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Author Topic: OO Churches and Lent  (Read 7646 times) Average Rating: 0
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serb1389
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« on: March 11, 2007, 08:11:11 PM »

What are the practices of the OO churches during Lent? 

What is each Sunday dedicated to, if anything? 

What are the fasting "rules"?

A quick history, or a link, of the development of Lent post-Chalcedon would be helpful as well. 

Any other information you can think of would be great also!  Thanks! 
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2007, 11:31:27 PM »

In the Armenian Church, each Sunday during Lent commemorates something. 

The Sunday before Lent is called The Sunday of Joyous Living, because we recall the time before Adam and Eve sinned.

The first Sunday after Lent begins is The Sunday of the Expulsion, where we recall the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden.

The second Sunday is The Sunday of the Prodigal Son, where we recall that famous parable.

The third Sunday is The Sunday of the Steward.  (Luke 16:1-9)

The fourth Sunday is The Sunday of the Judge.  (Luke 18:1-8)

The fifth Sunday is The Sunday of the Second Coming.  Sometimes it is called The Sunday of Advent.

Our fasting rules are no animal products during the fast and also Holy Week.

A unique thing about the Armenian Church is that during Lent the curtain in front of the altar is kept closed and no one from the congregation takes Communion.  I have no idea if the clergy behind the curtain take Communion because I can't see them.   Smiley  It is one of those things I keep wanting to ask my priest, but I forget.  Maybe Ghazar knows, if someone wants to ask him.

That is not to say that the laity is absolutely forbidden from taking Communion during Lent.  If someone wants to, they can make arrangements with the priest.  Also, if you visit another OO church during that time, there is nothing wrong with partaking there.  It is just that during Lent, the curtain is completely closed and nobody from the congregation partakes during the Liturgy.

No one is quite sure how this custom developed among the Armenians.  One theory is that it had to do with preparing the catecumens before Easter.  In the old days, catecumens got baptized on Easter and prior to that they had to stand in the narthex.  The theory is that it became the custom to allow the catecumens to stand in the main church for the Liturgy during Lent, so that they would learn the Liturgy and know it when they were baptized.  However, because they weren't baptized yet, the curtain was closed so they couldn't see the altar.  Eventually it just became the custom to keep the curtain closed during that time of year, regardless of whether there were catecumens or not.

On Palm Sunday, there is a beautiful service where the curtain is opened.  It is a sort of role playing.  The priest kneels before the curtain and he represents someone who wants entry into God's Kingdom.  A deacon inside the curtain plays the part of an angel inside of heaven.  There is a sort of dialogue chanted between the two.  The gist of it is the priest wants to come in, but the angel won't let him, because heaven is so pure and mankind is so sinful.  However, when the priest argues that Christ has died for us and that sinners who are justified through repentance should be able to enter, the curtain finally opens.  I can't describe what a beautiful and joyous moment that is when the curtain opens.  You really grow lonesome for the altar when you can't see it for 40 days.

During the service, to show that he is knocking at the door, the priest makes a knocking sound (I think three times) using a wooden stick, knocking it against another piece of wood.  I guess this was high tech special effects back in the old days.   Smiley

There is a funny story about that.  A few years back a woman brought her son to the church and wanted the priest to touch her son's lips with the wooden stick he uses for the service.  Evidently, her son had a problem with foul language and she was convinced that would cure him of it.  The priest complied with her unusual request, since the woman stated that such was the custom in her village back in the old country. 
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2007, 07:44:02 AM »

Do you know if the designation of the weeks is the same for all the other OO churches? 

Most of the themes are the same in the EO church as the OO church for Sundays in Lent, we just have them on different days.  For example, the Prodigal Son is BEFORE Lent begins, not during. 

As for the curtain situation, this is very interesting since we were just talking the other day about this in our Liturgics class. 

The priests, I assume, have to commune, so I think its a pretty safe bet that they ARE back there recieving communion.  Otherwise, what happens to it? 

