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Calendars: interaction of old and new


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#41 Michael Stickles

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 03:33 PM

I'm not sure my original question was understood, so just to be more clear:

7) That whoever does not follow the customs of the Church as the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils decreed, and Holy Pascha, and the Menologion with which they did well in making it a law that we should follow it, and wishes to follow the newly-invented Paschalion and the New Menologion of the atheist astronomers of the Pope, and opposes all those things and wishes to overthrow and destroy the dogmas and customs of the Church which have been handed down by our fathers, let him suffer anathema and be put out of the Church of Christ and out of the Congregation of the Faithful.



I wasn't wondering how (if at all) the institution of the new calendar violated this. What I'm actually asking is, where can this "law" be found? I could not find it in an online copy of Schaff's The Seven Ecumenical Councils, though I might be using the wrong search terms. Or maybe it comes from a different source (though it sure appears that "they" refers to the Councils)?

In Christ,
Michael

#42 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 03:36 PM

Michael Stickles wrote:

The decrees of the councils regarding Pascha are easy enough to find, but I haven't found anything there "making it a law that we should follow it" regarding the Menologion. Only one of the canons I found regarding commemoration of the saints addresses anything with respect to dates, and that was a note that martyrs are not to be commemorated on weekdays during Lent. Does anyone know what, specifically, the "law" referred to by the anathema actually is?


I think that the 'Menologion' referred to simply means the manner of keeping to the monthly calendar. In other words this refers to the calendar/monthly date.

On another note though a basic rule concerning canonicity is that it is the Church which stands above the canons to apply them & intepret them as She sees fit. The canons do not stand above the discernment and guidance of the Church.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#43 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 03:54 PM

Michael Stickles wrote:



I think that the 'Menologion' referred to simply means the manner of keeping to the monthly calendar. In other words this refers to the calendar/monthly date.

On another note though a basic rule concerning canonicity is that it is the Church which stands above the canons to apply them & intepret them as She sees fit. The canons do not stand above the discernment and guidance of the Church.

In Christ- Fr Raphael


How do we receive the discernment and guidance of the Church since any one person, from priest to patriarch, who may be consulted can be in error?

#44 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 04:16 PM

Anyway...I'm glad to see there's a discussion going on here!

My steady belief about the Calendar it is that it is a Church calendar. This can be seen for example in its liturgical nature and in how it harmonizes the Paschal and Menaion (monthly/date) cycles. Where daily services are done and then this is combined with the fasting rule for the day (which is always connected to the liturgical calendar for us) this really comes out.

I do not believe then that the Calendar is meant to be mechanical. For such concepts as a mechanical measurement of time did not previously exist; they would not have been understood. Instead all events- whether natural and astronomical- were seen as being sacred. Again this can be seen from within the liturgical context where at Vespers we always chant Psalm 103 which recounts creation but as an act of God. In other words the Calendar is meant to redeem time and this is one of its fundamental characteristics which should not be lost.

As to whether the calendar can be changed though: I admit from what is presented here that such a thing is possible if it keeps to its basic principle of being a Church calendar. Indeed the Calendar has been altered previously and will probably be so again. The calendar in other words is not absolute and possibly we can say that this is due to the fact that time itself on this plane is never completely stable. (we would probably also be helped to keep in mind that before the various great schisms in the Church that from Britain in the west to Persia in the east various calendars were in use; our calendar is only one of many variations and follows the Byzantine/east Slav tradition).

Connected to this is the fact that the Church on its calendar does also redeem our time. For example on the Russian church calendar the date of the civil New Year is celebrated with a special moleben. In a somewhat similar fashion Royal birthdays & coronations were also marked in this way. And then nowadays on the church calendar it is appointed that a memorial service be done for fallen soldiers on May 9- Victory Day (WWII). In other words I do not think that it is correct to think of our Church calendar as representing a sort of marking sacred time in a way completely separate from this world.

