limitations of these Orthodox societies (which polemical heterodox writers have exploited at the cost of the tremendous accomplishments of the empires), they represent the blending of spirit and mind, lifted to the level of the blending of religion and culture, which is the psychology of the Fathers. With this realization there often comes an immediate repulsion, the Westerner musing: "Must I give up my own culture to be Orthodox?" And as often as not, this repulsion gives way to an accusation of philetism against those who properly exalt the classical model of Orthodox society epitomized in the Byzantine and Russian empires. The repulsion prompts a distorted understanding of the principle of accommodation to diverse cultures which is a touchstone of the Orthodox missionary tradition.
which is not purely free of suppression of cultures, in particular those cultures to which they are indepted.

Quote
This misunderstanding is a further failure to grasp the psychology of the Fathers. Just as the mind and the spirit cannot be separated, so religion and culture, in the Orthodox Weltanschauung, cannot be separated. Virtues are formed by the harmonious interaction of the mind and the spirit, guided by the Divine Will. So, too, a worldly society is exalted and transformed when its culture and religion reflect the Divine Will. As alien as such a concept may be to those whose not on of theocracy is limited to the Papacy or Calvin's Geneva, this reflection is, after all, the triumph towards which every Orthodox society has striven. This reflection is the image of the icon of the earthly realm ascending toward the archetype of the heavenly city. The cultures of the Orthodox Fathers were the joint expressions of their minds, just as the Church, in the great Orthodox empires, was the joint expression of their spirits, the true ekklesia.
"My Kingdom is not of this World."
Quote
Where this psychology prevails, whether among Greeks, Russians, Serbs, or I (perhaps eventually) Americans, it transcends nationality and culture as we commonly understand them. It is a deep expression of Orthodoxy itself, and it is incumbent upon us that we honor and emulate this cultural psychology. It calls us to a vision of the heavenly homeland, moving us away from the mundane into conformity with the spiritual. We give up a culture which is not truly a culture for an internal spiritual sense, for a transformed view of society, for a spiritual culture, as it were. And this is not for us philetism, for philetism exalts the worth of the societies of man, seducing us, in our love for them, to ask if we "must give up our own culture to be Orthodox." To know 'the psychology of an Orthodox society is to know an elemental force in the spiritual evolution of all mankind. It is to enter a realm where philetism cannot be.
Yeah, they tried peddling this a while back:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20260.0.html

Quote
It is to no small extent that we see in contemporary Orthodoxy in the West—and, one might venture to say, even to a limited degree in the East, as in the xenophilous fervor of many young intellectuals in Greece today – not only a misunderstanding of the encompassing psychology of the Fathers, but a vehement resistance to it. A new convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, for example, finding little significance in some of the "externals" of more traditional Orthodox worship, recently wrote a friend referring to these liturgical traditions as a preoccupation with "bells and smells." Undoubtedly the writer's feelings were expressed with sincerity and honesty. However, they betray an internal resistance to the notion that the ritualistic practices of the Church transmit, through the transformation of the mind (indeed, of the senses, even the olfactory and acoustic senses), a spiritual perception; i.e., an awareness of a psychology of ritual, of a psychology in this realm too (that of worship), formed in classical Orthodox societies and passed down by them to those of us in the West.[/b][/i]

The Orthodox mindset has culturally been lost in the West with the slide into heterodoxy.  One cannot separate the Reformation, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, Cromwell's Commonwealth and the French and American Revolutions from the ongoing slide of Western society and Christianity away from the Fathers of the East, away from the traditions of Orthodox monarchy and of society that was albeit fallible, but nonetheless focused on holiness in obedience to the Holy Orthodox Church.  It is also little wonder that the Bolsheviks forced the Orthodox monarchies of Russia, Serbia, Rumania to become republics because the very notion of a republic is contrary to the Orthodox order and mindset of the Byzantine Christian Empire.
I'm a staunch monarchist, and even I have to admit that this is nonsense.

Quote
The bottom line is we in the West need to distrust our own intellects and attraction for our own post-Schism ecclesial history and seek to acquire an Orthodox mindset.  Archbishop Chrisyostomos sums up:
or is the process of relegating the Christian East to the annals of pedantic history unintentional. Much of the memory loss is self-serving, a defense mechanism. This is because, in its ascendancy in the last few centuries, Western society has developed a certain smugness (particularly a religious smugness), to which the East is a living challenge. The East lays claim to an authenticity to which the West cannot. Their complacency challenged, many Westerners respond with a telling enmity for all that is Eastern. Thus it is that a theologian much involved in the ecumenical movement, ironically enough, recently decried the irritant presence of Eastern Orthodoxy in the modern ecclesiastical picture. He bemoaned the fact that one fifth of the world's some billion Christians have survived as a kind of institutional fossil that by all rights, irrelevant as it is to modern Christianity, should not have survived. Claiming to be the genuine Church of the Apostles, with an historical witness matched by no other Christian body, the Eastern Orthodox Church is both a challenge and a threat to modern Christianity, which has been pulled from its roots and which apparently is not anxious to find them, save on its own terms.
In an ethnic ghetto it is no threat.

Quote
Ultimately, the Patristic mind calls the West to a psychology which it has lost, which it knows only in part. The Westerner is scarcely able to grasp this expansive psychology, let alone to acknowledge and correct his own spiritual and intellectual misapprehensions. He finds it difficult to Imagine that, as far as the East is from the West, as the Psalmist intones, so far too is Western Christianity from the Christianity of the ancient Church, which, as Mary Chitty once remarked, "the Eastern Orthodox Church of to-day preserves in continuity from the monks of old." It is only by an immense act of will that the Westerner can come to realize that the wisdom of the Orthodox East is not an "alternative" knowledge, not a cognitive system engendered by a strange and foreign culture, but that it is the true light from the East, dawning over "the paradise of God planted toward the East"—an East existing not geographically, but noumenally and ontologically. It is therefore appropriate that we should begin our series on this Patristic wisdom, on the psychology of the Orthodox Fathers, with a volume on humility. For it is only through humility, with a meek spirit, that the West can ever rise to that act of willful submission by which the Patristic mind will be revealed to it.[/i][/b]
New Rome and her daughters have not be the shining example of meekness that is made out here.
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« Reply #366 on: December 17, 2010, 05:39:26 PM »

This written earlier in 2010 is a great summation of the views of those of us who are challenged by the arguments advanced by the western proponents of a 'western-rite' Orthodoxy: (by Iconodule:) It is quoted without any editing by me:

The arguments for Western Rite are often phyletistic. They suggest that, on the basis of his culture or ethnicity, an Orthodox believer should be able to have a rite that most conforms to his background. The supporters of WR on this thread have not offered any reason why each little subculture in the church, or even each individual parish, should not be allowed to devise its own rite. In fact, they seem to be indicating that this would be a desirable situation. Maybe you have a different point of view- I'd be curious to hear it, if so.
TThis is a characature of what actually happened in history. No individial parish had its own rite, and no WRO are arguing for that.

Quote
What is so hard to adapt to in the Eastern rite? Is it the language? We have many parishes offering services in English and other Western languages. Is it the iconography? Well, the art of the Orthodox West wasn't that profoundly different- in fact, many WR parishes simply use Byzantine icons. Is it the hymnody? Western Orthodox hymns sound just as strange to modern Western ears. And besides, many Russian parishes have very westernized music. If you want to hear the Orthodox answer to Palestrina or Handel you can probably find it in a Russian church.


If it is so similar, no one should complain that the WRO use the DL of St. Gregory, for instance, and not the DL of St. John.

Quote
Yes, the Orthodox Church had many rites before. Their passing/ suppression is perhaps lamentable. Nevertheless, the Church, which we all confess to be guided by the Holy Spirit, has allowed this to happen and has not in any way compromised the integrity of the faith and Holy Tradition in doing so.
Yes, it has.  There was nothing of the Holy Spirit, for instance, in the abolition of the patriarchate of Moscow and its substition by the state apparatus.


Quote
There is something to be said for diversity, but there is also something more to be said about unity and the Church has leaned toward the latter.
Unity based on conformity in every extermal is a weak unity indeed.

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Now the Church has one rite (let's face it, WR will never be a major force unless Anglicans or RC's convert en masse). It is not really the Eastern rite anymore. It's not the "Byzantine rite". It's the Orthodox rite that we have today. It's the same rite celebrated by Aleuts, Chinese, Greeks, Russians, Kenyans, Romanians, Georgians, Japanese, Haitians... It's not a Greek rite or a Russian rite now- it's our rite. I'm sure this rite, along with the rest of the faith, seemed very strange to the Aleuts or Chinese Orthodox when they first encountered it. Nevertheless, they made it their own. Why can't some Westerners do the same? I say "some Westerners" because more Western converts do not have such liturgical hang-ups and have come to love the liturgy deeply.
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« Reply #367 on: December 17, 2010, 07:09:42 PM »

This written earlier in 2010 is a great summation of the views of those of us who are challenged by the arguments advanced by the western proponents of a 'western-rite' Orthodoxy: (by Iconodule:) It is quoted without any editing by me:

The arguments for Western Rite are often phyletistic. They suggest that, on the basis of his culture or ethnicity, an Orthodox believer should be able to have a rite that most conforms to his background. The supporters of WR on this thread have not offered any reason why each little subculture in the church, or even each individual parish, should not be allowed to devise its own rite. In fact, they seem to be indicating that this would be a desirable situation. Maybe you have a different point of view- I'd be curious to hear it, if so.

What is so hard to adapt to in the Eastern rite? Is it the language? We have many parishes offering services in English and other Western languages. Is it the iconography? Well, the art of the Orthodox West wasn't that profoundly different- in fact, many WR parishes simply use Byzantine icons. Is it the hymnody? Western Orthodox hymns sound just as strange to modern Western ears. And besides, many Russian parishes have very westernized music. If you want to hear the Orthodox answer to Palestrina or Handel you can probably find it in a Russian church.

