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Catholic Sacramentals

dcointin

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I would like to hear opinions on the use of Catholic sacramentals for Western-Rite Orthodoxy.  My sacramentals I mean scapulars, miraculous medals, sacred heart paintings, and anything similar.

Many thanks!
 

WPM

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Western Rite is extension of the Antiochian Archdiocese ... (Not Catholic but Orthodoxy in the West)
 

dcointin

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Quite right!  I'm a member of an Antiochian Western-Rite parish that uses the Liturgy of St. Gregory.
 

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The Right Rev. Edward Hughes wrote a foundational document on WRO called "Paraliturgical Devotions of the Western Church and their Role in Orthodoxy" which you can order from St. Luke's Priory Press. In it he rejects any devotion to miraculous medals, Sacred Heart prayers that were "maudlin" (not that they all were, or that there cannot be a place for such devotion) and really anything post-Schism that is not in keeping with Orthodox theology.

The Antiochian WRV certainly doesn't hold to a no-Post-Schism mentality, so it's not like these types of things are rejected outright. The only criteria should be a thing's consonance with our holy faith.
 

Nephi

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Sleeper said:
The Antiochian WRV certainly doesn't hold to a no-Post-Schism mentality, so it's not like these types of things are rejected outright. The only criteria should be a thing's consonance with our holy faith.
While not WR myself, this is pretty much how I feel.
 

dcointin

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Sleeper said:
The Right Rev. Edward Hughes wrote a foundational document on WRO called "Paraliturgical Devotions of the Western Church and their Role in Orthodoxy" which you can order from St. Luke's Priory Press. In it he rejects any devotion to miraculous medals, Sacred Heart prayers that were "maudlin" (not that they all were, or that there cannot be a place for such devotion) and really anything post-Schism that is not in keeping with Orthodox theology.

The Antiochian WRV certainly doesn't hold to a no-Post-Schism mentality, so it's not like these types of things are rejected outright. The only criteria should be a thing's consonance with our holy faith.
Thank you so much, that will prove an excellent resource for my parish!  Without reading it, I would assume that his objection to the miraculous medal would be based on its connection to the Immaculate Conception? 
 

ialmisry

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Nephi said:
Sleeper said:
The Antiochian WRV certainly doesn't hold to a no-Post-Schism mentality, so it's not like these types of things are rejected outright. The only criteria should be a thing's consonance with our holy faith.
While not WR myself, this is pretty much how I feel.
+1
for one thing, the DL shouldn't be in Latin.
 

dcointin

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Any more thoughts on why some devotions are acceptable and not others?  I personally don't find the need for devotions we use to be pre-schism.  One, the separation between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches took place over time so the question of what date we would use becomes problematic in the case of some.  Two, the Antiochian model has never been to recreate the Church as it existed in a past point in time, but rather to use existing forms and adapt them for Orthodox use.  Three, I don't see the theological problems with these devotions, strictly speaking.
 

Nephi

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dcointin said:
Any more thoughts on why some devotions are acceptable and not others?  I personally don't find the need for devotions we use to be pre-schism.   One, the separation between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches took place over time so the question of what date we would use becomes problematic in the case of some.  Two, the Antiochian model has never been to recreate the Church as it existed in a past point in time, but rather to use existing forms and adapt them for Orthodox use.  Three, I don't see the theological problems with these devotions, strictly speaking.
It will probably depend on who answers. Some will say any development after the time of the schism (dated either strictly around 1054 or Lyon II at the latest) is graceless and therefore useless at best and harmful/heretical at worst, even some devotions before were already slipping outside of Orthodoxy. These will vehemently disagree with the "Antiochian model," as you put it.

Others will say that those devotions keeping with Orthodox theology are fine, but those that don't are not. I'm not terribly familiar with sacramentals, so I'll give an example of apparition-devotions: AFAIK Our Lady of Walsingham (arguably pre-schism, but just grant it's post-schism for the example) is completely Orthodox in doctrine, so Walsingham-based devotions are just fine. Our Lady of Fatima OTOH is not (e.g. purgatory, implicit affirmation of Papal claims, etc.), and so Fatima-derived devotions are terribly suspect at best.

