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Re: [orthodox-rocor] Avvakum and other Old Believers

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  • Fr. John R. Shaw
    ... JRS: It may be worthy of note, that the Old Rite is *also* a form, albeit an earlier one, of the Byzantine Rite. One can distinguish between new and
    Message 1 of 18 , Dec 1, 2004
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      > --- Felipe Ortiz <felipeortiz@...> wrote:

      > > There is a community of Old Believers near my ROCOR
      > > (Byzantine Rite)
      > > Parish, and some ROCOR parishioners have friends
      > > there; so I get curious
      > > in learning a bit more about the Old Rite and its
      > > followers.

      JRS: It may be worthy of note, that the Old Rite is *also* a form,
      albeit an earlier one, of the Byzantine Rite.

      One can distinguish between "new" and "old" forms of the Russian
      Slavonic services -- but they are both part of the Byantine rite.

      In Christ
      Fr. John R. Shaw
    • Jennifer Lultschik
      ... The bitter fruits of ... While this summary appears to lay the entire blame for the schism at the door of Archpriest Avvakum and the millions of faithful
      Message 2 of 18 , Dec 1, 2004
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        >From: Eugene Grushetsky <grush002@...>
        >Reply-To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
        >To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: Re: [orthodox-rocor] Avvakum and other Old Believers
        >Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 18:13:36 -0800 (PST)

        Father Eugene wrote:
        > > Dear Felipe,
        > On my humble opinion, we may respect them for their
        >faith and commitment to the old Russian rites and
        >traditions. However the beginning of Rascol (split)was
        >connected ,as almost all schisms in the Church
        >history, not with some provisions of common Faith or
        >doctrine, it come usually later, but with old and
        >deepest vices: pride, self-deceit and non-repentance.


        The bitter fruits of
        >the vicious passions of those days we taste till now,
        >and it never be stopped. It is my observation that
        >general Church history are rich in schisms, but very
        >very poor in reunions, the latter are practically
        >improbable.
        > > Fr. Eugene Grushetsky.



        While this summary appears to lay the entire blame for the schism at the
        door of Archpriest Avvakum and the millions of faithful who resisted the
        reforms of Patriarch Nikon in the 17th century, I would urge anyone
        interested to read the history of the schism and of later persecutions, and
        form their own opinions. Rather than assigning blame, it is a tragic period
        to look back on, and a sad commentary that persecutions of the Old Believers
        continued for centuries.

        And why should it 'never be stopped'? Great progress has been made in
        reconciliation of the Old Believers with the Russian Orthodox Church. In
        particular, the Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad have a Bishop for the
        Old Rite, Bishop Daniel of Erie and the Old Rite, who shepherds the Old Rite
        flock and is active in working with Old Believer communities who are
        considering coming back under the omophorion of the ROCOR; the ROCOR also
        issued a ukase in the 1970s welcoming Old Believers and permitting the use
        of the Old Rite, proclaiming it a legitimate Rite of the Church. This is
        quite appropriate, as the Old Rite was the only Rite of the Russian Church
        from Byzantine times until the Nikonian reforms. The Bishops of the ROCOR
        have also issued an apology to the existing communities of Old Believers for
        the persecutions against their forefathers by the official hierarchy of the
        Russian Orthodox Church. This has been greatly appreciated. Please note that
        the apology does not address the issues of schism, but of persecution, of
        actions that were not right at any time and by anyone. It is to be hoped
        that these conciliatory actions will bear fruit in future in the
        reconciliation of more Old Believers with the Church. We must always have
        hope and there is certainly reason for hope in this situation.

        Katherine Lultschik
        Church of the Nativity (Old Rite)
        Erie, PA___________________

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      • Felipe Ortiz
        Bless, Fr Eugene and Fr John. Dear Katherine, Thank you for your answers. I have read the chapter 6 of Bishop Kallistos´ /The Orthodox Church/ , in which
        Message 3 of 18 , Dec 1, 2004
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          Bless, Fr Eugene and Fr John.

          Dear Katherine,


          Thank you for your answers.

          I have read the chapter 6 of Bishop Kallistos´ "/The Orthodox Church/",
          in which there is a section about the schism of the Old Believers. I
          have read almost no other resource about this subject until now, so I
          can have no opinion of my own about it. I do not know Mitr. Makarios´
          book, mentioned by Fr Eugene. Bishop Kallistos´ account (which accuracy
          I am unable to judge) makes it impossible to a reader not to sympathize,
          at least partially, with the Old Believers. I have no prejudice against
          the Old Rite -- actually I am interested in learning more about it.

          Exactly because of the sympathy I felt reading about Avvakum´s death
          (such as many other Old Believers´ death), I wish to know how do the
          Orthodox Church regards them. I am aware that those Old Believers that
          remain outside the Church commemorate the Old Believers who died in
          persecution as martyrs and saints; I would like to know if our Church
          does the same. I can easily imagine that the Church as a whole do not
          commemorate them; but if our Old Rite parishes do, with the blessings of
          Vladyka Daniel and the Synod of Bishops, I suppose this would be a very
          interesting and meaningful fact.

