On "liturgical piety"

…it is difficult to reconcile oneself also to the term ‘liturgical piety.’ In the ordinary usage of words, piety is Christian faith, hope and love, independently of the forms of their expression. Such an understanding is instilled in us by the sacred Scriptures, which distinguish only authentic piety (piety is profitable unto all things – I Tim. 4:8) from false or empty piety (James 1:26, II Tim. 3:5). Piety is expressed in prayer, in Divine services, and the forms of its expression vary depending on circumstances: whether in church, at home, in prison, or in the catacombs, But we Orthodox scarcely need a special term like ‘liturgical piety’ or ‘church piety,’ as if one were pious in a different manner in church than at home, and as if there existed two kinds of religiousness: ‘religiousness of faith’ and ‘religiousness of cult.’ Both the language of the Holy Fathers and the language of theology have always done without such a concept. And therefore it is a new conception, foreign to us, of a special liturgical piety.

If we speak of worship as members of the Orthodox Church, there should be present to us that principle in the understanding of the history of our worship and its present status by which the Church Herself lives. …if we maintain the Orthodox Symbol of Faith, if we confess that we stand on the right dogmatic path, we should not doubt that both the direction of church life and the structure of worship which was erected on the foundation of our Orthodox confession of faith, are faultless and true. We cannot acknowledge that our ‘liturgical piety,’ after a series of reformations, has gone far, far away from the spirit of Apostolic times.
Fr. Michael Pomazansky

…piety is, as it were, the groundwork and foundation of perfection.
St. Basil the Great


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