Fresh Thoughts on the WR

Sleeper

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Fr. John G. Winfrey has resurrected his blog, so to speak, in gearing up for the upcoming Antiochian Archdiocese convention and the topic he's diving into is on the nature and relevance of our Western Patrimony and what it means for the Western Rite within Orthodoxy, particularly for the AWRV. Thought some of you might find it interesting as he has a lot of wonderful things to say, touching on Antioch's unique approach to the Western tradition as that of basing it upon the living liturgical life of the West.

Here's the link: padretex.com

Some great points that he has addressed:

A patrimony, is that which has been handed down from our fathers (and mothers) to us. We cannot skip generations and still call it our patrimony for to do so is to break with a living stream of reception and incorporation. This is a critical point that must be remembered when “correcting” things. To go one centimeter too far is to excise something precious, something received from our fathers. I would never dream of taking away what my own father gave me personally. And how could I? To do so is to become entirely un-traditional, entirely novel and fantastic (as in living in a fantasy world that never really was)...We have given the first principle of our Patrimony as including the entire European heritage rather than any particular group of the West.

A Patrimony in its essence is something received. We might even suggest that it is little else but the cultural aspect of Tradition. Culture here is not to be confused with meaning only language and such, but includes folkways and customs as well—at least anthropologically. The same would imply that a Patrimony includes devotions, particular rituals, of course a Rite in this case, music, and so on. But the essential ingredient is that it must be something that has been received and not made-up or recreated. A Patrimony cannot be phantastical. It is a living, organic whole which it not accessible to the (often pseudo-) scholar’s historical conclusions. While a certain historical approach may have an apologetic appeal—as well as a romantic appeal, it is not technically a Patrimony for it is a recreation often relying on assumptions to form the premises by which this work is done.


So how do we make a decision about things that developed after 1054? We are told in the WR Edict that those things which logically develop from the use of the West in 1054 are to be retained. This guideline is set for fights. One says it is logical and another says it isn’t. The answer must be more generous than not because I sense more than a little iconoclasm is involved here. There is a very real desire to “break” the West and reshape it to one’s one vision. But I, for one, am reminded of the parable of the wheat and the tares. We must be very careful because those who wish to break up the received Western practices are usually also heavily enculturated with the spirit of the Reformation (from whence many of them came). There is a puritanical bent to purge it all without regard. And, as I have written before, there is still a very keen and hotly felt Romaphobia as well...It seems that in discerning certain items that time is by far the better judge. Most things should be left alone and allow the Church herself to do the pruning and correcting rather than individual clergy with a reformer’s zeal (however Orthodox the zeal is meant to be).

Some believe that the true Western Patrimony died at the time of the schism of East and West. If this is true, then there should not be a Western Rite in Orthodoxy at all because a Patrimony must be something received and living, not an historical reenactment however fun that may be. But don’t we as Orthodox also have the belief that we don’t know where the Holy Spirit is not? that God has not left the children of his faithful ones without him entirely (and that we can’t even say how much is left or not)?

The children of the Reformation and of the Catholic Church are not personally responsible for the schism. Most of the West didn’t cause it, they lived in their villages and worked there farms continuing to do what their parents had done before them. They very often continued to worship in the same village churches for centuries. There was never a willful nor conscious desire for schism, it was something that occurred outside the sphere of their own lives. Surely God wouldn’t leave these little ones. Were there then some missteps? Perhaps. But it would be impossible to discern these things until they are allowed to live within the context of the Tradition and given time to either pass away, alter, or remain. This takes decades or longer, and can never the simple fiat of one person however so gloriously anointed in ordination and chrism. God’s time is not our time.

Patrimony then, and as I said this is the most controversial of the fundamental points, is necessarily received from our immediate predecessors and not remotely. This means that Altar Missals of the 1950s are the legitimate continuation of the Patrimony in as much as this is when the WRV was established in this country—and with the specific directions to use the 1958 English Knott Missal as the English equivalent to the Latin. But if we don’t accept this (in both text and rubrics) then we are creating our own fantasy which is not the reception and continuance of a Patrimony. And in that case, better there be no WR in Orthodoxy at all.
 

Margaret S.

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If this is right, about the living tradition of the west, why do we need the WR in Orthodoxy? People who want it could join their local FSSP church. After all, the FSSP (and the SSPX if one doesn’t mind their slightly odd status) are using something they’ve had easily within living memory. I can’t help thinking that if someone wants the “living tradition of the west” they would be better going to where it never died. 

