SERA- Society for Eastern Rite Anglicanism

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by Ide, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I can see where it would make sense if an Anglican body was established in a predominantly Orthodox area (such as Greece or Russia) for them to retain the Divine Liturgy, which is what has happened here when some Anglican parishes have joined an Orthodox jurisdiction and have retained a modified version of the BCP for liturgical purposes.
     
  2. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    If we wish to be Catholics similar to those Catholics we call Orthodox, it has always seemed to me that we should be sure we hold the faith as accepted by them. Whilst I have little desire to wear a stovepipe hat or wear a beard, I take as much care as I can to make sure that what I teach ,while it is reflected in acceptable western roles, is certainly expressed in a way, or manner agreeable to the Orthodox commentators, and tradition as far as I can!
     
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  3. BrethrenBoy

    BrethrenBoy Member

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  4. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    Thanks for a link to this thread. I'll admit that I only read through about 3 pages until I was turned off by some of the vitriol displayed there.

    But a few posters raised my point there. If St. John Chrysostom's work and liturgy are pre-schism between East and West how can the Orthodox claim they own these? It is not as though this liturgy was developed in the nations of Russia or Bulgaria hundred's of years after the split. They were developed in the earliest years of the faith and don't "belong" to anyone. No one says to the EO, "Don't read Augustine of Hippo! You can't have him, he's for the West only!" Unless there is someone that can explain this?

    I understand the contention on remixing the liturgies. Removing parts of the liturgy someone doesn't like or adding in things is problematic for sure. But, saying that EO "owns" the DL is something different.
     
  5. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    When I was Orthodox I spent time on that forum, and the nastiness and unkindness of many of the posters was very unpleasant. They make the debates here seem quite civil.
     
  6. Anne

    Anne Active Member Anglican

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    Oh my. I have experience with that forum, so I didn't actually read the content that was linked....

    Ownership might be too strong a word, but they (e.g. Russia) certainly practice it and thus embody it in their worship whereas we (traditionally) do not. My thought is very simply this: it should be done in truly ecumenical circumstances (Peteprint's example of an Anglican church established in an Orthodox area) otherwise, in other circumstances, it certainly looks very ecumenical but provokes two questions.

    1) What exactly is being gained by changing the liturgy? I'm not aware of any Orthodox seeking to be under Canterbury. (And hey I'm in the continuing communion so I could say a lot about that). So if it's just for Anglicans, then onto the next point...

    2) Why should Anglican tradition be put aside in a Western culture? I do not understand an Anglican who doesn't want to use the Prayer Book.
     
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  7. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Society of Eastern Rite Anglicanism. Stumbled on their website and have two questions: 1, Why? 2, Does it have legs?
     
  8. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

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    1: An infatuation with liturgical experimentation. Some members fancy themselves hesychasts.

    2: No. SERA was formed by some US Episcopalians. I would argue that the stance of TEC is incompatible with the theology contained in the liturgies of St. Basil and St. Crysostom. TEC is looking at revising their prayer book next year but, true or perhaps caricatured, that is mostly thought to be an effort to go gender neutral and standardize queer liturgies and other novelties.

    As for the ACNA, I have encountered many of their priests who are interested in or even dabble in Eastern liturgy but most who get really serious go East. However, SERA is adamant that member congregations and dioceses be under the oversight of Anglican Communion jurisdictions. You may have noticed on the website they only have two affiliate congregations: one in California and one in New Zealand. Then there are a couple of military chaplains involved. The website itself has not added much content since 2013.

    What does happen a bit more is priests serve the Liturgy of St. Tikhon, which is the EO attempt at a Western Rite in English. This is especially seen among military chaplains, who get very little oversight and can largely do what they want from week to week in their base chapel.
     
  9. ApostolicChristian

    ApostolicChristian New Member

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    *I AM SO SORRY TO BE BUMPING THIS OLD THREAD, BUT...*

    There are arguments here that state that the Anglican Church is "western orthodoxy". This is both true and false. It is "western orthodox" in the sense that it is a western church in origin and therefore uses a western rite. It is not "western orthodox' in actuality. Anglicans adhere to the nicene creed, and in that creed it says "we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church". How can the Anglican Church be both catholic (as in universal), yet strictly western orthodox?

    There are Anglicans in the middle east and the far east....why must they adhere to only a western rite?

    What about if you agree that anglicanism is part of the one holy catholic and apostolic church, but you feel that western liturgy doesn't lift you up as much as eastern liturgy? How can a church claim to be universal (catholic) when it only uses one kind of rite?
     
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  10. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    May I ask what drew you to Anglicanism and away from Catholicism ?
     
  11. ApostolicChristian

    ApostolicChristian New Member

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    Sure, it's been quite a long and quite sad ride.

    I never wanted to leave Catholicism, I always felt that it was my church. It was a big part of my heritage.

