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SeanMc
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« on: May 12, 2006, 04:02:08 PM »

I've come across some strange situations (although they may appear related, they are actually separate):

Why would an English-language OCA mission have to borrow a church from Lutherans when there are TONNES of other Orthodox Churches around it?

My second question would be why some Greek Orthodox are opposed to having Greek parishes in the suburbs and think that all worshipers, no matter how far, should have to travel to the cathedral.
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2006, 05:02:13 PM »

I think the response on the first issues the tons of Orthodox Churches around. Probably to allow the mission to form its identy rather than making it merge with a non-English parish.ÂÂ  In an Orthodox Parish only one Divine Liturgy is allowed to be done on the Atar a day unlike the RC who may have several in a day on the same altar so the parish would have to be an over altar altar or find a space somewhere else in the other Orthodox Church to have a chapel.ÂÂ  In all of thses cases it is usually easier to rent space to speed up the growth of the mission an dthe establishmentÂÂ  eventually of their own space and identity.

Your second question is more difficult for me my jurisdiction is not the GOA and we do have suburban missions and parishes in the same city as the Cathedral.ÂÂ  I know this happened in Dallas when the GOA there built the new Greek church in the 90s they closed all missions and chapels and focussed everything on the huge church, looks like a Cathedral but ain't.ÂÂ  It may have to do with conservation of resources priests, etc.ÂÂ  A person in the GOA or from Holy Cross College can probably answer this for you.

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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2006, 07:48:44 PM »


My second question would be why some Greek Orthodox are opposed to having Greek parishes in the suburbs and think that all worshipers, no matter how far, should have to travel to the cathedral.

Well first off, 'some' Greek Orthodox people may fit in your scenario, but 'some' also may not. An example of the latter is the Charlotte, NC area, where the downtown cathedral has sprouted one or two daughter parishes in the suburbs, and there are rumors of potential others.

The big thing is that parish councils may or may not have inclinations towards evangelism. The evangelism/mission inclination will vary because--yes, everyone knows this but I'm actually going to put this in print---many parishioners who are very experienced in life (say, in their 60s or older) are unfamiliar with a mission-oriented mindset. However, younger parish council members (say, in their 40s) tend to understand that the Church has always tried to evangelize. Gradually as the older parish leaders finish their service in the vineyard we all share, perhaps we will return to the days of missionizing the heathens (as well as our own flock).

The parish council can be shaped by their Metropolitan as well as their priest to help everyone realize that evangelism is not a dirty word. Some Metropolitans in the GOA are very mission oriented, and some not so much. I am unfamiliar with the situation in Canada, and perhaps Timos will chime in here.

So, if you are frustrated regarding the situations you cite, then don't just sit there---pray.
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2006, 09:16:08 PM »

I agree w/chris' assessment.  Our priest has made it very clear that, as we have just moved into a new building with more space for new inquirers/converts/lapsed cradle Orthodox/whomever, we have an obligation to spread the gospel now more than ever.  I think he's sort of "stacked the deck" in the Church council (I'm one of the members) with people who will really take him up on this.
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2006, 11:51:05 PM »

I'm not involved with any of the parishes mentioned, but I was just curious about these situations. I was looking online for parishes to go to in a city I'm planning to move to and I came across the OCA mission being held at a Lutheran location and read a GO parish's history page and it mentioned the situation described above, but didn't go into it much further.

Thanks everyone!

PS. Coincidentally, tommorow I'm actually going to be going to a Greek parish for the first time; please pray, so I don't look like a complete fool with not knowing what to do.  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2006, 01:54:47 AM »

PS. Coincidentally, tomorrow I'm actually going to be going to a Greek parish for the first time; please pray, so I don't look like a complete fool with not knowing what to do.ÂÂ  Smiley
Good luck! May God help you. You actually will look OK in any case. There are not too many special standards there. Please let us know about your experience.

Thomas, Chris, Pedro, you all posted really great comments. I agree with all that.
Just a quick addition.
You see, decisions about locations may often be driven by (2) factors - availability and sustainability. In terms of availability, it is necessary to make sure that a location of a new parish would be comfortable for people, and they would not need to have long drives when possible. One of the situations, when a new mission station is created in distance of several miles from a few established parishes.
On the other hand, in order for new parishes to sustain, to develop and to overcome various demographic changes in decades to come (relocation of younger people to other areas), it may seem essential to create one strong parish. Ideally, it should serve as a point for creation new parishes (suburbs, other districts of a major city, etc.). For example, a GOA cathedral in Phoenix also has a parish, developed outside of the city. Historically, different scenarios were applied in diaspora. Of course, everything may happen, but for a mission-oriented parish often it appears much easier not to be concerned of demographic changes.
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2006, 02:18:50 PM »

