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Stations of the Cross

primuspilus

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I know this belongs in the WRO board, but not everyone reads it, and I wanted their opinions.

This year we are doing the Stations of the Cross on Friday and its got me pretty bothered. I've always been told that the WR is a restoration of Pre-Schism Western Orthodoxy, purged of the wwestern innovations (the Stations, statuaries, questionable feasts, etc). I've heard alot of criticisms of the Stations, of which I agree with them. Now that our parish is doing them this year, its got me kind of weirded out. I dont know if I want to attend it.

Am I simply being overly-concerned, or am I justified?

PP
 

primuspilus

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Iconodule said:
What's wrong? I think it's a beautiful practice.
Some of the criticisms I've read about are that:

1. Its Post schism, so the WRO should not do it has it has nothing to do with the pre-schism church
2. It relies too much on the imagination of the participant
3. That it was an "alien piety" in light of Holy Tradition
4. That it opens up the church to other innovations like the Sacred Heart

I dunno. Maybe Im making much ado about nothing.

PP
 

Iconodule

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primuspilus said:
Iconodule said:
What's wrong? I think it's a beautiful practice.
Some of the criticisms I've read about are that:

1. Its Post schism, so the WRO should not do it has it has nothing to do with the pre-schism church
Let's be clear here: you live in the 21st century. You will never be able to recreate a first millennium western Christianity. The WRO only exists because western Christian practices have survived through heterodox communions. It is predicated on the idea that something valuable has been communicated through these practices that ought to be preserved, by people who have been raised in these traditions and experienced them organically. The concern should be if a given practice is orthodox and Christian, and not whether it can be traced to some time before a magical date. (The common date of 1054 is highly misleading anyway). 

2. It relies too much on the imagination of the participant
How much is too much? How do the standard Byzantine hymnography, 12 gospels, etc. not do the same thing?

3. That it was an "alien piety" in light of Holy Tradition
"Alien" meaning what? Not familiar to Byzantine Orthodox?

4. That it opens up the church to other innovations like the Sacred Heart
Assuming there's something wrong with the Sacred Heart, I don't see how that follows.
 

TheTrisagion

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Question because I'm generally ignorant about such things. Isn't this just imagery of different important events leading up to and including Christ's burial in resurrection? If icons are to be used as tools of teaching, how are these images any different?

(I've probably invoked the spirit of LBK, but oh well...)
 

primuspilus

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TheTrisagion said:
Question because I'm generally ignorant about such things. Isn't this just imagery of different important events leading up to and including Christ's burial in resurrection? If icons are to be used as tools of teaching, how are these images any different?

(I've probably invoked the spirit of LBK, but oh well...)
I remember hearing about icons being intentionally unrealistic and two dimensional. If Father Damick reads this thread, I believe it was something that he spoke or wrote on concerning this.

PP
 

Iconodule

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There are plenty of "unrealistic and two dimensional" stations of the cross.

Anyway, this point has been discussed voluminously on this forum. Do a search for statues, for instance. All I'll say here is that the arguments against statues are very silly and contradictory.
 

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Iconodule said:
There are plenty of "unrealistic and two dimensional" stations of the cross.

Anyway, this point has been discussed voluminously on this forum. Do a search for statues, for instance. All I'll say here is that the arguments against statues are very silly and contradictory.
I'd also add the oft hurled complaint about 'imagination' and 'emotion' is a red herring in many cases - not all -but it being Great Friday I will refrain from arguing the point..
 

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Iconodule said:
primuspilus said:
Iconodule said:
What's wrong? I think it's a beautiful practice.
Some of the criticisms I've read about are that:

1. Its Post schism, so the WRO should not do it has it has nothing to do with the pre-schism church
Let's be clear here: you live in the 21st century. You will never be able to recreate a first millennium western Christianity. The WRO only exists because western Christian practices have survived through heterodox communions. It is predicated on the idea that something valuable has been communicated through these practices that ought to be preserved, by people who have been raised in these traditions and experienced them organically. The concern should be if a given practice is orthodox and Christian, and not whether it can be traced to some time before a magical date. (The common date of 1054 is highly misleading anyway). 