Anyway, we learned the other day that in Byzantine Rite (in the development of it) the curtain didn't exist until the 11th century, and at that point it began to be used and closed, etc.  It was done this way because the piety at that time said that the people were like the animals and could not look upon the consecration of the gifts.  In other words, they wern't good enough to look upon the gifts being consecrated.  So, a curtain was utilized to hide this act from the people. 

I wonder how much this theory is connected to yours? 
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2007, 08:03:47 AM »

Quote
Do you know if the designation of the weeks is the same for all the other OO churches? 


It's not. For the Coptic Orthodox Church the schedule is as follows:

Sunday 1: Seeking the Kingdom.
Sunday 2: Temptation.
Sunday 3: Prodigal Son.
Sunday 4: Samaritan Woman.
Sunday 5: The Paralysed Man.
Sunday 6: The Man Born Blind.
Sunday 7: Palm Sunday.

I'd like to discuss the Coptic practise a bit more extensively, but I'll have to leave that for another time.
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2007, 10:55:11 AM »

In the Syriac Orthodox tradition it is. Malankara (India) also follows the Syriac Orthodox tradition.

Sunday 1 - Sunday of the feast of Cana (Qonte)
Sunday 2 - The Sunday of leper (garbo)
Sunday 3 - Sunday of The Paralytic(msharyo)
Sunday 4 - Sunday of the Canaanite woman (kna`nayto)
Sunday 5 - Sunday of the hunchback woman (kfofto)
Sunday 6 - Sunday of the healing of the Blind man (Samyo)
Sunday 7 - Palm Sunday (oosha`né)

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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2007, 11:38:25 AM »

So far I can see that the 3rd sunday is different in ALL of your traditions! 

Sunday of the Steward
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Sunday of the Paralytic

I understand that many of the OO churches follow different Liturgical rites (East Syrian, West Syrian, Aniochene, etc.) but this is REALLY varied.  Is it because of the different Liturgical rites?  Separate histories/historical development?  These are just my guesses...
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2007, 11:56:13 PM »

As per Syrian orthdox tradition

Sunday 5 is Sunday of Good samaritan
But in malankara (Indian Orthodox)as posted in earlier mail
It is sunday of hunch backed women

ie
SOC
Sunday 1 - Sunday of the feast of Cana (Qonte)
Sunday 2 - The Sunday of leper (garbo)
Sunday 3 - Sunday of The Paralytic(msharyo)
Sunday 4 - Sunday of the Canaanite woman (kna`nayto)
Sunday 5 - Sunday of the Good samaritan
Sunday 6 - Sunday of the healing of the Blind man (Samyo)
Sunday 7 - Palm Sunday (oosha`né)

IOC(MOSC)
Sunday 1 - Sunday of the feast of Cana (Qonte)
Sunday 2 - The Sunday of leper (garbo)
Sunday 3 - Sunday of The Paralytic(msharyo)
Sunday 4 - Sunday of the Canaanite woman (kna`nayto)
Sunday 5 - Sunday of the hunchback woman (kfofto)
Sunday 6 - Sunday of the healing of the Blind man (Samyo)
Sunday 7 - Palm Sunday (oosha`né)




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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2007, 12:23:25 AM »

Certain practices followed during Great Lent in Indian orthodox church-MOSC(Since Indian Orthodox church followes west syrian liturgy it may be same in SOC also , i think)

1.   Food -All animal products and fish is barred
2.   Holy Mass is celebrated only on Saturdays and sundays except for mid- lent    day, 40th day,Moundy thursday, and March 25th
3.    Marriages are not allowed
4.    A big Cross is place on the middle of the Church on Mid Lent day.
5.   Subkono day  on Starting day of the Lent (Day of Recouncillation with all)
6.  Colour of the curtains etc used in the church is changed to Black on the evening of Palm's Sunday to Good saturday evening.