I think sacramentals and other devotions would be analogous, so those that don't rely on (or derive from) assumptions at odds with Orthodoxy are okay. An example being the green scapular, being dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, or even more potentially problematic is the brown scapular. OTOH, I think some scapulars may be fine, generally those with little to no promises built around them or devotion to particular Latin dogmas. The Miraculous Medal would fall into the problematic category, being entirely a devotion to the Immaculate Conception - of course, presuming one does think IC is un-Orthodox. Sacred Heart devotions have their promoters and naysayers, probably within and without the "Antiochian model." Some say it offers a distorting Christological devotion, among other reasons, at odds with traditional ones, others say it doesn't also for a number of reasons. Another issue sometimes brought up is that Sacred Heart paintings are often not icons, with people saying only icons should be venerated in such a way. Same goes for Immaculate Heart of Mary, or the much more strange and fringe body-based devotions (an example of which I can't recall, but others may).

It really has to depend on the particular devotion in question, since they all vary so widely with many ranges of theological assumptions.
 

Alpo

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ialmisry said:
Nephi said:
Sleeper said:
The Antiochian WRV certainly doesn't hold to a no-Post-Schism mentality, so it's not like these types of things are rejected outright. The only criteria should be a thing's consonance with our holy faith.
While not WR myself, this is pretty much how I feel.
+1
for one thing, the DL shouldn't be in .
I like Latin. That's how the West has pretty much always celebrated. No objection to vernacular languages from me either though.

 

mike

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Can someone explain to me what "devotion" is? I have problems to get the forum definition for that.
 

lovesupreme

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Michał Kalina said:
Can someone explain to me what "devotion" is? I have problems to get the forum definition for that.
Devotions, in this context, are religious observances. Praying the rosary is a devotion. At least, that's how I've always understood the term.

And did you mean "formal" definition?
 

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lovesupreme said:
Michał Kalina said:
Can someone explain to me what "devotion" is? I have problems to get the forum definition for that.
Devotions, in this context, are religious observances. Praying the rosary is a devotion. At least, that's how I've always understood the term.
Sow how specified icons or beliefs fit into that definition?
 

dcointin

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I would like to be more specific then and mention some particular devotions.

Let's start with the Brown Scapular:

http://www.carmelitedcj.org/saints/scapular.asp

 

lovesupreme

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Michał Kalina said:
lovesupreme said:
Michał Kalina said:
Can someone explain to me what "devotion" is? I have problems to get the forum definition for that.
Devotions, in this context, are religious observances. Praying the rosary is a devotion. At least, that's how I've always understood the term.
Sow how specified icons or beliefs fit into that definition?
I don't think they would. A devotion would be, again, praying the rosary, wearing one's scapular, praying novenas to the saints. See here for more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_devotions
 

mike

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lovesupreme said:
Michał Kalina said:
lovesupreme said:
Michał Kalina said:
Can someone explain to me what "devotion" is? I have problems to get the forum definition for that.
Devotions, in this context, are religious observances. Praying the rosary is a devotion. At least, that's how I've always understood the term.
Sow how specified icons or beliefs fit into that definition?
I don't think they would. A devotion would be, again, praying the rosary, wearing one's scapular, praying novenas to the saints. See here for more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_devotions
Someone here wrote Icon of Walshingam is a devotion. In another one - Sacred Heart is a devotion...
 

Nephi

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lovesupreme said:
Michał Kalina said:
lovesupreme said:
Michał Kalina said:
Can someone explain to me what "devotion" is? I have problems to get the forum definition for that.
Devotions, in this context, are religious observances. Praying the rosary is a devotion. At least, that's how I've always understood the term.
Sow how specified icons or beliefs fit into that definition?
I don't think they would. A devotion would be, again, praying the rosary, wearing one's scapular, praying novenas to the saints. See here for more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_devotions
Specific icons might actually fit as devotions. An akathist hymn to the Kursk Root Icon would (IMO) count as a devotion.
 

mike

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Nephi said:
lovesupreme said:
Michał Kalina said:
lovesupreme said:
Michał Kalina said:
Can someone explain to me what "devotion" is? I have problems to get the forum definition for that.
Devotions, in this context, are religious observances. Praying the rosary is a devotion. At least, that's how I've always understood the term.
Sow how specified icons or beliefs fit into that definition?
I don't think they would. A devotion would be, again, praying the rosary, wearing one's scapular, praying novenas to the saints. See here for more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_devotions
Specific icons might actually fit as devotions. An akathist hymn to the Kursk Root Icon would (IMO) count as a devotion.
So for me definition of devotion is something like "religious stuff people do" and I cannot get any closer than that.
 

