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Western Rite in pictures: what I mean

Serge

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Western Rite Orthodoxy.

Not this:



This is for Roman Catholics. Post-schism Roman devotions? It wouldn't make sense for you to adopt them.

Or this:



What I call the "Woo hoo! We're Orthodox!" look. Byzantine icons set up this way in a formerly high-Episcopal sanctuary look tacked-on; an affectation, like statues in a Byzantine Catholic church. Rather, the key, the challenge, is you don't have to copy the Byzantine Rite to show you're Orthodox. The point that John of Shanghai and San Francisco was trying to make.

Maybe this:



Classic high-Episcopal; their take on 19th-century Roman Catholicism. I love this look but ROCOR's right: it's not right for them. The Antiochians are fine with it.

Something more like this:



Which is Catholic but you get the idea. Just one Mass per altar per Sunday, one altar per church, a Gregorian-chanted High Mass (so there's incense). Benedictine abbeys (which is what this is, like the one you have in Germany). I can see nixing the six altar candles for two as ROCOR calls for, but yes.



Dirigatur, Domine, oratio mea sicut incensum in conspectu tuo...

Add Romanesque murals if you like. Imagine more of this on the walls:



Distinct from post-schism Rome but from the same culture. The Orthodox ethos (which some would say the high-Episcopal Mass I like doesn't have as much) and all Western.

On that note: "Mass," not "Divine Liturgy." If one believes Orthodoxy can be fully Western, no need to rename things. "The Roman Mass" and "the Roman Missal," not "the Divine Liturgy of St. Gregory"; the one approved by Antioch, for example, in both Latin (the liturgical language of the pre-schism West) and vernacular versions. Calling it that wouldn't mean you're Roman Catholic any more than calling pre-schism Pope saints "Pope of Rome," as the Orthodox do. The "venerable liturgy" older than Rome's heresies, according to John of Shanghai and San Francisco.

The blessing of the Lord.
 

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1. Alpha60 already explained why "Mass" is theologically kind of a crappy word to use in the first place.

2. Icons for a sanctuary aren't too cheap AFAICT. How do you know the Byzantine icons aren't just because of lack of availability or ignorance of the Romanesque alternative rather than slavish imitation of the Eastern Rite?

And of course the ones in your pic are going to look tacked on. It's a room that wasn't designed for them in the first place.
 

Alpo

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The young fogey said:
How is that wrong and Monreale Cathedral is right?



How are Byzantine icons wrong and Black Madonna of Częstochowa is right?

 

Serge

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Interesting point, Alpo. It's hard to explain. The photo that you pointed out shows affectation. Sicilians and Poles aren't trying to be something else, with clerical beards, rassos, chotki, crossing themselves right to left, Byzantine thuribles, "matushkas/khourias," etc. Those are good, but they don't belong in something billed as Western. The Antiochian and ROCOR bishops should tell those priests to cut it out.
 

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Alpo said:
How is that wrong and Monreale Cathedral is right?

How are Byzantine icons wrong and Black Madonna of Częstochowa is right?
+1

The OP is the manifesto of the Western Rite according to Young Fogey, which he hopes to be known in the near future as the Foggy Rite.
 

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The young fogey said:
Western Rite Orthodoxy.

Or this:



What I call the "Woo hoo! We're Orthodox!" look. Byzantine icons set up this way in a formerly high-Episcopal sanctuary look tacked-on; an affectation, like statues in a Byzantine Catholic church. Rather, the key, the challenge, is you don't have to copy the Byzantine Rite to show you're Orthodox. The point that John of Shanghai and San Francisco was trying to make.
You are nitpicking the icons for no good reason.  The vocational candles, the altar rail, and most of what is shown in this picture is quite Western.

[quote author=The young fogey]
Something more like this:



Which is Catholic but you get the idea. Just one Mass per altar per Sunday, one altar per church, a Gregorian-chanted High Mass (so there's incense). Benedictine abbeys (which is what this is, like the one you have in Germany). I can see nixing the six altar candles for two as ROCOR calls for, but yes.
[/quote]
Flying Jesus with no cross?  Really?
 

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Volnutt said:
1. Alpha60 already explained why "Mass" is theologically kind of a crappy word to use in the first place.
If it was good for St. Gregory the Great/Dialogist to call the Roman liturgy "mass", it should be good for you too.
 

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The point is you can be Orthodox with no byzantinizations.