Thomas varghese


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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2007, 09:18:18 AM »

4.    A big Cross is place on the middle of the Church on Mid Lent day.
That's interesting! This seems to be similar to the EO Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross in the middle of Lent.....We were discussing this on another thread...
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2007, 02:53:04 PM »

Certain practices followed during Great Lent in Indian orthodox church-MOSC(Since Indian Orthodox church followes west syrian liturgy it may be same in SOC also , i think)


2.   Holy Mass is celebrated only on Saturdays and sundays except for mid- lent    day, 40th day,Moundy thursday, and March 25th

6.  Colour of the curtains etc used in the church is changed to Black on the evening of Palm's Sunday to Good saturday evening.


What is Moundy?  Is that just a typo for Monday? 

Why March 25th?  Is this a special day in MOSC?? 

We in the EO church also change the colors to black, but on Good Friday through Pascha.  Not necerily on Palm Sunday...

Why Palm Sunday? 
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2007, 04:34:54 PM »

Maundy Thursday - it is the traditional way to refer to Thursday in Holy Week in the English language. It is argued whether 'Maundy' refers to the mandatum or to the practice of giving alms on that day. (I tend towards the latter as traditionally the English king or queen gives alms from the 'maundy purse' on Maundy Thursday - maund, from mendier/mendicare 'to beg' ie, beggar's day.)

I'd be interested to know how the few Malankara Western rite parishes in Goa have their Lent and Holy Week as well.
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2007, 04:53:29 PM »

Coptic Orthodox: Sundays have already been mentioned.

-Fasting: vegan foods only, and traditionally fasting until the 9th hr including water (but each person only what their father of confession allows)

-The Liturgy of St. Cyril (which is a translation and expansion of the Liturgy of St. Mark) is traditionally prayed instead of the Liturgy of St. Basil, though now few churches do this.  It's a more penitential Liturgy

-Daily Liturgies should be prayed, if that's not possible, at least Wed, Fri, Sun.

-Lenten tune used for Doxologies, lots of seasonal responses.

-Don't celebrate birthdays, etc.  Such celebrations are supposed to be moved until after the Resurrection feast if they fall in Lent.

-On the last Friday of Lent everyone is given the anointing of the sick, and on Palm Sunday there's a general liturgy of burial since if someone gets sick or departs during the Holy Week there's no anointing of the sick or funeral allowed, the Church is focused on the Passion, and they've already had their anointing of funeral ahead of time (imagine attending your own funeral!).

What are the practices of the OO churches during Lent? 

What is each Sunday dedicated to, if anything? 

What are the fasting "rules"?

A quick history, or a link, of the development of Lent post-Chalcedon would be helpful as well. 

Any other information you can think of would be great also!  Thanks! 
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2007, 11:59:43 PM »

What is Moundy?  Is that just a typo for Monday? 

Why March 25th?  Is this a special day in MOSC?? 

We in the EO church also change the colors to black, but on Good Friday through Pascha.  Not necerily on Palm Sunday...

Why Palm Sunday? 

March 25th - is the Annunciation to St.Mary ie the day in which St.mary is told about Jesus birth. Even if March 25th is Good friday, the Prayers of Good Friday starts only after Holy Mass( happened in 2006).

It is Maundy thursday(not moundy) the thursday in the holy week

The Colour change is from the evening 6.00 clock of the Palm Sunday(ie when liturgical monday starts as per Syrian Tradition)

Thanks
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2007, 05:13:54 AM »

In the Indian/West syrian tradition another interesting fact is that of Pesaha,  it is a corruption of the word Passover, a liturgy with its special order is celebrated and insted of using leavened bread for the Eucharist, on this particular day unleavened bread is used for the consecration.

Fasting rules used to be quite strictly followed a generation ago, nowdays we abstain from meat and all fish. Earlier milk was not used, coffea and tea was served milkless, it is still the norm in monasteries especially on all Wednesdays and Fridays( although I am not sure if a dispensation in the case of milk has been given), and most who could fasted completely till noon prayers.

The difference in the lectionaries in Malankara and Antioch probabaly comes from the fact that within the West Syriac church there were 2 traditions, one of Aleppo and Antioch which is the norm and the other one from further east of the Monasteries of Mor Mattay and Mor Ozazel over the border in Iraqi Kurdistan. (kevin edgecomes page has all the details).

