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Author Topic: My Western Rite Confusion  (Read 6807 times) Average Rating: 0
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MicahJohn
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« on: April 01, 2006, 10:48:12 AM »

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before I thought about Gregorian, which still speaks to my heart in ways eastern chant never has.

Hear, hear.

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[Deep sigh] (Eeeeeasy, Pedro...)

OK...MicahJohn...what about the WR do you have a hard time as accepting as fully Orthodox?  You can PM me on this one if you like so as not to derail the thread.  As you may have noticed ('cause, y'know, I didn't make it obvious or anything  Roll Eyes), the Western Rite is something dear to my heart, even though I'm in the OCA myself...

That made me chuckle.  Pedro, my good man, if anyone has wanted to find a way to accept WR ways it has been me.  Like you, I love (and perhaps prefer) Gregorian-style chants.  My parents were Episcopal for 11 years and that's where I was infant-baptized.  I still enjoy going to the Catholic Cathedral downtown for concerts, and I used to go for Mass before becoming Orthodox.  And I love pipe organs!

But I had the fortune, good or bad, to come to Orthodoxy within a conservative OCA parish which does not approve of WR, so I've been influenced by that, understandably.  When I look at WR stuff on the web, and I have gotten to know a WR priest a little bit here in town, it just seems like their main issue is to be Western and not Eastern, rather than just being Orthodox Christians.  So some minor points:

I have become fully convinced that instruments are best left out of church.  Actually, I think choirs are best left out of church, too, but that's tough in Orthodoxy these days.  I think all church music should be monophonic, too.  This isn't really a beef with WR except that I think nearly all WR parishes have organs, and pews too, which I also think should be gone.

I've been informed that there are little problems still with the WR liturgies, things like "as it was in the beginning" or some particular wording in the consecration that smacks of "Real Presence" rather than actually mystical transformation.  I don't know, I'm not a scholar, I'm just going by my spiritual directors.

If the Faith and the Liturgy are so intimately connected as I have been led to believe, then a different Liturgy implies subtle differences in the faith.  How can we all have the same Faith yet worship in such different manners?  There seems to be such a different spirit between ER & WR.

My trouble is, not to mention the fact that my parents are entirely pro-WR and very turned off by East good, West bad, since I am such a new OC I am one of those "weaker brethren" which are greatly affected by what this or that person says is right or wrong.  Not that I can't think for myself, but when it comes to this stuff it's really easy for me to be influenced.  I've had my priest tell me one thing and my dad another.  I came to the conclusion that it was serving merely to distract me from working on my salvation, so I have tried to let go and just give my priest my allegiance.

But...

When it comes down to it, I prefer just about all the stylistic, visual (except for icons) and sonic elements of western worship above eastern.  I don't know what to make of no iconostasis, but I find those "high altars" you seen in western churches to be grand and inspiring, whereas everything is hidden in the eastern church.  I love stained glass windows, I love huge echoey chambers, and I definitely prefer modal chanting.

So, Pedro, you see how torn I am!
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2006, 04:19:36 PM »

IMHO, an important thing to remember is that if the Orthodox Church is the "one, holy, catholic, Apostolic Church" of which the Creed speaks, then it must be universal (one of the definitions of the word catholic).  If the OC is universal, then its faith cannot be confined to just one culture.  Whereas I do recognize that Eastern culture is in general more faithful to Orthodoxy, this does not mean to me that Orthodoxy should be purely an Eastern faith.  There is room for the elements of the Western world view that are true and compatible with Orthodoxy, what few there may be.  There is also room--as I've stated in another post elsewhere, even St. John Maximovich saw this--for non-Eastern liturgical rites.
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2006, 04:22:47 PM »

If the Faith and the Liturgy are so intimately connected as I have been led to believe, then a different Liturgy implies subtle differences in the faith.  How can we all have the same Faith yet worship in such different manners?  There seems to be such a different spirit between ER & WR.

The WR is just another way of praying in Orthodoxy, just as there is the Byzantine Rite, the Slavic Rite (not all that different tho), the Syriac Rite, the Alexandrian Rite, Armenian Rite, there are also more Western Rites like the Ambrosian Rite from Milan, still practised in Italy today, and some ancient "dead" rites such as the Celtic Rite.

I know some traditionalists here will say I'm a heretic but as for Icons...ppl get so hung up on them when in fact, up until well after the Iconoclastic period, most Byzantine/Eastern churches did not have the full 8+ foot iconostasis. The fact is that there was just an altar rail (kinda like Catholic churches have/had) separating the nave from the altar and upon this low altar rail, icons were hung (at knee/waist height).

