Fill your life with hundreds of rituals and if you have time left, follow me!

FountainPen

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Nicene said:
Melodist said:
Nicene said:
It seems the underlying assumption is that rituals in no way benefit us, why is that ritiuals can in no way benefit us? I must have missed reading that in scripture...
Her assertion isn't that they don't benefit us, but that they prevent us from performing other things that we are commanded to do. I apologize if i am misrepresenting her, but this is the impression that I get from the OP.
Does she think the orthodox life is one of ritual for everything they do which cannot involve preaching, teaching, caring for others in society that need help? I've thought since believing in the church one can easily accomplish both. It would seem that those whom follow this anti Ritualistic trend need to learn how to worship God more from Orthodoxy and not complain that they worship God too much.
Is this behaviour, worship!? Is it people magnetic or people repellent? Is it inclusive or isolationist? Is it about ourselves and what benefits us or is it about dying to self? Just a few quick questions. /wink
 

ignatius

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Melodist said:
Nicene said:
It seems the underlying assumption is that rituals in no way benefit us, why is that ritiuals can in no way benefit us? I must have missed reading that in scripture...
Her assertion isn't that they don't benefit us, but that they prevent us from performing other things that we are commanded to do. I apologize if i am misrepresenting her, but this is the impression that I get from the OP.
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be given you...

I don't think our faith is simply about social services... that is suppose to be the by product of our love of God and Neighbor. Our faith is suppose to 'order our lives' in union with the divine and out of that good works come forth. St. Paul said to 'pray always...' and so we seek to fulfill that command.

We also know that we don't know how we ought to pray and so we pray in union with the Holy Tradition of the Church throughout the ages. We pray as the Saints pray... their words become our words... their gestures become our gestures. We right ourselves through and in their righteousness as they did themselves through Christ. What I find most beautiful in the gesture of crossing ourselves is that we not only make an inward sign but one outward as well.

On my way to liturgy this morning my daughter, son and I passed a house with many police cars in front. The police has riot shields and the cars were blocking the road in front of the house. I made the sign of the cross, and said "Lord Have Mercy". My daughter saw this and we too made it a moment to recognize God in our life at that moment. It is an outward sign that gives presence to the divine. It allows the divine to enter into our lives and the lives of those around us. Our faith is a lived faith and my one of our minds but also of our bodies and lives and actions and these acts of recognition enters into the lives of those around us. Grace begets Grace... the divine outpouring flows from our acts into mundane and seizes it without words. It is His work... and not the acts of our minds or philosophies. It is His work.
 

FountainPen

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NicholasMyra said:
FountainPen said:
If only it stopped at adding one though Delphine.
Can't have too much of a good thang, darlin'.

We humans get along okay with having to remember all those tricky, complex and monotonous processes like breathing, circulating blood, moving our limbs in sleep, blinking, etc.

I think we can handle a few movements and practices without becoming isolated, pharisaical zomboids.
Given just how many people aren't even aware of the existence of Orthodoxy, i'd say the message aint' gettin' out there too well shweetie.
 
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akimori makoto said:
Priest: Then, when he had come and fulfilled the whole of the divine dispensation for us, on the night that he was given up, or, rather, gave himself up for the life of the world, he took bread in his holy, pure and blameless hands and, when he had blessed it, hallowed it and broken it, he gave it to his disciples saying "take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you for the remission of sins".

People: Amen.

Priest: In like manner, when the supper was ended, he took the cup and gave it to his disciples saying "drink of this, all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins".

People: Amen.

Priest: Remembering, therefore, this our Saviour's command, and everything that has come to pass for us: the cross, the tomb, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the sitting at the right hand and the second and glorious coming again -- your own of your own, we offer unto you, on behalf of all and for all.

----------------------------------------------

Where's the problem?
FountainPen, so I can understand you better, can you please explain what part of the above is objectionable?

Please feel free to include the "ritual actions" that accompany the words in your criticisms, but please let's just stick to those for now.

I think if we dialogue in this way, taking a limited slice of liturgical life as our focal point, we can arrive at some mutual understanding.