Also consectrated host from the Eucharist is preserved for week days in a tabernacle, (for the sick and dying), as celebration of the  eucharist on a week day is prohibited.

Also during lent a different form of the daily office is used, the prayers focus more on repentance and forgiveness. Much like the EO we have Shubkono or forgiveness monday(1st monday of lent) which focuses on reconciliation. Sundays Immediately prior to lent remember all departed priests and all departed.

Suraj Iype
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2007, 06:36:04 AM »

Copts do not eat or drink until sunset (as opposed to noon as we do it): basically the Ramadan fast (copied from Eastern Christianity as well it would seem) with the season-long abstinence from animal products added to it. The Copts are probably the best defence today against Muslims who (in many cases, not without good cause) scoff at the notion of a Christian fasting rigorously, or holding to a manner of fasting that qualifies as a real fast requiring effort.
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« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2007, 09:06:48 AM »

Copts do not eat or drink until sunset (as opposed to noon as we do it): basically the Ramadan fast (copied from Eastern Christianity as well it would seem) with the season-long abstinence from animal products added to it. The Copts are probably the best defence today against Muslims who (in many cases, not without good cause) scoff at the notion of a Christian fasting rigorously, or holding to a manner of fasting that qualifies as a real fast requiring effort.

Given the post-sunset feasts (and that isn't even a slight exaggeration) that most of my Muslim acquaintances indulge in during Ramadan, I find it laughable when they try to criticise Christians. I'm fairly sure that adhering to the fasting practices that they do would require very little effort on my part. Of course, I've yet to hear a Muslim scoff at our fasting practices when they've had them explained. Most, in fact, have been impressed and thought that it was harder than adhering to Ramadan.

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« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2007, 12:10:15 PM »

Some take liberties to the extreme once the fast is broken, yes, so I expected someone to comment about that.  And there are others who do not overindulge.  (Likewise, there are those who sleep much of the day to make matters easier, and those who get up at the crack of dawn working tirelessly in the blazing heat [assuming Ramadan occurs in the summer] without a drop of water or morsel of food and who do not necessarily conclude the day with a banquet; I think there is room for making the Ramadan fast easy or difficult.) At any rate, when they scoff, they look at Christians practising in general.  If you consider the world's Christians, including Protestants who do not fast, Western Christians who even when they do fast according to their tradition neither abstain entirely from food and drink for a certain period of time nor extend their prohibition to beyond meat, and Eastern Christians who do not observe the rigours of the fast (either because they are Catholic or because they do not bother -- and yes, though many Muslims also do not observe Ramadan, the common perception here is that amongst Christians there exists a greater proportion of people who do not fast strictly and observe set traditions), then such perceptions amongst Muslims are not surprising.  Of course, this impression of things on their part can sometimes catch them off guard when you explain the strict Eastern tradition to them.  In fact, when I explained the Coptic fast to some of them, which as I said is akin to a Ramadan with abstinence from animal products for the entire season of the fast, and added that we (Eastern Christians in general) have three other fasting seasons in addition to two days of fasting per week throughout the year, they were very surprised, and wouldn't have guessed this given all the time in the world.  Now of course, how many Christians do you know who conduct their manner of fast like this?  Even over here in the Middle East, I can assure you that not many do.  This doesn't help to introduce Muslims to the traditions we have honoured for centuries through practice.

One last note: the variability of fasting rules and traditions amongst the different Christian factions adds to their confusion.
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« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2007, 01:57:50 PM »

In the Armenian Church, each Sunday during Lent commemorates something. 

The Sunday before Lent is called The Sunday of Joyous Living, because we recall the time before Adam and Eve sinned.

The first Sunday after Lent begins is The Sunday of the Expulsion, where we recall the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden.

The second Sunday is The Sunday of the Prodigal Son, where we recall that famous parable.

The third Sunday is The Sunday of the Steward.  (Luke 16:1-9)

The fourth Sunday is The Sunday of the Judge.  (Luke 18:1-8)

The fifth Sunday is The Sunday of the Second Coming.  Sometimes it is called The Sunday of Advent.