A good example of such a church is St. Paul's Greek Orthodox in Irvine, California.

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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2006, 07:07:33 PM »

"One member of the [Russian Orthodox Icon] Society, who was very zealous for the old icon style, wanted the Archbishop [John Maximovich] to make a decree in the diocese that only old-style icons were to be allowed, or at least to make a decision that this was the officially approved position.  In a way, this man's intention seemed good.  Archbishop John, however, told him, 'I can pray in front of one kind icon, and I can pray in front of another kind of icon.'  The important thing is that we pray, not that we pride ourselves on having good icons."  At another time the Archbishop pointed out that the Mother of God weeps and performs miracles through any style of icon.

From Hieromonk Damascene, Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, pp. 306-307 (St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2003)
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Fr. David
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2006, 10:06:55 PM »

That made me chuckle.  Pedro, my good man, if anyone has wanted to find a way to accept WR ways it has been me.

Heh.  OK.   Smiley

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But I had the fortune, good or bad, to come to Orthodoxy within a conservative OCA parish which does not approve of WR, so I've been influenced by that, understandably.

Mmm...yes.  Unfortunate also that he (your priest) is so negative towards his brother priest in the same town...

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When I look at WR stuff on the web, and I have gotten to know a WR priest a little bit here in town, it just seems like their main issue is to be Western and not Eastern, rather than just being Orthodox Christians.  

Well, I think this mindset needs a little tweaking...there is no "just being Orthodox Christians" for them without being occupied w/preserving their western heritage, just as Eastern Rite-ers are occupied w/preserving their eastern heritage as a part of their being Orthodox.  They are called to be an Orthodox parish in the Western Rite, so this assumes they're going to be concerned about their life and history as a western parish, so yeah, you're going to notice a contrast where the parishioners emphasize lots of things that aren’t even in your OCA parish’s world.  WRO have sort of a double task...to be Orthodox (which they are) while going through the necessary "identity shift" period of wading through the wheat and the chaff of their former Catholicism/Anglicanism.  

Also…Where are you that there's a WR parish in your town?  I frequent (well, “frequent” is a generous word as of late) St. Peter’s in Ft. Worth.

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I have become fully convinced that instruments are best left out of church.  Actually, I think choirs are best left out of church, too, but that's tough in Orthodoxy these days.  I think all church music should be monophonic, too.  This isn't really a beef with WR except that I think nearly all WR parishes have organs, and pews too, which I also think should be gone.

Well, I'm with you on no instruments, but history's not uniform on the subject, so we'll just have to be flexible.   Gotta disagree about no choirs, though; the parishes where chanting has been perfected are RARE...

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I've been informed that there are little problems still with the WR liturgies, things like "as it was in the beginning" or some particular wording in the consecration that smacks of "Real Presence" rather than actually mystical transformation.  I don't know, I'm not a scholar, I'm just going by my spiritual directors.

As it was in the beginning is the western equivalent to "now and ever..." that we say.  It's been in use for over fifteen hundred years, so that’s good ‘n’ Orthodox.  Umm…here’s the text from the consecration of the gifts from the Rite of St. Tikhon, used in the formerly-Anglican parishes of the WR:

Quote from: Rite of St. Tikhon
The Prayer of Consecration

The People kneel.

All glory be to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that Thou of thy tender mercy, didst give Thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption;  who (by his own oblation of himself once offered) made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world;  and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death and sacrifice, until his coming again.

The bell rings once.

For in the night in which he was betrayed, he took bread, and when he had given thanks to thee, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat, THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH IS GIVEN FOR YOU.  Do this in remembrance of me.”  +

The bell rings thrice for the elevation of the Host.

Likewise, after supper, he took the cup;  and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink ye all of this;  for THIS IS MY BLOOD OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, WHICH IS SHED FOR YOU AND FOR MANY, FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS.    Do this as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me.”  +

The bell rings thrice for the elevation of the Chalice.

Wherefore, O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Savior Jesus Christ, we, thy humble servants, do celebrate and make here before thy divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts, which we now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make;  having in remembrance his blessed passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension;  rendering unto thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same.
 And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us;  and of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to send down thy Holy Spirit upon these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that they may be + changed into the Body and Blood of thy most dearly beloved Son.

Grant that we, receiving them according to thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.

