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#85648 08/22/02 07:56 PM
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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Bob,
How did you get to be so knowledgeable on these matters?
You are truly remarkable!
Alex

Alex,

Thank you for that compliment. It is however very innacurate and quite undeserved.

Those who are interested in their church and live within the Ruthenian milieu are aware of these things. It is no secret. You may visit an ACROD parish and see this pewbook for yourself. You may buy this book from the ACROD seminary bookstore, no insider information here, all publicly available.

The other cited texts should be available in libraries and many personal collections, perhaps even on-line somewhere (?). Many are still available for purchase today.

Nothing remarkable Alex, you are the remarkable one!

Bob

#85649 08/22/02 08:17 PM
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It would be interesting to learn what the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese uses as the source of its particular interpretation of the Subcarpathian Rusyn liturgical tradition. We can glean from a few of their recent publications (their last 2 pew books, for example) that they do refer to a few Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic (Pgh. Metropolia) sources, such as Msgr. Levkulic's pew book that was printed by the Byz. Sem. Press and is found in most of the Metropolia parishes.

But last Sunday I was in attendance at a Hierarchical Liturgy at Camp Nazareth, which I noticed differed interestingly in a few places from the ritual currently used in the Pgh. Metropolia. (I can scan and post it if someone's interested in seeing it, but probably not until next week.)

Also, I notice that their newer churches' sanctuaries are basically indistinguishable from that of an OCA church, i.e., according to Russian usage, and do not follow the form of a "Ruthenian" altar as described in the Ordo Celebrationis. Plus they are also adding the "kissing icons" which, if our churches in the European homeland can be taken to be some authority, are not a "Ruthenian" custom. But the curtain across the Royal Doors (which is popular in older OCA churches, at least in Pennsylvania, and was found in many Ruthenian/Ukrainian Greek Cath. churches in Pa. and Ohio at least) has been pretty universally discarded. (Doesn't the Ordo Celebrationis mention the curtain, too? Why aren't our purists clamoring for the curtain?)

#85650 08/22/02 08:25 PM
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Dear Lemko,

Subcarpathian Rusyn, Carpatho-Russian etc.

Just how large an area are these mountains? smile

I'll definitely travel there soon and see for myself.

My wife has a relative who has a cottage in the Carpathians, "dacha" know?

I've never been there, even though I spout off so much about Eastern European cultural and political issues.

I guess the ethnic brainwashing was quite effective when it came to me . . .

A great weekend, Big Guy, get out there and enjoy the weather.

(I understand a lot of Europe is really in the SWIM of things as well . . . God help them!)

Alex

#85651 08/22/02 08:48 PM
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Originally posted by Lemko Rusyn:
It would be interesting to learn what the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese uses as the source of its particular interpretation of the Subcarpathian Rusyn liturgical tradition. We can glean from a few of their recent publications (their last 2 pew books, for example) that they do refer to a few Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic (Pgh. Metropolia) sources, such as Msgr. Levkulic's pew book that was printed by the Byz. Sem. Press and is found in most of the Metropolia parishes.
But last Sunday I was in attendance at a Hierarchical Liturgy at Camp Nazareth, which I noticed differed interestingly in a few places from the ritual currently used in the Pgh. Metropolia. (I can scan and post it if someone's interested in seeing it, but probably not until next week.)
Also, I notice that their newer churches' sanctuaries are basically indistinguishable from that of an OCA church, i.e., according to Russian usage, and do not follow the form of a "Ruthenian" altar as described in the Ordo Celebrationis. Plus they are also adding the "kissing icons" which, if our churches in the European homeland can be taken to be some authority, are not a "Ruthenian" custom. But the curtain across the Royal Doors (which is popular in older OCA churches, at least in Pennsylvania, and was found in many Ruthenian/Ukrainian Greek Cath. churches in Pa. and Ohio at least) has been pretty universally discarded. (Doesn't the Ordo Celebrationis mention the curtain, too? Why aren't our purists clamoring for the curtain?)

Lemko,

I would be very much interested in seeing the text that you are referring to.

I am not clear on what you mean by "Ruthenian" altar vs. Russian.

I have heard it said that the Russians (perhaps others I am not so knowledgeable) merely placed small so-called kissing icons (which, BTW, can be found in some American Ruthenian BC parishes) there to facilitate the prescribed kissing of the icons on the screen.

Regarding the curtain, it is easily substantiated that this was a normal component in at least some Ruthenian BC churches in this country. In at least one older Ruthenian BC church I visited in the Cleveland area, the hardware was still up and quite visible. Further, I am told that Fr. Hanulya, of blessed memory, in his book of rubrics (which I do not have access to) gives details on the proper use of the sanctuary curtain.

