"Eastern Presuppositions" and Western Liturgical Renewal (click title)
by Robert Taft, S.J.
Peter (patron of Rome) and Andrew (patron of Constantinople) embracing!
In this essay I would like to offer some reflections on the dynamics of modern liturgical renewal,
especially in its earlier theoretical phases anterior to Vatican II and in its aftermath. I have always
been intrigued by the interplay of history and tradition, and how they have been employed, indeed
exploited, for the purposes of promoting ecclesial agendas. I shall concentrate specifically on how
my own area of specialization, eastern liturgy, has been exploited in the modern western liturgical
movement and the reforms of the Roman rite leading up to and consequent to the Second Vatican
Since I am an historian, and historians tell stories, let me begin with one. The periodical Petrayki
Ekklesia, official organ of the Greek Orthodox Eparchy of Piraeus, edited by the Protosyncellus of the
diocese under Metropolitan Kallinikos, whose name is on the masthead, published in March, 1977
a photo of a Greek Orthodox priest celebrating the Orthodox eucharist versus populum at an altar
placed on the floor of the nave in front of the traditional iconostasis of the enclosed Byzantine
sanctuary. The accompanying blurb states: 'The liturgy was celebrated in the center of the church
in the ancient way (sto kentro tou Naou kata ton archaiprepi tropo)" (1)
More important than this fact is the method of argument: startling liturgical innovation unheard
of in any eastern tradition is justified by appeal to ancient tradition--just as was done in the
western liturgical movement to support the versus populum position. That the facts may not justify
this appeal to the past is irrelevant, just as is totally irrelevant the appeal to the past among those
in the Catholic west today who controvert the versus populum position by trying to show it was not
in fact as traditional in antiquity as its promoters would claim.
In either case, the facts are beside the point. The dynamics involved have nothing to do with
conclusions from liturgical history. Rather, it is a question of seeking precedents in earlier
tradition for what one has already decided to do. We are dealing, in short, with the strategies
reformers employ to claim authority for their views.
Eastern Catholicism at Vatican II
This is the intellectual context in which I would like to consider the role of early and eastern
liturgy in the Roman rite liturgical reforms carried out under the mandate of Vatican II. Anyone
old enough to remember those heady days knows of the role played by the Melkite Catholic
bishops at the Council. Courageous, intelligent, innovative leadership was of course not limited to
the Melkite bishops. Two things were, however, peculiar to the Melkites at Vatican II: first, the disproportion between the conciliar leadership they exercised and their numbers--one patriarch and a mere sixteen bishops awash in a Latin sea; second, the truly remarkable imaginative and universal vision they showed.
In addition to being among the first to state categorically that the Council should avoid definitions
and condemnations, the list of important items of general import on the Vatican II and
postconciliar agenda that the Melkite bishops were the first to propose is simply astonishing:
liturgy in the vernacular; eucharistic concelebration and communion under both species in the
Latin liturgy; the permanent diaconate; the establishment of what ultimately became the Synod of
Bishops held periodically in Rome; the Secretariat (now Pontifical Council) for Christian Unity;
new attitudes and a less offensive ecumenical vocabulary in dealing with non-Catholic Christians,
especially the Orthodox churches; the recognition and acceptance of eastern Catholic communities
for what they are, distinct churches," not just Indian reservations called "rites," an ecclesiology
ultimately canonized by the Council documents concerning the eastern Catholic churches.' (2)
The rest is, of course, history.
But it would not have been history had the Council fathers, overwhelmingly Roman, not eastern
Catholic bishops, not been receptive to these proposals. How they became so is the result of a long
process of maturation, comprising two fundamental phases: a perceived need, and the search for
solutions consonant with tradition.
The first, the perceived need for liturgical change and renewal, is obvious to anyone who was alive
at that time. Present-day nostalgia for what is inaccurately referred to as the Tridentine rite is the
luxury of those who, not having been around at that time, do not have their thought processes
inconvenienced by such things as facts. The need for liturgical renewal was obvious to everyone at
Vatican II except the foolish. What interests me here is the second point: the strategies the
reformers used as they went about it, and especially the role played by eastern liturgy in this
The first thing to note is that the Vatican II "preferential option" for the east was by no means
something one could have automatically anticipated. A prime mover of the modern Catholic
liturgical movement, Prosper Gueranger of Solesmes (1805-1875) treated eastern liturgy with
derision and contempt. Chapter IX of his monumental Institutions liturqiques is full of outrageous statements like: "One must note in the Greek liturgy a particular quality which admirably denotes the degradation of the Church that employs it. This quality...is a crude immobilism that renders it impervious to any progress.... The Greek Church has become impotent at renewal in its own core, since schism and
heresy have paralyzed it at the heart. (3) In brief, the eastern rites are the liturgical "families of a
Gueranger's tirade, of course, had nothing to do with the east, as is clear from the peroration of
his indictment of all things eastern: "In the light of the evils of Christianity in the east, the
churches of the west should hold strongly to the liturgical unity which alone has been able not only
to deflect, but even render impossible, the schism and heresy which led to those evils." (5) That
gives away the game: Having decided that the dioceses of France should abandon their particular
neo-Gallican liturgical usages in favor of the Roman rite, Gueranger chose to slander the east in
order to firm up his plaidoyer for uniformity.
THE MYTH OF EASTERN LITURGY
With all this negativity at the very origins of the liturgical movement, what could have induced the
Council fathers of Vatican II to turn eastward for positive paradigms to imitate? The answer, I
think, is what I would call "the myth of eastern liturgy."
The philosopher Karl Popper said the world as we know it is our interpretation of observable facts
in the light of theories of our own invention. In other words, we invent our world even while we
think we are just observing it and reporting on it. Of nothing is this truer than of the western use of eastern liturgy. I have often been tempted to write a book entitled Inventing Eastern Orthodoxy, in which one chapter would have to be "Inventing Eastern Liturgy." For the western study and exploitation of eastern liturgy has gone through several phases, each taking as its point of departure not anything in eastern liturgy, but the felt needs of the viewer.