And we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving;  most humbly beseeching thee to grant that, by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we, and all thy whole Church, may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion.  And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, be + filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us, and we in him.  Be mindful also, O Lord, of thy servants who are gone before us with the sign of faith, and who rest in the sleep of peace. (Here the departed are commemorated.) To them, O Lord, and to all who rest in Christ grant we pray thee a place of refreshment, light and peace.  To us sinners also, thy servants, confiding in the multitude of thy mercies, grant some lot and partnership with thy holy Apostles and Martyrs: Blaise, Vincent, Raphael, John, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucia, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia, and with all thy Saints, into whose company we pray thee of thy mercy to admit us.  And although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service,  not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offenses, through Jesus Christ our Lord;   By whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honor and glory be unto thee, O + Father Almighty, world without end. Amen.

You can see the whole mass here, at St. Peter’s site, if you click on “The Mass” in the sidebar, but I don’t find anything an eastern Christian would have a problem with here…

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If the Faith and the Liturgy are so intimately connected as I have been led to believe, then a different Liturgy implies subtle differences in the faith.  How can we all have the same Faith yet worship in such different manners?  There seems to be such a different spirit between ER & WR.

This is a common question that I hear a lot.  Indeed, if lex orandi est lex credendi, would it not therefore mean that, in order to ensure one Faith, we must insist on one liturgical tradition?  Not necessarily, as the Byzantine Rite (or rather, those practicing it) have spawned many a heresy (with Rome and her western liturgical traditions, I might add, serving as the bulwark of Orthodoxy during those times).  What is more, is that, when the Church gathered in Ecumenical Councils, we were indeed of one mind regarding Christology, Trinitarian belief, the Creed…in other words, all things needful for being within the One, Holy Catholic, and Apostolic Church…all the while worshipping in radically different traditions…Alexandria, Britain, Gaul (France), Spain, Italy, Antioch, Jerusalem, Constantinople, India…Every one of these traditions was quite distinct, yet what brought about schism was not this liturgical diversity, but rather a change in confession or belief by individual churches.

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My trouble is, not to mention the fact that my parents are entirely pro-WR and very turned off by East good, West bad, since I am such a new OC I am one of those "weaker brethren" which are greatly affected by what this or that person says is right or wrong.

Well, I have to say, “East good; West bad” seems to be, for the most part, the only reason I’ve been given…by anyone who professes distaste for the WR…for not having it.  If what I wrote above re: liturgical diversity is true (and I think it’s beyond dispute that it is), then we have no excuse and no precedent for not having other rites in our Church that our bishops have approved (and that last part is important!).

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I came to the conclusion that it was serving merely to distract me from working on my salvation, so I have tried to let go and just give my priest my allegiance.

Smart man.  Bloom where you’re planted, and don’t look around at other people.  As they say in Spanish, “Haz bien, y no mires a quién.”

The article Lux Occidentalis is the best article out there, imo, that thoroughly and scholarly answers detractors’ claims re: the supposedly “unworthy pedigree” or “mish-mash” quality of the liturgies of the WR.  I’ve not heard of any rebuttal to its claims whatsoever; I think it makes the case clear that these liturgies have a rightful place in the Church.  I’m sorry that your priest is so antagonistic towards them; there’s really no reason to be.  The WR isn’t wrong; it’s just different and unfamiliar right now, and some folks aren’t able to bend enough just yet to accept these brethren as fully Orthodox…but the WR is under legit bishops, their worship is Orthodox (as that article will show), so their Eucharist is our Eucharist, and they are the Church, just as we are.

And with that, I bow out ‘till after Pascha…which, I know, I said I was gonna do at the beginning of Lent.  I just wanted to give an answer to this.  Forgive me if I’ve caused anyone to wonder; forgive me also for breaking my fast.
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2006, 12:45:10 AM »

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I have become fully convinced that instruments are best left out of church.  Actually, I think choirs are best left out of church, too, but that's tough in Orthodoxy these days.  I think all church music should be monophonic, too.  This isn't really a beef with WR except that I think nearly all WR parishes have organs, and pews too, which I also think should be gone.

Polyphony in the West extends back almost 1000 years (as do organs, which were used to play wordless melodies and improvisations, not unlike the Byzantine terirems). Polyphony developed out of folk tradition in Russia (i.e. it originally was *not* a Western importation), and it's an ancient, integral component of Georgian chant as well. Even Byzantine chant performed with an ison is technically polyphonic, and with a moveable ison, you're introducing elements of harmony, too.

There's nothing wrong with pews, provided they're arranged such that it's still possible to do prostrations (at least in the Byzantine rite; the WR kneels instead). They're no different than monastic stasidia, except they're accessible to the laity as well.

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I've been informed that there are little problems still with the WR liturgies, things like "as it was in the beginning" or some particular wording in the consecration that smacks of "Real Presence" rather than actually mystical transformation.

