• A blessed Nativity / Theophany season to all! For users new and old: the forum rules were streamlined when we transitioned to the new software. Please ensure that you are familiar with them. Continued use of the forum means that you (a) know the rules, and (b) pledge that you'll abide by them. For more information, check out the OrthodoxChristianity.Net Rules section. (There are only 2 threads there - Rules, and Administrative Structure.)

Western Rite in pictures: what I mean

Volnutt

Hoplitarches
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
15,089
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Age
34
Something, something, "but those weren't intended for liturgy!"...
 

Porter ODoran

Toumarches
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
12,135
Reaction score
1
Points
38
Age
48
Location
Eugene, OR
LivenotoneviL said:
Alpha60 said:
The young fogey said:
Volnutt said:
Other than the statues, I'd guess.
If you really don't have to be Eastern to be Orthodox, the question's moot.
You don't have to be Eastern to be Orthodox, but at the same time you must renounce the deviations of the Roman Church from Orthodoxy since the schism.  Realistic statuary of the Renaissance School is completely inappropriate.

What St. John of Shanghai did not say was "You don't have to give up artwork that the ancient Church interpreted as pagan in order to be Orthodox."  The works of sculpture used in the Roman state religion, while exquisite, have no place in the Orthodox Church, and neither does their style. 
Just to play Satan's advocate,



Sculpture of Christ the Good Shepherd from 3rd Century, Roman / Asia Minor



Sculpture of Jonah being spat out from the 3rd Century, Roman / Asia Minor



4th Century Sculpture of Christ the Teacher, Roman
Is your presumption that, of our millions of Christian forbears, none made mistakes? These are plainly works cranked out in the secular style of the day, a la:



Please don't hope seriously to oppose such things to the sober considerations of the Church in due time.
 

Sharbel

OC.Net Guru
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
1,601
Reaction score
3
Points
36
LivenotoneviL said:
Just to play Satan's advocate...
Just keep in mind that such fine statuary could be top shelf versions of this:

 

LivenotoneviL

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Sep 29, 2016
Messages
1,607
Reaction score
3
Points
0
Age
23
Location
United States
Porter ODoran said:
LivenotoneviL said:
Alpha60 said:
The young fogey said:
Volnutt said:
Other than the statues, I'd guess.
If you really don't have to be Eastern to be Orthodox, the question's moot.
You don't have to be Eastern to be Orthodox, but at the same time you must renounce the deviations of the Roman Church from Orthodoxy since the schism.  Realistic statuary of the Renaissance School is completely inappropriate.

What St. John of Shanghai did not say was "You don't have to give up artwork that the ancient Church interpreted as pagan in order to be Orthodox."  The works of sculpture used in the Roman state religion, while exquisite, have no place in the Orthodox Church, and neither does their style. 
Just to play Satan's advocate,



Sculpture of Christ the Good Shepherd from 3rd Century, Roman / Asia Minor



Sculpture of Jonah being spat out from the 3rd Century, Roman / Asia Minor



4th Century Sculpture of Christ the Teacher, Roman
Is your presumption that, of our millions of Christian forbears, none made mistakes? These are plainly works cranked out in the secular style of the day, a la:



Please don't hope seriously to oppose such things to the sober considerations of the Church in due time.
I'll continue playing Devils advocate.

Since when is Christian artwork distinguished from Liturgy? I think a more appropriate comparison is rather than your minimalistic and iconoclastic ornament, Sharbel's statue is a better correlation. How would the rest of the Orthodox world react if a lot of Greek Orthodox had such statues (Charbel's example) in their home

The fact that many a carving and sculpture exists to this day from the 200s AD from both Western and Eastern Rome suggests that they were wide spread in these regions, especially if they were praised by both Eusebius and John Chrysostom.

It seems they were eventually phased out in the East by Byzantine iconography, which would only influence Western art up until the Gothic era.

 

Iconodule

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
16,486
Reaction score
9
Points
38
Age
38
Location
PA, USA
LivenotoneviL said:
May I ask as well when the Orthodox Church in Tradition condemned statues?
Around the year Never AD at the Council of Nowhere.
 

