Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ecce Sacerdos Magnus: Father Bernard Kinnick Elevated to Archpriest

The laying-on of hands

Receiving the pectoral cross

Sayedna JOSEPH with the Very Rev. Bernard Kinnick

Sayedna JOSEPH and Msgr. Kinnick near the altar with the faithful of St. Nicholas

During his episcopal visit on last Sunday, March 23, His Grace Sayedna JOSEPH elevated Fr. Bernard Kinnick of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church (Western Rite) in Spokane, Washington, to the dignity of Archpriest.

More photos are available here.

Congratulations to the Very Reverend Monsignor Bernard Kinnick. Axios!

Labels: ,

Friday, March 28, 2008

Stations of the Cross: Another Similarity

The prayer used most during the Stations of the Cross, aside from the Our Father and Hail Mary, is this:
V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
This Saturday evening, Orthodox Christians of the Byzantine Rite will chant the following prayer as one of the Resurrectional stichera in tone 3 (from the Nassar book, p. 152) :
Thy glorified Cross O Christ, do we worship, and Thy Resurrection do we praise and glorify: for by Thy wounds we were all healed.
I just found the (quite) similar wording interesting.


Stations of the Cross - Without the Cross

For those who want to do something for Lent but are scandalized by the Cross, or lack faith in Christ, quasi-Christians have an answer: the Stations of the Cross, without the Cross. Where did this idea come from? Where else? The Episcopal Church (TEC):
The church's Episcopal Relief and Development agency created a liturgy based on the United Nations plan to eliminate extreme poverty and other global ills, and sent e-mail to church leaders encouraging its use "in lieu of the traditional Stations of the Cross service."

...At the end of each station, the group is to pray a modified version of the Eastern Orthodox prayer known as Trisagion in which "Have mercy on us" is changed to "Transform us / That we might transform the world."
Wow, butchering two liturgical traditions at once; only in TEC.

Still, some anti-Western Rite ravers may like this: it doesn't encourage meditation on the Passion of Christ, and it does have (a form of a) Byzantine prayer. Perhaps this is why one writer (and priest) declared the 1979 BCP and Vatican II liturgy were "based on sound liturgical scholarship." (Roll eyes.)

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Marian Praise, on the Annunciation and Lent

In the post "Annunciation, East and West," I briefly sketched some of the similarities between the prayers and hymns in the Eastern and canonical Western Rite Orthodox liturgies for that great feast. However, the similarities are not confined merely to the Divine Liturgy, nor even to a given feast. For instance, on the Feast of Annunciation, those in the Western Rite following the Benedictine (and AWRV) tradition of the Monastic Diurnal/Breviarium Monasticum sang the 8th century hymn Ave Maris Stella, the common hymn on feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary. During this season of Lent, Orthodox Christians of the Byzantine tradition frequently sing the hymn "Awed By the Beauty," a verse in honor of the Theotokos clearly tied to the Annunciation. It is worthwhile to examine the two side-by-side as outstanding examples of Marian praise:

Western Rite
Byzantine Rite
Ave Maris Stella

Star of Ocean fairest,
Mother, God who bearest,
Virgin thou immortal,
heaven’s blissful portal,

“Ave” thou receivest,
Gabriel’s word believest,
change to peace and gladness
Eva’s name of sadness.

Loose the bonds of terror,
lighten blinded error,
All our ills repressing,
pray for every blessing,

Mother’s care displaying,
offer him thy praying,
who, when born our brother,
chose thee for his Mother.

Virgin all excelling,
gentle past our telling,
pardoned sinners - render
gentle, chaste, and tender.

In pure paths direct us,
on our way protect us,
till, on Jesus gazing,
we shall join thy praising.

Father, Son eternal,
Holy Ghost supernal,
with one praise we bless thee,
Three in One confess thee.
Awed By the Beauty

Awed by the beauty of thy virginity,
and the exceeding radiance of thy purity,
Gabriel stood amazed, and cried to thee, O Giver of Life:
What grace can I offer thee that is worthy of thy beauty?
By what name shall I call thee?
I am lost and bewildered,
But I shall greet thee as I was commanded.
Hail! Thou who art full of grace!

