I mean, from the second I heard the argument, it didn't seem Orthodox, but I figured that someone who refers to themselves as "Genuine", surely, he'd know what he's talking about?ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š And this is why I posed the question on the board, to see how "genuine" an Orthodox position it is, to say that we must not pray for politicians in our liturgies.
Well, someone who claims to be "genuine" or "true" Orthodox likely belongs to a schismatic group (I assume you know that, right?). In general, one must be very careful when digesting information from such groups. Sometimes it is very good (and includes things oft-ignored), but most of the time it is quite full of misstatements, half-truths and propaganda.
As far as the general development of Liturgy: The Church's services, including its eucharistic liturgies, have evolved considerably over time. The largest single influence on later developments in the liturgical services was the Great Church of Constantinople. Once the Byzantine Empire was in full swing, every local church began to imitate the worship celebrated in the church of Hagia Sophia. For example, we now sing the hymn "Only begotten Son and Word of God," which, according to Tradition, was composed and inserted in the Liturgy by the Emperor Justinian in 535.
there was a progression from the liturgy of St. James to the liturgy of St. Basil and from the liturgy of St. Basil to the liturgy of St. John Chrysostomos?ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š I mean, the meat, the essence, the truth that is expressed in the first is still expressed in the last, but it evolved--right?
Yes, it evolved, but not in that exact way. In the early Church, there were many different families of eucharistic liturgies. Not everyone celebrated the same service. In fact, most local churches had their own liturgical practice, which, although quite similar, varied depending on the Bishop. If you want to read some of these different liturgies, check out the Didache
, the writings of St. Hippolytus of Rome and the "Euchologion
of Serapion." In general, what you will find are various different versions of the anaphora
(the Eucharistic prayer), which, especially in the early Church, constituted THE eucharistic liturgy per se. Most of these anaphora
texts are quite similar, even to the point of containing the same basic structure and phrases (think of the similarities and differences between St. John's and St. Basil's anaphora
). St. Basil's longer anaphora
is based on the long-standing liturgical tradition inÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Cappadocia (not neccessarily on St. James, which represents an entirely different family of liturgical traditions); and Saint John Chrysostom's anaphora
matches the earliest evidence of such things from the Church of Antioch.
Here's something of particular note: In the fourth century and before, the Divine Liturgy began when the Bishop entered the Church (St. John Chrysostom describes this). The Bishop would then bless the people and then the readings would start (from the OT, from the Epistles, from the Gospel, etc.). So, where did we get our current practice of singing antiphons and so forth in the beginning of the Liturgy?
Once again, from the influence of the Great Church of Constantinople. During the time of St. John Chrysostom (and for a long, long time thereafter), the liturgical services took place all over the City and would often include many processions and special hymns. This tradition is sometimes called the "Stational" Liturgy because people would go from one station to another in the course of a liturgical celebration.
So, say it was the feast of Martyr X. Everyone would gather at one place (probably the court outside of Hagia Sophia, which happened to be right next to the Imperial chambers) and everyone would go on a procession, chanting hymns, antiphonal responses, litanies, etc. until they got to the special church dedicated to the memory of Martyr X. St. John Chrysostom even talks of leading one such procession right into the midst of the Hippodrome (which was also rather near Agia Sophia). He says something like: "If those people won't come to divine worship, we'll bring divine worship to them!"
In about the tenth century, elements of this processional liturgy were incorporated into the original Constantinopolitan Divine Liturgy.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Thus, we now start with the litanies, the antiphons, et al.
The Church and Her worship are not stagnant, but alive and dynamic! If you want to learn more about this, a good introductory work is Fr. Alkiviadis Calivas' Aspects of Orthodox Worship
(Essays in Theology and Liturgy, Vol. 3.), Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2003.