The process began in the sixteenth century. The first serious studies and translations of eastern
liturgies were apologetic in intent, done mostly by German Catholics actively engaged in the
Reformation upheaval, like Georg Witzel (d. 1573), Johannes Cochlaeus (Dobeneck) (d. 1552), and
the Dominican Ambrose Pelargus (Storch) (d. 1561). (6) Their aim was to defend Catholic
theological positions with ammunition from the east. (7)
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the baton passed to France and Italy, In the period of
what David Knowles called "the great historical enterprises"--the projects of the Maurists like
Jean Mabillon and of the Jesuit Bollandistes in Brussels (8)--and, for eastern liturgy, the
Dominican Jacques Goar (d. 1653), Jean Morin (d. 1659), Isaac Habert (d. 1668), bishop of
Vabres, Eusebe Renaudot (d. 1720) in France; and in Rome, Leo Allatios (d. 1669), a Greek from
Chios, and two related Maronites, Joseph Simon (d. 1768) and Joseph Louis Assemani (d. 1782).
But by the middle of the eighteenth century things had begun to sour, when the presumed
superiority of Latin liturgical usages, famously formulated in the Praestantia ritus latini of
Benedict XIV's brief Etsi pastoralis (May 26, 1742), was actively fostered by the papacy of the day. (9) We have already seen how this was later exploited by Prosper Gueranger in his fight for the Romanization of the liturgy in France: disparaging eastern liturgy became a means of enhancing Roman usage.(10)
Less than two generations later, in the debacle of World War I, the Benedictine-fueled Catholic
liturgical movement will turn Gueranger's equally Benedictine revival romanticism on its head,
and Catholic enthusiasts like the Benedictines of Amay/Chevetogne, among them Olivier
Rousseau, one of the early historians of the liturgical movement, will produce an equally romantic
lyrical vision of eastern liturgy that has lasted more or less until our own day. (11)
My point in reviewing all this is not to sketch a history of the (largely western) study of eastern
liturgy (though there is need for one), but simply to evoke the complications and pitfalls that stand
in the way of any serious attempt to analyze closely any slice of the human cultural reality. This
should not deter us; it should, however, induce us to proceed with care, and without the customary
superficiality with which profound matters are usually treated by those innocent of cultural
history and the hermeneutical necessities it imposes.
Western Needs and Eastern Liturgy
With this background, let us return to our status quaestionis: What have eastern liturgies
contributed to the contemporary western understanding and renewal of Christian worship? In his
recent excellent article in Worship, Frederick R. McManus, one of the "greats" of liturgical
renewal in the United States, unwittingly carried out on me a preemptive strike. (12) I was in the
process of putting my thoughts together on this subject when his article arrived to steal some of
In that article, McManus describes the Vatican II liturgical renewal's "fresh breadth and
flexibility" as flowing "from a genuine return to evangelical and patristic sources." (13) The
Vatican II reform was not just an updating or aggiornamento, but a return to the "venerable
traditions of the early post-biblical centuries." (14) That is what made the reform an organic and
traditional development out of the existing tradition, and not a modernist revolution, as some of
the contemporary ignorant try to portray it. The mandate of Sacrosanctum Concilium was that the rites "be restored to the vigor they had in the tradition of the Fathers" (no. 50). Therein lies not only the solution, but also the problem. As McManus goes on to show, Pius V used the same language in 1570 in the liturgical restoration following the Council of Trent, when he spoke of restoring the Missale Romanum "to the pristine norm of the holy Fathers." (15) For Pius V as for Vatican II, the issue was not, of course, a sort of conservative archeologism, seeking to return to an irrecoverable past. Rather, as McManus so well formulates it, "There is no commitment to one century or other, but only a search for the best sources and the best Christian thought, especially in the first few centuries. It is a matter of restoration and recovery, scrutinizing the past precedents for what can be pastorally sound liturgy in the present." (16)
I think this is not much different in spirit from what I said some years ago on the same topic: "In
liturgical renewal the work of the historian is to remove obstacles to understanding produced by a
misreading of the past. Historical scholarship cannot tell the church what it must do. It can only
help the church to see what it could do if those in the pastoral ministry deemed it feasible." (17)
Does this mean that history provides us models for imitation? Not necessarily; for the church is
never guided by a retrospective ideology. The past is always instructive but never normative. What
its study, like all study, should provide is an understanding of Tradition, that essential continuity
that can legitimately be labeled "Tradition" with a capital "T," riding above the ebb and flow of
the shifting tides of "traditions" with a small "t," Tradition is not history, nor is it the past.
Tradition is the church's self-consciousness now of that which has been handed on to it not as an
inert treasure, but as a dynamic principle of life. It is the church's contemporary reality
understood genetically, in continuity with what produced it. The very basis of the church's
pastoral activity is to re-present, faithfully but afresh for each new circumstance and age, the will
and message of its founder not only at its point of origin, but at every moment of the continuum at
which that will and message have been manifested.
So we study the history of Tradition not because we are interested in reviving the past, but in
order to promote a contemporary understanding of Christian life in terms of its origins and
evolution, an understanding that challenges myths and frees us from the tyranny not just of any
one frozen slice of the past, but also from the tyranny of the latest clich6, so that we can move
ahead to solutions suitable for today in faithful freedom, faithful to living Tradition that is always
beholden to but never prisoner of the past.
Catholic Romance with the Christian East
It is in this context that we must understand the modern western Catholic romance with the
Christian east and its liturgies. I believe the west has tended to define eastern liturgy in terms of
what it perceives itself as lacking. It would be easy to make a list of things in the pre- and
post-Vatican II Roman Catholic liturgical renewal that were directly inspired by the east: the
restoration of Holy Week and the Easter Vigil under Pius XII; liturgy in the vernacular; the
Spirit-epiclesis in the new anaphoras; eucharistic concelebration; communion under both species; the permanent (and married) diaconate; the recomposition of the ancient unity of Christian initiation in the rite
of Christian initiation of adults; revisions in the ordination and confirmation rites; and, the (in my
view largely unsuccessful) (18) attempts to restore the liturgy of the hours.
It would be equally easy to show that what was being done was not so much an imitation of
existing eastern usage, as deciding what should be done on the basis of several factors, above all
perceived pastoral need, and then finding justification and support in patristic and eastern
precedents as interpreted--even reinterpreted--in the light of those perceived present needs.
There is of course nothing whatever remarkable about such a process. What the west did with the
east is what historians do with the past: they interpret it in the light of present aims and needs. In
other words, the western view of eastern liturgy, the commonplaces of its virtues, are simply a
mirror of our own deepest longings. The qualities we identify in eastern liturgy are those we think
the west has lost.
Olivier Rousseau of Amay-Chevetogne, one of the first historians of the liturgical movement,
wrote: "Among Catholics it is a truism that the Orthodox Church has preserved the liturgical
spirit of the Early Church, and that it continues to live this spirit, to drink from it as from its
purest source.... So there can be no question of a 'liturgical movement' in the Orthodox Church.