Sr Margaret
 

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The easy answer is theology. The ecclesiastical bodies that have preserved the Western patrimony no longer hold the Apostolic faith and are, by definition, not the Apostolic Church.

It's more than merely rite, we want to be a part of the Church. And the Church is a singular body, there is no division within it. Orthodoxy is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, why would we want anything less than that?
 

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Margaret S. said:
If this is right, about the living tradition of the west, why do we need the WR in Orthodoxy? People who want it could join their local FSSP church. After all, the FSSP (and the SSPX if one doesn’t mind their slightly odd status) are using something they’ve had easily within living memory. I can’t help thinking that if someone wants the “living tradition of the west” they would be better going to where it never died. 

Sr Margaret
The Romans and those that have branched off from them are not the living tradition of anything.  They are dead.  The moment they entered into schism and heresy form the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, they died and have ceased to carry on tradition.  The reason why people want to be part of a WR Orthodoxy, is because they get more out of a more western form of Orthodoxy than they do out of the eastern form of it.  However, I think that nearly all WR Orthodox would gladly go to an ER Orthodox parish if they had to choose between it and an FSSP parish, because Orthodoxy is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  FSSP is heresy and schism.
 

bogdan

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Sleeper said:
The easy answer is theology. The ecclesiastical bodies that have preserved the Western patrimony no longer hold the Apostolic faith and are, by definition, not the Apostolic Church.

It's more than merely rite, we want to be a part of the Church. And the Church is a singular body, there is no division within it. Orthodoxy is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, why would we want anything less than that?
For me, this is actually what relieves most of my doubt about the WR. If they wanted to take the easy route and just enjoy a western-style liturgy, probably on a far grander scale than most any WRO parish could offer, they could become Roman Catholic. But they join the Orthodox Church because they believe it is the Church.
 

Margaret S.

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JamesRottnek said:
Margaret S. said:
If this is right, about the living tradition of the west, why do we need the WR in Orthodoxy? People who want it could join their local FSSP church. After all, the FSSP (and the SSPX if one doesn’t mind their slightly odd status) are using something they’ve had easily within living memory. I can’t help thinking that if someone wants the “living tradition of the west” they would be better going to where it never died. 

Sr Margaret
The Romans and those that have branched off from them are not the living tradition of anything.  They are dead.  The moment they entered into schism and heresy form the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, they died and have ceased to carry on tradition.  The reason why people want to be part of a WR Orthodoxy, is because they get more out of a more western form of Orthodoxy than they do out of the eastern form of it.  However, I think that nearly all WR Orthodox would gladly go to an ER Orthodox parish if they had to choose between it and an FSSP parish, because Orthodoxy is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  FSSP is heresy and schism.
I agree. However I read the original article to mean that the RCs have living tradition. God apparently did not abandon his little ones in the west, after all, the schism wasn't their fault, etc, etc. Perhaps I misunderstood.
 

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Margaret S. said:
JamesRottnek said:
Margaret S. said:
If this is right, about the living tradition of the west, why do we need the WR in Orthodoxy? People who want it could join their local FSSP church. After all, the FSSP (and the SSPX if one doesn’t mind their slightly odd status) are using something they’ve had easily within living memory. I can’t help thinking that if someone wants the “living tradition of the west” they would be better going to where it never died. 

Sr Margaret
The Romans and those that have branched off from them are not the living tradition of anything.  They are dead.  The moment they entered into schism and heresy form the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, they died and have ceased to carry on tradition.  The reason why people want to be part of a WR Orthodoxy, is because they get more out of a more western form of Orthodoxy than they do out of the eastern form of it.  However, I think that nearly all WR Orthodox would gladly go to an ER Orthodox parish if they had to choose between it and an FSSP parish, because Orthodoxy is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  FSSP is heresy and schism.
I agree. However I read the original article to mean that the RCs have living tradition. God apparently did not abandon his little ones in the west, after all, the schism wasn't their fault, etc, etc. Perhaps I misunderstood.
The Roman Catholics and other heterodox may have a living tradition but it is outside the Church.  I am hopeful God judges the innocent victims of the great schism with mercy and His boundless love.
 

