Why We Should All “Face East” During the Eucharistic Prayer [?]
#21
Externals aren't the only thing that matters but they are profoundly important.  Inner and outer are deeply intertwined. Where I learned this most was from that book "Earthen Vessels" and through studying the Old Believers.

There's a fine line between being too rigid on the one hand and to lassiez faire on the other, but even so we must walk this line.  How we pray determines how we believe.  The externals be they gestures,words or symbols all consciously or unconsciously form us.

Eastward prayer is pretty much THE tradition of ALL rites within historic Christianity with the exception of modern Roman Catholicism. Even the various Protestants didn't turn to "face the people" or even toy with a 3 year lectionary until they followed the upheavals of modern Roman Catholics.

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#22
(07-21-2016, 04:17 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: Externals aren't the only thing that matters but they are profoundly important.  Inner and outer are deeply intertwined. Where I learned this most was from that book "Earthen Vessels" and through studying the Old Believers.

There's a fine line between being too rigid on the one hand and to lassiez faire on the other, but even so we must walk this line.  How we pray determines how we believe.  The externals be they gestures,words or symbols all consciously or unconsciously form us.

Eastward prayer is pretty much THE tradition of ALL rites within historic Christianity with the exception of modern Roman Catholicism. Even the various Protestants didn't turn to "face the people" or even toy with a 3 year lectionary until they followed the upheavals of modern Roman Catholics.

I'll have to read that, FB.  Sounds great! 

With regard to your post, it makes me wonder (as I have many times before) if how we pray determines how we believe or how we believe determines how we pray.  Like so many other things, it's probably both/and rather than either/or.  Each affects the other in profound ways.  I don't deny that externals aren't important but, in my experience, far too many people place far too much importance on them.  You know, kind of of like, in Eastern Christianity, when the Fasting Police make their appearance during Great Lent and the other great fasts, completely forgetting that what is of greatest importance is to fast from sin rather than a particular food item, although fasting from the food items can help us remember, if we keep focused, that the fast is a means rather than an end in itself.  (I hope the analogy here works... :Hmm: :) )
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#23
I think that a greater problem with modern Roman Catholicism is the lack of stability -- this is probably the case with all religion in the information age.  Your mention of fasting in Orthodoxy made me think of this, actually.

In times passed, you were born into your religion, and it was completely local and a part of regular life.  You would probably not have any thought to change your religion at all since you might not be exposed to other religions, and you would likely not have any thought to change the aspects of your religion to suit your personal proclivities.  So you are just dropped into the existing religious system and forced to adhere to it as it has been delivered to you by your family and local pastor.

In our times, we are almost necessarily individualized -- we choose our religion and/or we choose how to practice the religion that is delivered to us.  So the problem with facing this or that direction is really a problem of wanting to impose on the religion something about our selves.  The same is true for other things, like fasting, as well.  Western Christianity is primarily pietistic as a result of our religious pluralism -- the so-called Lenten discipline of the modern Roman Catholic Church is a great example of that hyper-individualized concept. 

But the sense of community is lost.  We don't fast with everyone else anymore: you give up chocolate, I give up beer, and there's no group sacrifice.  The same idea would appear to apply to the need for a common directionality in our worship.

I hope this makes sense -- I have to run away from the computer!
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#24
(07-21-2016, 05:33 PM)ermy_law Wrote: I think that a greater problem with modern Roman Catholicism is the lack of stability -- this is probably the case with all religion in the information age.  Your mention of fasting in Orthodoxy made me think of this, actually.

In times passed, you were born into your religion, and it was completely local and a part of regular life.  You would probably not have any thought to change your religion at all since you might not be exposed to other religions, and you would likely not have any thought to change the aspects of your religion to suit your personal proclivities.  So you are just dropped into the existing religious system and forced to adhere to it as it has been delivered to you by your family and local pastor.

In our times, we are almost necessarily individualized -- we choose our religion and/or we choose how to practice the religion that is delivered to us.  So the problem with facing this or that direction is really a problem of wanting to impose on the religion something about our selves.  The same is true for other things, like fasting, as well.  Western Christianity is primarily pietistic as a result of our religious pluralism -- the so-called Lenten discipline of the modern Roman Catholic Church is a great example of that hyper-individualized concept. 