This Church has never departed in its piety and its offices from the liturgical spirit of the Early
Church, to which it has always remained faithful." (19) Rousseau was writing in 1944, towards the
end of World War II, when the liturgical movement among francophone Catholics drew much of
its inspiration from contacts with the Orthodoxy of the Russian emigration that had found refuge
in France in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1918. This wave of Catholic romanticism for the east so impressed the more naif Greeks that Zoe in Athens published a book entitled Nostalgia for Orthodoxy, (20) anthologizing citations from western authors in praise of Orthodox liturgy and spirituality. But of course this book missed the whole point. Catholics then and now who have become entranced by eastern liturgy were and are not seeking a "return" to an Orthodoxy to which they had never belonged.
That is the same mistake Catholics used to make before the birth of Catholic ecumenism, when
they thought the Orthodox had to "return" to Rome, as if they had ever "belonged" to Rome in
the first place. Present day Orthodoxy in no way represents "the past" of western Christianity,
whose roots are as equally apostolic and autonomous as those of any eastern church.
Rather, these western Christians were engaged in "imagining" an Orthodoxy, just as modern
Greece likes to "imagine" that it is the sole repository of the classical hellenic heritage, (21) and
just as Edward W. Said showed, apropos of the Middle East, that nineteenth-century western
orientalists "imagined" an Orient that is not a place but an idea, an idea that is basically an
invention of the European orientalists. (22)
All this is nothing more than the movement known as romanticism, part of humanity's ongoing
attempt to recreate for itself a better present out of an imagined ideal past, perhaps out of the fear
that, having lost yesterday, we have no today.
Dross Among the Gold
The romantic vision of eastern liturgy is based on several presuppositions, the essentials of which
are an idealization of "the Golden Age of the Fathers" and the spirit of its liturgy, the suspicion
that the west has lost this spirit, and the supposition that the east has (23) preserved it intact. But
in fact, the "Golden Age of patristic liturgy" is itself a creation of the same romanticism. When
one reads what the fathers have to say about liturgy, one sees that even in those presumably
halcyon days that gold was mixed with dross. A few anecdotes from my "Golden Age" file should
suffice to dispel this myth.
John Chrysostom in Antioch (before 398), (24) Ambrose in Milan (339-397), (25) Augustine (d.430) in North Africa, (26) and Caesarius of Arles (503-542) (27) all bemoan the alcoholic vigils of their clergy and flocks. Augustine even had to admonish the newly baptized youngsters not to
show up drunk at vespers on Easter evening! (28) Chrysostom in Constantinople (398-404) accuses his congregation of roaming around during church services; of either ignoring the preacher (30) or pushing and shoving to get nearer to hear him, (31) when not bored or downright exasperated with him;(32) of talking, especially during the scripture lessons ; (33) of leaving before the services are over; (34) and, in general, of causing an uproar and acting as if they were in the forum or barbershop-or worse still, in a tavern or whorehouse (35)-his words, not mine. The women cause distractions by the way they deck themselves out in finery, makeup, and jewelry. (36) The youth, whom Chrysostom calls "filth rather than youth," spend their time in church laughing, joking, talking, he says. (37) The large crowd at the Easter Vigil is more a mob than a congregation, he tells us. They come to church like they go to the baths or the forum, without devotion or spiritual profit. "It would be better to stay at home," the exasperated Chrysostom concludes. (38)
The way the sexes behave in church just exacerbated the general scandal of church-going in
Constantinople, according to Chrysostom. The presider greets those in church with "peace," but
the reality he has to face is more, he says, like "all-out warfare" everywhere. "Great is the tumult,
great the confusion here in church. Our assemblies differ in nothing from a tavern, so loud is the
laughter, so great the disturbance, just as in the baths, in the markets, with everyone shouting and
causing an uproar... [In church] we behave more impudently than dogs, and pay as much respect
to God as to a whore.... The church ... is no different from the forum... nor probably even from the
stage, from the way the women who assemble here adorn themselves more wantonly than the
unchaste ones there. Hence we see that many profligates are enticed here by them, and if anyone is
trying or intending to corrupt a woman, I suppose no place seems better than the church. (39)
"For indeed," he continues, "if one could see what is said by men and women at each synaxis, you
would see that their talk is filthier than excrement." (40) Chrysostom says things were so bad they
needed a wall in church to keep the men and women apart! 941) Similarly, Augustine in North
Africa complains that in church the men move in and out, chattering and making dates with their
lady friends, (42) as indeed Augustine himself did before his conversion, according to his own
So there was no "Golden Age of patristic liturgy" except in our daydreams. Even if there had
been, present-day eastern usage certainly has not preserved it--indeed, it has preserved some of the
very abuses the fathers of that supposed "Golden Age" railed against with force, such as the
decline in frequent communion. Far from being a bastion of immovable tradition, preserving intact the liturgy of apostolic times, the east was the main source of change, responsible for
practically every single liturgical innovation from Jesus until the Islamic conquests, which stifled
this remarkable creativity.
But of course all that is beside the point; for we are dealing here not with past facts but with
present perceptions. These perceptions tell us not about the past, nor about the east, but about
ourselves. So the only relevant question is: Why has the western liturgical movement, itself a
product of nineteenth century romanticism, like the Benedictine revival, the Oxford Movement,
and so many other aspects of western religious culture of the day--hy has it had an ongoing
romance with the Christian east? In other words, what do the liturgies of the east tell us about
Witness of the East
Time will permit me to select only a few of those qualities we perceive eastern liturgy as possessing
in ways that the west lacks. Since they have been expressed before, they will appear commonplace,
but that does not make them any less true. I can only offer, en toute simple, a personal witness, the
witness of one who after a lifetime of study has lost all romanticism and illusions about the
Christian east, but whose personal piety has been profoundly stamped by a lifetime of praying and
studying according to its liturgical rhythms.
