Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

4 out of 5 Dentists say: “Tridentine”.


“This leads to a second point: the simple fact is that what is being done in WR parishes in the AOA is NOT pre-schism. It is Tridentine (16th century). Whether it is the Anglican or the Roman ordo missae, it is essentially the Tridientine rituale that is being followed. Certainly some of those practises, especially various rites surrounding Baptism and Holy Week can be traced back as far as the fourth century in terms of their origins, but that doesn’t mean that either the texts of the prayers or the ritual is the same. For example, the Stations of the Cross sprang from the same practise in Jerusalem as the Byzantine reading of the Twelve Passion Gospels during the Mattins of Holy Friday. In Rome, they kept the act of making a procession from one place (statio) to another. In Constantinople, they preserved the readings, which have varied relatively little over the centuries. (I wrote my M.Div. thesis on the Byzantine lectionary for Holy Thursday-Pascha.) There are other points in which the Roman practise reflects the ancient Jerusalem practise to which the pilgrim Egeria bore witness toward the end of the 4th century, and to which the Armenian lectionary bears some testimony at the beginning of the fifth century.

It is not possible, however, to jump from this to saying that the Tridentine ordo and rituale are ‘pre-schism.’ That is just too much of a stretch. If you want to learn about pre-schism ritual, read the Ordo Romanus Primus, which reflects the pontifical liturgy at Rome toward the end of the 7th century. Ironically, it is far more like the Byzantine Rite on the one hand, and the Novus Ordo Missae, which WR people, Anglican or Roman, are trying to escape because it is so mixed up with the theological deviations and other modernisms of the present-day Anglican and Roman communions.” – Mark Harrison 7/9/2006

That’s another interesting point: do we sanction the use of a clearly heterodox devotional practice like the stations of the cross, because it corresponds to a similar Eastern practice. Same argument could be made for the rosary. But is mere correspondence in superficial form sufficient when there is such non-correspondence in the implications of those pieties for the Faith?

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January 18, 2008 Posted by | Western Rite -- Stations of the Cross, Western Rite -- The Rosary, Western Rite -- Tridentine Mass, Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

RC discussion of WRO is just more Intriguing!


Is it really possible that Roman Catholics are having the most interesting discussions on the Western Rite in Orthodoxy? Perhaps it’s because what we have, so frequently, is not really discussion. We’re not detached enough. Fervent enthusiasts, quiet dissenters, and the occasional lone voice that quickly gets stereotyped as an Gregoriaphobe. [Here is an excellent discussion] and well worth reading. The 23 comments or so are enlightening. Sometimes it’s just useful to step outside of our debate (what little real debate we have) and listen to people who have nothing at stake tell us what we’re saying.

January 16, 2008 Posted by | Western Rite Weirdness | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anglican/RC converts feel at Home in the ER?


This writer makes a point. What about all the ones that have and quite happily are?

“At one time, people were saying that it is not reasonable to expect Anglicans or Roman Catholics to adopt the Byzantine Liturgy. I cannot agree with that for two reasons: The main reason is that my own experience, and the experience of all of my own ex-Anglican, now Orthdoox friends, has been adoption of the Byzantine Rite, with the sole exception of the priest to whom I referred previously. Even his daughter, however, who is a friend from our seminary days, has always been in a Byzantine Rite parish. It is far from impossible or inconceivable for Western Christians to adopt the Byzantine Rite.” – Mark Harrison 7/9/2006

One gets the feeling sometime that to be a true Westerner, a true former Anglican, you have to be at least somewhat unsettled in the Eastern Rite. If you’re perfectly happy with it, you’re Rite on the outside and Byzantine in the middle. Or something like that.

December 21, 2007 Posted by | -- Catechesis & Conversion, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Refugee Liturgical Criticism


“The desire to escape the abuses is noble, of course. It is also true that the Novus Ordo was hijacked. But it is of critical importance that a genuine study and consideration of WR in the Orthodox Church separate the issues of what is happening in Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism from the historical study of the Ordines Romani in their own right. By separating those issues, we can come to a much better understanding, a far more balanced perspective how the present-day WR practises fit into the life of the Orthodox Church.” – Mark Harrison 7/9/2006

December 19, 2007 Posted by | Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Liturgy is an Entire Worldview


“It should also be noted that liturgy is more than a dry statement of dogma. It is not sufficient that the doctrines stated in the texts of the prayers not contain theological error. Liturgy involves our entire being and our entire worldview. There is an ancient liturgical axiom that says: lex orandi, lex est credendi (‘the rule of prayer is the rule of faith’); there is a natural correspondence between how we worship and what we believe. Even if the doctrinal statements are in any given prayer are orthodox, how we worship will colour how we receive and process those doctrines and live them out. There is a phrase in the Anglican Canon that reads: ‘Who made there by His one oblation of Himself once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world.’ As the commision requested by St Tikhon observed, these words need to be considered in their historical context. They were intended to be a refutation of the theology of the Eucharist as sacrifice. On the other hand, young people who grow up in WR parishes, in which there will be a proper context for understanding this phrase, will receive it in an Orthodox manner, understanding that Golgotha cannot be historically repeated. Christ’s Sacrifice of Himself on the Cross was a one-time deal; but we, through our offering of bread and wine, ‘do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts which now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed Passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; rendering unto Thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto by the same.’ This can be easily compared to the Byzantine corresponding Byzantine text and seen to be substantially identical. But then, the following paragraph in the Book of Common Prayer, the Invocation, was seen as categorically needing to be augmented to express a clear invocation of the Holy Spirit to make the Holy Gifts the Body and Blood of Christ.” – Mark Harrison 7-9-2006

One might add that, in Orthodox thinking, heaven and earth are joined, time isn’t the same (which is why an orthodox piety is to not carry watches into the eternity of the mystery), and the sacrifice is present at each communion – Christ is not re-sacrificed (that would be heresy), but he as the sacrifice is re-present with us in fullness, apart from the concerns of time.

To his point, the flippancy with which the rites can be viewed in much discussion of “going East” or “going West” seems to detract from the reverence proper to either.

December 18, 2007 Posted by | -- Anglican, Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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