lovesupreme

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Nephi said:
Specific icons might actually fit as devotions. An akathist hymn to the Kursk Root Icon would (IMO) count as a devotion.
True. I think the requirement for a "devotion" is some sort of action, usually a prayer. Thus, the Sacred Heart itself is not a devotion, but saying prayers that recognize the Sacred Heart is a devotion.
 

lovesupreme

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Michał Kalina said:
So for me definition of devotion is something like "religious stuff people do" and I cannot get any closer than that.
I think we all have that definition in mind. As the Wikipedia article states, devotions are "'external practices of piety' which are not part of the official liturgy of the Catholic Church." Basically, things religious people do to build or strengthen their faith or dedication to Christ and His Church.
 

Nephi

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lovesupreme said:
True. I think the requirement for a "devotion" is some sort of action, usually a prayer. Thus, the Sacred Heart itself is not a devotion, but saying prayers that recognize the Sacred Heart is a devotion.
Sounds about right.

lovesupreme said:
Michał Kalina said:
So for me definition of devotion is something like "religious stuff people do" and I cannot get any closer than that.
I think we all have that definition in mind. As the Wikipedia article states, devotions are "'external practices of piety' which are not part of the official liturgy of the Catholic Church." Basically, things religious people do to build or strengthen their faith or dedication to Christ and His Church.
I'd maybe take it a bit further to say that devotions are practices of piety that are directed to a specific aspect/person/event, etc. Think "devote," as in "devoted to a specific cause." Just what I'm thinking.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Nephi said:
I'd maybe take it a bit further to say that devotions are practices of piety that are directed to a specific aspect/person/event, etc. Think "devote," as in "devoted to a specific cause." Just what I'm thinking.
This is basically how I would define them.  The only thing I might add is that they differ from "liturgy" (Mass, Sacraments, Divine Office) in that liturgy is the public prayer of the Church, while "devotions", even if practiced by many people, are essentially "private" prayer. 
 

Mor Ephrem

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dcointin said:
I would like to be more specific then and mention some particular devotions.

Let's start with the Brown Scapular:

http://www.carmelitedcj.org/saints/scapular.asp
Personally, there are only two problems I see with the Brown Scapular devotion:

1.  The Sabbatine Privilege, based on a vision of doubtful credibility even by RC standards, but rooted in the doctrine of purgatory.  The official RC stance, AFAIK, is that this may be acceptable as a pious belief or hope, but is not to be preached, encouraged, etc.  In a WRO context, I would think that ignoring this aspect entirely would be acceptable. 
2.  Affiliation with the Carmelite Order, which, unless this somehow exists in WRO and I've never heard of it, would mean affiliation with a spiritual organisation outside the visible bounds of the Church.  By RC standards, this happens when a properly deputised priest bestows the scapular through an approved rite.  Going to a RC priest for this purpose is probably a no-no.  I suppose a WRO priest might observe the rite, but again, unless there's actually a Carmelite Order within WRO, there would be no affiliation, and so this problem would also be eliminated.   

If these are avoided, and it's just a matter of wearing the scapular and practicing the devotions associated with it (e.g., Little Office, Rosary/fasting, etc.), as a way of commending yourself in a particular way to the Mother of God, I don't see how wearing it is such a big deal.
 

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Since I have not made my final decision yet as my sidebar shows, I am speaking as a Catholic seriously considering Eastern Orthodoxy. Since I have no Western Rite Orthodox Church, I will be going to a Greek or Antiochian rite parish in the meantime when I get a chance, though I would prefer a a Russian Orthodox parish. In any case I still like much of the Western European culture and literature, such as Dante which of course includes his poem about the journey through Purgatory. But I also like some pagan literature but of course don't believe in Zeus!

But I still have my scapular though I do not wear it, and Miraculous Medals. My problem with them from an Orthodox perspective is they imply some sort of magic in sacramentals like this. I know this is not what is meant by if you wear them you will be protected from hell fire, but it creates an idea that by wearing certain things you are promised salvation. But I have heard some priests say that they are not magical and that this does not mean of course that you can go around sinning. But the promise does seem to be that if you wear them you will go to Paradise and the Holy Theotokos will make sure you die a good death. And I think they are a good means to lead a notorious sinner to a good life, even if he superficially wears them, because even in all his sins it shows he is still giving some thought to God and religion. Which may be superficial, but we do not know all the factors of his sin and should hope that before he dies or at the hour of his death he repents. So I am not condemning this idea in itself. But I think it creates a general mentality that these sacramentals a means of salvation in themselves.

