for judging a jurisdiction
Enlightened Churches do not use the new calendar.
But using the old calendar will not cause an unenlightened Church to be enlightened.
We tend to place too much importance on which calendar a jurisdiction uses as a way to judge that jurisdiction. We tend to see the new calendar/old calendar as more of a vice/virtue than it is. The use of the new calendar/old calendar needs to be considered first as a symptom, an indication, a sign.
It is characteristic of world-orthodox jurisdictions to use the new calendar, but not all of them do. When we see the use of the new calendar we can be certain this jurisdiction is in world-orthodoxy. But the use of the old calendar is no guarantee that jurisdiction is in any better spiritual condition than a world-orthodox, in fact, it could be worse. The OCA for example, a world-orthodox jurisdiction, has a number of old calendar parishes in Alaska. There is a world-orthodox Bulgarian church in Santa Rosa using the old calendar. The MP and the RocorMP use the old calendar. Even the vigante Milan synods use the old calendar. (A Soviet "church" might use the old calendar as part of its disguise, or to help it gain acceptance into groups of old calendarists.)
If you see the old calendar for what it is, which is just a calendar, however superior, then you are less likely to be hoodwinked. Our own Patriarch Tikhon, in 1924 stated that the Julian calendar itself is not a dogma of faith of the Church and could, in theory and principle, be altered. The reason we resist the new calendar today is not so much because it is the new calendar, but because of where it came from (antichrist) and it's purpose (ecumenism) and what it caused (schism).
We can judge a Church solely by its use of the new calendar.
But we can't judge a Church solely by its use of the old calendar.
Q: Why is Fr. John Romanides listed as an "unsafe author" on your blog?
A: He is a new calendarist. Nothing more needs be said.
Here more is said, both from the super-correct side and the world-orthodox side:
• World-orthodox: (copy-pasted below)
• Remedy: read the Royal Path side: Fr. Seraphim's Blessed Augustine and Genesis, Creation and Early Man.
Theology in Greece in the 1960's
By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos
Source (in Greek http://parembasis.gr/2010/10_01_12.htm.)
Translated by John Sanidopoulos.
These days there are references to theology in Greece during the decade of the 60's and this theology is presented as a new theology, either as a resetting of the teachings of the Church Fathers, or as a neo-patristic theology, that is, as a theology of the Church which is expressed in a new language.
There are many who argue that the theology that appeared in Greece during the 60's was an important event for our Church, but, as they say, several factors contributed to the disappearance of this significant prospect which this theology created.
It is the emergence of some young theologians, who wrote various scientific treatises or produced theological texts, who tried to see Orthodox teaching through another perspective, different from those prevailing at the time.
I would like to emphasize some points which, in my opinion, should be considered together, along with other studies made in this regard.
1. Theology in the 1960's
It is known that in Greece, both before and after the liberation from the Turkish yoke, a Western-style theology was introduced, which was associated either with the scholasticism of the papacy or with Protestant moralism. This is why the late Fr. George Florovsky spoke about the Babylonian captivity of Orthodox theology.
In turn, at some point certain Greek theologians came in contact with the texts of Russian émigré (refugees) in Paris,* or other sensitive voices, and found a different way of expressing the problems and themes which occupied Western man. They were enthused by such texts and tried to transfer these views to the Greek Orthodox public.
*to read about the trouble caused by this Paris School (started in Moscow) see The Truth About the Russian Church Abroad, by M. Rodzianko
At the same time, however, there was another movement by theologians, especially in Thessaloniki, to bring to light the works of Saint Gregory Palamas, who expressed an Orthodox hesychastic way of life. Within this perspective there were written studies, theses, and socio-theological texts.
All these trends are called "theology of the 1960's", and were seen as something new, because it treated philosophical, theological, anthropological, ecclesiological, and social issues through a new perspective and provided a new language, which touched more the new man. This surprised many, which both the left and critics have described this movement as "neo-orthodoxy".
2. The Causes For Which Appeared the Theology of the 1960's
Certainly this phenomenon must be studied to examine all of its parameters. For example, the causes for the emergence of this theology should be investigated, whether this theology has a foundation in timeless tradition or is it a seasonal phenomenon, and what ultimately caused its fertilization in our country and the Church.