          That is the reason of my curiosity. Are the Old Believer forefathers --
          Avvakum, Theodosia Morozova and others -- formally commemorated as
          saints in the Nativity of Our Lord Church? What do Vladyka Daniel says
          about it?


          Thanks a lot,


          Felipe Ortiz
          an unworthy catechumen
          Holy Trinity Church (ROCOR) -- São Paulo, Brazil


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Fr. John R. Shaw
          ... In ... for the ... the use ... JRS: It should be added that the Moscow Patriarchate had issued a similar decree shortly before. More recently, the Old
          Message 4 of 18 , Dec 1, 2004
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            Katherine Lultschik wrote:

            >Great progress has been made in
            > reconciliation of the Old Believers with the Russian Orthodox Church.
            In
            > particular, the Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad have a Bishop
            for the
            > Old Rite, Bishop Daniel of Erie and the Old Rite, ... the ROCOR also
            > issued a ukase in the 1970s welcoming Old Believers and permitting
            the use
            > of the Old Rite, proclaiming it a legitimate Rite of the Church.

            JRS: It should be added that the Moscow Patriarchate had issued a
            similar decree shortly before.

            More recently, the Old Believer hierarchy in Russia has elected a new
            Metropolitan, Metropolitan Andrian, who, like Metropolitan Laurus, has
            for the first time made official visits to several dioceses of the
            Moscow Patriarchate, and spoken of the need for "reconciliation in the
            Russian Church".

            > This is
            > quite appropriate, as the Old Rite was the only Rite of the Russian
            Church
            > from Byzantine times until the Nikonian reforms.

            JRS: It would actually be hard to divide up the history of Russian
            liturgics in terms of "rites".

            The oldest service book from Rus', dating from before the time of St.
            Vladimir, is in the Glagolitic script and seems to follow an ancient
            Western order for the Divine Liturgy. There may have been an admixture
            of Greek and Latin liturgical forms in the early days.

            Subsequently, the Russian Church followed the Studite Typicon, and the
            difference between that and the pre-Niconian Typicon is less than the
            divergence between the pre- and post-Niconian books.

            However, the text of Church Slavonic that was used did not change, nor
            did those of the most familiar prayers.

            There are also slight textual and liturgical differences that remain
            today, in the books used by various groups of Old Believers.

            Thus, for example, the plural endings for certain participles are more
            archaic in the Pomortsy books than in those of the Popovtsy: e.g. in
            Ps. 133, "stojasche-i v khrame Gospodni" in the Pomorian and earlier
            printed books and MSS., but "stojaschi-i v khrame Gospodni" in the
            books printed by the Popovtsy.

            But by no means was there any need to introduce such sudden, sweeping
            reforms, or to enforce them in such an unheard-of, harsh manner -- with
            persecutions, even actual executions of those who adhered to the old
            books and traditions.

            One of the reasons that the Znamenny chant fell into disuse was that
            the reformers demanded the new texts be introduced immediately, whereas
            the books of church music had not yet been reformed.

            So as not to use the old translations, choirs began to sing the texts
            to simple formulas, instead of the elaborate Znamenny melodies.

            A clear example: the communion verses, sung during the communion of the
            clergy, have long, prolix music in the old chant books.

            But this music was mostly dropped, and as a result, the communion verse
            today is often monotoned and sung so rapidly as to be done with in
            seconds, and its content scarcely noticed.

            Then, the remaining time is filled with "concert" pieces -- which may
            or may not have any connection with the day's service or commemoration.

            In the 20th century, the introduction of the new calendar in Greece and
            Romania was accompanied by harsh measures similar to those in the time
            of Patriarch Nikon, with a similar schism as a result.

            In Christ
            Fr. John R. Shaw
          • Katherine
            ... Dear Felipe, I would want to check with Archpriest Pimen Simon of the Church of the Nativity in Erie, PA to be sure of being accurate in my reply; I know
            Message 5 of 18 , Dec 1, 2004
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              --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, Felipe Ortiz <felipeortiz@d...> wrote:
              > Bless, Fr Eugene and Fr John.
              >
              > Dear Katherine,
              >
              >
              > Thank you for your answers.
              >
              > I have read the chapter 6 of Bishop Kallistos´ "/The Orthodox Church/",
              > in which there is a section about the schism of the Old Believers. I
              > have read almost no other resource about this subject until now, so I
              > can have no opinion of my own about it. I do not know Mitr. Makarios´
              > book, mentioned by Fr Eugene. Bishop Kallistos´ account (which accuracy
              > I am unable to judge) makes it impossible to a reader not to sympathize,
              > at least partially, with the Old Believers. I have no prejudice against
              > the Old Rite -- actually I am interested in learning more about it.
              >
              > Exactly because of the sympathy I felt reading about Avvakum´s death
              > (such as many other Old Believers´ death), I wish to know how do the
              > Orthodox Church regards them. I am aware that those Old Believers that
              > remain outside the Church commemorate the Old Believers who died in
              > persecution as martyrs and saints; I would like to know if our Church
              > does the same. I can easily imagine that the Church as a whole do not
              > commemorate them; but if our Old Rite parishes do, with the blessings of
              > Vladyka Daniel and the Synod of Bishops, I suppose this would be a very
              > interesting and meaningful fact.
              >
              > That is the reason of my curiosity. Are the Old Believer forefathers --
              > Avvakum, Theodosia Morozova and others -- formally commemorated as
              > saints in the Nativity of Our Lord Church? What do Vladyka Daniel says
              > about it?
              >
              >
              > Thanks a lot,
              >
              >
              > Felipe Ortiz
              > an unworthy catechumen
              > Holy Trinity Church (ROCOR) -- São Paulo, Brazil