Sadly, as the worst of sinners I must say the menas of salvation is the mercy and love of God; the love and goodness of our Holy Theotkos and her prayers; the power of all the angels, especially our guardian angel and moving more and more towards holiness. It isn't easy, especially if you started sinning at a young age. Getting out of the sexual sins is so hard as is getting out of thinking hateful and nasty thoughts. Controlling thoughts is really hard because sometimes they just come and then we relish them before we really get a hold on them. And then like a wild horse that can be quite a job! The hardest part is our own work. Letting the Theotokos and angels do theirs is pretty easy, but I do not like to think we can do this by just wearing a scapular or medal. And I know most good Catholics do not actually believe it is as simple as this, and in Catholic terms it is not, but it does create a bad principle. God have mercy on me if I have done any harm. My own thoughts.
 

Deacon Lance

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Mor Ephrem said:
dcointin said:
I would like to be more specific then and mention some particular devotions.

Let's start with the Brown Scapular:

http://www.carmelitedcj.org/saints/scapular.asp
Personally, there are only two problems I see with the Brown Scapular devotion:

1.  The Sabbatine Privilege, based on a vision of doubtful credibility even by RC standards, but rooted in the doctrine of purgatory.  The official RC stance, AFAIK, is that this may be acceptable as a pious belief or hope, but is not to be preached, encouraged, etc.  In a WRO context, I would think that ignoring this aspect entirely would be acceptable. 
2.  Affiliation with the Carmelite Order, which, unless this somehow exists in WRO and I've never heard of it, would mean affiliation with a spiritual organisation outside the visible bounds of the Church.  By RC standards, this happens when a properly deputised priest bestows the scapular through an approved rite.  Going to a RC priest for this purpose is probably a no-no.  I suppose a WRO priest might observe the rite, but again, unless there's actually a Carmelite Order within WRO, there would be no affiliation, and so this problem would also be eliminated.   

If these are avoided, and it's just a matter of wearing the scapular and practicing the devotions associated with it (e.g., Little Office, Rosary/fasting, etc.), as a way of commending yourself in a particular way to the Mother of God, I don't see how wearing it is such a big deal.
But the small scapular is simply a mini version of the larger monastic/order scapular on which it is based.  All the scapulars indicate (or are supposed to) membership in a third order secular or a confraternity.
 

ialmisry

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Deacon Lance said:
Mor Ephrem said:
dcointin said:
I would like to be more specific then and mention some particular devotions.

Let's start with the Brown Scapular:

http://www.carmelitedcj.org/saints/scapular.asp
Personally, there are only two problems I see with the Brown Scapular devotion:

1.  The Sabbatine Privilege, based on a vision of doubtful credibility even by RC standards, but rooted in the doctrine of purgatory.  The official RC stance, AFAIK, is that this may be acceptable as a pious belief or hope, but is not to be preached, encouraged, etc.  In a WRO context, I would think that ignoring this aspect entirely would be acceptable. 
2.  Affiliation with the Carmelite Order, which, unless this somehow exists in WRO and I've never heard of it, would mean affiliation with a spiritual organisation outside the visible bounds of the Church.  By RC standards, this happens when a properly deputised priest bestows the scapular through an approved rite.  Going to a RC priest for this purpose is probably a no-no.  I suppose a WRO priest might observe the rite, but again, unless there's actually a Carmelite Order within WRO, there would be no affiliation, and so this problem would also be eliminated.   

If these are avoided, and it's just a matter of wearing the scapular and practicing the devotions associated with it (e.g., Little Office, Rosary/fasting, etc.), as a way of commending yourself in a particular way to the Mother of God, I don't see how wearing it is such a big deal.
But the small scapular is simply a mini version of the larger monastic/order scapular on which it is based.  All the scapulars indicate (or are supposed to) membership in a third order secular or a confraternity.
Oh, it gets stretched more than that, Deacon.
ialmisry said:
Let me share a story, told on national broadcast Revelent Radio "Catholic Radio for real life":

The story is that no one can go to hell wearing the Brown scapular.  So the story goes, there was someone who decided to commit suicide, and swam out to drown.  But as far as he swam out, he couldn't go under.  Then in his dispair he tore off the scapular, and then he tried to swim back and drowned.

If it seems muddled, it was when they told the story.  My first question was how would they know that he swam out with the scapular and only drowned when he took it off.  Ouija board?

