Sunday, August 2, 2009

Light from the East

Patricius over at Singulare Ingenium has an excellent post describing the dismay the Orthodox feel at the modern Roman Rite, which is to them a bare, stripped-down rite too often celebrated, not at a high altar, but a trestyl trist, a Cranmer table.

If the Western Church wishes to strive to heal the terrible schism that has cut off the East these thousand years, we could begin by removing the stumbling block that is our modern threefold affliction caused by the infamous hermeutic of discontinuity and rupture: impoverished liturgy, and too many abuses with it; doctrinal and moral deviations running riot, unchecked; and a complete abandonment of the discipline of fasting. The East prides itself on maintaining the glorious worship of the Fathers, their pure doctrine and practice, and the strict ascetical disciplines of the past ages - if we are to reëstablish their admiration and their trust, ut unum sint, it will not be by displaying our poverty, confusion and decadence.

With this in mind, I note that Saturday two weeks' hence I'll be joining some friends of mine at the local Greek Orthodox church here in Launceston (served only monthly, by a priest from Hobart) for the Sacred Liturgy on its titular feast day of the Dormition of Our Lady (according to the Julian Calendar).


Patricius said...

Many thanks for your referral Joshua. Sadly I have had little time today to read your own excellent blog as I have been tied up all day with Church and the preparing of a series of posts on Elvish death, mortality and necromancy. I have put up Part I on my blog just this second (11:00pm GMT!)

Joshua said...

I look forward to your learned comments.

Anonymous said...

Now this is a fact little known amongst Western modernist liturgical "experts". Though I am sure they would dismiss the Orthodox as irrelevant to the modern person.

The other aspect of Orthodoxy relates to its fasting (and other) disciplines. Orthodoxy has always maintained the strictness of the ancient fasts (cf the mediaeval lenten fasts) as the standard to which all should aspire. (And all that I ever meet do so aspire.) But Orthodoxy, knowing that humans are weak, still offers those who cannot maintain the strictness of the fast the hope that is ours in Christ to achieve that for which we are called. This is why the sermon of St John Chrysostom is a central part of the Liturgy of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday morning. Modern Catholicism has lost any notion of the connection of fast and grace and, by its constant wearing down of fasting standards replaced Divine Grace by man's endemic weakness.