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The Epiklesis calls for the Holy Spirit to come upon US and the gifts that are present to change them into the Body and Blood of Christ. Since we receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit at this time, would it not be appropriate to spend some time praying in thanksgiving in the Spirit (in tongues) after the Epiklesis?

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Doctor Henry,

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are indeed wonderful and awesome. I would question the timing of the use of the Gifts, though. Just as one wouldn't prophesy, heal, preach or teach at that moment, so also the speaking in tongues appear to be out of place, in my humble opinion. However at the end of the Divine Liturgy the display of these Gifts would be marvelous!

Fr Deacon Paul


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At my Church in Indianapolis (St. Athanasius) we pray for healing and lay hands over those who wish after each liturgy. We pray in tongues at that time also. We have a Byzantine charismatic group that meets most Wednesdays.

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Here is information from the website:

Quote
BYZANTINE CHARISMATIC HEALING–THE PARAKLIS WILL REMAIN ON THE SECOND WEDNESDAY OF MOST MONTHS (EXCEPT FEB. MAR. AND AUG.) The focus of this group is to lead a Trinitarian life with the aid of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. The Eastern Catholic Church from day one has been Charismatic and still is Charismatic. Modernism and Secularism have de-valued being Charismatic within the Catholic Church. It is a main stay within the Catholic Church. Charismatic brings the Spirit and the Trinity into our lives. It brings us and changes us from image to likeness of God. The main theme of the Byzantine Charismatic Group is to heal the spirit, soul, mind and body of all physical, mental and demonic afflictions. If you want to enjoy the gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit come to us for a community charismatic worship. The next Paraklis will be held on Tues., February 12, 2008 instead of the second Wednesday.

HEALING HAPPENS!
Thank you for joining us for the Paraklis. We had many visitors and continue to pray and look forward to their healing. This is for healing of Mind, Body and most importantly the SOUL!

So is the idea that the Paraklesis is the main focus and structure of the meeting?

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No, the Paraklesis occurs once a month. The charismatic group meets on the other Wednesdays. Small healing sessions are held after every Sunday liturgy. How often do other Byzantine churches have healing services?


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So, how many times a month do you celebrate Vespers? Orthros, at least on Sunday mornings?

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If it works for you, I won't criticize. I personally find it foreign to eastern spirituality, and more reminiscent of Pentacostalism. But then, I tend to agree with the late Archbishop Sheen that the Charismatic Movement is a great threat to the church. Although I do realize he was speaking more of the western church at the time.

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I would advise against introducing charismatic-style prayer into the Liturgy.

I think right before or right after the Liturgy is OK, but the proper order of the Liturgy should be respected.

Same goes with any other form of prayer or devotion. Care needs to be taken so that these other devotions, while very honorable, are not confused with the Liturgy.

Shalom,
Memo

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Silence is prescribed during the Epiklesis. It is not the appropriate time to say anything.

But if spontaneous vocal worship, including tongues, were to happen during a Divine Liturgy I have some musings about where it could take place.

There are two parts of the Divine Liturgy where I most often feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. So, maybe I'm biased about where He would inspire the faithful to break out in spontaneous worship and glossolalia.

The first place is during the Trisagion. Right after the Little Entrance, when the priest comes out with the Gospel and declares "Wisdom, be attentive" the faithful sing "Come let us worship and fall down before Christ..." But where is the worship? Where is the falling down? Sounds like an invitation to DO something.

Next is the Trisagion hymn: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us (three times). Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen. Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

HERE is the place where I imagine singing in tongues, shouting praises to God, vocal declarations of worship. What happens after? The priest declares "Dynamis" or "Again with fervor" and the faithful sing one more time "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us."

Okay, I can hear a collective groan from the Byzantine liturgists, but if you consider this seriously, it appropriately enhances what is happening at that point in the Divine Liturgy. What if people are distracted? Well, the next thing said is "Let us be attentive", so everything is brought back into order.

At the beginning of the Anaphora, right after the priest tells the faithful to lift up their hearts,"We lift them up unto the Lord" is the reply, then the celebrant commands "Let us give thanks to the Lord", with the response "It is proper and right".