A second factor at work though is the fact that within the Orthodox Church the use of two calendars (three if you include Finland) is basically a calendar schism. By any measure this is tragic. Much of this arose from differing understandings of how to live Orthodoxy. But if precedent is any measure then what in the past meant that difference is always something in opposition, in the future a time could arrive when these become acceptable points along a spectrum. Then- as has happened many times in the past with the Church- these different points could be brought together in balance rather than in opposition.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#45 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 04:25 PM

The first point simply does not make sense to an Old Calendarist. We know the dates have been growing further apart for centuries. No one will be shocked in 2100 when another day of separation occurs.
As for the last paragraph concerning the Holy Fire, been there, done that (in 1969-1970). I hope this inconvenient truth does not pooh-pooh the Pooh but check out the third paragraph in this link. Afterwards check your local Old Calendar parish for service times as promised :-)
http://www.holyfire....oc_LitHavoc.htm


Interesting. I would certainly love to see any other verifiable corroborating information. Where is the record of any Orthodox Church celebrating Pascha on a different day than the rest of the Orthodox world (outside of Finland of course)? IF this alleged event actually happened, the mere fact that the Orthodox Church was obviously not "of a mind" on the event could certainly be factor enough for the alleged "discrepancy". I'm really going to need more information to conceed that one. Archbishop Chrysostomos is not considered a reliable source by many respected Orthodox authorities.

Herman the doubtful Pooh

#46 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 04:29 PM

How do we receive the discernment and guidance of the Church since any one person, from priest to patriarch, who may be consulted can be in error?


I don not think that there is any one answer to this. All of the standard answers apply: humility, obedience, etc.

But from our standpoint of looking how this is achieved I believe that as I remarked at the end of my previous post: we need to keep in mind that the Church is really a spectrum of distinct persons. Seen individually each of these persons could be seen as being opposition in regards to what they do and say and represent. But in reality within the Church each of these differing persons serve to balance and adjust the other (this is one reason why schism is so dangerous- small like minded groups slowly go over the edge due to no opposition).

All of this though when seen together represents the Church. When you stand back you see it moving in a certain direction. If we are sensitive to that then we will get on board. In other words to maintain spiritual safety we have to discern where the Church is going by developing a sensitivity concerning this.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#47 David Hawthorne

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 04:51 PM

Interesting. I would certainly love to see any other verifiable corroborating information. Where is the record of any Orthodox Church celebrating Pascha on a different day than the rest of the Orthodox world (outside of Finland of course)? IF this alleged event actually happened, the mere fact that the Orthodox Church was obviously not "of a mind" on the event could certainly be factor enough for the alleged "discrepancy". I'm really going to need more information to conceed that one. Archbishop Chrysostomos is not considered a reliable source by many respected Orthodox authorities.

Herman the doubtful Pooh


I am sorry I was a little sloppy in my last post. My reading of the article was that the Jerusalem Patriarchate had switched to the New Calendar Menologion and not wholesale to the Gregorian Calendar including the Paschalion as Finland has done. So my example is not 100% what you were asking for but I think it was still to the point in that the Holy Fire did not descend anyway. I agree also about any calendrical change should occur with us all "of a mind". Unfortunately there is a lot of bad blood on both sides of the issue which is why I am also not surprised that a respected Old Calendar authority is not respected by many New Calendar authorities either. Both sides need to make more efforts to be fair with each other, I think. The book which the quote was from is also a very good apologia from the Old Calendar perspective and worth looking into.
Sorry for the confusion!

#48 Michael Astley

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 06:24 PM

Am I missing something? My church calendar already has the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus scheduled for January 7th 2010 not January 6th!


You're not missing anything. The Julian and Gregorian calendars are currently 13 days apart. Therefore, the 25th of December in the Julian calendar falls on the 7th of January in the Gregorian calendar. It used to fall on the 6th of January when the calendars were 12 days apart but this hasn't been the case for over a century.

There will be an additional day of drift fron 2100, which will place the calendars 14 days apart, causing Christmas to fall on Gregorian 8th of January. It just means people will have to think in terms of -14 rather than -13: hardly the end of the world.

In Christ,
Michael.

#49 Ryan

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 06:46 PM

At some point, the Church should probably revise the calendar, including the Paschalion, for reasons of astronomical accuracy. The problem with the current "revised Julian calendar" is that it was introduced in a non-conciliar manner, for purposes having mostly to do with relativism and accommodation to the West. Since the inaccuracy of the Julian calendar won't be a serious issue for a very long time yet, I think it would make sense right now for all the Orthodox to return to the Julian calendar for the sake of unity. Then, in time, we can move forward together to revise the calendar on genuinely Orthodox grounds, and do it in a way that doesn't alienate large portions of the faithful.