Pedro already addressed "as it was in the beginning" (unless you *don't* think the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were glorified in the beginning), but the Real Presence is exactly what should be there, and what the Eastern Orthodox believe -- that the Body and Blood are really and truly there. If there wasn't any wording that smacked of the Real Presence, *then* there would be a problem.

Anybody in the OCA who speaks against the WR can be effectively silenced with one word: "Schmemann".
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2006, 01:21:42 AM »

Wasn't St. Tikhon, the Archbishop of North America before he was elevated to Patriarch of Moscow in 1917, an advocate of the Western Rite, as well?
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2006, 01:26:28 AM »

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Wasn't St. Tikhon, the Archbishop of North America before he was elevated to Patriarch of Moscow in 1917, an advocate of the Western Rite, as well?

Yep, hence the "Liturgy of St. Tikhon".
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2006, 01:31:41 AM »

The article Lux Occidentalis is the best article out there, imo, that thoroughly and scholarly answers detractors’ claims re: the supposedly “unworthy pedigree” or “mish-mash” quality of the liturgies of the WR.  I’ve not heard of any rebuttal to its claims whatsoever; I think it makes the case clear that these liturgies have a rightful place in the Church.  I’m sorry that your priest is so antagonistic towards them; there’s really no reason to be.  The WR isn’t wrong; it’s just different and unfamiliar right now, and some folks aren’t able to bend enough just yet to accept these brethren as fully Orthodox…but the WR is under legit bishops, their worship is Orthodox (as that article will show), so their Eucharist is our Eucharist, and they are the Church, just as we are.

Just read it.  Pedro, thank you for posting a fine article.
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2006, 01:47:00 AM »

Polyphony in the West extends back almost 1000 years (as do organs, which were used to play wordless melodies and improvisations, not unlike the Byzantine terirems). Polyphony developed out of folk tradition in Russia (i.e. it originally was *not* a Western importation), and it's an ancient, integral component of Georgian chant as well. Even Byzantine chant performed with an ison is technically polyphonic, and with a moveable ison, you're introducing elements of harmony, too.
Not quite - because the ison (isocrates - from "iso" meaning self or same) has a different function, as to be a note of reference and not to harmonize or with a parallel melody.  I still have no problem with polyphony though and quite like it.  I appreciate both forms.  My main musical gripes are just:  minimize the usage of any modern Russian Choral stuff (Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Bortniansky, etc.) depending on  what it is though, discard virtually all harmonized "byzantine" chant (e.g. Fr. John Finely stuff) as an interesting liturgical expirement given it's context at the time and finally, whatever you do, just do it well and prayerfully.  While I have preferences and moods of when/what I like, please just do it well.

There's nothing wrong with pews, provided they're arranged such that it's still possible to do prostrations (at least in the Byzantine rite; the WR kneels instead). They're no different than monastic stasidia, except they're accessible to the laity as well.
Beg to differ here.  Pews are much more restrictive and have a greater impact.  A few benches on the side, but please no pews/chairs.

Anybody in the OCA who speaks against the WR can be effectively silenced with one word: "Schmemann".
No.  You need to actually elucidate by what you men by "Schmemann".  I realize that some of his earlier Liturgical writings may be controversial...if I even knew what those disagreeable concepts were.  All the works of his I've read so far seem to have high praise from even more "traditional" leaning end.
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2006, 02:10:43 AM »

Yep, hence the "Liturgy of St. Tikhon".

Well, DUHH!!! Embarrassed  I guess I should have read more closely the post above on the "Rite of St. Tikhon."
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2006, 10:55:44 AM »

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Also…Where are you that there's a WR parish in your town?

I live in Denver, where there are three WR parishes: St. Columba, St. Mark, St. Augustine.  The first two use St. Tikhon, last uses St. Gregory.

Btw, St. Mark's is the parish of Fr. John Connely, the author of the Lux Occidentalis article.  I've been there a time or two, though not for a full liturgy.  I used to practice on their organ now and then.
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2006, 03:59:39 PM »

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Not quite - because the ison (isocrates - from "iso" meaning self or same) has a different function, as to be a note of reference and not to harmonize or with a parallel melody.

This is true; however, it's still technically polyphony -- it's an independent melodic line, albeit with only 2 or 3 notes.

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Beg to differ here.  Pews are much more restrictive and have a greater impact.  A few benches on the side, but please no pews/chairs.

I've been in several churches where there are pews or chairs that are set far enough apart for prostrations between them, and they're not restrictive at all. Also, the Old Believers don't have pews, but they do have benches set widely, and they don't seem to have a problem with them, either.