Here we go again! More time to worship in the Spirit. Hearts (and for some, hands) are already lifted, why not praise the Lord with angelic tongues. This naturally leads to the next part of the Liturgy, what the Latins call the Sanctus, where we join the angels in singing "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabbaoth..." Seems appropriate in timing and order.

I don't claim any historic precedent for these musings. We know that spontaneous expression did happen in the early Church, but with the establishment of organized Liturgy the freedom faded. I am not proposing that Orthodox and Eastern Catholics modify their Liturgies to accommodate such innovations.

My point is that IF spontaneous worship and speaking in tongues were to happen in a Byzantine Divine Liturgy, this is where I imagine it.

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In the Spiritual writings of the Christian East, specifically the Philokalia, many types of prayer are described. One type of prayer that is often mentioned but not explained is "formless prayer" that, according to St. Peter of Damaskos, exchanges human words for "the divine words of the Spirit".

Ilias the Presbyter calls this free-form prayer, "sweet smelling wine," and "those who drink deep of this wine are rapt out of themselves." (Gnomic Anthology, 72)

Sounds kinda like charismatic style worship to me.

How about the "gift of tears"? If your priest started sobbing uncontrollably while serving the Liturgy, would you call your bishop or a shrink? Would you accuse him of prelest or emotionalism? Or would you recognize that he was touched by the Holy Spirit in a way spoken of by the Church Fathers?

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We had our "pentecostal moment" with the Montanists back in the third and fourth centuries. We're over it, thanks--no need to go back there. Eastern suspicion of such vocal and visible demonstrations, as well as of "new prophesy", run so deep that the Apocalypse of St. John, which was held in very high regard by the Montanists, is the only book of the New Testament not read aloud in the Liturgy.

And, seeing how that very difficult and dangerous book has been abused over the centuries, their wisdom is apparent.

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Christ is in our midst!!

Father Seraphim Rose has a very good analysis of the modern Charismatic Movement and it isn't at all positive. His analysis mirrors Bishop Sheen's. I have copied it from this forum and will see if I can find it to post when I return home tonight.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/charmov.aspx

In Christ,

BOB

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After wrecking the Roman Catholic liturgy in countless places, now the charismatics want to do it in the Byzantine Rite.

As a former charismatic myself, I've seen enough! It is even worse when some people engage in gibberish, mistaking this for the actual prayer of tongues.

I am also disgusted by the way some charismatics seek to use the Church Fathers as justification for their innovations in worship and piety, which has roots not in patristic thought but in Pentecostalism.

I really hope that the Catholic Charismatic movement as found in English-speaking areas will learn how to shed its Pentecostalist attitudes and teachings and adopt instead those of the French Catholic "charismatics", whose spirituality is deeply monastic and liturgical in its orientation, birthing many new monastic congregations in the process.

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For someone who prided himself in being uber-orthodox, Fr. Seraphim used all the standard Protestant fundamentalist arguments against the charismatics. Too bad he couldn't make an argument from an Orthodox perspective. I'm so tired of his weak article being pulled out every time someone gets suspicious of this current outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

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Quote
. . . current outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Christ is in our midst!!

There's no question there is a spirit involved here. The only question is what spirit. The Eastern Church's negative response to the charismatic movement and ABP Fulton Sheen's negative response centers around the idea that there is too much room for the Enemy to enter into this situation with his faking of true movements of the Holy Spirit. The problem is that too many assume that this is all self-authenticating: the idea used by people involved in centering prayer, too, that the Enemy cannot operate in the area where the Holy Spirit would move a soul. It's akin to saying that people cannot operate in oxygen to say that the Enemy cannot operate his delusions on the spiritual plane.

The authentic speaking in tongues mentioned in Scripture involved the Apostles speaking in their own language and the hearers being able to hear in their own. It did not involve the babbling that so often passes for speaking in tongues in Pentecostal and charismatic situations. That's the reason that there is opposition to it.

Then we have St. Paul's admonistions in 1 Corinthians 14. He says that if there is no one to interpret the tongues, the person who would be so moved ought to stay silent in church and "speak to himself and to God." (v. 28) How about "tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is is not for unbelievers, but for believers" (v. 22)? The whole of chapter 14 speaks to the Church's attitude toward this phenomenon.

In Christ,

BOB

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