#50 Kosta

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 01:42 AM

At some point, the Church should probably revise the calendar, including the Paschalion, for reasons of astronomical accuracy. The problem with the current "revised Julian calendar" is that it was introduced in a non-conciliar manner, for purposes having mostly to do with relativism and accommodation to the West. Since the inaccuracy of the Julian calendar won't be a serious issue for a very long time yet, I think it would make sense right now for all the Orthodox to return to the Julian calendar for the sake of unity. Then, in time, we can move forward together to revise the calendar on genuinely Orthodox grounds, and do it in a way that doesn't alienate large portions of the faithful.


I agree. A few have been calling for this, unfortunately to deaf ears.

#51 Kosta

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 02:09 AM

Those with weak constitutions, high-blood pressure or a low tolerance for facts that conflict with their current world-view should not read any further. The following may well exceed the maximum recommended daily dose of irony and could cause irrational anger, headache, increased heart-rate, confusion, and for those with heart conditions, may result in apoplexy, or at the very least, a questioning of their world-view which may prove painful.

In the year 2100, those who follow the Julian calendar will have a problem to deal with. They will have to tell their people that the date of Christmas has changed. Instead of being celebrated on January 6th, as has been done since all who are alive can remember, it will be celebrated on January 7th. Many people will complain, "wait a minute, you said the Church does not change and here you go changing things! We ALWAYS have celebrated on January 6, and now you are changing it!" They will explain that it isn't "really" changing, it is still on December 25th (OC), but December 25th has changed and is now on January 7th because of the calendar drift. And many people will say " but you said the drift isn't important! Accuracy doesn't matter! So why are you changing the date? Why can't we still celebrate on Jauary 6th like we always have?"


Not an issue at all. Never met someone celebrating on the old calendar that doesnt know this.

And here is the ironic part. The western traditions freely acknowledge that their method for calculating Pascha needs correction and would happily work with us to come up with a better method, but the Orthodox refuse to discuss the issue.


This is ecumenism! The need to be tied to western christianity at the hip. Just like Constantine said to disregard the jews in calculating Pascha, same applies to the romans. The method for Pascha is that of Nicea, theres no need for another method.

And the method we Orthodox currently use actually VIOLATES the spirit of the canon as set forth by the Ecumenical Council!? By artificially bending our calculation to avoid "celebrating with the Jews" we are actually accomodating and using the offensive modern Jewish calculation which is exactly what the canon tells us NOT to do!


Completely false. We do follow Nicea. If theres any similarities its because in 367 a.d. the jews corrected their calculations and also use the 19 year metonic cycle and a more similar calendar to the julian than the gregorian. (if thats what you had in mind). And yes the 19 year cycle is part of the Nicene tradition, although some ecumenists today hide the patristic evidence for this.


This would NOT use the "Gregorian" paschalion because the "Gregorians" acknowledge that it is flawed and want to fix it, but can't because their Orthodox brethren refuse to help.


This is the ecumenist attitude ive been refering to. Why should we take into consideration the romans, the early christians didnt take into consideration the jews. Those who like the new calendar simply want to celebrate with their heterodox friends and partake of the commercialization.

Western christians dont fast neither so they can care less about the liturgical aspects of a calendar that this would take into consideration.

On the other hand the revised calendar will eventually celebrate Pascha on Aug 15 , thats where trouble will come in

Edited by Fr Raphael Vereshack, 11 December 2009 - 03:10 PM.
fixed quote tags


#52 Deacon Jonathan

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 10:15 AM

I am sorry I was a little sloppy in my last post. My reading of the article was that the Jerusalem Patriarchate had switched to the New Calendar Menologion and not wholesale to the Gregorian Calendar including the Paschalion as Finland has done. So my example is not 100% what you were asking for but I think it was still to the point in that the Holy Fire did not descend anyway. I agree also about any calendrical change should occur with us all "of a mind". Unfortunately there is a lot of bad blood on both sides of the issue which is why I am also not surprised that a respected Old Calendar authority is not respected by many New Calendar authorities either. Both sides need to make more efforts to be fair with each other, I think. The book which the quote was from is also a very good apologia from the Old Calendar perspective and worth looking into.
Sorry for the confusion!