Empty ritualism v. liturgical chaos is too unwieldy a theme.
 

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FountainPen said:
Is this behaviour, worship!? Is it people magnetic or people repellent? Is it inclusive or isolationist? Is it about ourselves and what benefits us or is it about dying to self? Just a few quick questions. /wink
I don't see how it could be anything other than worship, personal reminder and aides along life to keep us from temptation. But obviously to you the orthodox way of things fits into the latter categories. Though on that last one I think it is both.
 

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FormerReformer said:
FountainPen said:
Former Reformer
FountainPen - I did ask in the other thread about the origins of crossing yourself the first example of it recorded. That's how this thread started. I'm not in the habit of starting threads by making up quotes from another poster.
And yet you did not engage the discussion that followed your question,
I couldn't, it's against forum rules. You wouldn't want me to get banned now would you?
How would you get banned? You aren't on any moderation status, there's not so much as a warning symbol next to your name. In the few years I have been here, I have yet to see anyone get banned without these- and even then you'd be muted for an increasing number of days long before you would be banned, unless Fr Chris has drastically changed the way things are done around here. The only reason I could think of that the mods would ban you, right this instant, would be if they discovered that you really are a sock-puppet of Alfred Persson in drag (not saying you are, understand).

I have yet to see the mods moderate anyone for answering a reply to their own question on a thread- and given that the particular thread in question would actually be a perfect venue to ask questions about the value of ritual versus non-value (seeing as how the thread basically boiled down to: crossing oneself is a good thing when done for proper reasons, pure ritualism when done just because someone at your parish is a busybody) I doubt there would have been any moderation at all, save perhaps one of those "A reminder, CTPRI Fountain Pen: The Liturgy section is intended for Orthodox posters, etc" then give you a warning. Certainly, if your whole reason for starting this thread was to get clarification on the historic/Apostolic teaching reasons for things like crossing oneself, you took the wrong approach by stating "Good grief! That we should fill our lives with rituals!" and missed out on a piece of information directly related to your query regarding the first recorded (in surviving writings) reference to the sign of the cross.

Indeed, a good illustration of needless pharisaism- while you followed forum rules to the letter (regarding non-Orthodox posters derailing threads in the non "insert faith here"/Orthodox discussion forums") you certainly violated the spirit of discussion- what could have been a fruitful and informative discussion has basically been you starting out with an inflammatory post and then jumping to the "Oh, woe is me, I'm a persecuted non-Orthodox poster!" cant when posters here defend their point of view. I don't mind debate- I understand most non-Orthodox objections to many Orthodox practices, and not all that long ago might have been making similar posts to yours (indeed, I remember a point where I thought RCs were silly for eating fish on Fridays during Lent!)- but there isn't a whole lot of point to starting out a conversation with "Good grief! What you do is incredibly silly!"
Ah i see, that was my error. Thanks for pointing it out to me so graciously FR. Phew! Well, at least it wasn't because i'm a woman or even an emotional woman heh, at least they got a break today, HUZZAH!
;)


EDIT: one small thing... i couldn't find the "woe is me" part anywhere.
 

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Hmmm..."Fill your life with hundreds of rituals" that have developed for the worship of our God, or fill your life with hundreds of rituals that have nothing to do with the worship of God.

The choice seems pretty clear to me...at least as clear as the dichotomy presented in the OP is false. You'd like it to be that anything you identify as "ritual" is as meaningless as you take it to be, but it isn't so. The hymns we say at particular times during the very structured/ritualized liturgy, for instance, all have deep reasons for being as they are and where they are. That you don't recognize the value drawn from them is a deficiency on your part having nothing to do with the rituals' actual use in the Christian life of the believer. You are like a person who goes to the Louvre and wonders why every room can't just be four bare walls. After all, you can appreciate "art" in the abstract without actually having to look at it, can't you?