In the picture of Barroux Abbey in France, that is a crucifix; look carefully to see the cross. It's a medieval form you don't see much with Christ clothed, like a king with the cross as his throne.

If it was good for St. Gregory the Great/Dialogist to call the Roman liturgy "mass", it should be good for you too.
+1.
 

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The young fogey said:
The point is you can be Orthodox with no byzantinizations.
But I'm afraid that you demand zero hints of Byzantine art, as if it's never been part of the Western Church iconography.  Can't you allow for a couple of icons in a church where one squinting the eyes would think of it as Episcopalian, Lutheran or Catholic?

[quote author=The young fogey]In the picture of Barroux Abbey in France, that is a crucifix; look carefully to see the cross. It's a medieval form you don't see much with Christ clothed, like a king with the cross as his throne.
[/quote]
Ah, yes!  The cross is almost the same color as the wall in the background.  Actually, I love Christ the King on the Holy Cross!
 

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The classic High-Episcopal look (if that's what you call it: Tridentine is what I think of anyway) is easily my favorite western look. (Not a fan of any of the other images you picked quite frankly, except for the last one). Maybe mix that with painted but not emotionalistic statuary and/or excellent iconography (murals, please, not individual random icons placed on the walls), Byzantine or Romanesque or even Pre-Romanesque, and excellent traditional chant: perfection. But even as it is, I like it; though yes, the post-schim stuff would have to go.
 

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But I'm afraid that you demand zero hints of Byzantine art, as if it's never been part of the Western Church iconography.  Can't you allow for a couple of icons in a church where one squinting the eyes would think of it as Episcopalian, Lutheran or Catholic?
Ideally, no Byzantine art in these churches. Similar Western art as the original post shows. You want to disabuse people of the notion that they have to Byzantine it up to prove they're Orthodox.

But I'd allow something like in my home. Almost everything religious (and it's not too much) is Latin Catholic or High Anglican (there is a lot of overlap with those: some Latin Catholic pictures and statues, but the old Book of Common Prayer only for its psalms and canticles) except one corner, which is all Russian Orthodox (those are the only prayers I use there: my morning prayer rule*, including prostrations); icons. Not much different from a church with an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. So I can see a Western Rite church with a Byzantine shrine in a corner, not icons all over the walls and certainly not in the sanctuary.

Yes, classic  high-Episcopal is a variant of Tridentine; this example, from St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church in New York City, is much as you describe, thenerdpaul, with non-emotionalistic (if I understand you rightly) statues on the reredos, for example. Excellent taste.

*Three prostrations. "Heavenly King" and the usual trisagion prayers. Troparion from the daily cycle. A psalm. The canticle of Our Lady (Magnificat) with the Byzantine verse between lines as at Matins (per the Jordanville prayer book). "Glory to God in the highest" and the prayers from Matins after that ("...Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day," etc.). The prayer of the Optina Elders (so in a way the post-schism Russian Orthodox get a nod; anyway it's a good prayer). Sometimes it's in English. Sometimes it's in Slavonic.
 

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Sharbel said:
Volnutt said:
1. Alpha60 already explained why "Mass" is theologically kind of a crappy word to use in the first place.
If it was good for St. Gregory the Great/Dialogist to call the Roman liturgy "mass", it should be good for you too.
I agree. If we're going to get bent out of shape over the word "mass" then we're really not respecting the Western tradition as much as we claim.
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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The point that the Church is making is that the devotions have to be in the spirit of Orthodoxy to be allowed. The reason why Western Churches use Byzantine style iconography is because the Western Church used to use similar iconography before the Renaissance and before the Gothic artwork. Allowing Western Orthodox to use Western Catholic devotions and rites would defeat the purpose of having a distinctly Orthodox expression of the Western Roman Rite.

I have no problem calling the Divine Liturgy "Holy Mass" although I prefer the latter to describe the Eastern rite and the former for the Western.
 

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The young fogey said:
Yes, classic  high-Episcopal is a variant of Tridentine; this example, from St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church in New York City, is much as you describe, thenerdpaul, with non-emotionalistic (if I understand you rightly) statues on the reredos, for example. Excellent taste.
Exactly. And I'm glad you think so.  :D
 

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Thanks for a good conversation including finding the SSPX photo of Latin Catholics using icons. Their heart is in the right place, just like Western Rite Orthodox affecting or being ordered to adopt Byzantine Rite practices (the Antiochian metropolitan in America has ordered people in the Western rites to cross themselves right to left, for example), and Byzantine Catholics affecting Latin Rite ones, none of which is heretical, but my point applies to Latin Catholics too.