Irish Hermit

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SubdeaconDavid said:
Margaret S. said:
JamesRottnek said:
Margaret S. said:
If this is right, about the living tradition of the west, why do we need the WR in Orthodoxy? People who want it could join their local FSSP church. After all, the FSSP (and the SSPX if one doesn’t mind their slightly odd status) are using something they’ve had easily within living memory. I can’t help thinking that if someone wants the “living tradition of the west” they would be better going to where it never died. 

Sr Margaret
The Romans and those that have branched off from them are not the living tradition of anything.  They are dead.  The moment they entered into schism and heresy form the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, they died and have ceased to carry on tradition.  The reason why people want to be part of a WR Orthodoxy, is because they get more out of a more western form of Orthodoxy than they do out of the eastern form of it.  However, I think that nearly all WR Orthodox would gladly go to an ER Orthodox parish if they had to choose between it and an FSSP parish, because Orthodoxy is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  FSSP is heresy and schism.
I agree. However I read the original article to mean that the RCs have living tradition. God apparently did not abandon his little ones in the west, after all, the schism wasn't their fault, etc, etc. Perhaps I misunderstood.
The Roman Catholics and other heterodox may have a living tradition but it is outside the Church.  I am hopeful God judges the innocent victims of the great schism with mercy and His boundless love.
Not only will God judge them with compassion but he is already actively leading them into Salvation.  See the words of the Holy Metropolitan Philaret First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

Message 38
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29285.msg462436.html#msg462436
 

Sleeper

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I believe Fr. Winfrey's main point is that we ought to be very cautious in saying where the Spirit of God does or does not blow, and that we should treat our inheritance with the utmost respect and humility. Some want to take a hatchet job to our heritage because they have an axe to grind and others want to just cut it in half in hopes of getting to some "pre-Schism" tradition that no longer exists. Things grow and change, you can't just set the clock back 900 years. I think his thoughts are very wise and prudent, and more in keeping with true Orthodox ecclesiology, leaving it to the Spirit of God and the praying Church to make any organic adjustments that need to be made to our Western heritage, rather than rogue priests or scholars taking the reins.
 

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Sleeper said:
I believe Fr. Winfrey's main point is that we ought to be very cautious in saying where the Spirit of God does or does not blow, and that we should treat our inheritance with the utmost respect and humility. Some want to take a hatchet job to our heritage because they have an axe to grind and others want to just cut it in half in hopes of getting to some "pre-Schism" tradition that no longer exists. Things grow and change, you can't just set the clock back 900 years. I think his thoughts are very wise and prudent, and more in keeping with true Orthodox ecclesiology, leaving it to the Spirit of God and the praying Church to make any organic adjustments that need to be made to our Western heritage, rather than rogue priests or scholars taking the reins.
This sounds pretty extreme in itself. I hardly think that leaving behind that which came into vogue after the schism chops the Western heritage in half or that the work that has been done to bring the past to light is done by "rogues." For shame.
 

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Shanghaiski said:
Sleeper said:
I believe Fr. Winfrey's main point is that we ought to be very cautious in saying where the Spirit of God does or does not blow, and that we should treat our inheritance with the utmost respect and humility. Some want to take a hatchet job to our heritage because they have an axe to grind and others want to just cut it in half in hopes of getting to some "pre-Schism" tradition that no longer exists. Things grow and change, you can't just set the clock back 900 years. I think his thoughts are very wise and prudent, and more in keeping with true Orthodox ecclesiology, leaving it to the Spirit of God and the praying Church to make any organic adjustments that need to be made to our Western heritage, rather than rogue priests or scholars taking the reins.
This sounds pretty extreme in itself. I hardly think that leaving behind that which came into vogue after the schism chops the Western heritage in half or that the work that has been done to bring the past to light is done by "rogues." For shame.
I agree. I don't think Sleeper meant it in the way that Orthodox of the WR should adopt such things as the scapular or any of the "medals" or accepting other such things, but let's give him a chance to respond.

In Christ,
Andrew
 

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Sleeper said:
I believe Fr. Winfrey's main point is that we ought to be very cautious in saying where the Spirit of God does or does not blow, and that we should treat our inheritance with the utmost respect and humility. Some want to take a hatchet job to our heritage because they have an axe to grind and others want to just cut it in half in hopes of getting to some "pre-Schism" tradition that no longer exists. Things grow and change, you can't just set the clock back 900 years. I think his thoughts are very wise and prudent, and more in keeping with true Orthodox ecclesiology, leaving it to the Spirit of God and the praying Church to make any organic adjustments that need to be made to our Western heritage, rather than rogue priests or scholars taking the reins.
To draw a line in the sand between 1054 and post 1054 is difficult especially in liturgics.  Some WR priests think that everything 'Latin' is Papist. I know one WR priest who says a Canterbury cap is "in" but a biretta is "out", and despite what Bishop Jerome has said about baroque vestments being fine in ROCOR WR thinks that "Sarum" vestments are the only appropriate ones.

