Liturgical Gripes: Part V
The "exitus acta probat" when it comes to liturgical duration
The ridiculous amount of tweaking done by convert priests to, as the saying goes, "meet the people where they are at" or to "bring the people to where they should be" is a constant problem in some Orthodox parishes. Here I'm thinking not so much content but duration.
As I mentioned before, there are two main camps:
1) Those who want to make parish life resemble as closely as possible the monastic life. This includes, among other things, increasing the length of services.
2) Those who want to make parish life resemble as closely as possible a more "seeker-friendly" Orthodoxy. This includes, among other things, decreasing the length of services.
That reminds me: What's the difference between a terrorist and a liturgical innovator? ... You can negotiate with terrorists.
The irony here is that both the "traditionalists" and the "ecumenists" are missing the boat for exactly the same reason--their ideology has become more important than loving their brethren.
Elder Paisos summed up the issue when he spoke to a group of stunned convert clergy a few years before his death. He said,
"Whether you have a 30 minute Vespers or a 3 hour Vespers doesn't really matter at all. If you aren't praying the offices for the glory of God and if you aren't leading the services for the love of the people then it is all demonic."