In the scenario I imagine for Western Rite Orthodox, they and Catholic churches such as the early medieval-style abbey I showed would look and sound almost exactly alike, the differences being theological, matters you consider essential to the true faith, not liturgical or artistic, including details such as the filioque, and, as I wrote earlier, some things arguably Byzantinisms but not obvious in look or sound, such as only High and Sung Masses, not Low, and only one altar in a church with only one Mass per day on it, symbolizing the church's unity. A concession to Orthodox sensibilities, symbolism that means much to the Orthodox, that might not come across as insecurity or mimicry.

The SSPX picture brings up a point worth discussing: when, if ever, does such borrowing show the unity of the faith across rites and when does it show the dominance of one rite at others' expense?

Gospel book in Cyrillic?
"This new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have so loved you." A favorite quotation in the Byzantine Rite.
 

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The young fogey said:
(the Antiochian metropolitan in America has ordered people in the Western rites to cross themselves right to left, for example)
At least until the 13th century, that's the way that Catholics crossed themselves, according to Pope Innocent III.

[quote author=The young fogey]
"This new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have so loved you." A favorite quotation in the Byzantine Rite.
[/quote]
+1
 

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At least until the 13th century, that's the way that Catholics crossed themselves, according to Pope Innocent III.
Okay, but interestingly the Oriental Orthodox do it left to right, which suggests antiquity.

A thought as I was at Mass today, my Sung Mass. It uses plainchaint. The Western Rite Orthodox Mass I'm thinking of would sound exactly the same, even with the same propers. The only difference would be no filioque. It would look different as I illustrated but still all Western. It would have that subtle difference that Dominika mentioned, correctly, elsewhere regarding Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches; you can often tell which is which. This would get that across without imitating Byzantium.
 

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The young fogey said:
Interesting point, Alpo. It's hard to explain. The photo that you pointed out shows affectation. Sicilians and Poles aren't trying to be something else, with clerical beards, rassos, chotki, crossing themselves right to left, Byzantine thuribles, "matushkas/khourias," etc. Those are good, but they don't belong in something billed as Western. The Antiochian and ROCOR bishops should tell those priests to cut it out.
In a pig's eye!

Both Sicilly and Poland contain Byzantine Rite Catholic communities.  The Italo Albanian Greek Catholics of Sicilly aren't even a Sui Juris church of their own but are relatively integrated into the local hierarchy, which is why Latin Rite bishops en masse attend their episcopal ordinations (I will provide the YouTube link if need be).

At any rate, we can say that Sicilly and Poland, like Venice or Trieste in more ancient times, straddle the cultural boundary between Greek and Latin, East and West, Byzantine and Frankish.  Both cultures are Roman, and in the spirit of that, the sharp aesthetic contrast that would have historically separerated Antwerp from Moscow is obliterated; we are in a realm of cultural interface, a boundary world of perpetual liturgical twilight from the setting suns of Charlemagne and Justinian, where Western parishes can wind up with Byzantine iconography and conversely, Byzantine parishes, in both the Italo-Albanian and Ruthenian Catholic traditions, wind up looking pretty well Westernized compared to the extremes you might find in Mount Athos or St. Catharine's Monastery in Sinai.
 

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Alpha60 said:
The young fogey said:
Interesting point, Alpo. It's hard to explain. The photo that you pointed out shows affectation. Sicilians and Poles aren't trying to be something else, with clerical beards, rassos, chotki, crossing themselves right to left, Byzantine thuribles, "matushkas/khourias," etc. Those are good, but they don't belong in something billed as Western. The Antiochian and ROCOR bishops should tell those priests to cut it out.
In a pig's eye!

Both Sicilly and Poland contain Byzantine Rite Catholic communities.  The Italo Albanian Greek Catholics of Sicilly aren't even a Sui Juris church of their own but are relatively integrated into the local hierarchy, which is why Latin Rite bishops en masse attend their episcopal ordinations (I will provide the YouTube link if need be).

