DISCLAIMER

This is a privately owned blog. It is not and has never been an official organ of any ecclesiastical organization.

"No one man, or group of men, can himself speak for the Church of Christ. It is nonetheless possible to speak from within the Church, in conformity with Orthodox tradition; and it is this that we shall attempt to do." Fr. Seraphim Rose Orthodox Word #1 Jan-Feb 1965 p. 17

Etna's new article about Byzantine Chant

• Etna bishops support Harry Potter and pseudo-neo-elders (Ephraim Moraitis, Porphyrios Bairaktaris).

• On September 8, 2015ns Etna bishops suspended Fr. Constantine for having a beard too short and refusing to sue his employer.  Fr. Constantine appealed to the GOC synod who ruled in favor of Fr. Constantine 5 weeks later.




"If we have a good priest (or bishop, we give thanks to God.  If a bad one, we endure him."
- old Russian saying


Etna's new article about Byzantine Chant

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here we go --   And now the attempt to wither the pride of place of the Psaltic Arts within the GOC.
~ (unnamed) recipient of a FORWARD of Etna's email announcement 6/19 December 2015


Begin forwarded message:

Subject: Byzantine Chant
Date: 19 December, 2015 11:08:26 AM PST
To: Active Diocesan Forum <sgpm@sisqtel.net>

St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
6/19 December 2015

To: Clergy, Faithful, and Friends of the Diocese
From: Bishop Auxentios of Etna and Portland

Re: An article on Byzantine chant

May God bless you.

For some time I have wanted to make a few comments about church music (singing). Not only in our diocese, but in other of our parishes in America and Western Europe, Byzantine chant is not the sole kind of church singing. Also the majority of our parishes in Russian and Ukraine do not use Byzantine music. Our parishes in Bulgaria and Romania likewise have their own magnificent musical traditions. These are based on Byzantine chant, but have their own local refinements and characteristics.

Byzantine music is not required in our parishes or, obviously, in those of our Sister Churches of non-Greek ethnicity, and thus I and others have come under tremendous criticism because of the supposed prohibition of anything but Byzantine music in Orthodox Churches by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the nineteenth century. This supposed edict is presented as though it were a matter of dogmatic dimensions. I have been challenged several times to defend my "laxity" in allowing "heretical music," to quote some crude and supercilious critics.

As many of you know, my predecessor, Metropolitan Chrysostomos, while he preferred Byzantine chant and Greek in services at our monastery (where we still honor his policies), demanded that services be done in the prevailing language of the parishioners and in the musical tradition of the parish, allowing for some percentage of them to be done in the languages and music of those not in the majority. I endorse and adhere to his thinking as pastorally sound and Orthodox.

As most of you also know, I was a student of Metropolitan Chrysostomos at Princeton, and he became my spiritual Father when I became a monk, as well as co-founder with me of the St. Gregory Palamas Monastery. He taught me what writing skills I have, edits and corrects many of my writings, sermons, and letters to the faithful, and has my respect, even concerning matters on which we may disagree. I take into account his guidance when I may take a course of my own, since it gives me a necessary balance.

Thus, at long last steeling myself to take on certain critics of our musical policies, 
I asked His Eminence to write a paper on the subject for "Orthodox Tradition." He objected, as usual, pointing out that he was not a theologian, knew nothing about chanting, was too old to write logically anymore, and was uninterested in the issue (all quite untrue). He also said that in retirement he had no interest in getting involved in "witless contentions." Despite his strong refusal, in a few days he produced an article beyond my expectations. It will appear in the upcoming issue of "Orthodox Tradition" in January 2016, the first number in our thirty-third of continuous publication. 

I have promised His Eminence that I will shoulder any blow-ups and outraged reactions to his article. I do so with every expectation that any balanced, fair-minded individual willing to learn and not to teach will listen. (Today, everyone in the Church is quite willing to teach and talk authoritatively, but not anxious to learn and change.) Those who will explode and the many naysayers who will stand up to defend their own points of view (simply because they like what they believe) I will ignore, as is my habit. I do not have the patience of Metropolitan Cyprian, who will enter into a dogfight, make his point, take his licks, and walk out of it. I cannot do that.

Therefore, I am sending out to our diocese, in advance of its publication next month (when it will reach a far broader audience), His Eminence's essay. I hope that on this day, when we celebrate the memory of a Saint who is known for his gentleness and forbearance, except in the case of Arius, I will provoke no one's anger by presenting an essay that simply tells the truth in the context of pastoral sobriety, the catholicity of the Church, and in the face of coarse ideas that unfortunately prevail in our days.