2. It relies too much on the imagination of the participant
How much is too much? How do the standard Byzantine hymnography, 12 gospels, etc. not do the same thing?

3. That it was an "alien piety" in light of Holy Tradition
"Alien" meaning what? Not familiar to Byzantine Orthodox?

4. That it opens up the church to other innovations like the Sacred Heart
Assuming there's something wrong with the Sacred Heart, I don't see how that follows.
+1
 

TheTrisagion

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primuspilus said:
TheTrisagion said:
Question because I'm generally ignorant about such things. Isn't this just imagery of different important events leading up to and including Christ's burial in resurrection? If icons are to be used as tools of teaching, how are these images any different?

(I've probably invoked the spirit of LBK, but oh well...)
I remember hearing about icons being intentionally unrealistic and two dimensional. If Father Damick reads this thread, I believe it was something that he spoke or wrote on concerning this.

PP
Could the stations of the cross be done in iconography? Would that be inappropriate?
 

primuspilus

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TheTrisagion said:
primuspilus said:
TheTrisagion said:
Question because I'm generally ignorant about such things. Isn't this just imagery of different important events leading up to and including Christ's burial in resurrection? If icons are to be used as tools of teaching, how are these images any different?

(I've probably invoked the spirit of LBK, but oh well...)
I remember hearing about icons being intentionally unrealistic and two dimensional. If Father Damick reads this thread, I believe it was something that he spoke or wrote on concerning this.

PP
Could the stations of the cross be done in iconography? Would that be inappropriate?
I wouldnt think so.

Upon deeper reflection, I decided that my concerns were nothing more than emotional nonsense on my part.

PP
 

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TheTrisagion said:
Could the stations of the cross be done in iconography? Would that be inappropriate?
St. Paul Lutheran Church in Millersburg, Pennsylvania, has a lovely set of Iconographic Stations which were written by Iconographer Judy Cole.

http://www.stpaulsmillersburg.com/StationsoftheCross.htm

The previous Pastors wrote a series of excellent, emotion-laden meditations on each of the Stations and had these, along with full color pictures of the Icons, published into a small book.  The Church might be willing to sell them for a donation.
 

NicholasMyra

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Those are a good start. If they conformed to the iconographic style more, lost that 'snapshot' look some of the first ones have, I'd be down.

Also icons are painted, not written. ;)
 

LBK

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St Veronica in Orthodox tradition is the woman with the issue of blood who was healed by touching the hem of Christ's garment, not the woman whose veil was given to Christ to wipe His face with. The Orthodox tradition of the origin of the Mandylion is quite different. Let's not muddy our traditions.

NicholasMyra said:
Also icons are painted, not written. ;)
Hear hear!  :D
 

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LBK,

I did not think you would disagree to the idea that icons are "written".  Not that I disagree, but just interested, since this has been a very strong iconological idea.
 

LBK

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minasoliman said:
LBK,

I did not think you would disagree to the idea that icons are "written".  Not that I disagree, but just interested, since this has been a very strong iconological idea.
Old posts where "writing icons" is shown to be incorrect terminology:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,59206.msg1145103/topicseen.html#msg1145103

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24767.msg382911/topicseen.html#msg382911

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,55949.msg1064168/topicseen.html#msg1064168

This post is representative:

LBK said:
The term "writing an icon" is at best a mistranslation, at worst an affectation, as some here have stated. It is perfectly acceptable, and grammatically more correct, to say an icon is painted. The Slavic pisat' can mean either write or paint; the Greek root words graphe and graphia also have this dual meaning, in all forms of Greek language, ancient, intermediate, and modern, including the current vernacular. This duality is even preserved in English: Do we not use the term graphic when we wish to describe something in great detail, as in visual, pictorial terms?