              Dear Felipe,

              I would want to check with Archpriest Pimen Simon of the Church of the
              Nativity in Erie, PA to be sure of being accurate in my reply; I know that they
              are regarded with great respect, similar to confessors of the faith. They are
              not, as far as I know, commemorated as saints, as that would require
              glorification by the hierarchy of the Church and to my knowledge that has not
              occurred. However, I can check with Father Pimen and ask what Vladyka
              Daniel says about it.

              If you are interested in further information about the Old Rite, you may want to
              visit the parish website at www.churchofthenativity.net. The online bookstore
              has some materials under the heading Old Rite Studies that might interest
              you, including two books - Russia, Ritual and Reform, by Father Paul
              Meyendorff, and Old Believers in Modern Russia, by Roy R. Robson, both of
              which are very informative. There are other items as well. The bookstore ships
              worldwide, I believe.

              Thank you for your interest, and thanks to Father John Shaw as well for the
              very informative post about the history of the liturgical books and chants in
              ancient Rus'. I am a student in this area myself and welcome all new
              information!

              With all good wishes,
              Katherine Lultschik
              Church of the Nativity (Old Rite)
              Erie, PA
            • Aleksandr Andreev
              It is worthy to note that much of the persecution of Old Believers in Russia had little to do with religion and religious practices and a lot to do with
              Message 6 of 18 , Dec 1, 2004
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                It is worthy to note that much of the persecution of Old Believers
                in Russia had little to do with religion and religious practices and
                a lot to do with politics.
                Upon breaking off from the Orthodox Church, the Old Believers
                splintered into a variety of different groups with more or less
                Orthodox practice.
                There are three different umbrella groups of "Old Believers":
                The "edinovertsi" -- literally "of one faith" are Old Believers who
                have been accepted back into the Orthodox Church starting with the
                19th century. They have Orthodox practice, but have been allowed to
                use the pre-reform orthography and practices.
                The "popovtsy" -- literally "those with priests". When the schism
                occurred, no bishops split from the Church, and the Old-Believers
                soon lost priests. The popovtsy subsequently acquired a hierarchy
                from other jurisdictions, but remain out of communion with the
                Orthodox Church.
                The "bezpopovtsy" -- literally "those without priests". They never
                accepted a hierarchy, believing that those who adopted the reforms
                were without grace. They splintered into a vast array of groups,
                some with very unorthodox practice.
                In their opposition of the reforms of Patriarch Nikon, many of these
                individuals opposed the rule of the Czar in Russia and the
                government in it entirety. The government saw their existence as
                threatening the hegemony of the monarchy and the relationship
                between Church and State, so the persecution was a government policy
                to eradicate what it saw as a threat. (Which, let me make myself
                absolutely clear, does not in any way justify it).

                I would hesitate to compare the schism between the Orthodox and the
                Old-Believers and the New and Old Calendarists. The New Calendar is
                a dangerous, anti-canonical innovation, which tramples upon the
                Typikon and the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church. The New
                Calendar has NO scientific basis (contrary to popular opinion), and
                NO doctrinal merit. There is no need to correct the "old" calendar,
                because there is nothing wrong with the "old" calendar. In fact,
                there is a reason astronomers still use the Julian calendar today.
                Patriarch Nikon sought to standardize the orthography of Church
                Slavonic, to standardize ecclesiastic practices throughout Russia,
                and to bring the Slavonic texts closer to their Greek original. The
                post-Nikonian texts tend to be better translations of Greek and have
                more standard syntax and usage. On the other hand, the Old Believers
                have been proven right on a number of occasions, also.
              • Lewis H Whitaker
                Can you give some references to this? Lew ... From: Aleksandr Andreev [mailto:aleksandr.andreev@duke.edu] Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 10:10 PM To:
                Message 7 of 18 , Dec 1, 2004
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                  Can you give some references to this?

