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True Western Orthodox Christianity

Information about Orthodox Western Fathers, the Orthodox Western Rite, and Church Services for major feasts. Also answers some of the false claims made by those who prefer the post-schism traditions of the West to the genuine Western Orthodox tradition.

Unless otherwise noted, Western Liturgical texts are taken from The Medieval Monastic Psalter, St Gregory's Press.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

We Now Have a Presbytery!

Yesterday we moved the choir stalls into the area that was once the old nave.  The old nave is no longer the nave, but, is the new choir, safely behind an high Rood Screen surmounted with the Holy Cross and images of Our Lady and St. John the Evangelist.  The new nave is perhaps 3 to 4 times larger than the old nave, so much easier for movement, processions, people, etc.  The Narthex is finished, the Nave is finished, the Baptistry (and large Font for full immersion of adults) is finished.  The Choir is finished. The area where the old choir was is now the new Presbytery, partitioned off from the choir according to traditional Western canonical decrees (for example, see the Canons of the Councils of Braga, as well as even much later non-Orthodox post-Schism writers, such as Durandus, who testify to the antiquity of the division into choir, presbytery, and Sanctuary for the cantors and clergy, as well as the Screens infront, etc).  The Sanctuary now will be much easier to move around in, as several things that were in the Sanctuary are now going to be in the Presbytery (bishop's throne, sedilia, etc, etc).  So, except for one more arch to finish just inside the rood screen choir area, there isn't anything structurally more to do for usage of the temple for Palm Sunday.  Having used the new choir for offices already, it is already much easier, and the acoustic of the church are very good, as even the priest chanting things all the way from the Altar can be clearly heard all the way back in the Narthex! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mass Propers for the Feast of the Annunciation

Here is a link to the Mass Propers.

Excerpt from texts, the Preface for this Mass:

"It is very meet and just, right and available for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty and Everlasting God. Who through the Birth-giving of the Blessed Virgin Mary didst assign to Thy Church to celebrate the Wondrous Mystery and Unspotted Sacrament, in which chastity remaineth intact, modesty whole, constancy firm. She rejoiceth that the Virgin did conceive, that she did carry the Lord of Heaven within her chaste womb, that the Virgin did give birth. O admirable working of divine dispensation: she that knew not a man, yet Mother is; and after a Son she is a Virgin. Truly did she rejoice for two favours: she marvelleth that a Virgin gave birth; she is joyous that she brought forth the Redeemer of the world, Jesus Christ Our Lord. Through Whom Angels praise Thy Majesty, Dominions adore, Powers tremble. The Heavens, and the Virtues of heaven, and the blessed Seraphim unite in one glad voice in extolling Thee. Together with whom, we pray Thee, that Thou wouldest command that our voices should have entrance humbly confessing Thee, and saying:

Monday, March 24, 2014

St. Cyprian On the Unity of the Episcopate Against the Papists

Fr. Vladimir (Abbe Guette) in his book "The Papacy" (remember, Fr. Vladimir had been a Roman Priest in France who converted to Orthodoxy in his late 20s during the 19th century; was received by the Russian Church, and was a well-known Church historian), we find the following:

"Thus the evidence brought by Romish theologians to prove the episcopate of St. Peter at Rome, tells against them, and only establishes the fact that St. Peter and St. Paul founded the Roman Church, and consequently that this Church is Apostolic in its origin, which no one denies. Besides these historical evidences which confound them, the Romish theologians have invoked the letter of Firmilianos, already quoted, and those few texts from St. Cyprian, the true meaning of which we have already explained. As regards the letter of Firmilianus, it is only necessary to read it, in order to understand its true sense, and to wonder that they should have ventured to appeal to its evidence. As to St. Cyprian, we will now in a general way sum up his doctrine, in order to make apparent the abuse that has been made of it."St. Cyprian proves: First, that the Church of Rome was build upon St. Peter as the type and representative of the unity of the Church; secondly, that the Church of Rome is the chair of Peter; thirdly, that the Church of Rome is the principal church from which sacerdotal unity proceeded; fourthly, that treachery and errour cannot gain access to the Roman Church.From this, the Romish theologians argue that the Popes, as successors of St. Peter, are the centre of unity, and that beyond them and their Church, all is schism. Such are not the legitimate conclusions from the doctrine of St. Cyprian; for the holy Doctor lays down other principles besides, which clearly determine the sense of the former ones: First, that St. Peter in confessing the Divinity of Jesus Christ, answered for all the Apostles, and spoke in the name of them all, and not in his own name personally; secondly, that the other Apostles were equal to St. Peter in power and dignity; thirdly, that all the bishops who are successors of the Apostles are successors of St. peter, in the same way as those of Rome. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Placement of Epiklesis in the Canon of the Western Rite Liturgy

If you don't believe an additional prayer, i.e., the epiclesis, should be added to the Roman Canon for use in the Orthodox Church, then, you won't care for this post. Just leave and do something more constructive.  Ok? Well, now that we're done with that, we are going to address the question of the placement of the explicit invocation of the Holy Ghost in the Canon of the Mass.