Such is how "irreformable Catholic teaching" is used in teaching this nonsense.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Deacon Lance said:
But the small scapular is simply a mini version of the larger monastic/order scapular on which it is based.  All the scapulars indicate (or are supposed to) membership in a third order secular or a confraternity.
Certainly, hence my second point: I have never heard of a Carmelite Order existing within WRO, but without a definite confirmation that there is no such thing, I didn't want to rule it out.  

Re: the brown scapular, perhaps it ought to indicate membership in a TOS or a confraternity, but how strictly is that observed today?  My impression is that the link is quite weak nowadays.  There is a parish staffed by Carmelites a few towns over, and they have a TOS in the parish: the scapular they wear is different from the "ordinary" brown scapular, they have regulations on when, where, how to wear it, etc., and they are clear that this is something different from the "ordinary" sacramental precisely because it is linked to the TOS.  
 

Maria

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lovesupreme said:
Michał Kalina said:
lovesupreme said:
Michał Kalina said:
Can someone explain to me what "devotion" is? I have problems to get the forum definition for that.
Devotions, in this context, are religious observances. Praying the rosary is a devotion. At least, that's how I've always understood the term.
Sow how specified icons or beliefs fit into that definition?
I don't think they would. A devotion would be, again, praying the rosary, wearing one's scapular, praying novenas to the saints. See here for more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_devotions
A devotion could also be praying/chanting the Small Canon to the Theotokos either during the Dormition Fast or daily.
 

Maria

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ialmisry said:
Deacon Lance said:
Mor Ephrem said:
dcointin said:
I would like to be more specific then and mention some particular devotions.

Let's start with the Brown Scapular:

http://www.carmelitedcj.org/saints/scapular.asp
Personally, there are only two problems I see with the Brown Scapular devotion:

1.  The Sabbatine Privilege, based on a vision of doubtful credibility even by RC standards, but rooted in the doctrine of purgatory.  The official RC stance, AFAIK, is that this may be acceptable as a pious belief or hope, but is not to be preached, encouraged, etc.  In a WRO context, I would think that ignoring this aspect entirely would be acceptable. 
2.  Affiliation with the Carmelite Order, which, unless this somehow exists in WRO and I've never heard of it, would mean affiliation with a spiritual organisation outside the visible bounds of the Church.  By RC standards, this happens when a properly deputised priest bestows the scapular through an approved rite.  Going to a RC priest for this purpose is probably a no-no.  I suppose a WRO priest might observe the rite, but again, unless there's actually a Carmelite Order within WRO, there would be no affiliation, and so this problem would also be eliminated.   

If these are avoided, and it's just a matter of wearing the scapular and practicing the devotions associated with it (e.g., Little Office, Rosary/fasting, etc.), as a way of commending yourself in a particular way to the Mother of God, I don't see how wearing it is such a big deal.
But the small scapular is simply a mini version of the larger monastic/order scapular on which it is based.  All the scapulars indicate (or are supposed to) membership in a third order secular or a confraternity.
Oh, it gets stretched more than that, Deacon.
ialmisry said:
Let me share a story, told on national broadcast Revelent Radio "Catholic Radio for real life":

The story is that no one can go to hell wearing the Brown scapular.  So the story goes, there was someone who decided to commit suicide, and swam out to drown.  But as far as he swam out, he couldn't go under.  Then in his dispair he tore off the scapular, and then he tried to swim back and drowned.

If it seems muddled, it was when they told the story.  My first question was how would they know that he swam out with the scapular and only drowned when he took it off.  Ouija board?

Such is how "irreformable Catholic teaching" is used in teaching this nonsense.
I think I heard that story too. Apparently, this particular person scrupulously wore his brown scapular all the time, even when bathing and sleeping. However, it was not on his neck when they found his body.
 

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ialmisry said:
Oh, it gets stretched more than that, Deacon.
ialmisry said:
Let me share a story, told on national broadcast Revelent Radio "Catholic Radio for real life":

The story is that no one can go to hell wearing the Brown scapular.  So the story goes, there was someone who decided to commit suicide, and swam out to drown.  But as far as he swam out, he couldn't go under.  Then in his dispair he tore off the scapular, and then he tried to swim back and drowned.

If it seems muddled, it was when they told the story.  My first question was how would they know that he swam out with the scapular and only drowned when he took it off.  Ouija board?