Yes, the Orthodox Church had many rites before. Their passing/ suppression is perhaps lamentable. Nevertheless, the Church, which we all confess to be guided by the Holy Spirit, has allowed this to happen and has not in any way compromised the integrity of the faith and Holy Tradition in doing so. There is something to be said for diversity, but there is also something more to be said about unity and the Church has leaned toward the latter. Now the Church has one rite (let's face it, WR will never be a major force unless Anglicans or RC's convert en masse). It is not really the Eastern rite anymore. It's not the "Byzantine rite". It's the Orthodox rite that we have today. It's the same rite celebrated by Aleuts, Chinese, Greeks, Russians, Kenyans, Romanians, Georgians, Japanese, Haitians... It's not a Greek rite or a Russian rite now- it's our rite. I'm sure this rite, along with the rest of the faith, seemed very strange to the Aleuts or Chinese Orthodox when they first encountered it. Nevertheless, they made it their own. Why can't some Westerners do the same? I say "some Westerners" because more Western converts do not have such liturgical hang-ups and have come to love the liturgy deeply.


I agree with this very strongly. In a few days we'll sing at Great Compline the text from Isaiah: "God is with us! Understand all ye nations, and submit yourselves!" Our liturgy isn't simply a nice way of observing the Lord's supper. Besides being very beautiful (for whatever my aesthetic opinion may be worth), we're taught that it is "true theology." But I also feel when a person seeks God's truth in the Orthodox faith, there should be no sense of trying to have one's own way about anything. Many of the posters on this thread seem to be honest and humble people, and I don't want to presume to know their motives. I just can't imagine asking or expecting the church to give me something different from the liturgy it's been serving for all these long centuries.

Here's the thing though:  we aren't asking for anything.  The Western Rite in Holy Orthodoxy is a done deal.  It's not something we're "shooting for" or "expecting" or any other such thing.  It has happened and is now as much a part of the Orthodox Church as anything else.  As a convert, I entered the Church through the Western Rite and it has been my sole liturgical experience thus far.  It was the liturgy that is "true theology" which was given to me by the Orthodox Church.  I sought the Orthodox Faith and this is what She has given me.

Sure, it started as a bottom-up thing but in order for it to be valid and blessed, it is ultimately a top-down thing.  The Western Rite is given by the Orthodox Church to her people as a means for them to work out their salvation in fear and trembling.
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« Reply #368 on: December 17, 2010, 07:28:31 PM »

There's much to be said, but my time is so short. I will respond to only one point.

It was said that the Holy Spirit guides the Church, and that Western rite died out in process of time, in the course of the Church's history. The conclusion was drawn that this was therefore the will of God for His Church.

First, if the very disappearance of Western rite would betoken it was the will of God, then therefore the re-appearance of Western rite must also indicate that such is the will of God and such is the influence of the Holy Spirit. Western rite has been blessed, in modern times, by the prerevolutionary Russian Church, the Moscow Patriarchate, the Russian Church Abroad, the Antiochian Patriarchate, the Serbian Patriarchate, the Romanian Patriarchate, the Church of Poland, the Alexandrian Patriarchate, the Jerusalem Patriarchate, Ukrainian jurisdictions, and old calendarists, so it's not like someone is doing it without authority or a blessing, "on the sly." It represents sanctioned Church practice.

Besides, the Western rite never died out in the Eastern Orthodox Church. New scholarly research proves it was practiced in Slavonic on Mt. Athos, in Greek in the Empire, in Slavonic in Russia (certain Russian Old Believers maintained the Western rite Mass-rite, in Slavonic, up to the year 1963).

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« Reply #369 on: December 17, 2010, 08:14:05 PM »

The Ship of Fools, the Book of Common Prayer and the Western Rite of the Russian Church Abroad

The Ship of Fools did a report on a WR Liturgy in Sydney presided over by Metropolitan Hilarion and celebrated by Hieromonk Michael and the Priest Barry Jefferies.  The "Mystery Visitor" made these comments...

"The monastery [Saint Petroc] was granted permission to use a modified form of the Book of Common Prayer with the explicit intent of attracting people of Anglo-Celtic ancestry to Orthodoxy. They produced their own prayer book, known as the Saint Colman Prayer Book, based on the Sarum rite. In terms of Western Rite presence in Australia, I believe – and this experience did nothing to challenge this – that it is still very much a minority presence, and confined primarily to ex-Anglicans."

"The service was a special commemoration of the 1907 decision of the Holy Synod of Russia, at the request of Bishop Tikhon (later St Tikhon, Patriarch and Confessor of Moscow and Enlightener of North America), to permit the Book of Common Prayer to be adapted for use by the Orthodox faithful."

This would seem to confirm what Michal said at "Orthodox revised Book of Common Prayer"
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24362.msg507791.html#msg507791

Here is the link to the report from the Ship of Fools
http://www.ship-of-fools.com/mystery/2007/1473.html


Personal thoughts:  While the approach that using an adapted Book of Common Prayer will attract Anglicans into the Orthodox Church appears very sensible, it does not seem to be working out in real life.  After 13 years labouring in the mission field of Australia there is one small mission of about 6 people which makes use of makeshift premises for its worship.   I am more inclined to agree with Fr Aidan that the use of pre-schism rites will be more attractive although I admit that to date that theory has not been proven either.



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« Reply #370 on: December 17, 2010, 08:19:12 PM »


Besides, the Western rite never died out in the Eastern Orthodox Church. New scholarly research proves it was practiced in Slavonic on Mt. Athos, in Greek in the Empire, in Slavonic in Russia (certain Russian Old Believers maintained the Western rite Mass-rite, in Slavonic, up to the year 1963).


Should it be the Russian Old Believer version which ought to be promoted and used within the Russian Church Abroad?  Action should be taken immediately to study it, establish exactly what it was and how it was celebrated.

Father Aidan, why did the Old Believers cease to use it in 1963?
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« Reply #371 on: December 17, 2010, 09:07:30 PM »

My experience is unusual in that I was priest, for over ten years, at a parish much larger than any WR parish ROCOR's ever had in an English-speaking country. Sometimes people say, "But, Father, our mission is too small to do this or that." Well, you adapt. I have had some interesting experiences in small missions, of the size which characterises our ROCOR WR. And in those small missions, I saw useful shortcuts and clever ideas, musical and otherwise. Everything from how to chant the Gloria when no one can hold a tune in a bucket, to how to set up a row of icons in four minutes when there's no roodscreen in a borrowed space and your'e rushed for time before the Anglican ladies of the host congregation will arrive and start setting up their tea.

I note several things about congregations faced with a modern versus ancient form of WR. Using the ancient form was readily accepted, as long as the important spiritual reasons for using it were well-explained and there was confidence in the spiritual qualities of the clergy responsible. Quickly, it becomes something the congregation loves and is "held fast" by. At that point, they can't any longer be satisfied with the heterodox forms having plainer ritual, less theological content, less visual and ceremonial appeal, less ascetic sense. Attending an Orthodox liturgy SHOULD feel different than attending a Protestant liturgy. It SHOULD be richer, more difficult to do, take longer, and bear in itself a greater intensity. My point was, a parish can come to love a fuller, more Orthodox liturgical form (by which I mean a form much closer to the Byzantine liturgy because pre-Schism in origin, ethos, authorship). Then they're stuck to it and can never go back to how they were prior. This is a good and natural process.

St. John Maximovitch showed us the way to do these things. He took in WR communities and then he held them to gradually higher and higher standards. He allowed things at first which he did not allow later in time. His goal was to raise the standards of orthopraxis to their original, Orthodox levels--all within the framework of historic Western rite liturgy.

 
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« Reply #372 on: December 17, 2010, 10:09:36 PM »

Ari, how may we who are involved in this discussion, go about ordering a copy of the shorter and longer St. Colman Prayer Books? Let me know the physical address and the price, and I will send a check tomorrow.


The bottom line, Father Aidan, after I have perused these many messages from Aristibule, is that they refuse to allow you to have a copy.  You're not going to get one.  Aristibule said originally that he was the American supplier but now he says that he cannot give you a copy without Fr Michael's permission.  So the prohibition against you would appear to come from the Assistant to the Metropolitan in the UK.  Presumably Aristibule is allowed to send copies to enquirers from the Episcopalian Church and the Continuing Anglican Churches and Roman Catholic Church but you are judged as persona non grata.  It's all very odd, indeed a little suspicious.

It does seem, forgive me for saying this, very discourteous that you are refused a copy when you hold an eminent position in the Western Rite scholarly field and have worked with Bp Jerome.  There is, perhaps, something in the Saint Colman which would fall over if exposed to your scholarly view?  Perhaps the Metropolitan who headed the production of this book is withholding it from wider distribution and examination by scholars until errors are corrected?
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« Reply #373 on: December 18, 2010, 12:12:36 AM »

My experience is unusual in that I was priest, for over ten years, at a parish much larger than any WR parish ROCOR's ever had in an English-speaking country. Sometimes people say, "But, Father, our mission is too small to do this or that." Well, you adapt. I have had some interesting experiences in small missions, of the size which characterises our ROCOR WR. And in those small missions, I saw useful shortcuts and clever ideas, musical and otherwise. Everything from how to chant the Gloria when no one can hold a tune in a bucket, to how to set up a row of icons in four minutes when there's no roodscreen in a borrowed space and your'e rushed for time before the Anglican ladies of the host congregation will arrive and start setting up their tea.

I note several things about congregations faced with a modern versus ancient form of WR. Using the ancient form was readily accepted, as long as the important spiritual reasons for using it were well-explained and there was confidence in the spiritual qualities of the clergy responsible. Quickly, it becomes something the congregation loves and is "held fast" by. At that point, they can't any longer be satisfied with the heterodox forms having plainer ritual, less theological content, less visual and ceremonial appeal, less ascetic sense. Attending an Orthodox liturgy SHOULD feel different than attending a Protestant liturgy. It SHOULD be richer, more difficult to do, take longer, and bear in itself a greater intensity. My point was, a parish can come to love a fuller, more Orthodox liturgical form (by which I mean a form much closer to the Byzantine liturgy because pre-Schism in origin, ethos, authorship). Then they're stuck to it and can never go back to how they were prior. This is a good and natural process.

