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#82516 - 07/17/02 06:24 PM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Orthodox Catholic Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/01
Posts: 24232
Loc: Canada
Dear Lance,

So you are now saying that the Holy Spirit is guiding our bishops, Ruthenian and Ukrainian, in their liturgical reform projects?

Are you being ridiculous to make a point? smile

(You know I love "Lance-a-lot")

Alex

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#82517 - 07/17/02 07:03 PM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Dragani Offline
Moderator

Registered: 11/05/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Portage, PA
Dear friends,

I asked this question on another thread, and didn't receive much of a response. Please offer me your thoughts on this issue:

Right now most of the anaphora is taken silently in most Ruthenian parishes, but the words of institution ("this is my body," etc.) are loud and clear and often surrounded by some fanfare. The epiclesis is, of course, silent. The end result is that MOST of our parishioners are led to believe that the words of institution are THE MOMENT of consecration. According to our Byzantine theology, the epiclesis is every bit as important as the words of institution. By continuing to recite the epiclesis silently, don't we contribute to this misperception?

Even if the anaphora were to remain silent wouldn't it make sense to take the epiclesis aloud in order to restore a balance?

Thanks,
Anthony

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#82518 - 07/17/02 07:14 PM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Orthodox Catholic Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/01
Posts: 24232
Loc: Canada
Dear Anthony,

This is really THE question here.

Surely, the issue of what is said silently or loudly has tended to reflect what we believe about the "consecratory power" of the Words of Institution and/or the Epiclesis.

Our Basilian-Redemptorist prayerbooks tend to CAPITALIZE the Words of Institution and then make very small the words of the Epiclesis.

And I'm frankly confused about what we, as Eastern Catholics, truly believe about the Epiclesis in relation to the entire Eucharistic Canon.

My former parish and my in-laws' current parish believes that the Words of Institution do the "Transubstantiation" and that the Epiclesis is just a liturgical re-enactment of "what already occurred" at the Words of Institution.

Others believe that there is a Trinitarian character to the entire Eucharistic Canon, the Anamnesis invoking the Father, the Words of Institution calling to mind the role of the Son and the Epiclesis effecting Christ's action - so it is only after the Eucharistic Canon is fully celebrated that we may say there is no more bread or wine on the altar, but the Body and Blood of Christ.

The "Extreme Epiclesial" group tends to see the Epiclesis as a kind of "Formula of Consecration," much like the first group sees the "Words of Institution" as such.

So if you can spare a moment away from Mother Angelica smile (how is she doing, by the way?), what is it that we believe about the Canon? Is there unity among us? And could not this explain a lot about the obvious divergence in terms of saying this or that aloud or silently?

It is clear that you, Joe Thur, Lance, Tasos and Bisantino are too smart for your own good.

Otherwise, you'd all be highly placed clerics in our Church, or even Bishops if you could ever get over that marriage thing smile

O.K., I've had my fun, over to you, Pearl of Theologians!

Alex

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#82519 - 07/17/02 07:19 PM Re: The Silent Anaphora
DTBrown Offline
Member

Registered: 11/03/01
Posts: 1836
Loc: Oregon
Anthony makes a good point. Not only should it be taken aloud but there should be some catechesis on this as well. I've been to Liturgies where the priest said the epiklesis silently and the deacon was away from the altar getting the censer. One time the people had already sung the "We praise You..." refrain (kneeeling as is their custom in that parish) and then had stood up in anticipation of the commemoration of the Theotokos *while* the priest was still saying the epiklesis (which I doubt most knew he was doing).
I don't mean to get into a kneeling vs. standing discussion here...but it seemed strange to me for the people to stand up at that moment.

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com

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#82520 - 07/17/02 07:22 PM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Orthodox Catholic Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/01
Posts: 24232
Loc: Canada
Dear Dave,

I'm not disputing that Anthony isn't good or intelligent.

Mother Angelica's site wouldn't have him if he weren't smile .

I'm just saying that not all of us Rhoum Catholics are as Eastern as you Melkites and professional theologians.

I just wanted Anthony Dragani's (Ph.D. Cand.) take on how Eastern Catholics understand the Epiclesis.