Of course, all of these trends should be studied adequately and objectively, because the starting point and perspective of all theologians who fall into this theology are not the same, as already mentioned. Some of them began with the study of patristic texts within the hesychastic tradition of Mount Athos, others from contemporary philosophies such as Meyendorff, others by the study of the Russian theologians of the diaspora, and others were affected by the "political theology" of Latin America. Of course, all of these categories result in different conclusions.
Certainly theology in the 1960's should be studied without exaggeration and without devaluations and be payed its just praise or be judged. At the same time, we should not think that the same trends were abandoned in the decades of the twentieth century in the western world. Therefore, the influence of West German theology should be examined in shaping at least part of the so-called theology of the 60's in Greece.
I mean that in the western world, primarily in the German theology of the 1920's, after the horrific results of the First World War and the cooperation of the Christians with the imperialist powers of the time, there developed crisis and dialectical theology or neo-orthodoxy, which tried to see the relationship of God with the world through a new perspective. There appeared new Protestant theologians, such as Barth, Brunner, Bultmann, and Tillich, who met with philosophers of the time, such as Kierkegaard, Berdyaev, Heidegger, etc. respectively, and spoke of the Church in relation to the world in a different manner from older German theologians, such as Harnack.
In this German theology of the 1920's there were heard and discussed terms like neo-orthodoxy, secularism, ecclesiology, pneumatology, eschatology, universality, etc., which were terms used extensively by Greek theologians of the 1960's. Moreover, there was a great debate in Germany and in the West generally regarding the relationship of the Church with the world, faith and reason, philosophy and theology, history and eschatology, word and revelation, and of God.
Also, in the western world in the 1960's there developed various theological trends which spoke of eschatological theology, post-christian theology, the theology of the death of God, political theology, etc. And such terminology was brought to Greece in the 1960's and beyond. Professor Marios Begzos presented in a beautiful way the entire evolution of this theology to the Protestants.
Thus, the theology of the 1960's in Greece should certainly be studied from this perspective, that is in relation to parallel theological movements which were in the Protestant world, primarily in Germany, and the relationship between the Orthodox theologians of the 1960's and the Protestant theologians of the 1920's and 1960's should be investigated.
For example, during the student years of my generation, we would very often hear from our professors the views of the great German Protestant theologians, such as Barth, Brunner, Bultmann, etc. As an example I will mention that in my class on the history of dogmatics, among others, I had examined the issue of dialectical theology and the views of the above German theologians regarding the justification of man in relation to Orthodox theology as expressed by the Holy Fathers. Also, in the degree examinations for the class on Christian ethics I examined the book of Nikolai Berdyaev The Destiny of Man. This was occurring because some of the professors had studied in Germany and knew the whole movement of dialectical theology.
Our previous generation had been influenced too much by the German theologian Harnack, who preceded dialectical theology, because the professors of that time studied German theology through his views.
In any event, the so-called theology of the 1960's in Greece should be studied on the basis of the corresponding theology in Germany and the basis of the Russian theology of the diaspora.
3. The Theology of the Church
Beyond what has been reported I must add a view which should be explored, in order to move to safer conclusions on this issue.
In the 1960's I was a student of the Theological School of Thessaloniki, when I was taught by professors but also read texts of theologians who expressed this new perspective. At the same time however I was studying texts of the hesychastic tradition, the Fathers of the Church, especially St. Gregory Palamas, St. Symeon the New Theologian, and the philokalic Fathers.
On one of my visits then to Mount Athos I asked the late monk Theoklitos Dionysiatis, who then excelled even in a monastic state on Mount Athos and Greece as an exponent of Orthodox theology, about how he saw all of these theological problems in Greece. He replied correctly that he didn't see a problem in theology, but a problem with theologians!
With my subsequent studies I concluded that Orthodox theology is the voice of the Church. And just like the Church is timeless as the Body of Christ, so also does Orthodox theology have a timeless expression and experience that is not divided by decades. Of course, we can evaluate within history various theological trends which were expressed by theologians in their time or developed in various cities (Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, etc.), but we cannot talk about an Orthodox theology of the 1960's, the 1970's, the 1980's, the 1990's, etc.
In other words, the Orthodox theology of the Church is the theology of the Prophets, the Apostles and the Fathers through all the ages. Every new current which appears must be studied in relation to the theology of the Church which is expressed by the Prophets, the Apostles and the Fathers. These saints reached theosis, saw God within Light, and then expressed their experiences within the terms of their times.
