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My goal here is to take one dimension of the discussion of the new Ruthenian Translation, and hopefully word the issue in a way that can provoke a useful exchange.

I had been pondering this for a few days and had already settled upon this topic, when I had the opportunity to catch part of a talk commemorating the Martyrdom of Archbishop Romero of El Salvador. The speaker did an excellent job of keeping the legacy of Romero alive by making connections to other areas where we need a prophetic Christian witness. He focused the issue by suggesting we should be asking ourselves the same question Monsenor Romero asked: " What must we do if we are to be faithful?

I think everyone who has posted on this topic would agree that we want the liturgical life of our parishes to be "authentic," to be "faithful" to our heritage. [If I missed a position that would argue against that, I hope someone will articulate it.] In spite of that apparent consensus, there are deep disagreements over what direction of change would be most faithful or authentic.

So I propose the question as, What standard should we measure our liturgy against?

In other contexts I would begin to answer that by arguing that we are called to be true to our authentic Byzantine Catholic liturgical traditions. I take it that everyone involved here would accept that goal, although there are legitimate quibbles over the particular terms used. It is when we try to operationalize that goal in a workable, measurable fashion that it turns out to be quite difficult to nail down.

I see several broad categories of standards that have been proposed. I would welcome refinements of these categories or specific examples of each from different liturgical or ecclesiastical traditions.

A. Legitimate ecclesiastical authority
Pastor in parish, Bishop in Diocese, Synodal commissions or structures, Roman Commissions, etc.

B. Specific written documents
The roman editions of the liturgical books, particular typika, conciliar decrees, curial documents, etc.

C. The lived experience/tradition of the Church
What is actually done in the parishes [the old country, the seminary, the Cathedral, ...] some version of a "sensus fidelium"

D. The authentic Byzantine [Orthodox, Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Greek, ...] patristic, liturgical tradition[s]

E. Pastoral Prudence
- what actually helps the specific people of our communities come closer to God; "The salvation of the soul is the basic law."

At one time or another I have probably appealed to each of these in several different forms. Are there other broad categories?

The next step would be to give specific examples of each type of standard.

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Dear Phil,
Your proposal is a good one - and I shall try to contribute towards it. But giving full answers to each of the points you raise will take considerable time and effort.

Incognitus

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Phil, thanks for starting this constructive thread. Had we started with this type of approach, getting some interactive input from the sensus fidelium point by point in this way we would perhaps not see the turmoil and overt opposition we are now seeing regarding the "new liturgy" - and perhaps that "new liturgy" would have looked quite different.

I would actually recommend expanding "D" to include a specific and vigorous comparison of the corpus of existing texts, Catholic and Orthodox, to assure we are not creating a new particularity resulting in the creation of a lex orandi that is simultaneously less Catholic and Orthodox.
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I would like to be so bold as to resurrect this thread as an attempt to move the discussion over the proposed Ruthenian translation in a positive direction.

Many substantive contributions have been offered over the last three months - I regret I have neither the time nor the self-discipline needed to compile them.

I remain convinced that the splendid opportunity offered us by this forum can produce more positive contributions for the common good, and less rhetorical excess, personal attacks, and venting over other agendas. I treasure the discussions that take place on this forum. I am dismayed by the freedom with which obviously intelligent and responsible people publically express hurtful speculations about others.

I apologize if I have indulged in the type of rant I find so troubling in others. Like so many of you, I care deeply about our Church and her Liturgy. I pray for the wisdom to express that love in a way that will "speak the truth in love, building up the body of Christ."

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B. Published documents to measure liturgy against.

So far I have noticed several interesting proposals here. I welcome more information on all of them, and apologize if I misrepresent any of them or the people who mentioned them.

1] The Administrator strongly advocates the 1942 Roman Edition of the Sluzhebnik.

2] Fr. Petras mentions a project to base translations on the 1905 Lviv Sluzhebnik.

3] I have heard it argued that the Ruthenian Metropolia should be following the decisions of the "Synod of Zamosc." Unfortunately I know nothing about this Synod or its decisions, much less why they should be considered normative in Northamerica in the 21st century.

4] My impression is that many scholars [including some Orthodox and non-Catholics] value the Roman editions of the Byzantine Liturgical books as often representing the best editions extant. The need for more sources to be published and for critical editions to be started has often been noted by those who labor in the field.
4a] What can be said about the compilation and publication of these editions?

5] Are there projects the members of this forum could undertake to make such sources more easily available and understood?
5a] Someone recently proposed a history of English translations of the Divine Liturgy. Could we pool our resources? How difficult would it be for us to make available the English translations? I am sure there are computer savants among us who could then transform these texts into versions that could make it easy to compare the various versions. From that we could probably identify a finite number [my guess would be between 25 and 50] theologically significant terms that pose difficulties for liturgical translators. Sharing insights about these terms would be helpful to all who strive to pray the liturgy, regardless of the translation we favor or use. [5a probably deserves its own thread, but ...]

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Resurrecting this thread is an excellent idea. Perhaps I may make two offerings in this post:

1) "Pastoral Prudence" is actually a complex of virtues held in balance. This may help to explain why it is so difficult to define pastoral prudence adequately.

