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Western rite and the Flow of history

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https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/nootherfoundation/the-western-rite-and-the-flow-of-history/

What is everyone view of this article?
 

WPM

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Yes, there can some historical churches.

Although I was chrismated in a Western Rite church it didn't not prevent me from going all over to visit Eastern Byzantine and some Catholic churches.
 

PorphyriosK

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Personally I thought it was a great article that asks much needed questions.  Thanks for posting.

 

noahzarc1

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Very well written article and he asked and attempted to answer some very difficult questions I think a lot of inquirers to Orthodoxy, especially the western rite, ask as they look out over the landscape of the development of this rite. It is true, the western liturgical development belongs distinctly to Rome. No one can just start a Western Rite Church in the Antiochan tradition. If I am not mistaken, the only way a Western Rite can enter in and remain Western, is for the entire congregation to come in together. I believe this was the case with Peter Gilchrist and his Church and was similarly the same for St. Patrick's Western Rite in VA and many others around the country. This I believe is the same for the Eastern Rites of the Roman Catholic Church, i.e. one cannot just start a Ukrainian or some other Eastern Rite. It required the entire church of that tradition to come into communion with Rome in order to keep their eastern practices.

No doubt, his many analogies are well considered, i.e. the Baptist who walked into a Baptist church and saw the rosary and realized they were not in a baptist church in reality. When carefully considering the Western Rite, someone formed in the west may quickly realize the western rite Eastern Orthodox were doing everything Roman Catholics do in praxis while also seeing some distinctly eastern traditions placed round about. An easterner who experiences the western rite, may wonder whether what they are experiencing is Orthodox or not? I assume that is what he meant by his analogy with the Baptist. He seems to conclude that point at the end of the article with an honest question and answer - i.e. Eastern Orthodox must consider those practicing in the Western Rite as Orthodox. What then should Orthodox conclude about those practicing the same Western Rite under Rome?

As a side note, the Eastern Rites of the Roman Catholic Church are not required to and do not practice the feast of Corpus Christi. They are considered to be Catholic without the feast. The Western Rite of the Eastern Orthodox do celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi and as the author noted, should still be considered to be Orthodox. We are living over 1,000 years post schism and there really is very little that divides East and West.
 

WPM

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noahzarc1 said:
He seems to conclude that point at the end of the article with an honest question and answer - i.e. Eastern Orthodox must consider those practicing in the Western Rite as Orthodox. What then should Orthodox conclude about those practicing the same Western Rite under Rome?
Western Rite is also 'Catholic' and can have varying opinion about the Church of Rome.
 

Katechon

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I think the proponents of the Western Rite really think that post-schism western pieties are somehow closer to pre-schism western pieties than the Byzantine Rite.

Well, a visit to a 7th century western romanesque church proves the contrary: these places feel and look like Byzantine churches. Hence the Western Rite is only really existent in places where there are no traces of the undivided church, eg the US. In conclusion it's pretty much just an attempt to frame post-schism Western christianity as somehow Orthodox
 

WPM

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Katechon said:
In conclusion it's pretty much just an attempt to frame post-schism Western christianity as somehow Orthodox
That's what I've been working on.
 

platypus

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I think the Anti-Gnostic's comments in Ecclesia is Downstream from Culture are relevant here.

The first time I went to a service at an Orthodox parish other than the one I was chrismated at, I was surprised by how different it was. My parish had a low lattice iconostasis with a curtain for the door; the other one had a complete wall the put the altar into a different room than the worshippers. In my parish the people worshipped standing; in the other people worshipped seated. In my parish of English-speaking Americans the liturgy was in English; in the other parish of English-speaking Americans the liturgy was in Greek. In my parish the women's heads were uncovered; in the other parish the women wore veils. The style of chant was different, the atmosphere was different, the way the icons looked was different.

I don't think the fact that we both used the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom created the unity that Fr. Lawrence seems to be suggesting it does.

I also like my cultural heritage as a Celt, and I hate to think that our beautiful way of worship should die out. The Anglicans and the Catholics aren't going to preserve the best of the western rite, and even if they did, they're not Orthodox. If we can steal a bunch of holiday traditions from the pagans, is it such a stretch to steal some liturgical traditions from the West?
 