Alex

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#82521 - 07/17/02 08:24 PM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Lawrence of PA Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 13
Loc: Harrisburg, PA
Quote:
Originally posted by DTBrown:

I don't mean to get into a kneeling vs. standing discussion here...but it seemed strange to me for the people to stand up at that moment.

Dave Ignatius DTBrown@aol.com


I don't really either, but I have been wondering during the revised Liturgy discussion whether this would come up. Is the idea of not kneeling on Sundays, etc. addressed or would that be outside of the scope of the revision?

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#82522 - 07/17/02 08:27 PM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Administrator Offline

John
Member

Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 6237
Loc: Virginia
Quote:
Alex wrote:
He constantly reiterated that the mysticism of the Eastern Church deliberately veiled and made silent the great Mysteries so that we may bow down and worship what is unknowable, but what is communicated to us through Revelation.

Your point on the integrity of our tradition with that of the rest of the Byzantine Churches, Orthodox and Catholic, also reflects the kind of understanding of what "communion" is all about.


Alex,

You have hit the proverbial nail directly on the head. This is not just a matter of taking aloud what was silent but an entire shift in liturgical theology. I have repeatedly made the point that we, as a Church, are only just beginning to reclaim our authentic Byzantine patrimony; our authentic Byzantine way of thinking. It is much too early in this reclamation process to begin to fiddle with the liturgy. The rubrics already allow individual priests to take these prayers aloud if they so desire. Why must we force this upon the Church? If the Spirit wills, it will become the custom of the entire Orthodox Church in a generation or two and there will be no need for mandates.

Admin

--

Quote:
Joe Thur wrote:
How can one "see" an Anaphora? How can one see anything if it is behind a veil and/or door?
You are getting bent out of shape over this. I agree with Fr. David Petras that the anaphora should be taken aloud. It is not the same as a priestly "private" prayer. It doesn't belong to him; it belongs to the community for it is the core of our liturgical actions/prayers. If it was meant to be silent (an abuse) then we should refrain from responding at particular points as we do. What exactly is it we respond to?


If you believe that you can not respond to what you do not hear then you certainly cannot respond to what you do not see. How can you then argue for an aloud anaphora yet not argue that the veils must be stripped away? I respectfully disagree that there must be a mandate to pray the anaphora aloud. That we do not hear the Prayer of the Anaphora or other prayers of the Divine Liturgy does not mean that they are not happening or that they are not true. Nor does this mean that what some at one time considered an abuse to have become something totally new and proper in Eastern liturgical theology.

Quote:
Are all liturgical changes organic and natural growths?


No. No one has yet established in this discussion that the silent Anaphora has no theological significance. If the entire Church (all of Byzantine Orthodoxy) concludes that the development of the silent Anaphora was not correct then the entire Church can restore it together over due course. We, as a Ruthenian Church, are only beginning to understand the theology of our liturgy. It is not for us to unilateral revise that which we do not yet know.

Quote:
Do you watch movies with the sound turned off? Does a conversation make sense when only one person is talking?


Do you place the television screen behind a wall so that you can not see it? Need God speak vocally to you before you listen?

I definitely agree that the liturgy does not just belong to the priest and have made that quite clear in all of my posts. That they are not prayed aloud does not make them less mine. That they are not prayed aloud does not make them less a part of the community. You have not proved that our current liturgical rubrics are flawed theologically and that they are not in line with our inheritance. You have not proved that the mandating that these prayers be taken aloud is a true restoration of anything except a sixth century custom. The tradition in all Eastern liturgies is to take the Anaphora silently (there is not one that mandates the Anaphora be taken aloud). Is our Church mature enough to reject the Eastern liturgical theology on this issue because some Americans prefer to hear the Anaphora? Are we to throw away our liturgical inheritance even before we have restored it? Do any of us dare claim that we know more about our liturgy than the corporate body of Byzantine Churches? Have any of us the wisdom of several lifetimes of celebration of all of the Divine Services to even begin to understand our liturgical theology? Until we do we cannot act. We certainly should not revise the liturgy apart from the entire body of Byzantine Churches. Even the Instruction spoke of working together.

