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Calendars: interaction of old and new


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#1 Father David Moser

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 05:25 PM

Mike, each year St. Mark and St. George - my brother-in-law and my son's namedays - are celebrated on different days according to the Paschal date. If they fall before Easter then they are celebrated a couple of days later.


A shift in the days of their celebration would occur only if their feastdays were to fall during Passion Week. In this case the celebration itself would be transferred to Bright Week. The reason for this is that due to the festive nature of the services for these saints the typikon considers it unsuitable to serve their feasts during the sober time of Passion Week.

Normally however most of the time due to the late date of their feastdays (St George- April 23; St Mark- April 25) their celebration would occur after Pascha anyway.


I'm beginning to think you need the equivalent of a Master's Degree in Theology just to keep track of half of the Orthodox calendar (and a Doctorate to keep track of the rest of it).


Actually it isn't as complex as it seems. This movement of the feasts of St George and Mark is only an artifact of the use of "dual" calendars (the use of the Julian calendar for Pascha and the use of the Gregorian calendar for the fixed menaion) This "dual calendar" useage is only a recent development in the Orthodox Church and is not universal. For example, while the Ecumenical Patriarchate uses the "dual calendar" the Russian Patriarchate uses the Julian or "Old" calendar exclusively. Thus in the Russian Church it is impossible for St George's feast (April 27 os/May 6 ns) to fall before Pascha (in 2040 it falls on Pascha - but that's as close as it gets so far as I can tell, and 2040 is a long ways away yet.) So you see, for those Churches that maintain the Julian calendar for all their feasts (rather than just Pascha), there is never any need to move the feasts thus eliminating a great deal of artificial confusion. This is also the reason that service for the feast of St George is so full of Resurrectional and festal images - it always fell during the Paschal season (until th calendar change). (of course then those of us on the old calendar have to deal with Christmas 13 days after everyone else...)

Fr David Moser

#2 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 04:36 PM

Actually it isn't as complex as it seems. This movement of the feasts of St George and Mark is only an artifact of the use of "dual" calendars (the use of the Julian calendar for Pascha and the use of the Gregorian calendar for the fixed menaion) This "dual calendar" useage is only a recent development in the Orthodox Church and is not universal. For example, while the Ecumenical Patriarchate uses the "dual calendar" the Russian Patriarchate uses the Julian or "Old" calendar exclusively. Thus in the Russian Church it is impossible for St George's feast (April 27 os/May 6 ns) to fall before Pascha (in 2040 it falls on Pascha - but that's as close as it gets so far as I can tell, and 2040 is a long ways away yet.) So you see, for those Churches that maintain the Julian calendar for all their feasts (rather than just Pascha), there is never any need to move the feasts thus eliminating a great deal of artificial confusion. This is also the reason that service for the feast of St George is so full of Resurrectional and festal images - it always fell during the Paschal season (until th calendar change). (of course then those of us on the old calendar have to deal with Christmas 13 days after everyone else...)

Fr David Moser


I didn't know that Fr. David. Thank you for the information. How complicated we have made our lives.

How do old calendar countries e.g. Russia, cope with non-religious activities that involve other countries. Do they use the new calendar?

Effie

#3 Father David Moser

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 05:04 PM

How do old calendar countries e.g. Russia, cope with non-religious activities that involve other countries. Do they use the new calendar?


Russia is not really an "old calendar country" - the secular state runs on the Gregorian calendar just like the rest of the world. The Russian Church, however, uses the "old calendar" to determine when the Church feasts fall. Take for example the most widely recognized "difference" - Christmas. For the Russian Church Christmas (the Nativity of the Lord) still falls on Dec 25 - but Dec 25th on the Church calendar corresponds with Jan 7 on the civil calendar (since the Gregorian/civil calendar is 13 days ahead of the Julian/Church calendar).

For me, this simply means that I live "in the world" on the civil calendar, but "in the Church" I order my life around the Church calendar. Sometimes there is a conflict (like coping with Christmas/New Year holiday parties while still in the fast) but usually its pretty simple.

Fr David Moser

#4 Michael Stickles

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 06:12 PM

OK - let me see if I'm actually starting to get a grip on this.