But the sense of community is lost.  We don't fast with everyone else anymore: you give up chocolate, I give up beer, and there's no group sacrifice.  The same idea would appear to apply to the need for a common directionality in our worship.

I hope this makes sense -- I have to run away from the computer!

Yes...it makes sense.  And I agree with you on the whole.  You mention the sense of community being lost----tooooooo true, my friend!  And there are many reasons for that--probably whole books have been written about it.  In "the old country", there was maybe one church per village and everyone was a part of that.  In the towns and cities there might be a church on almost every block or corner.  Now...well...where I live the nearest Orthodox church is about 20 miles away.  The nearest RC parish (very liberal and very N.O. ) is about a mile and a half; the nearest Byzantine Catholic church probably 30 some miles, etc.  So, any sense of community is at the very best a big struggle...So, lots of room for "individualization"...Sigh...

Anyway...gotta go...Don't let that computer catch you and bite you!! :LOL:
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#25
(07-21-2016, 08:41 PM)J Michael Wrote:
(07-21-2016, 05:33 PM)ermy_law Wrote: I think that a greater problem with modern Roman Catholicism is the lack of stability -- this is probably the case with all religion in the information age.  Your mention of fasting in Orthodoxy made me think of this, actually.

In times passed, you were born into your religion, and it was completely local and a part of regular life.  You would probably not have any thought to change your religion at all since you might not be exposed to other religions, and you would likely not have any thought to change the aspects of your religion to suit your personal proclivities.  So you are just dropped into the existing religious system and forced to adhere to it as it has been delivered to you by your family and local pastor.

In our times, we are almost necessarily individualized -- we choose our religion and/or we choose how to practice the religion that is delivered to us.  So the problem with facing this or that direction is really a problem of wanting to impose on the religion something about our selves.  The same is true for other things, like fasting, as well.  Western Christianity is primarily pietistic as a result of our religious pluralism -- the so-called Lenten discipline of the modern Roman Catholic Church is a great example of that hyper-individualized concept. 

But the sense of community is lost.  We don't fast with everyone else anymore: you give up chocolate, I give up beer, and there's no group sacrifice.  The same idea would appear to apply to the need for a common directionality in our worship.

I hope this makes sense -- I have to run away from the computer!

Yes...it makes sense.  And I agree with you on the whole.  You mention the sense of community being lost----tooooooo true, my friend!  And there are many reasons for that--probably whole books have been written about it.  In "the old country", there was maybe one church per village and everyone was a part of that.  In the towns and cities there might be a church on almost every block or corner.  Now...well...where I live the nearest Orthodox church is about 20 miles away.  The nearest RC parish (very liberal and very N.O. ) is about a mile and a half; the nearest Byzantine Catholic church probably 30 some miles, etc.  So, any sense of community is at the very best a big struggle...So, lots of room for "individualization"...Sigh...

Anyway...gotta go...Don't let that computer catch you and bite you!! :LOL:

Individualization seems to be almost a necessity these days.  It would be nice to have close knit communities all worshiping and attempting to live out the Christian life according to the same or a similar calendar and style but I don't see it happening anymore.

We all must find a niche and a style of worship someplace and stick with it so that we can be formed by it over time. I have found mine amongst the Easterners,most especially the Slav Old Ritualists and the Julian calendar. I wouldn't have it any other way these days, finding myself quote comfortable and at peace despite the lack of community.

I know that somewhere there are people praying in the same way and that sustains me.  There is never a day without lots of saints commemorated, and the all encompassing rich tapestry of prayers and readings keep theology textbooks and too much thinking at bay.

I would love a community but short of moving close to the Church of the Nativity in Erie,PA and becoming a ROCOR Orthodox it's not going to change in my neck of the woods. 

Unless one wants to assimilate info the dominant Roman Catholicism  (Mass of PAUL VI, versus populum,ecumenism, Church as NGO, etc.) or go the anachronistic throwback route at odds with the dominant ecclesiastical culture (Sspx,FSSP and company)  we all must find our own way as individuals.

Christ is present whenever two or three gather in His name,even if the other two are the saints on the calendar. 
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