Alas, the curtain is in some circles excoriated along with censers with bells. I have been told by acquaintances that "censers with bells are Russian and we are not Russians!" Now those who are familiar with the Russian usage knows that there is the very prevalent abuse of censing during the epistle at Divine Liturgy (I think all admit this is an abuse). I have seen in Russian usage churches censers without bells used, it seems that this makes the censing during the reading less obnoxious. Take it for what it is worth.

Bob

#85652 08/22/02 09:08 PM
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Originally posted by Bob King:
I would be very much interested in seeing the text that you are referring to.

I'll try my best... have patience.

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I am not clear on what you mean by "Ruthenian" altar vs. Russian.

Ruthenian altar: square (or cube), candles are either one seven-branch (preferably floor-standing and not sitting on the Holy Table) or two three-branch. Artophorion (usually of wood) in the shape of a church. Hand cross, Gospel book sit on the Holy Table. If there is a liturgicon, it should sit on a pillow, not a missal stand; otherwise it should be on an analogion which sits aside the Holy Table. No flowers should be placed on the Holy Table (this is routinely flouted and I guess is not a big deal, and is perhaps not a Ruthenian/Russian thing at all).

Russian altar: candles can sit on the Holy Table, usually a single candlestick on each side. Artophorion is metal, tall & thin, and covered with a rounded-top glass cylinder (sorry, dunno how else to describe it). Liturgicon doesn't go on the Holy Table -- at least I've never seen an OCA church where it was there on a pillow.

The newer ACROD churches' Holy Tables typically have the Russian-style artophorion, single candlesticks, etc.

Also, the majority of churches in Carpatho-Rus' (both sides of the Carpathians) have a Holy Table with columns rising from it supporting a canopy/baldachino. However, it's not the Latin-style baldachino, but something that more closely resembles that in the Communion of the Apostles icon. Most of the older Ruthenian/Ukrainian and OCA churches in Pennsylvania that still have their original sanctuary design have this too. The Ordo Celebrationis has nothing to say about this feature, though.

Quote
I have heard it said that the Russians (perhaps others I am not so knowledgeable) merely placed small so-called kissing icons (which, BTW, can be found in some American Ruthenian BC parishes) there to facilitate the prescribed kissing of the icons on the screen.

The American churches that have them have added them in imitation of the Orthodox (i.e., Russian) practice, e.g., Mahanoy City and Harrisburg, Pa.

Do the Ruthenian books prescribe kissing the ikonostas icons?

#85653 08/22/02 09:15 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bob King:
[
Now those who are familiar with the Russian usage knows that there is the very prevalent abuse of censing during the epistle at Divine Liturgy (I think all admit this is an abuse). I have seen in Russian usage churches censers without bells used, it seems that this makes the censing during the reading less obnoxious. Take it for what it is worth.


In my OCA parish, the deacon censes just before the actual reading (i.e. during the singing of the Prokimenon) therefore, everyone can hear it without being distracted by the censing.

#85654 08/22/02 09:26 PM
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The appropriate time for incensing is during the singing of the �Alleluia!� and its verses. Many parishes do not take the verses of the �Alleluia!� and, since there is insufficient time to incense during the �Alleluia!� the incensing was done during the epistle reading.

Regarding the specific rubrics and texts given in the Johnstown Pew Book the only way to know for sure would be to ask those who prepared the text. There seems to have been great influence from both the Russian and Greek traditions upon the liturgical style of the Carpatho-Russians. The Pew Books do credit both the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic liturgical books as well as those from Holy Cross.

#85655 08/22/02 09:28 PM
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Originally posted by Lemko Rusyn:

Do the Ruthenian books prescribe kissing the ikonostas icons?

If I am not mistaken the Ordo does. In the ECP edition in one of the appendices there is the text of communication between the Congregation and the American Ruthenian Bishop (I don't think Archbishop yet) (Elko or Ivancho?, I am in need of caffeine!) in it the Bishop lists usages or practices that he did not want to implement from the Ordo and others he wanted to retain. These have been partially reviewed in another post either in this thread or another. Kissing the icons was one of these concession. Check out that edition of the Ordo if you have access to it. It is my understanding that in the Greek usage churches the celebrant kisses the icons on the screen, hence the lack of these small icons in churches of that usage.