At any rate, we can say that Sicilly and Poland, like Venice or Trieste in more ancient times, straddle the cultural boundary between Greek and Latin, East and West, Byzantine and Frankish.  Both cultures are Roman, and in the spirit of that, the sharp aesthetic contrast that would have historically separerated Antwerp from Moscow is obliterated; we are in a realm of cultural interface, a boundary world of perpetual liturgical twilight from the setting suns of Charlemagne and Justinian, where Western parishes can wind up with Byzantine iconography and conversely, Byzantine parishes, in both the Italo-Albanian and Ruthenian Catholic traditions, wind up looking pretty well Westernized compared to the extremes you might find in Mount Athos or St. Catharine's Monastery in Sinai.
The Italian-Albanians have an Eparchy in Sicily and another in Calabria, along with the Abbey of Grottaferrata they are a sui iuris church.  Not long ago they had an inter-eparchial council.
 

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Those rood screens present in some old anglican churches are quite nice to have in a WR parish in my humble opinion.
 

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juliogb said:
Those rood screens present in some old Anglican churches are quite nice to have in a WR parish in my humble opinion.
+1. A good option. All Western and distinct from most Roman Catholic churches.

Moving along, this is nice. The byzantinisms don't seem tacked-on but they're still wrong.
 

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juliogb said:


Those rood screens present in some old anglican churches are quite nice to have in a WR parish in my humble opinion.
+1
 

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Sharbel said:
juliogb said:


Those rood screens present in some old anglican churches are quite nice to have in a WR parish in my humble opinion.
+1
I wonder if rood screens in anglican churches are some sort of early iconostasis that remained in the british islands.
 

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juliogb said:
I wonder if rood screens in anglican churches are some sort of early iconostasis that remained in the british islands.
Rood screens and iconostasis both share their origins from early altar rails, which the Council of Trent restored in lieu of the screens, until they were stripped altogether by VII.  Still, the ultimate source is the curtain before the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon.
 

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Sharbel said:
juliogb said:
I wonder if rood screens in anglican churches are some sort of early iconostasis that remained in the british islands.
Rood screens and iconostasis both share their origins from early altar rails, which the Council of Trent restored in lieu of the screens, until they were stripped altogether by VII.  Still, the ultimate source is the curtain before the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon.
I've been told that it's the other way around i.e. altar rails are remnant of rood screens. Can't pinpoint any source though. Anyway, I don't think rood screen and iconostasis are exactly comparable as their location within the church is a bit different. I don't remember terms for Western church structure anymore but using Eastern terms behind the iconostasis there is only the altar but behind the rood screen would be both the solea and the altar.
 

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As long as the rood screen doesn't actually become an iconostasis, which Western churches never had, fine.

The history posted here about the rood screen and the altar rail seems about right; I've read that the rail dates from the Counter-Reformation when many Latin Catholic churches took down the screens. Trent didn't ban the screens. They went because of changing tastes in the West and an idea to bring the Mass closer to the people, albeit not as offensive as the modern congregation standing around the altar. They sometimes remained, stripped of statues, in Anglican churches; more of those put them back and/or put statues back on them starting in the 1800s. Still, because it's practical, as Latin Catholics and their Western Rite Orthodox analogues would kneel for Communion, I've imagined the latter having the rail; many do. Vatican II didn't ban the rail; maybe some (many) dioceses did afterwards. The council and other documents from the period often start by rhetorically praising an old practice, then make it optional, which its opponents took to be a green light to effectively abolish it: so went Latin, Gregorian chant, "eastward" celebration, kneeling for Communion in the Roman Rite, and fish on Friday (which I do), for example. My parish church, built around the turn of the last century, kept its rail and about 15 years ago started using it again at all Masses.
 

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The young fogey said:
... My parish church, built around the turn of the last century, kept its rail and about 15 years ago started using it again at all Masses.
I always thought that if the congregation knelt along the rail to receive Holy Communion the dreadful EMHCs wouldn't be necessary, especially if a deacon would help from the other end from the priest.  Is this the case in your parish?
 

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Sharbel said:
The young fogey said:
... My parish church, built around the turn of the last century, kept its rail and about 15 years ago started using it again at all Masses.
I always thought that if the congregation knelt along the rail to receive Holy Communion the dreadful EMHCs wouldn't be necessary, especially if a deacon would help from the other end from the priest.  Is this the case in your parish?
Almost. At the Novus Ordo Masses a lay brother in the order that runs the parish helps the priest. Not quite the same as the dreaded, misused Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (real meaning: let's try to soft-sell women's ordination).
 

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The young fogey said:
As long as the rood screen doesn't actually become an iconostasis, which Western churches never had, fine.