1. Eastern liturgy balances a high Christology with a tender devotion for the eminently knowable,
human, kenotic Christ. East and west have different images of Christ. The liturgies of the Christian east remain indelibly marked by the trinitarian and Christological controversies of the period of the first seven councils, and certain liturgical attitudes current in the contemporary west remain totally alien to the
eastern liturgical spirit. For the Christian east, Christ remains the awesome Pantokrator, before
whose sacred mysteries the worshiper bows down in reverential awe. But Christ is also the philanthroposlchelovekoljubec, the one who loves humankind, loved us, indeed, unto death on the cross. He is the kenotic Jesus of Russian piety, the Jesus of Philippians 2: 6-11, "who, though his state was divine, did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself (ekenosen) to assume the condition of a slave" This text is emblematic of Slavic Orthodox piety, a piety both distinct from and--in my view--more balanced than that of the Greeks, who reserve their emotional devotionalism for the Mother of God and the saints. (44) The exquisite dialectic of this Philippians text, moving back and forth between Jesus' divine glory ab aeterno, his self-abasement, and his glorification by the Father, mirrors perfectly the tension in the Byzantine liturgy between Christ as both Pantokrator and Philanthropos-Theos.
Among the Slavs this awesome Byzantine vision of Christ-Pantokrator is strikingly balanced by the
Slavonic Canon to the Most Sweet Jesus (Sladchaishchemu Gospodu nashemu Iisusu Khristu) in the
Slavonic Book of Hours or Ierejskij Molitvoslov, a devotional text that cedes nothing to the intimate
love for Jesus expressed in western devotion to the Sacred Heart, as Joseph Ledit showed clearly
enough in his little book on the Byzantine liturgical theme of the wound in Christ's side. (45)
The sources of this liturgical Christology, at least in the Byzantine cast, is the focus of the liturgy
on the paschal mystery, which is not just resurrectional, but comprises the entire passover of Jesus
from death to new life. I say the Byzantine east, because Syrian (especially East-Syrian) and
Armenian Christology is more radically incarnational, and as such its liturgical piety shares with
the Christian west the centrality of Christmas. But I do not need to repeat here what I have
already written elsewhere on the paschal orientation of Byzantine worship.
Though there is nothing here to which the Latin Christian would not subscribe, I do not think
contemporary western Christological piety is as successful in holding these realities together in
dynamic tension. The west tends toward Christological schizophrenia, a sort of post-mortem
Nestorianism. Its piety ricochets from an excessive familiarity to an excessive
neo-Chalcedonianism, from Christology-from-above to Christology-from-below. This is just a
roundabout way of saying that western piety tends to be historicizing, and its familiarity with the
human Jesus leaves the God-man receding back into the divinity, as Joseph Jungmann described
in his famous essay on Teutonic Arianism. (47)
2. Eastern liturgy is radically trinitarian.
Western Christology runs the danger of disturbing the trinitarian structure of Christian piety. All
Christians, of course, believe in the Holy Trinity. But here I am talking about a community's
actual faith consciousness and its liturgical expression, which in the liturgies of the Christian east
is, in my view, incomparably superior to what was traditional in the Latin west. Recent attempts to
enrich the pneumatological and epicletic structure of western eucharistic prayers have not fully
remedied this problem, which is one not of texts but of mentality. Here, too, of course, one must avoid cliches and know what one is talking about, The decidedly Christological stamp of the old Roman Canon is a sign of great antiquity. This eucharistic prayer, obviously formulated before the impact of the late fourth-century pneumatological resolution at Constantinople 1 (381 A.D.), reflects a primitive euchologic theology much older than almost any extant eastern anaphora except Addai and Mari and the no-longer used UrChrysostom and UrBasil, pace the common myth that everything eastern is automatically older.
Nevertheless, eastern prayer is explicitly and consciously trinitarian in ways that western liturgical
prayer is not. I am not talking about phrases, the repetition of trinitarian formulae like doxologies,
but about the liturgie profonde, which in the east simply cannot be regularly prayed without the attentive worshiper becomin imbued with a piety that remains trinitarian through and through. That, in my view, is simply not true of the west, where the Holy Spirit, though professed, is just not a conscious operative factor in a radically Christological liturgical piety.
Eastern liturgy retains a sense of the absolute and awesome holiness, transcendence and
unknowability of God, who is to be worshiped for that reason alone. Nothing is so foreign to the western mentality as the ancient prayers of the Assyro-Chaldean tradition which simply pray to God without asking him for anything, as in the beautiful Collect of the Lakumara Hymn: "For all your benefits and graces to us past recompense, Lord, we confess and glorify you without ceasing in your triumphant Church full of all helps and all blessings: for you are the Lord and creator of all, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forever." (48)
Such "liturgical indifference" is refreshing in the face of the incessant western mania to thematize
and instrumentalize liturgy for its own ends, so that one can "get something out of it." Like the
reply of George Leigh Mallory when asked why he climbed Mount Everest--"Because it is there,"
he answered"--the Christian east prays to God simply because he is. One constantly hears in the
west that people do not go to church because "they don't get anything out of it anymore." What
one "gets out of it," let me repeat what I have said on other occasions, is the inestimable privilege
of glorifying almighty God.
For the Christian east, the church's liturgy is not something we appropriate to our needs by
reducing it to the level of our own banality. Rather, it is the church's ideal of prayer to which we
must rise. We are not the measure of the liturgy; the church's liturgy is the yardstick that
4. Eastern liturgy is holistic.
Eastern liturgy has created and retained a synthesis of ritual, art, church, design, and symbolic
structure that may at times seem inflexible, but which permits it to do what liturgy is supposed to
do without the self-consciousness of present-day liturgy in the west. For liturgy serves no purpose
Like a living language, it cannot be reduced to sociology or anthropology; it cannot be invented or
created; it simply is. Although it has a history, as I am well aware, having spent my life retracing
it, that history cannot be accelerated and overriden. In the west, the Protestant Reformation tried
to do so, with results that are available for all to see.
Here too, if the west would learn something pastoral from the east, it must stop getting tripped up
in its own cliches. Liturgy should avoid repetitions? Repetition is of the essence of ritual behavior.
Liturgy should offer variety? Too much variety is the enemy of popular participation. Liturgy
should be creative? Indeed--but whose creativity? Most contemporary western liturgical creativity
is just one more cover for a neo-clericalism. The liturgical "creators" do not mean the creativity of
the People of God, but of the celebrant and of the liturgical-establishment professionals.
There is a sameness and a familiarity and a repetitiveness that is at the very basis of day-to-day
human culture. Men and women who wish to gather to praise God must learn a similar regularity
and consistency, or their prayer will not survive. Our people are sick to death of professional
coteries constantly reinventing the wheel.
So liturgy must change, will change, has always changed, just as living languages like English
change. But they do not change just because some self-proclaimed liturgist gets up one bright
morning and decides to change them. The process is much more subtle and unique, and follows its
own laws and rhythms, not yours or mine.