Bob

#85656 08/22/02 09:53 PM
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Dear Bob and All:

A very good observation and one that I wanted to address earlier but time got away from me. I'm glad that you brought it up again. You are correct that the Johnstown diocese is not generally known for "Russification" but there have been other things going on regarding their liturgical reforms that cause me not to be surprised that some of these prayers being discussed here are included in their new publication. I will attempt to explain why I say this and hope you don't mind the rather long response it has generated. In order to properly delve into the theories that lead me to this opinion, it will take some background explanations, so that we all can appreciate the historical development of the Johnstown liturgy.

The ACROGCD has gone through some major liturgical revisions during the past decade and a half or so. While their books can be at times helpful and interesting, I personally would not consider any of them to be the work of serious liturgical scholarship. I say this with all due respect to Metropolitan Nicholas and those on his liturgical commission. I even hesitate to criticize their efforts at all, knowing that they have had a great deal of liturgical "oddities" to weed through and that the work is often difficult and unappreciated. We all know however, that in previous years, the diocese had been subject to many "latinizations" some of which we had never even encountered in the Greek Catholic Church in communion with Rome.

In relation to their history of liturgical publications, there seems to have been at least two unique things going on. (1) They often simply used books published by the Pittsburgh Exarchate and later the Pittsburgh Metropolia, with the obvious changes made by the celebrating clergy, as to the commemoration of the hierarchy. I see no problem with this practice. (2) Father Molchany (The Rt. Rev. Mitred Peter E. Molchany, VG) and others sometimes printed their own books, which often reflected particular usages known only to those compiling them. It was not until the episcopacy of Metropolitan Nicholas, that a serious effort was made to purify their diocesan liturgy of certain Latin innovations and to "create" a style that would be more liturgically correct, but still unique to their own church. It is in this area that I have noticed yet more peculiarities not seen anywhere else.

In their attempts to be "more Orthodox" the Metropolitan and his advisors have sometimes introduced customs from other Byzantine sources, that are not necessarily part of the Ruthenian recension of which their church should be a part. From speaking first hand with clergy and faithful of the Johnstown diocese, it has been related to me that, at least for a significant number of people, these introductions from other traditions, along with innovations taken on the liturgical commission's own initiative, have caused confusion among the laity and even some clergy, as to what is legitimately theirs and what is not.

One of the things that seems to be going on today in that diocese, is, rather than "latinization," "hellenization" of the diocesan liturgy and other practices. As is well known, their Metropolitan travels often to Greece and Istanbul, where he also attended seminary, and is well versed in the Greek usage and customs. Likewise, he has fostered fraternal relationships with the Orthodox eparchies in Subcarpathian Rus', particularly with the "Slovak Orthodox" Eparchy of Presov. It has already been mentioned here at the forum, that the Orthodox jurisdictions in Eastern Europe were/are either directly part of or heavily influenced by the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian liturgical recension.

The Metropolitan has introduced practices such as the blessing of the "St. Basil's Bread" - but not on Jan. 1, when it is performed by the Greeks, but at occasions such as diocesan pilgrimages and other gatherings. There is also now the tradition of surrounding the holy cross with fresh basil, on the Feast of the Exaltation, a nice practice, but something unknown to most of our people, who are used to seeing the wreath of red roses or other flowers to decorate the precious cross. These are just a few of the noticeable borrowings from other sources and the possible reasons that they have found their way into the Ruthenian Orthodox liturgy of Johnstown. More could be mentioned after some reflection and study of the corresponding liturgical books.

Just as our people on the Catholic side of the fence had to deal with a serious identity crisis during most of the 20th. century, so too those in the Johnstown diocese were faced with some of the same questions, but from the opposite perspective. These included: Who were they? Why were they different from other Orthodox? Were they really canonical? (We all know that they were, but some tried to perpetuate a different opinion); What did it mean to be a "Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic"? etc, etc.

Bishops Orestes and John Martin built a strong diocese, to be sure and during their tenures, there really was not as much of an identity crisis than as occurred afterwards. The clergy and faithful worked hard to build a strong sense of belonging to the whole and created such needed and praiseworthy institutions as the diocesan cathedral, the seminary, Camp Nazareth and the former Annunciation Monastery in Tuxedo, NY. By these means, the faithful had a structure that they were used to in the Greek Catholic church and were able to come together as a family, to frequent these institutions. Their unique Ruthenian style and recension was maintained very well, even if it was in the somewhat Latinized form that both our churches had up until the past two decades. The widespread use of Church Slavonic also contributed to a more uniform and authentic liturgy. For both churches, the (necessary) dawn of the English vernacular also highlighted more, what was wrong with the services, from the point of view of authenticity.