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You need to actually elucidate by what you men by "Schmemann".

He's their most well-respected liturgical theologian, and he was instrumental in the formation of the modern Antiochian WR usage.
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2006, 05:51:09 PM »

This is true; however, it's still technically polyphony -- it's an independent melodic line, albeit with only 2 or 3 notes.
Sorry, still wrong.  An ison is not even close to any definition of a melody or harmony.  It could be interpreted as a small gesture toward a harmony, but nothing more.

I've been in several churches where there are pews or chairs that are set far enough apart for prostrations between them, and they're not restrictive at all. Also, the Old Believers don't have pews, but they do have benches set widely, and they don't seem to have a problem with them, either.
Fine.  I've yet to seem them though.


He's their most well-respected liturgical theologian, and he was instrumental in the formation of the modern Antiochian WR usage.
OK....but you are still making a blanket statement:  as if all OCAers would agree with everything Schmemman said.


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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2006, 06:17:34 PM »

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An ison is not even close to any definition of a melody or harmony.

Er, yes, it is a melody, i.e. a linear sequence of notes.

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Fine.  I've yet to seem them though.

Take a trip to an Old Believer church, or to Sts. Constantine and Helen in Galveston, or St. Joseph's in Houston. And in any case, whether they should be in ER churches or not is irrelevant, because the specific criticism levelled by the OP is that they were in WR churches, where there *isn't* a problem, as there are no prostrations in the WR, except during ordinations, but that's done by the candidates in the quire, where there aren't pews anyways so there's still no problem.

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OK....but you are still making a blanket statement:  as if all OCAers would agree with everything Schmemman said.

The OCA absolutely reeks of Schmemann's influence, so it's quite incongruous that many of them are anti-WR.
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« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2006, 06:54:00 PM »

Er, yes, it is a melody, i.e. a linear sequence of notes.
Me thinks that you don't have much of a musical background.  There is nothing linear about an ison - it only changes with the key or "mode" of the melody.  There are several cases where there is only one ison note.

Take a trip to an Old Believer church, or to Sts. Constantine and Helen in Galveston, or St. Joseph's in Houston. And in any case, whether they should be in ER churches or not is irrelevant, because the specific criticism levelled by the OP is that they were in WR churches, where there *isn't* a problem, as there are no prostrations in the WR, except during ordinations, but that's done by the candidates in the quire, where there aren't pews anyways so there's still no problem.
Fine.  I don't really care.  And I don't live anywhere near TX and hope that I never will.

The OCA absolutely reeks of Schmemann's influence, so it's quite incongruous that many of them are anti-WR.
"reeks"....charity is obviously not one of your strong suits.  I'm in the OCA and I don't agree with everything Schmemman says and I know that there are many others as well.  Again, your hasty generalizations are uncalled for.
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2006, 07:18:12 PM »

Who is Fr. Schmemman and what's wrong with him?
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2006, 07:27:32 PM »

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Me thinks that you don't have much of a musical background.  There is nothing linear about an ison - it only changes with the key or "mode" of the melody.  There are several cases where there is only one ison note.

You're wrong about my musical background, and you're wrong about the ison. There's not a change of tone every time the ison moves.

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Fine.  I don't really care.

Then why'd you post about pews to begin with? Just felt like stirring the pot a little?

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"reeks"....charity is obviously not one of your strong suits.  I'm in the OCA and I don't agree with everything Schmemman says and I know that there are many others as well.

I apologize for using "reeks"; it wasn't precisely what I meant. The leadership of the OCA, as well as its flagship seminary, and many of its parishes and people, are thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Fr. Schmemann's teachings, and his work remains enormously influential in the OCA. I'm not saying (here, at least) whether that's good or bad.

Nevertheless, he was spot-on about the WR being a good thing.
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« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2006, 07:55:38 PM »

You're wrong about my musical background, and you're wrong about the ison. There's not a change of tone every time the ison moves.
Well, you must not have used your musical background to think....look at my most recent post again.  You got what I posted backwards.

Then why'd you post about pews to begin with? Just felt like stirring the pot a little?
The point is that it is preferable to have side benches over arranged pews everywhere, as pews still turn the service into a Preacher/Audience experience instead of a worshipping together experience.

I apologize for using "reeks"; it wasn't precisely what I meant. The leadership of the OCA, as well as its flagship seminary, and many of its parishes and people, are thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Fr. Schmemann's teachings, and his work remains enormously influential in the OCA. I'm not saying (here, at least) whether that's good or bad.

Nevertheless, he was spot-on about the WR being a good thing.
No problem....and I'm curious to see how this WR goes as time passes.
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« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2006, 07:59:14 PM »

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Well, you must not have used your musical background to think....look at my most recent post again.  You got what I posted backwards.

