Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by Jellies, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Literally no one is saying this. I’ve explained this repeatedly. You are superimposing 19th-20th century (Baptist) presuppositions onto late 1st century texts, and assuming that those living in the immediate centuries afterward had nothing valuable to say about what those texts mean. The Church was not formed by a bunch of people sitting around reading Bibles one day, who then decided to create a Church from scratch using the Bible as a sort of constitution. The Church existed before the Bible, created the Bible, and canonized it. The generation of the Church that was teaching the Eucharistic Sacrifice is the same generation that decided what the authoritative biblical canon was. The Liturgy in some sense predates the canon of Scripture. Let that sink in.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
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  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Do you have any classical anglican voices which can back you up in speaking about scripture, the church, and authority in this manner?


    "The generation of the Church that was teaching the Eucharistic Sacrifice is the same generation that decided what the authoritative biblical canon was."

    how many books are in this authoritative canon of yours.. it wouldn't be 73, would it? when did the generation you mention "decide" this? So many puzzles and mysteries
     
  3. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Doubtful. I don’t see the relevance of the question though. I’m not making a statement one way or the other about whether the doctrine is true (and I’ve already said this about a half-dozen times). I am explaining why the Orthodox think it is, since the question was about Orthodox liturgy, and I used to be Orthodox.

    I was referring to the NT canon, and I can tell you exactly when. It was fixed in the West in 382 under Pope Damasus I at a local Council at Rome, the definition of which was later formally received by the whole Church. This is Church History 101. It’s not everyday I get accused of being a goddess-worshiping non-Christian and a doctrinaire Roman Catholic, let alone by the same person, LOL.
     
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  4. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    These are Roman and eastern arguments. The church did not create the canon. The canon is the list of divinely inspired books. God knows which books are inspired. So the church ACCEPTS the canon, she does not create it. Are we going to say the Jews created the canon too? Why is the Roman and orthodox canon different from the Jewish canon? Why do Roman and orthodox canons differ ? Why do Eastern Orthodox and oriental orthodox canons differ? What a lovely canon the church has created, it’s different for everyone!
    I said in my previous comment I’m not denying a Eucharistic sacrifice, I’m denying a repeated atonement. And you say it’s not a repeated atonement now. So maybe I’m misunderstanding you. Let me ask again: the priest offers the physical body and blood of Christ in order to gain propitiation with God and atone for sins, right?
    So my logic follows that the priest does it every Sunday. So every Sunday he is offering Jesus for atonement. Correct me if I’m wrong.
    Naturally, I think to myself. Well, if they have to keep offering atonement, then it wasn’t perfectly atoned for in the first place.
    Couple this with the fact that the writer to the Hebrews says Christ offered himself once, and there you go. You keep doing it more than once and the only way to get around it is “well it’s a mystery god is outside of time.”
    I don’t know where the church of the 4th century supposedly had a canon set in stone, you are very much mistaken on this. Have you read anything else of what schaff says? He talks about the clear development of monasticism to the extreme. The idolizing of virginity, and how that came to mean Mary must be a perpetual virgin. Jerome and others thought the dead Saints were present on earth through their relics and that you should pray to them. The desert monks were the biggest supporters of Mary and image worship. Already by the 5th century the pagan shrines are converted to mary and martyr shrines and consecrated to God through the saint. I thought we agreed all these things were obvious corruptions. I never said that the church fathers don’t have any valuable commentary. That’s why I’ve read them. But to say that the 3rd century church spoke of the Eucharist as an atoning sacrifice is just not right. And it’s the weakest argument in the world repeated by the RC and EO to cry out about the supposed canon of scripture. If you want to accept the Eucharist atonement on the basis of a supposed canon then why don’t you accept relic, image, and saint “veneration?” They were all coming about at this same time.
     
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  5. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    So do you say that the Anglican canon is in wrong, and the Articles are in error, whilst the Roman canon is the correct one?
     
  6. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Well obviously not, since Anglicans and Roman Catholics have the same NT canon. :facepalm:
    Asked and answered (more than a half-dozen times at this point). ;)
     
  7. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    By the way, if you’re going to say I’m putting a baptist spin on the church fathers, why don’t you see what schaff himself said?

    The Eucharist is moreover, as the name itself implies, on the part of the church a living and reasonable thank-offering, wherein she presents herself anew, in Christ and on the ground of his sacrifice, to God with prayers and intercessions. For only in Christ are our offerings acceptable to God, and only through the continual showing forth and presenting of His merit can we expect our prayers and intercessions to be heard.