It has to be remembered that both the Pittsburgh and Johnstown jurisdictions have had a very parallel history, since the time that they separated from each other. Issues for one were basically the same for the other, although the process of dealing with them and the eventual outcome often had a similar but naturally different result.

When Bishop Nicholas took over the administration of the diocese during the mid 1980s, he began the process of liturgical renewal that was already going on in the Pittsburgh Metropolia. However, he did not, as his predecessors, turn to Pittsburgh sources for his reforms, but instead, to other Orthodox traditions which he was in contact with. Naturally, this included both the Greek church and others such as the OCA. Some of the motivation behind this was no doubt, to bring the Johnstown diocese into contact with the other Orthodox jurisdictions, by purifying the liturgy of needless latinizations and promoting participation in inter-Orthodox liturgies and other gatherings. Again, we have to remember that just like our church, which went through the period of trying to "prove" to others that they were "really Catholic", resulting in the introduction of many Latin practices and devotions, the faithful of the Johnstown diocese, although later in history (the 80s, 90s and 2000s for them as compared to the 40s, 50s and 60s for Pittsburgh) were faced with acceptance by other jurisdictions and the tiring task of "proving" that they were really Orthodox. Unfortunately, in this process, like their brethren in the Pittsburgh Metropolia before them, proving their legitimacy often has resulted in the introduction of customs from traditions other than their own, thus creating a hybridized liturgy of "mostly this but some of that" and the loss of some very valid usages proper to who they are as a particular Orthodox church.

It is interesting that both jurisdictions have gone through the process of liturgical renewal, but in doing so, different but parallel outcomes have surfaced. During the latinized period, Pittsburgh had to "prove" their Catholicity by introducing Roman aspects into the services and this led to an eventual crises in identity (its all Catholic, so . . . ) and loss of great numbers of communicants. It did not so much concern the Johnstown leaders or faithful, where the somewhat latinized version of the Ruthenian recension felt quite comfortable for most everyone. For Johnstown, it is what kept them together as a particular church.

Later on and still now, the "Byzantinization" of the Ruthenian liturgy in both jurisdictions has had a different effect on the respective churches. While it has given a renewed sense of identity to Pittsburgh Ruthenian Byzantine Catholics, it has, in some places, caused great confusion among members of the Johnstown diocese. On the other hand, while latinization caused the hybridization of the Pittsburgh liturgy, "orthodoxization" has had a similar effect on Johnstown - namely, the creation of a liturgical style that is not purely one thing or another, but is already resulting in the disappearance of the authentic Ruthenian Orthodox liturgy, in favor of a combination of traditions, together and at once. This latter product may be what some would advocate in the hypothetical "American Orthodox Church" or it may work in some OCA and other parishes that are comprised of a mixture of faithful from various ethnic traditions or primarily of converts. In my opinion however, it does not work in a church that had in the past, a very strong "Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic" identity and whose very existence is based on the preservation of the unique and legitimate "Carpatho-Russian" liturgical inheritance. (Here, we must remember that one of the main reasons for the "canonization" of the diocese by the Ecumenical Patriarchate was indeed the maintenance of their own particular recension. Permission was even extended by the EP for certain elements to continue, that would today be considered latinizations). It would seem to me that the desire to "fit in" to the greater Orthodox community in the US and to "prove" their Orthodox authenticity, that liturgical reform within the Johnstown diocese does not necessarily focus today, on obtaining the purest and most correct Ruthenian liturgy possible, but rather, some of it has to do with making their churches and clergy conform to the standards of other Orthodox traditions.

Well, I have said much about the area of liturgical reform in the American Carpatho-Russian Greek Catholic Diocese and want to make it clear that, not being a priest of the diocese, I obviously do not have all the answers. My conclusions are, however, based discussion with many diocesan clergy and faithful, attendance at some diocesan functions and a long history of comparative study of the liturgies of both that diocese and our own Pittsburgh Metropolia. Being one who loves our Ruthenian history, I have followed closely, the development of both of our churches, particularly in the liturgical realm. I have seen many changes take place in both jurisdictions, some of which are welcome and wholesome, others which, depending on opinion, may not be the best or most authentic road to take.

My opinions are solely my own, but ones which I think can be authenticated by others who have had experience with the development of our truly "sister" churches. Since I firmly believe in the beauty and legitimacy of the Ruthenian recension, I would be saddened to see the disappearance of what I consider an authentic interpretation of our recension within the Orthodox Church, just as much as I would not want to see our Pittsburgh Metropolitan See loose sight of its authentic liturgical customs and, while in the process of "easternizing" our services, loose sight of the differences that make us what and who we are as a distinct particular church.