Such is how "irreformable Catholic teaching" is used in teaching this nonsense.
I am aware of much of the pious non-sense associated with the Carmelite scapular, among others.  My point was scapulars are first and foremost badges of membership in a particular Roman Catholic third order or confraternity that would make litle sense for an Orthodox to wear.
 

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wainscottbl said:
Since I have not made my final decision yet as my sidebar shows, I am speaking as a Catholic seriously considering Eastern Orthodoxy. Since I have no Western Rite Orthodox Church, I will be going to a Greek or Antiochian rite parish in the meantime when I get a chance, though I would prefer a a Russian Orthodox parish. In any case I still like much of the Western European culture and literature, such as Dante which of course includes his poem about the journey through Purgatory. But I also like some pagan literature but of course don't believe in Zeus!

But I still have my scapular though I do not wear it, and Miraculous Medals. My problem with them from an Orthodox perspective is they imply some sort of magic in sacramentals like this. I know this is not what is meant by if you wear them you will be protected from hell fire, but it creates an idea that by wearing certain things you are promised salvation. But I have heard some priests say that they are not magical and that this does not mean of course that you can go around sinning. But the promise does seem to be that if you wear them you will go to Paradise and the Holy Theotokos will make sure you die a good death. And I think they are a good means to lead a notorious sinner to a good life, even if he superficially wears them, because even in all his sins it shows he is still giving some thought to God and religion. Which may be superficial, but we do not know all the factors of his sin and should hope that before he dies or at the hour of his death he repents. So I am not condemning this idea in itself. But I think it creates a general mentality that these sacramentals a means of salvation in themselves.

Sadly, as the worst of sinners I must say the menas of salvation is the mercy and love of God; the love and goodness of our Holy Theotkos and her prayers; the power of all the angels, especially our guardian angel and moving more and more towards holiness. It isn't easy, especially if you started sinning at a young age. Getting out of the sexual sins is so hard as is getting out of thinking hateful and nasty thoughts. Controlling thoughts is really hard because sometimes they just come and then we relish them before we really get a hold on them. And then like a wild horse that can be quite a job! The hardest part is our own work. Letting the Theotokos and angels do theirs is pretty easy, but I do not like to think we can do this by just wearing a scapular or medal. And I know most good Catholics do not actually believe it is as simple as this, and in Catholic terms it is not, but it does create a bad principle. God have mercy on me if I have done any harm. My own thoughts.
Regarding the brown or white scapular:

We Orthodox also celebrate the Feast Day of the Theotokos: Joy of All Who Sorrow on October 1 (New Calendar) or October 14 (O.S.). In this Icon of the Theotokos, Our Lady is shown holding a white piece of fabric (much like a Dominican white scapular) as a sign of Her Protection. It is She who has protected and saved us.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Deacon Lance said:
But the small scapular is simply a mini version of the larger monastic/order scapular on which it is based.  All the scapulars indicate (or are supposed to) membership in a third order secular or a confraternity.
Certainly, hence my second point: I have never heard of a Carmelite Order existing within WRO, but without a definite confirmation that there is no such thing, I didn't want to rule it out.  

Re: the brown scapular, perhaps it ought to indicate membership in a TOS or a confraternity, but how strictly is that observed today?  My impression is that the link is quite weak nowadays.  There is a parish staffed by Carmelites a few towns over, and they have a TOS in the parish: the scapular they wear is different from the "ordinary" brown scapular, they have regulations on when, where, how to wear it, etc., and they are clear that this is something different from the "ordinary" sacramental precisely because it is linked to the TOS.  
Yes my aunt is a Carmelite TOS and they wear a much bigger small scapular.  I believe all the third orders may do this to distinguish TOS from confraternity members.  However, the investure prayer makes it clear one is joining a confraternity:

"Receive this scapular as the sign of your acceptance into the confraternity of the religious family of N., which is dedicated to the N. (blessed Trinity, passion of Christ, blessed Virgin Mary, etc.) Live in such a way that, with the help of the Mother of God, you may more and more put on Christ, who redeemed us by his blood, for the glory of the Trinity and for the service of the Church and of your neighbor.  Amen." (from the Roman Ritual approved for the US)

Now one can certainly buy a scapular and just wear it but that is not how it is supposed to be done.
 

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dcointin said:
I would like to hear opinions on the use of Catholic sacramentals for Western-Rite Orthodoxy.  My sacramentals I mean scapulars, miraculous medals, sacred heart paintings, and anything similar.

