Wednesday, April 23


The Tangled Ritual Webs We Weave

For a while, "Make your own Western Rite Orthodox Church" has been a bit of a cottage industry, only slightly more popular than founding the "Really Real, Truly Only Catholic Church, Ever" was in the 1980s.

Celtic Orthodox Church

Western Orthodox Church of America

Evangelical Orthodox Church

But, interestingly, it's a two way street.

There is the (in)famous conversion of the Patriarch of Constantinople Cyril Lucaris to Calvinism, unleasing 75 years of Eastern turmoil.*

Much more recent, however, is the "Ukrainian Lutheran Church."

Check out the Divine Liturgy of the Ukrainian Lutheran Church:

Pastor: Let us stand with dignity! Let us stand with fear! Let us meditate on the great Mystery of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Congregation: May our worship be filled with repentance, love, and peace.

Pastor: Let us lift up our hearts.

Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord.

Pastor: Let us give thanks to the Lord.


Congregation: Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord of heavenly hosts! Heaven and earth are full of your glory! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Salvation in the highest!

Pastor: With these blessed powers, O Master who loves mankind, we also cry aloud and say: You are indeed holy; you are most holy, you and your only-begotten Son and your Holy Spirit! You are indeed holy; you are most holy and your glory is magnificent! You so loved your world that you gave your only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Amen.

Pastor: When he had come and had fulfilled all the dispensation for our salvation, on the night in which he was betrayed, he took bread and blessed it, and broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you [for the remission of sins]; Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same manner, after supper, he took the cup, and hallowed it and gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor: Remembering this salutary testament, and all those things which have been accomplished for us -- the sacrifice on the cross, the tomb, the resurrection and ascension -- we ask you, Lord, and pray you and supplicate you: Send down your Holy Spirit on all who will partake of your gifts, for the strengthening of their faith in your truth. O Lord, who did send down your most Holy Spirit on your apostles, do not take him from us, O good one, but by your Spirit renew us, who pray to you, and grant that with one mouth and one heart we may praise and glorify in song your most holy and majestic name, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

Congregation: Amen.

It appears to me that there's no epiclesis over the gifts themselves, which is very strange given their apparent efforts to invent an "eastern Lutheranism." Can you really speak of eastern liturgy, while insisting on western sacramental theology and neglecting an epiclesis?

* The Orthodox hold that Lucarius' "conversion" is a misrepresentation--books claim to refute the "myth of the Calvinist patriarch," and even the Ecumenical Patriarch's website explains: Confusion resulted from the publication of the "«Lucarian Confession», in which the Patriarch appeared to accept the Calvinist doctrines and betray the Orthodox faith... The Patriarch himself verbally denied [having written the confession] on several occasions... To the end, however, Cyril did not disavow the «Confession» in writing. Successive Synods of the Orthodox Church have condemned the «Confession» as heretical and alien to the Orthodox faith of the Fathers."

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?