St. John Maximovitch showed us the way to do these things. He took in WR communities and then he held them to gradually higher and higher standards. He allowed things at first which he did not allow later in time. His goal was to raise the standards of orthopraxis to their original, Orthodox levels--all within the framework of historic Western rite liturgy.

 
I don't disagree with any of this Father, and I agree that the Holy Spirit has blessed the resurrection of the western-rite.  Nonetheless, the caveat is that this exposes those in the western-rite to considerable risk, if it consists of tiny missions, generally in isolation from their Byzantine brethren, without the priestly and episcopal wisdom of their Byzantine brothers so easily available, and often separated by hundreds or in the case of Australia, thousands of miles from each other.

I think Vladyka Hilarion has shown considerable mercy in bringing the WR back to life in ROCOR, and it is a mercy that the ROCOR WR is under his omophor.  I also agree that for all of us, Eastern or Western that growing in holiness and deepening our sense of an Orthodox mindset and value-set is an incremental journey.
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« Reply #374 on: December 18, 2010, 12:14:50 AM »


Besides, the Western rite never died out in the Eastern Orthodox Church. New scholarly research proves it was practiced in Slavonic on Mt. Athos, in Greek in the Empire, in Slavonic in Russia (certain Russian Old Believers maintained the Western rite Mass-rite, in Slavonic, up to the year 1963).


Should it be the Russian Old Believer version which ought to be promoted and used within the Russian Church Abroad?  Action should be taken immediately to study it, establish exactly what it was and how it was celebrated.

Father Aidan, why did the Old Believers cease to use it in 1963?
It fascinates me that the Old Believers maintained a western-rite, and I would appreciate pointing to some source material and like Hieromonk Ambrose, I wonder why it ended so recently?
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« Reply #375 on: December 18, 2010, 10:58:21 AM »

My experience is unusual in that I was priest, for over ten years, at a parish much larger than any WR parish ROCOR's ever had in an English-speaking country. Sometimes people say, "But, Father, our mission is too small to do this or that." Well, you adapt. I have had some interesting experiences in small missions, of the size which characterises our ROCOR WR. And in those small missions, I saw useful shortcuts and clever ideas, musical and otherwise. Everything from how to chant the Gloria when no one can hold a tune in a bucket, to how to set up a row of icons in four minutes when there's no roodscreen in a borrowed space and your'e rushed for time before the Anglican ladies of the host congregation will arrive and start setting up their tea.

I note several things about congregations faced with a modern versus ancient form of WR. Using the ancient form was readily accepted, as long as the important spiritual reasons for using it were well-explained and there was confidence in the spiritual qualities of the clergy responsible. Quickly, it becomes something the congregation loves and is "held fast" by. At that point, they can't any longer be satisfied with the heterodox forms having plainer ritual, less theological content, less visual and ceremonial appeal, less ascetic sense. Attending an Orthodox liturgy SHOULD feel different than attending a Protestant liturgy. It SHOULD be richer, more difficult to do, take longer, and bear in itself a greater intensity. My point was, a parish can come to love a fuller, more Orthodox liturgical form (by which I mean a form much closer to the Byzantine liturgy because pre-Schism in origin, ethos, authorship). Then they're stuck to it and can never go back to how they were prior. This is a good and natural process.

St. John Maximovitch showed us the way to do these things. He took in WR communities and then he held them to gradually higher and higher standards. He allowed things at first which he did not allow later in time. His goal was to raise the standards of orthopraxis to their original, Orthodox levels--all within the framework of historic Western rite liturgy.

 
I don't disagree with any of this Father, and I agree that the Holy Spirit has blessed the resurrection of the western-rite.  Nonetheless, the caveat is that this exposes those in the western-rite to considerable risk, if it consists of tiny missions, generally in isolation from their Byzantine brethren, without the priestly and episcopal wisdom of their Byzantine brothers so easily available, and often separated by hundreds or in the case of Australia, thousands of miles from each other.

I think Vladyka Hilarion has shown considerable mercy in bringing the WR back to life in ROCOR, and it is a mercy that the ROCOR WR is under his omophor.  I also agree that for all of us, Eastern or Western that growing in holiness and deepening our sense of an Orthodox mindset and value-set is an incremental journey.

You're equating the Byzantine Rite with the Orthodox theology and faith, again.
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« Reply #376 on: December 18, 2010, 11:15:00 AM »


Besides, the Western rite never died out in the Eastern Orthodox Church. New scholarly research proves it was practiced in Slavonic on Mt. Athos, in Greek in the Empire, in Slavonic in Russia (certain Russian Old Believers maintained the Western rite Mass-rite, in Slavonic, up to the year 1963).


Should it be the Russian Old Believer version which ought to be promoted and used within the Russian Church Abroad?  Action should be taken immediately to study it, establish exactly what it was and how it was celebrated.

Father Aidan, why did the Old Believers cease to use it in 1963?
It fascinates me that the Old Believers maintained a western-rite, and I would appreciate pointing to some source material and like Hieromonk Ambrose, I wonder why it ended so recently?

Yes. The time-frame would be important, as well as location.

I'd like to know more about the Mt. Athos claim, as well. For instance, if this took place during the period the Duchy of Athens and the Duchy of Naxos were appendages of the Venetian Republic it would be a quite different thing than if it took place substantially earlier. There were Franciscans at the court of the Great Khan in China, too. Doesn't prove anything particular, except that they were skillful travelers  and exceptionally lucky to have kept their heads.
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« Reply #377 on: December 18, 2010, 11:16:16 AM »

This written earlier in 2010 is a great summation of the views of those of us who are challenged by the arguments advanced by the western proponents of a 'western-rite' Orthodoxy: (by Iconodule:) It is quoted without any editing by me:

The arguments for Western Rite are often phyletistic. They suggest that, on the basis of his culture or ethnicity, an Orthodox believer should be able to have a rite that most conforms to his background. The supporters of WR on this thread have not offered any reason why each little subculture in the church, or even each individual parish, should not be allowed to devise its own rite. In fact, they seem to be indicating that this would be a desirable situation. Maybe you have a different point of view- I'd be curious to hear it, if so.

What is so hard to adapt to in the Eastern rite? Is it the language? We have many parishes offering services in English and other Western languages. Is it the iconography? Well, the art of the Orthodox West wasn't that profoundly different- in fact, many WR parishes simply use Byzantine icons. Is it the hymnody? Western Orthodox hymns sound just as strange to modern Western ears. And besides, many Russian parishes have very westernized music. If you want to hear the Orthodox answer to Palestrina or Handel you can probably find it in a Russian church.

Yes, the Orthodox Church had many rites before. Their passing/ suppression is perhaps lamentable. Nevertheless, the Church, which we all confess to be guided by the Holy Spirit, has allowed this to happen and has not in any way compromised the integrity of the faith and Holy Tradition in doing so. There is something to be said for diversity, but there is also something more to be said about unity and the Church has leaned toward the latter. Now the Church has one rite (let's face it, WR will never be a major force unless Anglicans or RC's convert en masse). It is not really the Eastern rite anymore. It's not the "Byzantine rite". It's the Orthodox rite that we have today. It's the same rite celebrated by Aleuts, Chinese, Greeks, Russians, Kenyans, Romanians, Georgians, Japanese, Haitians... It's not a Greek rite or a Russian rite now- it's our rite. I'm sure this rite, along with the rest of the faith, seemed very strange to the Aleuts or Chinese Orthodox when they first encountered it. Nevertheless, they made it their own. Why can't some Westerners do the same? I say "some Westerners" because more Western converts do not have such liturgical hang-ups and have come to love the liturgy deeply.


I agree with this very strongly. In a few days we'll sing at Great Compline the text from Isaiah: "God is with us! Understand all ye nations, and submit yourselves!" Our liturgy isn't simply a nice way of observing the Lord's supper. Besides being very beautiful (for whatever my aesthetic opinion may be worth), we're taught that it is "true theology." But I also feel when a person seeks God's truth in the Orthodox faith, there should be no sense of trying to have one's own way about anything. Many of the posters on this thread seem to be honest and humble people, and I don't want to presume to know their motives. I just can't imagine asking or expecting the church to give me something different from the liturgy it's been serving for all these long centuries.
This idea of submitting to God and doing so through the Church is fundamental to the Orthodox faith.  There is in my view a huge difference between eastern and western in both rite and culture especially the level of understanding that liturgy equals true theology.  The liturgy as the vehicle for disseminating the faith is critical and the weakness of the western-rite liturgical movement is that it focuses on local preferences.  Almost every Western-rite monastery use different liturgical rites - some more Latin in tone, others call it Sarum, others Orthodox-ise the BCP.  One has to ask why so many versions of the Western-rite? 

Hieromonk Ambrose (Young) wrote: T"the great challenge for Orthodoxy in the near future is not to find new and better ways of adapting to the dominant culture by assimilation and thus becoming "relevant"; the challenge is to establish and maintain genuine continuity with the Saints and Fathers of the past. This means more education, for ignorance of the Faith among many Orthodox today is appalling and is the single greatest factor in the crisis we are now facing."


It seems to me that our task needs to be not to demand rites that suit our version of our western history - especially if those versions sanitise the Great Schism - the separation of all of Western Europe from the faith through their schism and slide into heterodoxy. Surely we western converts need to distrust our own attraction to the history of our nations, of our western-culture which produced heterodoxy and has become spiritually bankrupt?

Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna wrote: We see that the psychology of the Orthodox Fathers, far more complex and expansive than the psychologies of contemporary social scientists, frightfully challenges the limitations of the Western intellect, truncated as that intellect is by its mentalistic and spiritualistic poverty. This is especially true for Western converts to Eastern and for Christians born into the Orthodox Church but raised in the West. They intuitively realize, when they are painfully honest with themselves, that the Orthodox world of the spirit, in the Orthodox theological system, is integrally bound up with the world of the Orthodox mind. To be Orthodox is not just to hold a belief; it is to have a psychology, a peculiar psychology which blends what one believes with the way that one behaves and thinks. It becomes suddenly apparent, In the process of honest self-analysis, that Orthodox belief and Western behavior and patterns of thinking are not fundamentally compatible.