When one studies the so-called theology of the 1960's through the perspective of the Prophets, the Apostles, and the Fathers, one will see a theology that was both influenced by the theology of the Russian diaspora and by Protestant dialectical theology, and is associated with elements of thinking, emotion and heredity. Thus, in some places it offers a new language, but essentially differs much methodologically from the patristic tradition, which in its depth is neptic/hesychastic and not philosophical/thoughtful. It is a theology that deals with aesthetics and not with asceticism, with the logical faculty and not the noetic faculty.
Also, the theologians who have been influenced by the "beauty" of the theology of the 1960's, remain clung to it, and do not see that there are subsequent theological studies both in the West and in the Orthodox East which have gone much further on these issues and have largely exceeded the so-called theology of the 1960's. But for a runner/athlete to judge negatively those who have overcome and run stronger than him, is not a correct understanding and criticism.
In May-June of 1997 Fr. John Romanides, Fr. George Metallinos and the author were asked to speak at a Seminar which was organized by the Orthodox Church of America (O.C.A.) near Atlanta. We were the only speakers and each of us in turn gave lectures, over two days, around the issue of Orthodoxy and therapeutic science. Fr. Romanides due to illness was unable to attend, but his introductory text was read. Fr. George Metallinos spoke on the topic of the historical and theological context of the Orthodox Church. And the author explained issues that related the Church with a hospital and the method by which man is healed.
The O.C.A. is a Church in which Fr. Alexander Schmemann, known to all, taught and played a significant role. The organizers of the Seminar wanted to know our views on these issues. We learned that the members of this Church, until then, considered the theologians of Greece influenced by the scholastic and Protestant theology of the West and that the Russian theologians of the diaspora expressed the true Orthodox theology of the so-called neo-patristics and neo-palamites, which of course is superior and outweighs the theology of the Fathers. Well-known are the views of Alexis Khomiakov that the scholastic theology of the West is higher than the theology of the Fathers, and that Russian theology surpassed both scholastic and even Greek patristic theology. But when they heard us repeatedly over two days at this Seminar analyze issues of Orthodox tradition, then one of those in attendance said: "This theology is higher than ours and the Russian diaspora. We were mistaken to have underestimated it."
4. The Case of Fr. John Romanides
Among the theologians of the 1960's many count the Protopresbyter Fr. John Romanides, who really created a great surprise at that time and contributed to the restoration of theology in Greece towards the patristic tradition.
I think it is inappropriate to associate Fr. John Romanides with this trend of so-called neo-orthodoxy. And for many reasons.
The first is that Fr. John appeared in theological writings and studied theology in the 1950's, first with studies and later with his thesis, titled "The Ancestral Sin", which was indeed a milestone in the Theological School of Athens, where he created a great discussion, but also more generally in the theological world of Greece.
The second reason is because Fr. John was not affected by the Russian theologians of the diaspora nor by dialectical Protestant theology, but he did personal research on the Apostolic Fathers of the Church. Raised in the Protestant environment of America, he studied at a Papal Institute, where he learned and studied the theology of Thomas Aquinas, and in Protestant theological schools, such as Yale and Harvard, and came to know their mentality very well. Primarily because the Protestants teach that the Fathers of the Church changed apostolic tradition, he studied thoroughly the Apostolic Fathers (Irenaeus, Ignatius, Methodius, Justin, Polycarp, etc), who are the ring by which the Apostles and later Fathers are linked. Arising from this study was his thesis on ancestral sin, which, among other things, determined the difference between Orthodox and scholastic theology. Characteristic is the subtitle of his study on the ancestral sin, which identifies the book's contents: "Contributions to the examination and conditions of the Ancestral Sin, from the Ancient Church of St. Irenaeus in comparison to the entire inheritance of the Orthodox and the West until the theology of Thomas Aquinas."
The third reason, therefore, was that when he came to Greece in the 1950's he felt great surprise by the climate he met. After developing his thesis he studied deeper the issue and reached other conclusions, such as the theology of hesychasm and the life of Romiosini. This Romiosini however he saw more in light of the neptic and hesychastic tradition of the Church. I note here that whoever interprets the theory of Fr. John Romanides regarding Romiosini within nationalism and not within the neptic tradition of the Church, which is beyond all nationalism, misinterprets his views.