I would prefer to see WR nuns in Western habits like the Benedictine nuns in the ROCOR WR convent in Canada, rather than wearing Eastern or semi-Eastern habits.  Similarly do we know what a pre-Schism Western cassock looked like?  Logically then a Roman or Anglican cassock is preferrable to an Eastern podraznik worn with a belt, Anglican style.
 

Shanghaiski

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SubdeaconDavid said:
Sleeper said:
I believe Fr. Winfrey's main point is that we ought to be very cautious in saying where the Spirit of God does or does not blow, and that we should treat our inheritance with the utmost respect and humility. Some want to take a hatchet job to our heritage because they have an axe to grind and others want to just cut it in half in hopes of getting to some "pre-Schism" tradition that no longer exists. Things grow and change, you can't just set the clock back 900 years. I think his thoughts are very wise and prudent, and more in keeping with true Orthodox ecclesiology, leaving it to the Spirit of God and the praying Church to make any organic adjustments that need to be made to our Western heritage, rather than rogue priests or scholars taking the reins.
To draw a line in the sand between 1054 and post 1054 is difficult especially in liturgics.  Some WR priests think that everything 'Latin' is Papist. I know one WR priest who says a Canterbury cap is "in" but a biretta is "out", and despite what Bishop Jerome has said about baroque vestments being fine in ROCOR WR thinks that "Sarum" vestments are the only appropriate ones.

I would prefer to see WR nuns in Western habits like the Benedictine nuns in the ROCOR WR convent in Canada, rather than wearing Eastern or semi-Eastern habits.  Similarly do we know what a pre-Schism Western cassock looked like?  Logically then a Roman or Anglican cassock is preferrable to an Eastern podraznik worn with a belt, Anglican style.
I actually agree here. What I don't really agree with is leaving the pre-schism heritage behind for the post-schism "living tradition." The pre-schism prayers are not "dead." There are many prayers, liturgies, and usages which are still extant and usable with or without editing. I also see a tendency amongst some to want to hold on to the 12th century which just seems odd to me, given the history. We should much more thoroughly investigate our undoubtedly Orthodox Western patrimony extant before the schism first before we sign off on using post-schism Western "things."
 

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Shanghaiski said:
SubdeaconDavid said:
Sleeper said:
I believe Fr. Winfrey's main point is that we ought to be very cautious in saying where the Spirit of God does or does not blow, and that we should treat our inheritance with the utmost respect and humility. Some want to take a hatchet job to our heritage because they have an axe to grind and others want to just cut it in half in hopes of getting to some "pre-Schism" tradition that no longer exists. Things grow and change, you can't just set the clock back 900 years. I think his thoughts are very wise and prudent, and more in keeping with true Orthodox ecclesiology, leaving it to the Spirit of God and the praying Church to make any organic adjustments that need to be made to our Western heritage, rather than rogue priests or scholars taking the reins.
To draw a line in the sand between 1054 and post 1054 is difficult especially in liturgics.  Some WR priests think that everything 'Latin' is Papist. I know one WR priest who says a Canterbury cap is "in" but a biretta is "out", and despite what Bishop Jerome has said about baroque vestments being fine in ROCOR WR thinks that "Sarum" vestments are the only appropriate ones.

I would prefer to see WR nuns in Western habits like the Benedictine nuns in the ROCOR WR convent in Canada, rather than wearing Eastern or semi-Eastern habits.  Similarly do we know what a pre-Schism Western cassock looked like?  Logically then a Roman or Anglican cassock is preferrable to an Eastern podraznik worn with a belt, Anglican style.
I actually agree here. What I don't really agree with is leaving the pre-schism heritage behind for the post-schism "living tradition." The pre-schism prayers are not "dead." There are many prayers, liturgies, and usages which are still extant and usable with or without editing. I also see a tendency amongst some to want to hold on to the 12th century which just seems odd to me, given the history. We should much more thoroughly investigate our undoubtedly Orthodox Western patrimony extant before the schism first before we sign off on using post-schism Western "things."
I actually agree here 100%.  Investigation of the Western Orthodox patrimony needs to be academic, historic and willing to challenge assumptions.  Many in the WR have come from Anglo-Catholic or Protestant confessions, and perhaps carry the scars and baggage of that hence the anti-Latinism of the Sarum is all people.  Sensible investigation is required.  Secondly the Russian Orthodox Church - did NOT authorise an Anglican derived mass in the 19th century.  The most that was done was to look at it and no authorisation was done until ROCOR did so in the mid 1990s. The fiction of this is I suspect done to show the longevity of the WR but it is simply wrong. 
 

