Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy

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

  1. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Are you saying the prayer in the bcp comes from church fathers before the 5th century? Where does this prayer come from then?:hmm:
     
  2. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I'm not an expert in liturgics to be able to trace its genealogy. All I said was that we have a very long prayer of sacrifice and oblation in our eucharistic liturgy. It is longer than anything that's come down to us from the patristic prayers and liturgies. So the notion of sacrifice, abstractly, is not in the least bit an issue. The only thing is: of what, to whom, and for what.
     
  3. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Oh ok I read it wrong. Can you Link me to anyone talking against transubstantiation in the 9th century? The earliest I heard about is John Wycliffe but he’s in the 14th
     
  4. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    https://books.google.com/books?id=we8CAAAAQAAJ

    We also have the Anglo-Saxon sermons against transubstantiation within the Church of England, written in the 900s AD by Aelfric, the monk and abbot of Eynsham. As discussed here:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=I-ZJAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA314#v=onepage&q&f=false

    A brief description (emphases mine):
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
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  5. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Thank you :cheers: I will definitely read them.
    If you have anymore books about the Church of England resisting Roman or eastern innovations id love to read them too. It seems to me the English church had a more pure faith before being taken over by the papacy. But I can’t find any books on that
     
  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    My favorite of that kind is John Jewel's Apology, or Answer in defence of the Church of England. It is written in the 1500s, but reads as fresh as if it were written today. It is very short but packs quite a punch for situating the Church of England in the context of the Church of Rome, and the questions of the history of the Church of Christ.
     
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  7. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    okay but you didn’t mention the NT canon, you just said canon

    and I could be wrong, but the NT canon is not something most people see as contentious so why would you even bring that up? on the other hand, the OT canon has been contentious for centuries and AFAIK was never settled in the early church, all the way down to the early modern period
     
  8. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    No that’s not how language works… you were not saying “The Orthodox believe that X and Y and Z”

    You just straight up started telling us, from your name, “X and Y and Z” they the Church does not have the Bible as it’s foundation, but “created” the Bible and merely informed us unwashed masses what our canon was going to be..

    At no time did you qualify that by saying, “The Orthodox believe these things” but straight up said all this under your own name as if you believed it yourself
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    There has been some mention of whether we regard the Eucharist as a sacrifice. We do.... but not a sacrifice of Jesus. It's a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving and submission by us. (Whereas, by comparison, the RCC regards it as a re-presentation of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.)

    Let's look at the Anglican Standard Text in the 2019 BCP, which is what I'm most familiar with (so if you're using a '79 or whatever, YMMV):

    All praise and glory is yours, O God our heavenly Father, for
    in your tender mercy, you gave your only Son Jesus Christ to
    suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption. He made
    there, by his one oblation of
    himself once offered, a full, perfect,
    and sufficient sacrifice
    , oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins
    of the whole world; and he instituted, and in his Holy Gospel
    commanded us to continue, a perpetual memory
    of his precious
    death and sacrifice, until his coming again.
    So now, O merciful Father, in your great goodness, we ask you to
    bless and sanctify, with your Word and Holy Spirit, these gifts of
    bread and wine, that we, receiving them according to your Son
    our Savior Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his
    death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body
    and Blood. †....
    Therefore, O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the
    institution of your dearly beloved Son our Savior Jesus Christ,
    we your humble servants celebrate and make here before your
    divine Majesty, with these holy gifts, the memorial your Son
    commanded us to make; remembering
    his blessed passion and
    precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension,
    and his promise to come again.
    And we earnestly desire your fatherly goodness mercifully to
    accept this, our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; asking you
    to grant that, by the merits and death of your Son Jesus Christ,
    and through faith in his Blood, we and your whole Church may
    obtain forgiveness of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion.
    And here we offer and present to you, O Lord, ourselves, our
    souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice
    . We
    humbly pray that all who partake of this Holy Communion may
    worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of your Son
    Jesus Christ, be filled with your grace and heavenly benediction,
    and be made one body with him, that he may dwell in us, and
    we in him.
    And although we are unworthy, because of our many sins, to
    offer you any sacrifice, yet we ask you to accept this duty and
    service we owe,
    not weighing our merits, but pardoning our
    offenses, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    In the Eucharist we remember Jesus' one (single) "perfect and sufficient sacrifice," but we aren't repeating it or re-sacrificing Him in any way.