You said the ison changes with the mode. That is true, in that the different tones have different isons, but the ison can change without the mode changing as well.

Quote
The point is that it is preferable to have side benches over arranged pews everywhere, as pews still turn the service into a Preacher/Audience experience instead of a worshipping together experience.

And again, I disagree. Experience has shown that it's perfectly possible to have pews without having a passive congregation.
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« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2006, 08:00:07 PM »

The OCA absolutely reeks of Schmemann's influence, so it's quite incongruous that many of them are anti-WR.


I'm sorry.  I see a lot of Fr. Schmemann's influence in my OCA parish, and I agree with a lot of what Fr. Schmemann taught, but I still have to disagree with the above statement.  The other two OCA churches in my city alone do not show the same Schmemannite footprint that my parish shows.  Many OCA parishes and dioceses are indeed influenced by Fr. Schmemann, but you'll find quite a few OCA parishes, especially in the West, that don't agree much at all with Fr. Schmemann and show a much more "traditional" Russian influence.
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« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2006, 08:15:33 PM »

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I'm sorry.  I see a lot of Fr. Schmemann's influence in my OCA parish, and I agree with a lot of what Fr. Schmemann taught, but I still have to disagree with the above statement.

Please see my earlier clarification. The dioceses of the South, West, and Alaska are somewhat of an aberration, compared to the OCA "heartland" of the Midwest and Northeast.
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« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2006, 09:22:45 PM »

Please see my earlier clarification. The dioceses of the South, West, and Alaska are somewhat of an aberration, compared to the OCA "heartland" of the Midwest and Northeast.

Three dioceses are an abberation?  Sounds more like a dichotomy to me.
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« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2006, 09:27:56 PM »

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Three dioceses are an abberation?  Sounds more like a dichotomy to me.

Those three dioceses may be large in geographical area, but the bulk of the OCA's non-Alaskan population is still in the midwest and northeast, and that's also where their leadership is firmly anchored. Abp. Dmitri and Bp. Tikhon don't have nearly as much influence in the OCA as some of us would like them to.
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« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2006, 09:30:20 PM »

I was under the impression that polypohony came FROM the West TO Russia and NOT the other way around.

As for the Tikhon Liturgy, the only problem I have about it is that it comes from the Anglican Tradition which is not an Apostolic Tradition. I have no problem with the Roman ("Tridentine") Tradition since Rome was always an Apostolic Church. I would'nt have any problems with it if the liturgy was taken from the Sarum Rite Mass, but instead it was taken from the Anglican Prayer Book and tweaked does not do it justice- more like transformed. I still believe that the "Rite of St. Tikhon" is a true Eucharistic Liturgy, just that it has a very unstable basis.
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« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2006, 09:49:39 PM »

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I was under the impression that polypohony came FROM the West TO Russia and NOT the other way around.

There was an indigenous Russian polyphony (the "strochnyj" and polyphonic "demestvenny" chants) before Western polyphony was imported.
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« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2006, 09:51:07 PM »

Good God, I started this thread and my question goeth unanswered... Shocked

So what the dew with Fr. Shmemann?
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« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2006, 09:52:00 PM »

Good God, I started this thread and my question goeth unanswered... Shocked

So what the dew with Fr. Shmemann?

Anastasios?  I started a similar thread a while back.  Where is that explanation you gave?
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« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2006, 09:53:28 PM »

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So what the dew with Fr. Shmemann?

Waaaaayyy too much to go into in a single post. Depending on who you talk to, he's either a saint who grokked the true meaning of liturgy, or a reformist hack who wanted to destroy all that is beautiful about the Church's services.
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« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2006, 10:17:25 PM »

I thought that Schmemann did a lot of good, but theologically was a bit too untraditional. Maybe both sides are right to an extent. Personally, I found his attitude towards saints he didn't like to be a bit too irreverent, as for example seen in his treatment of Emperor saints in his history book Historical Road of Eastern Orthodoxy. He also clearly had a different understanding of how the Liturgy developed, saying that it was more human-influenced and less divinely-influenced than the Orthodox Church normally claims.
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« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2006, 09:40:15 AM »

And again, I disagree. Experience has shown that it's perfectly possible to have pews without having a passive congregation.

Indeed it is. Anglicans from *my* experience are not "passive" in church.  We take part in the worship.  Pews can make things "decently and in order" rather then the warning we were given by a ROCOR parishioner who'd invited us to his church that "It might look like a bus terminal"  with all the people moving all about. Wink

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« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2007, 10:20:11 AM »

Hear, hear.