And yet, our Lord the risen Christ gave the following instructions to the doubting apostle Thomas: “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” The point here, as relates to this discussion, is that we do not interact with an abstract God, and so we do not worship God merely in the abstract, as though "following Christ" does not involve actual following (i.e., movement). And like the doubting Thomases we all sometimes are, we know, because we are tactile creatures, that it is good and edifying and affirming of our faith to engage our physical bodies in worship to whatever degree is proper in the Orthodox tradition via metanias, crossing ourselves, giving each other the kiss of peace, etc. So these are anything but "empty rituals". Instead, they reaffirm our faith. The summit and zenith of every liturgy is in the observance of a very physical act that has been very much ritualized since the earliest days of the faith: The reception of the Eucharist. All of the churches have a similar dialogue to go with this ritual, involving Christ's own ritualized actions the night of the last supper. Taking bread, blessing it, likewise taking the bread and blessing it, etc. And of course His commandment that we do this in remembrance of Him. It sure sounds like He is establishing a ritual here to me! And so we do what He did, because that's what following Christ means.

So I would argue that instead of setting up an utterly false dichotomy whereby ritual by its very nature gets in the way of following Christ, we should all recognize the fact that we cannot truly follow Him without ritual.

I believe that this is one of those things that everyone knows, if they think about it enough. You will note, I hope, that those who consider themselves on the "cutting edge" of Christianity and truly following Christ as we are supposed to (the so-called "emergent movement") are abundant with ritual in their chaotic and unformed services. The difference between us and them (in terms of externals) is that they have taken a wide variety of ritual on-board according to their whim at any given point (I have even seen videos of so-called "emergent" churches that include Orthodox elements, or at least things that are made to look like they came from the Eastern churches!). whereas our rituals have been fixed for many centuries and imbued with the theological significance that comes along with the many Patristic writings, matryrologies, and other sources that testify to them and their meaning throughout the ages. So the emergents and other "non-ritual" idea followers are not any less-heavily laden with traditions, but their attitude seems to be that they don't want to have to do the same thing two weeks in a row. This is what your "un-ritualized" Christianity gets you: A big mess that is full of tradition but without any understanding as to what any of it means, so it means nothing to jettison it the next meeting in favor of the next thing. And this is "following Christ"? If it is, then I'm in the wrong religion entirely. (But thank GOD it's not!)
 

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FountainPen said:
NicholasMyra said:
FountainPen said:
If only it stopped at adding one though Delphine.
Can't have too much of a good thang, darlin'.

We humans get along okay with having to remember all those tricky, complex and monotonous processes like breathing, circulating blood, moving our limbs in sleep, blinking, etc.

I think we can handle a few movements and practices without becoming isolated, pharisaical zomboids.
Given just how many people aren't even aware of the existence of Orthodoxy, i'd say the message aint' gettin' out there too well shweetie.
You ARE trying to get banned! Guess you can then claim some high ground (which you haven't attained here otherwise).
 

FormerReformer

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FountainPen said:
NicholasMyra said:
FountainPen said:
If only it stopped at adding one though Delphine.
Can't have too much of a good thang, darlin'.

We humans get along okay with having to remember all those tricky, complex and monotonous processes like breathing, circulating blood, moving our limbs in sleep, blinking, etc.

I think we can handle a few movements and practices without becoming isolated, pharisaical zomboids.
Given just how many people aren't even aware of the existence of Orthodoxy, i'd say the message aint' gettin' out there too well shweetie.
By "many people" do you mean "Americans"?

Ohhhhhh, I get it now! Your objection is based entirely off the fact that Russian/Greek/Serbians haven't immigrated over here in the numbers of the Italian/Irish/Polish and Orthodoxy never had an Inquisition nor Mayflower.

Please, read up on St Herman of Alaska. American Orthodoxy has many faults, but Orthodoxy as a whole does know how to do mission work right- starting with not shoving it's POV into everyone's face just because it happens to be the right one. Given the leaps and bounds that Orthodoxy's grown in the 20th century, they seem to have no problem getting the message out there- to the consternation of RC Sproul, John MacArthur, and the Reformed Justice Ligue (http://orthodoxbridge.com/?p=30, mispelling on purpose).