    The sacrifice is our giving of praise and thanks, and our offering of ourselves as humble servants to His Lordship.

    (As an aside, if we look at in this way, it just about goes without saying that there is no way the Eucharist could be propitiatory. But we all agreed on that already.)
     
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  10. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    While I definitely do not think it’s propitiatory, I think it’s a memorial sacrifice. I could talk more at length about it, I know always write super long posts :laugh:
    But it is very much biblical and the Eucharist is supposed to be the supreme memorial sacrifice. A lot of times the Israelites were told to have memorials, not just to themselves but a memorial to God. I think maybe it’s a way for God to “remember” (as in to keep his promises) his covenant and people, and a way for us to remember together as well, and be worthy of such a covenant. For example, there was the memorial sacrifice of the shewbread. I want to stress memorial sacrifices are not and will never be propitiatory, as there is no shedding of blood, and we know there is no remission of sin without blood. Anyways, the shewbread would be incensed constantly, and it would be a memorial to God. Likewise the animal offerings came with a memorial offering, grain. These are all just like the Eucharist. So the people would put half the grain on the altar along with the animal and would eat the other half. This would be said to “communicate” (communion) the effects of the original sacrifice. So it was all part of the same sacrifice, because the animal and grain were together on the altar, yet they are not one and the same exactly; because the animal is for sin and the grain to communicate the effects to us, as well as to the lord, as it would be burning on the altar for him. This represents the beauty of man and God partaking together of a meal, or sacrificial meal. It shows us that God wants to share everything with us. And the grain offerings could also be done by themselves as a free will offering, and they represented a pledge and love to God. Now, since Christ our high priest has done his offering ONCE and has sat down, we are to continue to “show forth the lords death until he comes” through the sacrifice of the Eucharist. Where we sort of “play out” the lords supper, and recall his death, and through our prayers and the power of consecration offer a worthy memorial to God, and a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving out of our own free will. This is where we make a worthy memorial of his death, and where we offer the memorial to God, and then we partake. So just like the Jews, we share a sacrificial meal with God, the Lords Supper. We do not present Christ for the atonement of sin, because that has already been done. Through the power of the Holy Spirit the sacrifice is shown forth in the bread and wine, and we present it to God as a memorial and thank offering. Jesus doesn’t “give himself” or come down from heaven, it’s all through the Holy Spirit. “It is the spirit that gives life the flesh profits nothing.”
    You can see Justin martyr, who is the earliest writer on the Eucharist aside from the didache follow this thought patter too. He said the grain offering lepers had to give was like the Eucharist. He says the only sacrifices men are enjoined to offer are praise and thanksgiving. Only through our prayers will the memorial be made for God. To me, him, ireneaus, and the didache show the best doctrine of the Eucharist. Maybe cyprian too. But Justin is extremely clear on exactly what is taking place, and it is not a propitiatory atoning sacrifice.
    I think this is the most biblical way to look at it and stay with the Jewish roots. To say that it atones for sin is to miss the whole point of a MEMORIAL sacrifice. That’s why Christ said do this in remembrance of me. The Hebrew word in the OT for memorial meant remembrance. This all I read in an Anglican book. It’s why I even got interested in the Anglican Church in the first place. So I think it’s important we don’t forget , yes it’s praise and thanksgiving, but it’s also a memorial sacrifice. And like the Romans say, it is a true and proper sacrifice; not because it atones for sin but because a memorial sacrifice is a true and proper sacrifice, as instituted by God in the OT and by our Lord Jesus Christ during his last supper with his disciples. Not to mention the Passover meal was a MEMORIAL sacrifice. Well, you get the point :)
    If the memorial is said to communicate to us “the remission of sins” and life ever lasting as a promise, it is not due to the offering of the body and blood, but through communion. I think you see how easy it is to get all these mixed up. One minute you’re offering the lords death shown forth by the power of the spirit. Your sins will be forgiven. You live in the Middle Ages and sacrifice to you means atonement. Sad some church fathers didn’t see this and stop it before it became an epidemic of perpetuating the sacrifice of the cross, as the Romans so crudely put it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
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  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I don't think any Anglican would dispute the fact that the Eucharist is a memorial. But most Anglicans will also say it is that, and more than that. I do not believe (as some do) that the Eucharist imparts saving grace, but I can appreciate the concepts of sanctifying grace being imparted and of faith being strengthened by the reception of the Eucharist.