Both Eastern and Western Orthodox Christians are struck with awe at the Burning Bush that contained the Godhead yet was unconsumed. Both hymns acknowledge her innate sanctity, the beauty of her purity "all excelling, gentle past our telling." Ave Maris Stella features a more prominent supplication for our Mother's intercessions, as well as a concluding doxology to the Holy Trinity. Although the Latin tradition has been criticized as overly rational/logical/moralistic, the Western Rite also possesses, in its canonical integrity, a rich and tenderly poetic devotion. Together, the Church's two approved forms of devotion help us better venerate her through whom God appeared, and thus the Divine Himself.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Moscow Patriarchate Priest Says Okily-Dokily to "The Simpsons"

If you like the comedy of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, you're not alone, Neighbor-ino! Interfax quotes Moscow Patriarchate spokesman, Fr. Mikhail Prokopenko, thus:
I would not say that absolutely all cartoons shown on 2x2 are immoral and offensive. In fact, some of the cartoons shown there can even be called Christian and promoting family values - take, for instance, The Simpsons, a cartoon series that I, for one, really like.
This has been steadily less true as the years go on, but it's still one of the few cartoons that references God or church at all. Some of the episodes stand out: especially the episode in which Bart sells his soul, regrets his loss, and Lisa buys it back for him. (Kinsman Redeemer, anyone?) Ned Flanders has become an emblematic Christian fundamentalist, and Sunday Schools have studied the series. I'm not sure I'd use them the way this minister does, but if one must waste time on television, "The Simpsons" has something of an imprimatur....


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Annunciation, East and West

Sorry I'm late tonight in posting these. Here are the "propers" from the Feast of the Annunciation. As with so much else, the two rites simply say the same thing in different words. This is particularly pronounced in the most distinctive features of the feast's liturgies: the Collect (Western Rite) and the Troparion (Byzantine Rite).

Western RiteByzantine Rite
Collect and Offertory of the FeastTroparion of the Feast (Tone 4)

O God, Who wast pleased that Thy Word should take Flesh of the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the message of an angel; grant to us Thy humble servants that we, believing her to be indeed the Mother of God, may by her intercession be holpen in Thy sight. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb.
Today is the beginning of our salvation,
And the manifestation of the mystery from the ages.
For the Son of God becometh the Son of the Virgin, and Gabriel proclaimeth grace.
Wherefore do we shout with him to the Theotokos:
"Hail, Thou who art Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee!"
Tract of the Feast
Kontakion of the Feast (Tone 8)

Hearken, O daughter, and consider; incline thine ear; so shall the King have pleasure in thy beauty. The rich among the people shall make their supplication before thee; kings daughters are among thine honorable women. She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework; the virgins that be her fellows shall bear her company. With joy and gladness shall they be brought, and shall enter into the King's palace.

(from The Orthodox Missal.)
I thy servant, O Theotokos, inscribe unto thee the banner of conquest, O Defending Soldier.
I offer thanks to thee as a deliverer from all tribulation.
But as thine is the might invincible, deliver me me from all dangers,
That I may sing unto thee: Hail, O Bride without Bridegroom.

The similarity between the Tract and the Kontakion may be better understood if one takes into consideration the Christian East's flair for innovative poetry and the Western liturgy's somewhat greater reliance upon quotations from the Scriptures. The Tract is taken from Psalm 44 [45]. The same Psalm is read during Orthros of Annunciation.

There's more to say...but it's late. :)

Labels: ,

Monday, March 24, 2008

Real Preachers of Genius

(Hat Tip: Weedon's Blog)


Interesting: Benedictine Byzantines?

I just discovered an interesting group: "Benedictine Sisters of the Byzantine Church." It looks like the group began in 1951, when a number of Byzantine Catholics entered a Benedictine convent but decided to remain Byzantine Rite Catholic ("Uniate"). I'm not sure exactly how they combine these two elements in practice; I just thought the combination interesting.

Labels: , ,