Didn't the Prophet Isaiah teach us that 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving"?


--

Quote:
Anastasios wrote:
I would like to ask you, are you *against* taking the anaphora out loud in a general sense (ie in most circumstances)?


I am against rubrical legislation to mandate the taking of the Anaphora aloud. I believe that we should maintain the current rubrics that give the individual priest the authority to pray it aloud or silently as he thinks it would serve the community. If the Lord blesses this custom then it will become normative in a few generations and no legislation will be required.

Quote:
Also, what practical benefit does it serve to serve the anaphora quietly? It only cuts the time of liturgy by 4 minutes or so anyway.


Let me re-phrase the question. What exact developments in liturgical theology are we discarding when we mandate that the prayers of the Anaphora? We must first pray the liturgy for several generations before being wise enough to consider it. This is not a matter of just taking the Anaphora aloud but a complete change in not only the practical aspects of the flow of the Divine Liturgy itself but of our whole approach to liturgical theology. Although the Anaphora of the current Roman Mass is typically taken aloud and that this has become the norm there is no mandate in the Roman rubrics to do so. We would become the first Church to create such a mandate and would visibly distinguish ourselves from all Eastern Christians in doing so.

In May 2001 Patriarch Gregory of Antioch spoke to the priests of the Eparchy of Newton and told them that, even though the Holy Synod had authorized and continued to authorize certain abbreviations in the Divine Liturgy, each priest always retains the right to serve the Divine Liturgy in full. If the Melkite Patriarchate, which is more steeped in authentic Byzantine liturgical theology (as a Church) than we are, respects this then why can't we?

We need to be careful about revising the liturgy merely to make it comprehensible to the uneducated. We should never take the wonder of our inheritance so casually that we revise it without understanding it. I am no theologian nor am I even well read. But I have seen enough to realize and understand that we are tampering with something we, as a Church, are only beginning to understand.

--

Bisantino

The liturgy is not merely a catechetical tool. It certainly has that aspect but is far more. The liturgy is no less a catechetical tool because there is no mandate to pray the Anaphora aloud. Following this logic we would need to proclaim every Gospel every Sunday! Again, we, as a Church, are only beginning to celebrate our liturgy as we have received it. We need to do this for several generations before we understand it. We should not act apart from the rest of Orthodoxy in anything we do.

Quote:
Bisantino wrote:
Though this does not directly relate to the anaphora, the development of the Liturgy allowed for the congregation to see what the priest was doing behind the icon screen with the gifts. Are they not presented for the faithful to see during the Great Entrance? And are the Precious Gifts not presented by the deacon prior to the congregational reception of the Eucharist? So the priest or deacon does come from behind the screen for all to see.


Does not the priest also already proclaim the Gospel and the larger part of the texts of the liturgy aloud? Must every word the priest prays at the liturgy be prayed aloud for all to hear? If yes, then everything he does must be done in a way that all can see for your logic to make sense.

Quote:
But what mechanism is built into the Liturgy for the faithful to understand and give the "amen" to the silent anaphora?


Excellent question. It is one that we should seek to understand before we assume that Orthodox Byzantium has been incorrect in its liturgical development. We should not seek to alter the liturgy until we have asked and thoroughly understand this question and have spent years contemplating the answers. We, the Byzantine-Ruthenian Church, are only at the beginning stages of asking this question. Are we so sure that our fathers in the faith have been wrong for the last 1,500 years and there is absolutely no theological support for this liturgical development? Can we even begin to consider ourselves wiser than the rest of Byzantine Orthodoxy when we do not yet fully celebrate our inheritance as we have received it?

--

Quote:
Lance wrote:
I do not understand why you insist on linking taking the Anaphora aloud with getting rid of the iconostasis. The Anaphora was taken silently when the iconoscreens were being removed from our churches. The two have nothing to do with one another.


Lance,

The two have everything to do with one another. Joe Thur used the analogy of watching a movie with the sound off. Would you turn up the volume on your television yet put the tv monitor in another room, behind a wall? You must apply the same logic throughout your argument or it falls apart.

