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Commemorating heterodox in Divine Liturgy


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#21 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 04:11 PM

Item (3.) in the link I gave covers this (if it represents the position throughout the Church).  The central issue is commemoration in the proskomidi.



#22 Kosta

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:29 AM

Only names of deceased Orthodox christians are to be commemorated during the proskimide. In my church which is Goarch they have two sets of papers for prayer requests. The one paper clearly states only names of Orthodox christians are to be listed and non-Orthodox can be listed on the generic list for prayer request.

 

The litanies itself presupposes we are praying for Orthodox christians. AFAIK there is a litany praying that our leaders and military defeat our enemies but this is omitted in the diaspora, its only prayed in traditional Orthodox countries where it is appropriate.

 

St Mark of Ephesus if memory serves me right, spoke how prayers for the deceased during the Eucharist benefit those that have confessed but did not have time to fulfill their penance and other minor faults. 



#23 Kosta

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:45 AM

I found a quote from St John Chrysostom confirming this:

 

 

Weep for those who die in their wealth and who with all their wealth prepared no consolation for their own souls, who had the power to wash away their sins and did not will to do it. Let us weep for them, let us assist them to the extent of our ability, let us think of some assistance for them, small as it may be, yet let us somehow assist them. But how, and in what way? By praying for them and by entreating others to pray for them, by constantly giving alms to the poor on their behalf. Not in vain was it decreed by the apostles that in the awesome mysteries remembrance should be made of the departed. They knew that here there was much gain for them, much benefit. When the entire people stands with hands uplifted, a priestly assembly, and that awesome sacrificial Victim is laid out, how, when we are calling upon God, should we not succeed in their defense? But this is done for those who have departed in the faith, while even the catechumens are not reckoned as worthy of this consolation, but are deprived of every means of assistance except one. And what is that? We may give alms to the poor on their behalf." (Homilies on Philippians 3:4-10 [c. AD 402] or NPNF1 XIII:197)



#24 Hieromonk Ambrose

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 02:12 PM

In the countries of the British Commonwealth most priests probably commemorate "our God-fearing Queen Elizabeth and all the Royal Household" with a particle at the Proskomedia.  A similar commemoration is made at the Great Litany, the Entrance, and the Fervent Litany.   And there are petitions for our Parliament and all in seats of authority, the Armed Forces, etc.   I have never extended this to include the names of other non-Orthodox and it sometimes grieves me that I cannot.  Two blocks down the street both Greek and Romanian priests name non-Orthodox freely, non-Orthodox spouses, friends and others.


Edited by Hieromonk Ambrose, 18 August 2013 - 02:12 PM.


#25 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:42 PM

Let is remember that we now call it 'The Commonwealth'.  As is proper, the head of state is prayed for at appropriate points in the liturgy such as in the litanies, and in those Commonwealth countries (sixteen in all) of which the Queen is head of state, she is prayed for as such.  It would be wholly wrong, however, for a particle to be placed on the discos for her as it would be for any non-Orthodox person.  I do not know of any priest here who does this.



#26 Olga

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 11:51 PM

Let is remember that we now call it 'The Commonwealth'.  As is proper, the head of state is prayed for at appropriate points in the liturgy such as in the litanies, and in those Commonwealth countries (sixteen in all) of which the Queen is head of state, she is prayed for as such.  It would be wholly wrong, however, for a particle to be placed on the discos for her as it would be for any non-Orthodox person.  I do not know of any priest here who does this.

 

From my decades-long experience of both Russian and Greek practice in southern Australia:

 

Never have I heard the Queen or the royal family being commemorated in litanies in the dozen or so Greek churches I have attended here, only a general petition for this land, its people and government.

 

Of the four ROCOR churches (a parish, two missions, and a monastery) here, only one of the missions commemorates her in litanies. ROCOR once did so as a rule, and did so by name (!), but this practice was discontinued as standard some 20 years ago. The mnogaya lyeta (polychronion) sung at the end of the Divine Liturgy continued to commemorate the Queen by name, but, since the elevation of HE Hilarion as First Hierarch of ROCOR in 2008, this commemoration has been discontinued.

 

From this, it seems safe to say that no particles are put on the diskos for the Queen or royal family in any of these churches, with the possible exception, and it would be a remote one, of the mission church which commemorates them liturgically.



#27 Hieromonk Ambrose

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 12:21 AM

Let is remember that we now call it 'The Commonwealth'. 

We are awful sticklers for tradition and you'll still hear and read "British Commonwealth."



#28 Hieromonk Ambrose

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 12:26 AM

Old blokes like me are full of anecdotes...... together with my fellow Kiwi Fr Nicholas we were resident in the Serbian monastery of Saint Sava outside Melbourne.  Father Benedict, the senior hieromonk, never commemorated the Queen but only the Serbian Heir-Apparent Alexander.  So we, being the only two singers on the kliros for most services, said to him that we refused to pray for Alexander unless he prayed for the Queen.  He didn’t pray for her, so we stopped responding Gospodi pomiluy when he intoned “O prestolonaslednike Aleksandre...”  Dead silence!  Poor Father Benedict turned purple with irritation.
 

These hiatuses in the Ektenias continued for about a week.  He took it to the bishop.  He argued the the monastery was not on Australian soil but, like an embassy, it was extraterritorial and indeed part of Yugoslavia!   The bishop would not buy this Jesuitical line of thought.   “Australia is,” he said, “part of the English Queen’s realm and she is the supreme authority here. COMMEMORATE HER!” 



#29 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 07:16 AM

It is my experience that Greek parishes in England tend not to mention the head of state in the litanies whilst others (which have more English converts) do.  (As an old bloke myself, I can just remember as a toddler at school being given a glass of orange juice and a flag to celebrate Empire Day as we gazed at a map of the world a quarter coloured red.)