Porter ODoran

Toumarches
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
12,135
Reaction score
1
Points
38
Age
48
Location
Eugene, OR
LivenotoneviL said:
May I ask as well when the Orthodox Church in Tradition condemned statues?
Believe it or not, there are more methods of spiritual paideia than the anathema.
 

LivenotoneviL

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Sep 29, 2016
Messages
1,607
Reaction score
3
Points
0
Age
23
Location
United States
Porter ODoran said:
LivenotoneviL said:
May I ask as well when the Orthodox Church in Tradition condemned statues?
Believe it or not, there are more methods of spiritual paideia than the anathema.
Like? Surely there must have been Saints who talked against it?
 

Sharbel

OC.Net Guru
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
1,601
Reaction score
3
Points
36
Personally, I'm fine with statuary, even in a liturgical setting.  But not the statuary style, or for that matter the pictorial style, that became common in the West in the last half millennium.  Sentimentalism and realism are truly detrimental to worship, yet not as much because they detract but because they add too much noise to the message.
 

Iconodule

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
16,486
Reaction score
9
Points
38
Age
38
Location
PA, USA
LivenotoneviL said:
Porter ODoran said:
LivenotoneviL said:
May I ask as well when the Orthodox Church in Tradition condemned statues?
Believe it or not, there are more methods of spiritual paideia than the anathema.
Like? Surely there must have been Saints who talked against it?
If you’re really interested you can find loads of threads on this question. Don’t be lazy.
 

Volnutt

Hoplitarches
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
15,089
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Age
34
Porter ODoran said:
LivenotoneviL said:
Alpha60 said:
The young fogey said:
Volnutt said:
Other than the statues, I'd guess.
If you really don't have to be Eastern to be Orthodox, the question's moot.
You don't have to be Eastern to be Orthodox, but at the same time you must renounce the deviations of the Roman Church from Orthodoxy since the schism.  Realistic statuary of the Renaissance School is completely inappropriate.

What St. John of Shanghai did not say was "You don't have to give up artwork that the ancient Church interpreted as pagan in order to be Orthodox."  The works of sculpture used in the Roman state religion, while exquisite, have no place in the Orthodox Church, and neither does their style. 
Just to play Satan's advocate,



Sculpture of Christ the Good Shepherd from 3rd Century, Roman / Asia Minor



Sculpture of Jonah being spat out from the 3rd Century, Roman / Asia Minor



4th Century Sculpture of Christ the Teacher, Roman
Is your presumption that, of our millions of Christian forbears, none made mistakes? These are plainly works cranked out in the secular style of the day, a la:



Please don't hope seriously to oppose such things to the sober considerations of the Church in due time.
What's so passionate about the examples he posted (especially compared to similar icons), though? Jonah's facial expression is a lot more flat than mine would be if I were being half-swallowed by a sea monster, I can tell you.
 

Volnutt

Hoplitarches
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
15,089
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Age
34
Sharbel said:
Personally, I'm fine with statuary, even in a liturgical setting.  But not the statuary style, or for that matter the pictorial style, that became common in the West in the last half millennium.  Sentimentalism and realism are truly detrimental to worship, yet not as much because they detract but because they add too much noise to the message.
I get what you mean by sentimentalism (Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa comes to mind), but what does "realism" mean in this context? If you're talking about the tendency for Renaissance artists to use people they or their patrons knew as models for Biblical figures, surely new works made in the same style could avoid that easily enough.
 

Iconodule

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
16,486
Reaction score
9
Points
38
Age
38
Location
PA, USA
The assertion  that iconography shouldn’t be “realistic” is certainly a very strange one to make considering that the whole basis of iconography is a real incarnation.
 

Iconodule

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
16,486
Reaction score
9
Points
38
Age
38
Location
PA, USA
Volnutt said:
Porter ODoran said:
LivenotoneviL said:
Alpha60 said:
The young fogey said:
Volnutt said:
Other than the statues, I'd guess.
If you really don't have to be Eastern to be Orthodox, the question's moot.
You don't have to be Eastern to be Orthodox, but at the same time you must renounce the deviations of the Roman Church from Orthodoxy since the schism.  Realistic statuary of the Renaissance School is completely inappropriate.

