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Reviving the Board

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  • Stan Takis
    Dear List Members (if any of you are out there.): I m trying to revive this board, since I d like a place to post my thoughts and be less misunderstood. I m
    Message 1 of 20 , Jul 3, 2005
      Dear List Members (if any of you are out there.):

      I'm trying to revive this board, since I'd like a place to post my
      thoughts and be less misunderstood. I'm starting with a web page I
      found by accident.

      There is a website called www.newadvent.org and it has a Catholic
      Encyclopedia which was published in 1917. I found the article on
      Greece most interesting and informative. Although there is a Catholic
      slant, I feel it is fairly objective. The only part that is clearly
      subjective is the final paragraph describing "modern" Greece. It's a
      very quaint description, and certainly written before World War I, but
      after the turn of the 20th Century.

      The part of the article I enjoyed the most was the description of the
      Orthodox Church under the Turks and how they survived under endless
      oppression. I think, if you read the entire article, you will
      appreciate having read it. I'd like to read your posts if you have any
      reaction to it.

      Here's the link:

      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06735a.htm

      Stan
    • Kenneth McCune
      Dear Stan, This is an interesting site. I hope the group doesn t die out, as you seem to indicate. I ve been getting some interesting information here in the
      Message 2 of 20 , Jul 5, 2005
        Dear Stan,
         
        This is an interesting site.  I hope the group doesn't die out, as you seem to indicate.  I've been getting some interesting information here in the past.
         
        I personally don't have much to offer, since I'm new to kthe subject, but I keep learning more and more.  Let's not fizzle out, folks!
         
        Yours in love,
        Ken McCune,
        Austin, TX

        <takistan@...> wrote:
        Dear List Members (if any of you are out there.):

        I'm trying to revive this board, since I'd like a place to post my
        thoughts and be less misunderstood. I'm starting with a web page I
        found by accident.

        There is a website called www.newadvent.org and it has a Catholic
        Encyclopedia which was published in 1917. I found the article on
        Greece most interesting and informative. Although there is a Catholic
        slant, I feel it is fairly objective. The only part that is clearly
        subjective is the final paragraph describing "modern" Greece. It's a
        very quaint description, and certainly written before World War I, but
        after the turn of the 20th Century.

        The part of the article I enjoyed the most was the description of the
        Orthodox Church under the Turks and how they survived under endless
        oppression. I think, if you read the entire article, you will
        appreciate having read it. I'd like to read your posts if you have any
        reaction to it.

        Here's the link:

        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06735a.htm

        Stan


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      • Louie Quintana
        Dear Stan, Belonging to any of these groups that support byzantine chant/music, I have been following the ongoing discussions with interest, and a level of
        Message 3 of 20 , Jul 5, 2005
          Dear Stan,

          Belonging to any of these 'groups' that support
          byzantine chant/music, I have been following the
          ongoing discussions with interest, and a level of
          regret and dismay that everyone can't just get along
          better (so to speak). Seems to me the goal for all
          should be the same...

          But I'm glad you're still out there. I have certainly
          benefited by you and your wife's fine efforts in the
          past, your website is a treasure trove of material for
          those of us out there "in the trenches", and I
          appreciate the breadth of your arguments (though not
          always agreeing with the specifics, but that's the
          wonderfully postive nature of discussion--looking at
          something from all angles, and learning what is
          possible to make yourself better in the end, with
          greater understanding. I look forward to encountering
          you here in this group as well.

          May God's blessings continue to be upon you, your wife
          and your ministry.

          the unworthy servant of God,

          Rdr. Moses Quintana
          Boise, Idaho

          --- Kenneth McCune <easbuigken@...> escribió:

          > Dear Stan,
          >
          > This is an interesting site. I hope the group
          > doesn't die out, as you seem to indicate. I've been
          > getting some interesting information here in the
          > past.
          >
          > I personally don't have much to offer, since I'm new
          > to kthe subject, but I keep learning more and more.
          > Let's not fizzle out, folks!
          >
          > Yours in love,
          > Ken McCune,
          > Austin, TX
          >
          > <takistan@...> wrote:
          > Dear List Members (if any of you are out there.):
          >
          > I'm trying to revive this board, since I'd like a
          > place to post my
          > thoughts and be less misunderstood. I'm starting
          > with a web page I
          > found by accident.
          >
          > There is a website called www.newadvent.org and it
          > has a Catholic
          > Encyclopedia which was published in 1917. I found
          > the article on
          > Greece most interesting and informative. Although
          > there is a Catholic
          > slant, I feel it is fairly objective. The only part
          > that is clearly
          > subjective is the final paragraph describing
          > "modern" Greece. It's a
          > very quaint description, and certainly written
          > before World War I, but
          > after the turn of the 20th Century.
          >
          > The part of the article I enjoyed the most was the
          > description of the
          > Orthodox Church under the Turks and how they
          > survived under endless
          > oppression. I think, if you read the entire article,
          > you will
          > appreciate having read it. I'd like to read your
          > posts if you have any
          > reaction to it.
          >
          > Here's the link:
          >
          > http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06735a.htm
          >
          > Stan
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------
          > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
          >
          >
          > Visit your group "greekorthodoxmusic" on the
          > web.
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email
          > to:
          > greekorthodoxmusic-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the
          > Yahoo! Terms of Service.
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------
          >
          >
          >
          > __________________________________________________
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          > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
          > protection around
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        • Stan Takis
          Thanks, Ken and Louie. Ken, I hope, despite your inexperience, you will throw some thoughts out there. We are all inexperienced, really, and feeling our way
          Message 4 of 20 , Jul 5, 2005
            Thanks, Ken and Louie.

            Ken, I hope, despite your inexperience, you will throw some thoughts
            out there. We are all inexperienced, really, and feeling our way
            through the maze. Just posting what we are thinking can stimulate the
            pursuit and dissemination of knowledge.

