SERA- Society for Eastern Rite Anglicanism

Discussion in 'Sacraments and Liturgy' started by Ide, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    Does anyone have experience with or thoughts about SERA http://www.easternanglicanism.org/ with FB page https://www.facebook.com/EasternAnglicanism

    I came across by accident but am a bit intrigued by the mission of introducing the Eastern Rite in the Anglican church. They also seem to have a desire to incorporate more Byzantine style or flair into services and prayer life.

    Does an Eastern Rite within Anglicanism run counter to the Anglican emphasis on common prayer?

    We believe that an established Eastern Rite will align with the Anglican emphasis on common prayer. Rather than those churches throughout the communion who are interested in Eastern Rite liturgies developing their own hodgepodge of Eastern-influenced rites and using them with the permission of their local bishops, the establishment of a common Eastern Rite will allow for those Anglicans drawn to this liturgical path to be drawn together in common prayer, much like the original intentions of the BCP
    . http://www.easternanglicanism.org/about/faqs/

    I find it very interesting, but I'm not sure what to make of it! Any thoughts?
     
  2. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I have visited their site before and don't really see the point to it. Gaining a greater understanding of Eastern theology would be a good thing, but I can't see adopting the Byzantine rite as Anglicans, anymore than a Russian parish giving up the Byzantine rite and adopting the Latin mass.
     
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  3. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    Thanks for your reflections, Peteprint!

    My understanding from reading the website is that it is offer a Eastern rite to Anglicans who are perhaps interested in the aesthetics or style of the Orthodox faith, but want to remain Anglican. It also a way to learn and access the spiritual gifts found in the The Divine Liturgy.

    I think it is an interesting idea to investigate at least. The Roman Catholic church has the Eastern rite in some countries and parishes. I've been to one by mistake thinking it was Orthodox, actually.

    The site and FB don't appear very active, so I'm not sure how much traction their work is getting at this time anyways.
     
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  4. Anne

    Anne Active Member Anglican

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    Anglicanism _is_ orthodox. I love my EO friends, but I desire to be western because God has placed me here and not in, for example, Russia. This bugs me just a tiny bit :)
     
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  5. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yes. Technically a Christian parish could use any number of legitimate rites in its worship, but an Anglican parish using the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (which, by the way, is magnificent), really isn't Anglican anymore. Same for a Greek Orthodox parish adopting the liturgy of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. On the other hand, studying EO theology would be a big benefit, and would provide a more balanced view than only reading the Western fathers and Roman theologians of the early Church.

    Many of the EO Churches have customs that are unique to the particular national Church. In the Serbian Church, families have a saint who is passed down from generation to generation. Members of the family celebrate what is called Krsna Slava, something that none of the other Orthodox do. As a convert, I always felt left out when such celebrations occurred. Anglicans need to treasure their own traditions as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slava
     
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  6. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    Anne,

    I think this an interesting perspective that I've noticed before- many commonalities between EO and Anglicanism. Generally I've seen Anglicanism referred to as a protestant sect or a breakaway from RC, but could we phrase it as a Western Orthodox tradition? Not sure if that's accurate, but an interesting way to think about it.

    There are EO churches which have a Western rite as well. Would it be helpful to think of the division not so much between East and West, but rather using all of the treasures of philosophy and liturgy available to us?

    Can someone answer why the Divine Liturgy is explicitly designated for the EO?
     
  7. Anne

    Anne Active Member Anglican

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    Yes, absolutely, I find that we have far more in common with EO than with Rome -- others may see that differently. I do not see how Anglicanism can qualify as protestant. I am Catholic, but I am English Catholic. Which is to say I am Orthodox, but I am Western.

    I like what Peteprint said about liturgies and cultures. On a personal level, perhaps this will provide some illustration, I identify closely with Hispanic culture because I grew up in Southern California -- but that's me recognizing my origins and history and not picking and choosing preferences based on what I like. I really think that being strong and local Christians requires us to embrace what we have been given, and accept where we have been placed... and not go choosing what we like.

    That said, I can't tell you how much I love the Desert Fathers (especially that little book, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers) or how many times I've read The Way of the Pilgrim or how often I use the Jesus prayer. Such diversity in goodness provides riches for each other!
     