The Westerner, whether Orthodox or not, must come finally to understand that an acceptance of Orthodox belief is an acceptance of an Orthodox way of thinking, of an Orthodox psychology which formed the great Orthodox empires of Byzantium and Holy Russia, among others. He must come to the sometimes disconcerting conclusion that, despite the inevitable limitations of these Orthodox societies (which polemical heterodox writers have exploited at the cost of the tremendous accomplishments of the empires), they represent the blending of spirit and mind, lifted to the level of the blending of religion and culture, which is the psychology of the Fathers. With this realization there often comes an immediate repulsion, the Westerner musing: "Must I give up my own culture to be Orthodox?" And as often as not, this repulsion gives way to an accusation of philetism against those who properly exalt the classical model of Orthodox society epitomized in the Byzantine and Russian empires. The repulsion prompts a distorted understanding of the principle of accommodation to diverse cultures which is a touchstone of the Orthodox missionary tradition.

This misunderstanding is a further failure to grasp the psychology of the Fathers. Just as the mind and the spirit cannot be separated, so religion and culture, in the Orthodox Weltanschauung, cannot be separated. Virtues are formed by the harmonious interaction of the mind and the spirit, guided by the Divine Will. So, too, a worldly society is exalted and transformed when its culture and religion reflect the Divine Will. As alien as such a concept may be to those whose not on of theocracy is limited to the Papacy or Calvin's Geneva, this reflection is, after all, the triumph towards which every Orthodox society has striven. This reflection is the image of the icon of the earthly realm ascending toward the archetype of the heavenly city. The cultures of the Orthodox Fathers were the joint expressions of their minds, just as the Church, in the great Orthodox empires, was the joint expression of their spirits, the true ekklesia.

Where this psychology prevails, whether among Greeks, Russians, Serbs, or I (perhaps eventually) Americans, it transcends nationality and culture as we commonly understand them. It is a deep expression of Orthodoxy itself, and it is incumbent upon us that we honor and emulate this cultural psychology. It calls us to a vision of the heavenly homeland, moving us away from the mundane into conformity with the spiritual. We give up a culture which is not truly a culture for an internal spiritual sense, for a transformed view of society, for a spiritual culture, as it were. And this is not for us philetism, for philetism exalts the worth of the societies of man, seducing us, in our love for them, to ask if we "must give up our own culture to be Orthodox." To know 'the psychology of an Orthodox society is to know an elemental force in the spiritual evolution of all mankind. It is to enter a realm where philetism cannot be.

It is to no small extent that we see in contemporary Orthodoxy in the West—and, one might venture to say, even to a limited degree in the East, as in the xenophilous fervor of many young intellectuals in Greece today – not only a misunderstanding of the encompassing psychology of the Fathers, but a vehement resistance to it. A new convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, for example, finding little significance in some of the "externals" of more traditional Orthodox worship, recently wrote a friend referring to these liturgical traditions as a preoccupation with "bells and smells." Undoubtedly the writer's feelings were expressed with sincerity and honesty. However, they betray an internal resistance to the notion that the ritualistic practices of the Church transmit, through the transformation of the mind (indeed, of the senses, even the olfactory and acoustic senses), a spiritual perception; i.e., an awareness of a psychology of ritual, of a psychology in this realm too (that of worship), formed in classical Orthodox societies and passed down by them to those of us in the West.


The Orthodox mindset has culturally been lost in the West with the slide into heterodoxy.  One cannot separate the Reformation, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, Cromwell's Commonwealth and the French and American Revolutions from the ongoing slide of Western society and Christianity away from the Fathers of the East, away from the traditions of Orthodox monarchy and of society that was albeit fallible, but nonetheless focused on holiness in obedience to the Holy Orthodox Church.  It is also little wonder that the Bolsheviks forced the Orthodox monarchies of Russia, Serbia, Rumania to become republics because the very notion of a republic is contrary to the Orthodox order and mindset of the Byzantine Christian Empire.

The bottom line is we in the West need to distrust our own intellects and attraction for our own post-Schism ecclesial history and seek to acquire an Orthodox mindset.  Archbishop Chrisyostomos sums up:
or is the process of relegating the Christian East to the annals of pedantic history unintentional. Much of the memory loss is self-serving, a defense mechanism. This is because, in its ascendancy in the last few centuries, Western society has developed a certain smugness (particularly a religious smugness), to which the East is a living challenge. The East lays claim to an authenticity to which the West cannot. Their complacency challenged, many Westerners respond with a telling enmity for all that is Eastern. Thus it is that a theologian much involved in the ecumenical movement, ironically enough, recently decried the irritant presence of Eastern Orthodoxy in the modern ecclesiastical picture. He bemoaned the fact that one fifth of the world's some billion Christians have survived as a kind of institutional fossil that by all rights, irrelevant as it is to modern Christianity, should not have survived. Claiming to be the genuine Church of the Apostles, with an historical witness matched by no other Christian body, the Eastern Orthodox Church is both a challenge and a threat to modern Christianity, which has been pulled from its roots and which apparently is not anxious to find them, save on its own terms.

Ultimately, the Patristic mind calls the West to a psychology which it has lost, which it knows only in part. The Westerner is scarcely able to grasp this expansive psychology, let alone to acknowledge and correct his own spiritual and intellectual misapprehensions. He finds it difficult to Imagine that, as far as the East is from the West, as the Psalmist intones, so far too is Western Christianity from the Christianity of the ancient Church, which, as Mary Chitty once remarked, "the Eastern Orthodox Church of to-day preserves in continuity from the monks of old." It is only by an immense act of will that the Westerner can come to realize that the wisdom of the Orthodox East is not an "alternative" knowledge, not a cognitive system engendered by a strange and foreign culture, but that it is the true light from the East, dawning over "the paradise of God planted toward the East"—an East existing not geographically, but noumenally and ontologically. It is therefore appropriate that we should begin our series on this Patristic wisdom, on the psychology of the Orthodox Fathers, with a volume on humility. For it is only through humility, with a meek spirit, that the West can ever rise to that act of willful submission by which the Patristic mind will be revealed to it.



This is a lot to digest, but I can only say Amen, amen, and amen.

I sometimes have the feeling, particularly with former Anglicans, that their voyage to Orthodoxy is being propelled by issues having to do with the the Anglican church's struggles and scandals of the past few decades. They want a church without women priests and without the whole debate about gays, but they don't want to give up the things they love about Anglicanism. They are not so much joining the Orthodox world as they are leaving the Anglican Communion. It's a huge difference.
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« Reply #378 on: December 18, 2010, 11:17:00 AM »

This written earlier in 2010 is a great summation of the views of those of us who are challenged by the arguments advanced by the western proponents of a 'western-rite' Orthodoxy: (by Iconodule:) It is quoted without any editing by me:

The arguments for Western Rite are often phyletistic. They suggest that, on the basis of his culture or ethnicity, an Orthodox believer should be able to have a rite that most conforms to his background. The supporters of WR on this thread have not offered any reason why each little subculture in the church, or even each individual parish, should not be allowed to devise its own rite. In fact, they seem to be indicating that this would be a desirable situation. Maybe you have a different point of view- I'd be curious to hear it, if so.

What is so hard to adapt to in the Eastern rite? Is it the language? We have many parishes offering services in English and other Western languages. Is it the iconography? Well, the art of the Orthodox West wasn't that profoundly different- in fact, many WR parishes simply use Byzantine icons. Is it the hymnody? Western Orthodox hymns sound just as strange to modern Western ears. And besides, many Russian parishes have very westernized music. If you want to hear the Orthodox answer to Palestrina or Handel you can probably find it in a Russian church.

Yes, the Orthodox Church had many rites before. Their passing/ suppression is perhaps lamentable. Nevertheless, the Church, which we all confess to be guided by the Holy Spirit, has allowed this to happen and has not in any way compromised the integrity of the faith and Holy Tradition in doing so. There is something to be said for diversity, but there is also something more to be said about unity and the Church has leaned toward the latter. Now the Church has one rite (let's face it, WR will never be a major force unless Anglicans or RC's convert en masse). It is not really the Eastern rite anymore. It's not the "Byzantine rite". It's the Orthodox rite that we have today. It's the same rite celebrated by Aleuts, Chinese, Greeks, Russians, Kenyans, Romanians, Georgians, Japanese, Haitians... It's not a Greek rite or a Russian rite now- it's our rite. I'm sure this rite, along with the rest of the faith, seemed very strange to the Aleuts or Chinese Orthodox when they first encountered it. Nevertheless, they made it their own. Why can't some Westerners do the same? I say "some Westerners" because more Western converts do not have such liturgical hang-ups and have come to love the liturgy deeply.


I agree with this very strongly. In a few days we'll sing at Great Compline the text from Isaiah: "God is with us! Understand all ye nations, and submit yourselves!" Our liturgy isn't simply a nice way of observing the Lord's supper. Besides being very beautiful (for whatever my aesthetic opinion may be worth), we're taught that it is "true theology." But I also feel when a person seeks God's truth in the Orthodox faith, there should be no sense of trying to have one's own way about anything. Many of the posters on this thread seem to be honest and humble people, and I don't want to presume to know their motives. I just can't imagine asking or expecting the church to give me something different from the liturgy it's been serving for all these long centuries.

Here's the thing though:  we aren't asking for anything.  The Western Rite in Holy Orthodoxy is a done deal.  It's not something we're "shooting for" or "expecting" or any other such thing.  It has happened and is now as much a part of the Orthodox Church as anything else.  As a convert, I entered the Church through the Western Rite and it has been my sole liturgical experience thus far.  It was the liturgy that is "true theology" which was given to me by the Orthodox Church.  I sought the Orthodox Faith and this is what She has given me.

Sure, it started as a bottom-up thing but in order for it to be valid and blessed, it is ultimately a top-down thing.  The Western Rite is given by the Orthodox Church to her people as a means for them to work out their salvation in fear and trembling.