            Reader Moses, my "arguments" are sometimes not my opinions. Sometimes
            I play the devil's advocate because I don't want to embrace a tenet
            unless it stands up to a fundamental critique. This gets me into
            trouble sometimes, but it helps me learn.

            I will be posting some topics for discussion during the next few
            weeks--things that I am interested in learning more about, and I hope
            people will take up the discussion. So, keep an eye on the board.

            Sincerely,

            Stan
          • Justin Bates
            Dear Stan, I d just like to say that I appreciate your efforts, and I would like to contribute where I can. However, I m a total novice when it comes to
            Message 5 of 20 , Jul 7, 2005
              Dear Stan,

              I'd just like to say that I appreciate your efforts,
              and I would like to contribute where I can. However,
              I'm a total novice when it comes to Byzantine chant,
              and as a convert, I'm not sure how Western theology
              may have influenced and may still be influencing my
              understanding of Orthodox theology.

              Also, I just wanted to say that I didn't find anything
              offensive or off-putting in what you posted in the
              Byzantine Chant group. To be completely honest, I was
              appalled at what some of those people said to you.
              I'm lost as to how they could be that rude and clearly
              mean-spirited when dealing with a fellow Orthodox
              Christian. I had warned the people that I met at the
              Summer Theological Institute that while there were
              occassionally quite helpful things in the Byzantine
              Chant group, there was also a lot of arguing and
              name-calling. I feel that the behaviour of some of
              the people in that group is shameful. It also seems
              to be a group that has too many sub-groups in it, and
              that sometimes the sub-groups get annoyed by the other
              sub-groups. ANYWAY, feel free to post whatever you
              want here. I am listening, I just am not that
              well-informed about these topics, so unfortunately I
              may not be able to make substantive contributions to
              the discussion.

              God bless,

              Justin "Chrysostomos" Bates


              --- Kenneth McCune <easbuigken@...> wrote:

              > Dear Stan,
              >
              > This is an interesting site. I hope the group
              > doesn't die out, as you seem to indicate. I've been
              > getting some interesting information here in the
              > past.
              >
              > I personally don't have much to offer, since I'm new
              > to kthe subject, but I keep learning more and more.
              > Let's not fizzle out, folks!
              >
              > Yours in love,
              > Ken McCune,
              > Austin, TX
              >
              > <takistan@...> wrote:
              > Dear List Members (if any of you are out there.):
              >
              > I'm trying to revive this board, since I'd like a
              > place to post my
              > thoughts and be less misunderstood. I'm starting
              > with a web page I
              > found by accident.
              >
              > There is a website called www.newadvent.org and it
              > has a Catholic
              > Encyclopedia which was published in 1917. I found
              > the article on
              > Greece most interesting and informative. Although
              > there is a Catholic
              > slant, I feel it is fairly objective. The only part
              > that is clearly
              > subjective is the final paragraph describing
              > "modern" Greece. It's a
              > very quaint description, and certainly written
              > before World War I, but
              > after the turn of the 20th Century.
              >
              > The part of the article I enjoyed the most was the
              > description of the
              > Orthodox Church under the Turks and how they
              > survived under endless
              > oppression. I think, if you read the entire article,
              > you will
              > appreciate having read it. I'd like to read your
              > posts if you have any
              > reaction to it.
              >
              > Here's the link:
              >
              > http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06735a.htm
              >
              > Stan
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
              >
              >
              > Visit your group "greekorthodoxmusic" on the
              > web.
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email
              > to:
              > greekorthodoxmusic-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the
              > Yahoo! Terms of Service.
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              >
              >
              >
              > __________________________________________________
              > Do You Yahoo!?
              > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
              > protection around
              > http://mail.yahoo.com
            • Stan Takis
              Dear Justin: I respect many of the people on the Byzantine chant board and I have learned a lot from them. Some of them can be critical without being nasty,
              Message 6 of 20 , Jul 7, 2005
                Dear Justin:

                I respect many of the people on the Byzantine chant board and I have
                learned a lot from them. Some of them can be critical without being
                nasty, and I appreciate them even more. Part of it may be
                cultural--Greek males act in a certain way to other Greek males. I
                guess it's kind of their version of lockerroom horseplay.

                Anyway, I'm formulating some important thoughts to discuss, and I hope
                you will make a contribution. I have not lost the perspective of my
                youth, so I appreciate your youthful perspective. Over there on the
                other board, they discuss the jots and tittles of Byzantine chant, and
                I don't have enough knowledge to say if that's important or not. But I
                have some broader themes I wish to explore about Greek Orthodox church
                music in general, specifically in America, and you can be a great
                asset in those discussions, so please contribute.

                Sincerely,

                Stan
              • psaltisuk
                I d like to add (as moderator of the Byzantine Chant list) that you re quite right. The reason I began the list was because this kind of discussion (or
                Message 7 of 20 , Jul 10, 2005
                  I'd like to add (as moderator of the Byzantine Chant list) that you're
                  quite right. The reason I began the list was because this kind of
                  discussion (or argument...) was starting to dominate the Typikon list,
                  which has always been extremely eirenic and is in any case, of course,
                  intended more for specifically liturgical issues. Having seen other
                  Byzantine chant discussion lists explode as though by spontaneous
                  combustion, I was prepared to see it happen on the new list also, but
                  even though the temperature often reaches boiling point, I have
                  endeavoured not to let the steam obscure things! And therefore I,
                  like Stan, value those who are able to express themselves in a more
                  positive fashion.

                  And, of course, it means that such discussion (and such attitudes) are
                  confined to that list...

                  So I am also looking forward to seeing this list revived.