With the blessings of St. Nicholas, our Father among the Saints and our model for gentleness and true zeal for the Faith, may we find in His Eminence's careful scholarship reasons to avoid contentions and arguments and embrace a catholic, open, and reasonable view on matters that should not be used to divide us.
   
The article:




He went to Princeton?  Really?  Wow!
Is this the other shoe?  Or is this an attempt to worm back what he
lost with his suspension idea.
From the title it looks like the latter.
I can't read all the blah blah blah.  Is this good?  or not?
~ Joanna


Whatever his ulterior motivations are the kernel of what they are saying is that they are pushing ultimately for mixed Slav and Byzantine usage or ultimately to all Slav usage. He parses and parses the language and intent of the encyclical of the Holy Synod of Patr. Anthimos in the 19thCent condemning the incursions of westernized 3 and 4+ harmony into parishes in the patriarchal diaspora http://gocportland.org/1846PatriarchAnthimosEncyclical.pdf as if to say it has no authority. 
I do not know where he is going with this ball however my instincts tell me it is not a good place.
~recipient 


Double-talking manipulative untrustworthy unfit unwanted cause-of-grief bishops.
~ Joanna


I honestly don't know exactly where they're driving the bus or why but alienating their assets would be just...plain...stupid.  That seems to be the tack they are taking.
This seems like the sort of gas lighting techniques that M Ephraim and the Boston crowd pulled. Feed the ignorant American convert minions their σκατα on a shingle and keep their heads spinning.  Can't believe that they didn't study from the same playbook  Κύριε ελέησον.
~recipient 


All the more need for them to be exposed.*  They get away with it
because people are afraid, afraid of sinning.  The suspension story
needs to be told.   Hiding it just lets them do more damage.
Considering  how this article is being "dispensed" – meaning that this
is not any kind of edict.  And it is not either being offered on the
internet, at least not so far.
Checking the Etna website
and clicking on "New on the Site":
I see that still today (12/22/15) that article is not showing on the internet.
One advantage for Etna to publishing the article in the OT is that
puts it under the copyrights of the magazine.  Also, Etna has to have
some exclusive articles for their OT readers.  So it is not too
surprising that the article would not be on the internet.  But Etna's
choice of how to publish this article is revealing.  It is only being
shown to people they KNOW revere their words enough to PAY to read
them.  This is a select audience.
Consider:  Most people are not going to care much about it.  They
might find the information interesting, but nobody is going to see it
as a threat to their parish choir.  Nobody, except a very few.  I really
think that article was written for those few,
who we already know are Etna's target for harassment and revenge.

Notice that Etna invites input, comments, even contrary opinion from
their select audience.  (showing their Phony humility, for one thing.)  I think they
specifically hope to hear from the few.  And I hope they are disappointed
(get no response).  The devil rarely has only one egg in his basket, so
even if they don't get a response from the few – they can still hope to get input from
anyone who might side with them.  And if they hear from opposition in the same
parish as the few , then Etna has hit the jackpot.

It is true that the priest acts in the stead of his bishop, so maybe
the bishop does have the right to rule the parish kliros.  But a good
bishop would give this authority to the parish priest.  An analogy
would be that a parent has the right to go into his child's bedroom
and arrange the child's personal book shelf to be patterned after the
family library, but a good parent would let his child arrange his
books his own way.   The priest should be the one to determine the parish
kliros and to deal with opposition within his parish.  If a complainer
goes over the priest's head to the bishop, then a good bishop might express
his personal opinion agreeing with the complainer, but would tell the
complainer that their priest has the final word.   This is the best
way to keep peace in the parish and not cause division – it is common
sense I'm certain the Etna bishops do not have.

People do send me materials from that forum emailing from time to
time.  And Etna sends me the OT magazines even though I never
subscribed, (most of them sit unopened on a shelf), so I could post
something about this on the RRb.  But I don't know how to do it.  Most
of the readers would not get it.  If there were a link to the article
on the Etna site, it would be easier.  I'm just going to archive it
for now. 
~ Joanna

_____________________
*  The Suspension Story:
Nativity of the Theotokos feast day 2015 Etna bishop Auxentios served heirarchial liturgy at the Nativity of the Theotokos Cathedral in Portland.  He brought with him Fr. Akakios and Nun Justina.  After the service, at the agape meal, Etna bishop Auxentios announced to everyone present that he was putting their priest, Fr. Constantine Parr, under suspension because his beard is too short and because he, in disobedience, is refusing to sue his employer for the religious right to grow a full beard.  The priest appealed to the GOC synod which 5 weeks later ruled in favor of the priest.




"If we have a good priest (or bishop, we give thanks to God.  If a bad one, we endure him."
- old Russian saying