                  Lew

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Aleksandr Andreev [mailto:aleksandr.andreev@...]
                  Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 10:10 PM
                  To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [orthodox-rocor] Re: Avvakum and other Old Believers


                  There is no need to correct the "old" calendar,
                  because there is nothing wrong with the "old" calendar. In fact,
                  there is a reason astronomers still use the Julian calendar today.
                • Fr. John R. Shaw
                  ... JRS: Most of them would, of course, deny having broken off from the Orthodox Church . Note that, in a recent statement, Metropolitan Andrian spoke of the
                  Message 8 of 18 , Dec 2, 2004
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                    Alexei Andreev wrote:

                    > Upon breaking off from the Orthodox Church, the Old Believers
                    > splintered into a variety of different groups with more or less
                    > Orthodox practice.

                    JRS: Most of them would, of course, deny having "broken off from the
                    Orthodox Church".

                    Note that, in a recent statement, Metropolitan Andrian spoke of the
                    need for reconciliation *in the Russian Church* -- meaning that the
                    Popovtsy consider themselves part of the Russian Church.

                    > There are three different umbrella groups of "Old Believers":
                    > The "edinovertsi" --
                    > The "popovtsy" --
                    > The "bezpopovtsy" --

                    JRS: You have neglected the "Beglopopovtsy" -- those who had no
                    hierarchy, but accepted priests who had left the State Church. This
                    group, or its heirs, can still be found, though now the Belokrinitsky
                    Synod is supplying it with clergy.

                    > I would hesitate to compare the schism between the Orthodox and the
                    > Old-Believers and the New and Old Calendarists. The New Calendar is
                    > a dangerous, anti-canonical innovation, which tramples upon the
                    > Typikon and the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church.

                    JRS: That is the same way that the reforms of Patriarch Nikon were
                    seen.

                    Note that it was not just a question of orthography, but of how the
                    sign of the cross was to be made, the familiar set of prayers said
                    before and after every worship service, the form of the vestments and
                    cassocks (and headgear) of the clergy, as well as church singing (as I
                    noted yesterday).

                    If one walks into a traditional church in Greece, during the service,
                    at least on certain days, it is not immediately evident whether this is
                    a new-calendar or an old-calendar church.

                    But in the Russian Church, one can tell immediately whether a parish is
                    new-rite or old-rite -- if only from the music and the way people
                    behave in church.

                    Thus the reforms of Patriarch Nikon and his successors struck more
                    deeply at the Typicon and liturgical life of the church, than did the
                    introduction of the new calendar in Greece and Romania.

                    > The New
                    > Calendar has NO scientific basis (contrary to popular opinion), and
                    > NO doctrinal merit.

                    JRS: Neither did Patriarch Nikon's reforms. The Slavonic service books
                    of the pre-Niconian Russian Church were translated from earlier
                    variants of the Greek texts, and these Greek variants still exist in
                    manuscripts.

                    The making of the sign of the cross in the old Russian manner was also
                    practiced by the Greeks of Trapezountos (in eastern Asia Minor), though
                    unfortunately the genocides of 1923 destroyed that community.

                    And, in some details, the texts used by the Old Believers are actually
                    closer to the current Greek books, than are the "corrected" Slavonic
                    ones.

                    > There is no need to correct the "old" calendar,
                    > because there is nothing wrong with the "old" calendar.

                    JRS: There was nothing wrong with the Old Rite, either.

                    > Patriarch Nikon sought to standardize the orthography of Church
                    > Slavonic, to standardize ecclesiastic practices throughout Russia,
                    > and to bring the Slavonic texts closer to their Greek original.

                    JRS: Yet he failed.

                    There continued to be divergences between the orthography of the Moscow
                    and Kiev editions of the service books, up to the Bolshevik revolution.
                    Even today, these divergences still can be seen when Kievan editions,
                    such as that of the Trebnik, are reprinted by photo-offset.

                    > The
                    > post-Nikonian texts tend to be better translations of Greek and have
                    > more standard syntax and usage.

                    JRS: Not really. If you were to read Vl. Alypy's Slavonic Grammar, he
                    details some of the shortcomings of the post-Niconian editions. In
                    particular, the newer translations are such literal renderings of the
                    Greek, that they are often hard to understand unless one studies them.
                    The old Slavonic books were much simpler and more natural, and above
                    all CLEARER in their style.

                    > On the other hand, the Old Believers
                    > have been proven right on a number of occasions, also.

                    JRS: Quod erat demonstrandum!

                    In Christ
                    Fr. John R. Shaw
                  • Athanasios Jayne
                    ... during the service, at least on certain days, it is not immediately evident whether this is a new-calendar or an old-calendar church. But in the Russian
                    Message 9 of 18 , Dec 2, 2004
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                      --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com,
                      "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@e...> wrote:

                      >>If one walks into a traditional church in Greece,
                      during the service, at least on certain days, it is not
                      immediately evident whether this is a new-calendar
                      or an old-calendar church.

                      But in the Russian Church, one can tell immediately
                      whether a parish is new-rite or old-rite -- if only from
                      the music and the way people behave in church.