What St. John of Shanghai did not say was "You don't have to give up artwork that the ancient Church interpreted as pagan in order to be Orthodox."  The works of sculpture used in the Roman state religion, while exquisite, have no place in the Orthodox Church, and neither does their style. 
Just to play Satan's advocate,



Sculpture of Christ the Good Shepherd from 3rd Century, Roman / Asia Minor



Sculpture of Jonah being spat out from the 3rd Century, Roman / Asia Minor



4th Century Sculpture of Christ the Teacher, Roman
Is your presumption that, of our millions of Christian forbears, none made mistakes? These are plainly works cranked out in the secular style of the day, a la:



Please don't hope seriously to oppose such things to the sober considerations of the Church in due time.
What's so passionate about the examples he posted (especially compared to similar icons), though? Jonah's facial expression is a lot more flat than mine would be if I were being half-swallowed by a sea monster, I can tell you.
Your point reminds me of an episode from Saint Porphyrios’ Wounded By Love where he’s in an art museum and he sees a statue of Zeus. He says the artist has a deep sense of the divine, as he depicts Zeus hurling thunderbolts so dispassionately.

However I suspect these statues, while having Christian themes, were not used in worship. I could be wrong about that. There are however examples of statues clearly used in Orthodox worship, some even being so used today.
 

Volnutt

Hoplitarches
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
15,089
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Age
34
Iconodule said:
Volnutt said:
Porter ODoran said:
LivenotoneviL said:
Alpha60 said:
The young fogey said:
Volnutt said:
Other than the statues, I'd guess.
If you really don't have to be Eastern to be Orthodox, the question's moot.
You don't have to be Eastern to be Orthodox, but at the same time you must renounce the deviations of the Roman Church from Orthodoxy since the schism.  Realistic statuary of the Renaissance School is completely inappropriate.

What St. John of Shanghai did not say was "You don't have to give up artwork that the ancient Church interpreted as pagan in order to be Orthodox."  The works of sculpture used in the Roman state religion, while exquisite, have no place in the Orthodox Church, and neither does their style. 
Just to play Satan's advocate,



Sculpture of Christ the Good Shepherd from 3rd Century, Roman / Asia Minor



Sculpture of Jonah being spat out from the 3rd Century, Roman / Asia Minor



4th Century Sculpture of Christ the Teacher, Roman
Is your presumption that, of our millions of Christian forbears, none made mistakes? These are plainly works cranked out in the secular style of the day, a la:



Please don't hope seriously to oppose such things to the sober considerations of the Church in due time.
What's so passionate about the examples he posted (especially compared to similar icons), though? Jonah's facial expression is a lot more flat than mine would be if I were being half-swallowed by a sea monster, I can tell you.
Your point reminds me of an episode from Saint Porphyrios’ Wounded By Love where he’s in an art museum and he sees a statue of Zeus. He says the artist has a deep sense of the divine, as he depicts Zeus hurling thunderbolts so dispassionately.
Huh. Interesting.

Iconodule said:
However I suspect these statues, while having Christian themes, were not used in worship. I could be wrong about that. There are however examples of statues clearly used in Orthodox worship, some even being so used today.
I agree that they likely weren't. I was just responding to Porter's contrasting of their alleged "passionateness" with the sobriety of an icon.
 

Sharbel

OC.Net Guru
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
1,601
Reaction score
3
Points
36
Volnutt said:
I get what you mean by sentimentalism (Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa comes to mind), but what does "realism" mean in this context? If you're talking about the tendency for Renaissance artists to use people they or their patrons knew as models for Biblical figures, surely new works made in the same style could avoid that easily enough.
No, I mean realistic proportions and perspective.  Even in medieval paintings realistic perspective was abandoned in favor of symbolic perspective.  For example:


Monreale, Sicily
 

Iconodule

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
16,486
Reaction score
9
Points
38
Age
38
Location
PA, USA
People keep saying “realistic” as if reality is chiefly defined by bare sensory input.

And then they say it like it’s a bad thing, as if Christ incarnated as a 2-dimensional figure with elongated limbs.
 