                  In Christ,

                  Ivan


                  --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Stan Takis"
                  <takistan@y...> wrote:
                  > Dear Justin:
                  >
                  > I respect many of the people on the Byzantine chant board and I have
                  > learned a lot from them. Some of them can be critical without being
                  > nasty, and I appreciate them even more. Part of it may be
                  > cultural--Greek males act in a certain way to other Greek males. I
                  > guess it's kind of their version of lockerroom horseplay.
                  >
                  > Anyway, I'm formulating some important thoughts to discuss, and I hope
                  > you will make a contribution. I have not lost the perspective of my
                  > youth, so I appreciate your youthful perspective. Over there on the
                  > other board, they discuss the jots and tittles of Byzantine chant, and
                  > I don't have enough knowledge to say if that's important or not. But I
                  > have some broader themes I wish to explore about Greek Orthodox church
                  > music in general, specifically in America, and you can be a great
                  > asset in those discussions, so please contribute.
                  >
                  > Sincerely,
                  >
                  > Stan
                • Stan Takis
                  Ivan: I remember reading someplace that you had been a student of John Tavener. I recently read an article on him in the BBC Music magazine that said he had
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jul 10, 2005
                    Ivan:

                    I remember reading someplace that you had been a student of John
                    Tavener. I recently read an article on him in the BBC Music magazine
                    that said he had renounced Orthodoxy, finding it too limiting. Do you
                    know anything more about this?

                    Stan
                  • psaltisuk
                    Dear Stan, Quite right, I was a student oa Tavener s, about twenty years ago. And yes, indeed, he has recently said that he no longer considers himself a
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jul 11, 2005
                      Dear Stan,

                      Quite right, I was a student oa Tavener's, about twenty years ago.
                      And yes, indeed, he has recently said that he no longer considers
                      himself a practising Orthodox Christian. He has been much influenced
                      by Schuon (indeed, he speaks of having a vision), and has gone into a
                      kind of perennialism, taking things from many religions, believing
                      that the Logos was fully active in all of them. I should also say
                      that many interviewers have made it seem that he has rejected
                      Orthodoxy in a somewhat violent way which is not quite the case.
                      Now, for him, it is one of many sources upon which he draws.

                      When I was studying with him, I should add, he was certainly
                      Orthodox - still in many ways the fanatical convert.

                      In Christ,

                      Ivan

                      --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Stan Takis"
                      <takistan@y...> wrote:
                      > Ivan:
                      >
                      > I remember reading someplace that you had been a student of John
                      > Tavener. I recently read an article on him in the BBC Music magazine
                      > that said he had renounced Orthodoxy, finding it too limiting. Do
                      you
                      > know anything more about this?
                      >
                      > Stan
                    • dianakg2003
                      Hello Stan & list members, Just back from a lovely trip to Greece - after 40 years. Connected with family on beautiful Santorini... a tiny island of 325
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jul 19, 2005
                        Hello Stan & list members, Just back from a lovely trip to Greece -
                        after 40 years.
                        Connected with family on beautiful Santorini... a tiny island of 325
                        churches (most are locked though) built by seamen dedicated to saints
                        who steered their ships safely home...Learned I had a bishop in the
                        family tree... and Theo finished the floors in Agios Giorgios on
                        Skaros. Visited the Convent of Saint Nicholas- friends of 'the
                        family' it turns out...

                        In any case, a very interesting observation on what I see as a huge
                        difference between the faith here and there... In the US, we have
                        fought for recognition among other Christian groups (Athenagoras put
                        us legitimately on the American religious roster) We pay for
                        everything we have out of our pockets- so of course, we have input
                        into what we pay for and lots of opinions... Very different from
                        Greece... the church is given to the people by the government, it's
                        there, is what it is, and considered part of the 'old
                        establishment'... The concept of paying for the church expenses was
                        shocking to those I spoke with. Many young people are very
                        uninvolved in the church there...In fact the feeling I had was
                        exactly as one of my priests said during his homily here years
                        ago...the GO church is the most alive in America...I thought he must
                        be joking at the time.. but now I believe it is because we know that
                        unless we work for it, it will die... it is not just provided for us
                        to take for granted...
                        Also learned that it was Peter the Great who, in his attempt to
                        modernize Russia, levied a tax on beards on priests...

                        In any case, the visit back to the old country was beautiful but also
                        very enlightening.

                        As to the topic of 'organs' and music here... All I can say is that
                        all of the GO churches I went to (Long Island, NJ, Mass, and Calif.)
                        since I was a babe 50 years ago had organs... Most of my peers grew
                        up the same way... so it has always been 'church' for us. I never saw
                        one without until I went to an OCA church years after college and
                        thought something was wrong. At the start up I attend, people
                        learned I play piano, and begged me to try on their donated broken
                        organ. I taught myself with a few books and CD's, and donated the
                        organ repairs. Actually, if one approaches it with the intent of
                        support for the choir, it is very easy...no need to do Bach ...or
                        anything elaborate and for our Christmas pageant we do the
                        traditional carols with the organ. Surprisingly, now we have a
                        psalti.. and he has his own keyboard that he uses for assistance with
                        the tones. We actually make a good team... he has a very versatile
                        voice for both psalti and choral renditions, invites assistance on
                        some of the hymns... great guy... and it is a team. Maybe it is
                        because we are all together in one small room, rather than a psalti
                        stand and a choir loft...

                        This Pascha I did have an interesting question on why the stichera
                        are not chanted by women... given they announce the discovery by a
                        woman...and the 'praise Him with the cymbals and the lyre' did peak
                        my ears...

                        Think the antiphonal choir idea sounds great...one church I've been
                        to does some of this during Cherubic, with separation of voices..
                        beautiful.

                        Anyhow... back to combating jetlag and dreaming of that beautiful
                        blue Aegean while trying to get back into work...
                        In XC, D.






                        --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Stan Takis"
                        <takistan@y...> wrote:
                        > Thanks, Ken and Louie.
                        >
                        > Ken, I hope, despite your inexperience, you will throw some thoughts
                        > out there. We are all inexperienced, really, and feeling our way
                        > through the maze. Just posting what we are thinking can stimulate
                        the
                        > pursuit and dissemination of knowledge.
                        >
                        > Reader Moses, my "arguments" are sometimes not my opinions.
                        Sometimes
                        > I play the devil's advocate because I don't want to embrace a tenet
                        > unless it stands up to a fundamental critique. This gets me into
                        > trouble sometimes, but it helps me learn.
                        >
                        > I will be posting some topics for discussion during the next few
                        > weeks--things that I am interested in learning more about, and I
                        hope
                        > people will take up the discussion. So, keep an eye on the board.
                        >
                        > Sincerely,
                        >
                        > Stan
                      • Stan Takis
                        Welcome back, Diana. And thanks for the vicarious trip to Santorini. Did you make any obsevations on the music in Greece? This may not be a fair question, but
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jul 20, 2005
                          Welcome back, Diana. And thanks for the vicarious trip to Santorini.

