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The Ukrainian Catholic historian Dr. Athanasius McVay has published a very interesting article on the Prayers for the Head of State [annalesecclesiaeucrainae.blogspot.com] in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic liturgical tradition.

However, the article does not confine itself to this beautiful tradition and its magnificent prayers, but proceeds to make an extensive comment on the resistance of the Basilians and other UCGG priests and hierarchs to the Ruthenian liturgical books published by Rome.

Quotes from the article:

Quote
The first official change in the liturgical texts, in the twentieth century, occurred at the end of the 1920’s with the publication of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky’s revised liturgikon (missal) and trebnyk (ritual). In these books, the prayer for the monarch was replaced by the prayer for the nation and government, which had been in in use within the Polish Republic. These new editions represented an attempt by Sheptytsky to remove the major Latinizations from the liturgical texts and rubrics. These new books, however, were generally rejected by the other Greek-Catholic bishops, who did not share Sheptytsky’s views on liturgical reform, and the old editions printed at the turn of the century remained in use outside of Sheptytsky’s Archeparchy of Lviv. Since the Ukrainian bishops could not agree on liturgical reform, they ceded responsibility for revising their liturgical books to the Apostolic See.

It was in the 1930’s, then, that a commission for the revision of the Slavonic liturgical texts was formed under the auspices of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church (subsequently renamed the Congregation for the Oriental Churches). The brainchild of this project was a Frenchman turned Byzantine-rite priest, Cyrille Korolevskij. This eccentric scholar was a friend of several illustrious church leaders, including Metropolitan Sheptytsky, Cardinal Tisserant (the head of the Oriental Congregation), and Pope Pius XI himself, under whom Korolevskij had worked when the Pope (then Monsignor Achille Ratti) was prefect of the Vatican Library. The commission produced two sets of liturgical books, one for the Churches following the Ruthenian Edition, and the so-called Typical Edition for those following the Russian texts and rubrics. The first book in the series was the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which was released in 1940, followed by the complete liturgikon the following year.

The Roman editions were given full approval, promulgated on the authority of the Roman Pontiff and made mandatory on all the Slavic Eastern Catholic Churches. However, despite the high quality of the research and redaction, these editions contained several controversial points. Among these was the large number of changes in the rubrics, which were restored to their sixteenth-century forms, mercilessly eliminating any Greek or Slavic accretions. In addition, some of the terminology used in the Ruthenian Edition betrayed the Russophile proclivities of both Korolevskij and Tisserant (who was himself half Russian). For instance, in the Cherubic Hymn, the purely Slavonic Ruthenian pechal’ was replaced with popechennije (let us now lay aside all earthly cares). The greatest changes appeared in the 1947 trebnyk, with its completely restructured order of the celebration of the Sacraments. Notably, besides linguistic and ceremonial restoration, the Roman editions also restored the prayers for the monarch to their ancient form, introducing, however, the option of commemorating an emperor, a king or simply the civil authorities. Notably, the beautiful prayer in the anaphora of the Liturgy of St. Basil was retained, word for word.

The return to extremely conservative texts, in this instance, is interesting, especially since no Eastern Catholics were then living under the rule of a reigning emperor (perhaps there were some in Japan or India?). The inclusion of the emperor might represent the commission taking into account the possibility of a Habsburg restoration, which was much hoped for in certain European church and democratic circles of the period. On the other hand, it could simply be the result of Liturgical conservatism. Indeed, the prayer for the emperor was not removed from the Latin Rite liturgical books until the 1955 reform of the Holy Week.

Both the textual and rubrical alterations of the Roman Slavonic liturgical books made these editions difficult to accept for a significant number of the Latinized Ukrainian Catholic clergy. Foremost among the opponents of the new version was the Basilian Order of St. Josaphat, which defiantly reprinted and continued to use the old books. Despite efforts to enforce the use of the new books (even by canonical sanctions), in practice earlier editions continued to be used by many of the clergy, even well beyond the introduction of the vernacular editions. Even after the issuing of the Roman edition of the Slavonic arkhieratykon (pontifical) in 1973, some bishops continued to use the late-nineteenth-century Lviv edition well into the 1990’s; for example, Cardinal Lubachivsky. And even today, English translations of the Baptism and Marriage services not based on the Roman orders of service are widely used in Canada.

Further down the article is the following:

Quote
The partial rejection of the Ukrainian Synod’s 1988 liturgikon and 1991 arkhieratykon can be compared to the reluctant reception of the Roman editions, albeit for entirely different motivations: the synodal texts were rejected principally due to the patriarchal movement’s veneration for the texts issued by Cardinal Slipyj, and also because they had printed numerous prayer books using Slipyj’s translation, in which the term Major-Archbishop was substituted with Patriarch. With the founding of numerous printing presses in Ukraine, a host of unofficial, revised translations of the liturgical books have already appeared.

I believe that this sheds much light on the liturgical history of Ruthenian / "Byzantines" as well.

