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Who are the Old Calendarists?

Old Ritualists

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#21 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 01:15 PM

To add further to what is said above: the Old Calendrists arise from the Church calendar change in 1924. The Old Believers arise from the changes instituted from the time of Patriarch Nikon in the 1600s. The former first affected the Greek church & afterwards broadened in scope to affect other churches also. The latter affected mainly the church of Russia.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#22 Father David Moser

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 02:27 PM

When a priest gives a blessing, he holds his hand differently from the way we do when we cross ourselves. The priest holds his fingers in the shape of the Greek letters ICXC (an abbreviation for Jesus Christ) which indicates that it is not the priest who blesses, but our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. The hand is held thus: the index finger is straight (I) the middle finger is curved © and the ring finger is bent and met by the thumb which crosses it (X) and the little finger is curved ©. From some angles, it could appear that the priest is blessing according to the Old Believer style and perhaps an iconographic representation might also give that appearance at a glance. There are many examples of older icons, both Russian and Greek, were the blessing is given with the two fingers (Old believer style) as that was an accepted tradition in the Church.

Fr David Moser

#23 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 09:16 AM

Old Calendarists cross themselves as we do. There is nothing different about them, and after all, we were the ones that decided to change the calender not them.

From experience I can say the following though :

An acquaintance who became an Old Calendarist was very upset when her priest told her that she couldn't attend her daughter's wedding - her husband and children remained with the New Calendar when she felt she had to "convert".
She told me that there is a lot of friction in her family because of her decision.

But, a close friend, who is also an Old Calendarist - the only one in her family, attended her son's wedding without any trouble. I didn't want to be indiscreet and have never asked her why she was allowed to participate in a New Calendar wedding and the other woman wasn't.

My nephew's bride has an auntie who is also Old Calendar and this woman told her she wouldn't be attending her wedding because it was not an Old Calendar wedding. She also told this young woman that laughing is sinful.

I have still not worked out what is permitted and what isn't. And why should dates separate us? To my mind the Greek Orthodox Church should not have adopted the Gregorian calendar because it was a political decision and not a religious decision.

In families in which some members are old Calendar and some New Calendar, obviously there are going to be practical problems, but I have not observed any in the family of my close friend. She and her husband have agreed to respect each other's different viewpoints and are a loving couple (when they married both were New Calendar).

Effie

#24 Owen Jones

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 11:55 AM

I'm sure this has been stated many times here, but the New Calendar is more accurate, and societies started to change over going back, I think, to the 18th Century, for obvious reasons -- modern technology, commerce, etc. demanded a more accurate calendar. In Britain, there were widespread riots against the changeover. The changeover was not made for theological reasons, but practical necessity. The Church's attitude today toward the New Calendar is a different issue, it seems to me, than the purpose for societies as a whole transferring over. They simply had to. But what this did was it contributed to the secularization of societies, since it forced churches to go along with the change thereby hastening the fissure between the Church and society as a whole and government.

#25 Misha

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 12:15 PM

I follow the new calendar
But the fact is that calendar's change has been done arbitrarily and without panorthodox agreement.
Church's calendar is a matter of unity between the orthodox local churches and not a scientific issue.
And this unity has been ,unfortunately ,broken in purpose.
Especially in Greece old calendarists has been suffered persecutions,imprisonements and in some cases,murders from the secular authorities.
Among them there were holy men and women.
I hope and pray that some day those who have divided the Church will repent for their crime and ,finally, we will be reunited in Christ.

#26 Dimitris

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 08:04 PM

To my mind the Greek Orthodox Church should not have adopted the Gregorian calendar because it was a political decision and not a religious decision.

I wouldn't say it was a sole political decision. I think it was a pastoral decision and hence a theological. Fact is, the Greek state changed the calender in 1920ies. This led to state holidays being apart from church feasts. People used/use the new calendar in every day use, but the church used/uses the old calendar. In my opinion this leads to the church life being separated from people's every day life. But I think, the chuch life should fulfill every day's life. (Sorry for my bad English.)