The history posted here about the rood screen and the altar rail seems about right; I've read that the rail dates from the Counter-Reformation when many Latin Catholic churches took down the screens. Trent didn't ban the screens. They went because of changing tastes in the West and an idea to bring the Mass closer to the people, albeit not as offensive as the modern congregation standing around the altar. They sometimes remained, stripped of statues, in Anglican churches; more of those put them back and/or put statues back on them starting in the 1800s. Still, because it's practical, as Latin Catholics and their Western Rite Orthodox analogues would kneel for Communion, I've imagined the latter having the rail; many do. Vatican II didn't ban the rail; maybe some (many) dioceses did afterwards. The council and other documents from the period often start by rhetorically praising an old practice, then make it optional, which its opponents took to be a green light to effectively abolish it: so went Latin, Gregorian chant, "eastward" celebration, kneeling for Communion in the Roman Rite, and fish on Friday (which I do), for example. My parish church, built around the turn of the last century, kept its rail and about 15 years ago started using it again at all Masses.
One of the otherwise most spirit-of-the-council churches I've attended kept not only its rail but side altars as well.
 

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Sharbel said:
juliogb said:
I wonder if rood screens in anglican churches are some sort of early iconostasis that remained in the british islands.
Rood screens and iconostasis both share their origins from early altar rails, which the Council of Trent restored in lieu of the screens, until they were stripped altogether by VII.  Still, the ultimate source is the curtain before the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon.
Not altar rails, but the "templon," which was somewhat similiar, like an iconostasis, but more open.  New Skete Monastery (which I have criticized in the past, but I give credit where credit is due) has done a good job with their altar, which approximates the templon of the Hagia Sophia (although its still a bit bizarre; EO parishes use either the monastic Sabaite Typikon or the Violakis recension of it, whereas New Skete Monastery has, more than anyone else, reimplemented aspects of the non-monastic Cathedral Typikon).
 

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Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Italy, a roman catholic church/greek melkite parish.
 

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Some nice pictures of Saint Maria Antiqua in Rome, a church with lots of Byzantine frescoes from the 6th to 9th century: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2017/10/santa-maria-antiqua-in-roman-forum.html
 

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Thanks for the information on the templon.

juliogb said:



Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Italy, a roman catholic church/greek melkite parish.
Wonderful! Imagine that without the Byzantine furnishings the Melkites are using here and you'd have an example of what I'm proposing.
 

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Iconodule said:
Some nice pictures of Saint Maria Antiqua in Rome, a church with lots of Byzantine frescoes from the 6th to 9th century: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2017/10/santa-maria-antiqua-in-roman-forum.html
Western Rite Orthodoxy: Byzantinizing Roman Catholic Churches for Fifteen Centuries.  ;)

The mere existence of Saint Maria Antiqua in my mind renders this entire line of argumentation from the young fogey quite moot, in that basically, the oldest undisturned, unmodified, unaltered and unrefurbished church in Rome turns out to look like an Eastern Orthodox church.  Really, from those photos of the interior, if someone told me I was looking at the ruins of a Byzantine Rite church from Greece or the Levant, I would believe them.  Only the photographs of the exterior, showing the unmistakable features of the Roman Forum, provide a sense of place.

This I think is worth dwelling on: there is already so much Byzantine art in the Western Church, in Venice, in Ravenna, in Rome, and many other places, and then we find in Rome a completely undisturned Roman church historically under the Roman bishop, of which history records no evidence of it being any kind of Metochion or preserve of visiting Greeks, and it looks almost exactly like an Eastern Orthodox Church, even of today.

Western Rite Orthodoxy should be, among other things, about recovering lost and suppressed examples of the Light of the East in the Western Church, and one way to do that is to follow the examples of the ancient Romans and decorate Western Rite churches not with statues or the works of Carvaggio or Michaelangelo, but with Byzantine iconography, wall to wall, floor to ceiling.  The only visible differences should be the specific configuration of the altar and the vesture of the clergy.
 

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The young fogey said:
Thanks for the information on the templon.

juliogb said:



Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Italy, a roman catholic church/greek melkite parish.
Wonderful! Imagine that without the Byzantine furnishings the Melkites are using here and you'd have an example of what I'm proposing.
That makes no sense, because the Apse is decorated with Byzantine artwork.  With the Melkite furnishings, you're simply seeing the ancient church furnished in a manner consistent with how it was likely furnished when built.
 
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