                      Thus the reforms of Patriarch Nikon and his successors
                      struck more deeply at the Typicon and liturgical life of the
                      church, than did the introduction of the new calendar in
                      Greece and Romania.<<

                      I think I would have to agree with Fr. John on this. It may
                      well be instructive to consider the present Old Calendar
                      /New Calendar divisions in light of the Russian Old
                      Believer experience, as a precedant and a parallel. It seems
                      to me that there are many points of contact, many analogies
                      between them. Those of us who defend and support the use
                      of the Old Calendar (myself included), are, I hazard to suggest,
                      the very sort of people who would have tended to defend and
                      support the Old Believer practices in an earlier era, had we
                      been alive and present when the Nikonian changes were
                      introduced. And, like the Old Believers, we too have found
                      ourselves in several different "groups" in response to the
                      Calendar change. There are those who would deny any grace in
                      New Calendar Churches, to those who would Commune members
                      of such Churches. The Old Believers, like Old Calendarists, can
                      *also* point to prior Synodal Anathemas directed at those who
                      would introduce changes--such as making the sign of the Cross
                      with 3 fingers extended, instead of 2. The 3-fingered sign of the
                      Cross was actually anathematized by the Stoglav Council of 1551.

                      >>The making of the sign of the cross in the old Russian manner was also
                      practiced by the Greeks of Trapezountos (in eastern Asia Minor), though
                      unfortunately the genocides of 1923 destroyed that community.<<

                      Fr. John, is there any evidence that the two fingered sign of the
                      Cross was used anywhere *else* outside of Russia (besides
                      Trapezountos), perhaps in more ancient times? The Old Believers
                      point to the fact that in many of the oldest icons of Christ, He is portrayed
                      as blessing with two fingers extended, and they believe that this is the
                      earlier form which they have preserved. Is there any evidence for this?

                      Athanasios.
                    • Aleksandr Andreev
                      I did neglect to mention the Beglopopovtsy; thank you for your addition. ... the ... and ... (as I ... Yes. And it is true that many monophysite
                      Message 10 of 18 , Dec 2, 2004
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                        I did neglect to mention the Beglopopovtsy; thank you for your
                        addition.

                        > Note that it was not just a question of orthography, but of how
                        the
                        > sign of the cross was to be made, the familiar set of prayers said
                        > before and after every worship service, the form of the vestments
                        and
                        > cassocks (and headgear) of the clergy, as well as church singing
                        (as I
                        > noted yesterday).

                        Yes. And it is true that many monophysite (Non-Calcedonian) groups
                        also make the sign of the cross with two fingers. The history of
                        this usage is unclear; it may have coexisted with the three-fingered
                        sign or may even predate it.
                        With respect to the rest of the changes, it is important to note
                        that they were undertaken with the agreement of the whole synod of
                        the Russian Church and the entirety of Orthodox Catholicity.
                        Patriarch Nikon was supported by the Patriarchs of Jerusalem,
                        Alexandria, and Constantionple, and none of the hierarchy sided on
                        the side of the Old Believers.

                        The Calendar innovation, on the other hand, was undertaken by a
                        small group of bishops, lead by Patriarch Metaxakis (a known free-
                        mason, I might add). It was not accepted by the vast majority of the
                        Orthodox Church, including the Church of Russia, Jerusalem, and
                        Serbia.

                        > If one walks into a traditional church in Greece, during the
                        service,
                        > at least on certain days, it is not immediately evident whether
                        this is
                        > a new-calendar or an old-calendar church.

                        But you see, herein is the danger of the Calendar innovation. It is
                        not apparent; it is very subtle. It is only when one goes to a
                        weekday service for the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste when the day falls
                        during the week of the Publican and the Pharisee and hears lenten
                        hymnography, that one understands how rediculous of a sitituation
                        the New Calendar creates.

                        > JRS: Neither did Patriarch Nikon's reforms. The Slavonic service
                        books
                        > of the pre-Niconian Russian Church were translated from earlier
                        > variants of the Greek texts, and these Greek variants still exist
                        in
                        > manuscripts.

                        Unless I am mistaken, most of the Nikonian translations parallel the
                        Greek texts of today and have eliminated errors which crept in from
                        the rewriting of books by hand in order to copy them. Then again, no
                        translation can be perfect. As one translator of Greek tragedy
                        famously said, "translations are like wives; the beautiful are
                        seldom faithful, and the faithful are seldom beautiful."

                        > JRS: Yet he failed.
                        >
                        > There continued to be divergences between the orthography of the
                        Moscow
                        > and Kiev editions of the service books, up to the Bolshevik
                        revolution.
                        > Even today, these divergences still can be seen when Kievan
                        editions,
                        > such as that of the Trebnik, are reprinted by photo-offset.

                        Under Patriarch Nikon, Kiev was still controlled by the Poles and
                        out of the extent of the Russian Church and Empire.

