Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Disapora

Gregory DiPippo Responds to Charles Coebergh

NLM: Bad Scholarship on the Easter Vigil
Gregory DiPippo

The Series of Articles on Palm Sunday

Nicholas Denysenko on Possible Adaptations in Response to COVID-19

Pray Tell: COVID-19 and Orthodox Liturgical Reform: What’s Possible?

Denysenko gives 4 alternatives to public Divine Liturgies. The first:

Sunday Matins or Typica (in-church)

One way to have a Sunday gathering while maintaining physical distancing guidelines is to celebrate a non-Eucharistic service without exceeding the maximum number of people for a safe gathering. Sunday Matins (Orthros) is already appointed to the regular weekly cycle. Parishes that normally celebrate Vigil on Saturday evenings are familiar with resurrection Matins, as are communities of the Greek and Arabic traditions, who celebrate Matins on Sunday morning before the Divine Liturgy. Sunday Matins features psalmody, hymnography, the eleven “eothina” resurrection Gospel readings, and the Great Doxology (Gloria). The addition of a homily to Matins would create a Sunday service honoring the Lord’s resurrection of about one hour, an appropriate way to praise his resurrection while receiving nourishment from his word until it is safe to return to the received Divine Liturgy.
The Typica service offers a viable alternative to Matins. This service features psalmody and the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed and allows for the addition of the appointed Epistle and Gospel readings. Many faithful are already familiar with the Typica, as it is often celebrated by the laity or with a deacon presiding when the priest is absent. Matins and the Typica allow for two non-eucharistic Sunday gatherings that honor the requirements of physical distancing.
Having Matins as a substitute for the Divine Liturgy may be appropriate, but could it be done at home?

The first option is for a Typika service without Communion; the second option that Denysenko gives is  for some form of Communion service that can be based on the Typika, with a deacon presiding, but it seems that this would have to be done in a temple. The third option is distributing Holy Communion to the laity so that they may bring it home to share with others. Here Denysenko does not mention the possibility of Holy Communion being taken home with some sort of prayer service, like the Typika to accompany its reception. I would think that this is a possibility.

Either as a form of Communion service or not, the Typika could be done on Sunday. Would the laity have the necessary liturgical resources to be able to do a Typika service on the other days (without Communion) at home? Would that be a good replacement for daily celebration of the Divine Praises? I have heard it said that it is difficult to the Divine Praises at home, as multiple books required. But I read that a version of the Great Horologion is enough for home use.  

Besides Holy Transfiguration Monastery, their Great Horologion is also carried by SVS Press and Saint Nectarios Press.

St. Tikhon's Monastery Press  has their own verison.

Online: The Horologion and Psalter

Then there are alternatives to the Divine Praises that contain some version of the horologion, like Publican's Prayer Book

Participation in God by Andrew Davison

Cambridge University Press

A review by James Clark at FPR: Imagining Divine Participation

Church Times review by David Brown.

The CT review has this bit:

In a rare exception, Moltmann’s idea of God’s making space for the world is declared unchristian, whereas from that perspective it is surely Davison, not Moltmann, who radically diminishes the divine nature in not allowing that God could ever create anything radically different from his own nature. Equally, Moltmann would offer a quite different way of thinking about the inexplicable and evil.

What happened to God's being unable to create a square circle not contradicting his omnipotence?

Again, the doctrine of the Trinity is simply assumed throughout, and no attempt is made to engage with why Platonism might have thought its introduction unnecessarily complicating in the conception of everything as derived from one single source.

If course it is assumed, it's a book about Christian doctrine, and Davison would probably acknowledge that it is something that we cannot know or prove by reason alone but a truth that must be revealed to us by God Himself. One wonders about the author of the review...
Of course, Christianity had an answer in insisting on the introduction of the Trinity as revealed doctrine; but, again, except in his introductory section when discussing creation, Davison entirely fails to engage with the way in which our understanding of scripture has changed. St John’s Gospel is repeatedly quoted as though it gave us the historical mind of Jesus, but does it? And, if not, how easily can Aquinas’s account of the incarnate one survive? But what, even, of participation itself? It would seem odd to make the term foundational of all Christian thought if it is not found reflected somewhere in human experience. Yet Davison fails to discuss what might be meant by such experience.
The reviewer sounds like a liberal Protestant. What sort of Christian life is he living if he does not understand that Christians participate in the life of Christ?

Hans Urs von Balthasar on John Paul II

CWR: A Pontificate under the Banner of Mary: Hans Urs von Balthasar on Pope Saint John Paul II
“You could never really understand the spirituality of our Holy Father, though,” wrote the Swiss theologian in 1988, shortly before his death, “if you left out his relationship to the Mother of the Lord.”

J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P., "In God's Time"

First Things

Dr. Paul McPartlan - "The Church: Towards a Common Vision"