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Anglicanorum coetibus and Orthodoxy
17-12-2009, 06:59 PM,
Anglicanorum coetibus/western rite Orthodoxy
Thank you, Fr Gregory, for laying out the ecclesiological facts on this issue clearly and simply. I am a fairly recent convert to Orthodoxy (Eastern, not Oriental), who after an RC upbringing and many years as an Anglican priest found my way into the Orthodox Church (where I live happily as a layman) as I entered my sixties. I would like to share my joy that by the grace of God I have discovered the Real Thing after years of following what now looks suspiciously like a mirage, and that at the heart of this is a liturgical and spiritual tradition whose riches make their western counterparts appear very thin fare indeed.

As a teenager I got to know an Orthodox priest who had trodden a course somewhat similar to how my own has since turned out. His introduction to Orthodoxy and subsequent monastic profession had been in a small western rite community in France, but its dissolution on the death of its founder (such enterprises are always fairly fragile, and perhaps over-dependent on the charismatic personalities who inspire them) propelled him after not many years into the Orthodox mainstream. His comparison of the difference between the eastern and western traditions to that between colour and black and white affected my eighteen year old ears with that selective deafness young people characteristically display when adults are giving them the benefit of their experience, but now I, too, know it to be true, and would strongly discourage Anglican or RC enquirers from looking for some kind of "halfway house" between their present traditions and Orthodoxy in its full and authentic form.

Orthodox worship is not, as is generally supposed, necessarily "foreign" or exotic. In the UK you may possibly encounter it for the first time in a Greek- or Slavonic-language parish, but this is not "of the essence": one of the strengths of Orthodoxy is its adaptability to local language and culture, and there are nowadays probably as many "English" parishes as others. The length and repetitiousness of the Liturgy may come as a culture shock to Anglicans who expect no service to last longer than an hour, but if it is a participation in the joy of Heaven then double that time (or even more at Pascha, in the middle of the night!) is hardly too long -- there is a refreshing lack of rigidity, so you can always move about, venerate an icon on the other side of the church or go out for a breath of air (try doing that in the CofE!). As for exotic -- have a look at "Forward in Finery" (c/o Facebook): no comment.

Come on in! It will take a year or two to find your feet, but once you've made the necessary (but not necessarily enormous) cultural adjustment you'll never look back. And you will come to recognise in Orthodoxy the authentic Church of the New Testament and the Fathers, which is really all that needs to be said.

Messages In This Thread
Anglicanorum coetibus/western rite Orthodoxy - Walter - 17-12-2009, 06:59 PM
[] - Fr Gregory - 18-12-2009, 08:25 AM
[] - Walter - 18-12-2009, 10:53 AM
anglicanorum coetibus - Antony-Paul - 18-12-2009, 04:18 PM
[] - Antony-Paul - 19-12-2009, 07:01 PM
[] - John Charmley - 06-04-2010, 04:46 PM

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