                        I am by no means an expert in Russian Church History, however it
                        seems to me there were particular heretical elements widespread in
                        the Russian Church of the 17th century, including, for example, the
                        belief that the concecration takes place during the Proskemidia (and
                        the resulting prostrations at the Great Entrance), and some fairly
                        complicated, though false, triadology, which had their roots in pre-
                        Nikonian service books, and which the reform attempted to eradicate.
                        It seems to me that most modern groups of Old Believers do not
                        adhere to these teachings (some of which appear in the writings of
                        Priest Avvakum). If anyone knows more, I would be glad to hear.
                      • Eugene Grushetsky
                        ... Dear Katerine, I either don t have prejudice against old believers, and even more I think they and we are no more parts of one Russian church, but two
                        Message 11 of 18 , Dec 2, 2004
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                          --- Katherine <jkl1207@...> wrote:

                          >
                          > --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, Felipe Ortiz
                          > <felipeortiz@d...> wrote:
                          > > Bless, Fr Eugene and Fr John.
                          > >
                          > > Dear Katherine,
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Thank you for your answers.
                          > >
                          > > I have read the chapter 6 of Bishop Kallistos�
                          > "/The Orthodox Church/",
                          > > in which there is a section about the schism of
                          > the Old Believers. I
                          > > have read almost no other resource about this
                          > subject until now, so I
                          > > can have no opinion of my own about it. I do not
                          > know Mitr. Makarios�
                          > > book, mentioned by Fr Eugene. Bishop Kallistos�
                          > account (which accuracy
                          > > I am unable to judge) makes it impossible to a
                          > reader not to sympathize,
                          > > at least partially, with the Old Believers. I have
                          > no prejudice against
                          > > the Old Rite -- actually I am interested in
                          > learning more about it.
                          Dear Katerine,
                          I either don't have prejudice against old believers,
                          and even more I think they and we are no more parts of
                          one Russian church, but two different ones, that is
                          why we can not return to our pre-Nikonian oneness,
                          and doomed to have diplomatic relations as an
                          independent states. By the way, it was proposal in
                          Mitr. Andrian report to have diplomatic relations with
                          ROC MP. The same situation is between ROCOR and ROC,
                          we are no more the parts, we are more likely to be
                          independent churches.
                          As far as it concerns the old believers practices I
                          convinced that their novelties supposedly came to
                          existence somewhere at the end of XV-beginning of XVI
                          centuries. At that time Russian Orthodox society was
                          so overwehlmingly proud with its own orthodoxy, that
                          easily admitted itself to be the most true church and
                          Christian kingdom in a world. That kind of feelings
                          by necessity reqiured some visible signs proving it
                          and distinguish the Russians from the Greeks, for
                          instance. So, I suppose, it gave start to search for
                          novelty. Two-fingered sign could be "borrowed" from
                          the Nestorians, for it was expression of their
                          not-so-orthodox belief about the two natures of Jesus
                          Christ. My point is that old believers are
                          non-critical followers of those who was obsessed with
                          collective pride of Old-Russian society in XV and
                          XVIth centuries. It might well be interesting to know
                          that in XII or XIIth centuries Roman Catholics did
                          the same and began to make sign of Cross from left to
                          right. (Catholic Ecyclopedia, "Sign of Cross"). To be
                          sure, Nikon and his supporters found some resources to
                          accept their own sinfulness seriously and to invite
                          Greeks and southern, Kievan, scholars to correct our
                          spoiled slavonic service books.
                          A propos they've been "corrected" by Avvakum, Neronov,
                          Vonifatiev et alia and it was one of the reasons to
                          bring original service books from the Greeks.
                          Fr. Eugene.
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >




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                        • Fr. John R. Shaw
                          ... JRS: However, there is a crucial difference, because the Old Believers do not simply make the sign of the cross with two fingers . The thumb, 4th and 5th
                          Message 12 of 18 , Dec 2, 2004
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                            Regarding:

                            > Two-fingered sign could be "borrowed" from
                            > the Nestorians, for it was expression of their
                            > not-so-orthodox belief about the two natures of Jesus
                            > Christ.

                            JRS: However, there is a crucial difference, because the Old Believers
                            do not simply "make the sign of the cross with two fingers".

                            The thumb, 4th and 5th funbers are joined together to symbolize the
                            Trinity; the 2nd and 3rd fingers are joined together to signify the two
                            natures of Christ; but the 3rd finger is bent, to show that the human
                            nature bowed to the Divine.

                            The way in which the hand is held in crossing oneself, is the same as
                            that used by the priest or bishop in blessing; this can be seen in many
                            traditional Russian icons, where Christ and the Saints bless in this
                            manner.

                            In fact, there is little difference between that way of holding the
                            hand, and the IC XC form of blessing: "blagoslovenie = 'blagimi
                            slovami'", i.e. the name of Christ.

                            > To be
                            > sure, Nikon and his supporters found some resources to
                            > accept their own sinfulness seriously and to invite
                            > Greeks and southern, Kievan, scholars to correct our
                            > spoiled slavonic service books.

                            JRS: This is the key issue: the Russian Church today no longer holds
                            that the old Slavonic service books were "spoiled".

