A Providential Typo From God
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has been superceded by, " for our *lord*, Metropolitan _____ ".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)