Some brief comments on each part of Fr. Vasilios Spiliopoulos's post.
There seems to be two points of contention here for Fr. Vasilios, firstly that the Church has rejected the liturgies of St James and St Mark, second that the sole reason for serving the Liturgy of St James is a subtle way to introduce liturgical reform motivated by perceived of 'archaicness' in the Liturgy. In regards to the first point he states that the Liturgy of St James had fallen into disuse by the time of St Basil the Great: this quite untrue the Liturgy is attested to in the writings of St Cyril of Jerusalem who post-deceased St Basil by a decade and under whom it appears to have undergone development. It is also contained largely in late forth and fifth century manuscripts, indeed given the Divine Liturgy was far more local and orally transmitted up unto the 4th century it could not have been in use up unto the time of St Basil before then falling into disuse as this was the very time its use was growing.
In regards to the Liturgy of St Mark he concedes that the Liturgy was in use until the 12th century and instead argues from the decision of Balsamon, the idea that the official Liturgy of the Alexandrian Patriarchate revised by St Cyril of Alexandria should be dismissed by an order of the Patriarchate of Constantinople is quite frankly nonsense that smacks of Papism. It is indeed the case due to the Muslim yoke Alexandria whose Patriarch tended to reside in Constantinople had already started to 'Byzantinize' the Liturgy before abandoning it due to the aforementioned arrogant pressure put upon by Constantinople. This does not mean that the Liturgy of St Mark is in someway defective and not fit for use but rather demonstrates one the many issues (centralisation around Constantinople) facing the Church following the Muslim conquest. Ultimately disuse does not equate to rejection by the Church.
In regards to his second point there are many Orthodox churches who celebrate the Liturgy of St James on his feastday (we shall do so next Sunday) taking as precedent the celebration of the Liturgy of St Basil the Great on his feast-day, most of these churches have no motivation at all for liturgical reform and the idea they are doing so via the Liturgy of Saint James (served at most twice a year) seems a little far fetched. Now when it does comes to any changes to the services of the church (quite apart to the Liturgy of St James which is quite a separate manner, rather such changes as those to the beginning of the liturgy in Constantinople practice) it must be remembered that the services of the church are not static, they continue to evolve over time according to the mind of the Church (otherwise we would not be celebrating the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom for one) at times the move is towards the more ornate at other times the more simple according to the needs of the Church at that time.
Reuse of older liturgical practises can form part of this process, indeed the canons of Matins are an example of a deliberate attempt to move from the Kontakia to the Biblical based canticles of the Old Testament which makes use of the old in forming what was in this case an entirely new liturgical practice. This must be separated from both the Catholic/Protestant idea that former practices can be dismissed entirely for the sake of keeping 'modern' (Vatican 2) and the idea of (Protestant based) revisionism wherein there lies the believe that later liturgical practices have been corrupted and must return to more pure earlier roots, it seems Fr Vasilios is unfairly equating the two with genuine liturgical development which has always been part of the liturgical life of the Church.
I'll post on the other posts when I get time.
Edited by Olga, 16 October 2016 - 07:14 AM.
Added paragraph spaces for ease of reading