    In this view certainly, in a deep symbolical and ethical sense, Christ is offered to God the Father in every believing prayer, and above all in the holy Supper; i.e. as the sole ground of our reconciliation and acceptance. This is the deep truth which lies at the bottom of the Catholic mass, and gives it still such power over the religious mind.1035
    “But this idea in process of time became adulterated with foreign elements, and transformed into the Graeco-Roman doctrine of the sacrifice of the mass. According to this doctrine the Eucharist is an unbloody repetition of the atoning sacrifice of Christ by the priesthood for the salvation of the living and the dead; so that the body of Christ is truly and literally offered every day and every hour, and upon innumerable altars at the same time”
    “ut though the Catholic worship here rises far above the vain sacrifices of heathendom and the merely typical sacrifices of Judaism, yet that old sacrificial service, which was interwoven with the whole popular life of the Jewish and Graeco-Roman world, exerted a controlling influence on the Roman Catholic service of the Eucharist, especially after the nominal conversion of the whole Roman heathendom, and obscured the original simplicity and purity of that service almost beyond recognition. The sacramentum became entirely eclipsed by the sacrificium, and the sacrificium became grossly materialized, and was exalted at the expense of the sacrifice on the cross. The endless succession of necessary repetitions detracts from the sacrifice of Christ”

    The ante-Nicene fathers uniformly conceived the Eucharist as a thank-offering of the church; the congregation offering the consecrated elements of bread and wine, and in them itself, to God.1037This view is in itself perfectly innocent, but readily leads to the doctrine of the sacrifice of the mass, as soon as the elements become identified with the body and blood of Christ, and the presence of the body comes to be materialistically taken. The germs of the Roman doctrine appear in Cyprian about the middle of the third century, in connection with his high-churchly doctrine of the clerical priesthood. Sacerdotium and sacrificium are with him correlative ideas, and a Judaizing conception of the former favored a like Judaizing conception of the latter. The priest officiates in the Eucharist in the place of Christ,1038 and performs an actual sacrifice in the church.1039 Yet Cyprian does not distinctly say that Christ is the subject of the spiritual sacrifice; rather is the mystical body of Christ, the Church, offered to God, and married with Christ.1040

    The doctrine of the sacrifice of the mass is much further developed in the Nicene and post-Nicene fathers
    , though amidst many obscurities and rhetorical extravagances, and with much wavering between symbolical and grossly realistic conceptions, until in all essential points it is brought to its settlement by Gregory the Great at the close of the sixth century.”
    And those beautiful liturgies that came before the canon?
    These liturgies bear in most cases apostolic names, but in their present form can no more be of apostolic origin than the so-called Apostolic Constitutions and Canons, nor nearly so much as the Apostles’ Creed. They contrast too strongly with the simplicity of the original Christian worship, so far as we can infer it from the New Testament and from the writings of the apologists and the ante-Nicene fathers. They contain also theological terms, such as ὁμοούσιος(concerning the Son of God), θεοτόκος(concerning the Virgin Mary), and some of them the whole Nicene Creed with the additions of the second oecumenical council of 381, also allusions to the worship of martyrs and saints, and to monasticism, which point unmistakably to the Nicene and post-Nicene age
    But in general they breathe an entirely different atmosphere from the Protestant liturgies, even the Anglican not excepted. For in them all the eucharistic sacrifice is the centre around which all the prayers and services revolve. This act of sacrifice for the quick and the dead is a complete service, the sermon being entirely unessential, and in fact usually dispensed with




    Is schaff putting a baptist spin on it too? :sherlock:
     
  8. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I think you may be misunderstanding Schaff. He was actually tried for heresy at one point by his own denomination for his ecumenical stance toward Roman Catholicism. The denomination in which he later served once he was in the U.S., is what ultimately became the UCC (Reinhold Niebuhr’s and former President Obama’s denomination). One of Schaff’s goals in publishing collections of the Fathers’ writings (which was, indeed, my own first exposure to them), was to promote reconciliation and reunion between Protestants and Roman Catholics. His noble legacy notwithstanding, one typically doesn’t find many citations of Schaff these days.