                            Most of the same characteristics can also be seen in the early Serbian
                            and Bulgarian books.

                            And, since, as I said earlier, all but a few of these "peculiarities"
                            were merely translations of a different or earlier school of Greek
                            manuscripts, the Greeks must have at one time had "spoiled books" as
                            well!

                            > A propos they've been "corrected" by Avvakum, Neronov,
                            > Vonifatiev et alia and it was one of the reasons to
                            > bring original service books from the Greeks.

                            JRS: The "original service books from the Greeks" often represented
                            textual variants that did not prevail among the Greeks themselves.

                            For example: in the back of the Slavonic "Flowered Triodion"
                            ("Tsvetnaya Triod'"), there is a set of Triodia for the weekdays in
                            Paschal time, from the Monday after Thomas Sunday till the Saturday
                            after Pentecost.

                            These texts are translations from the Greek, as shown by
                            the "acrostichos", or the phrases formed by the Greek initials in the
                            original Greek text.

                            But there are no such Triodia in the Greek Pentecostarion: which is why
                            it has the name "Pentecostarion", rather than being called a Triodion
                            as in the corresponding Slavonic.

                            These Triodia were originally sung at Matins; later, when it became the
                            custom to repeat the Sunday Canons on weekdays in Paschal time, the
                            Triodia came to be sung at the Divine Liturgy. This is what is
                            prescribed in the pre-Niconian editions.

                            But the "corrected" Tsvetnaya Triod' now says that "according to Greek
                            usage" these Triodia are to be sung at Compline.

                            In fact, the Triodia have been dropped entirely in the Greek books, and
                            nothing of the kind is sung by the Greeks at Compline -- unless one
                            were to have the older Greek texts, from before the
                            latest "corrections"!

                            So -- which books were the correct ones, and which were "spoiled"?

                            Was it those that put the Triodia at Matins, those that had them at
                            Liturgy, those that had them at Compline -- or those that dropped them
                            completely from all church services?

                            In Christ
                            Fr. John R. Shaw
                          • Fr. John R. Shaw
                            ... JRS: No, not the Monophysites: true or extreme monophysite doctrine denies that Christ had two natures, so they cross themselves, not with two, but with
                            Message 13 of 18 , Dec 2, 2004
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                              Regarding:

                              > And it is true that many monophysite (Non-Calcedonian) groups
                              > also make the sign of the cross with two fingers.

                              JRS: No, not the Monophysites: true or "extreme" monophysite doctrine
                              denies that Christ had two natures, so they cross themselves, not with
                              two, but with only one finger.

                              Please note, also, that Monophysites and Nestorians hold to opposite
                              teachings about Christ: the Monophysites deny that He has two natures,
                              but the Nestorians make the two natures into two persons.

                              In "The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware", in the 1972 edition on p.
                              123, we read: "The two-finger sign of the Cross was in fact more
                              ancient than the three-finger form; it was the Greeks who were the
                              innovators, the Russians who remained loyal to the old ways. Why then
                              should the Russians be forced to adopt the modern Greek practice?"

                              > With respect to the rest of the changes, it is important to note
                              > that they were undertaken with the agreement of the whole synod of
                              > the Russian Church and the entirety of Orthodox Catholicity.
                              > Patriarch Nikon was supported by the Patriarchs of Jerusalem,
                              > Alexandria, and Constantionple, and none of the hierarchy sided on
                              > the side of the Old Believers.

                              JRS: Bishop Paul sided with the Old Believers, but he died in prison
                              without consecrating any successor.

                              As for the Greek Patriarchs who travelled to Moscow, it should be
                              remembered that under the Turks, the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs were
                              all subject to Constantinople, and they did not represent the :fulness
                              of Orthodox catholicity" as much as some might think.

                              > The Calendar innovation, on the other hand, was undertaken by a
                              > small group of bishops, lead by Patriarch Metaxakis (a known free-
                              > mason, I might add). It was not accepted by the vast majority of the
                              > Orthodox Church, including the Church of Russia, Jerusalem, and
                              > Serbia.

                              JRS; The "small group of bishops" you speak of, was nevertheless larger
                              than the group of 3 Patriarchs who went to Moscow in 1666.

                              > Unless I am mistaken, most of the Nikonian translations parallel the
                              > Greek texts of today and have eliminated errors which crept in from
                              > the rewriting of books by hand in order to copy them.

                              JRS: Note what I said in an earlier posting on this topic: while a few
                              points in the pre-Niconian Slavonic books might have been the result of
                              copyists errors, the overwhelming majority of their characteristic
                              readings were simply based on a different school of Greek manuscripts.

                              Besides that, a few "copyists errors" have crept into the Greek texts
                              themselves.

                              Thus for example in Ps. 47, verse 9, in the accepted Greek text of the
                              Psalter, we read: "Ypelavomen, o Theos, to eleos sou en meso tou *laou*
                              sou".