5. Eastern liturgy offers an escape from the "medieval impasse."
The more I study liturgy and liturgical theology across the east-west divide, the more I am
convinced that the spectre of late medieval western scholasticism still haunts us. Let me say from
the start that the western middle ages and its scholasticism deserve to be treated with the same
scientific objectivity and respect as any other historico-cultural period. I have no patience with
those who raise the shibboleth of scholasticism without ever having read a line of Peter Lombard,
Albert, Thomas, Bonaventure or Scotus--indeed, would not know enough Latin to do so even if
their life depended on it. I was educated in scholastic philosophy in the days when every student
had his own copy of the Summa in Latin, and read it. So I am not the enemy of any period in cultural history. Such an approach to history is fatuous in the extreme. But the more I study the history of east-west relations from the late scholastic period on, the more I am convinced that it furnished an ever more aggressive Catholic west with a narrowing of vision that rendered it incapable of understanding the east.
It is enough to read the extraordinary incomprehension and arrogance with which the Latins
treated the Armenians of Cilicia during the Crusades. The Armenians, always more open and
lacking the chauvinism and bigotry of the Byzantines after Trullo (692 A.D.) and of the medieval
Latins, were quite prepared to accept communion with the Latins provided their integrity was not
violated. Anyone who reads that history with openness and objectivity can only conclude that the Armenian Apostolic Church, when confronted with the obtuseness of the Latins, was fully justified in
rejecting a communion which threatened not only their integrity, but the very survival of their
age-old tradition. (50) The contentions in large part concerned the liturgy and its theology. One
problem for the Latins were the liturgical intercessions for the Mother of God and the saints in the
Armenian anaphora, where, as in the Byzantine Chrysostom anaphora, one continued to pray
"for" Mary and the saints indifferently, along with the rest of the departed. Here as elsewhere,
modern studies have shown that the Armenians had preserved the ancient tradition, (51) and that
the Latins were simply wrong.
The same can be said for the hylomorphic theory of the sacraments, one more Latin novelty
foreign to the undivided church of the first millennium. The issue is not that the Latins do not have
the same right as everyone else to theologize about their own tradition, and to explain it as they
wish within the parameters of the common apostolic faith. The issue is the tendency of the Latins
in the late scholastic period to elevate their own medieval departures from the common tradition
into a norm, then use it to challenge those who had simply continued to believe as they always had.
6. The East is our best reminder that Tradition is integral and indivisible.
Any view of "Tradition" has to take account of the whole Tradition, not just its currently accepted
"official" expression. I think the way liturgical theology is presently done too often violates this
principle, marshaling what agrees with preconceived conclusions and ignoring everything else.
That just will not do; and that is a message both western and eastern students of liturgy need to
Problems in the history of the theological tradition are resolved not by western references to the
Council of Trent or eastern flights of fancy concerning "sobornost" and "eucharistic
ecclesiology," salted with a couple of commonplaces from some patristic anthology of long
overworked proof-texts, but by the careful, close reading of all the sources, and attempting to fit
all the tesserae into the mosaic.
If nothing visible on earth is so divine and heavenly as liturgy, nothing is so down to earth as the
hard daily grind of digging out and painstakingly analyzing line by line all its textual sources.
In the modem theological enterprise, there is no longer "confessional scholarship," but just plain
scholarship. Ideology is the enemy of all understanding. That does not mean that we abandon our
faith; that Catholics cease to be Catholics and Orthodox or Protestants cease to be what they are.
It does mean that the modern theological enterprise is scientific and common, seeking the truth
wherever it is found and regardless of whom it pleases or displeases, or whose theses it confirms or
weakens. Lex orandi legem statuat credendi is an adage so profound and so true that we have
barely begun to plumb its depths. We cannot turn it on its head and make it the hostage of an
Between Myth and Reality
Before concluding, I hope you will allow some personal reflections from one who has played no
small part in western scholarship on eastern liturgy over the past generation, but who long ago
abandoned the contemporary clich6s with which the liturgical life of the Oriental churches are
usually described. Though I am an academic Orientalist who loves the Christian east and has dedicated his entire scholarly life to the study of its traditions with the express aim of understanding them
sympathetically and fostering and preserving them, I am not one of those romantics who considers
the east--for heaven only knows what imagined reasons--to possess some sort of traditional
superiority, a deeper spirituality, a more ancient and traditional monasticism, a more faithfully
Those are nothing but cliches, most of them long discredited among those who have some real
historical knowledge and practical experience of the Christian east. I am also one who resolutely
rejects the Religionsgeschichtliche approach to Christian liturgy, resisting all attempts to reduce its
study to anthropology or ritual studies. That being said, however, I hold with equal firmness that Christian liturgy, eastern or western, must be studied with the same seriousness, objectivity, and historico-critical distance with which men and women of science study anything. Objectivity and distance do not mean without faith and love. They do mean without hypocrisy, self deception or dissimulation, and without spinning the webs of myth (here I use the term in its pejorative modern sense) and neo-gnosticism behind which the contemporary Orthodox east sometimes tries to hide. Only in modern times have Christians tried to study eastern liturgy objectively, for itself, and on its own terms, and across the entire spectrum of its history and in all its manifestations, rather than as a source for something else. From my own study, I have gleaned some firm conclusions that I think the Catholic west needs to hear.
Every coin has two sides. I have mocked the notion of "the Golden Age of patristic liturgy."
Everything I said was true, but it was partial; for I neglected to mention the truly great preaching
which gave rise to thunderous applause; the psalmody which resounded through basilicas like the
roar of the sea; the wonderful hagiopolite Holy Week and Cathedral Offices so lovingly described
by Egeria; the continuous prayer of the desert monks that so captivated the visiting Cassian; and
the stunning stational processions of Constantinople that stupefied the Arab prisoner Harun
ibn-Yahya at the court of Byzantine Emperor Basil 1 (867-886). (53)
POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE
If there is a positive side to the negative coin, there is an equally negative side to the positive coin.
If I have highlighted some virtues of the east by contrasting them with some defects of the west, I
assure you I could continue the discourse in the other direction, for there is plenty, even in matters
liturgical, that the east could learn from the west.
