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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:55 am 
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What is the Orthodox view on Councils? Does it believe that there were a finite number of Councils or can there be more Councils validly convened in the future to address modern heresies?
If yes, are there any obstacles to the Orthodox hierarchy convening a Council?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:07 am 
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There can be more Council convened in the future. The main obstacle in the past was the Muslim occupation of Constantinople then the Iron Curtain but there currently are no large obstacles to the Orthodox hierarchy convening a Council and in fact since the fall of the Iron Curtain meetings have been taking place that will eventually lead to an Orthodox Council. Maybe within our lifetime.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:36 am 
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Obviously this is speculation, but what heresies do you think a modern Council might address? Or rather, what heresy would be serious enough to call for such a Council?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:08 pm 
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My speculation would be that the Council would address such issues as bioethics, abortion, the environment, the Reformation, Roman Catholicism, and ecumenical efforts in general, Enlightenment and the host of philosophies that came from there, and finally ecclesiastical issues such as the issues with the Ukraine and which Patriarch they fall under, the various Autocephalous Orthodox churches that have come about since the last Council such as Japan, Australia, and China. Then there's also the issue of America which is not Autocephalous but also has a host of ecclesiastical problems stemming from having multiple bishops in the same cities and regions, there have been efforts to unite the Orthodox Church in America, like we were at the beginning before the Iron Curtain but it will most likely take a Council to solve those problems. Then if there's time the Council would address the issue of Eastern Catholics.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:18 pm 
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Sorry about the same vein of questioning. Do you think that such a Council would have the effect of liturgically or theologically modernising the Orthodox Church in the same way that the Vatican II Council modernised the Roman Catholic Church? Do you think there is a danger that reformers could "hijack" such a Council in the same way that some people belive Protestant reformers "hijacked" Vatican II?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:37 pm 
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I think there is a danger of those things happening and the Orthodox Church needs to be on guard against them. As for modernizing the Church I think it really depends on what you mean by that. I don't think for example that we'll change our Liturgy since we've had the same one for 1,400 years. Theologically my understanding is that Orthodox Councils are never about new theology but explaining the Traditions handed down to us by the Apostles once and forever in modern terms and the interpreting of new social events in the terms of Apostolic Tradition.

Now as far as hijacking by reformers I haven't studied Vatican II so I don't know if the same thing could be possible. I do know that if the Council ends up with doctrines and practices that radically depart from Orthodoxy there would be a revolt in the parishes and the Council would not be accepted as has happened in the past.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:03 pm 
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The reason I guess I asked is because the Catholics also used the same Liturgical form almost exclusively until the 1960's when it underwent a radical overhaul. Obviously the Eastern Catholics retained the same form throughout (which is why they now resemble the Orthodox Liturgy and the Latin Mass more than the New Roman Rite). Anyway, prior to the council there had been a big move from within to bring the Church "up to date" liturgically, so I was wondering if there was a similar movement within the Orthodox.

By modernizing, I guess I mean anything from re-translating texts into more modern language, using different liturgical music, modifying the liturgy to use more vernacular languages (instead of, say, Greek).

Also during the Council they brought in and consulted with many non-Catholics, so I wonder whether the Orthodox would also bring in Non-Orthodox scholars and theologians to consult? Do you think the danger of modernization might be part of the reason there has been no Council so far?

On another topic, what is the view of the Orthodox on the subject of marrying outside the Orthodox faith? I ask because I attended an Orthodox/Protestant wedding in a Greek Orthodox Church this past summer and I was surprised at how "modern" (for lack of a better word) it was. While there were some traditional practices, it seemed that the Priest had modified some of the format to be more understandable by non-Orthodox attendees and he took a lot of time to explain everything in advance. Is this a common or acceptable practice?

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Last edited by Sherlock on Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:28 pm 
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Well actually since the Early Church it has been the policy of the Eastern Church to translate the Divine Liturgy into the native language of the worshipers. The church I go to does the entire Liturgy in English. As far as the Liturgical music there are already several different styles within Orthodoxy, my church uses Russian style music for Liturgy but we also do Byzantine style for some of our weekday services; and my priest even during the Liturgy will do more Byzantine style for the priestly prayers. Each autocephalous body has their own style of music that has developed over the centuries; and eventually America will develop their own style too. There is a movement within some Western Orthodox Churches to use Western Rite Liturgy but that's a small minority.

That's a good question, I don't know, I haven't read or heard of that being done in the past. I know that Orthodox Councils make use of lay Orthodox theologians but I don't think we would consult with non-Orthodox. I think the major barriers at this point for convening a Council is the gathering together of all the Bishops in one place; the security concerns, the travel arrangements, and the fact that no Orthodox Cathedral is large enough to hold all the Bishops; let alone everyone else. I haven't heard the concern of modernization brought up before, all most everyone I've talked to wants this Council to happen within their lifetime.