                          Did you make any obsevations on the music in Greece? This may not be a
                          fair question, but judging from the comments on the Byzantine music
                          board, Greece is the place where Church music is the "healthiest," and
                          it makes you wonder why they are so concerned about whether an
                          interval is 5 cents too narrow or if Karas symbols are useful, if the
                          church is in so much trouble there.

                          Stan
                        • dianakg2003
                          Strangely enough I did not though I definitely tried, even in Athens... despite the fact that my hotel in Fira was right across the tiniest street from the
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jul 20, 2005
                            Strangely enough I did not though I definitely tried, even in Athens...
                            despite the fact that my hotel in Fira was right across the tiniest
                            street from the Cathedral..and the doors and windows were all open I
                            heard nothing...and though I went inside several times -the church was
                            mostly empty, except for tourists gazing on icons for the first time.
                            My perspective is that the paradigm of church is completely different
                            there...another planet.. since the government basically funds it. I
                            think of it like public school vs. private: try to question or improve
                            something in a public school and the answer is...'that's the policy,
                            those are the state standards...it's really tough to do anything to
                            impact curriculum on a school basis... in a private school you can
                            have more of a dialogue ...

                            The other thought is that it is exactly the sometimes somewhat nasty
                            attitude that I've seen on the Byzantine music board that has the young
                            people in Greece disgruntled and distanced from the church... And
                            there is no thought of changing things... since it belongs to the
                            government establishment....people don't even think about
                            improvements... It is what it is, even if it's 'empty'... On the other
                            hand, as Americans, it is our very nature to think of how to create and
                            improve things esp. those that are in the 'private sector'...imagine if
                            the Gov't ran the church here along with medicare or the FBI! I think
                            we'd be right there struggling with intervals and symbols and trying to
                            find a way to get a bill passed for gov't funds for new books that
                            people could read... on the other hand, maybe the gov't would fund
                            chanting schools and there would be no choirs! Like I said, a
                            completely different paradigm -very difficult for those overseas to
                            even begin to comprehend...what it really means to be completely self
                            funded as a church.

                            In XC, D.




                            --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Stan Takis" <takistan@y...>
                            wrote:
                            > Welcome back, Diana. And thanks for the vicarious trip to Santorini.
                            >
                            > Did you make any obsevations on the music in Greece? This may not be a
                            > fair question, but judging from the comments on the Byzantine music
                            > board, Greece is the place where Church music is the "healthiest," and
                            > it makes you wonder why they are so concerned about whether an
                            > interval is 5 cents too narrow or if Karas symbols are useful, if the
                            > church is in so much trouble there.
                            >
                            > Stan
                          • dananetherton
                            Hi, Diane, welcome back! ... wrote: ... Interesting observations. This situation, by the way, is common among all of the Western
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jul 20, 2005
                              Hi, Diane, welcome back!

                              --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "dianakg2003"
                              <kizzymail51@h...> wrote:

                              <snip>

                              > In any case, a very interesting observation on what I see as a huge
                              > difference between the faith here and there... In the US, we have
                              > fought for recognition among other Christian groups (Athenagoras
                              > put us legitimately on the American religious roster) We pay for
                              > everything we have out of our pockets- so of course, we have input
                              > into what we pay for and lots of opinions... Very different from
                              > Greece... the church is given to the people by the government, it's
                              > there, is what it is, and considered part of the 'old
                              > establishment'... The concept of paying for the church expenses was
                              > shocking to those I spoke with. Many young people are very
                              > uninvolved in the church there...In fact the feeling I had was
                              > exactly as one of my priests said during his homily here years
                              > ago...the GO church is the most alive in America...I thought he
                              > must be joking at the time.. but now I believe it is because we
                              > know that unless we work for it, it will die... it is not just
                              > provided for us to take for granted...

                              Interesting observations. This situation, by the way, is common
                              among all of the Western European (Christian NATO) countries:
                              relatively strong financial support from the State, and relatively
                              low direct financial support or personal involvement from the
                              population. So it says little (perhaps nothing) about Orthodoxy, as
                              such, and says a great deal about church-state relations (as such).

                              In the course of living in London for 4 years during the 1980s, I
                              encountered several head-shaking examples of a *very different*
                              attitude about "church," among people who aren't Highly Motivated
                              about their salvation etc. After those 4 years, I'm no longer
                              inclined to dismiss this as simply a matter of indifference. There's
                              something else going on. Alas, I don't think *anyone* (the Europeans
                              included) have found "le mot juste" to describe what is really going
                              on, over there. I know I haven't.

                              The priest you quoted ... I would agree with his observation if I
                              rephrased it as something like this: "The GO church is most lively
                              in its American Archdiocese/Metropolises."

                              That is to say, I am more inclined to agree that American GO parishes
                              are more lively than Greek parishes. However, I would be inclined to
                              disagree that American GO parishes are more "alive" than the American
                              congregations or parishes of other American churches.

                              For all its progress, the GOA is still considerably behind other
                              American churches in persuading its people of the importance of
                              personal involvement (including financial involvement). My last
                              several Episcopalian parishes each had a fraction of the membership
                              of my current GO parish (no more than half) -- but they each had
                              several times *more* money in their annual budget. Routinely, year
                              after year. My sister's Baptist church holds an annual festival,
                              with food and carnival rides -- and provides it *free*, as a service
                              to their neighbors. Their members give so freely to their church
                              that that church can afford to do this.