Quote:
If your logic is followed then it doesn't matter if any of the prayers are taken aloud, and we end up with a Tridentine-style low mass. What is the difference?


What is the difference? That is the question! We must not merely revise the liturgy for our own convenience without understanding the theology that lies behind it and we, as a Church, cannot ask this question or revise the liturgy unilaterally. Those who would seek to present to the entire Byzantine Church must not start with the end result they wish but must start by developing an understanding of the current theology of liturgical theology. Can we absolutely and with certainty state that 1,500 years of liturgy in all of the Eastern Churches was wrong (none of the Eastern Churches have a mandated aloud Anaphora)? Are we so sure that it was wrong that we should anticipate the Instruction that tells us that the Byzantine Catholic Churches should act as a whole? The fact that some keep skipping only to what they consider the practical elements of catechesis tells me that we, as a Church, do not yet understand our inheritance.

Quote:
We pride ourselves on our Liturgy being our catechism and theology, and yet he have till now denied our people the richest theology of our tradition. Taking it silently is the equivalent of reading the Gospel silently. Both are the proclamtion of what Christ has done for us. Both must be proclaimed and heard.


I disagree. You have failed to prove your argument. Using this logic you must also insist on every Gospel being proclaimed at every liturgy. We have in no way denied our people anything. Why must people insist on revising our heritage before we have reclaimed it? Why must we revise something we are only beginning to understand?

Quote:
You speak of the Holy Spirit, just perhaps it is the Holy Spirit prompting our bishops to undertake this restoration, I certainly believe it is.


You may be correct. I do know that if the Holy Spirit wishes this to happen He will lead our priests appropriately and a mandate will not be necessary. What is wrong with allowing the individual priest to do what he thinks is most beneficial to his community at each given celebration of the Divine Liturgy? If it is the will of the Spirit then in 2 or 3 generations every priest will pray these prayers aloud and no mandate will be necessary.

--
Quote:
Dragani wrote:
Right now most of the anaphora is taken silently in most Ruthenian parishes, but the words of institution ("this is my body," etc.) are loud and clear and often surrounded by some fanfare. The epiclesis is, of course, silent. The end result is that MOST of our parishioners are led to believe that the words of institution are THE MOMENT of consecration. According to our Byzantine theology, the epiclesis is every bit as important as the words of institution. By continuing to recite the epiclesis silently, don't we contribute to this misperception?

Even if the anaphora were to remain silent wouldn't it make sense to take the epiclesis aloud in order to restore a balance?


Anthony,

Excellent questions. Much research and understanding is needed. My first thought would be that, for an Easterner, taking only the Words of Institution aloud is symbolic of the entire prayer of the Anaphora. It is a symbol of salvation history in a sentence (actually, two!). smile

Is there a misperception here? Possibly. Are we continuing the misperception? Possibly. Some of the Greek and Arabic Churches take the epiclesis aloud but do so only as a response to the Roman insistence that the change is complete at the Words of Institution. The theology has not been researched and placed before the Church for consideration. We should not act to revise the liturgy before we fully understand what we are doing. We especially should not act unilaterally without the rest of Byzantium.

Admin

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#82523 - 07/17/02 09:35 PM Re: The Silent Anaphora
akemner Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/01
Posts: 537
Loc: Clarence, IA
This is a lot to take in, this arguement is.

Now, in all this, as the Administrator points out, few have addressed why the Anaphora has be quietly or silently recited by nearly every Church for the last millenium and a half. If this were so wrong, would not the Holy Spirit fixed it eons ago? Or are many of you suggesting that He does not work in the Church?

In all of this, no one has addressed if the teachings in the Anaphora are Dogma or Cherygma. Why was it taken silently? Why were other teachings of the Church held in secret (St Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit, Chap 20)? Does the Anaphora fall into the category of things so sacred, that only the Initiated may know and understand? If we don't understand, then where is the real fault, in the silence of PRAYER, or lack of catechesis and PRAYER. In my experience, the Greeks have no no problem understanding the importance of the Epiclesis. Why? They stand through the Institution Narrative and prostrate during the Epiclesis (proper posture and orthodox architecture are another issue). Perhaps we should be looking at the issue the way the Fathers did to give us understanding on this.