I hear this, and yet it seems so strange that a person's entire experience of Orthodoxy could be WR. I live in one of the largest Orthodox population centers in the US, and if there's more than one WR church, I am unaware of it. But there are seven other Orthodox churches of various jurisdictions within 10 minutes of my house. In other words, it would be impossible to be aware only of the Western Rite. The one parish I do know is a good stone's throw from a Greek Orthodox cathedral. So if a person were seeking the Orthodox faith here, they would have to choose WR in particular, and be rather aggressive about it, since it's not easy to find.

I don't think I'll ever really understand this, but I've ordered a copy of the prayer book Fr. Aidan's community uses, so perhaps the light of understanding will begin to shine. As to anything based on BCP, my mind is considerably less open, not that that would matter to anyone who cares.
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« Reply #379 on: December 18, 2010, 11:26:59 AM »

I'd like to know more about the Mt. Athos claim, as well. For instance, if this took place during the period the Duchy of Athens and the Duchy of Naxos were appendages of the Venetian Republic it would be a quite different thing than if it took place substantially earlier. There were Franciscans at the court of the Great Khan in China, too. Doesn't prove anything particular, except that they were skillful travelers  and exceptionally lucky to have kept their heads.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29094.0.html
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« Reply #380 on: December 18, 2010, 12:39:06 PM »

I hear this, and yet it seems so strange that a person's entire experience of Orthodoxy could be WR. I live in one of the largest Orthodox population centers in the US, and if there's more than one WR church, I am unaware of it. But there are seven other Orthodox churches of various jurisdictions within 10 minutes of my house. In other words, it would be impossible to be aware only of the Western Rite. The one parish I do know is a good stone's throw from a Greek Orthodox cathedral. So if a person were seeking the Orthodox faith here, they would have to choose WR in particular, and be rather aggressive about it, since it's not easy to find.

Well, when I was looking to join the Orthodox Church, I emailed every parish in my city (there are 7 here as well) that spoke English, and only one wrote back.  So, I started a dialogue with this priest and he invited me to attend the services there and to join the catechumen class they were in.  So I did, I joined, and the reason it has been my sole experience thus far is because I have found absolutely everything I had wanted from Orthodoxy.  Basically, there has been no need for me to go anywhere else, other than curiosity.  I have been to a handful of Vespers services at Byzantine Churches and you probably won't believe me when I say this, but it made me miss my Western Rite Church all the more.

You've said you find it hard to believe, but I'm telling you, with no agenda in mind, that there are many of us who find the Western Rite provided for us by our Holy Orthodox Church to be the utmost of fulfilling worship experiences and thank God every day that He has given it to us for our benefit.

You might also find it hard to believe that most of us would also stay in the Orthodox Church if it was somehow decided that the Western Rite would be no longer.  I was never an Anglican or any sort of "high church" Protestant, and I do not like the Western Rite for the reasons you assume so many who love it do.  It wasn't an escape from something, but a journey to something, and every convert in my Western Rite parish would tell you that.  There might be converts out there for whom this is not the case, but please stop judging this God-given rite based on that.

Quote
I don't think I'll ever really understand this, but I've ordered a copy of the prayer book Fr. Aidan's community uses, so perhaps the light of understanding will begin to shine. As to anything based on BCP, my mind is considerably less open, not that that would matter to anyone who cares.

Fortunately, Ss Tikhon & Raphael had far more open minds than you! Wink
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« Reply #381 on: January 01, 2011, 06:23:49 PM »

Fr. Aidan, are there still copies of the prayerbook available for us to purchase at the reduced price?

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« Reply #382 on: January 01, 2011, 10:34:23 PM »

The short answer is "yes."

There is no long answer.

 Smiley
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« Reply #383 on: January 05, 2011, 08:06:43 PM »

As a Latin-rite Catholic my answer is perhaps not particularly applicable; but I'd attend an Eastern Rite Catholic Church over a Western Rite Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #384 on: January 06, 2011, 12:40:33 AM »

And Western Rite Orthodox would attend an Eastern Rite Orthodox Church over a Latin Rite Catholic Church.  Is this surprising?
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« Reply #385 on: January 06, 2011, 01:18:29 AM »

And Western Rite Orthodox would attend an Eastern Rite Orthodox Church over a Latin Rite Catholic Church.  Is this surprising?

No, but it makes a point.

Ultimately, the faith of your church is more important than the "glass that holds it". So polemics against a rite are asinine.
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« Reply #386 on: January 06, 2011, 02:13:23 AM »

Agreed!
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« Reply #387 on: January 06, 2011, 02:43:53 AM »

And Western Rite Orthodox would attend an Eastern Rite Orthodox Church over a Latin Rite Catholic Church.  Is this surprising?

Oh sorry, I was just replying to the question. It wasn't meant as any kind of dig against Western Rite Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #388 on: January 06, 2011, 07:37:11 AM »

The short answer is "yes."

There is no long answer.

 Smiley

I'd like to have one but I don't know how to get it since I happen to live on the other side of the Globe. Do you still have problems with PayPal?
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« Reply #389 on: January 06, 2011, 08:01:30 PM »

The short answer is "yes."

There is no long answer.

 Smiley

I'd like to have one but I don't know how to get it since I happen to live on the other side of the Globe. Do you still have problems with PayPal?

I got mine through Amazon.com. There are many other sources, it's not that hard to find.
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« Reply #390 on: January 07, 2011, 04:14:43 AM »

I got mine through Amazon.com. There are many other sources, it's not that hard to find.

I've seen it in Amazon.com but from what I can remember it costed a lot more than those available through Fr. Aidan. I'm ready to pay rather good price but 130$ is a bit too much for me. With that kind of prices I have to stick with my regular Finno-Byzantine prayerbooks.

What are the other sources you had in mind?
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« Reply #391 on: January 07, 2011, 06:07:43 AM »

This written earlier in 2010 is a great summation of the views of those of us who are challenged by the arguments advanced by the western proponents of a 'western-rite' Orthodoxy: (by Iconodule:) It is quoted without any editing by me:

The arguments for Western Rite are often phyletistic. They suggest that, on the basis of his culture or ethnicity, an Orthodox believer should be able to have a rite that most conforms to his background. The supporters of WR on this thread have not offered any reason why each little subculture in the church, or even each individual parish, should not be allowed to devise its own rite. In fact, they seem to be indicating that this would be a desirable situation. Maybe you have a different point of view- I'd be curious to hear it, if so.

What is so hard to adapt to in the Eastern rite? Is it the language? We have many parishes offering services in English and other Western languages. Is it the iconography? Well, the art of the Orthodox West wasn't that profoundly different- in fact, many WR parishes simply use Byzantine icons. Is it the hymnody? Western Orthodox hymns sound just as strange to modern Western ears. And besides, many Russian parishes have very westernized music. If you want to hear the Orthodox answer to Palestrina or Handel you can probably find it in a Russian church.

Yes, the Orthodox Church had many rites before. Their passing/ suppression is perhaps lamentable. Nevertheless, the Church, which we all confess to be guided by the Holy Spirit, has allowed this to happen and has not in any way compromised the integrity of the faith and Holy Tradition in doing so. There is something to be said for diversity, but there is also something more to be said about unity and the Church has leaned toward the latter. Now the Church has one rite (let's face it, WR will never be a major force unless Anglicans or RC's convert en masse). It is not really the Eastern rite anymore. It's not the "Byzantine rite". It's the Orthodox rite that we have today. It's the same rite celebrated by Aleuts, Chinese, Greeks, Russians, Kenyans, Romanians, Georgians, Japanese, Haitians... It's not a Greek rite or a Russian rite now- it's our rite. I'm sure this rite, along with the rest of the faith, seemed very strange to the Aleuts or Chinese Orthodox when they first encountered it. Nevertheless, they made it their own. Why can't some Westerners do the same? I say "some Westerners" because more Western converts do not have such liturgical hang-ups and have come to love the liturgy deeply.


I agree with this very strongly. In a few days we'll sing at Great Compline the text from Isaiah: "God is with us! Understand all ye nations, and submit yourselves!" Our liturgy isn't simply a nice way of observing the Lord's supper. Besides being very beautiful (for whatever my aesthetic opinion may be worth), we're taught that it is "true theology." But I also feel when a person seeks God's truth in the Orthodox faith, there should be no sense of trying to have one's own way about anything. Many of the posters on this thread seem to be honest and humble people, and I don't want to presume to know their motives. I just can't imagine asking or expecting the church to give me something different from the liturgy it's been serving for all these long centuries.

Here's the thing though:  we aren't asking for anything.  The Western Rite in Holy Orthodoxy is a done deal.  It's not something we're "shooting for" or "expecting" or any other such thing.  It has happened and is now as much a part of the Orthodox Church as anything else.  As a convert, I entered the Church through the Western Rite and it has been my sole liturgical experience thus far.  It was the liturgy that is "true theology" which was given to me by the Orthodox Church.  I sought the Orthodox Faith and this is what She has given me.

Sure, it started as a bottom-up thing but in order for it to be valid and blessed, it is ultimately a top-down thing.  The Western Rite is given by the Orthodox Church to her people as a means for them to work out their salvation in fear and trembling.

I hear this, and yet it seems so strange that a person's entire experience of Orthodoxy could be WR. I live in one of the largest Orthodox population centers in the US, and if there's more than one WR church, I am unaware of it. But there are seven other Orthodox churches of various jurisdictions within 10 minutes of my house. In other words, it would be impossible to be aware only of the Western Rite. The one parish I do know is a good stone's throw from a Greek Orthodox cathedral. So if a person were seeking the Orthodox faith here, they would have to choose WR in particular, and be rather aggressive about it, since it's not easy to find.