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I think it will end up being a mix of both approaches, and in fact, that has already proven to be the case, at least within the AWRV.

Nobody is saying everything after the Schism is all fine and dandy, and nobody is opposed to pre-Schism elements either. In fact, the dichotomy is a false one. Life in the West, as Fr. Winfrey pointed out, carried on like normal for quite a while amongst the farmers and villagers offering their worship to God. In any case, if you read the postings from Fr. Winfrey you will see that he emphasizes the fact that all of the Western heritage belongs to us, not just parts of it. And that heritage didn't "die" when the Schism happened. It continued to be passed down and preserved by subsequent generations.

The crux of this issue is whether or not any sort of authentic, ongoing Western Rite should be based upon "resurrected" elements, whether they be entire liturgies, vestment styles, music, etc., or if it should be based upon that which has been handed down to us. You'll find proponents in both camps, and that's what Fr. Winfrey is addressing. Some insist that only that which is pre-Schism is acceptable, while others think the WR should be based upon the living patrimony of the West.

All I was saying was that I see great wisdom and prudence in Fr. Winfrey's approach, that of taking what has been handed down to us, keeping as much as absolutely possible in a spirit of humility and respect, and letting baptized, chrismated Orthodox Christians set out to organically develop and adjust the heritage as the Church, as they pray and worship with it. It's a matter of perspective and a matter of purpose.

I don't know what's so "extreme" or "shameful" about that...
 

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Fr. John Winfrey is a very good writer, and his three articles (redacted above, into one) forcefully express a philosophy which I believe he sincerely holds. That said, I find the philosophy to be untenable in its conception and highly problematical for implementation.

I will begin by "crunching" some issues and situations, and applying his philosophic principle to them (as I understand it), hoping to demonstrate that unfortunate things would result. First, he is saying, in essence, that nothing which at some point fell out of practice in the West, can be resurrected. That would mean that Gregorian chant, which in its full scope vanished from usage historically, and was resurrected by the Roman church due to scholarly labour, is impermissible in divine worship. How sad!

If we were to implement Fr. John's philosophy, we should be forced to conclude that no BCP rite worship can be permitted in Orthodoxy. I privately opine that the BCP rite, and indeed any other Protestant rite, is to be discouraged in Orthodoxy. In fact, my opinions about the BCP rite are exactly the same as the opinions of the Russian committee which in 1904 published their "findings" on the rite. Exactly the same. Yet I would never try to get involved in "shutting down" someone's BCP rite once it had been previously approved. It's not in me. I have a Gamaliellian approach: If it is of God, it will last; if not, not. Thus I can be at peace, and not feel some Purge has to be launched. It's all for bishops to decide and my part is to obey.

If we were to implement Fr. John's philosophy, we would be forced to exclude the Gallican rite from the Church, for it is a resurrection of the sort decried. Yet a great Saint of modern times, St. John Maximovitch, blessed its use and, going further, celebrated in that rite. Now, this isn't living Orthodoxy? A Liturgy celebrated by a great Saint, is "dead"? St. John's liturgies were "iconoclastic" because they didn't incorporate the construct of "The Patrimony?" Surely not.

Now I will delve into why I find Fr. John's construct ("The Patrimony") to be foundationally faulty as a philosophy, however well-meaning (and I do not attribute to my brother priest any nefarious motives or lack of piety; let that be clear). It attributes to an extra-Ecclesiastical construct an authority which is more or less absolute. "The Patrimony" is seen as a litmus test for the right life of the Western Rite in the Church, though springing largely from heresy and from outside the Church. Is this not problematical? It reminds me of those who refer to "living" and "dead" rites. There is no such thing; in the Church there is life, period. The life of the Church by definition reposes in the Church, as she is manifested on earth. Thus if a rite is celebrated within the Church, it is to that extent, ipso facto, living. Not only that, but the life of the Church consists of all those faithful who came before us. They too get a vote; they are not among the dead, but among the living!