That made me chuckle.  Pedro, my good man, if anyone has wanted to find a way to accept WR ways it has been me.  Like you, I love (and perhaps prefer) Gregorian-style chants.  My parents were Episcopal for 11 years and that's where I was infant-baptized.  I still enjoy going to the Catholic Cathedral downtown for concerts, and I used to go for Mass before becoming Orthodox.  And I love pipe organs!

But I had the fortune, good or bad, to come to Orthodoxy within a conservative OCA parish which does not approve of WR, so I've been influenced by that, understandably.  When I look at WR stuff on the web, and I have gotten to know a WR priest a little bit here in town, it just seems like their main issue is to be Western and not Eastern, rather than just being Orthodox Christians.  So some minor points:

I have become fully convinced that instruments are best left out of church.  Actually, I think choirs are best left out of church, too, but that's tough in Orthodoxy these days.  I think all church music should be monophonic, too.  This isn't really a beef with WR except that I think nearly all WR parishes have organs, and pews too, which I also think should be gone.

I've been informed that there are little problems still with the WR liturgies, things like "as it was in the beginning" or some particular wording in the consecration that smacks of "Real Presence" rather than actually mystical transformation.  I don't know, I'm not a scholar, I'm just going by my spiritual directors.

If the Faith and the Liturgy are so intimately connected as I have been led to believe, then a different Liturgy implies subtle differences in the faith.  How can we all have the same Faith yet worship in such different manners?  There seems to be such a different spirit between ER & WR.

My trouble is, not to mention the fact that my parents are entirely pro-WR and very turned off by East good, West bad, since I am such a new OC I am one of those "weaker brethren" which are greatly affected by what this or that person says is right or wrong.  Not that I can't think for myself, but when it comes to this stuff it's really easy for me to be influenced.  I've had my priest tell me one thing and my dad another.  I came to the conclusion that it was serving merely to distract me from working on my salvation, so I have tried to let go and just give my priest my allegiance.

But...

When it comes down to it, I prefer just about all the stylistic, visual (except for icons) and sonic elements of western worship above eastern.  I don't know what to make of no iconostasis, but I find those "high altars" you seen in western churches to be grand and inspiring, whereas everything is hidden in the eastern church.  I love stained glass windows, I love huge echoey chambers, and I definitely prefer modal chanting.

So, Pedro, you see how torn I am!

I was turned into a big supporter of WRO before I was Orthodox, torn in the opposite way.

I was baptized and confirmed as an Evangelical Lutheran in the US.  I am German, Scandinavian, but the predominant strand in me is the Arab.

It was going to a Lutheran Church in the Middle East where I saw how large the cultural disconnect was.  I was still a faithful Lutheran, and that played no part in my later embracing Orthodoxy. But when I embraced Orthodoxy, the disonnance I had as a Lutheran disappeared (for the most part: I'm still living in the US), but I wondered about those who came home in Orthdoxy, but for whom the East isn't home.

Btw I picked the OCA because I thought (and think) it had the best canonical position, but I disagree with its stand on the WRO.  I remember a few years back some traditionalist Anglicans approached Metropolitan Theodosius on being received.  As far as I know, nothing came of it, and the group had 10,000 members I believe.  Probably they are among those TAC who are now knocking at Rome's door.  Another squandered opportunity?
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« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2008, 09:59:09 PM »

... in WR churches, where there *isn't* a problem, as there are no prostrations in the WR, except during ordinations, but that's done by the candidates in the quire, where there aren't pews anyways so there's still no problem.


Also during the Good Friday liturgy and as well as before the Sacrament at the Altar of Repose.
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« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2008, 10:31:07 PM »

I would like to compliment all of those in this thread for being so concerned about minutiae, sincerely.

It is this trait that I admire most about the Orthodox - they are concerned with even the smallest detail of their worship to a degree which is incredible to this Catholic; this is an attitude which has, in my opinion, kept the Orthodox Church out of the trouble which the Latin Church has acquired.

Do carry on; I enjoy watching the active preservation of the Faith.
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« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2008, 07:14:44 AM »

I would like to compliment all of those in this thread for being so concerned about minutiae, sincerely.

It is this trait that I admire most about the Orthodox - they are concerned with even the smallest detail of their worship to a degree which is incredible to this Catholic; this is an attitude which has, in my opinion, kept the Orthodox Church out of the trouble which the Latin Church has acquired.