Like all of us, eastern Christendom and its liturgies exist on that thin line of the dialectic between
myth and reality, between what we want or pretend to be, and what we are. If eastern liturgies
present us with the picture of a glorious ideal, that ideal is inadequately realized. I already cited
Olivier Rousseau, who said "there can be no question of a 'liturgical movement' in the Orthodox
Church," because "the Orthodox Church has preserved the liturgical spirit of the Early Church,
and continues to live by this spirit, to drink from it as from its purest source. This Church has
never departed in its piety and its offices from the liturgical spirit of the Early Church, to which it
has always remained faithful." (54) That is the myth. The reality, however, is quite different, as is
perfectly clear from anyone who reads some of the young Orthodox activist priests in
post-communist Russia, or diaspora writers like the late Alexander Schmemann.
Eastern Christianity finds itself in a profound crisis from which it has not yet found the means to
extricate itself, and even more preoccupying is the refusal of so many to recognize this situation, or
their attempts to distract attention from it by lashing out, with a chauvinistic xenophobia
altogether too traditional in Russian and Balkan history, against enemies, real or imagined, who
are presumed culpable for whatever is wrong.
Eastern Christianity has not yet learned to face modernity, a lesson learned in the west only with
great pain and many failures. The inroads of secularism, the disarray of Protestantism in western
Europe, the precipitous decline in religious practice among Catholics, the stupefyingly vapid
superficiality of so much of modem western culture with its consequent banalization of much in
Catholic religious and liturgical culture and the resulting conservative backlash--all these are but
a short list that could be extended almost ad infinitum. How much of it could have been avoided is
moot: second-guessing history is always a fatuous exercise.
In addition to the failures, important lessons have been learned, important values acquired,
hopefully with some permanence. Despite fearful reactions and attempts to turn back the clock,
such efforts surely will not succeed, since Vatican II Catholics have succeeded in facing the
It is impossible to overemphasize how important it was to do that, if Christianity is to have a
future in the modern secularized world. For Christians, the only "ideal period of liturgy" is the
one they are living in. A nostalgic vision of Christian tradition was a basic error of the Protestant
Reformation, the notion that there was some ideal evangelical past to which one could return.
Some lovers of eastern liturgy make the same mistake, playing the same "pick a century" game.
The only difference is that they pick the classic patristic age of late antiquity, whereas the
Protestant Reformers opted for apostolic times. But Paul tells us in Second Corinthians 6:2,
"Behold, now is the acceptable time ... now is the day of salvation."
Why, then, this renewed western nostalgia for a better liturgical past, this idealization of Trent or
the east? I think that Latin Catholics, largely ignorant of the riches of their own living tradition,
make the mistake of looking elsewhere for what they already have in their own closet. I am
dismayed at how utterly incapable contemporary western Catholics are of understanding and marketing the riches of their own tradition. Stuck in the late middle ages and stymied by this medieval captivity, the Catholic west has stalled the great movement of patristic ressourcement initiated in postwar France by authors like Congar, Danielou, and de Lubac, the heroes of my youth. (Mine too--Gerard Serafin!)
How many ever dip into a volume of the great collection Sources chritiennes or 7he Fathers of the
I say: Turn again to the fathers and mystics at the root of the unparalleled Latin tradition.
Meditate on the Rule of St. Benedict, and the great Bernard of Clairvaux. Read de Lubac's
Exegese mideivale. Let us rediscover where we came from before it is too late. The west does not need to turn east, nor does it need to return to a medieval or Tridentine past. It needs to return to its roots. Latin Christianity is just as apostolic, ancient, traditional, patristic, spiritual and monastic as that of the east. I am not really convinced all Catholics know and believe this. That does not mean we have nothing to learn from the east. One can learn from everyone. If the eastern churches are beginning only now to face the problems of modernity, it is the fault of the circumstances in which these churches have been forced to live, either as minority confessions in an at-best tolerant Islamic world, or for the past three generations under Communist persecution.
But it would be wrong to think that eastern Christianity does not have within itself the spiritual
means to cope with modernity. As we have seen, eastern liturgy--and liturgy is simply the mirror
to eastern Christianity's inner world--has preserved from the storehouse of its past elements that
are not only desperately needed, but also of great appeal to modern men and women: an
attachment and profound rootedness in what is best in its own past; a deeply reverential spirit; a
sense of the utter transcendence and holiness of God; a high Christology; the only truly integral
and effective pneumatology in Christian history; an emphasis on the local church; and the
consequent synodal or sobornal structure of church koinonia and governance.
But the east also needs the modern and typically "western" virtues of flexibility; the ability to cope
with change as a law of our modern culture; objectivity, openness, fairness, self-criticism; and a
sense of the unity of modern global culture in which no one is or can remain an island. If
Christianity is to survive as a viable lifestyle attractive to modern men and women, it will not be as
an obscurantist, anti-intellectual culture of folklore and ritualism, sustained by the rejection of
modernity and change.
This is true for all of us: the choice is there for those able to make it. In the meantime, what the
west needs to do is not turn nostalgically to the east for solutions to its own problems, but to
penetrate once again into the riches of its own storehouse, to bring out from it things both old and
new. A Christian culture that produced Chartres and Mont Saint Michel, Cyprian, Augustine and
Cassian, Benedictine monasticism and Citeaux, Francis of Assisi and Dominic, Ignatius of Loyola,
John of the Cross, Charles de Foucauld, the two Saint T(h)eresas and Mother Teresa, and Popes
John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II, does not have to apologize to or imitate anybody except
1- Peiraiki Ekklesia
70:177 (March, 1997), 74. Those who watched on television the Pope's historic visit to Romania in 1999
will not have failed to notice that the Orthodox patriarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday, May 9, in the
public square, was celebrated versus populum. The so-called "Innovators" or Ohnovlentsy tried to
introduce the same practice into the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1920s, but the radical stance of that
Soviet controlled splinter movement led to its rejection by the Orthodox despite the fact that, as is
usually the case with self-proclaimed reformers, some of its ideas were not without merit.
2- See Robert F. Taft, "Eastern Catholic Churches (Orientalium Ecciesiarum)," in Adrian Hastings, ed.,
Modern Catholicism: Vatican II -and After
(London: SPCK/New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 135140, esp. 135-36.
3- Prosper Gueranger, Institutions liturgiques, 2nd ed., 4 vols. (Paris/Brussels: Societe generale de
librairie catholique, 1878) 1:226-27
4- Ibid., 1:229
5- Ibid., 1:23 1
6- See Anselm Strittmatter, "Missa Treverensis seu Sancti Simeonis Syracusani," Studia Gratiana 14
(1967), 495-518, esp. 508, note 9; Angelus Walz, "Pelargus, LThK 8:251-2; idem, "Ambrogio Pelargo a
Trento," in Il Concilio di Trento e la riforma tridentina. Atti del Conpengo storico internazionale. Trento
2-6 settembre 1963 (Rome: no publisher given, 1965): 11, 749-66.