#27 Kris

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 11:53 PM

I wouldn't say it was a sole political decision. I think it was a pastoral decision and hence a theological. Fact is, the Greek state changed the calender in 1920ies. This led to state holidays being apart from church feasts. People used/use the new calendar in every day use, but the church used/uses the old calendar. In my opinion this leads to the church life being separated from people's every day life. But I think, the chuch life should fulfill every day's life. (Sorry for my bad English.)


There's no reason the state couldn't have adopted the Gregorian calendar and simply moved its national holidays from 25th Dec to 7th Jan, 15th Aug to 28th Aug, etc. in order to accomodate the existing Church calendar.

#28 Kosta

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 05:04 AM

Old Calendarists cross themselves as we do. There is nothing different about them, and after all, we were the ones that decided to change the calender not them.

From experience I can say the following though :

An acquaintance who became an Old Calendarist was very upset when her priest told her that she couldn't attend her daughter's wedding - her husband and children remained with the New Calendar when she felt she had to "convert".
She told me that there is a lot of friction in her family because of her decision.

But, a close friend, who is also an Old Calendarist - the only one in her family, attended her son's wedding without any trouble. I didn't want to be indiscreet and have never asked her why she was allowed to participate in a New Calendar wedding and the other woman wasn't.

My nephew's bride has an auntie who is also Old Calendar and this woman told her she wouldn't be attending her wedding because it was not an Old Calendar wedding. She also told this young woman that laughing is sinful.

I have still not worked out what is permitted and what isn't. And why should dates separate us? To my mind the Greek Orthodox Church should not have adopted the Gregorian calendar because it was a political decision and not a religious decision.

In families in which some members are old Calendar and some New Calendar, obviously there are going to be practical problems, but I have not observed any in the family of my close friend. She and her husband have agreed to respect each other's different viewpoints and are a loving couple (when they married both were New Calendar).

Effie


Many Old Calendarists do not attend New Calendar churches because of the canons which prohibit attending a heterodox temple and joining in prayer with them.
A friend of mine who is old calendar will attend the reception of a wedding or baptism of our friends but not the actual church service. Another old calendarists person i know, moved away to a location where there is no old calendar church, so he attends a GOARCH church, he prefers the old calendar and believes the new calendarists are on the wrong side of this, but his son is comfortable there and likes to be an altar boy, so he doesnt care, also he is a cradle greek old calendarist who never harbored any extremism nor was ever indoctrinated into the extreme views of the politically minded .

I have another friend who left the GOARCH and became old calendarist, she was recieved with only a confession of faith under Bishop Petros of Astoria who was quite the moderate. She has since moved under the Cyprianites because upon Bishop Petros death- St Markella's parish became more extreme towards the new calendarists and insisted on chrismating new calendrists coming to them (unless they are greeks who spend tuition money at there greek school or have clout, then they can even take communion no questions asked).

So it all depends on the person, how moderate their views are towards the new calendar churches.

But the new calendar change was without a doubt uncanonical already condemned in pan orthodox councils, was authorized under the heretical robber synod "orthodox congress" of 1923 and was done as a means to unite with anglicans. I hope and pray that a future pan-Orthodox council condemns Patriarch Metaxakis and sets things right

#29 Sunny

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 07:30 AM

This has been a very interesting and informative thread, and thank you to those who corrected my misunderstanding of old-rite vs. old calendarists.
Was it just the Russians who crossed themselves in the way with the little finger, ring finger, and thumb touching and the index and middle used for crossing oneself? Or was this universal until Patriarch Nikon introduced his changes? Does the Orthodox world as a whole now cross themselves in this way or does it vary according to different locations?
And--how important is it to cross yourself in the 'right way', if one can find out what that is?
Sunny

#30 Dimitris

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 09:26 AM

There's no reason the state couldn't have adopted the Gregorian calendar and simply moved its national holidays from 25th Dec to 7th Jan, 15th Aug to 28th Aug, etc. in order to accomodate the existing Church calendar.

