Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

Is a Menu approach to liturgics wise?


Father Michael Johnson: There are some, of course, who will point out that there was considerable liturgical diversity in the early Church – and therefore, why is such diversity not possible and even desirable today? There was indeed considerable liturgical variation from one pl ace to another in ancient times. The reason for this was the simple fact that the average person never got more than 25 miles from his place of birth and communications from one place to another were slow and difficult. Under such circumstances, liturgic al diversity was a natural development and hardly a problem. Today, by contrast, we live in what has been called a “global village” where communications are instant and American families often move several times, from one state to another, while their chi ldren are growing up. Everything in our environment argues for greater uniformity in liturgical practice.

The Priest. A Newsletter for the Clergy of the Diocese of San Francisco. Issue No. 5, May 1996

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January 11, 2008 Posted by | Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is Western About it?


“Indeed, one does not have to be an “authority on the West” in order to know that liturgical development in the West was shaped to a degree unknown in the East by various theologies, the succession of which – and the clashes of one with another – constitute western religious history. Scholasticism, Reformation, Counter-Reformation, etc., have all resulted in sometimes radical liturgical metamorphoses and all have had a decisive impact on worship. Therefore, one should speak today not of the western rite, but of western rites, deeply – if not radically – differing from one another, yet all reflecting in one way or another, the western theological tragedy and fragmentation. This does not mean that all these rites are “heretical” and simply to be condemned. It only means that, from an Orthodox point of view, their evaluation in terms merely of “deletions” and “additions” is – to say the least – inadequate. For the irony of our present situation is that while some western Christians come to Orthodoxy in order to salvage the rite they cherish ( Book of Common Prayer , Tridentine Mass, etc.) from liturgical reforms they abhor, some of these reforms, at least in abstacto , are closer to the structures and spirit of the early western rite – and thus to the Orthodox liturgical tradition – than the later rite, those precisely that the Orthodox Church is supposed to “sanction” and to “adopt.” – Father Alexander Schmemann (1920-1983) (SVTQ 24/4, 1980) The Priest. A Newsletter for the Clergy of the Diocese of San Francisco. Issue No. 5, May 1996

January 8, 2008 Posted by | -- Anglican, Western Rite -- Tridentine Mass, Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unity vs. Diversity


“I will speak only of the situation in Britain, for I am not qualified to express an opinion about America. Here in Britain we Orthodox, few though we are in numbers, are fragmented into a multiplicity of “jurisdictions”; but at least we are united in the use of the same rite – the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. If a “western rite” is introduced here, it will add still further to our fragmentation. Is this desirable? . . . Is this pastorally helpful? – Bishop Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, The Priest. A Newsletter for the Clergy of the Diocese of San Francisco. Issue No. 5, May 1996

January 5, 2008 Posted by | -- Ecclesiology & Ecumenism, Western Rite -- Pan-Orthodoxy, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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