A shift in the days of their celebration would occur only if their feastdays were to fall during Passion Week. In this case the celebration itself would be transferred to Bright Week. The reason for this is that due to the festive nature of the services for these saints the typikon considers it unsuitable to serve their feasts during the sober time of Passion Week.


Now, Saint Chloe's celebration day (February 18) is listed on the namedays website as one which can change from year to year. But it can't fall during Passion Week, since Pascha can't occur that early. It can, however, fall during the first week of Great Lent, which I believe is the most strict fasting time. So, is the first week of Great Lent treated similarly to Passion Week as far as transferring celebrations?

Also, as for the calendars -- that seems to solve something I had wondered about. I remember noting on one site (which uses the "New Calendar") that the Apostle's Fast sometimes gets "squeezed out" when Pascha comes late (since it would end before it starts), and I couldn't figure out why it would have been set up that way. But, if the "Old Calendar" is used, the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul would come 13 days later (namely, July 12), so the Apostle's Fast would never end before it started. So, it wasn't "set up" that way; that was a side-effect of the switch by some to the New Calendar?

In Christ,
Mike

#5 Kris

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 06:44 PM

So, it wasn't "set up" that way; that was a side-effect of the switch by some to the New Calendar?


Exactly, and an unfortunate side-effect at that.

#6 Father David Moser

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 07:21 PM

OK - let me see if I'm actually starting to get a grip on this.
Now, Saint Chloe's celebration day ... is the first week of Great Lent treated similarly to Passion Week as far as transferring celebrations?


Not really - and in fact saints are not often moved out of passion week either unless there is some overriding reason. I really don't know any of the whys around St Chloe. There are saints who's celebrations are set as moveable days to coincide, for example with a Sunday. The feast of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia is set for "the Sunday closest to Jan 25 (Feb 7 civil)" or to sometimes to avoid a certain day such as the feast of St John of San Francisco which is set for the Saturday closest to June 19 (July 2 civil) - the reason for this is to avoid the "loss" of the feastday service to the Apostle Jude on which day is also the "realtime" anniversary of the death of St John. Some parishes will transfer the celebration of their altar feast to the nearest Sunday to provide for better attendance. But in any case, such transfers can only be made with the ruling bishop's blessing.

Also, as for the calendars -- that seems to solve something I had wondered about. I remember noting on one site (which uses the "New Calendar") that the Apostle's Fast sometimes gets "squeezed out" when Pascha comes late (since it would end before it starts), and I couldn't figure out why it would have been set up that way. But, if the "Old Calendar" is used, the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul would come 13 days later (namely, July 12), so the Apostle's Fast would never end before it started. So, it wasn't "set up" that way; that was a side-effect of the switch by some to the New Calendar?


Exactly - I think you are beginning to have it figured out.

Fr David Moser

#7 Panayota K.

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 05:05 PM

The terminology used in the news release is nothing more than the usual media shallowness and ignorance of the true issue of the calendar.

Fr David Moser


What is the true issue of the calendar, father?

#8 Father David Moser

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 03:43 AM

What is the true issue of the calendar, father?


Here is a quote from a senior priest of my diocese wherein he describes briefly some of the liturgical issues that we run into with the Gregorian (or "Revised Julian") calendar.

The relationship of the liturgical calendar to the times and seasons
of God's creation primarily applies to the Paschal season.

Since the Revised Julian Calendar maintains the Julian Paschalion with
its fixed date of the vernal equinox (March 20), it is subject to the
same drift away from the astronomical equinox as does the Julian
calendar.

What is really a shame, however, is that the Revised Julian Calendar
completely trashes Church Typikon, which is based on a perpetually
repeating cycle of 532 years (a 28 year solar cycle multiplied by 19
year lunar cycle).

Because it is subject to the Paschal Drift, the Revised Julian
Calendar permits anomalies, such as the shortening or elimination of
the Apostles' Fast in many years.

It also allows circumstances which are impossible according to the
Typikon of the Church, such as the occurrence of the Feast of the
Annunciation during the first week of Great Lent.

Fr. Peter Jackson wrote on another "new calendar" anomaly:

"On the traditional calendar the commemoration of the 40 Martyrs of
Sebaste always falls during Great Lent. So, much of the hymnography
for this day make reference to the fast: “O Passionbearers of Christ,
ye have rendered the all-august Fast most splendid by the memorial of
your glorious suffering; for being forty, ye sanctify the Forty Days.”
But on the new calendar, this commemoration often falls outside of the
forty days of Great Lent, so hymns like these are reduced to
nonsense."

