Formation For and Through Liturgy: An Overview of the Liturgical Formation in Contemporary Romanian Orthodoxy


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Uniwersytet Medycyny i Farmacji Iuliu Haţieganu w Cluj-Napoca, Rumunia
Ştefan (Simeon) Pintea
Uniwersytet Babeş-Bolyai w Cluj-Napoca, Rumunia


The very centre and the best expression of the Orthodox Church is its liturgical life. The Liturgy of the Church is a re-presentation or an actualization of the entire divine economy which becomes effective and redeeming in the life of the universe and of the man, in each epoch. Due to the complex history and structure of its liturgy, the Orthodox Church tried to explain it. In the Romanian Orthodox Church, the explanation of the liturgical life varIed through ages; it was influenced by the cultural developments and by the political conditions in the Romanian territories, until, finally, an autochthonous liturgical tradition finally emerged. During the last two decades, the Holy Synod, the central ecclesial authority, expressed an increase preoccupation to intensify the genuine Christian life of the laity and to render them aware of their ecclesial belonging, to make all church members aware that they belong to the Mystical Body of Christ. This preoccupation intends to deepen the liturgical life theoretically but, foremost, practically, by actively involving the laity in a genuine liturgical life. In order to achieve these purposes, several means might be identified: the printing of new, revised and improved service books, by establishing specific commemorative years for essential Christian topics (i.e., Baptism, Marriage, Unction, Eucharist, Confession), through systematic liturgical catechesis, through a more serious formation of the clergy. The present text will try offer a concise systematic review of the background and of the means used by the Romanian Orthodox Church to accomplish the above mentioned goals. This study will include an analysis of the different editions of the service books and their forewords, which frequently explain the text of the edition, the principles used for the revision and the mystagogy of the services; and an analysis of the commemorative years with liturgical topics (e.g., the Holy Cross; Marriage and Baptism; The Anointing of the Sick; Eucharist and Confession; the parish).



11 December 2023


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