I had never heard of this occurrence before either, however there are also miracles associated with the celebrations of fixed feasts, which more strongly confirm the use of the Julian calendar.

I believe it to be true that the miracle of the River Jordan's reversal in flow at the Blessing of the Waters occurs on every Theophany according to the Julian Calendar, not the revised calendar. There are videos of this miracle.

#53 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 10:39 AM

The Calendars

Dear all,

I have read through this thread with interest.

I would like to offer just a few thoughts

Firstly, a fraternal and pastoral one: it is Lent—let us strive to ensure that we don’t let the passions get the better of us here or elsewhere. It is always a great temptation in these periods.

Secondly, my own chief thought on the matter of calendars has been that their first role for the normal Christian faithful person (i.e. not a bishop, who is empowered to enter into discussions about what calendars may be used, how, etc.) is that of engendering obedience. I am, as we all are, able and called to ask questions, to probe for understanding, to query details; but ultimately I am called to be obedient to the liturgical order given to me by the Church and by my bishop. The calendar is a central part of this, since it orders the flow of fasting, feasting, celebrations, commemorations and the whole liturgical life of the community. And so I am called, as by all things in the Church, first and foremost to obedience, to conforming my will and heart to and through that handed to me by her, rather than seek to project and impose will—whatever it may be—upon it.

Thirdly, in coming to an understanding of calendars as used liturgically by the Church, I don’t find myself able to agree with the claim that calendars are chiefly astrological. Clearly they involve astronomical elements (e.g. the turning of the earth vis-à-vis the sun, which marks out days; the orbit of the moon, which marks months); but the Church’s usage of calendars is to take the basic, cyclical framework provided by God’s creation (the sun, moon, stars) to order and shape her liturgical life.

This is perhaps an ideological difference between the way the Church approaches calendars, and the way they are more commonly approached in other contexts—leading to their continual revision and correction. Outside the Church, there is no common life to regulate and order, to which to give shape; and so the result is that calendars are focused solely on the accurate measurement and definition of the passing of time in an astrological sense. It is up to whomever wishes to use this data, to employ it to give shape or form to life or activities. And in this context, it is entirely understandable (and wholly justifiable) that the striving after astronomical accuracy should be as precise as possible. When it is learnt that calculations are in error, that lags have caused inaccuracies, these should be corrected; and this is precisely what we see. Since the sole function of such calendars is astronomical precision, it would be ridiculous to maintain a system known to be in error, if one more accurate was possible. But again, this is because calendars in this extra-ecclesial context are wholly astronomical in function; any order they may bring to life and living are up to another body to create through them.

The Church uses calendars quite differently. Taking the basic cyclical framework provided by creation, it employs them wholly for the right ordering of the life of faith and worship. They are the backbone of liturgical life. In this sense, there is an astronomical foundation to the calendar as used by the Church (it does, in fact, use days, weeks, months, years; it does acknowledge the changing of the seasons), but this is as a more-or-less basic structure. What is far more significant is the liturgical framework built around this basic cycle, and which sanctifies it precisely by making of a natural pattern a thing liturgical and divine.

The Church is well aware that the calendar it has traditionally used is, in astronomical terms, inaccurate. I’ve never met anyone who argued that advances in astronomical accuracy and knowledge don’t render it possible to be more precise, in these regards, than the systems used to craft the old Church calendar (though there are some arguments to be made for seeing it as less errant in some ways that often assumed). But again, this isn’t the main purpose of the calendar. Its purpose is the ordering of liturgical life, which it does quite well; and, in fact, which there are substantial arguments for suggesting it does better than more astronomically accurate calendars that have superseded it in other contexts.

This is a rather long way of saying that I do not find arguments for a Church usage of one calendar or another, grounded in questions of astronomical precision, at all compelling or convincing. This simply isn’t what the Church does with calendars.

