Author Topic: “So that the law of prayer might become the law of belief”  (Read 307 times)

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Offline Alpha60

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“So that the law of prayer might become the law of belief”
« on: September 17, 2018, 10:50:34 AM »
I was interested recently to learn that the popular Latinism lex orandi, lex credendi is derived from a longer saying by Prosper of Aquitania, ut legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi, which translates as the title of this thread.

It suggests the liturgy should ideally perpetuate the beliefs of the church, if it is done correctly.  In this respect, I think the Eastern liturgical tradition does a particularly brilliant job, as do the traditional Western Rites (setting aside the watered down Book of Common Prayer tradition; the BCP is beautiful, but Anglicans love saying lex orandi, lex credendi, and the remarkably ambiguous nature of BCP sacramental services has the effect of confirming neithet the disparate credenda of the evangelical low church Anglican or the high church Anglo Catholic; at most, the Anglican BCP affirms the minimalist doctrine deliberately expressed by CS Lewis in Mere Christianity, which on the one hand was a noble effort to teach common doctrinal truths shared by all Nicene Christians, but on the other hand could be interpreted, contrary to CS Lewis notable and highly likable Anglo Catholic leanings, as the inadvertant summation of a Pietist race to the bottom).

Examples where the Eastern liturgies particularly triumphs at becoming the law of belief, at expressing the faith of the Church, include the Holy Week services (the Roman Rite Holy Week, pre-1955, was very similiar to the Byzantine rite, with parallels between the Tenebrae service and the Twelve Gospels service, and between the Vespersl Liturgy and the Pachal Liturgy on the morning of Holy Saturday, with 13 prophecies of the Passion and Resurrection read in the Byzantine Rite, and 12 in the Roman).   The Coptic liturgies on Holy Saturday are also remarkably brilliant, with the reading of the Prayer of St. Athanasius; the Book of Revelation is also read in full, which I have heard is also the custom in Athonite monasteries.

Anothrr brilliant liturgical success is the Holy Day commemorating the Beheading of St. John the Baptist.  Here it is the fasting traditions which drive home the credendum, the faith, of Orthodoxy, through paraliturgical custom, specifically, the traditional prohibition against any food served on a platter.

We could doubtless cite other examples, but it seems to me a real tragedy that the Novus Ordo has followed the BCP into the realm of liturgical ambiguity, so that a disalignment exists between what Roman Catholics profess to believe in their creed, and what the liturgy teaches.  A further disalignment between creed and liturgy I would argue manifests itself in several of the de-Latinized Eastern Catholic liturgies; many of these have become effectively undifferentiated from the Orthodox or Assyrian liturgy, and consequently appear to contradict the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  And the omission of the filioque from the Byzantine Rite liturgies in the Greek-speaking EC churches, while arguably done because somehow, for some reason, Rome believed the filioque would become heretical if expressed in Greek, seems to weaken the case for including it in the Latin Rite.

Of the Protestant liturgical traditions, I think only the old Lutheran liturgies come somewhat close to expressing the errant theology of their confessions.

For a liturgy which is aligned with the true beliefs of the faithful and of ancient Christendom, one really needs the Eastern Rites, or, sans the filioque, the Western Rites, particularly as they are being used in the WRO communities.  I would like to see the beautiful Ambrosian and Mozarabic Rite liturgies put into place in the Western Rite alongside derivatives of the Roman Rite; these liturgies, being representatives of a living tradition, would be preferrable to contrivances such as the “Liturgy of St. Germain de Paris.”  I also daresay that since the Mozarabic liturgy has been scarcely modified since the 9th century, it would better meet the ROCOR Western Rite objective of a pre-schism Western Rite than the various attempts at reconstructing a pre-schism liturgy based on the Sarum Rite (which is basically the Roman Rite) or the Stowe Missal (which isn’t enough by itself for liturgical purposes, lacking a Divine Office, rites for baptism, unction, et cetera).

Offline WPM

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Re: “So that the law of prayer might become the law of belief”
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2018, 09:04:48 PM »