    The bottom line is, if you don’t agree with the Eastern Orthodox view of the Eucharist, then you should not be Eastern Orthodox. In this entire thread, I have never said that the Orthodox view is the “correct” view (though I’m not committed to saying it’s the “wrong” view, either). I don’t think anyone here is suggesting that you should join any church with whose core teachings you are in fundamental disagreement. What I would encourage is that as you go about evaluating different traditions, try to do so on their own terms, rather than “translating” what they have to say back into your own paradigm. That’s how distortions happen.
     
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  9. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Yes I know. He had a theory of doctrinal development which is what he used to support Protestantism. My point is I said many of the same things he said. That’s where I got it from.
    Idk where you say I misrepresented your position. It seems to me like you were saying that the Eucharist atones for sin, so naturally, you need to keep offering it to keep atoning for the sin that people keep doing right?
    I also don’t know if it’s so acceptable to believe in the Eucharist atonement, then why don’t you believe in praying to Saints too? Schaff has his long section on praying to Saints which I just read and he sites people as early as Ambrose, Jerome, Gregory advocating for it. It seems to me if we’re going off what “ancient” Christian practice is then it’s ok to pray to Saints and it should be seen as a legitimate development. Im confused as to why they were praying to angels and Saints so early on. They prayed to martyrs based on their “merit” because their prayers were better heard than ours if we are in a state of sin (according to Ambrose). So if I have to accept the Eucharist sacrifice then I might as well just accept the whole thing too and start praying to Saints and venerating images. :loopy:
     
  10. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Well, the practices proceed from distinct rationales, for one thing. More fundamentally though, my instincts are fundamentally conservative, so I’m simply more inclined by temperament to give an existing practice the benefit of the doubt - even if I have misgivings about it - than I am to support revisionism based on puritanical scruples. Another aspect of my conservatism is that I am devoted to preserving beautiful things, like the Liturgy. The thought of tearing it down is repugnant to me.
     
  11. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    It’s just a foreign thought to me to characterize it like that. Going to church every Sunday and saying Jesus keeps being offered to atone for my sins. Makes it sound incomplete. To be honest, when reading all the church fathers, the farther you go the more odd it looks. People like irenaeus and Justin martyr seemed to have such a simple view of the Eucharist. Justin says after the consecration they pass the bread and wine around instead of having people go up and get it. They were way more casual than Cyril who said not to let a single crumb fall and gave explicit instructions on how to receive it in your hand. Irenaeus says after the consecration the bread remains bread and has two realities, earthly and heavenly. The didache likewise has an extremely simple view of the Eucharist. It’s confusing how after the 3rd century you have the Eucharist turn into a much ritualistic worship, and all this talk about mysticism and mystery. The catechumen system develops and you can’t let people know the “mysteries.”
    Say that it’s baptist Gnosticism, but I feel like this overly cultic and ritualistic “mystical” worship in the East looks almost pagan. You have church fathers in the 3rd century explicitly saying Christians are different than pagans because they refuse to use incense and artwork in worship. Justin specifically talks about Christians being charged as atheists because of it. And yet so easily do Christians give into it that they start worshipping images themselves. It’s hard to understand how supposedly great people like Ambrose are talking about praying to Paul and Peter as your patrons and saying their prayers are better than yours. Either I accept it as a genuine development, or admit early on a lot of the church became corrupted.But it seems like I said before the history is obscured. People like vigilantius specifically said prayer shouldn’t be directed to Saints, and yet somehow his testimony doesn’t count. I think there has to be more pushback on things like saint prayer and image worship, just somehow all the writings and evidence are gone. The Eucharist seems to be not controversial, but in the 9th century radbertus and ratramnus have a debate specifically on the Eucharist and the sacrificial aspect of it. No one really cared about their debate until years after. So clearly there wasn’t a set theology for it in the west or the Roman church would’ve excommunicated ratramnus . Again, may be my baptists Gnosticism, but I feel like making the Eucharist be a physical presence of Jesus instead of the bread as communicating it and making the memorial aspect turn to an actual sacrifice is just seriously deviating from the few writings we have on the 3rd century views and is a product of the uneducated medieval mind. I don’t see how you can reconcile the seemingly simple and humble churches the apostles left which called their leader a president or presbyter with the largely entrenched in empire politics church of the later ages and all it’s mysticism and sacerdotalism. And yet these same churches fought for the doctrine of the trinity and the divinity of Christ and the hypostatic union. The only answer is the church isn’t as United as they will say it is. That certainly people fought back during the saint and image worship that swept the church in the beginning. And yet they didn’t succeed. Not until the reformation at least ;)
    And that people like Augustine and Ambrose and Jerome were ok with praying to Saints. Maybe it’s something that is up to the Christian freedom Paul talks about. Maybe if they had known the abuses that would arise later, specifically with Mary, they would have said something different.
     