Volnutt

Hoplitarches
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
15,089
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Age
34
Sharbel said:
Volnutt said:
I get what you mean by sentimentalism (Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa comes to mind), but what does "realism" mean in this context? If you're talking about the tendency for Renaissance artists to use people they or their patrons knew as models for Biblical figures, surely new works made in the same style could avoid that easily enough.
No, I mean realistic proportions and perspective.  Even in medieval paintings realistic perspective was abandoned in favor of symbolic perspective.  For example:


Monreale, Sicily
Seems like there's still perspective there that doesn't really fit any coherent symbolism. The Apostles in the back look to be about a millimeter taller than the angels and maybe a tiny scintilla taller than the Theotokos and are definitely taller than St. Peter. And why is Christ so much smaller if He should just as important in any symbolic reading of perspective?
 

Sharbel

OC.Net Guru
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
1,601
Reaction score
3
Points
36
Volnutt said:
Seems like there's still perspective there that doesn't really fit any coherent symbolism. The Apostles in the back look to be about a millimeter taller than the angels and maybe a tiny scintilla taller than the Theotokos and are definitely taller than St. Peter. And why is Christ so much smaller if He should just as important in any symbolic reading of perspective?
You're missing the forest for the trees.  As a woman, the Mother of God would hardly be the tallest figure if realism were present in this mosaic.

I've read art historians say that the ancient did know about perspective, as if they didn't live on earth and were blind.

Enough said about realism.
 

Volnutt

Hoplitarches
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
15,089
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Age
34
Sharbel said:
Volnutt said:
Seems like there's still perspective there that doesn't really fit any coherent symbolism. The Apostles in the back look to be about a millimeter taller than the angels and maybe a tiny scintilla taller than the Theotokos and are definitely taller than St. Peter. And why is Christ so much smaller if He should just as important in any symbolic reading of perspective?
You're missing the forest for the trees.  As a woman, the Mother of God would hardly be the tallest figure if realism were present in this mosaic.

I've read art historians say that the ancient did know about perspective, as if they didn't live on earth and were blind.

Enough said about realism.
She could be standing forward from them several feet. Sure you're not reading a lack of perspective in to the mosaic? And again, if symbolism is the only concern, why should Christ be so small?
 

Porter ODoran

Toumarches
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
12,135
Reaction score
1
Points
38
Age
48
Location
Eugene, OR
Iconodule said:
People keep saying “realistic” as if reality is chiefly defined by bare sensory input.

And then they say it like it’s a bad thing, as if Christ incarnated as a 2-dimensional figure with elongated limbs.
As if Christ incarnated as the painter's Uncle Frank, more like. I don't think you're getting the concept.
 

LivenotoneviL

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Sep 29, 2016
Messages
1,607
Reaction score
3
Points
0
Age
23
Location
United States
Porter ODoran said:
Iconodule said:
People keep saying “realistic” as if reality is chiefly defined by bare sensory input.

And then they say it like it’s a bad thing, as if Christ incarnated as a 2-dimensional figure with elongated limbs.
As if Christ incarnated as the painter's Uncle Frank, more like. I don't think you're getting the concept.
So nobody's ever - out of pride - painted themselves when they painted an icon of Christ or painted the Theotokos as a pretty woman they thought was attractive?

One priest I know told me a story about how a young monk / priest was painting an icon of Christ, and when he showed it to the elder, the elder said "Look at what you have done - you have painted yourself!" The young guy was ashamed, and the elder took a book by an iconographic expert out and showed him an icon of Christ, saying "Don't worry, he does it too."

And nobody in the West has made more realistic art based on already existing Traditional iconography?







 

LivenotoneviL

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Sep 29, 2016
Messages
1,607
Reaction score
3
Points
0
Age
23
Location
United States
There also has NEVER been several cases where untraditional, "flesh stirring" Roman artwork has influenced Orthodox artwork, such that this Orthodox artwork has been the spiritual guide of many a Orthodox clergy?











 

Volnutt

Hoplitarches
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
15,089
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Age
34
LivenotoneviL said:
This whole discussion seems familiar.
It should with how many times it's happened over the years.
 

Iconodule

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
16,486
Reaction score
9
Points
38
Age
38
Location
PA, USA
Porter ODoran said:
Iconodule said:
People keep saying “realistic” as if reality is chiefly defined by bare sensory input.

