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Just passing this on, which I read elsewhere:

Got this via our parish's email list:

Subj: "60 Minutes" Episode on Mt. Athos

CBS TV's 60 Minutes will air a 40-minute segment on the Holy Mountain of Athos in Greece on Sunday, April 24, 2011 (Pascha Sunday). It will include scenes of worship and daily life, as well as interviews with the abbots of several of the Mountain's twenty monasteries.


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Thank you! That will be a great show to watch on Pascha Sunday! My husband will be thrilled, as he finally fulfilled his dream of going there last year.

Alice

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I watched the 60 minutes segment last night and enjoyed it. Definitely made me wish to visit Mt. Athos, however I had a question. I've often heard people state that daily Divine Liturgy is a Latinization, and during the 60 minutes segment a point was made that Divine Liturgy was celebrated every day.

So is the problem some people have with daily Divine Liturgy, really that it can lead to the absence of the Divine Office?

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I've often heard people state that daily Divine Liturgy is a Latinization . . .


Christ is Risen!!

Is everything that does not happen in a person's parish church a result of the bad old Latin Church?

The Mount Athos monks take the entire Typikon every day. Is that so hard to understand? And as far as I've heard, there is absolutely no tolerance for anything that remotely relates to the Latin Church on Mount Athos--witness the anti-ecumenical attitude that so often comes out of that holy place.

Not everything that comes up is the fault of the Latin Church. Admittedly there has been a lot of Latin practice thrust on the Eastern Churches over the centuries. But there are some practices that are universal. The one exception I've found is the Armenian practice of restricting the serving fo the Divine Liturgy to Sundays as is stated on a few websites. And no one has yet been able to provide an answer as to why.

In Christ,

Bob

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Daily Eucharist has been a practice in many Orthodox monasteries for more than a millennium, though the practice varies from place to place, and not all monks may be permitted to receive at every Divine Liturgy (that is left up to their spiritual fathers).

However, except for cathedral churches (and not even universally then), daily Divine Liturgy has not been typical of parochial use in the Orthodox Church for just about as long. Mystagogically, the weekly cycle means some days are more suitable for the Eucharist than others. Practically, a married priest with family responsibilities needs a little time to himself.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Daily Eucharist has been a practice in many Orthodox monasteries for more than a millennium, though the practice varies from place to place, and not all monks may be permitted to receive at every Divine Liturgy (that is left up to their spiritual fathers).

However, except for cathedral churches (and not even universally then), daily Divine Liturgy has not been typical of parochial use in the Orthodox Church for just about as long. Mystagogically, the weekly cycle means some days are more suitable for the Eucharist than others. Practically, a married priest with family responsibilities needs a little time to himself.

True in theory, but in practice - not so easy....spoken as a PK!

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Originally Posted by theophan
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I've often heard people state that daily Divine Liturgy is a Latinization . . .


Christ is Risen!!

Is everything that does not happen in a person's parish church a result of the bad old Latin Church?

The Mount Athos monks take the entire Typikon every day. Is that so hard to understand? And as far as I've heard, there is absolutely no tolerance for anything that remotely relates to the Latin Church on Mount Athos--witness the anti-ecumenical attitude that so often comes out of that holy place.

Not everything that comes up is the fault of the Latin Church. Admittedly there has been a lot of Latin practice thrust on the Eastern Churches over the centuries. But there are some practices that are universal. The one exception I've found is the Armenian practice of restricting the serving fo the Divine Liturgy to Sundays as is stated on a few websites. And no one has yet been able to provide an answer as to why.

In Christ,

Bob


No it's not hard to understand. I never said that daily divine liturgies are a Latinization, I said, I've often heard people say it is. I guess my point was that it's hard to claim it as a latinization if the monks on Mt. Athos do it.

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I think the perceived "Latinization" is the replacement of other parts of the cycle of daily services with the divine liturgy - vespers for instance. Along with the idea that if it "isn't mass, they won't come"

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Along with the idea that if it "isn't mass, they won't come"

Cracker Jack theology: a prize in every liturgy.

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The 60 Minutes piece was very good in many ways and it is encouraging to see such sustained coverage given to the Holy Mountain. However, the interviewer displayed too-typical credulity in the face of some common, but absurd, claims Athonites make about themselves, or Orthodox imagine about Athos: e.g., that it has always been that way and never changed. Orthodox who make that claim--and there are too many of them--are simply not living in the real world. As it happens a new book has just come out documenting the role of Athos in Orthodox imaginations: http://easternchristianbooks.blogspot.com/2011/03/mount-athos.html

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Adam,

Excellent post; the other book you mention in your blog post (M. Basil Pennington's The Monks of Mount Athos: A Western Monk's Extraordinary Spiritual Journey on Eastern Holy Ground) is excellent and is one of the best general books on Mt. Athos.

Re: Daily Liturgy as a "Latinization": the places I went to on Mt. Athos had daily liturgy. Also, for the days I was there, the Shrine of St Demetrius in Thessalonica also had daily liturgy, with different priests and cantors each day.

I'm told the canonical requirement for a priest to celebrate Divine Liturgy is to significantly fast (to include from marital relations, say Vespers, Orthros and a long set of prayers beforehand*. If this were true, it would be impossible for the average parish (1-2 priests, 2-3 cantors capable of running services themselves, all of whom have full time jobs and families) to hold daily liturgy. It could only work in a monastery with several hieromonks, or in a setting where at least a dozen clergy work in daily shifts. It would also explain why so many places don't have daily Divine Liturgy, and in this case the "Latinizations" would be the lower standards for clergy, possible de-emphasis on the Liturgy of the Hours, and an imperative to celebrate a eucharistic liturgy every day.

Markos

* I have never read a typikon, nor the canons, nor (most importantly) received directions from a bishop that documents this. Since the Greek parishes around me don't have Vespers, I can assume that such a canon, if real, is not strictly implemented - which might not be a bad thing.

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I watched it and enjoyed it very much. I'm glad so many people who saw the show were given a view in to the Orthodox faith, something they probably would never have seen otherwise. It seems to me the essential purpose and mission of the monks has and will remain the same, and therefore really is unchanged and will remain that way; so I don't agree with the criticism along those lines.

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I had not watched 60 Minutes in years, but that was a great report. In particular I like the following exchange on icons:

Bob Simon (60 Minutes correspondent): "There's no electricity here, so the icons and mosaics are illuminated only by shafts of sunlight and a few candles. St. Nicholas, the patron saint; John the Baptist; and the Virgin Mary. We were stunned by the magnificence of the art here, but then we ran into Fr. Maximos, a former professor at the Harvard Divinity School. He told us what we were seeing cannot be described as art."

Fr. Maximos (a monk of Mt. Athos): "They are devotional objects, and they are part of the living liturgical life of Church. So we don't have any art, and we're not a museum. I mean . . . to put it starkly."

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I forgot to add, another video on Mt Athos which I highly recommend, produced by one of the more dynamic monasteries:

http://www.liturgica.com/cart/musicInfo.jsp?catNo=AB997

This takes you through Holy Friday Vespers, Holy Saturday Orthros, and Pascha at two places on Mount Athos, along with some commentary. I watch it every year around this time.


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