  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I suspect you meant to indicate, "I don't see how they (the eastern churches) can reconcile..." After all, @Invictus agrees more or less with what you're saying, as evidenced by the fact that he's no longer in one of those churches.

    And I agree with you also, overall; the early church people made a hot mess of some things. That's why you and I and a lot of other folks go back to the scriptures and examine whether they got it right or not on this, that, and the other. We're not perfect either, but it's better to go to the firsthand source of God's word than to primarily base our opinions on other men's opinions.

    ...they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so (Acts 17:11).

    Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me (John 5:39).
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
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  13. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Correct. My own view leans more toward memorialism. It is not possible to have a propitiatory understanding of the Eucharistic Sacrifice if Christ's body is not somehow present in the elements. That was the key motivation behind the Reformers' rejection of transubstantiation.
     
  14. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Yes, sorry, I meant “you” as in a general term:sweating:i wasn’t talking about @Invictus haha
     
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  15. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
    I absolutely agree about the scriptures or what the apostles taught in general. It’s just hard to reconcile for me that only 400-500 years after the death of Christ people are already praying to human beings and having some sort of Eucharist propitiatory atonement. Pretty much all my life I thought that these were things that happened during the 9th century in Rome until the reformation. So you can imagine my shock when I see all this :popcorn:
    Makes it harder to defend a reformation when faced with “the one true church” (EO or RCC). I think the only way to defend it is through the Anglican Church. Idk why all these sects popped up during the reformation and they just started ignoring years of tradition.
    Does anyone know any books or anything that talk aboutpush back to any of these erroneous doctrine? Schaff talks about 3 priests that were against saint and relic worship, and the desert monasticism. But we don’t have any of their writings for some reason. I’d like to read something on that, push back against either Saint worship or image worship, maybe on the Eucharist. But it seems after the propitiatory sacrifice caught on, nobody complained. I just want to know that the early church didn’t completely go feet up and there was still someone defending the truth. Or else I just look like I’m saying the church was teaching wrong doctrine for like 600 years. :rolleyes:
    The Romans and East have history on their Side after the 5th century, and it makes it seem like I’m rejecting years of true tradition, so I’d like to see if there is anything that disproves that, like pushback on any of these new practices.
     
  16. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It is still possible to sacrifice Christ's spiritual body, which is no less real and substantial than his corporal body. Transubstantiation was not rejected on account of a putative connection to propitiation, since the two have nothing to do with one another. Transubstantiation was rejected because it enabled the adoration of the host, something which isn't possible if what's really present is Christ's spiritual body, with the elements remaining what they were.


    Exactly, you didn't misrepresent Philip Schaff a single bit on this issue, because he didn't even say anything from his own name. All he did was provide passages from the Church Fathers, defending them from the heinous charges of promoting propitiatory sacrifice, which Roman scholarship falsely laid on them. The patristic era is clean from Roman errors, until you get into the 500-1000 era when they become more pronounced. But when the errors are fully established around 1000, they become cleaned again in the 1500s. So all is well. :)
     
  17. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Cant you technically still worship the spiritual presence though?
    Augustine and others say they “adored” the Eucharist
     
  18. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    As Jellies already said, the issue is not the Eucharistic Sacrifice, but propitiation. Citing the presence of sacrifice in the Church Fathers is a wild red herring, because we have a much longer prayer of sacrifice and oblation in the Book of Common Prayer than has come down to us from any of the church fathers. We are all on board with the eucharistic sacrifice. Just not propitiation.
     
  19. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Adoration of Christ is not the problem. Adoration of the physical elements is a problem. There is zero record of an adoration of the elements until the 900s AD, which shows how long this particular truth remained, long after the church fathers. It also shows just how long that error took to creep into the Church. You have monks and priests in the 900s writing angry letters about why are people adoring the Host. There are Church of England sermons from the 700s-900s writing very strongly against anyone attempting to do that. (Which shows that some people were starting to do it, but also that the true catholics still stood against it at the time.)
     
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  20. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Can you link me to any of those writings?