The Gravitas of Liturgical Texts

This is a splendid statement from Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Moscow on the Orthodox understanding of liturgical texts. It accords beautifully with the patristic/monastic understanding of the importance of liturgy.

“For an Orthodox theologian, liturgical texts are not simply the works of outstanding theologians and poets, but also the fruits of the prayerful experience of those who have attained sanctity and theosis. The theological authority of liturgical texts is, in my opinion, higher than that of the works of the Fathers of the Church, for not everything in the works of the latter is of equal theological value and not everything has been accepted by the fullness of the Church. Liturgical texts, on the contrary, have been accepted by the whole Church as a ‘rule of faith’ (kanon pisteos), for they have been read and sung everywhere in Orthodox Churches over many centuries …”

(Hat tip to Fr. John Hunwicke who posted this on his blog.)

archbishop-hilarion-alfeyev-of-volokolamsk-vienna

 

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