In answer to your second point:

I think there are several "cathedral" churches who do not know who Christ is at all and only want to see themselves "grow" and be the "power church" and that means that other churches have to come underneath them.  This is something i've seen a lot of, but not necessarily true.  I think Chris' comments complete this...

the first point: 

Also kind of has to do with the second.  Some churches just don't want to help.  The priest and/or the people just don't want anyone else using THEIR church.  This isn't a universal reasoning though, I would say its in the minority, but it may exist in the area you are talking about....
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2006, 03:11:39 PM »

In an Orthodox Parish only one Divine Liturgy is allowed to be done on the Atar a day unlike the RC who may have several in a day on the same altar so the parish would have to be an over altar altar or find a space somewhere else in the other Orthodox Church to have a chapel.ÂÂ  

A minor correction, the Orthodox can serve several liturgies in one altar PROVIDED they change the antimension. You cannot serve more than once over the same antimension - that is forbidden.

The ROCOR cathedral in San Francisco, for instance, serves two liturgies on Sunday in the same altar, there are other ROCOR churches that serve an English then a Slavonic liturgy in the same altar. It's just a matter of switching antimensions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimension)
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2006, 03:51:32 PM »

A minor correction, the Orthodox can serve several liturgies in one altar PROVIDED they change the antimension. You cannot serve more than once over the same antimension - that is forbidden.

The ROCOR cathedral in San Francisco, for instance, serves two liturgies on Sunday in the same altar, there are other ROCOR churches that serve an English then a Slavonic liturgy in the same altar. It's just a matter of switching antimensions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimension)

That is a matter of some canonical dispute. According to the strict interpretation, one must use a different antimension AND a different altar, i.e. the altar in a chapel, or (as I have seen in some cases) a "mini altar" that is placed either ABOVE the original altar or in front of it.

At any rate, we should add that even if we take this alleged ROCOR interpretation of only switching the antimension, the canons absolutely forbid a single priest to perform two liturgies. Thus, I assume you meant to say: "It's just a matter of switching antimensions AND PRIESTS." A given priest could participate in both liturgies, but he could not act as the main celebrant of both.
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2006, 04:02:08 PM »

Quote
A given priest could participate in both liturgies, but he could not act as the main celebrant of both.

Does this mean he could concelebrate if he isn't the main celebrant or does it mean he may simply remain in the altar, possibly disttibuting communion or other non - consecratory roles. 
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 04:11:09 PM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9032.msg124180#msg124180 date=1150228928]
Does this mean he could concelebrate if he isn't the main celebrant or does it mean he may simply remain in the altar, possibly disttibuting communion or other non - consecratory roles.ÂÂ  
[/quote]

Interesting question. I will have to read the pertinent canons again. From what I remember (and what I have seen in EP Churches where the priests know their stuff), the first priest should take off his vestments and stand in the altar area praying privately. I have never seen a priest actually concelebrate a second time (even though if he were to do so, he obviously -- in the very least! -- wouldn't be the one reading the Anaphora). However, such may just be a function of the nature of the parishes I have attended: Because of the smaller numbers at the second liturgy, there was no need for a third clergyman to distrubute Holy Communion (since the second liturgy had its own priest and its own deacon to do so).

At any rate, I'll ask the professor of liturgics here tonight at Vespers.
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2006, 04:35:49 PM »

I was wondering if the reasoning is theological or perhaps more... social.  If you can only celebrate one liturgy a Sunday, it sort of forces the community to stick together, even if they aren't getting along for some reason.
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2006, 04:59:01 PM »

According to the strict interpretation, one must use a different antimension AND a different altar, i.e. the altar in a chapel, or (as I have seen in some cases) a "mini altar" that is placed either ABOVE the original altar or in front of it.

Hmmm, I haven't asked if they have a mini altar in SF - I didn't see one anyway. I know they have three altars in that Cathedral, but I recall seeing them serve from the main altar twice (they serve in the smaller altars during the weekdays). From what I understand the antimension can be served with anywhere on the earth, i.e. in an apartment house, etc. I remember seeing this myself.

There are several priests in that cathedral and I'm sure that even if a priest was allowed to serve twice it would be awfully taxing to serve two liturgies in a row!
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2006, 06:18:33 PM »

I was wondering if the reasoning is theological or perhaps more... social.ÂÂ  If you can only celebrate one liturgy a Sunday, it sort of forces the community to stick together, even if they aren't getting along for some reason.