    You might enjoy and benefit from reading Essential Truths for Christians by the Rt. Rev. John H. Rodgers, Jr., Th.D. This text was recommended to me by my rector and I have found much value in it. Among Rodgers' comments concerning Article 31 are the following:

    "The Early Church, for some 200 years, did not speak of an offering of the Body and Blood in the Lord's Supper or Eucharist. It is first during the time of Cyprian that we find sacrificial language appearing..."

    "...the presentation of bread and wine...is... used by God in the Supper as the sacramental signs of, and vehicles of, the Lord's giving of Himself, His Body, and His Blood to us."

    "...the assurance of the believer...is being nourished in the Lord's Supper."

    Rodgers goes into some detail about the Roman view (much less so about the Orthodox view), how they knew of the Anglican Article 31 at the time of Trent, and how they deliberately and specifically rejected the truths contained in that Article. He also cites verbatim the many scriptures which show that the propitiatory view is wrong.
     
  12. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Frankly I never got the whole thing about saving grace or sanctifying grace. It smells overly specific and and Roman :laugh:
    To me, grace is grace. Grace is the love of God. I know what sanctifying grace is, but what is saving grace supposed to be? I don’t even think that exists. How many times can you be applied saving grace in your lifetime and still not go to heaven?
    To be honest, I sort of believe baptism justifies you. Why I believe this is because it is the instrument God used to wash our sins through faith in the blood of Christ and clothes us in his righteousness. I’m not saying you’re not justified before baptism, but it’s like the reformed say, a sign and a seal. Baptism is sort of the last step or seal to the promises of God in your death to sin and resurrection in Christ. You could say this is “saving” grace? Idk. I have no idea how the Eucharist is supposed to give saving grace though.
    Thanks for the book rec, I’ll definitely read it :)
    I don’t think that saying offering the body and blood of Christ is propitiatory, if you keep in mind that the body and blood are present by the Holy Spirit to show the memorial to God, that’s what I was saying before. I know that many anglicans say it’s a memorial, but I think it’s a bit disconnected in their minds. The body and blood themselves are the memorial offered to God, not for propitiation, but as effected by the Holy Spirit as a memorial to God. So you can say we offer the figure, or likeness, of the body and blood of Christ as a memorial sacrifice. See, it’s very easy to get confused and think that’s propitiation :sweating:
    But yeah, it’s worrying to me that only 400 years after the death of Christ we start seeing people talking about a literal offering of Jesus and as a propitiation to God. I just don’t get how it can all be corrupted to early. This is almost an attack on the finished work and atonement of christ…
    And nobody bats an eye until the 9th century, seemingly. I think the East pretty much in all their liturgies went to propitiatory atonement all the way, but the truth still remained in the west, because of Augustine. Ratramnus argues for his view in the 9th century and no one complains until later, so I think that means the truth was still preserved in some places.
    Also, I think there is hope even in small corners of the world the truth was preserved. The East Assyrian church has the most ancient liturgy, the liturgy of Addai and mari:

    “Do thou, o my Lord, in thy many and unspeakable mercies make a good and acceptable memorial for all the just and righteous fathers who have been wellpleasing in thy sight, in the commemoration of the body and blood of thy Christ which we offer unto thee on thy pure and holy altar as thou hast taught us, and grant us thy tranquillity and thy peace all the days of the world.
    And for all this great and marvellous dispensation towards us we will give thee thanks and praise thee without ceasing in thy Church redeemed by the precious blood of thy Christ, with unclosed mouths and open faces lifting up praise and honour and confession and worship to thy living and holy and lifegiving name now and ever and world without end.”
    They claim to have been taught this directly from the apostles addai and Mari (whoever that is, lol). And I kind of believe them. Look at the utter absence of propitiation, even sacrificial language is lacking. And they even say they are redeemed by the blood of Christ, not being redeemed through successive Eucharistic atonement!
    I think this shows there’s still hope of some continuity of the truth. It’s just we really lack a lot of the writings, and there wasn’t ever a discussion on the Eucharist in the church since they were worried about other things.
    When I found out after the “triumph of orthodoxy” they burned all the writings of “iconoclasts,” I knew then a lot of stuff is missing. And no one that needs to destroy evidence is ever with a pure conscience and telling the truth. There’s like 4 people that specifically spoke out against saint and relic veneration, for example, and yet all their writings are missing. A great mystery :gramps:
     
  13. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That is why the opening words from Jewel’s Apology are so important here:

    It has been a Complaint through all Ages, from the Patriarchs and Prophets, down to us, and confirmed by the Histories of all Times and Places, that Truth has been a Stranger upon Earth.

    We know there have been some that have said, and publickly preach’d, that the Ancient Jews worshipped a Hog or an Ass, and that their whole Religion was nothing else but Sacrilege, and a Contempt of all Gods.  We know that the Son of God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, when he taught the Truth, was esteemed as a Cheat, and an Evil-doer ;  a Samaritan ;  the Prince of the Devils ;  a Seducer of the People ;  a Drunkard, and a Glutton.  And who knows not what Scandals were once thrown upon that diligent Preacher and vigorous Assertor of the Truth, St. Paul ?  One while, that he was a Seditious and Factious Person, and a Stirrer up of the People ?  one while an Heretick, another a Madman ?  and that, out of pure Haughtiness and love of Contention, he blasphemed the law of God, and despised the Rites of their Fathers ?  Who does not know, that St. Stephen, as soon as he was thoroughly convinced of the Truth, and had begun to preach it, was immediately arraigned and condemned for a wicked Blasphemer of the Law, of Moses, of the Temple, and of God ?  Or who can be ignorant, that there was once a sort of Men that took Pains to make the Holy Scriptures appear ridiculous, by asserting that they contained in them direct Contradictions ?  and that the Apostles themselves differed each from the other, and Paul from all the rest?

    Nay, it might seem much more wonderful and incredible, if the Father of Liesand Enemy of all Truth, the Devil, shou’d now on a sudden change his Nature, and hoping that Truth might be suppressed otherwise than by Lying, should now begin to secure his Dominion by other Arts than those which he has always used from the Beginning.  For there is scarce any one Time that we read of, since the Creation, either in the Infancy, or during the Establishment, or at the Reformation of Religion, in which Truth and Innocence have not been unworthily treated and abused.  For the Devil knows, that if Truth stands, he and his Kingdom must fall.
     
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  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Of course, saving grace is real, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8-9). At the moment when faith rises in us and we believe in Christ, we receive God's saving grace and the indwelling Holy Spirit. And as you know, we can't 'get saved' over and over again; once God extends His saving grace to us, it stays with us unless and until we irrevocably fall away. So it makes little sense (to me, anyway) to think that we would receive saving grace over and over, every Sunday.

    As for sanctifying grace, I understand your hesitation. The idea is that God is frequently (and/or continually) gracing us with enablement from Him to live a Christlike life, and that receipt of the Eucharist is an occasion for a, shall we say, 'booster shot' of that sanctifying grace. I think that the belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist leads somewhat inevitably to this concept, for one reasons that receiving Christ in the Eucharist can't very well fail to carry some sort of additional grace in some measure or other. Whereas, by contrast, full-blown Memorialism denies the Real Presence and has no reason to expect any grace upon participation in the Lord's Table.

    I'm not advocating one way or the other at the moment, I'm just trying to explain the thoughts behind the two positions.
     