Even the Greek work eikona can mean simply picture, illustration, image, without a religious context; or, in the correct context, means the holy religious art of the Orthodox Church. Similarly, obraz is a Slavic word which has the identical sense as the Greek eikona: that of image. Obraz can refer to any image, and it can refer to an icon. Anyone with a reasonable working knowledge of either Greek, or the various Slavic languages (or both) would be rather bemused at certain English-speakers' insistence that icons are written. It simply doesn't make sense, historically, or linguistically.
 

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I don't think saying icons are written or are painted makes any difference at all. We all know what is happening. People get pet peeves about the weirdest stuff.
 

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TheTrisagion said:
I don't think saying icons are written or are painted makes any difference at all. We all know what is happening. People get pet peeves about the weirdest stuff.
What if I described the process of icon painting/icon writing as "icon doodling"?  Does "we all know what is happening" cover such an expression as well? 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
TheTrisagion said:
I don't think saying icons are written or are painted makes any difference at all. We all know what is happening. People get pet peeves about the weirdest stuff.
What if I described the process of icon painting/icon writing as "icon doodling"?  Does "we all know what is happening" cover such an expression as well?
Some of the icons I've seen match that description quite well.
 

Mor Ephrem

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TheTrisagion said:
Mor Ephrem said:
TheTrisagion said:
I don't think saying icons are written or are painted makes any difference at all. We all know what is happening. People get pet peeves about the weirdest stuff.
What if I described the process of icon painting/icon writing as "icon doodling"?  Does "we all know what is happening" cover such an expression as well?
Some of the icons I've seen match that description quite well.
Sure, but you didn't really answer the question. 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
TheTrisagion said:
Mor Ephrem said:
TheTrisagion said:
I don't think saying icons are written or are painted makes any difference at all. We all know what is happening. People get pet peeves about the weirdest stuff.
What if I described the process of icon painting/icon writing as "icon doodling"?  Does "we all know what is happening" cover such an expression as well?
Some of the icons I've seen match that description quite well.
Sure, but you didn't really answer the question.
It sounds rather derogatory, but if iconographers regularly used the phrase" I will doodle an icon", I'm pretty sure we would know what they meant. As an aside, I'm not aware of anyone finding the word "writing" to be derogatory, so the comparison isn't quite apples to apples.
 

Mor Ephrem

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TheTrisagion said:
Mor Ephrem said:
TheTrisagion said:
Mor Ephrem said:
TheTrisagion said:
I don't think saying icons are written or are painted makes any difference at all. We all know what is happening. People get pet peeves about the weirdest stuff.
What if I described the process of icon painting/icon writing as "icon doodling"?  Does "we all know what is happening" cover such an expression as well?
Some of the icons I've seen match that description quite well.
Sure, but you didn't really answer the question.
It sounds rather derogatory, but if iconographers regularly used the phrase" I will doodle an icon", I'm pretty sure we would know what they meant. As an aside, I'm not aware of anyone finding the word "writing" to be derogatory, so the comparison isn't quite apples to apples.
Who said "doodling" is derogatory?  ;)

Obviously words matter. 
 

TheTrisagion

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I never said they didn't. I said I don't think the distinction between writing and painting as it pertains to iconography matters.

That is a much more narrow breadth of opinion than saying words don't matter.
 

Mor Ephrem

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TheTrisagion said:
I never said they didn't. I said I don't think the distinction between writing and painting as it pertains to iconography matters.
OK, but you don't paint novels and you don't write pictures.  "Writing icons" sounds like something someone came up with to make Orthodoxy sound esoteric and cool.  Sure, you might understand what the user is getting at, but it doesn't make it any less silly. 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
TheTrisagion said:
I never said they didn't. I said I don't think the distinction between writing and painting as it pertains to iconography matters.
OK, but you don't paint novels and you don't write pictures.  "Writing icons" sounds like something someone came up with to make Orthodoxy sound esoteric and cool.  Sure, you might understand what the user is getting at, but it doesn't make it any less silly.
Words evolve all the time from what their original meanings were. Writers use the term "painting a picture with words" and we don't criticize them for trying to be esoteric and cool. If iconographers want to say that they are writing icons, I fail to see a need to correct them. I understand why they like to use the term, and I don't see value in criticizing it.
 