2) the Synod of Zamost' (or Zamosc) was held in 1720 and received Papal approval in 1724. Its acts were published in Latin and reprinted in that noble tongue well over a century ago; even trying to find the Latin text would be quite a challenge unless one has access to a large theological library in continuous use since, say, 1870. In any event, so far as the Pittsburgh Metropolia is concerned, the Synod of Zamost' has no application, because, first, the Eparchy of Mukachevo was not in any way involved in the Synod, and, second, the Synod of Zamost' had no binding force anywhere outside of the eparchies which were then represented at the Synod. Still more to the point, Rome made it clear in CArdinal Tisserant's letter of 10 September 1941, Protocol Number 1219/28, that the prescriptions of the Synod of Zamost' were not to be extended anywhere. Finally, since Vatican II the Holy See regards the Synod of Zamost' and its prescriptions regarding liturgy to be in abeyance.

Those who would like to revive the Synod of Zamost' might be interested to know that the Synod required the priest himself to maintain a vineyard for raising grapes in order to produce altar wine, and he was required to make the wine himself just to be sure that the stuff was not adulterated!

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Phil,

The Metropolitan Cantor Institute website [metropolitancantorinstitute.org] has articles on each of the liturgical books of the Byzantine Rite, with information about the Roman editions, tables of contents, and pointers to online texts where available. I am working on scanning the volumes that aren't online so far (the Ruthenian Apostol and Gospel Book in particular), and we have offered to expand the service outlines on the website to include complete orders of service in Church Slavonic and English, if there's interest.

I would also offer the prostopinije list (on groups.yahoo.com) as a good forum to discuss the "nuts and bolts" issues for parishes that are implementing Vespers, Matins and other services. The loss of these services for the last 50 years has immeasurably impacted our church's liturgical life.

Yours in Christ,
Jeff Mierzejewski

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I was looking back over the old threads on the new liturgy from several years ago and saw this article [svots.edu] of Paul Meyendorff , which I though would make good reading here.

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Quote
Originally posted by djs:
I was looking back over the old threads on the new liturgy from several years ago and saw this article [svots.edu] of Paul Meyendorff , which I though would make good reading here.
Thank you for (re)posting the link to this article. It certainly "speaks" to the questions at hand.

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Good article...and if you don't mind me saying, I see some similar statements & concerns echoed during Vatican II...interesting.

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Dear Phil,

I like your ideas and categories. It is good to recognize and study the authority, authoritative texts, and holy tradition.

I think good "theology" is the obvious way forward for a more positive discussion. Good theology and good Liturgy are obvious companions.

The trouble is, I often feel that I know "good Liturgy" when I experience it. I know when it "feels" right, and when it "feels" less that it should be. I'd like to think that my "feelings" are based on sound theology (and I can look for theology to justify them), but sometimes it is just an instinct.

Thanks for suggesting some good avenues for discussion.

Nick

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Quote
Originally posted by PhilYevics:
1] The Administrator strongly advocates the 1942 Roman Edition of the Sluzhebnik.

I agree with the administrator. Why fix something that is not broken?

2] Fr. Petras mentions a project to base translations on the 1905 Lviv Sluzhebnik.

I'm no expert, but I think that was a highly Latinized sluzhebnik. I have been told that the rubrics have the priest washing his hands "Lavabo-style" prior to Communion, even though he has already washed his hands at the time of vesting.

3] I have heard it argued that the Ruthenian Metropolia should be following the decisions of the "Synod of Zamosc." Unfortunately I know nothing about this Synod or its decisions, much less why they should be considered normative in Northamerica in the 21st century.

From what I know of the Synod of Zamosc, it imposed Latinizations on UGCC clergy. I have been told that it mandated covering the antimension with a veil, as opposed to having it "exposed" on the Holy Table, as we now do. There were several other undesirable prescriptions, which, at this point, regretfully, I do not remember. Perhaps one of our UGCC posters can be of help. But, as mentioned above, Zamosc was only intended for the UGCC in Halych, and not for the Carpatho-Rusyn/Slovak dioceses of Mukachevo or Presov.
Hope this provides more light than heat.

Fr. Deacon Robert
Jessup, Pa.

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Two points:

As posted earlier:
2] Fr. Petras mentions a project to base translations on the 1905 Lviv Sluzhebnik.


Father David actually referenced that this was a wish of the late Metropolitan Thomas. Father David clearly did not support embracing the 1905 Lvov Sluzhebnik.

As posted earlier:
3] I have heard it argued that the Ruthenian Metropolia should be following the decisions of the "Synod of Zamosc." Unfortunately I know nothing about this Synod or its decisions, much less why they should be considered normative in Northamerica in the 21st century.


Most likely the arguments were for a restoration of the Ruthenian recension as it was before the Synod of Zamosc.

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As recently as a dozen years ago there was a serious attempt to re-impose the decrees of the Synod of Zamost' by, of all people, the then-Metropolitan Stephen Sulyk of Philadelphia, with a few allies. By the mercy of God, it didn't happen. But eternal vigilance is the price of sanity.

Incognitus


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