                              One other comment (with an eye cocked on Stan) ... the relative
                              liveliness of American GO parishes can be contrasted with the
                              relative lifelessness of American GO monasteries (or Orthodox
                              monasteries, period). Here in St Louis, now that a nearby ROCOR
                              monastery has relocated to West Virginia, the nearest Orthodox
                              monastery is about a 5-hr drive away. How many monasteries could one
                              find in such a distance, in Greece?? Probably hundreds.

                              Each monastery here in the U.S. is no doubt as lively and as diligent
                              in its spiritual work as anyone could expect. There are just so
                              *few* of them, and there are so *many* miles in the U.S.! (I'm
                              reminded of the prayer of Norman fishermen: "Lord preserve me, for
                              your sea is so vast and my boat is so small.")

                              Therefore, here in the US, most of the observant or religious-minded
                              GO Christians must focus most of their attention on their parish. In
                              Greece, though, such people can focus a considerable amount of their
                              attention on the many nearby monasteries. (The monasteries might also
                              be more likely to receive financial donations ... just a guess,
                              there.)

                              So ... a comparison of the parishes *and only the parishes* probably
                              doesn't tell the whole story about the differences between what's
                              going on in the GOA and in the Church of Greece.

                              > Also learned that it was Peter the Great who, in his attempt to
                              > modernize Russia, levied a tax on beards on priests...

                              Not just on priests. His boyars (his senior nobles) also wore
                              beards ... and he levied a tax on them, too. In a few key cases, he
                              attacked boyars with scissors and de-bearded them personally!

                              Peter also reorganized the Russian Church along the German model: he
                              made it, administratively, a government ministry, with a lay leader
                              (the Procurator) who reported to him, the Czar. The Patriarch of
                              Moscow reported to the Procurator, not to the Czar. In fact, if I
                              recall correctly, Peter abolished Moscow's Patriarchate; it
                              was restored only in the early 20th century, if I recall correctly.

                              > As to the topic of 'organs' and music here... All I can say is that
                              > all of the GO churches I went to (Long Island, NJ, Mass, and
                              > Calif.) since I was a babe 50 years ago had organs... Most of my
                              > peers grew up the same way... so it has always been 'church' for
                              > us.

                              Yes, this echoes what Stan said, when he began this discussion. :-)

                              > I never saw one without until I went to an OCA church years
                              > after college and thought something was wrong.

                              In one of C.S. Lewis's essays (can't remember the title), he deplores
                              the effect of wartime rationing on people's taste for food. Children,
                              he says, have forgotten the taste of real sausages. They know only
                              the taste of the wartime sausages, which mixed breading with meat in
                              order to stretch the rationed meat farther. Now, when they compare
                              the taste of real sausages and their breaded sausages, they prefer
                              the breaded ones! (These I think are the ones that we tourists still
                              get at breakfast in English B&Bs.)

                              What you're reporting, Diane, feels the same to me. You were so used
                              to instrumental music in Orthodox worship that when you first
                              encountered the authentic tradition, you thought they were doing it
                              wrong!

                              That sounds like a cautionary tale, to me ...

                              > At the start up I attend, people learned I play piano, and begged
                              > me to try on their donated broken organ.

                              Dunno if you've caught up with the list mail enought to have read my
                              recent post about how my GO parish has learned How To Worship Without
                              The Organ, Without Tears. If the usual pillars of the choir had
                              followed their first impulses, when we lost our organist, they too
                              would have found someone else ... and would have felt they were
                              limping along until they did.

                              In our case, though, I (a convert of course) and a few others (also
                              converts I think) made it quietly Very Clear that it was no big deal
                              to sing sans organ. When our choir director tried to establish our
                              pitch using the organ (what a jolt *that* note was!), I loaned her my
                              pitch pipe. By the next Sunday, she had found her own ... and she
                              brought it. And has been using it ever since.

                              The mutterings about finding a new organist quietly died down, as we
                              realized (to some people's astonishment) that we were singing better
                              than we had ever sung before.

                              But if they had been allowed to think that they *had* to use the
                              crutch ... they'd probably still be using it today.

                              Glad to hear, btw, that your choir and psalti get along so well.
                              That's how it should be!

                              > This Pascha ... the 'praise Him with the cymbals and the lyre' did
                              > pique my ears... <snip to end>

                              Sure 'nough.

                              FWIW, traditional Jewish worship is also a capella, despite those
                              psalm verses. I'm not sure whether anyone knows when they stopped
                              using them, or exactly why. The explanation I've heard from my
                              Jewish friends is that organs etc were too difficult to move during
                              the "wanderings" of the Jews. But that explanation wouldn't work for
                              the Church of the Eastern Roman Empire, of course!

                              Today, the place where you'll find organs in synagogues is in Reform
                              synagoguges. The "Reform Movement" is as close as Judaism gets to
                              Protestantism: it was founded as a movement that repudiated much of
                              Jewish Tradition. For example at the banquet that inaugurated it in
                              the U.S., in the mid 1800s, the food served deliberately violated the
                              kosher laws (shrimp newburgh was one of the main courses).

                              Today's younger members of the Reform Movement are scandalizing their
                              parents by re-introducing elements of Jewish Tradition (such as
                              observing the kosher laws, to some extent or another).

                              For what it's worth. :-)

                              -- Dana Netherton
                            • Justin Bates
                              Dana, Diane, Stan, et al., I have 3 observations/questions. First, to what extent do you think a state-supported or state-run regigious organization encourages
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jul 20, 2005
                                Dana, Diane, Stan, et al.,

                                I have 3 observations/questions.

                                First, to what extent do you think a state-supported
                                or state-run regigious organization encourages the
                                average person to take it for granted. As I
                                understand it, public taxes support the Church in
                                Greece. So people may feel that they are already
                                supporting their church with the taxes they pay (does
                                Greece have personal income tax or sales tax or
                                what?).