The subject of marrying outside the Orthodox faith is somewhat tricky and changes largely from parish to parish. I know some parishes where the Priest or the Bishop won't allow it but in my parish we have several people who are married to Catholics or Protestants. Some parishes that allow it will say the children need to be baptized and raised Orthodox. And of course the Orthodox person must be married in an Orthodox service and they can't marry a non-Christian; so no Muslims, Jews, or Hindus etc.

A lot of Priests and Bishops in America have made an effort to make Orthodoxy understandable to more by doing more services in English and by explaining what is going on to everyone before hand. Last Sunday the Archbishop of my church visited us to ordain someone to be a Deacon. Before service while He was putting on His vestments He explained what each piece meant. Then He also explained the roles of the various clergy in the Church and explained what was happening in the Ordination service. What do you mean by modified some of the format though?


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:31 pm 
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When I was talking about music, I was thinking about a modernization in types of music, like modern music being used or modern hymns etc. For example, the Catholics used almost exclusively Gregorian Chant but after the Vatican II Council they started using modern compositions and now you see a lot of Catholic churches using Protestant-written hyms (e.g. "Amazing Grace") and some more modern, contemporary Praise and Worship style music. Currently, my guess would be that this type of music would be incompatible with the Divine Liturgy (as it would have been with the Old Latin Mass) but once the modernizations took place, the Liturgy began to be more accomodating to modern music. I am wondering if this is taking place in the Orthodox too? Is having too "casual" an atmosphere a concern?

That makes sense, Councils are huge and expensive and difficult to arrange. However, since the lack of modernization (i.e. the retention of the Liturgy, doctrine, practices, etc) is what I think of when I think of defining characteristics of the Orthodox, I am wondering whether that might be a concern. It sounds like maybe it isn't a big issue or that there isn't a push from within like there was with the Catholics in the 60's.


What I meant by modifying the service was that it was not a Liturgy and there was no Communion. It was more a series of prayers and then the marriage vows. The Priest indicated that they would not be doing all of the things they would normally do if it were two Orthodox people getting married.

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Last edited by Sherlock on Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Ahh, no that is not taking place. Having too casual an atmosphere is a very big concern but one that I think is being addressed quite nicely. As far as Protestant-written hyms and some more modern, contemporary Praise and Worship style music I do not think we will ever see those being used, I say hopefully. I just don't see where they would fit in, now that being said we have sung Protestant Christmas hymns after Liturgy on Sunday before.

To the best of my understanding no there wasn't a push for modernization in the 60s, if anything there are some pushing for a return to older Liturgies and hymns.

Reading my service book that I have here even during normal marriage services there is no communion and in fact the ceremony is suppose to take place after Liturgy on Sunday not be a Liturgy in of itself.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:38 am 
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*bumps*

*reads above posts*

You've sung Protestant hymns before? :O That's kinda cool...

How does an Orthodox wedding take place? Have you been to one before?

There are no longer Orthodox Councils? Or am I reading this wrong? o_0

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:42 am 
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So are there any Early Christians who believed the six day creation was literal?


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:20 pm 
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Isaiah the Ox wrote:
You've sung Protestant hymns before?
Well when I was Protestant all the time :P But around Christmas after Liturgy is over the choir will sometimes sing Christmas hymns.
Isaiah the Ox wrote:
How does an Orthodox wedding take place? Have you been to one before?
Well here is the text of the service: http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/wedding but some key points, the unique Orthodox aspects of the wedding are the crowning of the couple, no vows, and no communion. I have been to three.
Isaiah the Ox wrote:
There are no longer Orthodox Councils? Or am I reading this wrong?
There hasn't been a council of all Orthodox bishops in a long time and there obviously haven't been any Ecumenical Councils since the schism. There is suppose to be an All Orthodox council this year though.
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So are there any Early Christians who believed the six day creation was literal?
There were some, it wasn't a settled or dogmatic issue back then.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:27 pm 
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So is the marriage considered to be a vow of faithfulness in of itself, or is this the reason why divorce is allowed three times cause no one is really "married?"


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:54 pm 
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It's a Sacrament, the idea of a vow just doesn't enter into it, we'd say let your yes be yes etc no need for a vow.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:36 pm 
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But, a yes is supposed to be your "vow" correct? I mean, the purpose (I believe) of what Jesus said was that your "yes" should be as trustworthy as a vow. How does that make sense with the Orthodox belief on divorce?

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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:30 pm 
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It's saying that we are human and will make mistakes.


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:32 pm 
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John Chrysostom wrote:
It's saying that we are human and will make mistakes.

Is sin a mistake?


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:33 pm 
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Some of them are


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 Post Post subject: Re: Eastern Orthodox Denomination Q&A
Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:34 pm 
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Do you believe sin is always wrong? Even when it's divorce?


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