RaphaCam

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Ironically, there's nothing as particularly Western as bringing up concepts like "the flow of history" or "historically genuine" (although of course these ideas are more or less universal now that most of the civilised world has been westernised to some extent). Which Father lets go when conceiving "if one entered a church in England in 1400 (...)" Well, I agree with Father that "genuine liturgy arises from the accumulated experience of a living church with a continuous life behind it", but given precisely that, what to do now that there has been more than a century of continuous Western rite Orthodox experience? Turn them Eastern? Make them stop ordaining priests and doing missions and just hope that they die off? I'm sure Father doesn't want any of that, but it still begs the question of where he (and other critics) wants to get at now that we aren't in Abbot Vladimir's or St. Tikhon's times anymore...

Also, I think criticism over slight Byzantinisation (which comes from the idea of "historical genuinity") and over unity are not very coherent as put together.

Hawkeye said:
I have no particular stake in the matter, but Father Lawrence's thoughts sound about where I'd land.
I thought you'd have stronger oppositions.
 

MalpanaGiwargis

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noahzarc1 said:
As a side note, the Eastern Rites of the Roman Catholic Church are not required to and do not practice the feast of Corpus Christi. They are considered to be Catholic without the feast. The Western Rite of the Eastern Orthodox do celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi and as the author noted, should still be considered to be Orthodox. We are living over 1,000 years post schism and there really is very little that divides East and West.
They may not be required to, but many Melkites and Ukrainian Greek Catholics do celebrate Corpus Christi. It's on the calendar of the Eparchy of Mukachevo as the Feast of the Holy Eucharist.
 

Hawkeye

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RaphaCam said:
Hawkeye said:
I have no particular stake in the matter, but Father Lawrence's thoughts sound about where I'd land.
I thought you'd have stronger oppositions.
Well, I've grown rather self-conscious in my posting habits and have always been much too conciliatory to be as honest around these parts as perhaps I ought.

I have no love for the idea of the Western Rite, inasmuch as it seems a foreign thing adopted nearly wholesale and then gussied up in Byzantine trappings to justify it. Whatever it means for liturgical development to be 'organic,' it seems particularly inorganic here; almost like something imposed.

And yet, I am sympathetic to the concerns of, if you will, 'Western Ritualists.' For those seeking to enter the Orthodox Church and those desiring to remain as they are, I understand well enough from my own experience the tension between fidelity to the Lord and the love for one's own inheritance. To those who have consciously immersed themselves fully into the life of their Church, it can be a difficult undertaking to untangle oneself even from those elements which seem to be, from the outside, unnecessary. For some - perhaps even for myself - it may be too great a burden.
 

Eamonomae

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If I may post my non-qualified thoughts,

Eh.

While I personally have some own gripes with the Western Rite - for example, I am not a fan of how there are Two Epikleses in the Mass, nor do I buy the idea that "this is the ticket that will convert everyone to Orthodoxy" - I think some of the assumptions and opinions that Father Lawrence posits are not really founded.

He paints this picture that there exists three periods of the Church - one in which there is extreme liturgical diversity, one in which there exist two great liturgical traditions, Byzantium and Rome, and then one in which there is a single liturgical tradition, where liturgy is intimately tied to ecclesial identity.

But this is simply not true.

Not only does this neglect the non-Chalcedonian (which are wildly different from each other and the Chalcedonian liturgical traditions) and the non-Ephesian liturgical traditions, and not only does it also neglects the pretty significant historical schisms which led to significant variation within the Byzantine traditions, but the idea of the liturgy being tied to ecclesial identity today is also not true at all, which I will get into below.

The Uniatism of the Ukrainian and Ruthenian Catholic Churches led to significant Latinization of their liturgical rites at a level, that even with the removal of explicit Latinization (lace, Rosaries, kneeling, etc.), has led to some permanent influence in those traditions in terms of symbols, candles, architecture, art, and chant. The Old Believers schism has such a weird variation of the Byzantine Rite, at least what we are used to. And the Oriental Rites have stuck around as well, with their own ideas.