G.K. Chesterton wrote: "Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise [i.e., the power to vote]. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our father." I would extend what Chesterton said, as follows, "Orthodoxy asks us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our great-great-great, etc., grandfather, as long as he held the same priceless Orthodox faith which we hold."

The life of the Church is not constrained to the rites, practices, or customs of those whose deviant beliefs placed them outside her pale long ago, whether knowingly or unknowingly, fairly or unfairly. The "Patrimony" philosophy would indicate that the life of Christ, by which all creation is renewed, is something which resides in a rite or usage per se--in an inculturation. It is related to the philosophy called Ritualism.

Is resurrecting tradition a bonum? It can be, for we read in 2nd Paralipomenon that king Ezechias found the people had become accustomed to a debased usage in the keeping of the passover, and many other precepts of God, and consulting the scriptures and traditions, he resurrected a more exact performance, with marvellous spiritual results. His success at resurrecting "dead" observances which were not part of the "Patrimony" of his day, is also described in 4th Kings in the 18th chapter.

It can be a bonum, for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said in Mark 7, "For leaving the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, the washing of pots and of cups, and many other things you do like to these." He did not accept all the Patrimony of His day, only the best part thereof. Good ritual may be resurrected, to the spiritual refreshment of many, and bad ritual can be allowed to lapse. Who will referee what is "iconoclasm" and what is renewal and what is preservation? Surely the truth of Orthodoxy, the Orthodox heritage, the suggestions of living Saints of God, and the rulings of canonical Orthodox bishops. I do not think that heretics from the recent or distant past can really provide us that lantern of discernment. The Western rite of today needs to be shaped, honed, guided by some principle higher than that of The Patrimony. But I stand squarely with Fr. John, in dreading the intrusions of those who hold scholarly principles higher than the principles of church piety, or who would sweep away some liturgical custom because it doesn't make sense to them, or who think liturgy should be an archaeological re-enactment (!).

The "Patrimony" philosophy falls apart under the magnifying-glass of Christian history, for she is full of resurrections. A few reforms of Pope Pius V, author of the Tridentine mass, were returns "ad fontes," restorations of old usages, or at least were thought to be so. Some of his reforms constituted a peeling-away of interim liturgical accretions, even ones that had been in place for nearly a thousand years. Anglicanism was perpetrated under the banner of a return "ad fontes." The singing of Gregorian chant was achieved as a resurrection--by and large no historical continuity there. Gothic style vestments were a resurrection. Fr. John Connelly of the AWRV has written that certain Saints originally named in the canon of the Mass in Anglo-Saxon England, and later stricken, may be rightfully restored; that would be a resurrection. Within the St. Tikhon Liturgy, putting the Gloria and other items back in, was a resurrection.

Fr. John seems to limit our access to "The Patrimony" to the form it took up to, say, the 1950s. But this discounts the living presence with us of those saints who lived in past centuries. Bishop Jerome's address at his nomination as bishop in the Russian Church Abroad included these remarks:

"For this reason, there are no “closed” or “destroyed” churches, no “abolished” monasteries, because the Lord God, in whom their departed members abide as part of His Church, is outside of time, and they are eternally with Him. One should therefore not suppose that any part of the Church has ceased to exist. For example, the Armenian Church of St. Gregory the Enlightener will always exist in heaven, no matter what the state of the Armenian Church on earth may be. The earthly Roman Church separated from Orthodoxy; but the heavenly, Orthodox Church of Rome will always exist, and St Gregory the Dialogist and the other Orthodox Western Saints are ever with us. The earthly Armenian Church, and the Roman, fell away from the unity of Orthodoxy, and are deprived of communion with us: but the Armenian and Roman Saints, being in the Kingdom of God in heaven, eternally present that spiritual foundation upon which those Churches can be restored. This truth was seen with exceptional spiritual clarity by St John Maximovitch, who restored Western Orthodoxy: he remains invisibly present with us, and his mission lives. In other words, to be Orthodox means to be in union with the whole Orthodox Church, and to accept all of its heritage."

Bishop Jerome wrote some years ago about this same subject, back when people were mocking the Sarum Use efforts which he had pioneered, as representing "antiquarianism" and "archaeology," in a marvellous webpost, re-presented here: http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/Liturgy/Archaeology.html .

