Reading Cipriano Vagaggini’s essay “The Ordination of Deaconesses in the Greek and Byzantine Traditions” has prompted me to reflect on the difficulties posed in mounting historical arguments of either side in the debate, and what might count as sufficient historical precedent in changing Church practice.
Archive for category Eastern Liturgy
Deepening communion requires effort and a willingness to hear the other. How do we know if we want to restore Communion when we can’t get past talking about the historical causes of division?
I hope that the non-Orthodox who want to dialogue with us will push us on these issues: our job in dialogue is to hear you, just as you hear us with consistent graciousness.
The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church is now in session on the island of Crete.
Although only a few days remain until the Eastern Pentecost, when the Pan-Orthodox council has been scheduled, uncertainty remains whether the gathering in Crete will take place.
The council will be historic and speak authoritatively on a number of issues.
It is not uncommon to hear the shuffling of papers in the choir and to hear the director giving a new pitch corresponding to the appointed tone.
My desire for liturgy to end quickly is thoroughly incompatible with what we teach about Bright Week, which is the most radiant period of joyful liturgizing on our Church calendar, the only time of the year we leave the “holy gates” of the iconostasis open to symbolize our thanksgiving for the privilege to partake of the divine life.
Today, brothers and sisters, God is inviting us to become his shining lights, the givers and forgivers who have the courage the make friends out of enemies, to feed the poor and receive their riches in return, and to welcome the stranger and the sinner, even asking for their prayers.
Will the historic meeting and joint declaration mark a new era in Orthodox-Catholic relations? Only time will tell.