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Calendars: interaction of old and new


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#61 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 04:02 PM

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.


Of course it can be fixed. The problem is not the "New" calendar, it is the old and arbitrary way that Pascha is currently reckoned that actually now violates rather than upholds the canons that is the problem. Fix that and everything else is restored to God's own glorious harmony.

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.


We are the people of Truth and light, not falsehood and darkness. A serious, unemotional re-examination of the real intent of the canons is in order, don't you think? Not to justify preferences, but to determine what does, indeed, uphold the ideals and teachings of the Church, to establish good order and unity.

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.


Absolutely. We should not allow "traditions of men" to subvert the message of Christ, to do the things that uphold Christ in the world and not simply because "that is the way we have always done it". That is what got the Jews in trouble, wasn't it?

Little thoughts from a little brain.

Herman the Pooh

#62 Michael Stickles

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 05:26 PM

I would tend, on the whole, to agree with Herman. It seems like the logically optimum solution would be to revise the Paschal dating method and synchronize the Menologion to either the civil or the Revised Julian calendar. This would of course require some serious discussion on the meanings of the canons related to the calculation of the Paschal date (since whether this solution really is a solution depends on how they are interpreted).

However, there are other important factors beyond the outcome of theological debates. Currently, despite some "sniping over the fences", there seems to be a more-or-less amiable truce between those following the old and new calendars. Any attempt to standardize all to a common system, be it the old calendar (Julian plus old Paschalion), the new calendar (Revised Julian plus old Paschalion), or a completely overhauled system (Revised Julian or similar plus a revised Paschalion), has the potential to call up an incredible amount of passionate resistance.

So, while discussion of these things can be of benefit (I've learned some new things already while following this thread), I would rather see things stay exactly as they are, despite the various problems (real or imagined) with the current calendars, than see an explosion of passion and ill will which could be far more damaging than our current "disunity".

In Christ,
Michael

#63 Deacon Jonathan

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 11:57 PM

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.


So why not use the same calendar as the Patriarchate of Jerusalem?

#64 Dimitris

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 12:59 PM

With all due respect, Jonathan, do you really regard this as serious and sober contribution to this discussion?

#65 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 01:54 PM

So why not use the same calendar as the Patriarchate of Jerusalem?


Um, well, like, because he is not my bishop and my bishop told my parish to use the calendar we are using? After all it should not be a matter of individual choice, should it? I think we have all agreed on that.

And once we realize and admit that all calendars need an occasional adjustment from time to time, we will all be a lot closer to using one calendar for our ONE Church. Wouldn't that be nice?

Just a little thought from a bear of little brain,
Herman the Pooh




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