That's true. The Russian and the Serbian state for example did it like that. But I don't want to celebrate Christmas on 7th January. I want to celebrate it on 25th December, as it was celebrated for many, many centuries. Also we should be aware that in less than 100 years those who follow the old calendar will celebrate Christmas on 8th January, meaning for the state to re-adopt the holidays. Some time in the future those who follow the old calendar will celebrate Christmas in summer and Easter in winter. I can't believe it's God's intention that we celebrate our feast not every year at the same time, but always a little bit more shifted.

#31 Mina Mounir

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 12:13 AM

I read on wikipedia that the Old Calendarists are many groups in greek ... the questions r :
1- what are the differences between them ?
2- which one is the authentic or original or mainstream one?
3- how do we look at these " many " groups ? are all of them same ? do we accept at least their baptism ? ... ?

thanks

#32 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 01:41 AM

I read on wikipedia that the Old Calendarists are many groups in greek ... the questions r :
1- what are the differences between them ?
2- which one is the authentic or original or mainstream one?
3- how do we look at these " many " groups ? are all of them same ? do we accept at least their baptism ? ... ?

thanks


There are more Old Calendar Orthodox than there are New Calendar Orthodox (The Church of Russia is Old Calendar and is the biggest Orthodox Church in the world today). My diocese has BOTH Old and New Calendar parishes.

There are some Greek churches that did not accept the changeover to the New Calendar and basically proclaimed all those who did as heretics. We may recognize their baptisms but they refuse to acknowledge ours.

#33 Kosta

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 04:46 AM

Actually both sides have the same understanding of baptism. Usually a person baptised in triple immersion and the trinitarian formula will be recieved in the others Church by either chrismation or a confession of faith.

#34 Olga

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 08:30 AM

Actually both sides have the same understanding of baptism. Usually a person baptised in triple immersion and the trinitarian formula will be recieved in the others Church by either chrismation or a confession of faith.


Technically, you are correct, Kosta. However, quite a few of these schismatic "True Orthodox" groups often do not recognise other Orthodox baptisms, as they regard themselves as the "only" grace-filled church, therefore only "their" baptisms have grace. Utter hubris.

#35 Kosta

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 08:44 AM

Technically, you are correct, Kosta. However, quite a few of these schismatic "True Orthodox" groups often do not recognise other Orthodox baptisms, as they regard themselves as the "only" grace-filled church, therefore only "their" baptisms have grace. Utter hubris.


That hasnt been my experience, only they (re)baptize converts who were brought into a canonical Orthodox church thru chrismation only. I know the largest greek old calendarist group usually chrismates non chalcedons without baptism, and depending on their mood will either chrismate or simply admit thru a confession of faith an Orthodox from a canonical group (as was the case with my friend). This is the same practise we use on them.

#36 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 03:03 PM

I'd like to ask a question. How much does it matter (and in no sense am I implying that it does not) which way a person makes the sign of the Cross (not the way a priest makes it to bless)? St Seraphim of Sarov was adamant that we must make our cross as most Orthodox do: thumb and first two fingers together, ring and little fingers gathered in the palm. And I'm all for upholding Orthodox Tradition. The explanation of the Old Rite/Old Believer way as described in my post No 20 above seems perfectly reasonable, though. Western Rite and some Anglicans do put thumb and first two fingers together and the last two fingers in the palm but the last movement is from left shoulder to right. What are the theological and spiritual pros and cons here, and why was St Seraphim so clear about the mainstream Orthodox way being the only permissible way?