Do carry on; I enjoy watching the active preservation of the Faith.


these posts brother are 2006 and 2007 posts were are some of these people from 2006......stanislav
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« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2008, 07:24:53 AM »


these posts brother are 2006 and 2007 posts were are some of these people from 2006......stanislav

Stashko, people resurrect old threads all the time.  It's no big deal if some of the old people are gone, since it often helps to spark a new discussion, or bring it up for those who hadn't seen the thread before.

Discussion about inviting posters who no longer post split and moved to Board News - Arimethea
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« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2008, 05:39:01 PM »

I see that now...oops.  Oh well  laugh
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« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2008, 10:54:14 AM »

Yep, hence the "Liturgy of St. Tikhon".

Again, St Tikhon had virtually NOTHING to do with the creation of that Anglican semi-Orthodox rite.

I repeat a million times over. A genuine Western Orthodox liturgy looks somewhat familiar, but not really familiar, to the average Westerner.  Perhaps to a well-studied Westerner.  But these are in fact different faiths, and that fact is obvious when the rites are celebrated properly.
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« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2008, 03:37:46 PM »

Again, St Tikhon had virtually NOTHING to do with the creation of that Anglican semi-Orthodox rite.

I repeat a million times over. A genuine Western Orthodox liturgy looks somewhat familiar, but not really familiar, to the average Westerner.  Perhaps to a well-studied Westerner.  But these are in fact different faiths, and that fact is obvious when the rites are celebrated properly.

THESE Observations upon the American Book of Common Prayer ([Zamchania ob Amerikanskoi "Knig' Obshikh Molitv'"]) were published in 1904, in the journal called [Khristianskoi Chtenie] and separately...The circumstances that evoked the Observations are described in the opening remarks, and they must be accurately noted if the document itself is to be properly appreciated. It was not the satisfactoriness, or the reverse, of the American Prayer Book itself, that was in question, but its satisfactoriness as a group of rites for use by an Orthodox congregation....

The "Observations" state: "THE following "Observations" represent a report drawn up by order of the committee appointed by the Holy Synod on Old Catholic and Anglican questions. The report was drawn up by some of its members and submitted for consideration at one of the meetings of the committee. The authors examined the American edition of the "Book of Common Prayer" with the especial object of preparing material for an answer to a question which was raised by a memorandum to the Holy Synod from the Right Rev. Tikhon, bishop in America. If an entire parish with its minister should simultaneously leave Anglicanism to join the Orthodox Church in America, then would it be possible to authorize the "Common Prayer Book" for their liturgical use? If so, then what in this book should be deleted, what corrected, and what supplemented?..."
http://anglicanhistory.org/alcuin/tract12.html
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« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2008, 06:11:41 PM »

THESE Observations upon the American Book of Common Prayer ([Zamchania ob Amerikanskoi "Knig' Obshikh Molitv'"]) were published in 1904, in the journal called [Khristianskoi Chtenie] and separately...The circumstances that evoked the Observations are described in the opening remarks, and they must be accurately noted if the document itself is to be properly appreciated. It was not the satisfactoriness, or the reverse, of the American Prayer Book itself, that was in question, but its satisfactoriness as a group of rites for use by an Orthodox congregation..."
http://anglicanhistory.org/alcuin/tract12.html

My point remains.  St Tikhon was in Russia and a martyr before any work was done to restore "Anglican Western rite Orthodoxy", so he still had nothing to do with it.

It's kind of sad that you quoted the Anglican writer's commentary rather than what the Synod actually said in 1904 in the text.  That said, the 1904 statement says precisely the opposite of what the AWRV says.  It points to massive deficiencies and says that this is not simply a matter of "adding some Orthodox words", as was done with the Roman liturgy, since the Romans preserved more basic doctrines than the Anglicans:

"The examination of the "Book of Common Prayer" leads to the general conclusion that its actual contents present very little comparatively that clearly contradicts Orthodox teaching, and therefore would not be admissable in Orthodox worship. But this conclusion comes not from the fact that the book is actually Orthodox, but merely from the fact that it was compiled in a spirit of compromise, and that, while skilfully evading all more or less debateable points of doctrine, it endeavours to reconcile tendencies which are really contradictory. Consequently both those who profess protestantism and their opponents can alike use it with a quiet conscience. But worship which is so indefinite and colourless (in its denomination bearing) cannot, of course, be accepted as satisfactory for sons of the Orthodox Church, who are not afraid of their confession of Faith, and still less for sons who have only just joined the Orthodox Church from Anglicanism. If it were, their prayer would not be a full expression of their new beliefs, such as it ought essentially to be."

I wrote in detail on this text here.

http://bloggingthefraud.blogspot.com/2008/05/thesis-14-russian-church-and-anglican.html
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