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TheTrisagion said:
Mor Ephrem said:
TheTrisagion said:
I never said they didn't. I said I don't think the distinction between writing and painting as it pertains to iconography matters.
OK, but you don't paint novels and you don't write pictures.  "Writing icons" sounds like something someone came up with to make Orthodoxy sound esoteric and cool.  Sure, you might understand what the user is getting at, but it doesn't make it any less silly.
Words evolve all the time from what their original meanings were. Writers use the term "painting a picture with words" and we don't criticize them for trying to be esoteric and cool. If iconographers want to say that they are writing icons, I fail to see a need to correct them. I understand why they like to use the term, and I don't see value in criticizing it.
Why do they like to use the term?
 

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It was explained to me by an iconographer that he saw his work as writing a story, except with pictures instead of words. He said that in a normal picture, you see a moment in time that is frozen, but in iconography, an entire story can be told in one picture. He used this icon as an example.



I'm guessing that wasn't an original thought to him and he got it from whoever he learned iconography from or from some iconographer groupie hangout. Anyhow, it made sense to me. I don't particularly feel the need to start using the term "writing icons", but it at least made sense.
 

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There are plenty of icons that show a single scene or simply a single saint.
 

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LBK said:
St Veronica in Orthodox tradition is the woman with the issue of blood who was healed by touching the hem of Christ's garment, not the woman whose veil was given to Christ to wipe His face with. The Orthodox tradition of the origin of the Mandylion is quite different. Let's not muddy our traditions.
You are confusing "Orthodox" with "Byzantine."
 

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Iconodule said:
LBK said:
St Veronica in Orthodox tradition is the woman with the issue of blood who was healed by touching the hem of Christ's garment, not the woman whose veil was given to Christ to wipe His face with. The Orthodox tradition of the origin of the Mandylion is quite different. Let's not muddy our traditions.

You are confusing "Orthodox" with "Byzantine."
Here's the service text for the feast of the Translation of the Mandylion from Edessa to Constantinople. Not a single mention of Veronica, or, indeed, of any woman giving Christ her veil to wipe His face:

http://www.anastasis.org.uk/16august.htm

The Synaxarion reading describes in detail how, and under what circumstances, the Mandylion was created.

 

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LBK said:
Iconodule said:
LBK said:
St Veronica in Orthodox tradition is the woman with the issue of blood who was healed by touching the hem of Christ's garment, not the woman whose veil was given to Christ to wipe His face with. The Orthodox tradition of the origin of the Mandylion is quite different. Let's not muddy our traditions.

You are confusing "Orthodox" with "Byzantine."
Here's the service text for the feast of the Translation of the Mandylion from Edessa to Constantinople. Not a single mention of Veronica, or, indeed, of any woman giving Christ her veil to wipe His face:

http://www.anastasis.org.uk/16august.htm

The Synaxarion reading describes in detail how, and under what circumstances, the Mandylion was created.
Thanks for proving my point!
 

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What is your point, Iconodule? And how did my post prove it?
 

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This thread is about Western Christian practice and patrimony, with the assumption that the Christian West was orthodox and is orthodox in its WRO expression. You say that Veronica is not connected to the mandylion in Orthodox tradition. I point out that you are confusing Orthodox with Byzantine, since the western tradition does have this legend. You then try to argue with me by citing Byzantine liturgical texts and hagiography. Hence you prove my point.
 

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Iconodule said:
This thread is about Western Christian practice and patrimony, with the assumption that the Christian West was orthodox and is orthodox in its WRO expression. You say that Veronica is not connected to the mandylion in Orthodox tradition. I point out that you are confusing Orthodox with Byzantine, since the western tradition does have this legend. You then try to argue with me by citing Byzantine liturgical texts and hagiography. Hence you prove my point.
The creation of the Mandylion, an event of inestimable importance to Orthodox doctrine and practice, cannot have two entirely different stories associated with it, when there is liturgical commemoration involved. It has to be one or the other. And the Church does not associate its creation with a woman and her veil.