7- In this same context we should place the 1563 editio princeps of the Apostolic Constitutions (Venice:
Ex officina Jordani Zilati, 1563) by the Spaniard Francesco Torres (d. 1584). Torres, whose name is
usually Latinized as Franciscus Turrianus or Torrens was born at Herrara in the diocese of Valencia, c.
1509; assisted at the Council of Trent as papal theologian; entered the Jesuits in 1566; and died at Rome
in 1584. See Marcel Metzger, ed., Les Constitutions apostoliques, vol 1. SC 320 (Paris: Cerf, 1985), 75;
Giovanni Mercati, "Note on the Manuscripts of the Apostolic Constitutions used in the editio
Princeps,"Journal of Theological Studies
15 (1914),453-54. Torres later published the first Latin translation of the same invaluable document
(Antwerp: Ex officina Christophori Plantini, 1578) See Carlos Sommervogel, Bibliotheque de la
Compagnie de lesus. 11 vols. (Brussels: 0. Schepens/Paris: A. Picard, 1830-1932) 8:115, no. 3.
8- See Paul Peeters, Loeuvre des Bollandistes. Subsidia Hagiographica 24 (Brussels@ Soci@t6 des
9- Giuseppe Maria Croce, La Badia Greca di Grottaferrata e la rivista "Roma e l'Oriente." 2 vols.
(Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1990): 1, 13-15, note 60.
10- Beyond the Catholic world, which is the focus of our interest here, by the end of the same nineteenth
century we witness another swing of the pendulum, as the Anglicans and Orthodox enter the field. The
Oxford school of eastern liturgy develops as part of the Oxford Movement for re-catholicizing the
Church of England (Hammond, Swainson, Brightman, Conybeare). More important, the great Russian
Orthodox school is born, the first serious and systematic study of liturgy in the Orthodox world apart
from Petro Mohyla and the Reform of Nikon in the seventeenth century.
Names like Almazov, Dmitrievskij, Krasnosel'tsev, Muretov, Orlov, Petrovskij, Skaballanovich, Turaev,
have rendered it hazardous today to undertake any serious scientific study of Byzantine liturgy without
knowing Russian. On this school, see the excellent new study of Peter Galadza, "Liturgy and Life: 'I'he
Appropriation of the 'Personalization of Cult' in East-Slavic Orthodox Liturgiology, 1869-1996, Studia
Liturgica 28 (1988), 210-23 1.
The Russian Orthodox school was not without its limitations, determined by ideological a prioris.
Elements in Italo-Greek manuscripts which departed from Orthodox usage were sometimes viewed as
"latinizations," when, in fact, as we know from our modern studies of the history of the Byzantine rite,
periphery manuscripts far from the center simply preserve older usages. I detail all this in Robert F. Taft,
The Byzantine Rite. A Short Histoiy (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1993); also available in French: Le
rite byzantin. Bref historique (Paris: Cerf, 1996), and Italian: Storia sintetica del rito bizantino. Collana
di pastorate liturgics 20 (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1999).
11- In postwar Germany, however, where the Baumstark school of comparative liturgy began to use
texts rather than rose-colored glasses as the lenses through which to view eastern liturgy, things began to
acquire a more realistic perspective. On Baumstark and oeuvre, see Fritz S. West, Anton Baumstark's
Comparative Liturgy in its Intellectual Context (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1988);
idem, The Comparative Liturgy of Anton Baumstark (Bramcote: Grove Books, 1995); Comparative
Liturgy: Years after Anton Baumstark (d. 1948). International Congress at the Pontiftcio Istituto
orientale/centro di Studi Ezio Aletti, Rome, 25-29 September 1998, Gabriele Winkler and Robert F. Taft,
eds., Orientalia Christiana Analecta (Rome: Edizioni Orientatia Christiana, forthcoming); Robert F. Taft,
"Anton Baumstark's Comparative Liturgy Revisited," to appear in the volume just noted; idem,
"Comparative Liturgy Fifty Years after Anton Baumstark (d. 1948): A Reply to Recent Critics," Worship
73:6 (November 1999), 521-540. As the writings of West have shown, Baumstark, too, had his
ideological presuppositions, and his work must be viewed in the context of the intellectual history of his
12- Frederick R. McManus, "Back to the Future: The Early Christian Roots of Liturgical Renewal,"
Worship 72 (1998), 386-403.
13- Ibid., 386.
14- Ibid., 387.
15- Pius V, Quo primum, July 14, 1570, cited in ibid., 390.
16- lbid, 400.
17- Robert F. Taft, "Response to the Berakah Award: Anamnesis," Worship 59 (1985), 304-325, here
311-314; reprinted as chapter 15 of idem, Beyond East and West: Problems in Liturgical Understanding
(Rome: Edizioni Orientalia Christiana, 1997; second, rev. enlarged ed).
18- See Robert F. Taft, "The Divine Office: Monastic Choir, Prayer Book, or Liturgy of the People of
God? An Evaluation of the New Liturgy of the Hours in its Historical Context," in Rene Latourelle, ed.,
Vatican II: Assessment and Perspectives Twenty-five Years After (1962-1987), 3 vols. (New
York/Mahwah, NJ: Pautist Press, 1989) 2:27-46; reprinted as chapter 14 of Taft, Beyond East and West.
In this case the lack of success was--as I explain in that study--due in part to the reformers' refusal to
accept recommendations based on eastern precedents.
19- Olivier Rousseau, OSB, Histoire du mouvement liturgique. Lex orandi 3 (Paris: Cerf, 1945], 188;
English translation, The Progress of the Liturgy (Westminster, Md.: Newman Press, 1951).
20- Elias D. Mastrogiannopoulos, He Nostalgia tes Orthodoxias (Athens: Zoe, 1956); English trans.,
Nostalgia for Orthodoxy (Athens: Zoe, 1959).
21- See for instance Richard Clogg, Aniatolica. Studies in the Greek East in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
Variorum Collected Studies Series (Aldershot: Variorum, 1996).
22- Edward W. Said, Orientalism (London: Routlege Kegan, 1978).