That's the social AND theological reason: the eschatological community is one, united in one Faith, one Eucharist, one Lord and, hence, as St. Ignatius emphasizes, one celebrant.
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2006, 11:27:20 PM »

Wouldn't it be theoretically possible to have the two liturgies on the same altar?  If the altar is consecrated can't the gifts just be sanctified on the altar?  Without the antimension?  And then during the second liturgy put an antimension on the altar as a "second" altar? 

Having no formal knowledge of this i'm just taking a stab at it...
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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2006, 01:02:39 AM »

You can't serve a liturgy without the antimension. The antimension is a "license to serve" from a bishop. If a priest doesn't have one he can't serve a liturgy period. He can have the most expensive and grand cathedral on earth, but without that antimension he can't serve a single liturgy. On the other hand, a priest WITH an antimension can serve a liturgy any place on the planet (and even on the moon and beyond).
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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2006, 09:57:41 AM »

Not that i'm not taking your word for it, but i'm just wondering why that is?  I thought that an altar was an altar...?  Isn't the antimension just another "altar"....I mean, I obviously know that its more than that, but i'm trying to figure out HOW...

Any info would be great.  It would be greater if you could quote someone too...
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2006, 12:18:33 PM »

Not that i'm not taking your word for it, but i'm just wondering why that is?ÂÂ  I thought that an altar was an altar...?ÂÂ  Isn't the antimension just another "altar"....I mean, I obviously know that its more than that, but i'm trying to figure out HOW...

Any info would be great.ÂÂ  It would be greater if you could quote someone too...

In a certain sense, you are both right. A priest needs an Antimension in so far as this represents the Bishop's approval to celebrate the Eucharist in the Bishop's stead (in this sense, it's a symbol of canonical standing). At the same time, something tremendously significant and holy occurs when an altar is fully consecrated. In fact, that's where Antimensia come from. They aren't JUST iconic pieces of cloth with a Bishop's signature. They themselves are "consecrated" before the Bishop signs them during the consecration of an actual altar. (The Bishop uses the Antimensia to spread/wipe-up all the various rose-oils and water and whatnot that are spread on the altar during the rite). Thus, the Antimensia are, in a certain sense, symbols of a fully consecrated/dedicated altar. While the Antimensia convey the Bishop's official approval for a particular parish's eucharistic celebrations, they also form an essential link to that ancient custom for Orthodox Liturgies, namely that the Eucharist is celebrated over the Holy Relics of Saints and Martyrs.

Furthermore, as St. Symeon of Thessaloniki says, a Church building that does not have a consecrated altar is simply an oratory (i.e. house of prayer). That doesn't mean that the Eucharist can't happen there, or that it is less valid, but it does mean that a consecrated altar has a special status; and that one reason the Bishop sends Antimensia to his clergy is to ensure that everyone, even if their Church altar is not consecrated, participates in some sense in that fullest reality and Tradition.

The essential theological and spiritual significance of a consecrated altar doesn't have to do with its pomp, nor with the elegant style of the surrounding Church building, but with the Holy Relics of the Saints that are installed within that altar -- a rite of installation whence come the Antimensia.

More on this is available here: http://web.ukonline.co.uk/ephrem/dedic-int.htm

In particular, check out the Typikon for the Rite of Consecration.
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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2006, 11:49:58 AM »

I asked the professor of liturgics here about this question, and, although we were pressed for time so I couldn't get a full answer, he said that there are actually two different kinds of cloths. One of them, the Antimension, is consecrated during the consecration of an altar, signed by the Bishop and should have relics sown into it. Another -- whose name I cannot remember right now!! -- is just a piece of cloth with the Bishop's signature. Strictly speaking, one needs the full-fledged Antimension only when serving on a non-consecrated altar. If serving on a consecrated altar, however, one can use the "secondary" cloth with just the Bishop's signature. That way, one has (a) the holy relics in the altar, and (b) the Bishops' signature/approval, without having to have a full-fledged Antimension (which would redundant!).

I grilled him a bit about Antimensia because, in my experience, I have not seen many Antimensia with actual relics sown into them. Obviously, I haven't touched the Antimensia, but I do look at them carefully as the priest unfolds them, and many seem to me to just be the secondary version, i.e. the cloth with the signature, despite the fact that the Church altar is not consecrated. (Especially ones I have seen in several OCA and Antiochian parishes). I'm not sure about this, but such seems to be the case. Perhaps they are Antimensia in the sense that they have been consecrated and rubbed on relics, but there aren't enough bits of relic to go around.
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« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2006, 11:08:49 PM »

In my ROCOR experience, all the antimensia I've seen have relics sown into them. I've never heard of the secondary variation with a cloth that has no relics in it, but I haven't extensively been asking.
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