from Monomakhos Blog –
Is heresy far behind? One would think so, because these directives indicate that we don’t really believe that the Chalice contains the real Body and Blood of Christ.
Archbishop Elpidophoros Lambrianides of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, implemented some significant changes to our Tradition. Troubling changes. Everything from how we commune, to how we venerate the icons, greet one another, engage in fellowship, to participating in Divine Liturgy has been modified.
Though he specified these were “temporary” changes, it’s hard to understand why he would move forward with them now, after the lifting of the restrictions in the outside world. This leaves one to wonder if what we’re seeing really is just “temporary”. After all the hard work it took to draw up these directives, what’s to say this isn’t the “the new normal”. Viruses aren’t going to go away.
We have listed some of the changes below (for the complete directive, please click on to the link below):
Communion can only be offered to the faithful following the conclusion of a Divine Liturgy (which the laity will not attend[!]) and it must be done via appointment. Because appointments can only be made for individuals or families that have been living together for the duration of the lock-down, this would exclude any and all Orthodox family members who were previously quarantined elsewhere or are returning home after caring for another family member.
H’ors d’oeuvres trays will replace the communal basket of bread to discourage the touching of the antidoron, though there is little evidence to suggest the virus can be contracted this way.
The doilies are a nice touch, perhaps we can get into the catering business?
The communal spoon is to be replaced with multiple spoons and instead of venerating an icon with a kiss, we are told to bow or make a sign of the cross.
The laity is to be excluded from attending Divine Liturgy, purportedly per the City of New York. Monomakhos is unaware of any New York City mandate restricting people from participating in the Liturgy, as this is the same as “going to church” for anyone else, but this was the explanation given by the Archdiocese for this rule.
We are to drop the kiss of peace we offer to one another in fellowship. In fact, there is to be no fellowship among the laity both in or outside the Church.
The parish halls are to remain closed. At all times, the faithful must maintain social distancing. At the conclusion of their “personal prayer time”, the faithful are to exit the building and return directly to their vehicle without congregating or lingering.
So, in addition to wearing masks, being sanitized and tracked, standing “X” number of feet away from each other, having to make appointments for communion, not sharing spoons, not venerating the icons with a kiss, and forfeiting fellowship both before and after services, we also cannot participate in the Divine Liturgy.
No one in the history of Orthodox Church has worshiped this way EVER.
The entire thing flies in the face of our Holy Tradition: “that which is ‘handed on’ from one generation to another. In addition to the witness of Faith in the Scripture, the Orthodox Christian Faith is celebrated in the Eucharist; taught by the Fathers; glorified by the Saints; expressed in prayers, hymns, and icons; defended by the seven Ecumenical Councils; embodied in the Nicene Creed; manifested in social concern; and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, it is lived in every local Orthodox parish. The life of the Holy Trinity is manifested in every aspect of the Church’s life and the Church, as a whole, is the guardian of the authentic Christian Faith which bears witness to that Revelation.” https://www.goarch.org/-/teachings-of-the-orthodox-church.
The question now becomes this: Are we going to allow this or not? At the very least, these new rubrics are a violation of the traditional Orthodox formula: “lex orandi, lex credendi.”
Is heresy far behind? One would think so, because these directives indicate that we don’t really believe that the Chalice contains the real Body and Blood of Christ. If it were, they wouldn’t be turning themselves into pretzels to protect us from it and from the Church itself.