I don't think I'll ever really understand this, but I've ordered a copy of the prayer book Fr. Aidan's community uses, so perhaps the light of understanding will begin to shine. As to anything based on BCP, my mind is considerably less open, not that that would matter to anyone who cares.
The quote from Iconodule says it all!  Yes, the WR has come down from the top, but it is simply not in my view necessary.  Orthodoxy is lived by generation after generation.  We have had Western Orthodox now worshipping in what the Western rite sometimes call the Eastern-rite for generations now.  We have the transmission of Byzantine Orthodoxy in Japan, Korea, Alaska and elsewhere for more than 100 years.  What was Byzantine is now simply "the Orthodox rite" and it is as much the birth-rite of English, Japanese, Korean and many others as it is for the Greeks or Slavs.

Today in my Russian Church in Tasmania we had our Nativity Liturgy - served in Slavonic, Serbian and English, by a Serbian priest with a Russian and Australian choir, with Australian, Russian, Greek and Ethiopians and Serbs in the congregation.  Nothing foreign for us there at all.  It was simply Orthodox faithful sharing the timeless Byzantine liturgy celebrating together the Nativity. 
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« Reply #392 on: January 07, 2011, 10:03:03 AM »

Fortunately, Orthodoxy is not about what's "necessary."  It's about the fullness of the Faith.  The Western liturgical tradition and spiritual heritage are part of Holy Tradition and they rightfully belong to Orthodoxy.

SubdeaconDavid, forgive me, but you just appear so...shifty and fickle in regards to the Western Rite.  One day you'll make posts about how you have no problem with it at all and want to see it thrive, and another day you'll say its "just not necessary."  I don't understand it.
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« Reply #393 on: January 07, 2011, 03:34:21 PM »

Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics , and to a significant extent oriental orthodox as well are Western Churches. I just wanted to remind everybody of that. Nothing Eastern about Greeks or Russians. Keep the Eastern thing and the question of Orthodoxy (of a rite or Church) seperate please. The ACOE is a true Eastern Church.
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« Reply #394 on: January 07, 2011, 03:37:36 PM »

Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics , and to a significant extent oriental orthodox as well are Western Churches. I just wanted to remind everybody of that. Nothing Eastern about Greeks or Russians. Keep the Eastern thing and the question of Orthodoxy (of a rite or Church) seperate please. The ACOE is a true Eastern Church.
The Patirarch of Antioch (EO/OO) is Patriarch of All the East.
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« Reply #395 on: January 07, 2011, 03:53:53 PM »

The quote from Iconodule says it all!  Yes, the WR has come down from the top, but it is simply not in my view necessary. 
Then don't go to a WRO Church. That's simple.

Orthodoxy is lived by generation after generation.  We have had Western Orthodox
You mean Eastern Orthodox in the West?
now worshipping in what the Western rite sometimes call the Eastern-rite for generations now.
Everyone calls it the Eastern-rite, or more correctly the Constantinopolitan rite.

And we have had Western Orthodox worshipping in the Western rite for 3-6 generations now.

We have the transmission of Byzantine Orthodoxy in Japan, Korea, Alaska and elsewhere for more than 100 years.
And the WRO for nearly a 140 years.

What was Byzantine is now simply "the Orthodox rite"
No, even the most vehement bishops opposing the WRO admit that if you are Orthodox, you can commune in the DL of SS. Gregory or Tikhon.

and it is as much the birth-rite of English, Japanese, Korean and many others as it is for the Greeks or Slavs.
No, it is not, any more than the Common Law, haikus and Daeboreum are the birth-rite of Greeks or Slavs.

Today in my Russian Church in Tasmania we had our Nativity Liturgy - served in Slavonic, Serbian and English, by a Serbian priest with a Russian and Australian choir, with Australian, Russian, Greek and Ethiopians and Serbs in the congregation.  Nothing foreign for us there at all.  It was simply Orthodox faithful sharing the timeless Byzantine liturgy celebrating together the Nativity. 
You are aware that the Ethiopians have their own liturgy, and it's not "byzantine," no?

And why wasn't it in Tasmanian?
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« Reply #396 on: January 07, 2011, 03:58:05 PM »

Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics , and to a significant extent oriental orthodox as well are Western Churches. I just wanted to remind everybody of that. Nothing Eastern about Greeks or Russians. Keep the Eastern thing and the question of Orthodoxy (of a rite or Church) seperate please. The ACOE is a true Eastern Church.
The Patirarch of Antioch (EO/OO) is Patriarch of All the East.


The Catholicos Patriarch of the ACOE is and was acknowledged as Patriarch of all the East for generations. Even the RCC gave a bull stating this under Pope Nicholas IV.  ACOE Bishops in Edessa were even called "Western bishops" for you to have an idea. The ACOE is the only Church to not have been under the Roman-Byzantine ecclesiastical structure. It is interesting to note that the "Chaldean" and Malankara rites were the first u-bodies to be formed. The ACOE episcopacy extended all the way to Tibet and China, there was no other Church in India before it as you know as well.
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« Reply #397 on: January 07, 2011, 05:23:57 PM »

Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics , and to a significant extent oriental orthodox as well are Western Churches. I just wanted to remind everybody of that. Nothing Eastern about Greeks or Russians. Keep the Eastern thing and the question of Orthodoxy (of a rite or Church) seperate please. The ACOE is a true Eastern Church.
The Patirarch of Antioch (EO/OO) is Patriarch of All the East.
The Catholicos Patriarch of the ACOE is and was acknowledged as Patriarch of all the East for generations.
The title "Catholicos" indicates an exarch of the Patriarch of Antioch, which is why the primates of Georgia, Armenia and India bear the title.

Even the RCC gave a bull stating this under Pope Nicholas IV.
A bulll with no authority in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to back it up.

ACOE Bishops in Edessa were even called "Western bishops" for you to have an idea.
That is as far west as it got until recently. Rome is still in the Eastern Hemisphere.

The ACOE is the only Church to not have been under the Roman-Byzantine ecclesiastical structure.
No, the Armenian, Georgian and Albanian (Caucasian) Churches were not within the Roman Empire, nor the Irish Church. Of course, being under Antioch, the Catholicoi of Mesopotamia, Armenia, Georgia and Alabania were within the Roman ecclesiastical structure.

It is interesting to note that the "Chaldean" and Malankara rites were the first u-bodies to be formed.
No, that would be the Italo-Greeks.

The ACOE episcopacy extended all the way to Tibet and China, there was no other Church in India before it as you know as well.
The Orthodox Church, as much of Mesopotamia, Iran, Arabia and India remained Orthodox.
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« Reply #398 on: January 07, 2011, 05:45:34 PM »

Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics , and to a significant extent oriental orthodox as well are Western Churches. I just wanted to remind everybody of that. Nothing Eastern about Greeks or Russians. Keep the Eastern thing and the question of Orthodoxy (of a rite or Church) seperate please. The ACOE is a true Eastern Church.
The Patirarch of Antioch (EO/OO) is Patriarch of All the East.
The Catholicos Patriarch of the ACOE is and was acknowledged as Patriarch of all the East for generations.
The title "Catholicos" indicates an exarch of the Patriarch of Antioch, which is why the primates of Georgia, Armenia and India bear the title.

Even the RCC gave a bull stating this under Pope Nicholas IV.
A bulll with no authority in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to back it up.

ACOE Bishops in Edessa were even called "Western bishops" for you to have an idea.
That is as far west as it got until recently. Rome is still in the Eastern Hemisphere.

The ACOE is the only Church to not have been under the Roman-Byzantine ecclesiastical structure.
No, the Armenian, Georgian and Albanian (Caucasian) Churches were not within the Roman Empire, nor the Irish Church. Of course, being under Antioch, the Catholicoi of Mesopotamia, Armenia, Georgia and Alabania were within the Roman ecclesiastical structure.

It is interesting to note that the "Chaldean" and Malankara rites were the first u-bodies to be formed.
No, that would be the Italo-Greeks.

The ACOE episcopacy extended all the way to Tibet and China, there was no other Church in India before it as you know as well.
The Orthodox Church, as much of Mesopotamia, Iran, Arabia and India remained Orthodox.

Quote
The Orthodox Church, as much of Mesopotamia, Iran, Arabia and India remained Orthodox.

The EO or OO was never in India, Iran, mesopotamia and for the most part Arabia since :

1) There is no recorded Church other than the ACOE in India before the portuguese arrived. People in India will tell that to you. The existence of a Westernized oriental orthodox church in India is the product of the Indians seeking an ACOE bishop accidentally receiving an OO bishop since the ACOE was not in the region the asked anymore due to persecution.

2) The only OO or EO in Persia were the enslaved captives the Sassanids brought back who built a few churches. They were not indigenous though.

3) The only indigenous Church in Persia and Edessa was the ACOE before the Syriac orthodox broke away from it a long time later (they adopted the doctirne of Cyril).

4) Some Arabians adopted Eastern Orthodoxy but not many since this was the "Roman" Church and they preferred a Church at better terms and not in continuos conflict with their Sassanid overlords. Even the Quran talks about tons of ACOE monks walking about in Mecca (a center for the ACOE actually before Islam).

Quote
No, that would be the Italo-Greeks.

Ok, they beat the others a little bit sooner. Still it is strange that these far away u-bodies were formed so early. Makes me think if the possibly last remaining force capable of squashing without mercy the "throne of Peter" heresy (since it was never part of the Roman or Byzantine sphere, ecclesiastical structure) needed to be eliminated.

Quote
No, the Armenian, Georgian and Albanian (Caucasian) Churches were not within the Roman Empire, nor the Irish Church. Of course, being under Antioch, the Catholicoi of Mesopotamia, Armenia, Georgia and Alabania were within the Roman ecclesiastical structure.

All of these Churches were influenced by, under the territory of , or at war with, and accepting the councils signed by the Roman-Byzantine emperors or the pope. The ACOE alone never faced any of that. It was deep in the Sassanid empire, later deep into the Caliphate, so nobody could force it to accept anything it did not agree to.

Quote
The title "Catholicos" indicates an exarch of the Patriarch of Antioch

Ridiculous to assert that the ACOE was ever the suffragan of a faraway western bishop. This is an attempt to find the closest Westerners to somehow connect the ACOE to. A fiction :

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« Reply #399 on: January 07, 2011, 06:50:23 PM »

The Orthodox Church, as much of Mesopotamia, Iran, Arabia and India remained Orthodox.