The same could be said of the hymns to the Great-Martyr George, whose
memory, on the traditional calendar, is always celebrated in the
Paschal season, which is reflected in the hymns of the day. On the new
calendar, the Feast of this Saint falls frequently into the last two
weeks of Great Lent, making these hymns nonsensical.

D. seems to be perfectly happy with the Revised
Julian Calendar, which allows Pascha to continue to drift further into
the calendar year--so that, eventually, the Apostles' Fast will be
completely eliminated, and the Dormition Fast begin to be shortened or
eliminated as well, and the date of Pascha--meant to coincide with
Spring--drifting into summer or autumn, or later.

With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff



#9 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 02:03 PM

Father, your blessing,

You might want to check your math.

At the website Calculation of the Ecclesiastical Calendar, there are some interesting observations, particularly:

An interesting upshot of the algorithm is that the cycle of Easter dates (in the Gregorian Calendar) repeats every 5,700,000 years - and no sooner! (See the Calendar FAQ for why the period has this particular length.) Using the algorithms, I have calculated the distribution of the Gregorian Easter dates over various periods of time. You may view the frequency of the date of Easter over one complete 5,700,000 year cycle, or over the first complete 400 year Gregorian Calendar cycle, or over a more contemporary timespan of 1875 to 2124.

and

There are many reasons to expect that all methods of determining the date of Easter will not be valid in the far future. The prime physical reason is that the length of the day is increasing, thus the number of days in a year is slowly decreasing. The current rate of increase in the length of the day implies that the Gregorian calendar will need to neglect a leap year sometime in the 4th or 5th millenium.

The Julian calendar is not exempt from these issues either.

Herman the "math is hard!" Pooh

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 06 December 2009 - 11:16 PM.


#10 Ben Johnson

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 05:33 PM

Father, your blessing,

You might want to check your math.

At the website Calculation of the Ecclesiastical Calendar, there are some interesting observations, particularly:


and
The Julian calendar is not exempt from this issues either.

Herman the "math is hard!" Pooh

As far as the length of the day incresing, are you referring to the moon slowly moving away from the earth and tidal friction slowing down the earth's rotation?
Just curious.
--Ben

#11 David Hawthorne

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 09:22 PM

Here is a quote from a senior priest of my diocese wherein he describes briefly some of the liturgical issues that we run into with the Gregorian (or "Revised Julian") calendar.



Thank you for posting this, Father, it is an excellent summary of some of the liturgical problems caused by a hybrid calendar. Why do the New Calendarists only go halfway, though? It seems all these problems would be non-existent if they changed to the Western Paschalion? I read a New Calendar Abbot recently who said we Orthodox do not follow our own canons regarding the dating of Pascha. He seemed more concerned about the actual astronomical date of the equinox no longer corresponding to the Julian calendar whereas Old Calendarists seem more concerned about Pascha's timing in regards to the Jewish Passover.

#12 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 11:33 PM

Thank you for posting this, Father, it is an excellent summary of some of the liturgical problems caused by a hybrid calendar. Why do the New Calendarists only go halfway, though? It seems all these problems would be non-existent if they changed to the Western Paschalion? I read a New Calendar Abbot recently who said we Orthodox do not follow our own canons regarding the dating of Pascha. He seemed more concerned about the actual astronomical date of the equinox no longer corresponding to the Julian calendar whereas Old Calendarists seem more concerned about Pascha's timing in regards to the Jewish Passover.


No calendar is "perfect" because it is trying to harmonize totally independent processes over time. Once and a while you have to "skip a beat" in order to stay in step with the celestial dance. This separation of "church" and "civil" calendars is artificial and silly. Throughout history, the was no separate "civil" and "church" calendar. The Church just used the civil calendar which happened to have been put in place by a pagan emperor. But it was/is impractical to force the world to use an inaccurate calendar for civil affairs, so the world chose a more accurate calendar. Greece recognized there should be "one" calendar so the "church" and "civil" calendars are the same. God orders the universe, He conducts the celestial dance. We are merely trying to keep the beat. I still have never been able to figure out why keeping a more accurate beat is somehow "evil'. Why aren't we using the same calendar that Jesus used, the Jewish calendar? Oh yeah, something about the Jewish nation essentially destroyed in 70AD and Emperor Constantine wasn't about to institute a calendar that had essentially been out of use for three centuries (not to mention not actually used by the REST OF THE WORLD!). So the Church used what was available the civil calendar of the Empire. Why can't we be so practical today? Really?