Yes.  If  you look in all the oldest Sacramentaries, you don't find an epiclesis in the text of the Canon of the Mass.  That doesn't mean people denied the Holy Ghost was transforming the Gifts, but, it just wasn't expressed explicitly.  However, of course, as documented in previous posts, you often did find, especially as the Roman rite fused with the Gallican in the 8th and 9th centuries, a transformation taking place.  Prayers that look exactly like 'Eastern' epiklesis began to occur in the Offertory.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Alleluia in Lent and Trullo

I've heard it before. Perhaps I've missed something, but, of the 102 Canons of the Trullan Synod which is Canon Law of the Church of Christ, especially as when the West fell away they no longer could lodge any objections (as they weren't part of the Church then), where, SPECIFICALLY is the omission of the Alleluia in Lent mentioned?

Answer: It's not. Go ahead, look through the 102 canons:

http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/councils_ecumenical_rudder.htm#_Toc34001973

In fact, search the corpus of the canons of the Seven Councils. You don't find it mentioned once; you, in fact, if searching the term 'alleluia', don't find it at all. If you are Orthodox and believe the Orthodox Church is the True Church, then you accept its Nomocanon; and by that I mean the texts concerning them.  There are of course various interpretations, but, that's always been.  If you like to play around and attack the Canons of the Catholic Church, which is Orthodoxy, and not false Rome, then you accept these. If you don't, then you don't and you reject this.

It's like the West objected for a long time, even while part of Orthodoxy, with certain Canons of First Constantinople and Chalcedon, particularly the ranking of the Patriarchates. There are always objections here and there, but, the objectors either quiet down over time, or they leave the Church.

If anyone has an answer to where the mention is made in Trullo tell me. Don't, however, quote the wiki page on Trullo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinisext_Council
Which mentions it but gives no evidence.  Again, read the 102 Canons, I've read them several times, no mention of this. Nice job wiki and sources!

The closest you are going to come to a mention made is not in Trullo, but in a letter from St. Photius to Pope Nicholas, before any controversy broke out; and the mention is made simply to speak about differences. Yet, despite all this, the omission of Alleluia from Septuagesim to Holy Saturday, is NOT spoken against in the Canons of Trullo; they don't like clertical celibacy and fasting on Sabbaths (a particularly Roman custom as opposed to Hispanic, Gallican, or Ambrosian), but, they don't mention the question of the Alleluia.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Patriarchal Encyclical of 1895 on variations on rites in the Church

In the glorious reply of Ecumenical Patriarch Anthimus and the Orthodox Church of Constantinople to the heretical depravity of the Leo XIII's encyclical "Praeclara gratulationis", in the course of defending Holy and True Orthodoxy, the Patriarch and the Synodal Encyclical, addressed "To the most Sacred and Most Divinely-beloved Brethren in Christ the Metropolitans and Bishops, and their sacred and venerable Clergy, and all the godly and orthodox Laity of the Most Holy Apostolic and Patriarchal Throne of Constantinople," say:

"V. But however that may be, for the practical realization of the pious longing for the union of the Churches, a common principle and basis must be settled first of all; and there can be no such safe common principle and basis other than the teaching of the Gospel and of the seven holy Ecumenical Councils. Reverting, then, to that teaching which was common to the Churches of the East and of the West until the separation, we ought, with a sincere desire to know the truth, to search what the one holy, catholic and orthodox apostolic Church of Christ, being then 'of the same body,' throughout the East and West believed, and to hold this fact, entire, and unaltered. But whatsoever has in later times been added or taken away, every one has a sacred and indispensable duty, if he sincerely seeks for the glory of God more than for his own glory, that in a spirit of piety he should correct it, considering that by arrogantly continuing in the perversion of the truth he is liable to a heavy account before the impartial judgment-seat of Christ. In saying this we do not at all refer to the differences regarding the ritual of the sacred services and the hymns, or the sacred vestments, and the like, which matters, even though they still vary, as they did of old, do not in the least injure the substance and unity of the faith; but we refer to those essential differences which have reference to the divinely transmitted doctrines of the faith, and the divinely instituted canonical constitution of the administration of the Churches. 'In cases where the thing disregarded is not the faith (says also the holy Photius),  and is no falling away from any general and catholic decree, different rites and customs being observed among different people, a man who knows how to judge rightly would decide that neither do those who observe them act wrongly, nor do those who have not received them break the law.' "