The EO or OO was never in India, Iran, mesopotamia and for the most part Arabia since :

1) There is no recorded Church other than the ACOE in India before the portuguese arrived. People in India will tell that to you. The existence of a Westernized oriental orthodox church in India is the product of the Indians seeking an ACOE bishop accidentally receiving an OO bishop since the ACOE was not in the region the asked anymore due to persecution.[/quote]
Read Eusebius.

2) The only OO or EO in Persia were the enslaved captives the Sassanids brought back who built a few churches. They were not indigenous though.
The Armenian royal house-who established the first Christian kingdom (on earth)-were the former Imperial house of Iran, overthrown by the Sassanids. Besides them, and the Georgians and Albanians, there were many Iranian converts, and many Orthodox in Mesopotamia and the areas of Arabia-all natives of the Iranian empire, Parthian and Sassanid.

3) The only indigenous Church in Persia and Edessa was the ACOE before the Syriac orthodox broke away from it a long time later (they adopted the doctirne of Cyril).
The dogma of Pope St. Cyril is what the Apostles preached when they came to Edessa, and St. Rabbula upheld it against the perversion in the Letter Attributed to Ibas.

4) Some Arabians adopted Eastern Orthodoxy but not many since this was the "Roman" Church and they preferred a Church at better terms and not in continuos conflict with their Sassanid overlords. Even the Quran talks about tons of ACOE monks walking about in Mecca (a center for the ACOE actually before Islam).
The Quran doesn't distinquish between monks.  The Christians it does identify (the Romans, the martyrs of Najran, Syrian monks etc.) were Orthodox.

Quote
No, that would be the Italo-Greeks.
Ok, they beat the others a little bit sooner.

Couple centuries. Next were the Maronites.

Still it is strange that these far away u-bodies were formed so early. Makes me think if the possibly last remaining force capable of squashing without mercy the "throne of Peter" heresy (since it was never part of the Roman or Byzantine sphere, ecclesiastical structure) needed to be eliminated.
There was a "u-"patriarch for Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem before they reached the Assyrians. And Georgia was in better shape.

Quote
No, the Armenian, Georgian and Albanian (Caucasian) Churches were not within the Roman Empire, nor the Irish Church. Of course, being under Antioch, the Catholicoi of Mesopotamia, Armenia, Georgia and Alabania were within the Roman ecclesiastical structure.

All of these Churches were influenced by, under the territory of , or at war with, and accepting the councils signed by the Roman-Byzantine emperors or the pope. The ACOE alone never faced any of that. It was deep in the Sassanid empire, later deep into the Caliphate, so nobody could force it to accept anything it did not agree to.
And stll there was plenty of Orthodox running around there.

Quote
The title "Catholicos" indicates an exarch of the Patriarch of Antioch

Ridiculous to assert that the ACOE was ever the suffragan of a faraway western bishop.

Mesopotamia was next door. Armenia, Georgia, Albania and India were further away, and under Antioch.

This is an attempt to find the closest Westerners to somehow connect the ACOE to. A fiction
Just stating facts recorded in Greek, Aramaic, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Arabic...


Quote
During the first five centuries Seleucia in Mesopotamia, subsequently the see of the Nestorian catholicos, was under the Patriarchate of Antioch. In the fifth century, as can be seen in the "Synodicon Orientale" (ed. Chabot), almost all the bishops of Seleucia-Ctesiphon bore the title of catholicos, without, however, severing their relations with Antioch; hence, originally, the word catholicos was not synonymous with patriarch. Owing to the political separation of the East from the West and to theological disputes, several attempts were made during the fifth century to secure religious independence. In the synod held at Seleucia under Dadjesus in 424 (cf. Synodicon, 51, text and 296. tr.) it was forbidden to appeal from the Catholicos of Seleucia to the Patriarch of Antioch.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03454a.htm
St. Ephraim of Nisibis came to the Council of Nicea, his bishop Jacob signing the Definition.  The bishops of Nisibis and Edessa came to the Ecumenical Councils, some even signing their names to the Acts in Syriac. St. Jacob, the second bishop of Nisibis, founded the school there on the model of Diodore of Tarsus' school in Antioch.
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« Reply #400 on: January 08, 2011, 02:35:10 AM »

Fortunately, Orthodoxy is not about what's "necessary."  It's about the fullness of the Faith.  The Western liturgical tradition and spiritual heritage are part of Holy Tradition and they rightfully belong to Orthodoxy.

SubdeaconDavid, forgive me, but you just appear so...shifty and fickle in regards to the Western Rite.  One day you'll make posts about how you have no problem with it at all and want to see it thrive, and another day you'll say its "just not necessary."  I don't understand it.
Hmmm forgive me for sounding "shifty".  If I look at the WR overall I have no problem with the rejuvenation of Western Christian Orthodoxy - as like S. John of Shanghai, I accept the validity of it.  What I struggle with is the disingenuous position of those who try and pretend the Great Schism never happened, or those who think that by calling Anglican BCP Matins "Sarum" that it is OK even when BCP Matins is clearly a child of the Reformation.  

I struggle with the fact that you have WR groups with their own prayer books and a determination not to even let scholars in Western liturgy access them.  I struggle with the fact that you have a tiny congregation of Western riters with a priest in  an ecumenical meeting room my own city and my own 60 year old Russian Orthodox temple has no resident priest and we do not even celebrate feasts together.  That simply saddens me.

I am NOT inimical to Western Christendom.  I grew up an Anglican.  I made my confession believing them valid as an Anglican.  I made my communion, having fasted, said preparation prayers and believing tbem valid and the mass that I was attending valid.  However the bottom line is I was wrong about the validity of western orders and western Christian history post 1054.  

Western-rite not necessary?  If you understand that we can worship in English, using the same rite as 99% of Orthodoxy, then NO it is not necessary.  It is a liturgical relic - the DNA has been taken by WR clerics and people and brought back to life - of sorts, but it is not the same as the Orthodox experience of unbroken bishops and priests, unbroken community of believers worshipping and living the Orthodox rite of the 'East'.  

Western culture has never been homogeneous.  Rites based on Anglican worship have little cultural validity in Continental Europe, let alone in the East.  The Russian Church in China baptised thousands and ordained many priests - native Chinese, who learned Slavonic, used Chinese as well in worship and for whom the rite was simply 'the Orthodox rite'.
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« Reply #401 on: January 08, 2011, 02:39:31 AM »

The quote from Iconodule says it all!  Yes, the WR has come down from the top, but it is simply not in my view necessary. 
Then don't go to a WRO Church. That's simple.

Orthodoxy is lived by generation after generation.  We have had Western Orthodox
You mean Eastern Orthodox in the West?
now worshipping in what the Western rite sometimes call the Eastern-rite for generations now.
Everyone calls it the Eastern-rite, or more correctly the Constantinopolitan rite.

And we have had Western Orthodox worshipping in the Western rite for 3-6 generations now.

We have the transmission of Byzantine Orthodoxy in Japan, Korea, Alaska and elsewhere for more than 100 years.
And the WRO for nearly a 140 years.

What was Byzantine is now simply "the Orthodox rite"
No, even the most vehement bishops opposing the WRO admit that if you are Orthodox, you can commune in the DL of SS. Gregory or Tikhon.

and it is as much the birth-rite of English, Japanese, Korean and many others as it is for the Greeks or Slavs.
No, it is not, any more than the Common Law, haikus and Daeboreum are the birth-rite of Greeks or Slavs.

Today in my Russian Church in Tasmania we had our Nativity Liturgy - served in Slavonic, Serbian and English, by a Serbian priest with a Russian and Australian choir, with Australian, Russian, Greek and Ethiopians and Serbs in the congregation.  Nothing foreign for us there at all.  It was simply Orthodox faithful sharing the timeless Byzantine liturgy celebrating together the Nativity. 
You are aware that the Ethiopians have their own liturgy, and it's not "byzantine," no?

And why wasn't it in Tasmanian?
Yes, I know the Ethiopians have their own liturgy but in the absence of an Ethiopian church here, some go to the New Calendar Greeks and some come to us. Church Slavonic and Serbian as well as English are part of the cultural languages of Tasmania and they still prayed for HM the Queen as well as for the Crown prince of Serbia!
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« Reply #402 on: January 08, 2011, 01:28:46 PM »

Fortunately, Orthodoxy is not about what's "necessary."  It's about the fullness of the Faith.  The Western liturgical tradition and spiritual heritage are part of Holy Tradition and they rightfully belong to Orthodoxy.

SubdeaconDavid, forgive me, but you just appear so...shifty and fickle in regards to the Western Rite.  One day you'll make posts about how you have no problem with it at all and want to see it thrive, and another day you'll say its "just not necessary."  I don't understand it.
Hmmm forgive me for sounding "shifty".  If I look at the WR overall I have no problem with the rejuvenation of Western Christian Orthodoxy - as like S. John of Shanghai, I accept the validity of it.  What I struggle with is the disingenuous position of those who try and pretend the Great Schism never happened, or those who think that by calling Anglican BCP Matins "Sarum" that it is OK even when BCP Matins is clearly a child of the Reformation.  

I struggle with the fact that you have WR groups with their own prayer books and a determination not to even let scholars in Western liturgy access them.  I struggle with the fact that you have a tiny congregation of Western riters with a priest in  an ecumenical meeting room my own city and my own 60 year old Russian Orthodox temple has no resident priest and we do not even celebrate feasts together.  That simply saddens me.

I am NOT inimical to Western Christendom.  I grew up an Anglican.  I made my confession believing them valid as an Anglican.  I made my communion, having fasted, said preparation prayers and believing tbem valid and the mass that I was attending valid.  However the bottom line is I was wrong about the validity of western orders and western Christian history post 1054.  

Western-rite not necessary?  If you understand that we can worship in English, using the same rite as 99% of Orthodoxy, then NO it is not necessary.  It is a liturgical relic - the DNA has been taken by WR clerics and people and brought back to life - of sorts, but it is not the same as the Orthodox experience of unbroken bishops and priests, unbroken community of believers worshipping and living the Orthodox rite of the 'East'.  