Herman the ephemerically-challenged Pooh

#13 David Hawthorne

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 11:55 PM

No calendar is "perfect" because it is trying to harmonize totally independent processes over time. Once and a while you have to "skip a beat" in order to stay in step with the celestial dance. This separation of "church" and "civil" calendars is artificial and silly. Throughout history, the was no separate "civil" and "church" calendar. The Church just used the civil calendar which happened to have been put in place by a pagan emperor. But it was/is impractical to force the world to use an inaccurate calendar for civil affairs, so the world chose a more accurate calendar. Greece recognized there should be "one" calendar so the "church" and "civil" calendars are the same. God orders the universe, He conducts the celestial dance. We are merely trying to keep the beat. I still have never been able to figure out why keeping a more accurate beat is somehow "evil'. Why aren't we using the same calendar that Jesus used, the Jewish calendar? Oh yeah, something about the Jewish nation essentially destroyed in 70AD and Emperor Constantine wasn't about to institute a calendar that had essentially been out of use for three centuries (not to mention not actually used by the REST OF THE WORLD!). So the Church used what was available the civil calendar of the Empire. Why can't we be so practical today? Really?

Herman the ephemerically-challenged Pooh


Sorry, Herman, I did not mean to come across as artificial and silly. My point in the post was that a hybrid Typicon with a New Calendar Menaion and an Old Calendar Paschalion seems artificial. It should be all one or the other to avoid the inconsistencies created by the hybrid situation. The real question is which calendar makes more sense practically AND ecclesiologically in light of the canons relating to the dating of Pascha as well as the overall structure and hymnography of the Typicon? Are the Jews, Muslims, Chinese, Zoroastrians, etc. silly for having separate "church" and "civil" calendars? The question of which calendar to use should be a civil one wherein both sides present their case with the intention of which course is the best to preserve the integrity of our worship and church life.

#14 Kosta

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 08:07 AM

Here is a quote from a senior priest of my diocese wherein he describes briefly some of the liturgical issues that we run into with the Gregorian (or "Revised Julian") calendar.


Thats a great article with intelectual reasoning behind it. Probably one of the best reasons to change back to the Church calendar. Under the hybrid system we and none of our children and grandchildren after us will ever experience a KyrioPascha.

If the need for astronomical accuracy becomes an issue the Church can develop a truly Orthodox calendar respecting both the liturgical function of the calendar and astronomical accuracy in like 800 years from now

#15 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 03:40 PM

David Hawthorne wrote:

Are the Jews, Muslims, Chinese, Zoroastrians, etc. silly for having separate "church" and "civil" calendars? The question of which calendar to use should be a civil one wherein both sides present their case with the intention of which course is the best to preserve the integrity of our worship and church life.


And yet a fundamental question implicit in much of what we offer in answer to this but rarely gone into in any depth is: "what in fact is the proper relation of the Church calendar to the civil?"

Here again the obvious point is rarely noticed that in previous times this question would have been moot since the Church and civil calendar in fact were one. The split between the two only occurs in very recent times.

A very important question that needs more looking into then is whether this connection between the Church & civil calendar is fundamental to an aspect of the Church Calendar or not.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#16 Father David Moser

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 04:10 PM

And yet a fundamental question implicit in much of what we offer in answer to this but rarely gone into in any depth is: "what in fact is the proper relation of the Church calendar to the civil?"

Here again the obvious point is rarely noticed that in previous times this question would have been moot since the Church and civil calendar in fact were one. The split between the two only occurs in very recent times.


