By Abbot Tryphon, March 20, 2017
The veneration of the Holy Virgin in the Ancient Church
All the early reformers, including Luther and Calvin, believed Mary to be Ever Virgin. The practice at the time of Jesus was to refer to all cousins as siblings, so none of the early Christians believed Mary had born any children other than Jesus. Furthermore, the veneration of the Virgin did not begin with Rome, but began in the Early Church. The problem with our protestant brethren is that everyone has become an authority, so the teachings and practices of the Early Church have been forgotten, replaced with the mess that followed with individual interpretation of the Scriptures.
When we do not have Holy Tradition and Holy Scripture held side by side in importance we go astray. Thus the key to Orthodoxy’s claim to being the Ancient Apostolic Church preserved in all her purity can be seen in her insistence that Holy Tradition has kept our way of worship, and our doctrine unchanged from the foundation of the Church. There was no need for change, for the Church knew the truth of the words, “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3)”.
The ancient practice for the veneration of the Holy Virgin can clearly be seen in the prayer found in Egyptian papyrus fragments from the year 250:
we take refuge
Mother of God;
may our petitions
not be abandoned
but from danger
It is liberating to discover we need not try to figure out the meaning of the Bible on our own, for the Church serves as our guide to understanding the scriptures. There is, therefore, no need to try and rediscover Ancient Christianity for this modern age, and we can avoid the prideful arrogance of thinking we have discovered the teachings and practices of the Early Church. We need not try to decipher the meaning of the Bible, for we need only look to the Church for the truth that has been preserved from the very beginning. We thus can say with certainty that we keep to the Faith of our Fathers. The veneration of the Holy Virgin Mary is but one example of our unbroken connection with the Ancient, Apostolic, Catholic Church.
With love in Christ,
~Abbot Tryphon, The Morning Offering, https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2017/03/the-holy-theotokos/.