23- This is an idealization of which I, too, have been guilty. See, for example, Beyond East and West,
24- Homi!y on the Martyrs, PG 50:663-4 (= CPG 4359); Robert F. Taft, The Liturgy of the Hours in
East and West: The Origins of the Divine Office and its Meaning for Today (Collegeville: Liturgical
Press, 199'3; second, rev. ed.), 170.
25 -De Helia et ieiunio 62, CSEL 32.2:448-49 = PL 14:719AB.
26- Confessions VI.2.2, CSEL 33:114-16.
27- Sermo 55, 1-5, CCSL 103:241-44 = SC 243:476-85.
28- Sermo 225, 4, PL 38:1018. See Sermo 252, 4, PL 38:1174; In ep. Joh. tract. 4, 4, PL 35:2007; see
Sermo 252, 4, PL 38:1174.
29- In Mt hom. 19, 7-9, PG 57:283-5.
30- In Mt hom. 32133, 6, PG 5 7:3 84-5.
31- Sozomen, Historia ecclesiastica
VIII, 5.2, GCS 50:357,1 I15 = PG 67:1528BC; a less circumstantial account of the same in Socrates,
VI, 5.5, GCS neue Folge 1:317 = PG 67:673B. On the location and posture of the preacher in this period,
see Alejandro Olivar, La predicacion cristiana antigua. Biblioteca Herder, Seccio de teologia y filosofia
189 (Barcelona: Herder, 1991), 72636; see Chrysostom, In Ioh hom. 3, 1. PG 59:37.
32- De sacerdotio V, 8, Jean Chrysostome, Sur le sacerdoce (Dialogue etHomilie), ed., Anne-Marie
Malingrey. SC272 (Paris: Cerf, 1980), 302-5 = PG 48:677.
33- Origen had made the same complaint over a century earlier. See In Gen hom. 10, 1; In Er hom. IZ 2,
GCS 29:93, 263-64. Caesarius of Aries complains of the same abuse repeatedly. See Sermones 55, 1, 4;
1; 73, 1-5; 78, 1; 80 1; CCSL 103:241-44, 303, 306-9, 323, 328-89 = SC 243:476-85; 330:180-81,
34- This problem was evident also in Antioch. See Chrysostom, De baptismo Christi 4, 1, PG 49:370-71
CPG 4335), and in Egypt, at least according to Ps. Eusebius of Alexandria (5-6th c.), Sermo 16 De die
PG 86:416 (= CPG 5525); see Francois N. Nau, "Notes sur diverses homolies pseudoepigraphiques, sur
les oeuvres attributes A Eusuebe d'Alexandrie et sur un nouveau manuscrit de la chaine contra
Severianos, " Revue de lorient chritien 13 (1908), 406-434. Caesarius in Arles ran out after them,
according to his Vita 1, 27: Passiones vitaque sanctorum aevi Merovingici et antiquorum aliquot, ed. B.
Krusch. Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum III (Hanover: Hahn,
35- See the Chrysostom citations that follow.
36- In Mt hom. 73174, 3, PG 58:677.
37- In Acts hom. 24, 4, PG 60:190.
38- In Acts hom. 29, 3, PG 60:218; see also In Mt hom. 19, 79, PG 57:283-5.
39- In I Cor Hom. 36, 5-6, PG 61:313-14.
40- In Mt hom. 88189, 4, PG 58:780-8 1, see also 676-77.
41- In Mt hom. 73174, 3, PG 5 8:67 7.
42- Enarr. in ps. 39, 8, CCSL 3 8:430-3 1. 43 III, iii.5, CCSL 27:29.
44- On this question see Robert F. Taft, "Russian Liturgy, a Mirror of the Russian Soul," in Studi
albanologici, balcanici, bizantini e orientali in onore di Giuseppe Valentini, S.I. Studi albanesi, Studi e
testi VI (Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 1986), 413-435.
45- Joseph Ledit, La plaie du cote (Rome: Pontificio Istituto Orientale, 1970).
46- For instance, Taft, The Liturgy of the Hours, chap. 17; idem, Beyond East and West, chaps. 3, 8, 9;
idem, Eastern Rite Catholicism: Its Heritage and Vocation (Glen Rock, NJ: Paulist Press, 1963;
reprinted New York: John XXIII Ecumenical Center, Fordham University, 1976/Scranton: Center for
Eastern Christian Studies, University of Scranton, 1988).
47- Joseph A. Jungmann, "The Defeat of Teutonic Arianism and the Revolution in Religious Culture in
the Early Middle Ages," in idem, Pastoral Liturgy (New York: Herder and Herder, 1962), 1 -101. More
recently and at greater length on the same cultural shift, see James C. Russell, The Germanization of
Early Medieval Christianity (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994)
48- Missel chaldeen (Paris: Eglise catholique chaldeenne, 1982), 50; Frank E. Brightman, Liturgies
Eastern and Western (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1896), 254.
49- This answer is often attributed to Hillary, but its true source is the British climber Mallory, who lost
his life on Everest in June of 1924.
50- See Claudio Gugerotti, I riti di ordinazione e la Cilicia armena. Orientalia Christiana Analecta
(Rome: Edizioni Orientalia Christiana, forthcoming).
51- Robert F. Taft, "Praying to or for the Saints? A Note on the Sanctoral Intercessions-
Commemorations in the Anaphora: History and Theology," in Michael Schneider, Walter Berschin, eds.,
Ab Oriente et Occidente (Mt 8, I 1). Kirche aus Ost und West. Gedenkschrift fur Wilhelm N yssen (St.
Ottilien: EOS-Verlag, 1996), 439-455.
52- On this, see Robert F. Taft, "The Epiclesis Question in the Light of the Orthodox and Catholic Lex
Orandi Traditions," in Bradley Nassif, ed., New Perspectives on Historical Theology: Essays in Memory
of John Meyendorff
(Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans Publishing, 1996), 210-237; idem, "Ecumenical
Scholarship and the Orthodox-Catholic Epiclesis Dispute," Ostkirchliche Studien 45 (1996), 201-226. 53
Taft, The Byzantine Rite, 35. 54 Rousseau, Histoire du mouvement liturgique, 188.
55- Henri de Lubac, Exegese medeivale. Les quatre sens de literature, part 1, vols 1-2, part II, vols. 1-2.
Theologie 4 1, 42, 49 (Paris: Aubier, 1959-1964). See Medieval Eegesis. Vol. 1: 7he Four Senses of
Scripture, trans. Mark Sebanc (Grand Rapids, Mi.: W. B. Eerdmans, 1998).
return to Light from the East Page
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