                                The complacency and even active rebellion I've read
                                about in Greece through agnosticism or atheism remind
                                me of Israeli friends I had in grad school. I was
                                surprised that several of them were atheists
                                considering they came from Israel--I assumed they'd be
                                fervently, staunchly Jewish. It is almost like if the
                                religion is foisted upon them by the state, they rebel
                                against it reflexively. What do you all think?

                                It does make me wonder, though, where the
                                holier-than-thou attitude comes from over on the Chant
                                list. I've at times got the impression that the
                                members that are not from the US look down their noses
                                at us. I hate to sound like a brat, but if their
                                music and religious practice were so perfect, why does
                                there seem to be such general disinterest in all
                                things Orthodox in Greece and other European
                                countries?

                                My second comment/question is related to the first.
                                Because the Greek Orthodox church in Greece is state
                                supported, the general population probably feels that
                                they ARE supporting the church. Also, some may not
                                know how the church is supported; they simply assume
                                the money comes from somewhere. Then when they
                                emigrate to the US, it may not occur to them that
                                their taxes here do not support their parishes.

                                It is perhaps not surprising then when Greeks don't
                                give as much as they could. They learned from their
                                parents, who learned from their parents, etc. that
                                contributing financially to the church is not an
                                important religious obligation.

                                Also, it seems that many Orthodox are less familiar
                                with the scriptures than their Protestant neighbors.
                                They therefore may not be all that aware of the Divine
                                commands to make regular offerings to God.

                                Third, a large proportion of Orthodox converts seem to
                                be disenchanted Catholics. Catholics in this country
                                also seem to be not as used to financially supporting
                                their churches. I have many Catholics friends, and
                                I'm almost 100% sure that most (all?) of them do not
                                tithe, not do they regularly give a reasonable amount
                                of money to the church. The general impression I get
                                is that they feel that the Roman Catholic church has
                                plenty of money, and so there is no real reason to
                                give (perhaps, like the Orthodox in Greece, the
                                Catholics were used to some sort of state support for
                                their churches--someone with a better background in
                                European culture could probably tell me). In any
                                event, when they convert they bring these attitudes
                                with them.

                                I'm curious what y'all think.

                                God bless,

                                Justin
                              • Stan Takis
                                Justin: I don t get why they send around trays. Most people put in a dollar. They ve been doing that since the 60 s, as far back as I can remember. One church
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jul 20, 2005
                                  Justin:

                                  I don't get why they send around trays. Most people put in a dollar.
                                  They've been doing that since the 60's, as far back as I can remember.
                                  One church I went to did away with trays and concentrated on a yearly
                                  pledge. Even if someone pledges $500, less than 1% of his income,
                                  that's like $10 in a tray every week.

                                  Stan
                                • Dana Netherton
                                  ... Perhaps because that s what the Americans do, in their churches? (I mean, organs and pews, so why not trays? ;-) ) -- (Mr) Dana Netherton,
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jul 20, 2005
                                    On 21 Jul 2005 at 0:59, Stan Takis wrote:

                                    > Justin:
                                    >
                                    > I don't get why they send around trays.

                                    Perhaps because that's what "the Americans" do, in their churches?

                                    (I mean, organs and pews, so why not trays? ;-) )

                                    -- (Mr) Dana Netherton, dana@...
                                    -----
                                    I'm not a member of any organized religion.
                                    I'm Eastern Orthodox.
                                  • dianakg2003
                                    These are all great comments... And I truthfully believe understanding the nuances of worship in America vs. Greece is important because it touches on all
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jul 20, 2005
                                      These are all great comments... And I truthfully believe
                                      understanding the nuances of worship in America vs. Greece is
                                      important because it touches on all aspects of worship. I do believe
                                      state support creates a 'take for granted'attitude... the church is
                                      there, period. Someone will put a priest and psalti there. No need to
                                      fret over it or stay up nights to run a festival to balance the
                                      budget ...and does anyone even count how many/few go to church? Here
                                      we do it for financial planning reasons... So we know what's
                                      happening with attendance and participation.

                                      One thing I learned from family this vacation was that during WWII,
                                      the Greek government basically confiscated all funds in the banks to
                                      fund the war effort. As a result, my Theo, (who had fled out of
                                      Constantinople in 1920 and had built a successful photography
                                      business) and many others lost everything they had... now his
                                      offspring to this day put money into buying land and only a little in
                                      the bank...no one trusts the government with their money... so that
                                      includes the church there. Surprisingly, my cousins are
                                      iconographers... the faith is alive in them in a personal way. Theo
                                      was a devoted Orthodox Christian- helped in church 'construction'
                                      etc... and a devotee of St. John the Russian (St. John the
                                      Russ.having died in his old home town) But it is the younger
                                      generation where the issues are...I saw several 'new age' Christian
                                      churches in Greece... wonder who funds them...

                                      One Greek immigrant I know here stopped going to church frequently
                                      because "all they do is ask for money'... it was a shock to him when
                                      he came here... and I think this is why for the most part, the GO
                                      parishes have struggled with financial support... it is an old
                                      heritage issue that they are trying to break. I can tell you
                                      that 'stewardship' is a difficult concept to explain in Greece. I
                                      may as well have been talking about quantum mechanics...

                                      Some believe that too many of the Greek political and war issues are
                                      fueled by religion...and consequently they see the church as a
                                      political 'topic'... - this is true historically in ancient history
                                      anyway... It was an interesting discussion with my cousin...The
                                      current government is working to clean out church corruption...so it
                                      is an embroiled mess- but a government project...

                                      The 'holier than thou' attitude to me stems from having an
                                      inward/somewhat self centered focus only and no interest in outreach
                                      and spreading the faith... more provincial...and that comes from
                                      having someone else pay your bills...And all opinions and statements,
                                      as expressed in the Canons, for example, were premised on that
                                      fact.. written for a church funded by the Government...
                                      I believe that it is in America that is the frontier for Orthodoxy...
                                      if we can grow the faith in a land of numerous cultures and races,
                                      through self supported initiative, we can spread it anywhere...but it
                                      is not St. Constantine's paradigm...