And then they say it like it’s a bad thing, as if Christ incarnated as a 2-dimensional figure with elongated limbs.
As if Christ incarnated as the painter's Uncle Frank, more like. I don't think you're getting the concept.
No, I get it. Docetism is nothing new.
 

iohanne

Sr. Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
200
Reaction score
2
Points
18
Age
32
Location
Toronto, ON
Alpha60 said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Alpha60 said:
You can be Orthodox wihout being Eastern, but I doubt you can be Orthodox without being Roman.
We're not Roman, so I guess we're screwed.
I see your point.

Let me try this again:

I propose that, as the church of Santa Maria Antiqua demonstrates, you cannot separate Byzantine from Roman.  It is a false dichotomy.

I propose that in this one respect, Fr. John C. Romanides, who I usually disregard, had a compelling point, that the very word Byzantine is divisive, misleading and creates false impressions.
I think I agree with your terminology, Alpha60, and have often wondered whether or not it would be more useful to appropriate the labels used for the Syriac Christians and distinguish between 'east Roman' and 'west Roman' rites / culture / art . Or to adopt language terms that refer to the sacred language of liturgy and literature: 'Latin' rites and the  'Greek' rite or 'Latin' iconography and Greek iconography.

Mor Ephrem, I think I understand your point correctly, however, as a Filipino Christian whose native faith was brought by Spanish colonisation, I do sometimes ponder on the intersections between Christianity, romanitas and indigenous culture. I am not very knowledgeable of the St. Thomas Syriac Christian communities but what little I know of the Syriac Christians of India, I hesitantly point to and would like to put forward to your greater familiarity some aspects of your religious life that, to me, seem Roman.

1) For example, the Orthodox use the west Syriac rite, a rite which had its origins in the territory of the pagan Roman Empire but which flourished under the Roman Christian empire. I understand that non-Chalcedonians later suffered under Byzantine rule but weren't they themselves also Roman citizens?

2) And whether or not it was St. Thomas who brought the faith to India or whether there were two later waves of immigrations that established the myriad families of your community, didn't most Hindus converting to Christianity over the early centuries see themselves as converting to a Roman one (or at least a Jewish one) that people from the Roman Empire were bringing them? Or was Christianity so firmly established in Kerala that Christianity was seen as an Indian religion?

3) And surely, to be Orthodox, terms for kyana and qnoma have to be translated into the local language and taught and I'm curious whether such terminologies concerning essence, personhood, Trinity, nature, will, energy, etc, were already current preoccupations in the indigenous philosophies of Kerala?

Volnutt said:
Something, something, "but those weren't intended for liturgy!"...
I, too, have heard this argument somewhere or have thought of it but I sometimes wonder if icon veneration can be more accurately described as para-liturgical or partly so. As far as I can tell and remember from liturgy, parishioners tend to walk in and venerate the icons in the narthex and all around the church on their way in (except for certain solemn moments where they may wait in the narthex) and then find their spot and stay there. They do this whether they are early to liturgy or late and it has already begun. And then some people venerate the icons before leaving the church. But I can't really think of a moment in the liturgy when icons are 'built-in' to the liturgy rather than as furnishings of the Temple to instruct, for para-liturgical devotions, etc. Other than the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, are there other ways in which icons might be said to be 'intended' for liturgy? Or am I approaching this all the wrong way?

At school, I learned of some basic reconstructions of Roman dwellings and one interesting detail is the lararium. Sometimes perhaps a corner or shelf, akin to the western home altar or the eastern icon corner, but in a relatively wealthy pagan's household, this could be a whole room in a series of entrances into the main room of the house proper. It housed not only the household gods but also the 'death masks' or portraits or wall paintings of notable ancestors of the family.

But I often attempt on my own to imagine this translated into a Christian context: by the 2nd and 3rd century, there were Christian families that had been Christian for several generations and yet participated in the culture of late antiquity. Many of them gathered, in times of persecution, in a domestic context at a richer member's home. It wouldn't be too far of a stretch to imagine that rich Christians may have transformed the pagan lararium into a domestic chapel, shunning the altar to the gods and consecrating a Holy Table and painting piously on their walls famous martyrs and bishops and priests from their families whom they believed to be holy and in Christ. From this perspective icon veneration finds its outgrowth out of the cult of the saints. As for depictions of the Old Testament, I'm not so sure that the average Roman Christian would have been repulsed at the idea of installing into his domestic chapel statues like those found in LivetoneviL's post 79 or other examples of early Christian statuary and sculpture, especially if they were for decoration and not kissing, touching, bowing down to, etc.