When the Church exists in a state where it is the primary influence upon the civil culture, then the civil calendar should be joined to the Church calendar as an icon of the symphony of Church and state. However, there are no secular civil states left which are Orthodox (one could argue, I suppose that Greece or Russia or Serbia for example remain Orthodox cultures - but the civil state is divorced from that and functions perhaps sympathetically, but not symphonically.) Thus the divergence of the civil and Church calendars are only representative of the divergence of the civil and sacred lives of nations. Most of the world, since the early years of the 20th century, has been functioning under the presumption of the separation of Church and state, not the symphonic union of Church and state, thus the calendar split is only indicative of this movement.

Fr David Moser

#17 David Hawthorne

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 04:35 PM

For the Typicon to function properly it seems that the Menaion and Paschalion have to be on the same calendar. The New Calendar jurisdictions have kept the Old Calendar Paschalion while changing to a New Calendar Menaion. Is there something inherent in the Paschalion that is the reason it has not been changed as well? If the only issues are astronomical accuracy and staying in sync with the civil calendar then we should all switch completely to the Gregorian Calendar. If there are other ecclesiologically more important issues built into the fabric of the dating of Pascha (and its interaction with the Menaion) that will not allow the change then why create a hybrid calendar? Many other cultures and religions get along quite nicely with separate religious and civil calendars, why not us as well?

#18 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 06:02 PM

For the Typicon to function properly it seems that the Menaion and Paschalion have to be on the same calendar. The New Calendar jurisdictions have kept the Old Calendar Paschalion while changing to a New Calendar Menaion. Is there something inherent in the Paschalion that is the reason it has not been changed as well? If the only issues are astronomical accuracy and staying in sync with the civil calendar then we should all switch completely to the Gregorian Calendar. If there are other ecclesiologically more important issues built into the fabric of the dating of Pascha (and its interaction with the Menaion) that will not allow the change then why create a hybrid calendar? Many other cultures and religions get along quite nicely with separate religious and civil calendars, why not us as well?


Calendars are created by humans for humans. God does not need a calendar. Even the Orthodox date of Pascha is somewhat arbitrary. It was set by the Church and it can be changed by the Church. There would be nothing inherently wrong to change the method by which Pascha is set to harmonize a more accurate calendar, just as was done before.

The purpose of a calendar is to mark the seasons, to keep step with the celestial dance set in motion by God Himself. What does saying "I don't care what the universe does, we're gonna dance the way WE want to" say about our attitude to God? Just a thought, not a sermon.

Herman the chrono-logical Pooh

#19 David Hawthorne

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 06:32 PM

Calendars are created by humans for humans. God does not need a calendar. Even the Orthodox date of Pascha is somewhat arbitrary. It was set by the Church and it can be changed by the Church. There would be nothing inherently wrong to change the method by which Pascha is set to harmonize a more accurate calendar, just as was done before.

The purpose of a calendar is to mark the seasons, to keep step with the celestial dance set in motion by God Himself. What does saying "I don't care what the universe does, we're gonna dance the way WE want to" say about our attitude to God? Just a thought, not a sermon.

Herman the chrono-logical Pooh


I understand your thought, Herman, but I don't see how this has worked out historically. There is more than one purpose to the Church calendar if we take all the canons and decisions of the Fathers into consideration. Here is what I am looking at:
When the Fathers determined the method for calculating the date of Pascha they gave us certain guidelines that they must have known would, given time, be in conflict with each other.
There is the issue of the equinox which relates to astronomical accuracy and also the strict injunction that our Pascha is not to be celebrated at the same time as or before the Jewish Passover since the Christian Pascha is the completion of the Jewish Passover.
Over the next millenium and more, the astronomical date of the equinox continued to drift about 11 days while the Jews retained their same method of calculating the timing of the Passover. Although everyone knew of the drift (having had to correct the civil calendar long before Nicea- was there already a drift by then?), the Church apparently gave priority in practice to the canons dealing with the spiritual significance of not celebrating before or with the Jewish Passover rather than the physical significance of the actual date of the equinox.
When approached with the opportunity to correct the calendar by the West, our Fathers unanimously rejected the Gregorian calendar for Church use for eccesiological rather than astronomical reasons.
Since on this basis the reckoning for Pascha cannot be changed (unless the Jews change the way they date Passover?) and since the Pascalion and Menaion together constitute one integrated whole calendar, how can we change it?