                              The word "laou" (genitive of "laos", meaning "people") is a scribal
                              error for the original reading "naou" (gen. of "naos", temple). Thus
                              the verse reads, both in the Hebrew and in early translations made from
                              the Greek before the error crept in, "We have received, O God, Thy
                              mercy in the midst of Thy *temple*" -- which would be, in
                              Slavonic, "Posrede *khrama* tvoego".

                              The mistake is easy to make in Greek, since it is a question of one
                              letter, N versus Lambda (which differs from it only in having one
                              penstroke less).

                              In Hebrew and in other languages, the two words are quite different: in
                              Hebrew "heikal" vs. "'am", in Latin "templum" vs. "populus", and so on.
                              Yet the Greek text has never been corrected.

                              There are other, similar examples.

                              > Under Patriarch Nikon, Kiev was still controlled by the Poles and
                              > out of the extent of the Russian Church and Empire.

                              JRS: You miss my point.

                              The divergence between Moscow and Kievan editions that I spoke of, was
                              not in the time of Patriarch Nikon, but in the 18th and 19th centuries,
                              and up to the present day.

                              The reprints I had in mind are those of Kievo-Pechersky service books
                              that had been published on the eve of World War I, and have been
                              reprinted over and again since that time by offset, retaining their own
                              orthographical peculiarities.

                              In Christ
                              Fr. John R. Shaw
                            • Anna Voellmecke
                              ... Not only the 40 Martyrs, but other feasts on the fixed calendar assume a correlation of the Menaion and the Paschal cycle. Look at the services for St.
                              Message 14 of 18 , Dec 3, 2004
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                                At 03:48 PM 12/2/2004, you wrote:

                                >It is only when one goes to a
                                >weekday service for the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste when the day falls
                                >during the week of the Publican and the Pharisee and hears lenten
                                >hymnography, that one understands how rediculous of a sitituation
                                >the New Calendar creates.

                                Not only the 40 Martyrs, but other feasts on the fixed calendar assume a
                                correlation of the Menaion and the Paschal cycle. Look at the services for
                                St. George.

                                Anna V.
                              • Fr. John R. Shaw
                                ... JRS: The earliest that the 40 Martyrs can fall according to the Julian calendar is on the Tuesday in Cheese-fare week (when Pascha is on the latest
                                Message 15 of 18 , Dec 3, 2004
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                                  Regarding:

                                  > >It is only when one goes to a
                                  > >weekday service for the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste when the day falls
                                  > >during the week of the Publican and the Pharisee and hears lenten
                                  > >hymnography, that one understands how rediculous of a sitituation
                                  > >the New Calendar creates.

                                  JRS: The earliest that the 40 Martyrs can fall according to the Julian
                                  calendar is on the Tuesday in Cheese-fare week (when Pascha is on the
                                  latest possible date, i.e. April 25/May 8).

                                  The service as printed in the Greek Menaion gives entirely complete
                                  festive texts for the 40 Martyrs, including Sedalens ("Kathismata")
                                  after two sections from the Psalter. The Slavonic, to be sure, is a
                                  little more jejune in that detail, and prescribes 3 Psalter Kathismata,
                                  with Sedalens of the Saints only after the 3rd.

                                  However, the Slavonic books include a "General Menaion" from which any
                                  missing texts could be borrowed.

                                  There are no Lenten hymns during the week of the Publican and Pharisee
                                  (the Lenten Triodion has texts only for the Sunday itself).

                                  So, I don't know where such material could come from, *even* in a new-
                                  calendar setting.

                                  It is true that some people who readn and sing in church, do not know
                                  the services too well -- but the new calendar has no corner on
                                  liturgical errors or ignorance!

                                  In Christ
                                  Fr. John R. Shaw
                                • Kenneth Doll
                                  Dear Fr. John, Are you saying that the Studite typicon is actually fairly similar to the pre-Niconian typicon? Also, did the Russian Church ever use the Great
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Dec 10, 2004
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                                    Dear Fr. John,

                                    Are you saying that the Studite typicon is actually fairly similar to
                                    the pre-Niconian typicon?

                                    Also, did the Russian Church ever use the Great Church typicon before
                                    the Studite (and after the "oldest" ones)? I am refering to the
                                    typicon that was used in Constantinople until the Crusaders and in
                                    Thessalonica until the Turkish take-over.

                                    Thanks,
                                    Kenneth

                                    --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. John R. Shaw"
                                    <vrevjrs@e...> wrote:

                                    JRS: It would actually be hard to divide up the history of Russian
                                    liturgics in terms of "rites".

                                    The oldest service book from Rus', dating from before the time of St.
                                    Vladimir, is in the Glagolitic script and seems to follow an ancient
                                    Western order for the Divine Liturgy. There may have been an
                                    admixture of Greek and Latin liturgical forms in the early days.

                                    Subsequently, the Russian Church followed the Studite Typicon, and
                                    the difference between that and the pre-Niconian Typicon is less than
                                    the divergence between the pre- and post-Niconian books.
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