Having grown up under the Novus Ordo, I can't really even remember many parishes where people actively kissed or bowed before a statue the way Byzantine Christians seem to do for icons. A very few pious and devout people who, now that I think about it, were mostly from Filipino or south Asian families, would sometimes, if they could, hold the hand of Mary or if it was slightly beyond reach touch the foot of the saint's statue and then subsequently kiss their hand. But it sometimes seems to me that the vast majority would walk by the statues on most days since it was their home parish and they already know what its decoration looked like. But to be honest, in a lot of parishes the statuary is architecturally beyond people's reach or behind a barrier of votive stands and heat generated from candle flame. Were it not for the fact that both groups light candles before their respective genre of images, all this sometimes makes me wonder what statues were for in the spiritual life of early generations of Christians in the Latin Church and if the comparison between ikons and statues is artificial.
 

iohanne

Sr. Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
200
Reaction score
2
Points
18
Age
32
Location
Toronto, ON
The young fogey said:
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.
Brother, I think sometimes in this discussion, you might be reifying too much these distinctions between 'Roman' and 'Byzantine.' Yes, the differences in art are striking sometimes but Christians throughout the centuries have borrowed from one another, especially when they were in concord, but even in times of schism. What is the origin, for example, of the Blessing of the Holy Water on the feast of the Baptism of Christ? This is a Byzantinism from recent centuries. What do you make of the thesis put forward by some Gregorian chant scholars and historical musicologists that the eight modes of Gregorian chant are a slightly artificial categorization which attempted to map pre-existing chants onto the Byzantine octoechos? Here is a tension between difference and conscious imitation. I myself am more partial to this mixing of styles and conscious borrowings from one another and between cultures and eras. It highlights a stunning array of diversity and commonality in a kind of universal array. What do you think of this photo of a Church in Italy? This is currently an Italo-Albanian Catholic parish of the Byzantine rite, hence the "missionary" iconostasis and the Byzantine altar but they clearly once had a Baroque altar set up for Tridentine worship at one point (or perhaps a severely latinised Divine Liturgy).



The rest of the Church is in this "mixed" beautiful style of Byzantine icons and later Renaissance paintings.

 

LBK

Toumarches
Joined
May 13, 2008
Messages
13,643
Reaction score
2
Points
38
But I can't really think of a moment in the liturgy when icons are 'built-in' to the liturgy rather than as furnishings of the Temple to instruct, for para-liturgical devotions, etc. Other than the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, are there other ways in which icons might be said to be 'intended' for liturgy? Or am I approaching this all the wrong way?
Icons are indeed part of active liturgical worship. Examples include the censing of icons at certain points during all Orthodox services, the veneration during the DL of the icons of Christ and the Mother of God on either side of the Royal Doors, and the veneration of the Gospel and the festal icon by the congregation during Matins.

Far from being "paraliturgical", icons are essential to liturgical worship. A DL requires a minimum of an antimension, and an icon of Christ and and of the Mother of God.



 

juliogb

High Elder
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
976
Reaction score
5
Points
0
https://www.orthodoxartsjournal.org/fr-philippe-peneaud-romanesque-iconography-today/

I found this article about romanesque style woodcarving made by a french orthodox priest, I find it very interesting and way more close to orthodoxy than post-renaissance statuary.

 

Volnutt

Hoplitarches
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
15,089
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Age
34
juliogb said:
https://www.orthodoxartsjournal.org/fr-philippe-peneaud-romanesque-iconography-today/

I found this article about romanesque style woodcarving made by a french orthodox priest, I find it very interesting and way more close to orthodoxy than post-renaissance statuary.
Oh YEAH, I've seen some of those carvings before. They always remind me a bit of the Lewis Chessmen.

Neat stuff.
 

Serge

Archon
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Messages
3,212
Reaction score
16
Points
38
Age
54
Website
sergesblog.blogspot.com
tl;dr: iconless stone Romanesque basilica with the Mass and offices Gregorian-chanted in Latin*, echoing off the walls, without instruments, maybe by monks, Benedictines. You may have statues but don't have to.