Many thanks!
Put this under "we now know better": "The Brown Scapula if worn continually will protect you but if you happen to die while wearing it, you will go straight to heaven" This was imprinted into my skull in Catholic Elementary School by the good Sisters of St. Joseph.  
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Nephi said:
I'd maybe take it a bit further to say that devotions are practices of piety that are directed to a specific aspect/person/event, etc. Think "devote," as in "devoted to a specific cause." Just what I'm thinking.
This is basically how I would define them.  The only thing I might add is that they differ from "liturgy" (Mass, Sacraments, Divine Office) in that liturgy is the public prayer of the Church, while "devotions", even if practiced by many people, are essentially "private" prayer. 
My brother,

On this point, I'd disagree insofar as, it seems to me, communal devotions, at least those led by a member of the clergy, constitute public prayer - albeit not a service of worship.

Many years,

Neil
 

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JoeS2 said:
dcointin said:
I would like to hear opinions on the use of Catholic sacramentals for Western-Rite Orthodoxy.  My sacramentals I mean scapulars, miraculous medals, sacred heart paintings, and anything similar.

Many thanks!
Put this under "we now know better": "The Brown Scapula if worn continually will protect you but if you happen to die while wearing it, you will go straight to heaven" This was imprinted into my skull in Catholic Elementary School by the good Sisters of St. Joseph.  
I wear the Brown Scapular every single day as a Catholic. No, it is not an automatic ticket to heaven like many non-Catholics think. I understand how it could be conceived that way but it is not. The Brown Scapular is just a sign of our devotion to God and the Blessed Virgin. It is a sign of salvation that by devout wearing of it, one would be saved from the fires of hell and suffer less in purgatory. It is not a ticket into heaven but a promise of devotion to the Blessed Virgin and a guarantee of her protection and intercession.
 

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ThePapist said:
JoeS2 said:
dcointin said:
I would like to hear opinions on the use of Catholic sacramentals for Western-Rite Orthodoxy.  My sacramentals I mean scapulars, miraculous medals, sacred heart paintings, and anything similar.

Many thanks!
Put this under "we now know better": "The Brown Scapula if worn continually will protect you but if you happen to die while wearing it, you will go straight to heaven" This was imprinted into my skull in Catholic Elementary School by the good Sisters of St. Joseph.  
I wear the Brown Scapular every single day as a Catholic. No, it is not an automatic ticket to heaven like many non-Catholics think. I understand how it could be conceived that way but it is not. The Brown Scapular is just a sign of our devotion to God and the Blessed Virgin. It is a sign of salvation that by devout wearing of it, one would be saved from the fires of hell and suffer less in purgatory. It is not a ticket into heaven but a promise of devotion to the Blessed Virgin and a guarantee of her protection and intercession.
You wouldn't happen to be Devin would you?
 

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JoeS2 said:
Put this under "we now know better": "The Brown Scapula if worn continually will protect you but if you happen to die while wearing it, you will go straight to heaven" This was imprinted into my skull in Catholic Elementary School by the good Sisters of St. Joseph.  
If you died while you were in Elementary School, there's a pretty good chance you would go straight to heaven no matter what. The good Sisters were just hedging their bets to instill a good habit into you.
 

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Irish Melkite said:
On this point, I'd disagree insofar as, it seems to me, communal devotions, at least those led by a member of the clergy, constitute public prayer - albeit not a service of worship.
We're probably saying the same thing differently.  :)
 

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Irish Melkite said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Nephi said:
I'd maybe take it a bit further to say that devotions are practices of piety that are directed to a specific aspect/person/event, etc. Think "devote," as in "devoted to a specific cause." Just what I'm thinking.
This is basically how I would define them.  The only thing I might add is that they differ from "liturgy" (Mass, Sacraments, Divine Office) in that liturgy is the public prayer of the Church, while "devotions", even if practiced by many people, are essentially "private" prayer. 
My brother,

On this point, I'd disagree insofar as, it seems to me, communal devotions, at least those led by a member of the clergy, constitute public prayer - albeit not a service of worship.

Many years,

Neil
  • The Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos
  • The Paraclesis (Small Canon to the Theotokos

are both examples of devotions or services that can be led by the clergy or chanted by people in their own homes.

Private recitation of the Jesus Prayer can also be called a devotion.

However, the Holy Mysteries, the Hours, and the Divine Liturgy are part of the Prayers of the Church.
 
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