Lex orandi, lex credendi.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
TheTrisagion said:
I never said they didn't. I said I don't think the distinction between writing and painting as it pertains to iconography matters.
OK, but you don't paint novels and you don't write pictures.  "Writing icons" sounds like something someone came up with to make Orthodoxy sound esoteric and cool.  Sure, you might understand what the user is getting at, but it doesn't make it any less silly.
This is interesting, as I once commented on how well an icon was painted, at which point I was very quickly corrected by my priest, who said they are not painted, but written.

PP
 

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LBK said:
Iconodule said:
This thread is about Western Christian practice and patrimony, with the assumption that the Christian West was orthodox and is orthodox in its WRO expression. You say that Veronica is not connected to the mandylion in Orthodox tradition. I point out that you are confusing Orthodox with Byzantine, since the western tradition does have this legend. You then try to argue with me by citing Byzantine liturgical texts and hagiography. Hence you prove my point.
The creation of the Mandylion, an event of inestimable importance to Orthodox doctrine and practice, cannot have two entirely different stories associated with it, when there is liturgical commemoration involved. It has to be one or the other.
Or perhaps there are two separate images. There are contradictory accounts in the gospels of other, far more important events; the Church has not considered these contradictions problematic.

Lex orandi, lex credendi.
I cannot find this Latin phrase in the Menaia, Triodion, Pentecostarion, or Synaxarion. Please point it out to me.
 

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primuspilus said:
Mor Ephrem said:
TheTrisagion said:
I never said they didn't. I said I don't think the distinction between writing and painting as it pertains to iconography matters.
OK, but you don't paint novels and you don't write pictures.  "Writing icons" sounds like something someone came up with to make Orthodoxy sound esoteric and cool.  Sure, you might understand what the user is getting at, but it doesn't make it any less silly.
This is interesting, as I once commented on how well an icon was painted, at which point I was very quickly corrected by my priest, who said they are not painted, but written.

PP

All that means is that a ;mistranslation/make it sound cool in english', has become so pervasive that it is now accepted. 

Just because a Priest uses it, doesn't automagically make it correct. and if it did....there would be far fewer threads here asking why 'my parish does this -wrong'......
;)

 

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My contributions to OC.net are not "posts", they are woodcuts made of pixels.
 

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Iconodule said:
LBK said:
Iconodule said:
This thread is about Western Christian practice and patrimony, with the assumption that the Christian West was orthodox and is orthodox in its WRO expression. You say that Veronica is not connected to the mandylion in Orthodox tradition. I point out that you are confusing Orthodox with Byzantine, since the western tradition does have this legend. You then try to argue with me by citing Byzantine liturgical texts and hagiography. Hence you prove my point.
The creation of the Mandylion, an event of inestimable importance to Orthodox doctrine and practice, cannot have two entirely different stories associated with it, when there is liturgical commemoration involved. It has to be one or the other.
Or perhaps there are two separate images. There are contradictory accounts in the gospels of other, far more important events; the Church has not considered these contradictions problematic.
Are you suggesting Christ made two images of Himself? Sounds like straw-clutching to me.

Then there's the problem of St Veronica. The feast I linked to dates from no later than the seventh century, (the lifetime of the hymnographer who wrote the matins canon). The complete lack of mention of a woman, even unnamed, who gave her veil to Christ onto which He made the miraculous image, cannot be accidental. By contrast, early writings, much earlier than the seventh century, identify the woman with the issue of blood as Veronica.

Roman Catholic sources point to the western Veronica story dating from about the 14th century, long after the Great Schism.

I cannot find this Latin phrase in the Menaia, Triodion, Pentecostarion, or Synaxarion. Please point it out to me.
Here it is in English: We pray what we believe, we believe what we pray.

These posts are also instructive:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,66885.msg1353478.html#msg1353478

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,50011.msg929773.html#msg929773
 
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