Fr. John may not have intended it, but I fear that his construct of "The Patrimony" could be used as a club of enforcement for suppressing the prayers of "those others" in favour of "the prayers I myself said just this morning." And that would be a pity. Any valid Orthodox Liturgy, from the present or the past, possesses life and grace. Reverence is to be found among a wide variety of us iconodules, whether Tridentine-rite, Sarum-rite, Anglican-rite, Gallican-rite, Byzantine-rite, Mozarabic-rite, or Ambrosian-rite.

I tend to write in a pointed way, but let it be clear that I respect Fr. John Winfrey and I am discussing his article's ideas without disrespect or condemnation, and with a healthy sense that I could be quite mistaken in many respects. I am not looking down upon a brother priest who can doubtless run rings around me in prayer, intercession, and righteousness. I hope that I may some day kiss his hand.
 

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Thanks for sharing, Father. I don't think one could understand your thoughts to be, in any way, judgmental or disrespectful.

I'd disagree with the main thrust, though, because I don't actually think Fr. Winfrey is positing what you think he is. As I understand it, he's simply saying that there is something to our shared heritage and that we ought to exercise with caution any impulse to skip many generations in some attempt to arrive at something "more Orthodox" simply because of its date, however well-intentioned such an impulse may be. I know that you fall into the latter camp, based on things of yours that I've read (and the fact that you continue to refer to the Rite of St. Tikhon as a "Protestant" rite, for some reason), and it's just a fundamental point of disagreement, which is fine and I think at this point in the life of the Western Rite, something that is actually needed. And, in fact, it may prove that both "approaches" will find footing in the Church and prove to be wonderful ways of both preserving our varied heritage and becoming an authentic rite for the people.

We are in 100% agreement that nothing of the Church ceases to be life-giving, no matter what era it came from, and I am not in any way opposed to people who want to resurrect many beautiful things that have fallen out of use in the West. I don't think Fr. Winfrey is either, and I didn't come away from his thoughts thinking that he is saying only that which is "living" is valid. But, I disagree that trying to set the clock back is the ideal starting point. Such is life :)

 

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And yet we "set the clock back" in regard to the Creed, excising the Filioque, without too much trouble. If you have ever taken Holy Communion during the time of a eucharistic service, this comes from a "setting the clock back" from within the Roman Catholic church of a few centuries ago. That practice (lay people communing DURING the Mass) had long ago died out.

Gregorian chant? Deliberately setting the clock back, bypassing quite a few generations.

Married priests? Deliberately setting the clock back perhaps 1300 years. Yet I read of few complaints...

It seems that when people have set the clock back, or are making good use of settings-back already achieved, they think all is fine and good. But when "some of those darn people way over there" set the clock back, it's thought to border on wrongfulness.

Would that not be an example of a double standard?
 

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The difference, though, is one of insisting that only that which we have set the clock back upon is valid. It's the mentality that builds upon the false narrative of, as a David Bentley Hart adequately puts it, "the myth...of a sudden definitive catastrophic breach between the churches that immediately created two distinct communions [which] bears little relation to history" (The Myth of Schism) that needs to be opposed, and which so often gets touted in trying to determine what's "really Orthodox."

Those of us that see the wisdom of basing any ongoing Western Rite upon the living tradition of the West are not against "resurrecting" things from our shared past, or diving deep into the treasure troves of our heritage, at all. That would be a ridiculous position to hold. I get the sense that Fr. Winfrey feels the need to articulate this approach (that of Antioch's) in order to combat this idea that something magical happened when Rome and Constantinople excommunicated each other, and that 1054 is some sort of cutoff point for anything "valid" for Orthodox Christians to use. It's a fundamental difference of narrative, viewpoint and starting point.

So when we speak of the "living" tradition of the West, you can't assume that what we mean by that is the exclusion of anything else. It's not true.
 

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What's really at the heart of the issue is:

Camp A: "Only that which is pre-Schism (ideally), or at the least pre-Reformation, is permissible for Orthodox use."

Camp B: "Patrimony is important, for people, for culture, for community, and we should seek to preserve all that we can."

Camp B incorporates all of the elements that make up what Camp A seeks to put into use and preserve, as well as any elements that were developed after the supposed "cut off" dates (so long as they are logically derived and continue to be authentic and life-giving), within its scope.

Camp A, however, excludes anything after their determined "cut off" dates. It doesn't see the Western Tradition as an organic whole, something that never "died" and continued to develop, but rather sees it as a severed branch that must be "resurrected." i.e. setting the clock back.
 
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