Therefore, the subsequent studies of Fr. John Romanides are not deprived of his initial studies, as some claim, but they are its positive evolution, that is, towards the pure patristic tradition. Furthermore, those who interpret his teachings within the trends of Monophysitism, Neo-Nestorianism and Origenism also do him injustice. For example, because some see Origenism in some of the views of Fr. John Romanides, I studied the doctrines of Origen which were condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council, as they appear in its surviving Acts, and I did not discern any similarity. If some views of Origen are Orthodox and passed through the Fathers of the Church (Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, etc.) in its tradition, we cannot criticize Fr. John. Besides, Fr. John repeatedly in his writings refers to the erroneous views of Origen. I have in mind the transcript of a speech I have, in which he is sharply critical of the views of Origen.
The fourth reason is that Fr. John knew very well the theology of the Russian diaspora, as well as the causes and views of those who were propagating them. He also knew very well German idealism, dialecticalism, and the existentialism of the West, and judged it according to those who developed it or brought it to Greece.
In fact, he supported the view that when one suffers in the physical body by a bacterium or virus, you should find the cause of the infection, where the virus comes from. Similarly, when someone carried a "theological virus or microbe" to Greece, one should examine to find the person who was "infected". He supported the fact that such research in theological literature can demonstrate that a Greek theologian who studied in the West brought to Greece a similar "theological microbe" or "theological virus"!
The conclusion to my thoughts above is that the study of theology in the 1960's should be handled with care and through the perspective of the conditions found above, but it must be underlined with emphasis that Orthodox theology cannot be interpreted within decades, but through the timeless tradition of the Prophets, the Apostles and the Fathers. That is, in Orthodox theology there is no theology of the 1960's, but a theology of the God-seeing Saints, who are counter to the thinking of the philosophers.
Q: Just so I put everything in context, where can I read Ukaz #362?
I've seen that mentioned from time to time and I don't know what that is either.
Seems like Ukaz #362 is central to the fragments' argument, so I better understand it.
A: It is true you will often see mention of the famous Ukas #362. Last night, reading a short memorial of Patriarch Tikhon, I again came across mention of the Ukase #362, where the important part is quoted, translated into English. I googled some of the key words and found this translation on a RocorMP site:
By the way, this website was created for, and is devoted to, rewriting history.
In December 1918, Bishop Mikhail assumed the administration of the Diocese of Primorsk & Vladivostok. He was appointed as Bishop of that Diocese in 1919, by the Provisional Supreme Church Authority of Siberia, organized along the same lines, and for the same reasons-inability to communicate with Patriarch Tikhon-as the Temporary Higher Church Administration of South Russia that was the forerunner of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Patriarch Tikhon himself had foreseen the need for such measures, and provided for such a situation: “Seeing that the persecutions were intensifying, and that the time could come when the central church authority would find itself separated from the local church administrations, the Patriarch, together with the Holy Synod and the Higher Church Council, issued the ukase (#362) of November 20, 1920. The ukase reads: ‘In the event that a diocese finds communications with the Higher Church Authority broken, or the Higher Church Authority headed by the Patriarch, for some reason ceases its activity, the diocesan bishop shall immediately contact the bishops of the neighboring dioceses with the object of organizing a higher unit of church authority … in the event of this being impossible, the diocesan bishop must take upon himself the fullness of power.’ Point 3 of this ukase states that this higher unit of church authority must be headed by the senior of the Hierarchs.” 28
Footnote 28 refers to:
M. Rodzianko “The Truth About the Russian Church Abroad (The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia)” Translated from the Russian by Michael P. Hilko, Jordanville, New York 1975 pp. 37-38
I have that book online, but without the page numbers:
Skimming through the booklet I do not find a translation of the ukase itself, but quotes from it, and I'm reminded how complicated it is… actually there were 2 ukases involved, – and to understand this we also need to understand the terminology – defining things like "provisional supreme authority", etc.
Basically the ukas gave the Russian Church the ability to re-establish their diocese abroad in the case of what did end up happening: the Church was captured by the evil government in 1927.