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  15. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    That depends. The purpose of the ritual is to "proclaim the Lord's death until he comes", according to St. Paul. The Words of Institution being themselves a foreshadowing of what was to come, it seems the reason for this is to promote repentance, by placing ourselves among the disciples in that moment, and mentally "seeing" what transpired through their eyes, knowing that an innocent man was to be put to death. This state of repentance should then motivate us to "remain awake and watchful" when the disciples were not, so that when the Lord returns he will "find us ready", unlike the subjects of so many of the parables. I think a robust memorialist interpretation thus entails the receiving of grace by those who are prepared to receive it.
     
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  16. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Yes I agree, I’ve always thought the Eucharist was supposed to be sanctifying, not saving:yes:

    As for me, I’m extremely unfamiliar with the concept of “receiving” different types of grace. I’ve always just thought grace is the love of God. So saying we are saved by grace to meant we are saved by the love of God. Since I still go to a memorialist church I’ve never expected to receive sanctifying grace. What I expect is to celebrate the lords death till he come and feel a communion with Christ and the church. I think that can still sanctify you:rolleyes:
    However I must confess, it feels weird saying I can get grace every Sunday by doing an action. But if the action requires faith it’s not so bad. If you have faith you’re partaking of the body and blood of Christ, and you are repentant of your sins, then of course God will sanctify you. But it just seems a bit complicated. Like how much sanctifying grace can you receive in your whole life? I think it’s better to just look at it as God helps us draw closer to him and become more like him. And the Eucharist is one of the ways he has provided that. Otherwise I start asking what the limit is for how much sanctifying grace I can receive in my tank:laugh:
     
  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    What you just said is very interesting to me, because none of the things you mentioned evoked a mental image of 'receiving grace' (in my mind), but then your final sentence shows that your mental image of 'receiving grace' is a bit different from mine.

    I think I understand, though. I think you are coming from a viewpoint that every little bit of our faith is placed in us by God. I tend to look at things from a viewpoint that God gives every person "the measure of faith" (Rom. 12:3), specifically the measure that is necessary for each person to be capable of either believing or choosing to not believe in Him, but beyond that measure it is up to the Christian to nurture that spark of faith and cause it to grow by means of reading the Bible (Rom. 10:17), meditating on God's word, attending services, giving God thanks, and so on. Please note: I'm not saying that salvation is by works; I'm saying that after we're saved by grace we have a responsibility to exercise diligence to grow in our faith, virtue, and knowledge of God (2 Peter 1:5) and to hold fast to our faith, that we do not fall away. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (Jude 1:20-21).

    Upon reflection, I can see your point a bit better. Jesus said that we are sanctified by faith in Him (Acts 26:18), so anything we do that truly helps our faith also helps us live sanctified lives. Although we are obliged to earnestly pursue sanctified, holy lives (Heb. 12:14) set apart to God, the Holy Spirit is the agent of our sanctification (2 Thess. 2:13) and the One who enables us to do good. Therefore, when we act to grow or persevere in our faith, it is a grace (a gift) from God, with which we are cooperating by our willing acts. I might need to adjust my mental image a tad. :)
     
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  18. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    It ties in with a Moral Influence theory of the Atonement. The message of the Gospel is, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven/God is at hand.” The sacraments are what help us to do this, both initially (Baptism), as well as on an ongoing basis (Lord’s Supper). True repentance is what makes us receptive to the will of God, and the act of one’s will being conformed to God’s will is deification, the ultimate form of grace. Imitatio Christi est imitatio Dei.
     
  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't go that far. I am sure you mean deification in the sense the Orthodox use it, of becoming more like God; but people could too easily take it in the sense the Mormons and some others use it, of becoming Gods. :loopy:
     
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  20. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Given that aligning our will with God is the only way we can become godlike, I have no issue with using the word deification in that context, but I only mentioned it to make the point that I see memorialism and the moral influence/example theory of atonement as aiming at the same thing that more traditional approaches are: the ultimate spiritual perfection of humanity.