The question that has faced the Church is whether or not advances in civic computations of time—which are not liturgical—should or should not cause her to take up the new ‘pattern of time’ offered by such advances, now used by the secular society around her, and re-fashion her liturgical ordering around it. This was done once, some well argue (i.e. the liturgical calendar did not fall out of heaven: it was crafted by the Church off the basic civil calendar of the day), so it can be argued it can be done again. And we all know that some parts of the Church have indeed done so. But there are also arguments to be made against this re-fashioning: firstly, there is the basic question of whether it is necessary. Does the Church need to follow the world in this regard? Is ‘keeping time’ in synch with the saeculum missionary, or counter-missionary? And secondly, there is the technical question of whether the liturgical life that the Church has fashioned over two millennia can effectively be grafted onto a different way of keeping time. By and large the calendars are similar, simply off-set; but there are certain, well-known and well-worn issues that are more dramatic: the shift in Pascha, the shrinking of certain fasts, etc.

The point here is that in no case is the real question, for the Church, astronomical. The question that has faced the bishops is whether the Church (a) should and (b) can take a new social ordering of time and use it as the structure on which to graft its liturgical ordering.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#54 Dimitris

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 01:10 PM

Dear Kosta,

This is the ecumenist attitude ive been refering to. Why should we take into consideration the romans, the early christians didnt take into consideration the jews. Those who like the new calendar simply want to celebrate with their heterodox friends and partake of the commercialization.

I don't think this triumphalistic view fits to Orthodoxy. As Orthodox we should pray that those who are heterodox find their way (back) to the Orthodox Church. And why shouldn't we as preliminary work try to fix something that is least dogmatic and that everyone knows isn't correct as it is now?

On the other hand the revised calendar will eventually celebrate Pascha on Aug 15 , thats where trouble will come in

Er, you are aware that this is the same problem as with the Julian calender, aren't you?

Dear Father Deacon Matthew,

This is a rather long way of saying that I do not find arguments for a Church usage of one calendar or another, grounded in questions of astronomical precision, at all compelling or convincing. This simply isn’t what the Church does with calendars.

However, this will lead that in some thousand years Christmas will be celebrated in summer and Easter in winter. A rather strange idea to me....

Dear David,

We know the dates have been growing further apart for centuries. No one will be shocked in 2100 when another day of separation occurs.

Are you so sure about this? On another discussion platfom I once was involved in a discussion with a woman who stated that in her church Christmas was always celebrated on January 7th. I tried to explain her that Christmas in her chuch as in every other orthodox church is celebrated on December 25th, but due to the calender shift it is currently celebrated on January 7th in terms of the civil calender in those churches which use the old calendar, and that in about 90 years her church will celebrate Christmas on January 8th in terms of the civil calendar. Her answer was "No, you are crazy, my church has never celebarted christmas on December 25th, it has and will celebrate Christmas always on January 7th, forever".

#55 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 01:36 PM

Thank you Father Deacon for a reasonable summation of the issues, without ad hominem attacks, or resorting to fanciful "facts" and creative mathematics. If I may respond to your very pertinent questions.

The point here is that in no case is the real question, for the Church, astronomical. The question that has faced the bishops is whether the Church (a) should and (b) can take a new social ordering of time and use it as the structure on which to graft its liturgical ordering.


The Church certainly CAN establish a common calendar, since that is what it did. It can also revise that calendar. It is, after all, simply a convenient method to order the liturgical cycle. It was the civil calendar of most of the world of its day and it was as accurate as the science of the day could make it.

But I still have not seen a reasonable argument as to why the Church must maintain an archaic calendar that does not do what a calendar does nor even obey the canons of the Church. Eventually the arbitrary and artificial fixed date of the Vernal Equinox will no longer fall within the range of dates in which the vernal equinox actually happens, and will drift away aimlessly through the seasons, like a ship that has lost its anchor. In Jerusalem, that symbolically central city, the Feast of St. John the Baptist in June and the Nativity itself will lose its incredibly beautiful theological symbolism (John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease) since from the Feast of St. John the days grow shorter and from the Nativity the days grow longer. The ridiculous claim that Pascha will happen in August using the revised calendar is simply wrong. Revising the Paschalion in accordance with the canons of the Ecumenical Councils will keep it right where it belongs, AFTER the Vernal Equinox, whereas the current Julian reckoning, will eventually result in it happening BEFORE it!