                                      God Bless, Diana

                                      --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, Justin Bates
                                      <justinraybates@y...> wrote:
                                      > Dana, Diane, Stan, et al.,
                                      >
                                      > I have 3 observations/questions.
                                      >
                                      > First, to what extent do you think a state-supported
                                      > or state-run regigious organization encourages the
                                      > average person to take it for granted. As I
                                      > understand it, public taxes support the Church in
                                      > Greece. So people may feel that they are already
                                      > supporting their church with the taxes they pay (does
                                      > Greece have personal income tax or sales tax or
                                      > what?).
                                      >
                                      > The complacency and even active rebellion I've read
                                      > about in Greece through agnosticism or atheism remind
                                      > me of Israeli friends I had in grad school. I was
                                      > surprised that several of them were atheists
                                      > considering they came from Israel--I assumed they'd be
                                      > fervently, staunchly Jewish. It is almost like if the
                                      > religion is foisted upon them by the state, they rebel
                                      > against it reflexively. What do you all think?
                                      >
                                      > It does make me wonder, though, where the
                                      > holier-than-thou attitude comes from over on the Chant
                                      > list. I've at times got the impression that the
                                      > members that are not from the US look down their noses
                                      > at us. I hate to sound like a brat, but if their
                                      > music and religious practice were so perfect, why does
                                      > there seem to be such general disinterest in all
                                      > things Orthodox in Greece and other European
                                      > countries?
                                      >
                                      > My second comment/question is related to the first.
                                      > Because the Greek Orthodox church in Greece is state
                                      > supported, the general population probably feels that
                                      > they ARE supporting the church. Also, some may not
                                      > know how the church is supported; they simply assume
                                      > the money comes from somewhere. Then when they
                                      > emigrate to the US, it may not occur to them that
                                      > their taxes here do not support their parishes.
                                      >
                                      > It is perhaps not surprising then when Greeks don't
                                      > give as much as they could. They learned from their
                                      > parents, who learned from their parents, etc. that
                                      > contributing financially to the church is not an
                                      > important religious obligation.
                                      >
                                      > Also, it seems that many Orthodox are less familiar
                                      > with the scriptures than their Protestant neighbors.
                                      > They therefore may not be all that aware of the Divine
                                      > commands to make regular offerings to God.
                                      >
                                      > Third, a large proportion of Orthodox converts seem to
                                      > be disenchanted Catholics. Catholics in this country
                                      > also seem to be not as used to financially supporting
                                      > their churches. I have many Catholics friends, and
                                      > I'm almost 100% sure that most (all?) of them do not
                                      > tithe, not do they regularly give a reasonable amount
                                      > of money to the church. The general impression I get
                                      > is that they feel that the Roman Catholic church has
                                      > plenty of money, and so there is no real reason to
                                      > give (perhaps, like the Orthodox in Greece, the
                                      > Catholics were used to some sort of state support for
                                      > their churches--someone with a better background in
                                      > European culture could probably tell me). In any
                                      > event, when they convert they bring these attitudes
                                      > with them.
                                      >
                                      > I'm curious what y'all think.
                                      >
                                      > God bless,
                                      >
                                      > Justin
                                    • dianakg2003
                                      Actually, at one PC meeting, we discussed whether or not to do away with trays since some people send in stewardship by mail or the internet... it was decided
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Jul 20, 2005
                                        Actually, at one PC meeting, we discussed whether or not to do away
                                        with trays since some people send in stewardship by mail or the
                                        internet... it was decided to pass the tray anyhow to collect any
                                        loose change... since the church really needed help...and then we
                                        added a second tray for the building fund... so now there are 5 ways
                                        of making a deposit: mail, internet, tray 1 ,tray 2, and the
                                        stationary one at the pangari...
                                        D.

                                        --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, "Dana Netherton"
                                        <dana@n...> wrote:
                                        > On 21 Jul 2005 at 0:59, Stan Takis wrote:
                                        >
                                        > > Justin:
                                        > >
                                        > > I don't get why they send around trays.
                                        >
                                        > Perhaps because that's what "the Americans" do, in their churches?
                                        >
                                        > (I mean, organs and pews, so why not trays? ;-) )
                                        >
                                        > -- (Mr) Dana Netherton, dana@n...
                                        > -----
                                        > I'm not a member of any organized religion.
                                        > I'm Eastern Orthodox.
                                      • presphotini
                                        There is a yahoogroup that may be interested in this discussion (stewardship ministries), but on this subject I have a question about downsizing parishes to
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Aug 6, 2005
                                          There is a yahoogroup that may be interested in this discussion
                                          (stewardship ministries), but on this subject I have a question about
                                          downsizing parishes to qualify for mission perks and concessions
                                          (notably we now have a Foundation that could be plumbed for this).

                                          This downsizing is the aw-shucks Amos and Andy approach -- we can't
                                          do no better than this -- and drawing on the retired clergy pool for
                                          the greatest hits of the year. If this trend continues, I see a
                                          breaking impact on the Archdiocese. Each parish that does this has a
                                          moral ethical (socially irresponsible) issue with the rest of the
                                          parishes who have supported the clergy and the Archdiocese for years
                                          to prepare a retired clergy for use. Nevertheless, this 'fairly
                                          free' clergyman is not without cost to the Archdiocese, while the
                                          parish is free of the tariffs ... the parish using the retired clergy
                                          periodically has no share of cost for the health plan, nor does it
                                          support or participate in the work of the church (the full 15% Total
                                          Commitment and voting and participating in the Clergy Laity work) ...
                                          This creates a parasitic relationship on the Archdiocese, with the
                                          tax paying parishes carrying the load for essentially deadbeat
                                          parishes who downsize either to keep xeni out of the parishes or to
                                          abstain from convert clergy, or to just not grow too much.

                                          That's why the onion dome parish council meeting was sadly so funny
                                          it hurts.