#37 Nina

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 05:11 PM

Something from St. Kosmas Aetolos about the Sign of the Cross, which is an additional explanation to the other one:

The Sign of the Cross

LISTEN, MY BRETHREN, how the sign of the Cross is made and what it means. First, just as the Holy Trinity is glorified in heaven by the angels, so should you join your three fingers of your right hand. And being unable to ascend into heaven to worship, raise your hand to your head (because the head means heaven) and say: "Just as the angels glorify the Holy Trinity in heaven, so do I, as a servant, glorify and worship the Holy Trinity. And as the fingers are three and separate, and are together, so is the Holy Trinity three persons but one God." Lowering your hand to your stomach, say: "I worship you and adore you, my Lord, because you condescended and took on flesh in the womb of the Theotokos for my sins." Place [your hand] on your right shoulder and say: "I beg you, my God, to forgive me and to put me on your right with the just." Placing [your hand] again on your left shoulder, say: "I beg you, my Lord, don't put me on the left with the sinners." Then bending down to the ground [say] : "I glorify you, my God; I worship and adore you, for just as you were put into the grave, may I also be." And when you stand up straight, you reveal the resurrection and say: I glorify and worship you, my Lord, for you rose from the dead to grant us eternal life." This is what the Cross means. Let us give just one example so you can see the power of the Cross.

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#38 Misha

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 09:56 PM

why was St Seraphim so clear about the mainstream Orthodox way being the only permissible way?


Because St.Seraphim has seen 12 times the Queen of Heaven and knew exactly Her and Her Son's will.

#39 Mina Mounir

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 12:12 AM

There are more Old Calendar Orthodox than there are New Calendar Orthodox (The Church of Russia is Old Calendar and is the biggest Orthodox Church in the world today). My diocese has BOTH Old and New Calendar parishes.

well , I'm not talking about orthodox who r in communion with constantinople , I'm talking about those who broke communion in 1924 in greece , I heard that there are 15 groups atleast , in greece only . are all of them equal in our eyes ? are all of them canonical ? how do we treat with them ?
thanks

#40 Christophoros

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 01:59 AM

"There are more Old Calendar Orthodox than there are New Calendar Orthodox (The Church of Russia is Old Calendar and is the biggest Orthodox Church in the world today)."

Crunch the numbers provided by independent organizations and you discover some interesting things about old vs. new calendar usage in the Church.

Here's how it breaks down by one estimate:

Churches Which Follow the New Calendar -

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople - Membership: 3,500,000
The Patriarchate of Alexandria - Membership: 250,000
The Patriarchate of Antioch - Membership: 750,000
The Orthodox Church of Romania - Membership: 19,000,000
The Orthodox Church of Bulgaria - Membership: 6,500,000
The Orthodox Church of Cyprus - Membership: 500,000
The Orthodox Church of Greece - Membership: 10,000,000
The Orthodox Church of Albania - Membership: 600,000
The Orthodox Church in Czech and Slovak Republics - Membership: 71,000

Membership = 40,271,000

Churches Which Follow the Old Calendar -

The Patriarchate of Jerusalem - Membership: 130,000
The Orthodox Church of Russia - Membership: 90,000,000
The Orthodox Church of Serbia - Membership: 8,000,000
The Orthodox Church of Georgia - Membership: 3,500,000
The Orthodox Church of Poland - Membership: 1,000,000

Membership = 102,630,000

Total Orthodox = 142,901,000 (72% old calendar / 28% new calendar)

Observations: Of the 14 autocephalous Churches, 9 follow the new calendar (64%), yet those who use the old calendar are numerically superior solely by virtue of the immense Russian Church; of 102 million adherents of the old calendar, Russia constitutes 88% of the total. Subtract the Russian Church, and the followers of the new calendar make up 77% of the remaining Orthodox Churches.

So, while one may be factually correct in pointing out that most Orthodox worldwide use the old calendar, such a statement doesn't take into account that the vast majority of autocephalous Churches follow the new calendar, and calendar usage statistics are skewed in favor of the old calendar by the massive size of one particular Local Church.

Membership statistics source: http://www.cnewacana...spx?eccpageID=1

Edited by Christophoros, 26 March 2008 - 12:14 PM.
Changed figures to reflect the Polish Church's use of the old calendar.





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