Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"Protestant," too?

Addendum #2: I forgot to address the claim that the Liturgy of St. Tikhon is "Protestant."

The Liturgy of St. Tikhon cannot legitimately be called "Cranmerian," much less can it be called "Protestant." It is a liturgy compiled according to the instructions of the Orthodox Church, at the behest of Orthodox saints, by distinguished Orthodox theologians, blessed within the Orthodox Church, and celebrated within multiple patriarchates of the Orthodox Church for decades. No Protestant would be comfortable with the liturgy's fervent supplication of the saints and the Ever-Virgin Mother of God. He would not appreciate its commemoration of Orthodox hierarchs. He would find no "Zwinglian" content in its outspoken profession of the Real Presence. And no Calvinist -- the British variety of which paid thugs to smash church pictures and stained glass windows with a hammer -- would feel comfortable in a church that visibly expresses its acceptance of the seventh ecumenical council.

In giving Her approval, the Church adoped the liturgy's every word and turn-of-phrase -- whatever its provenance -- as Her own. One is inescapably led to believe as the Orthodox Church does about this liturgy, and the Western Rite in general: that it conveys the fulness of Orthodox faith, worship, and devotion to those, of whatever ethnic background, privileged to share in its celebration.

These facts will not pacify our implacable detractors, most of whom have little or no experience worshipping in an actual Orthodox Church -- and some of whom may have an "improved" missal to promote (usually at a modest price). However, the average catholic-minded onlooker, exploring the often confusing world of Western Rite Orthodoxy, can readily judge this cause.

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