FountainPen said:
Ah i see, that was my error. Thanks for pointing it out to me so graciously FR. Phew! Well, at least it wasn't because i'm a woman or even an emotional woman heh, at least they got a break today, HUZZAH!
;)


EDIT: one small thing... i couldn't find the "woe is me" part anywhere.
Oh, I thought the "a woman or even an emotional woman" (and isn't that redundant amiriteguys? Guys?! Hello?!!) was implied (Where'd everyone go?). Of course, given your problems with Protestantism, an implicit statement might be hard to follow  :laugh:

On that note "Woe is me" is implicit every time you pull out the "Wouldn't want to get banned" language. Also missing, yet implicit, from your posts was "What you do is incredibly silly" following the "Good grief". But of course, according to you, if you don't state it in the most literal terms we are drawing false conclusions (because you are most definitely not a Protestant, you have never stated you were a Protestant, even though you have stated you are not Roman Catholic nor Orthodox, which leaves Protestantism as the only option, seeing as how the denominations did not form in a vacuum).
 

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username! said:
Sunday of Orthodoxy homily from oh 5 years ago the priest, Fr. Frank Miloro from the ACROD said, not verbatim mind you, that while we have all these beautiful churches and services the most precious and glorious praise and worship (outside of liturgy) we can give to God is by following the mandates Christ set out in Matthew chapter 25, if we're not doing that than all the services and prostrations we do are just empty motions.   And you know what, Fr. Frank is 100% right because he didn't create that homily, he was just repeating what Christ said in Matthew ch. 25.  Probably the best homily I have ever heard.  If you ever get a chance, catch a homily from Fr. Frank or read some of Fr. Jonathan Tobias' writings, both are Carpatho-Russian Orthodox priests.
This is one of the rare instances I'd like to see you back to your posting habits. Wait.
 

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FountainPen said:
Given just how many people aren't even aware of the existence of Orthodoxy, i'd say the message aint' gettin' out there too well shweetie.
While you are correct in the fact that many converts have to find Orthodoxy instead of vice versa like it should be, I don't think any ritualism involved in either communal or private practice are to blame for this.
 

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FountainPen said:
Quote from: Ortho_Cat
Quote from: FountainPen
Where/when/by whom was the practice was first recorded?
Jesus was the first to take up his cross...we are called to follow him, and doing this reminds us of that.
We are told to take up our cross, not to perform ritualised hand movements merely to remind us of what Jesus did.

Why clog the Christian life with rituals piled high on top of one another and then to discuss how many times we're all supposed to do them or in what way we do them? Doesn't life have enough real challenges in it for you (the Church)? The world is going to hell in a handbasket while we all colours of robes, liturgies, incense and prostrations while we (the various Churches) could be discussing how we can organise ourselves to aid the current issues of drug abuse, alcoholism and promiscuity.

Good grief, that we should all fill our lives with rituals!
Do this in remembrance of Me
 

ialmisry

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FountainPen said:
NicholasMyra said:
FountainPen said:
If only it stopped at adding one though Delphine.
Can't have too much of a good thang, darlin'.

We humans get along okay with having to remember all those tricky, complex and monotonous processes like breathing, circulating blood, moving our limbs in sleep, blinking, etc.

I think we can handle a few movements and practices without becoming isolated, pharisaical zomboids.
Given just how many people aren't even aware of the existence of Orthodoxy, i'd say the message aint' gettin' out there too well shweetie.
How many were aware of the existence of Orthodoxy, i.e. the Church, in the days of Tiberius Caesar?

Btw, on this topic, you know the story of St. Vladimir's emessaries to the DL in Hagia Sophia, no?
 

