Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Congratulations Patriarch Kyrill
Congratulations to HH Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and All Russia who was elected to the Patriarchate this evening.
Of the various Eastern Churches the Russian Orthodox Church appears to have the most interest in liturgical matters. Of course the Russian Church learnt the bitter consequences of artificial liturgical reform in the seventeenth century. Patriarch Nikon basically decided that the Russian service books had been corrupted as they were at variance with the contemporary Greek ones. In reality the Russian books were more traditional and the Greek ones had been revised. Nikon imposed the Greek books and was met with fierce resistance. There are strong parallels with reform of the Roman liturgy in the twentieth century except the Russian resistance was more dramatic with people even being martyred in defence of the old books. Some of the differences between the books have been explored by Paul Meyendorff in 'Russia, Ritual and Reform'. Overall the relationship between the pre-Nikonian books and the revised ones has a strong reflection in the differences between the Sarum missal and the Roman ones of 1474 and 1570.
Thankfully, with the unification of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Outside of Russia, some 'Old Believer' parishes and a bishop coexist in harmony with users of the 'modern' books and indeed even some Western Rite parishes using the Sarum liturgy all under the omphorion of Patriarch Kyrill.
Patriarch Kyrill is, I understand on good authority, a fan of English Real Ale.