To conclude with a focus on the original point that Bob has brought up: I personally would not, at this time, recommend that publications coming out of the Johnstown diocese represent a faithful interpretation of the Ruthenian recension. Yes, they do still maintain a great bulk of the legitimate Ruthenian liturgical style, as well as the use of the "prostopinije" and other sacred hymns, but there has been an increased amount of "borrowing" from other traditions that must be taken into consideration when reviewing their publications. That is why I would hesitate to draw any conclusions about the introduction of such prayers as "Having beheld the resurrection of Christ . . ." or others, into their new pew book. It would be my opinion that someone who participated in its compilation happened to notice this prayer in other traditions, liked it and decided to include it. Again, with the utmost respect for Metropolitan Nicholas, Father Barriger and others in Johnstown, and the difficult work that is before them, I would surmise that we have been especially blessed with the most qualified and "cutting edge" of Ruthenian liturgical scholarship in the persons of Father Petras and through him, of his mentors, Frs. Taft, Arranz, and other scholars well known for their expertise in Byzantine and particularly Ruthenian liturgics.

No liturgical study and reform can ever be perfect or completely acceptable to all and as I said above, this type of work is often tedious and unappreciated. Nevertheless, the task before our liturgical commissions is an important and ongoing one. As with the church itself, ever developing and renewing itself through the Holy Spirit, so too the liturgy, which is the expression of the church's faith, continually needs our attention and devotion. With stagnancy in the church comes stagnancy in the liturgy and vice versa. Living worship demands that we continually refresh both ourselves and our expression of the "Gospels brought to life" - the liturgy.

I hope that this has made sense. Admittedly it is an unwieldy topic about which so much can be discussed. God bless you all.

Fr. Joe

#85657 08/22/02 09:55 PM
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Originally posted by Lemko Rusyn:
[QB]
Ruthenian altar: square (or cube), candles are either one seven-branch (preferably floor-standing and not sitting on the Holy Table) or two three-branch. Artophorion (usually of wood) in the shape of a church. Hand cross, Gospel book sit on the Holy Table. If there is a liturgicon, it should sit on a pillow, not a missal stand; otherwise it should be on an analogion which sits aside the Holy Table. No flowers should be placed on the Holy Table (this is routinely flouted and I guess is not a big deal, and is perhaps not a Ruthenian/Russian thing at all).

Russian altar: candles can sit on the Holy Table, usually a single candlestick on each side. Artophorion is metal, tall & thin, and covered with a rounded-top glass cylinder (sorry, dunno how else to describe it). Liturgicon doesn't go on the Holy Table -- at least I've never seen an OCA church where it was there on a pillow.
QB]

I do not dispute anything you have stated above, but I would like to make some comments or observations.

The Russian Holy Table should also be square and I think usually is. I have usually seen candles on the Holy Table in BC churches, unless it is a 7-branch candle stand (although those can be floor models or table top too), the difference in number and style being noted. The artophorion yes is oftentimes different, sometimes the BCs seem to have a larger Artophorion and it is not always in the shape of a church. The Russians normally have the glass dome but I could take you to at least one Pittsburgh OCA parish that does not. Hand-cross and Gospel remain on the altar in both usages I think. I only remember seeing one BC church with an anologion for the service book. It seems that the pillow vs missal stand it not resolved in usage. I would bet that flowers are a no-no all around but I have seen them in both churches on the altar....in pots and cut-flowers...plastic too!

I was once told that the candle-stick difference reflected the Greek vs Russian usage. I don't know one way or the other confused

I think one thing is problematice (and I do not mean to be polemical here merely trying to talk about this) but if Rome calls the EC churches to align their practices with their EO counterparts, what are Ruthenian Catholics to do? The counterpart seems to be the "Johnstown Diocese" but the feeling seems to be that their usage is not authentic. Any thoughts on that?

frown Bob (feeling under the weather)

#85658 08/23/02 02:54 AM
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Bob:

For a start, go back and re-read the Liturgical Instructions. They are very general - directed to all Eastern Churches. They are very elliptical in their suggestions. They include qualifying phrases ("as far as possible") that anticipate the kinds of problems so nicely discussed by Fr. Joe, and thus recognize that they are limits to the degree of "alignment" possible. Your paraphrase here (and previously in the forum) of the Instructions is mistaken to the extent that it seems to miss this important point completely.

djs

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