Abbot Tryphon: “Bastions of Ethnic Heritage”

Here is a great (and relatively short at roughly six minutes, yet still profound) homily by Abbot Tryphon. He speaks about how the Orthodox Church needs to repent of being “ethnic bastions” that can be alienating for those who may want to become Orthodox.

Bastions of Ethnic Heritage

Of course, as an immigrant myself, I can understand something of both sides of this issue. New immigrants want to keep much of their ethnic heritage because it is something that helps them to feel “home” when they are somewhere so foreign. The surrounding society often makes the simple and yet alienating command: “Conform!”

I think Abbot Tryphon is right that, ethnically, many Orthodox congregations have been too inward-looking. However, I think a balance can be struck. Perhaps the Orthodox congregations can be a tool for integration on equal terms. It will no longer be the mass of a foreign society against the individual (or small commune) of the immigrant, but a sphere of equality and mutuality. A place for immigrants and native-born people to come together in unity for the Divine Liturgy. A place “in between” as it were. I think, in many ways, this would be only too natural for Orthodoxy as the Divine Liturgy places us somewhere “in between.”


~ by crossingthebosporus on July 12, 2012.

One Response to “Abbot Tryphon: “Bastions of Ethnic Heritage””

  1. The Abbot is right. If other Western women encountered what I did when I attended the only (Russian) Orthodox Church in a 120 mile radius, they’d conclude that they’d walked into a Russian club where it was the Russian way or the highway – not the Lord’s way.

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