Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Onion Dome: where calendar is everything

An amusing take from the Onion Dome on being a bit calendarocentric.

The Sacred Cenobitic Stavropegial Hesychastic Apophatic Peripatetic Monastery of the Sacred and Life-Giving Calendar is located on the Greek Island of Periphrenitis, just off the Golden Horn. On April 1 (Orthodox Style) the community celebrates its patronal feast: The Universal Exaltation of the Sacred and Life-Giving Calendar. Two years ago, the monastery became the site of the historic 24th Ecumenical Council, where the heresy of the Pseudo-Neo-Julian (but really papal-filioquist) Calendar was anathematized along with several of the community's neighbors.

The celebration is attended by faithful from all around the globe, who travel great distances to pray at the world's only Orthodox monastery. This year the number of worshippers is so great that the brotherhood is contemplating the construction of an addition to the chapel, currently located in a garage. Dr. Vladislav Morass, author of numerous definitive Orthodox theological books and articles, was recently baptized at the monastery. "I'm so glad to have finally found the true Church," he said.

The service of the All-night Vigil culminates with the singing of the newly-composed Akathist Hymn to Sacred and Life-Giving Calendar. Wafting through the windows along with clouds of incense, the heart-rending strains of the hymn can be heard throughout the streets of Periphrenitis: Rejoice, thou who containest twelve months! Rejoice, thou who truly hast 365 days! Rejoice, (except for on leap year, which is calculated without regard for the deceptive and apostate motions of this vain world)! Rejoice, for thou preservest the Patristic Astronomy! Rejoice, for thou disregardest the sophistries of the papal astronomers! Rejoice, firm bulwark against the filioque, which is implicit in Latin astronomy! Rejoice, thou who grantest unto the faithful cheaper egg nog! (etc, etc)

When asked whether the community's stance on the calendar change of the 1920's had not degenerated into "hemerologolatry" Abbot Exacustodian [Throckmorton, PhD,BS,MDA,ATM,DDT] replied in the negative: "Only someone infected with the false western pagan phronema (theological term meaning "outlook") of the platonized Franks could think such a thing. This is what happens to those who have not been illuminated, and yet try to examine the calendrical mysteries with their fallen minds. And to think that this sort of thinking goes by the name of 'common sense' in our day! Of course we do not worship the calendar. Rather, we honor the calendar with a relative veneration. This veneration passes over to the prototype of calendars -- the form of the calendar if you will, which is an image of the True Calendar, which is an image of Eternity. How can we expect to arrive in Eternity if we do not venerate the correct calendar? How can we discern the signs of the times if we don't what time it is? Woe to you, Jerusalem, for you have missed the time of your visitation by thirteen days. Truly, those who venerate a different calendar have fallen into darkness and shall perish eternally, along with most of the people praying here tonight."

But one source of grief overshadows the celebrations this year, and that is the recent loss of communion with the neighboring community of the Four Holy Bodily Humors, a brotherhood dedicated to the faithful preservation of the Patristic Biology, without which, according to Abbot Pansophistikos [Himerologitis], the Orthodox mindset cannot be preserved in this age of apostasy. Fr. Pansophistikos is celebrating the Feast of the Calendar in his own chapel this year, together with faithful from almost every hemisphere.

Pansophistikos regrets the recent separation, but says that it couldn't be helped. "We had a good relationship with them, but the Abbot fell into such delusion that he stopped saying 'te-ri-rem.' (Maybe only funny if you know about kratemata. Compare to tra-la-la - often used to make the music match the words as filler.) Now none of the monks there say 'te-ri-rem' according to the revealed and Apostolic tradition of saying 'te-ri-rem.' How do they expect to get through the aerial tollhouses without saying 'te-ri-rem?' But we shall keep the traditions of the Fathers without addition or subtraction. Keeping them without astronomy is not enough."

And in a similar story...

In a controversial move, certain Eastern European churches have announced that they have formed a commission to study the feasibility of moving from the Old calendar to the Chinese calendar.

The Aztec calendar was also suggested, but it was believed that using the Chinese calendar could help the churches tap into emerging market growth in China.

Calendar usage has always been a controversial topic in Orthodox circles.

"It's a pretty confusing topic," said a professor of religious studies at Hellenic College. "You see, the Old calendar refers to the Julian calendar. The new calendar refers to the Revised Julian calendar, but even then, the term ‘new' doesn't make much sense since we use the Gregorian calendar normally, so the term that I prefer to use is the New Old calendar."

The professor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that he has been hired as a consultant by the churches to assist in the calendar deliberations.

"I think that the Chinese calendar meets all the criteria that we need. It's also ancient, it's equally cumbersome, and it's also been used in a communist country."

Churches using the New Old calendar have not stated yet whether they are considering this move, as it has been a development primarily in Old Old calendar churches. However, a few ranking members of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship campus ministry have been lobbying hard for adopting the Gregorian calendar, like how the Orthodox Church in Finland has done.

"Look, I respect the traditions, but the fact of the matter is that both the Old Old calendar and the New Old calendar sometimes put Holy Week when formals are going on. It's really cutting into my drinking time," said the OCF treasurer at the University of North Carolina.

Conversely, a certain Fr. Vasiliy denounced the move as "outrageous", showing that this debate shows little chance of settling down soon.


  1. Alex Riggle hits it out of the park again!

    Tears, I tell you! TEARS!! :)

  2. I thought the thing about the calendar being an image of eternity was just a joke here, but I ran into the argument online. TILT! time is not eternity. A calendar cannot be an image of eternity.

    hope that helps in arguing with such people.

  3. I find this humorous, as a Greek Old Calendarist, but also sad because I realize that there are so many who just willfully misunderstand the issue.

    The Calendar Change was deliberately implemented to foster the heresy of Ecumenism. That's why it's rejected, as a tool of heretics and a banner for them to march under.

    It's really that simple.