Edited by Andreas Moran, 19 August 2013 - 07:20 AM.


#30 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:16 AM

In our parish as far as I know Father does not place a particle on the discos for her, nor do we commemorate her in week day services where we read out the names of all those we have been asked to pray for at one of the litanies. We do however have a petition for "'Our most sovereign lady Queen Elizabeth, her government, parliament and all in seats of authority over us"

 

In Christ.

Daniel,



#31 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 05:42 PM

That petition is the one I hear used.



#32 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 11:26 AM

I was thinking about this thread (and related ones) recently because some priests here commemorate the heterodox in the proskomide or they simply place a piece of prosphora on the diskos for a group of names on the list given to them without knowing which names are of Orthodox Christians and which are heterodox. I assume, since I do not know, that any Orthodox priest would not commemorate a non-Christian. However, a list of names may include some which look like Christian names - John, David, Mary and so on - and yet those persons may not be Christians. The statistics show that even fifty years ago, only half of people in England were baptised, and in 2007 just 20% were baptised. The figure now is probably even lower. The chances are, therefore, that in commemorating all names on lists given to a priest, he is commemorating non-Christians. Should this situation lead priests who do commemorate heterodox to tell their faithful that only the names of Orthodox Christians (departed and living) should be put on their lists of people to be commemorated?



#33 Father David Moser

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 03:51 PM

Not sure what it "should" lead to - I can only tell you that I do tell my flock that if they wish to include a non-Orthodox person in their pomyanik (commemoration book/list) to make a note of the status of that person.  That way I can pray for them, but do not take out a particle for them. In any case, no matter what the nature of the list that I have, I always take the particles out saying "Have mercy on (grant rest to) all those Orthodox Christians remembered here through the prayers of Thy saints." thereby avoiding any unintentional errors.


The reason for this is, of course, that our Lord values and prizes our free will and does not in any way force Himself upon those who do not wish to come to Him.  We do not "force" people into the Church (either symbolically or in reality), but wait for them to freely choose of their own accord to enter in.  Take time to listen and talk to "recalcitrant" heterodox Christians and no matter how much they might agree with the Orthodox, there is invariably some reason why they cannot embrace the true faith.  To presume to include them anyway despite their resistance would be to force them - something our Lord does not do, and we should follow His example.  We keep the door open and invite them to enter, but we do not go our and grab them by force thus violating their free will.

 

Fr David



#34 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 06:39 PM

Thank you, Father. The situation I have in mind is that where no instruction is given to the faithful about names. There is a view which says, 'commemorate all the names on the list, and let God sort it out'. I would have thought the Church expects priests to be more responsible than that. If the priest instructs the faithful appropriately and utters the words you use, then I guess he has discharged his responsibility and if he then unknowingly commemorates non-Orthodox Christians and/or non-Christians then the burden of responsibility falls upon the faithful who offer such names.

 

I think there is much force in the point that those heterodox Christians or non-Christians who are commemorated may not have wished for this to be done. The only thing I wonder about is whether in this there any distinction to be made between departed and living; the living have a choice whether to be part of the Church or not, but the departed will have become aware of the truth that Orthodoxy is the state of things in the hereafter: 'many mansions' cannot be taken to mean sections for various denominations!



#35 Father David Moser

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 06:08 PM

I think that the "many mansions" idea can be dangerously misleading. The "many mansions" do not indicate "places" in the after life for different kinds of Christians, but rather the fathers indicate that this passage talks about the hierarchy of believers that will exist even in eternity. Consider the hierarchy of the angelic host - they are all holy, they are all servants of God, however, there are those who are nearer to the throne of God (i.e. the Seraphim and Cherubim) and those who are nearer to us (i.e. Archangels and Angels) This is also a hierarchy of function - with each group having its particular role and responsibility. The apostle Paul indicates that this same kind of hierarchy exists within the Church: For example: "Some are Apostles, some prophets, some evangelists some pastors and teachers." (Eph 4:11) There are other such hierarchies and lists of ministry and function within the Scripture. These ministries and functions remain even into eternity. Look at the icons of the Church in eternity - e.g. the Last Judgement - or even the icons of "all saints" (whether in general or of a particular locale) and there is a heavenly hierarchy depicted among the saints. This heavenly hierarchy is more properly the meaning of "many mansions".

The non-Orthodox departed may well see the true nature of eternity, but they do not have the ability to change (repent) as they are incomplete creatures (a soul separated from the body). Therefore the fathers indicate that they no longer have the quality of "changeability" which is why we who are living still must pray for, repent and do good deeds on behalf of the departed - they can no longer do these things for themselves. But even our efforts cannot overturn their free will. We do not know exactly how it is our labors effect the departed, but we know that they do and therefore we continue them by faith. We do not know what choice they will have in the final resurrection and great judgement when the soul and body are reunited, and to speculate on what might be is at best useless and distraction - at worst it fosters dissension, division and heresy because it is beyond us. Have faith, obey the instruction of our Holy Mother Church and entrust those outside the Church and those among the departed to the care of our All-Good and All-Merciful God "Who desires that no man should perish but that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth."

Fr David

#36 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 07:13 PM

Thank you, Father. Readers of the thread will benefit from the clarification of the expression, 'many mansions'. I seem to recall having heard or read that those who know nothing about Christ and His Church, at the departure hence of their souls, have Christ's salvation offered them and they can accept or refuse it. I do not know if there is any basis for this notion in the Holy Fathers. Those who minister to the Orthodox faithful ought to have regard to what is expressed in the last sentence.






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