Adam, an unworthy student

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#82524 - 07/18/02 12:03 AM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Joe T Offline
Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 2927
Loc: Ohio
[ 09-09-2002: Message edited by: J Thur ]

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#82525 - 07/18/02 01:23 AM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Deacon John Montalvo Offline
Moderator
Member

Registered: 11/04/01
Posts: 1630
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
From Fr. Alexander Schmemann's The Eucharist, (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1988):

"The fragmentation of the eucharistic prayer led of course to the predominant practice of the priest reading it secretly, i.e., "to himself." ... For now I will say only that already for several centuries now, the laity, the people of God, whom the apostle Peter called "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people" (1Pt 2:9), have simply not heard and thus do not know this veritable prayer of prayers, through which the mystery is completed and the essence and calling of the Church herself is fulfilled. All the faithful hear are individual exclamations and fragmented phrases, whose interconnection- and sometimes even simple meaning- remain unintelligeble, as in: "...singing the triumphant hymn, shouting, proclaiming and saying..." If we add to this the fact that in many Orthodox churches these prayers, being "secret", are moreover read behind closed royal doors, and sometimes even behind a drawn altar curtain, then it would be no exaggeration to say that the prayer of thanksgiving has for all practical purposes been dropped from the church service. I repeat, the laymen simply do not know it, theologians are not interested in it, and the priest, who is forced to glance over it while the choir is singing- and frequently even giving a "concert"- is hardly capable of perceiving it in its fulness, unity and integrity... Considering this situation, in which I honestly cannot but see a deep decadence, we need to begin any discusssion of the eucharistic prayer with the revelation of its unity, i.e., how all those parts into which it was dismemebred by both liturgical studies and, alas, liturgical practice are mutually joined in an indivisble whole. For, I repeat, only in this whole is its meaning and power revealed as the act completing the sacrament, as the fulfillment of the sacrament of the eucharist" (p 172).

In speaking about certain defects of the liturgy, Fr Schmemann writes:

"The second defect consists of the secret prayers, as a result of which the overwhelming majority of the laity do not know and never even hear the text of the eucharist itself and are thus deprived of this priceless treasure. No one has ever explained why the "chosen race, a royal priesthood, holy nation, God's own people, that they may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called them out of darkness" cannot listen to the prayers that they offer to God" (p 243).

To underscore Fr. Schmemann's last point, the prayers are those of the laity because of our "Amen".

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#82526 - 07/18/02 01:50 AM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Administrator Offline

John
Member

Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 6237
Loc: Virginia
Joe,

I agree that an examination of the Anaphora is called for.

We need to trace the development of our Anaphora(s) from the earliest time until the present. We need to understand the roles of the bishop, priest, deacon and laity in the development of the Anaphora. Why did it become silent? Was there any theological significance to this action? Has any theological significance become attached to the silent anaphora? As Alex asked earlier, did the Eastern Church deliberately veil and make silent the great Mysteries so that we may bow down and worship what is unknowable? Or is this a later development? Either way, do we in any way disturb our liturgical theology by abandoning this element? If yes, how? If not, why not?

It seems that the last place to begin such a study is with the text itself. I am not sure that our Church is mature enough to consider this issue properly and will not be mature enough until we have fully restored our Byzantine-Ruthenian inheritance and lived it for several generations. Until we have fully understood and examined this issue as a Church we should not dare to revise it. Giving individual priests the freedom to take the Anaphora (or portions of it) either silently or aloud is acceptable. Mandating this action could possibly be a major blow to our liturgical theology.

Admin

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#82527 - 07/18/02 02:15 AM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Joe T Offline
Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 2927
Loc: Ohio
[ 09-09-2002: Message edited by: J Thur ]

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#82528 - 07/18/02 02:25 AM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Administrator Offline

John
Member

Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 6237
Loc: Virginia
Byzantino,

Thanks for the reference. I find it most interesting that Fr. Schmemann raises the issue of both hearing and seeing in the same paragraph. I also find it interesting that the OCA has not yet acted on this? Two more questions for discussion before any changes can really be mandated.

