Restoration of the WR: historical parallels?
Posted 21 November 2010 - 06:40 PM
I say in the past millenium because shortly after the papal schism, a process of liturgical homogenization began to occur, with all patriarchates eventually adopting the rite of the Great Church. Previous to this, there was greater liturgical diversity.
(Also, I recognize there are some who believe the western rites never actually died out to begin with. I am using "rite" in the scholarly sense: meaning, the totality of liturgies and sacraments, public and private prayers and devotions used by a given community, and not merely one liturgical service.)
Posted 21 November 2010 - 08:27 PM
Posted 27 November 2010 - 01:31 AM
The above article discusses the Nestorian bishop received by the Russian Church, but no indication whether this community was permitted to retain their rite "as is," whether it was subject to any modification, or whether they adopted the Byzantine rite.
Posted 27 November 2010 - 01:44 AM
- History of the Syrian Nation and the Old Evangelical-Apostolic Church of the East, by George David Malech, Gorgias Press, p. viii
Posted 27 November 2010 - 02:30 PM
Back to the restoration of the WR - is anyone familiar with the liturgical texts that have been prepared by the Milan Synod?
They are available here - http://orthodoxengla...9/11/about.html
Posted 29 November 2010 - 06:27 PM
Posted 29 November 2010 - 07:19 PM
I'm not sure I would call either St Tikhon or St John BIG proponents, but they certainly had no issue with the concept of Western Rite. St Tikhon apparently spearheaded a move to have the Anglican Book of Common Prayer assesed by the Russian Synod of Bishops, who recomended a few changes to make it consistent with Orthodox theology (the removal of the filioque, the addition of an explicit epiclesis, etc.). That is the source of the Western Rite "Liturgy of St Tikhon" - which is basically a slightly altered pre-1963 Anglican liturgy. This was done at a time when the Anglican Churches and the Orthodox were seriously considering, and working towards, inter-communion - which would have established the Anglican Churches as Western Rite Orthodox. The later theological and moral meanderings of the Anglican Communion have permanently curtailed that. To my knowledge, there is no evidence that St Tikhon ever performed, or even attended, a "Liturgy of St Tikhon".
St John did oversee a group who used a Western Rite when he was the bishop of Paris. He was a great lover of pre-schism western saints, establishing a good number of them into the Orthodox Calendar of Saints. He is often quoted as saying "Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be Eastern. The West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of Her heresies." Sadly, that group has since left Orthodoxy. I am under the impression that the rites used by this French group are different again, than any being currently used by the Western Rite Orthodox.
Certainly, the West, with all it's rites intact, were fully Orthodox prior to the Great Schism. That's undeniable. That's what being "pre-Schism" means. So why doesn't the Western Rite simply use the western rites, as they were prior to the Schism? Well, that's because we basically don't seem to have any set of full liturgical books from the West that pre-date the schism (I don't think we have any from the East either!). We have bits and pieces that various scholars have put together (and have furiously argued about, too!) and not everyone is in full agreement.
A different approach of some of the Western Rite folks seems to have been to take pre-Vatican II Roman and Anglican Rites and "Orthodoxify" them, by removing the filioque, adding and epiclesis, removing references to "merits" of the saints, removing post Schism saints from the calendar, and so on. Again, there is controversy about some of these modifications, some thinking they haven't gone far enough, some thinking they have (or even gone too far!).
So, in short, the concept of Western Rite Orthodoxy is solid. The practice is still being figured out. I just hope folks on all sides of the debate can start to realize that we're still in that process of re-creating a Western Orthodox praxis, and therefore we need to treat each other with a lot more gentleness, because we could very easily be the ones that are wrong...
Edited by Cyprian (Humphrey), 29 November 2010 - 07:21 PM.
I type like I'm wearing mittens...
Posted 30 November 2010 - 03:25 PM
Posted 30 November 2010 - 04:27 PM
I see you point, and actually agree with you, but I fear we are going to get vehemently flamed for voicing it. It's that "touchiness" that some have again...
But, yes, there is no way the BCP is pre-Schism. Although we generally give a date of 1054 for the Great Schism, it actually wasn't an instantaneous moment, but rather a process that occured from the ninth to 13th centuries. 1054 is a reference date, usually given for convenience. The first version of the BCP was produced in 1549. So, it's approximately at least 300 years too late to be pre-Schism. Apparently there are claims that the BCP is based on ancient, pre-Schism texts, and I can't speak to the veracity of those claims. I'm not a liturgical scholar. They may well be true. (Also, I'm not trying to annoy anyone who is a liturgical scholar that feels those claims are true. I'm just trying to express that there is a divergence of opinion amongst those who know about these things.) But that still doesn't undo the fact that the BCP is a Calvinist revision of Western Rites, with Calvinist interpretations guiding the translation and selection of texts for it's composition. That's a problem.
To my knowledge, most of the ROCOR and Milan Synod Western Rite is based on either the Tridentine mass and it's antecedents, or some sort of variation on fragments of the Sarum Rite. So they don't have that particular problem. What they do have is that not all of the available texts pre-date the Schism, and some of them have rather questionable Anselmian Atonement ideas expressed in their prayers, as well as other similar problems, like references to "merits" of the saints, and so on.
What the issue is (at least in some circles), is that just because a bishop, or a synod of bishops, gave something a blessing, doesn't actually mean it's perfect and completed, and there's no need for improvement. What they (the bishops) did was give their blessing to start using certain rites, and even though they may have not expressly said it, to continue with the effort of correcting the errors, and fixing the problems. So, just because a bishop gave a blessing to use the Liturgy of St Tikhon, doesn't mean it's impossible for the Liturgy of St Tikhon to have "issues". That goes for the Sarum, and other rites as well...
I mean, if the blessing of a bishop automatically and magically made something theologically perfect, and unquestionable, the Second Council of Lyon and the Council of Florence would apply, and there would be no Schism! And we all know how that worked out...
Posted 30 November 2010 - 05:49 PM
I hope that this doesn't cause an uproar, but I think it is something worth talking about and researching.
The site that Paul linked to mentions the Liturgy according to St. Gregory the Great. I did brief search and it appears that St. Gregory didn't really come up with a Liturgy but rather made changes to the existing one (from catholic source). So I guess we would have to know more about what the Liturgy was prior to St. Gregory.
Is there an online version of the service book that WR use?
Posted 30 November 2010 - 05:58 PM
That, and a lot of the books from Lancelot Andrewes Press (although they are technically not a 100% Orthodox publishing company - they publish for both Continuing Anglicans and Orthodox). Although these are not available to peruse online for free, you actually have to buy them - how old fashioned!:
That, and Christminster has a lot of good information:
Only suggestions though. I'm sure Western Rite folks will chime in and provide links and references to other wonderful stuff.
Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 30 November 2010 - 08:01 PM.
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