It's Roman Catholic but not necessarily so. Simply Western. All Western. Completely fine in Orthodox theology as John of Shanghai and San Francisco once said. Not Byzantine Rite rules and customs; Orthodox theology.

*Liturgical languages are immemorial Orthodox custom. In the West, that's Latin.
 

platypus

High Elder
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
713
Reaction score
3
Points
0
The young fogey said:
*Liturgical languages are immemorial Orthodox custom. In the West, that's Latin.
Are you suggesting the western rite needs to be in Latin? Or merely that it can be?

I wouldn't mind for myself - I began saying my daily prayers in Latin after getting fed up with knowing the "wrong" Lord's prayer every time I went to a different parish. But unless everyone starts learning Latin it would be very difficult for the words of the Liturgy to write themselves on the hearts of the faithful the way they do when worship is done in the vernacular. In the English-speaking world, I think liturgical English (BCP style) has more of a claim as our liturgical language at this point than Latin does.
 

Serge

Archon
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Messages
3,212
Reaction score
16
Points
38
Age
54
Website
sergesblog.blogspot.com
platypus said:
The young fogey said:
*Liturgical languages are immemorial Orthodox custom. In the West, that's Latin.
Are you suggesting the western rite needs to be in Latin? Or merely that it can be?
Just that it can be. Liturgical languages are a human thing, not doctrine, that many faiths do. Greeks use medieval Greek in church; Russians Slavonic. Many Protestants treat the English of the classic Book of Common Prayer and King James Bible that way. And I'm happy that many Orthodox and now some Roman Catholics, from an Anglican background, use it too. I use BCP psalms and canticles. Jewish prayers are in Hebrew. But no; the Western rite(s) need not be in Latin - again, so-called sacred languages aren't Christian doctrine - but keep Latin going, as indeed a robust minority in the Roman Catholic Church does. Latin is a gateway to the classics, a useful template because a dead language's meanings never change, an international language, and beautiful, the mother of Italian and Spanish, for example.

If today's Western Rite Orthodoxy had centuries of being such, generations of members, its liturgical language would be Latin, for centuries likely only Latin, just like the Roman Catholic Church and like the Greek and Russian liturgical languages. Just like it would have the same Gregorian chant as the Roman Catholic Church.

platypus said:
I wouldn't mind for myself - I began saying my daily prayers in Latin after getting fed up with knowing the "wrong" Lord's prayer every time I went to a different parish.
I went to the traditional Latin Mass every Sunday for four years and love it, plus I got to go to Sunday Solemn Vespers in Latin, from the traditional Roman Breviary, for a few years, so I learnt the four changing seasonal Marian anthems from the office. I pray the rosary, separate from my Byzantine Rite prayers, using those anthems at the end in Latin. My tribute.

platypus said:
... it would be very difficult for the words of the Liturgy to write themselves on the hearts of the faithful the way they do when worship is done in the vernacular.
It hasn't stopped Greeks and Russians. The vernacular is fine. But believe it or not, before Vatican II hardly any Roman Catholics objected to Latin.
 

platypus

High Elder
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
713
Reaction score
3
Points
0
The young fogey said:
Jewish prayers are in Hebrew. But no; the Western rite(s) need not be in Latin - again, so-called sacred languages aren't Christian doctrine - but keep Latin going, as indeed a robust minority in the Roman Catholic Church does. Latin is a gateway to the classics, a useful template because a dead language's meanings never change, an international language, and beautiful, the mother of Italian and Spanish, for example.
Agreed. I think it's definitely worth learning. Are you familiar with Msgr. Daniel Gallagher? He was one of the Vatican's Latin translators for a long time, and teaches spoken Latin at Cornell now. It was watching a youtube of him giving a lecture, in Latin, about Mars exploration that got me interested.

I like that the Church of England, with their insistence on intelligible worship, retained Latin as the liturgical language at universities for a while. Since Latin and Greek were pretty much the whole curriculum.

The young fogey said:
platypus said:
... it would be very difficult for the words of the Liturgy to write themselves on the hearts of the faithful the way they do when worship is done in the vernacular.
It hasn't stopped Greeks and Russians.
I'm no linguist, but I suspect the modern Greek/koine or the Russian/Church Slavonic differences are probably a lot smaller as the English/Latin gap.