I have never questioned that these prayers are not those of the laity. In fact, I have stated that the reason for them to be taken silently is preciously because they belong to the laity of the priest. I can proclaim "Amen!" whether I hear the words spoken aloud because I know it to be true. The fact that I do not hear it does not make my "Amen!" false.

I agree with Fr. Schmemann. It is time for the discussion. It is not yet time to act with mandates.

--

Joe,

An interesting observation. Is this the opinion of all of Orthodoxy? Are we the only hold out in taking the Anaphora prayers aloud?

My apologies for the redundant questions. I believe that we, as a Church, are only at the beginning of this discussion and that it will take several generations before there can be any decisions to revise the liturgy. Why is everyone in such a hurry?

Admin

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#82529 - 07/18/02 03:19 AM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Deacon John Montalvo Offline
Moderator
Member

Registered: 11/04/01
Posts: 1630
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Quote:
Originally posted by Administrator:
Byzantino,

Thanks for the reference. I find it most interesting that Fr. Schmemann raises the issue of both hearing and seeing in the same paragraph. I also find it interesting that the OCA has not yet acted on this? Two more questions for discussion before any changes can really be mandated.

I have never questioned that these prayers are not those of the laity. In fact, I have stated that the reason for them to be taken silently is preciously because they belong to the laity of the priest. I can proclaim "Amen!" whether I hear the words spoken aloud because I know it to be true. The fact that I do not hear it does not make my "Amen!" false.

I agree with Fr. Schmemann. It is time for the discussion. It is not yet time to act with mandates.

--
Admin


Admin,

I think his writing betrays Fr Schmemann's exasperation with the discussion (or the lack of)on the secret anaphora. That you can utter your "Amen" to the secret anaphora and understand certainly places you in the minority according to Schmemann. In his view, which I assert is correct, the secret prayer is a defect resulting from clericalism. This portion of the Liturgy is termed "the Liturgy of the Faithful" not the "Liturgy of the Clerics".

Fr Schmemann continues:

"Defects of this sort (secret prayers and clericalism; my note) can add up to a great multitude, but this subject remains a kind of incomprehensible taboo, and neither the hierarchy nor the theologians seem to take notice of it. This needs to be done, but no one is permitted to discuss the matter. Yet I repeat what I have repeated many times in this book: what concerns the eucharist concerns the Church, and what concerns the Church concerns the eucharist, so that any ailment in the liturgy reflects on our faith and on the whole life of the Church. "ibi ecclessia, ubi Spiritus Sanctus et omnia gratia," ("Where the Church is, there is the Spirit and all grace" St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies), and we, "who stand about Thy holy altar" (Liturgy of St Basil the Great), need to pray zealously to God that he will enlighten our inner vision with the illuminating simplicity of the most holy of the holy sacraments." (The Eucharist, p 244)

Fr Schmemann explains that the Orthodox are not doing anything about it and he cannot understand the inaction. Is it too hard to conceive that our Church in America is moved by the promptings of the Holy Spirit?

Admin, you say you agree with Schmemann and discussion needs to begin. I counter that discussion has already begun within the Council of Hierarchs and the IELC. To paraphrase your own premise: Just because you have not heard the discussion does not mean it has not happened. biggrin

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#82530 - 07/18/02 03:38 AM Re: The Silent Anaphora
Administrator Offline

John
Member

Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 6237
Loc: Virginia
Quote:
Bisantino,
Admin, you say you agree with Schmemann and discussion needs to begin. I counter that discussion has already begun within the Council of Hierarchs and the IELC. To paraphrase your own premise: Just because you have not heard the discussion does not mean it has not happened.


Have there been well thought out discussions by our hierarchs? Where are the theological articles? Where are their teachings on this matter? Have I missed them? Has everyone been fully educated as to the theology behind these revisions but myself?

But you may be right. These discussions never seem to involve us uneducated laymen. That may be the reason that most Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholics in America worship in Roman Catholic parishes. frown

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