Western culture has never been homogeneous.  Rites based on Anglican worship have little cultural validity in Continental Europe, let alone in the East.  The Russian Church in China baptised thousands and ordained many priests - native Chinese, who learned Slavonic, used Chinese as well in worship and for whom the rite was simply 'the Orthodox rite'.

When I joined this thread it was mostly out of curiosity. The whole notion of a Western Orthodox church has always seemed unnecessary to me as well, not that my opinion on the subject really matters. It seemed to me Patriarch St. Tikhon, and perhaps others, were looking for a way to reach out to Protestant Americans in particular, and they thought the long services in Slavonic were perhaps something of a hindrance. Since the common language of Orthodoxy in the US is now English, even as various jurisdictions continue to worship in other languages, it would seem the context has changed rather radically from St. Tikhon's time.

After reading the comments and participating in the discussion, I've learned to respect my Western Rite brothers and sisters (as well as fathers and mothers) in a new way. I bought one of the prayer books--the one prepared by Fr. Aidan--and have been going through it. I have both Anglicans and Roman Catholics in my family and was a professional church musician for many, many years, so the content of this particular book is fairly familiar. I believe anyone who feels at home in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, or even, perhaps, in the pre-conciliar Latin church, would be comfortable with the liturgies in that book.

But the issues remain. First, it feels like something that was assembled, rather than something that evolved. Once in awhile I find myself with a little bit of a "greatest hits" feeling. Second, I return to some of the debates I participated in a couple of months back: There is simply no basis for asserting that we know how liturgy was celebrated in any Western church before 1054 (or even long after 1054), and there are no extant primary sources for the Sarum Rite before the 12th Century. I know many proponents of the rite disagree with this assertion, but so far no one has offered any actual primary sources to refute it. Certainly, references exist, even individual texts and musical "settings." But nothing like the volume of material that would be needed to put together a Rituale with rubrics for a single liturgy, let alone the entire church year. Now, of course it is reasonable to assume that the material from the 12th-Century sources would reflect earlier practices, so the challenge might be valid if these slightly later sources were missals, for instance, or a complete set of all the material used by an 11th-Century English monastic choir. But these later sources are one Gradual and two Antiphonaries. None of those books is meant, even today, to be used as a stand-alone source for all liturgical practice, and nor do the two books combined contain everything necessary.

So, without in any way questioning either Fr. Aidan's bona fides or his scholarly qualifications, which are far, far superior to my own, I do, nevertheless, feel the question of provenance is a valid one that requires more study.

The other thing in my view is the need for the rite itself. I understand it's been authorized in some jurisdictions, so in a sense my comments are superfluous and irrelevant. But I come back to the feeling I had before I started reading the comments here. I've been deeply moved and inspired by the faith and sincerity of the people here who've shared their love for the Western Rite. But I can't get past the nagging little voice that says loving it isn't enough. The Tridentine Mass is a beautiful liturgy, too, and if one experiences it being celebrated, whether in all the splendor of a European Gothic cathedral or in the simplicity of a rustic mountain chapel, it can be truly awe-inspiring. An Anglican Evensong, sung of a summer evening, perhaps at Ely (or Salisbury itself), is another beautiful spiritual experience. When I open the Western Orthodox prayer book and see the great hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, it is like being greeted by an old, old friend. But we are not talking about a spiritual experience, even less of an aesthetic one. We are talking about "true theology," as the Canon before Communion calls it. We have an ancient liturgy that embodies, expresses, IS this true theology. I'm not persuaded (not that anyone needs to persuade me) that anything other than this ancient liturgy is needed or even desirable, however much one may love this "other," or however beautiful it may be.

Anyway, as many have pointed out, wiser heads than mine have already ruled, and since those heads also wore miters, their decisions bind. LOL
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« Reply #403 on: January 08, 2011, 03:10:57 PM »

Fortunately, Orthodoxy is not about what's "necessary."  It's about the fullness of the Faith.  The Western liturgical tradition and spiritual heritage are part of Holy Tradition and they rightfully belong to Orthodoxy.

SubdeaconDavid, forgive me, but you just appear so...shifty and fickle in regards to the Western Rite.  One day you'll make posts about how you have no problem with it at all and want to see it thrive, and another day you'll say its "just not necessary."  I don't understand it.
Hmmm forgive me for sounding "shifty".  If I look at the WR overall I have no problem with the rejuvenation of Western Christian Orthodoxy - as like S. John of Shanghai, I accept the validity of it.  What I struggle with is the disingenuous position of those who try and pretend the Great Schism never happened, or those who think that by calling Anglican BCP Matins "Sarum" that it is OK even when BCP Matins is clearly a child of the Reformation.  

I struggle with the fact that you have WR groups with their own prayer books and a determination not to even let scholars in Western liturgy access them.  I struggle with the fact that you have a tiny congregation of Western riters with a priest in  an ecumenical meeting room my own city and my own 60 year old Russian Orthodox temple has no resident priest and we do not even celebrate feasts together.  That simply saddens me.

Why is their fortune your misfortune?

I am NOT inimical to Western Christendom.


You just want to deny its existence, and replace it with Eastern Christendom, sort of like the Latin Empire of Constantinople being the same as the Roman Empire of the East.

I grew up an Anglican.  I made my confession believing them valid as an Anglican.  I made my communion, having fasted, said preparation prayers and believing tbem valid and the mass that I was attending valid.  However the bottom line is I was wrong about the validity of western orders and western Christian history post 1054.


The correct date is 1009, btw., if not 867.

Western-rite not necessary?  If you understand that we can worship in English, using the same rite as 99% of Orthodoxy, then NO it is not necessary.  It is a liturgical relic - the DNA has been taken by WR clerics and people and brought back to life - of sorts, but it is not the same as the Orthodox experience of unbroken bishops and priests, unbroken community of believers worshipping and living the Orthodox rite of the 'East'.
In the East. What you advocate would argue for chucking the Patrimony of the Patriarchate of the West-indeed, for chucking the patrimonies of the patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem,  and Georgia, as that of Constantinople has been imposed on them-rites, saints, patristics and all.

You don't seem to concerned by the transplants of the Nikonian reformation. Defintely not an organic growth.

And look at the apostolic succession at Constantinople, the line with which you anchor the whole ark of the Church. EP Eusebius of Nicomedia didn't try to reverse Nicea I?  EP Macedonius I preached Orthodoxy and the Fathers of Constantinople I-and hence Our Creed-were mistaken?  The schism during EP Arcacius' patriarchate didn't happen?  EP Nestorius (who established, its seems, the DL of St. John Chrysostom at Constantinople) a link in that "Orthodox experience of unbroken bishops and priests, unbroken community of believers worshipping and living the Orthodox rite"? Which do you side over the Henotkon, with EP Acacius, or EP John I?  EP Sergius I save you from the liturgical relics of Popes SS. Martin and Agatho?  EP Anastasios protect you from the heterodox statues of Pope SS. Gregory II and III?

No, the Orthodoxy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate did not survive on the merits of Constantinople, but because the Orthodox episcopate is one, and what was strong elsewhere (including at Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem) strengthed and healed what was infirm at Constantinople. Why the divine grace, which always heals what is weak and makes up for what is lacking was able to do so in Constantinople, but powerless in the West, you have yet to explain.

It's not like taking DNA a la Jurassic Park. It's like a skin graft, which restores healthy tissue.

Western culture has never been homogeneous.


But it has always been Western. And since the East have never been homogenous, what was your point?

I have no use for Ultramontanism, whether across the Alps or across the Taurus.

Rites based on Anglican worship have little cultural validity in Continental Europe, let alone in the East.
That leaves still leaves a lot


The Russian Church in China baptised thousands and ordained many priests - native Chinese, who learned Slavonic, used Chinese as well in worship and for whom the rite was simply 'the Orthodox rite'.
Gee, why doesn't Russia just annex China?  Btw, the Jesuits did far better embracing Chinese culture. And with a western Rite.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 03:13:24 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #404 on: January 08, 2011, 05:08:49 PM »

Jesuits vs. Russian Orthodox?  I don't think so.  For the Chinese Orthodox, nationality became of less consequence to them than their Orthodoxy.  Nothing in that about being annexed by Russia or necessarily losing their Chinese identity.  Jesus Christ and the Holy Orthodox faith was of greater importance than notions of race and nation.  This is the story of Orthodoxy.  National identity is less important than Orthodox identity.  This happened for the Chinese Orthodox.  It happened for the Aleutian-Alaskan Orthodox.  It happened for the Japanese Orthodox and it is happening now for the Indonesian Orthodox, the Western Orthodox converts and so many more. 

Eastern Orthodox life has been an organic development always - imperfect at times in application, but arguably nurtured by so many saints and holy people of God.  Even the fact that for the Western European peoples that Orthodox saints stopped after the Schism - that Western society produced no saints once Western society was outside the Church has had a huge impact on the spiritual lives of Europe, the Americas etc.  It is only Eastern Orthodoxy that has breathed the Spirit of God into the spiritually bankrupt West.  We western converts owe our spiritual lives on those saints and missionaries from Greece, Russia and the Middle East.  The Western-rite itself is the product of the benevolence of Eastern Orthodoxy. 

Of course the negatives of the West have hugely impacted on Orthodox societies and contemporary culture.  That Orthodox Christian kingdoms like Greece and Serbia are now secular republics is a product of the anti-monarchical and anti-Orthodox spirit of modern post French Revolution western thinking. Even Russia today is yet to make peace with God in the restoration of the Orthodox Tsars.  The New Calendarist modernism owes much to the spirit of contemporary Western pseudo-scientific and entirely secular thinking. That is why the Julian calendar itself is so important because it serves as a signal separation of the Orthodox from non-believers.

That the English monarchy has preserved albeit via a heterodox Church of England so much Orthodox notions of the relationship between the monarchy and God is a sign of the residue of Orthodoxy in some places of the Western psyche. May God grant that Orthodoxy, Eastern and Western will convert the West anew.



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