To give you an example of what I meant, during the last election everytime I saw a political add, this would sing itself in my head: "Put not your trust in princes, in sons of men, in whom there is no salvation." And other lines from the liturgy come to me at other times. I used to regularly attend at a parish that used some Church Slavonic. While I can remember a few phrases, they're not a part of me the way the English words are. I only understood them at all because I could read the English translation; the Church Slavonic words themselves have no meaning to me.

Obviously, at a Latin Mass one can read the vernacular translation on the other side of the missal page. But when it comes to internalizing the prayers, singing and hearing them sung has a distinct advantage over silently reading them. And the teaching of the Church is bound up in the liturgy, so that you miss out a bit if you're not hearing and speaking it in a tongue you understand.

That's not to say there's not also advantage to a liturgical language, especially a dead one as you point out. And people can certainly do lots of vernacular prayer not at Mass.

The young fogey said:
The vernacular is fine. But believe it or not, before Vatican II hardly any Roman Catholics objected to Latin.
In Abp. Lefebvre's biography, I remember it mentioned that he and the Holy Ghost Fathers did not find Latin liturgy to be an impediment to converting the Africans.

Only vaguely related, but in The Mass: A Study in Roman Liturgy by Fr. Fortescue, I was surprised to learn that the first liturgical use of Latin was in Africa. IIRC the chief reason he saw for the continued use of Latin in the Mass was that it's simplicity and conciseness paired well with the simplicity and conciseness of the Roman liturgy.
 

Serge

Archon
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Messages
3,212
Reaction score
16
Points
38
Age
54
Website
sergesblog.blogspot.com
I didn't know about Msgr. Gallagher; thanks.

Latin was the international language of the Western world – how professors all over Europe wrote to each other – as well as the door to the thinking of the classical era so of course the English universities, and boarding schools preparing boys for them, kept Latin after becoming Protestant, including a Book of Common Prayer service in that language. Another reason a centuries-old Western Rite Orthodoxy would have kept it.

I'm no expert on Greek but based on Slavonic, which I know fairly well and use to keep in practice, these liturgical languages are related to the vernaculars about like Chaucer's English is to this. It's somewhat intelligible but weird.

Anglican English, including King James English which I think a lot of its Protestant fans don't know is Anglican, is definitely part of English-speaking culture, partly because Protestants read the Bible so much. Even non-religious people can quote parts of it. Run with that!

The great historian and author Eamon Duffy has mentioned that we often don't give medieval people credit for their imperfect but working knowledge of Latin. You can see it in their writing. I can tell you from worshipping at the traditional Latin Mass for a long time that the ordinary of the Mass, the parts that are the same every week, is easy to memorize. When I first heard one, my liturgical background in the Episcopal Church and my high-school Spanish meant I could understand much of it right away.

"The first liturgical use of Latin was in Africa." I didn't know that. Thank you.
 

noahzarc1

High Elder
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
762
Reaction score
66
Points
28
platypus said:
The young fogey said:
*Liturgical languages are immemorial Orthodox custom. In the West, that's Latin.
Are you suggesting the western rite needs to be in Latin? Or merely that it can be?

I wouldn't mind for myself - I began saying my daily prayers in Latin after getting fed up with knowing the "wrong" Lord's prayer every time I went to a different parish. But unless everyone starts learning Latin it would be very difficult for the words of the Liturgy to write themselves on the hearts of the faithful the way they do when worship is done in the vernacular. In the English-speaking world, I think liturgical English (BCP style) has more of a claim as our liturgical language at this point than Latin does.
I actually rather enjoy the Latin Mass in English, which I observed several times in the Western Rite Orthodox Church. While the Latin Mass was awkward at first, I was quite amazed how quickly one can get used to it.

I rather enjoyed being with the Coptic Church for a lenten season and enjoyed the ancient Egyptian and again, after a time, you can really follow it without knowing the language. Same for the Slavonic with the Ukrainians. Liturgies are quite beautiful in the languages of the people celebrating them. There is a certain holiness I'm drawn to seeing people of different languages follow and worship at the same liturgy. 
 
Top