Saturday, March 29, 2008

St Gregory of Nyssa Church again: a video

Dear Anastasios,

Happy vigil of the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross.

Thanks for the link.

I know of this parish church. (Huw Richardson of Sarx used to be a member.)

Every couple of years somebody sends me a link about them fully expecting me to join in hating them.

I don’t.

From the YouTube comments:
Looks like the Orthodox Church took a holiday and went on an acid trip in sunny San Fran!! lol

At first it looked very Orthodox...

Sort of an “Anglo-Afro-Orthodox-Flower Child” Eucharist. I’m a politically liberal, but liturgically conservative Anglo-Catholic Episcopalian, and you know what? This is pretty interesting. Even though it probably isn’t my cup of tea, I’d be interested to see what you do for Pentecost. God bless the people of St. Gregory of Nyssa, and may the Holy Spirit be with you.

Nothing says authentic “San Francisco Episcopal Church” to me like a room full of white people trying to act multicultural.

It seems to me that whenever white people stick to traditional white Protestant worship, they’re told they’re being “boring” and “stodgy.” When they try something different, they’re accused of “trying to act multicultural” (with the implication that it’s a failure or a fake).
Sure, they’re wrong (I wouldn’t join or be in communion with them), and I think along with the promiscuity of style the real beauty of much of the service is especially unnerving to an Orthodox: liberal Protestants — IIRC hard-core heterodox, really Unitarians dressed up (do they say the creed?), gay and communing the unbaptised, which is technically not allowed in the Episcopal Church — who are so good at putting on the airs of Orthodox worship when they want to (like in the first minute of the clip).

That said I think it’s cooler than bog-standard Novus Ordo. This is the loving work of sincere, intelligent and educated people, a work of art.

I even like the modern music with the timpani only not in church. The way I like gospel music.

I’ve long seen a parallel here to my native tradition: ritualistic, aiming for the mystical, perhaps finding the Articles of Religion wanting and using much ritual and ceremonial not in the Book of Common Prayer, pinching them from another church!

So I'm not surprised an Anglo-Catholic, Bishop C. Kilmer Myers, gave his blessing to found this parish 35-some years ago.

From the SGN site:
Great Thanksgiving Prayer for the Millennium Development Goals
I’m sorry but I can’t help thinking of that 70-year-old Nazi ‘German Christian’ Lutheran church in Berlin and if somebody wrote and used a liturgy about politics I agree with — ‘it is very meet, right and our bounden duty: that we should at all times and in all places follow the platform of thy servant Ron Paul...’ — I would run screaming from that place and never return.

But rather than being made fun of these dear people ought to be encouraged in the right way, to be led to the truth, to be ‘churched’, to be rooted, to have a foundation...

Reminds me of what an Anglo-Catholic quoted by Peter Anson wrote about the Theosophists, the New Agers of his day 80 years ago, that they understood the mystical aspects of the Catholic religion better than uneducated Catholics, and what Abbot Aelred Carlyle said to one of their converts, that Catholic mysticism has everything they offer only on sounder lines.

They may end up like Chesterton, trying to create the most radical, outrageous religion only to find themselves out-radicalled by... orthodoxy.

How to tell Catholics from liturgical Protestants.

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