#20 Michael Astley

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 07:18 PM

For the Typicon to function properly it seems that the Menaion and Paschalion have to be on the same calendar. The New Calendar jurisdictions have kept the Old Calendar Paschalion while changing to a New Calendar Menaion. Is there something inherent in the Paschalion that is the reason it has not been changed as well? If the only issues are astronomical accuracy and staying in sync with the civil calendar then we should all switch completely to the Gregorian Calendar. If there are other ecclesiologically more important issues built into the fabric of the dating of Pascha (and its interaction with the Menaion) that will not allow the change then why create a hybrid calendar? Many other cultures and religions get along quite nicely with separate religious and civil calendars, why not us as well?


If I may be indulged...

I see a parallel here with an element of my Anglican past. In late mediaeval, Catholic England, the people seldom received communion. In most places, the norm was for the mass to be offered and for the priest alone to receive, with the people only receiving communion at Easter. The result of this was a curious development in the devotions of the people, to compensate for the fact that they only rarely received communion. Processions of the sacrament were great occasions and featured more highly in the people's experience than the actual reception of the sacrament.

In The Stripping of the Altars, mediaeval Christian historian Eamonn Duffy writes of the "squints" in the walls of churches. These were small holes/slits cut in the walls and screens of the chapels within a church, in order to enable priests offering simultaneous masses at different altars within the church to see their brother priests. This was to facilitate the most bizarre exercise. Those familiar with the western mass will know that, after the dominical words "This is my body...", the priest elevates the bread for the adoration of the people. Well these holes (some of which survive to this day) were placed there so that priests could see their fellow priests offering the mass, and they would "stagger" the elevations nto ensure that they did not happen at the same time. This was to allow any lay people who may have been present to run from altar to altar to catch a glimpse of the consecrated bread being elevated. The people had been so far removed from regular reception of communion that they had to resort to this.

Protestantism objected to this, (and rightly so), as it was perceived as sacerdotalism. Different churches dealt with it differently. The Anglican church included in its articles of religion the following statement:

"The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them."


This was clearly a condemnation of the situation that had become prevalent in earlier times. It was not saying that devotions and processions should not happen, but merely that they were not the reason for the sacrament's existence and so should not cloud that reason. However, today, many Evangelical Anglicans, completely disregarding the original intention beind this statement, use it as an argument against their co-religionists of an Anglo-Catholic tradition, who still have the processions and other devotions surrounding the sacrament. Meanwhile, these Evangelical objectors often have communion only once a fortnight or even once a month, as opposed to their Anglo-Catholic brethren, who often offer the mass with communion every day. The point of all of that is to say that these objectors take the plain words, remove them from the context in which they were written, and read them legalistically to justify their custom of eschewing such devotions. Meanwhile, their own people seldom have the opportunity to receive communion, which is precisely the problem that the statement was condemning in the first place!

It is an example of self-serving, legalistic casuistry at its finest, and I am afraid that I see a parallel in Orthodoxy where the calendar is concerned.

My understanding of the New Calendarists' retention of the Church calendar for the paschalion while using the Meletian calendar for the solar cycle is that it is reflective of the same sort of legalism. When the Gregorian calendar was anathematised, this was accompanied by a strong focus on the condemnation of the departure from the Church paschalion. The menologion did not receive the same degree of specific focus. Those who follow the Meletian calendar are not actually following the Gregorian solar cycle but merely something very close to it, (so similar that the two are identical for the first 800 years). So essentially, for the first eight centuries, they are using the Gregorian solar calendar but are able to call it by a different name, thus escaping the anathema. While it is clear from the expression and context of those anathemas from the late 16th century, that a departure from the use of the Church calendar is frowned upon, a legalistic reading of the wording of the anathemas means that it is possible for the New Calendarist churches to change the solar cycle to the degree that they have without technically transgressing the written norms, provided that they retain the Church paschalion and ensure that there is some difference, however minuscule, between what they use and the condemned Gregorian calendar. It is a case of getting away with as much change as possible while taking care to conform to the minutiae of the letter of the law, while the intention behind those anathemas and the spirit in which they were written is quietly forgotten.

My own view on this sort of approach to Orthodox Church life is probably clear from the wording I have used so I needn't make it explicit here. However, that's my understanding of the answer to your question. I am open to correction.

In Christ,
Michael




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