Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Epiclesis and the West

Eastern Orthodox priest Fr. J. Guy Winfrey notes that there is something that just isn't right about the ancient Roman Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great as celebrated by the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Orthodox Church:
One of the strangest things that exists in the WRV Liturgy of St. Gregory is an epiclesis following the words of Institution. It simply does not belong. When the WR was first authorized by the Holy Synod of Moscow, they required the addition of the epiclesis in the Mass of St. Peter (the old Latin Canon of the Roman Rite) so as not to scandalize Orthodox who were ignorant of the WR and its authenticity. They made clear that it was not done for any theological cause at all and that the old Roman Canon stood as completely valid as it was.
I am very happy that that Fr. Winfrey posted this because the question of why the Orthodox would have tinkered with something they acknowledged as ancient and venerable disturbed me.

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