Only the MP denies the authority of the ukas. We don't need to try to determine the legality for ourselves whether the ukas is valid or not – that has already been proven by God who gave the ROCA numberless martyrs and undeniable saints such as St. John of San Francisco. The only argument there is about the ukas is: to WHAT FRAGMENT does the ukas pertain? Who has the right to apply the ukas?
RocorMP basically gave up its right in 2007 by joining the MP. They decided that whether or not they at one time had the right, that the ukas does not apply anymore anyway, (so why argue about it?) – now their philosophy is to "let bygones be bygones" and to "forgive".
The jurisdictional ecumenists (Joseph Suaiden of NFTU) say that all the fragments have a right to exercise the authority given in the ukas. But the Sister Churches witness against this idea. Despite serious attempts made by the fragments to try to establish communion with one or more of the Sister Churches, none of the Sister Churches are in communion with any of the fragments. They only recognize ROCA (under Agafangel) as being the true sole continuation of the ROCOR – and let me add, – this recognition was swift in coming after the shipwreck of the RocorMP union; and it remains unwavering thanks to God's protection. The Sister Churches all see ROCA as the only jurisdiction having the right to apply the ukaze.
Some of the fragments also say their right to existence is their (false) claim to be the Catacomb Church. But, the true Catacomb Church always recognized only the ROCA as having the right to apply the ukas and only to that particular situation in history. In early 2009 two true catacomb bishops left one of the false catacomb churches for the ROCA.
To this day both of the fragments are furious about this and continually criticize our reception of these bishops saying it was illegally done.
"Why the hundredth time to repeat what has already been discussed?"
Why? I know why... It is for the "benefit" of their flock who might be reading our explanation – they need to keep pounding it into their flock that ROCA is "uncanonical" and commits "uncanonical acts".
"Metropolia" is short for "American Metropolia" which today (2014) is known as the OCA (Orthodox Church in America under Metropolitan Tikhon Mollard) which is in world-orthodoxy.
The TYPICON of the Orthodox Church’s Divine Services
INSPIRATION OF TRUE ORTHODOX PIETY
by Fr. Seraphim Rose, 1973
Standing in the Temple of Thy glory, we think we are standing in heaven.
Verse of Matins
At what shall we marvel the most, O Orthodox Christians, when we stand in our Orthodox temples and worship God in the way He Himself has instructed us to worship Him? – At the astounding beauty and glory of the Divine services which overwhelmed the emissaries of the holy Russian Prince Vladimir a thousand years ago, so that they did not know whether they were on earth or in heaven? At the astonishing variety and complexity of the services, which can be compared only to the abundance and diversity of nature itself, being like it a reflection of the abundance of the Divine Creator? Or at the wondrous order that prevails in the midst of all this variety, and which makes of Orthodox worship a harmonious whole capable of raising the soul into single-minded devotion to God?
How unfortunate it is, then, that so few Orthodox Christians enter fully into the meaning and spirit of the Divine services which, according to the idea of the Holy Fathers who created them under Divine inspiration, are supposed to be a daily source of inspiration for believers, preserving and fanning into a great flame of love that spark which brought them to the saving Orthodox Faith. How few know and love the Typicon which sets forth the principles of the order of the Divine services and which, if it is understood properly, is capable of helping to put our own hearts in order, of orienting them toward the Sunrise from on High Who is the object of the Church's worship!
And how doubly unfortunate it is that there are those who presume to call themselves Orthodox and yet, looking upon the sad state of Orthodox worship in many places today, ﬁnd the fault for this to lie, not in the lukewarm believers who do not wish to live by the ideal of the Typicon, but rather in the Typicon itself, which must, according to them, be "revised" and brought "up-to-date." One of the most clever of these "revisionists," Father Alexander Schmemann, has recently written "A Letter to my Bishop,"1 Metropolitan Ireney of the American Metropolia, complaining that the latter wishes to return the Metropolia to the standard of the "pre-revolutionary Russian Church," to "the standard service books... of the Russian Orthodox Church." In one respect one can sympathize with Fr. Schmemann's objection: for it is evident that his bishop does not have in mind any true return to fervent and meaningful participation in Divine services, but only a very minimal preservation of the general order of services in the Slavonic service books, as an answer to the disorderly innovationism which is now apparently widely practiced in the Metropolia. Fr. Schmemann believes that the situation in the Metropotia is too desperate to be saved by a return to outward order. He finds that the Metropolia's "ﬁnancial bankruptcy only reveals and reflects its spiritual state – a state of apathy and demoralization,... of abysmal ignorance of the very foundations of our faith," and that "our Church is sick – liturgically and spiritually" – a shocking statement which certainly cannot be made concerning the Church of Christ, but which may indeed be applicable to an ecclesiastical body such as the Metropolia which for long has been travelling a path far from true Orthodoxy.