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Originally Posted by asianpilgrim
The Ukrainian Catholic historian Dr. Athanasius McVay has published a very interesting article ...
Quotes from the article:

Quote
... Among these was the large number of changes in the rubrics, which were restored to their sixteenth-century forms, mercilessly eliminating any Greek or Slavic accretions. In addition, some of the terminology used in the Ruthenian Edition betrayed the Russophile proclivities of both Korolevskij and Tisserant (who was himself half Russian). For instance, in the Cherubic Hymn, the purely Slavonic Ruthenian pechal’ was replaced with popechennije (let us now lay aside all earthly cares)...

I was following along nicely but this one threw me. I'm trying to recall a discussion of this point on one of the yahoo groups -- ustav, typikon, ??? -- where I thought the finding was that the less common Recension form was in accord with the more primitive text. And what point is being made here, in this context, about "Russophile proclivities"?


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Father Cyril Korolevsky of holy memory had two parents (as most of us do), both of whom were French. He had no Russian ancestry. His original surname was Charon, which he slavicized into "Korolevsky" by a somewhat convoluted process. As Father Archimandrite Robert Taft once put it, Father Cyril spent the first half of his life deciding what his name was, and the final half of his life deciding how to spell it.

Fr. Serge

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I was aware of Fr. Cyril's ethnicity even before reading the initial post, but wasn't aware of Fr. Taft's comment. Somewhere during Fr. Cyril's decisions, however, he also worked on the Recension, regarding which I'm asking (1) how does "Russophile proclivities" figure into his/their choosing between two Slavic-language texts and (2) what is the background/origin of the two variants?

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Quote
I believe that this sheds much light on the liturgical history of Ruthenian / "Byzantines" as well.


Not much, really, considering Fr. Athanasius has greatly abbreviated an extremely complicated history. Fr. Athanasius, himself a Basilian, does bring up some valid points but treating such things in the brevity of a blog does not do justice to such an incredibly intricate history.

The whole history of the Kyivan and associated liturgical developments (such as the "Ruthenian") since the Union of Brest is a tortuous subject at very best - a read of Metropolitan Lawrence's doctoral dissertation is a good introduction to how fluid this subject really is. And then there is the history of this liturgy in the last century before and after Metropolitan Andrey, an entire story in and of itself.

I wouldn't be too hasty to compare the positions of the BCCA hierarchy in the US regarding the reception of the Ordo with the Ukrainian Patriarchal movement, issues surrounding Metropolitan Andrey and Patriarch Josyp, or the Basilians within the UGCC. "Entirely different motivations" is an understatement, and one that definitely will limit parallels between the BCCA and UGCC regarding the Ordo quite quickly.


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The history of this matter in the 20th century is complicated, but not extremely so. Metropolitan Laurence's book is well worth reading, with (of course) some care.

Since the official Ruthenian version of various books were issued by the Holy See long before Kyr Joseph became Metropolitan, let alone Patriarch (with the obvious exception of the Archieraticon), disagreements about the Patriarchal movement have little or nothing to do with the problem - except, perhaps, the desire of some Ruthenians to make themselves as distinct as possible from the Ukrainians, but that is not primarily a liturgical question.

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Originally Posted by ajk
I'm trying to recall a discussion of this point on one of the yahoo groups -- ustav, typikon, ??? -- where I thought the finding was that the less common Recension form was in accord with the more primitive text. And what point is being made here, in this context, about "Russophile proclivities"?

I found the discussion in the yahoo Typikon group but with unexpected results, opposite to what I recalled in so far as the Old-Rite is assumed more primitive:

Quote
The Old-Rite cherubic Hymn:
> Izhe kheruvimi taino obrazouiushche, i zhivotvoriashchei troitse,
> trisviatuiu pesn' prinosiashche, vsiaku nyne zhiteiskuiu otverzhem
> pechal', iako tsaria vsekh pod"emliushche, anggel'skimi nevidimo
> daronosima chinmi. allilouia (Russia, Ritual..., p.128)
>
>
... the Nikonian text ...:

Izhe kheruvimi taino obrazuiushche, i zhivotvoriashchei troitse
trisviatu pêsn' pripêvaiushche, vsiakoe nynê zhiteiskoe otlozhim
popechenie; iako da tsaria vsêkh podimem, angel'skimi nevidimo
dorinosima chin'mi. Alliluia.

(Indicating the letter _iat'_ by ê.)
link [groups.yahoo.com]

So, the Ruthenian Recension here has the Nikonian version for the priest and deacon in the liturgicon, while the people sing as in the Old-Rite form, though only in part, as seen in e.g. the Prostopinije, link [patronagechurch.com], see page 164 ff, (9&10 of 36).

Go figure; I guess one should not try to make too much sense out of history.


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It would have been sensible for the 1941 editions (plural is deliberate) to have provided both Church-Slavonic texts of the Cherubicon. Both texts were in use before this series appeared (usually the older text was used when the congregation was singing, and the newer text was used when the choir was singing).

Fr. Serge


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