                                          http://www.theoniondome.com/2005/07/08/mm/

                                          To be too friendly -- to grow too much risks non-Slovobians joining.
                                          There is a real dichotomoy in the GOA -- the words -- bringing our
                                          faith to contemporary Americans, building communities of strength and
                                          love -- is lip service, because at the street level, we're still
                                          fighting parochialism and village warfare ... stewardship is a
                                          spiritual issue, but the Stewardship Department is used only as a
                                          bean counter and not a real ministry.

                                          Anyway, not about music per se ... but the Gospel is in the music and
                                          I daresay it seems the message isn't getting through. Eventually
                                          this trend, if it is a trend, will break the rest of us. To avoid
                                          high costs of health insurance or high costs of clergy ... in other
                                          words to avoid stewardship and to minimize the 'needs' (read
                                          ministries) ... solution is to downsize. That's not embarassing?

                                          In Christ,

                                          Photini



                                          --- In greekorthodoxmusic@yahoogroups.com, Justin Bates
                                          <justinraybates@y...> wrote:
                                          > Dana, Diane, Stan, et al.,
                                          >
                                          > I have 3 observations/questions.
                                          >
                                          > First, to what extent do you think a state-supported
                                          > or state-run regigious organization encourages the
                                          > average person to take it for granted. As I
                                          > understand it, public taxes support the Church in
                                          > Greece. So people may feel that they are already
                                          > supporting their church with the taxes they pay (does
                                          > Greece have personal income tax or sales tax or
                                          > what?).
                                          >
                                          > The complacency and even active rebellion I've read
                                          > about in Greece through agnosticism or atheism remind
                                          > me of Israeli friends I had in grad school. I was
                                          > surprised that several of them were atheists
                                          > considering they came from Israel--I assumed they'd be
                                          > fervently, staunchly Jewish. It is almost like if the
                                          > religion is foisted upon them by the state, they rebel
                                          > against it reflexively. What do you all think?
                                          >
                                          > It does make me wonder, though, where the
                                          > holier-than-thou attitude comes from over on the Chant
                                          > list. I've at times got the impression that the
                                          > members that are not from the US look down their noses
                                          > at us. I hate to sound like a brat, but if their
                                          > music and religious practice were so perfect, why does
                                          > there seem to be such general disinterest in all
                                          > things Orthodox in Greece and other European
                                          > countries?
                                          >
                                          > My second comment/question is related to the first.
                                          > Because the Greek Orthodox church in Greece is state
                                          > supported, the general population probably feels that
                                          > they ARE supporting the church. Also, some may not
                                          > know how the church is supported; they simply assume
                                          > the money comes from somewhere. Then when they
                                          > emigrate to the US, it may not occur to them that
                                          > their taxes here do not support their parishes.
                                          >
                                          > It is perhaps not surprising then when Greeks don't
                                          > give as much as they could. They learned from their
                                          > parents, who learned from their parents, etc. that
                                          > contributing financially to the church is not an
                                          > important religious obligation.
                                          >
                                          > Also, it seems that many Orthodox are less familiar
                                          > with the scriptures than their Protestant neighbors.
                                          > They therefore may not be all that aware of the Divine
                                          > commands to make regular offerings to God.
                                          >
                                          > Third, a large proportion of Orthodox converts seem to
                                          > be disenchanted Catholics. Catholics in this country
                                          > also seem to be not as used to financially supporting
                                          > their churches. I have many Catholics friends, and
                                          > I'm almost 100% sure that most (all?) of them do not
                                          > tithe, not do they regularly give a reasonable amount
                                          > of money to the church. The general impression I get
                                          > is that they feel that the Roman Catholic church has
                                          > plenty of money, and so there is no real reason to
                                          > give (perhaps, like the Orthodox in Greece, the
                                          > Catholics were used to some sort of state support for
                                          > their churches--someone with a better background in
                                          > European culture could probably tell me). In any
                                          > event, when they convert they bring these attitudes
                                          > with them.
                                          >
                                          > I'm curious what y'all think.
                                          >
                                          > God bless,
                                          >
                                          > Justin
                                        • Justin Bates
                                          Photini, You raise interesting points. I guess the question is (and I apologize if I ve stated this in an earlier post), how do you convince people of the
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Aug 6, 2005
                                            Photini,

                                            You raise interesting points. I guess the question is
                                            (and I apologize if I've stated this in an earlier
                                            post), how do you convince people of the importance of
                                            something? Particularly, if it means parting them
                                            from their money???

                                            It is kind of like regular church attendance. I
                                            believe, and I although I'm a convert I do think I'm
                                            correct on this point, that regular liturgical
                                            participation is an essential part of Orthodoxy.
                                            Isn't it one of the Sacraments or Mysteries (I've
                                            forgotten the difference in usage for those terms)?

                                            And yet you have Orthodox that only show up to the
                                            liturgy for the major feast days like Christmas or
                                            Pascha. How do you convince those people that coming
                                            to church regularly is good and important and
                                            NECESSARY for their spiritual growth. Obviously, they
                                            believe they are fine without it.

                                            Similarly, any sense of monetary obligation is lost on
                                            many parishoners. I know that this is not strictly an
                                            Orthodox issue. I know from personal experience and
                                            from friends that these issues occur in Southern
                                            Baptist churches and in Roman Catholic parishes.

                                            In fact, I know of one Roman Catholic parish that was
                                            having trouble meeting its financial needs. So, after
                                            one Sunday morning mass, the parish's financial
                                            officers publicly announced the year-to-date
                                            contributions of each family and parishoner!

                                            Needless to say, a whole lot of people were
                                            embarrassed and it created a lot of controversy.

                                            Throwing in a dollar every Sunday, while certainly a
                                            good thing, doesn't really help the church meet its
                                            financial commitments. I type this with some guilt
                                            because I've never tithed successfully and even now
                                            I've not paid as much in stewardship as I should this
                                            year (I'm kinda having some personal financial
                                            difficulties).

                                            Anyway, good to hear from another member of the group.
                                            I hope all is well with the rest of you.

                                            God bless you all,

                                            Justin "Chrysostomos" Bates
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