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  8. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Bishop Jones of the Anglican Province of America, Diocese of the Eastern United States, once mentioned to me that he considers Anglicanism to be just that; Western Orthodoxy. There are those Anglicans who strongly identify as Protestants, but I am not one of them, and I consider it to be a reformed Catholicism. At one time the C of E enjoyed very close relations with the EO, but that has changed with the ordination of women and other modernist tendencies. The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom was the rite which developed in the Orthodox Church over time (in Constantinople), while different liturgies developed in the West. These were eventually standardized by Rome:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Rite

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_liturgical_rites
     
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  9. Anne

    Anne Active Member Anglican

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    Indeed! I've had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Bishop Jones (due to the happy business of the future merger of the APA and the ACA). This is in fact the deciding reason for me. Why I was so convicted to join the continuing churches and not a traditional parish in the TEC or ACNA....because of our understanding that we are the Western Orthodox and not "null and void" or seeking recognition from Rome nor defining ourselves as Protestant and following the teaching of one man (Calvin, Luther, etc!).
     
  10. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    How would you feel about the Western-Rite (St. Basil?) liturgies used by the Eastern Orthodox here in the States, which are just basically rip-offs from the 1662 :laugh:
     
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  11. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I agree. I don't really see the point to it.
     
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  12. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    Personally, I find a commonality with Anglican path and the EO church even though they are historically quite separate. TEC is jokingly often referred to as "Catholic Light", but that saying has never clicked for me. Perhaps it is the structure or the stability of the liturgy, but I've never really associated Anglicanism consciously with Roman Catholicism. Fro m the RC services and readings I've done, the focus and language is rather different in tone and focus. Maybe that comes from my own biases.

    I agree with you on not responding to the title of "Protestant". I've never felt that it fit the dimension of liturgy and theology I am searching for. Part of the appeal of EO to me is the stream of pre-modern spirituality that it still carries. The Western traditions have lost so much of this in the modern era.


    If anyone can educate me, other than preference and tradition, why would it be prohibitive to have the EO style of liturgy in a Western church? It dates before the East/West split and so is a historical treasure of the western church as well.

    If read of the attempts to create a western rite for the EO to mixed results. But in this case the liturgy is only applied in a western church and not a new creation trying appropriate the rite.
     
  13. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    Although, everyone must agree that they have a good sense of design! Their seal is pretty sweet


    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Anne

    Anne Active Member Anglican

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    I confess I feel confused about this. Maybe ask it the other way around: what would it accomplish? For whom would this be for?
     
  15. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    Yes, I think it can be asked both ways. Perhaps the Orthodox churches would not feel a need to adopt "new innovations" from the West, but certain Latin/Roman rites are just a old (if not older) than the Divine Liturgy. I've noticed there tends to be a habit of expressing ownership over icons, liturgies and so forth by the Orthodox as though they had a copyright over them! I feel these are part of Christian history not just geographic territories to hoard.

    I would hate to think that either treasures of the East or Western world would be neglected simply out of traditional habits .

    I understand the resistance to adding the DL to the BCP- it seems to fly in the face of its very purpose by adding on a different form of liturgy. However, it is not as though the BCP has never changed or that it is a newly dreamed up rite. It comes from early church history and belongs to East and West!
     
  16. Anne

    Anne Active Member Anglican

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    My point is, I think it wiser to put efforts towards unity between Anglicans and EO rather than make a group that tries to stand in the middle. If Anglicanism is Western Orthodoxy (and I maintain that it is) and Eastern Orthodoxy is Eastern Orthodoxy (and it is!) then we should be seeking full communion with each other while remaining faithful Anglicans and faithful Orthodox.... rather than trying to adapt the other's liturgy while jettisoning our own. Christianity is not a 500 year old idea for Britain, it too is ancient but Western instead of Eastern. There's is no need for yet another splinter group.

    Edit: I see we posted simultaneously :) Let me think for a bit about you said.
     
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  17. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    Just to clarify, SERA does not see themselves as a separate group

    Are you starting a new church?

    No, we are not starting a new church. SERA is a society of people within the Anglican Communion, along with friends and allies outside the Communion who support our mission. We are committed to upholding the doctrine and discipline of our local Anglican jurisdictions and encourage members and allies to work within their respective local structures and canons to pursue the mission of SERA.

    As they note, the RC church also has both the Western and Eastern rites:

    For what purpose would an Eastern Rite exist within the Anglican Communion?

    Just as the Roman Catholic Church has made accommodation for Eastern Rite Catholics, we envision the day when the Anglican Communion, or at least certain provenances or dioceses therein, will make accommodation for Anglicans for whom the Eastern Rite best facilitates their worship of the Triune God.


    http://www.easternanglicanism.org/about/faqs/
     
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  18. Anne

    Anne Active Member Anglican

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    Thanks for the clarification.

    Right, this whole thing is similar to the Ordinariate ....I do not see the point. Do you see what I mean? The point of "provision" in the RCC for Eastern Rite Catholics is that they are part of the RCC and NOT the Orthodox Church. I desire full communion, not sheep stealing.
     
  19. alphaomega

    alphaomega Active Member

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  20. alphaomega

    alphaomega Active Member

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    Beautiful icon.
     

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