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9519A Providential Typo From God

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  • Nina_Dimas_42
    Jul 1, 2008


      A Providential Typo From God
      by David Barrett, Southbury CT

      I thank God for the varied and insightful editorials and reflections
      that have recently appeared on this website, specifically by Mark
      Stokoe and Matushka Donna Farley. They validate some of the points I
      made in my last reflection ("The Synod of Bishops – In the Wrong
      Place in Egypt"). Sadly, as all the recent posts on this site have
      predicted, none of these warnings, pleadings, or observations have
      had any impact on present circumstances.

      In fact, things just seem to be getting worse.

      An example of this is the recently released new edition of the Divine
      Liturgy service book for priests. After allowing the last edition to
      become unavailable by being out of print, our ever-predictable
      Metropolitan has come up with a new version, more wieldy in size
      (some priests are already complaining that it does not conveniently
      fit into the pockets of their cassocks or riasas) and with some
      backwards-moving changes. The new version is replete with dozens of
      references/rubrical instructions on each page for prayers to
      be "secret" or "said secretly". One wonders if these supra-clerical
      (meaning, anti-laity) clerics are even aware of the First Epistle of
      Peter, where the entire Body of the Church (specifically, in this
      context, the laity) are referred to as "a chosen race, a royal
      priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people" (1 Pet 2:9). As the
      recently retired (should have been deposed) Bishop of Alaska,
      Nikolai, once told his flock in his diocese when asked why he said
      the liturgical prayers silently, "Those are *my* prayers!" This is
      the typical, mutated type of ecclesiology one expects from a hierarch
      who never finished his theological education.

      Another not only sad, but very skewed, change is in the petitions of
      the litanies that pray for our hierarchs, specifically the
      Metropolitan. Previous editions of this service book read, "For the
      holy Orthodox patriarchs, for our Metropolitan _____ ". Now, this
      has been superceded by, "… for our *lord*, Metropolitan _____ ". I
      recall from my studies in Church History that our calendar contains
      martyrs who shed their blood and lost their lives for refusing to
      call any emperor (Roman, Byzantine, or otherwise) "lord". And yet,
      here we have our so-called spiritual "leader" putting that very title
      for himself in the Liturgy service book.

      What are also found numerous times throughout this new edition are
      typographical errors. It seems that the Divine Liturgy is not
      important enough to warrant a proofreader/editor before the new
      service book is printed and released. However, there is one typo
      that stands out. On page 17, in "The Liturgy of Preparation", the
      text of the new edition reads, "By being nailed to the Cross and
      pierced with a spear, Thou hast poured *immorality* upon men."
      *Not* "immortality" as the text calls for and previous editions have
      stated, but "immorality".

      On one level, this may seem to be just another typo among many. Yet,
      on another level, it may be a providential typo allowed by God. Just
      as God spoke to Elijah, not in the strong wind or the earthquake or
      the fire, but in the "still small voice" (1 Kg 19:12), so now, God
      often speaks to us in the silent, small details of daily life, if we
      are only quiet within and without, having eyes to see and ears to
      hear. This typo is a pronouncement and a summation of the "ministry"
      of Metropolitan Herman, who, consistently and unwaveringly throughout
      this crisis, has poured out immorality upon the Church in America.
      One does not have to look far to find examples of this. In fact,
      Matushka Donna Farley mentioned the latest one in her reflection,
      when she stated that the Metropolitan gave a clergy award to the
      priest who is being sued for breaching pastoral confidentiality, and
      she fittingly referred to this incident as "pastoral carelessness".

      (David Barrett is a MA & MDiv graduate of St Vladimir's Orthodox
      Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York. He has been a choir
      director in the OCA for thirty-two years, currently serving at Christ
      the Savior parish in Southbury, Connecticut)