    Theologically, there's not that much I disagree with in Catholicism. The only things I disagree with are:

    - Papal Infallibility and Supremacy (after researching how those beliefs were made official in the Vatican I, it became clear to me it was all about grabbing as much power as possible as opposed to affirming the truth.
    - I agree with the Anglican view of "the bible contains all things necessary for salvation". By this, I mean that whilst I may personally believe in things like the immaculate conception, since it's not in the Bible, I don't think it's necessary for us to believe and be saved. I dislike how the Catholic Church insists that we MUST believe certain things even when they are not in the Bible. But I like the Anglican position of "you may believe it, but it's not necessary for your salvation".
    - Celibate Clergy. I am somebody who is exploring ordained ministry to the priesthood and have been for years. However, I do not agree that it's either marriage or priesthood. I believe firmly you can have a vocation to both as can be seen in every other church. It also seemed a little unfair to say that only Latin Catholics have to be celibate, yet not Anglican Priests who convert or Eastern Catholic Priests, all of whom are allowed to have wives. The practice of priestly celibacy, again, was nothing to do with theology but was purely to do with the Church not wanting the children and widows of Priests to claim money and property from the church in the early 11th or 12th centuries.
    - Homosexuality. Now, I know all won't agree with this, and I haven't come to a solid conclusion about homosexual relationships yet, but I believe that LGBT people should be allowed to become Priests and religious and not have to hide it. So for example, the Catholic Church teaches that those who hold deep seated homosexual tendencies lack the capacity to relate to people properly since they are somehow wired wrong. This is damaging to LGBT people. As somebody who is gay, I didn't like the wording.

    Since I didn't want to leave Catholicism at this point, I called up and emailed a few Priests. They said my being gay was not a barrier, but should I pursue the priesthood, I couldn't be myself. By this he was talking about if you show signs of camp-ness, you'd need to tone it down (he then went on to say that many straight Priests in England are rather camp, so I was confused as to why it would be an issue if a gay priest was camp but okay for a straight priest to be camp). In essence, the whole conversation just felt like he was saying "if you become a priest, you can't be you". I have an obligation to God and to others to be real and not some fake version of myself. I was absolutely willing at this point to accept celibacy of priests, but after that it really made me think. I don't want to be fake and lie to myself and others. I definitely can't fool God. I'm not even camp, but the message of "you can't be you" was just as troubling.

    I considered Orthodoxy because I love the spirituality, the liturgy and how they have stayed relatively the same for all this time. I've heard that in the Orthodox Church they do allow gay priests and religious (celibate of course). However I couldn't dismiss Anglicanism.

    The Church of England ordains gay people, and I agree with most if not all of their teachings (they're also pretty close to Orthodoxy theologically). Since i'm not 100% convinced on whether gay relationships are okay or not, being an Anglican priest would allow me to keep that option open, should I ever come to a decision. Plus, Anglicanism is also part of my heritage coming from a mixed faith family, it's familiar to me, the Liturgy is actually done a lot better than in most Catholic masses i've been to.

    As can be seen in this thread, I do wish Anglicanism had an Eastern rite just to make it completely universal and appeal to more people. Imagine how many ex-Orthodox the church could attract by having an Eastern rite? Anglicanism is missing out on an opportunity there.

    There are some things I still struggle with in Anglicanism and I guess my biggest issue is women priests. I'm neither for nor against. I simply just don't know. My head tells me 'well what's the problem? It seems perfectly valid to me", but then my heart says "are you just telling yourself it's okay to make yourself feel better". I'm still working on how I feel about female priests since I know and have seen some absolutely wonderful female priests who do their jobs superbly.

    But yeah, I think that's most of my story!
     
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  12. Anglican04

    Anglican04 Active Member Anglican

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    What do you mean by hide it? The way I see it, if you are gay, you can be a gay priest, but you must not act upon your homosexual feelings. This includes, lustful thoughts, dating a man, etc. So technically you would have to suppress all gay acts basically making you celibate because you cannot marry a man.

    So if you are gay but do not act upon it, you are fine. If you do make a homosexual act that is sinful, and if you defend it, it is heretical.
    He's simply not telling the watered down truth which people expect to get. This is raw traditional Christianity. If you are looking for a lovey-dovey religion, I certainly wouldn't recommend Christianity at all. Unless you join one of those all out heretical evangelical churches where apparently "all people are going to heaven!"

    *insert cheesy smile here*

    You do realize pretty much no Province outside of TEC and canada support gays right? People are just wanting to increase Church attendance and make it more appealing which is actually a huge turn off for most truth-seeking Christians. A few diocese are slowly slipping, but people are trying as hard as they can to correct them.

    I, along with all traditional Anglicans welcome you with open arms as a brother, but ask you to consider this more wisely with some scripture, church father writings, and prayer.

    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)
    If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)
    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

    In these verses Paul is describing different kinds of people who (unless they repent) will be excluded from the kingdom of God. Four kinds relate to sexual sin, and two of those specifically to homosexual behaviour. The ESV takes the latter and puts them together as “men who practice homosexuality”, while the NIV translates them as “male prostitutes and homosexual offenders”.

    So what does all this mean for our understanding of homosexuality?

    1. Homosexual sin is serious. Paul says the active and unrepentant homosexual, as with all active, unrepentant sinners, will not enter God’s kingdom. Paul urges his readers not to be deceived on this point. He assumes there will be those who deny this teaching, and argue that some forms of homosexual conduct are acceptable to God. But Paul is clear: homosexual conduct leads people to destruction. This is a serious issue.