The plea of Metropolitan lreney is to salvage at least some parts of the liturgical practice of the Russian Church: a few verses when the Typicon calls for a whole psalm, one canon at Sunday Matins instead of the three or four appointed, etc. To this Fr. Schmemann correctly replies that this is not the standard of the Typicon and that, in any case, the Metropolia's people do not find even this minimum meaningful. Therefore, he believes, the Typicon must be revised in the light of our knowledge of its historical development, of other traditions, and the like. In a word, the services must be made somehow palatable to spiritually bankrupt people! Fr. Schmemann takes a bad situation and makes it worse, advocating the establishment of a new typicon, a lower standard – which the next generation of the Metropolia will undoubtedly likewise find "unmeaningful" and too demanding!
Enough has been said for us to learn a lesson from the self-admitted spiritual bankruptcy of the Metropolia. It was worldliness, indifference, and abysmal ignorance that produced the Metropolia's bankruptcy; and we who would be Orthodox zealots. whether in the Russian Church Outside of Russia or in her sister zealot Churches, must realize that these same attitudes can cause us also to become lukewarm in our faith, or to lose the grace of God entirely.
Let us understand clearly, then, to begin with, that neither the people of the Metropolia nor its would-be reformer Fr. Schmemann, understand at all what the Typicon of the Church's Divine services is and what is its function. A thorough historical investigation of the Church's Typicon will not at all lead us to become "revisionists" of it, but on the contrary, will only ﬁll us with wonder at its coherence, profundity, and meaningfulness. Indeed, one of the chief works of scholarship on the Typicon, that of Professor Skaballanovich2 which Fr. Schmemann himself cites as extremely valuable, comes to exactly these conclusions, and his work only convinces one ot the great wisdom of the Holy Fathers who compiled the Typicon. The mistake of the people of the Metropolia lies in tis ignorance of and indifference to the Church's inspiring Typicon; the mistake of Fr. Alexander Schmemann lies in his looking at the Typicon in a purely legalistic and academic manner, as though it were merely a system of arbitrary rules and prescriptions which must be blindly obeyed or cleverly avoided, rather in the spirit of a contemporary Code of Motor Vehicles.
Such is not the case at all! But in order to see the significance of the Typicon one must know what it is. The Typicon is, literally, a book of rubrics for the conduct of the Divine services and the harmonious joining of the different cycles which make up the church's life: the daily cycle, the eight-week cycle of the Eight Tones, the fixed cycle of Feasts and Saints' days, the movable cycles of Great Lent and Pascha, but in its significance the Typicon is much more than this. The Typicon is, as its title might be translated, a "book of examples," and its intent is actually, as Professor Skaballanovich has well noted, "to sketch the high ideal of the Divine services, an ideal which by its beauty might evoke a constant involuntary striving to bring it into realization, something that is perhaps not always possible in full measure, as is the case also in the realization of every ideal, the following of every exalted example. In essence such is the nature of the whole law of Christ, which is unrealizable perfectly in all its heavenly exaltation, but which by its Divine grandeur inspires an irresistible attraction on the part of mankind to bring it into realization, and which thereby gives life to the world" (Commentary on the Typicon, vol. 2 p. 2).
The full title of this important book is: "The Typicon, or the Depiction of the Ecclesiastical Rite of the Holy Lavra of our Holy and God-bearing Father Sabbas in Jerusalem. The same rite is followed also in the other venerable monasteries in Jerusalem, and similarly in the other holy churches of God." The Typicon, that is to say, is the standard of the services of the Monastery of St. Sabbas in Jerusalem, which was subsequently taken as the standard of the services in other monasteries, and then in the whole Orthodox Church. It is precisely the monastic services which are taken as the standard of the Church's life of worship, because monasticism itself most clearly expresses the ideal toward which the whole believing Church strives. The condition of monasticism at any given time is ordinarily one of the best indicators of the spiritual condition of the whole Church, or of any Local Church; and similarly, the degree to which the local parishes in the world strive toward the ideal of the monastic services is the best indicator of the condition of the Divine worship which is conducted in them.