JamesR

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FountainPen said:
If i am walking along repeating (all or partof) the Jesus prayer to myself, i am not looking outward on the people i am passing because my mind is occupied. Instead of being ready for the moment that an opportiunity to speak or help arises and having an expectation that it will, i am concentrating on my internal dialogue
Then that is your problem. Getting on topic, if we go entirely by your logic, then why don't we just forget about God, prayer and repentance altogether and solely focus on feeding the poor and doing good actions? These things only become a hindrance if you allow them to become a hindrance to yourself because of your own spiritual laziness. For example, I find that prayer very often is a hindrance to me, however, when I use it with a willing heart to grow closer to God, it actually aids me in my relationship with him. The same goes for these 'rituals' you closet-Protestant 'non-denominationals' look down upon so much. These help us to grow closer to God and are only a hindrance if you make them a hindrance and cannot manage. Even if we do feed the poor and perform all these good actions, which, are essential, we each still need to devote time to God personally. We cannot help others if we do not also help ourselves, or we'll lead them into a ditch. Therefore, honoring God for the sake of ourselves is also essential in the Christian life, and that is what these 'rituals' help us with. If it is too much for you to handle then drop Christianity altogether; no one ever said it would be a walk in the park. As for externals, like vestments, candles and incense etc, those also help us to grow closer to God, and many of them are actually prophecised about in the Bible, but also importantly, these are done to honor God. God is our King, and He deserves His house to be as beautiful as we can make it according to our ability. I find it very frightening and morally inferior how many Protestants or 'non-denominationals' tend to cut so many of these things out as being 'unnecessary'. They dishonor God through laziness and try to in a sense, 'get away' with doing the very least amount of work they have to. It shows a lot about their ethics if you ask me. These 'rituals' only become bad if they are used for the wrong reasons and instead of bringing them closer to God, further separate them from God.
 

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Schultz said:
FountainPen,

I can only speak for myself, but these rituals help me, a grave sinner, to reorient my life on at least a weekly basis.  I suck.  I know I do.  I constantly find myself doing that which I do not want to do and not doing that which I want to.  These rituals help me to remember that.  If they help for but an hour before I fall again, that's an hour I spend with my mind on the Lord rather than the filth of my own mind.  Were my faith as great as yours, I would not need them. 

But I do.

Please forgive me for my weakness.

I feel the same way. There is a divine purpose for every ritual and Tradition we observe in Orthodoxy. When I wandered in an unchurched "Sola Scriptura" wilderness, my prayer life was frail and my Christian deeds were even weaker. Orthodoxy provided me with the discipline and order that I need to help orient my mind and my heart to Christ on a consistent basis. But Christ came to heal the sick, not those who are well. The Church exists for needy sinners, and I am certainly one of them.


Selam
 

NicholasMyra

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"The pastors told me: 'All Scripture is God-breathed and Profitable...'

I told them they cut down a God-breathed tree just to make a Profit." -Shane Claiborne, as cited in "Dreams from My Father (Kindle Fire Edition)"

not really
 

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Fountainpen, you mentioned walking around saying the Jesus Prayer as something that would prevent us from helping those in need.  You also say we should only engage in those rituals that we are commanded to engage in.  Did St. Paul not command us to pray without ceasing?  As well, why prayer EVER if prayer means being unable to act?
 

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Αριστοκλής said:
FountainPen said:
NicholasMyra said:
FountainPen said:
If only it stopped at adding one though Delphine.
Can't have too much of a good thang, darlin'.

We humans get along okay with having to remember all those tricky, complex and monotonous processes like breathing, circulating blood, moving our limbs in sleep, blinking, etc.

I think we can handle a few movements and practices without becoming isolated, pharisaical zomboids.
Given just how many people aren't even aware of the existence of Orthodoxy, i'd say the message aint' gettin' out there too well shweetie.
You ARE trying to get banned! Guess you can then claim some high ground (which you haven't attained here otherwise).
No thanks.

I will leave the jostle for that "high ground" between y'all.
 

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JamesRottnek said:
Fountainpen, you mentioned walking around saying the Jesus Prayer as something that would prevent us from helping those in need.  You also say we should only engage in those rituals that we are commanded to engage in.  Did St. Paul not command us to pray without ceasing?  As well, why prayer EVER if prayer means being unable to act?
Yes. Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Clearly, in context, this is about having an attitude of prayerfulness, not literally mumbling words under your breath every second of every day or every year but a constant thankful, rejoicing and prayerful attitude.

 
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