    2. Homosexual sin is not unique. Paul’s list includes other forms of sexual sin (sexual immorality and adultery), and it includes non-sexual forms of sin (drunkenness and theft, for example). Homosexual sin is incredibly serious, but it is not alone in being so. It is wicked, but so is, say, greed. We must not imply that homosexual sex is the sin of our age. If we are to be faithful to Scripture, we must also preach against theft, greed, drunkenness, reviling, and defrauding others, many of which are also trivialised in our society, and all of which also characterize the unrighteous.

    3. Homosexual sin is not inescapable. Paul continues in verse 11: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

    These forms of behaviour are not appropriate for the Corinthian church precisely because it is not who they are any more. Some of them clearly had been active homosexuals. They did once live in these ways. But no more. They have been washed, sanctified and justified; forgiven, cleansed from their sins, and set apart for God. They have a new standing and identity before him.

    However ingrained it may be in someone’s behaviour, homosexual conduct is not inescapable. It is possible for someone living a practicing gay lifestyle to be made new by God. Temptations and feelings may well linger. That Paul is warning his readers not to revert to their former way of life suggests there is still some desire to do so. But in Christ we are no longer who we were. Those who have come out of an active gay lifestyle need to understand how to see themselves. What defined us then no longer defines us now.

    Here is a citation for a source i used above.

    Out, Living. “What Does the Bible Say about Homosexuality?” Living Out, 0ADAD, www.livingout.org/the-bible-and-ssa.
     
  13. ApostolicChristian

    ApostolicChristian New Member

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    By hide it, I mean completely deny your sexuality by saying you are heterosexual or giving off the false impression that you are. That would be lying and quite sinful imo.


    Well, I believe Christianity is for everybody, and so it is for me too. I believe in the trinity and all the fundamentals. It would make no sense for me to not be a Christian since I do not believe in any other faith.

    In regards to no other province outside of the TEC and Canada, that's not really true. The Scottish Episcopal Church has recently decided to change the definition of marriage to allow same sex partners to marry in their churches. The Church of England is also well on it's way to this also, despite many people saying otherwise.

    For me, this all comes down to interpretation and context. As a theologian, I study the scriptures slightly differently than a hardcore conservative would. I am afraid that I don't necessarily interpret those bible passages in the same way as you. I'm not saying i'm 100% in favour of all things LGBT, but i'm not convinced that the conservative interpretation is correct and in many cases think conservative interpretations are wilfully ignorant of the context in which certain passages were written.
     
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  14. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    I don't really get it why some priests struggling with homosexuality is such a big issue. Every Catholic priest takes a vow of celibacy regardless of sexual orientation and this is universally known. Is struggling with homosexual feelings more difficult than struggling with heterosexual ?
     
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  15. ApostolicChristian

    ApostolicChristian New Member

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    You've hit the nail on the head! I don't understand it either. If a Priest is to take a vow of celibacy, his orientation should not matter.

    However, I have heard the reasoning behind this is some kind of silly science that states that homosexual men, because they are wired differently, aren't capable of relating to men and women normally as a heterosexual male would. It's all nonsense, alas that is how it is.

    Funny thing is, the Catholic Church doesn't seem to realise how dependant they have been for years on the service of homosexual priests. Now they're complaining of a priest shortage.
     
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  16. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

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    There will never be enough asexual priests to fill the needed vocations. And I do believe there are asexual people; one of my servers/acolytes is one. At the same time, those who do experience sexual attraction are under the Law, so to speak. Gays must learn to deny self and even the straight is called to periodic fasting and penance. Fasting and penance is probably the most lacking spiritual discipline in modern Anglicanism.
     
  17. Cameron

    Cameron Active Member

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    Op, I have an interlinking question here but many believe Anglican orders to be null; does this worry you as a convert? I know a few people who married Anglicans and ironically worried about their priest's orders when they went to church with their spouses.
     
  18. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    This is a good point. And aside from the old RC canard of valid orders, I don't believe ordination of women is valid and won't commune from them. I'm concerned on how that will affect the wider Anglican communion in the future if I stay. When you have women bishops around the world ordaining men, it becomes difficult to muster any confidence that your priest has a legitimate ordination unless you do enough research.

    If someone wants to come into the Anglican church, I think they have to be ok with WO at some level unless they join a splinter group.
     
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  19. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That's not really the case. I'm resolutely against WO on all three levels of holy orders, and many others in ACNA are the same way. The REC (which is a jurisdiction within ACNA) has a canonical barrier against any WO, and elsewhere the canons vary from diocese to diocese (a sad relic from the Episcopal Church). But there is a momentum against WO across the whole province, despite this unworthy inheritance.
     
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  20. DivineOfficeNerd

    DivineOfficeNerd Active Member Anglican

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    The furthest most of them will go is the old 1928 era "Institution of Deaconnesses". Issue is, of course, while a majority of Bishops in ACNA are against WO, the majority of communing members of ACNA are in WO dioceses.
     
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