And yet, with all of the above, the Orthodox Church has adopted with very little question. There exists an entire diocese of Ruthenians (Carpatho-Russian) which are canonically Orthodox, with very little change required, ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarch have allowed the Old Rite to exist canonically, and the Orthodox Church has allowed Oriental Orthodox liturgical traditions to influence their own Church. For instance, there's a very legitimate argument to be made that the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy has origins with Severus of Antioch and not Saint Gregory the Great, and even in Georgia today, there exists a prominent Georgian Orthodox Priest by the name of Father Seraphim who chants in Aramaic / Syriac.

With these additions, there's very little question about the historicity or legitimacy of such practices. How is it that the Ecumenical Patriarch is allowed to rule over a Uniate liturgical tradition with very little question? These are liturgical traditions that have been disconnected from the Orthodox Church for hundreds of years. Same with the Old Russian Rite. Same with any Oriental Orthodox influences. Are not the interpositions of these traditions completely inorganic and non-genuine, considering they existed outside the Body of Christ?

So this begs the question - if we are allowed to adopt liturgical traditions which have been disconnected for hundreds of years into the Orthodox Church, why are we not allowed suddenly when it comes to one that visually looks different than what people are used to?

Father Lawrence makes the argument that the Council of Trent made radical changes to the Roman Mass. Yet, look at any older missal, and you will be shocked at how substantively similar it is. Look at the Sarum Missal for example, or look at a Missal from the 800s.

Moreover, I think Father Lawrence really, really underestimates how much the Byzantine Rite has changed in the liturgical context. I think most Orthodox would be shocked if they read Pope Saint Damasus's letter to the Gallican Bishops, where he rebukes them for looking really drastically visually different from the laity, claiming that the Bishops should be more distinguished by their wisdom and knowledge than by their dress. He should read the history of how the Priest's vestments developed from an almost ordinary outfit of the Roman Empire to today, or how the different coloring of vestments was a post-schism Western novelty, etc. etc. etc.

My final point will be an obvious one - how untrue liturgical rite is tied to ecclesiology. The Ukrainian and Ruthenian Catholics certainly don't think that way (and neither do the Carpatho-Russian), neither do the Melkites, or any of the Eastern Catholics outside the Maronites. Neither does the Anglican Ordinariate. Neither does the Old Rite in communion with the Orthodox Church.
 

Eamonomae

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Sorry, Pope Saint Celestine, not Damasus.

I also forgot the Liturgy of Saint James which has been introduced into the Orthodox Church with little question; a Liturgy which fell into complete disuse in the Orthodox Church, but was suddenly resurrected by not insignificant practitioners, like the Patriarch of Jerusalem, probably at the behesting of the fact that the Orientals still use it.
 

hecma925

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What we need is a Mid-Western Rite to really bridge the gap.
 

Eamonomae

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hecma925 said:
What we need is a Mid-Western Rite to really bridge the gap.
That already exists in the form of the Liturgy of Saint Germanus, which was established in part due to Saint John Maximovitch.

"Liturgy of Saint Germanus of Paris explained"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wWgkq5TNyE
 

hecma925

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Eamonomae said:
hecma925 said:
What we need is a Mid-Western Rite to really bridge the gap.
That already exists in the form of the Liturgy of Saint Germanus, which was established in part due to Saint John Maximovitch.

"Liturgy of Saint Germanus of Paris explained"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wWgkq5TNyE
Doesn't float anyone's boat in the Wisconsin or Missouri synod.
 

RaphaCam

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Eamonomae said:
He paints this picture that there exists three periods of the Church - one in which there is extreme liturgical diversity, one in which there exist two great liturgical traditions, Byzantium and Rome, and then one in which there is a single liturgical tradition, where liturgy is intimately tied to ecclesial identity.

But this is simply not true.

Not only does this neglect the non-Chalcedonian (which are wildly different from each other and the Chalcedonian liturgical traditions) and the non-Ephesian liturgical traditions, and not only does it also neglects the pretty significant historical schisms which led to significant variation within the Byzantine traditions, but the idea of the liturgy being tied to ecclesial identity today is also not true at all, which I will get into below.
Also, rites nowadays respectively associated to non-Chalcedonians and Catholics were practiced looooong after the respective schisms.
 
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