The Typicon of the Divine services is an ideal; and therefore let no pastor or believer make the mistake of thinking that he has already done "enough" if in his parish "all the people sing" (which is indeed prescribed by the Typicon, as we shall see), or there are services on the eves of Sundays and feast days. The battle being waged today by the world against the faithful is constant and relentless, and it is of an intensity unparalled in the whole history of the Church. In America it is evident that daily newspapers, radio and television, public schools, supermarkets, fashions – virtually everything that exerts any kind of influence upon the mind or taste is directly or indirectly involved in destroying the Orthodox World view, in making true Orthodoxy seem "fanatical," "out of step with the times," and in persuading Orthodox Christians to give up their high ideal of making Orthodoxy permeate the whole of their life in order to "get along" better in the world and "fit in" with other confessions and world views.
Against this unrelenting attack the Orthodox Christian must wage a constant, conscious battle, or else he simply will not remain Orthodox, and most certainly his children will be lost. The "Orthodox" jurisdictions of America (the Metropolia being actually in better condition than most of the others!) should be a sufficient lesson of what will happen to people who do not wage a constant battle to preserve their Orthodoxy, but rather accept it as a matter of course, assuming that one is somehow automatically Orthodox just because he is called by this name. How different is the judgment of Christ our Saviour! Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men (Matt. 5:13).
The Holy Fathers who compiled the Typicon had precisely in mind this battle to preserve oneself in the grace of a Christian life, and we shall see what an effective weapon for this battle is contained in the Divine services, which, contrary to popular belief, are most practical and applicable in our own situation today.
Starting in 1974 in The Orthodox Word, practical information will be given on the Church's Divine services – on the reading and singing of the Psalms of David and the singing of the traditional Russian chant in English – based on the best tradition of Russian Orthodox practice.3 Leading Orthodox hierarchs of our century have called the faithful to return to the true tradition of the Orthodox services according to the Typicon, and we shall quote the inspiring words and examples of such zealots of the Divine services as the New-martyr Archbishop Arsenius of Novgorod, the Blessed Archbishop John Maximovitch, and the present Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery at Jordanville, New York, Archbishop Averky of Syracuse.
The words of these zealot-hierarchs, and a knowledge of the true tradition of the Divine services. will surely persuade us that we, the last Christians, are far from the normal life of Orthodox piety; how much, therefore, we must struggle in order to get back to that normal life! But how inspiring is the path to it! We shall see that the Divine services are not only a treasure-house of the Church's dogma and spiritual instruction, but even more a school of piety which teaches us not only how to think, but even how to feel about our life and the path of salvation. The full use of this basic source of piety is an essential part of the zealot movement of true Orthodoxy in our own day.
May the knowledge of the ancient tradition of the Divine services awaken Orthodox zealots today ever to strive toward the ideal which the Church's Typicon holds out to them: to stand in God's Temple, in fear and trembling and great joy, and worship Him in the way the Divinely-inspired Fathers have instructed us to do!
1. Printed in St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, 1973. no. 3, pp. 221-238.
2. Michael Skaballanovich, Commentary on the Typicon (in Russian), Kiev, 1913, 2 vol.
3. Much work has been done on Greek Orthodox chant in English at Holy Transﬁguration Monastery in Boston 226
from The Orthodox Word, issue #53, Nov-Dec 1973
Life of St. Andrew Fool for Christ
The Feast of the Protection
Commemorated October 28th.
During the 10th century at the Blachernae church in Constantinople (Istanbul) where several pieces of her her robe, veil, and part of her belt were kept, the Theotokos miraculously appeared. On October 1 at four in the morning, St. Andrew the Blessed Fool-for-Christ saw the dome of the church open and the Virgin Mary enter, moving in the air above him, glowing and surrounded by angels and saints. She knelt and prayed with tears for all faithful Christians in the world.
St Andrew turned to his disciple, St. Epiphanius, who was standing near him, and asked, "Do you see, brother, the Holy Theotokos, praying for all the world?" Epiphanius answered, "Yes, Holy Father, I see it and am amazed!"