So, in summary, the Church should revise its calendar, not to conform to society, but merely to preserve and obey the canons of the ecumenical councils, to avoid celebrating "with the Jews", to keep Pascha attached to (and after) the Vernal Equinox, and to maintain the theological symbolism it was meant to preserve. The Julian Calendar does not do this, and no hysterical cries of "ecumenism" or irrational distortions of math will change that.

Or so it seems to this bear of little brain.

Herman the Pooh

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 11 December 2009 - 02:33 PM.


#56 Fr. Michael L.

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 02:58 PM

However, this will lead that in some thousand years Christmas will be celebrated in summer and Easter in winter. A rather strange idea to me....


I believe that the Southern hemisphere has this current arrangement and I presume that Christmas and Easter are less holy there!!

#57 Dimitris

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 03:02 PM

Why did I know that this "argument" would come?

#58 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 03:09 PM

Dear Herman,

You've certainly got your position entrenched! But I've enjoyed reading your reflections.

I'm not convinced, personally that the Church 'has' established a common calendar with that of the secular world, on a truly liturgical level. It certainly has done so in the simple sense of certain portions adopting the revised calendar; but whether or not this has actually worked in terms of securing a functional liturgical cycle is not at all clear cut. There are some ongoing problems with how the Church's liturgical cycle fits around this calendar's precision of time -- most notably surrounding the Apostles' Fast -- which are not cut-and-dry one way or the other. Is there an issue with the way the liturgical cycle fits on this calendar? Unquestionably yes. Is this issue insurmountable? Perhaps not. But I'm not certain it is helpful or accurate to be too presumptive in insisting that it has worked and does work, simply because it has been adopted; nor too dismissive of those who have genuine questions and points to make in this regard.

The issue of calendar(s) has long since become an emotive rallying point. This makes it very difficult to discuss, since either those supporting the old calendar quickly start branding everyone support of the new as intrinsically 'ecumenists'; or those supporting the new start branding those who question it as antiquarian and out-of-touch.

In such situations it is always helpful to take a step back, remember the right framework of obedience and humility, and seek more openly to understand what calendars are and what they mean to Orthodox liturgical life, and how this should inform our discussion of the merits, strengths, weaknesses and problems encountered on any calendar system as it used by the Church.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#59 Father David Moser

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 03:30 PM

The issue of calendar(s) has long since become an emotive rallying point. This makes it very difficult to discuss, ...

In such situations it is always helpful to take a step back, remember the right framework of obedience and humility, and seek more openly to understand what calendars are and what they mean to Orthodox liturgical life, and how this should inform our discussion of the merits, strengths, weaknesses and problems encountered on any calendar system as it used by the Church.


I would like to point out that this this discussion over the past couple of days seems to be getting increasingly passionate and personal. I would ask that all the participants refocus on the issues that Fr Matthew pointed out above. Please note that "ecumenism" (whether positive or negative) is not one of those issues. Also it might be good to refocus on this discussion as a discussion not a debate. We are not here to convince everyone else that "I am right and you are wrong" but rather to share experience and learning so that all can come to a broader understanding of how the calendar (both Church and civil) affects our lives and is useful in the spiritual life of the Church.

So please, let's back off the passion a bit and keep this discussion sobor.

Fr David Moser

#60 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 03:46 PM

I believe that the Southern hemisphere has this current arrangement and I presume that Christmas and Easter are less holy there!!


Not at all. The events of salvation history occurred at a specific place and time: in and around Jerusalem. In a spiritual sense, it can be considered the "center" of the world, even as the Heavenly Jerusalem can be considered the center of the Universe. In the region of and around Jerusalem, where Christ was born, where He preached, died, and resurrected, was in the northern hemisphere. Both the holy days of the Feast of John the Baptist and Nativity were picked somewhat arbitrarily, not due to chronology, but to iconically represent John 3:30. The Julian calendar throws this away because eventually, in Jerusalem, the length of the days from John to Christ will no longer decrease and the days from Christ to John will no longer increase. A little thing perhaps, but should it be discarded so callously?




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