Our fasting rules are no animal products during the fast and also Holy Week.

A unique thing about the Armenian Church is that during Lent the curtain in front of the altar is kept closed and no one from the congregation takes Communion.  I have no idea if the clergy behind the curtain take Communion because I can't see them.   Smiley  It is one of those things I keep wanting to ask my priest, but I forget.  Maybe Ghazar knows, if someone wants to ask him.

That is not to say that the laity is absolutely forbidden from taking Communion during Lent.  If someone wants to, they can make arrangements with the priest.  Also, if you visit another OO church during that time, there is nothing wrong with partaking there.  It is just that during Lent, the curtain is completely closed and nobody from the congregation partakes during the Liturgy.

No one is quite sure how this custom developed among the Armenians.  One theory is that it had to do with preparing the catecumens before Easter.  In the old days, catecumens got baptized on Easter and prior to that they had to stand in the narthex.  The theory is that it became the custom to allow the catecumens to stand in the main church for the Liturgy during Lent, so that they would learn the Liturgy and know it when they were baptized.  However, because they weren't baptized yet, the curtain was closed so they couldn't see the altar.  Eventually it just became the custom to keep the curtain closed during that time of year, regardless of whether there were catecumens or not.

On Palm Sunday, there is a beautiful service where the curtain is opened.  It is a sort of role playing.  The priest kneels before the curtain and he represents someone who wants entry into God's Kingdom.  A deacon inside the curtain plays the part of an angel inside of heaven.  There is a sort of dialogue chanted between the two.  The gist of it is the priest wants to come in, but the angel won't let him, because heaven is so pure and mankind is so sinful.  However, when the priest argues that Christ has died for us and that sinners who are justified through repentance should be able to enter, the curtain finally opens.  I can't describe what a beautiful and joyous moment that is when the curtain opens.  You really grow lonesome for the altar when you can't see it for 40 days.

During the service, to show that he is knocking at the door, the priest makes a knocking sound (I think three times) using a wooden stick, knocking it against another piece of wood.  I guess this was high tech special effects back in the old days.   Smiley

There is a funny story about that.  A few years back a woman brought her son to the church and wanted the priest to touch her son's lips with the wooden stick he uses for the service.  Evidently, her son had a problem with foul language and she was convinced that would cure him of it.  The priest complied with her unusual request, since the woman stated that such was the custom in her village back in the old country. 

WoW!

I never heard of not taking communion at of all times during Lent.

This is truely "Armenian" in nature it seems.

Lent is a time of penance and cleansing; thus Holy Communion for many is attainable more so during lent than at any other time of the year.

This trradition is a little scary.

Thanks fpr sharing.

Dcn Amde Tsion
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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2007, 02:33:54 PM »

Some take liberties to the extreme once the fast is broken, yes, so I expected someone to comment about that.  And there are others who do not overindulge.  (Likewise, there are those who sleep much of the day to make matters easier, and those who get up at the crack of dawn working tirelessly in the blazing heat [assuming Ramadan occurs in the summer] without a drop of water or morsel of food and who do not necessarily conclude the day with a banquet; I think there is room for making the Ramadan fast easy or difficult.) At any rate, when they scoff, they look at Christians practising in general.  If you consider the world's Christians, including Protestants who do not fast, Western Christians who even when they do fast according to their tradition neither abstain entirely from food and drink for a certain period of time nor extend their prohibition to beyond meat, and Eastern Christians who do not observe the rigours of the fast (either because they are Catholic or because they do not bother -- and yes, though many Muslims also do not observe Ramadan, the common perception here is that amongst Christians there exists a greater proportion of people who do not fast strictly and observe set traditions), then such perceptions amongst Muslims are not surprising.  Of course, this impression of things on their part can sometimes catch them off guard when you explain the strict Eastern tradition to them.  In fact, when I explained the Coptic fast to some of them, which as I said is akin to a Ramadan with abstinence from animal products for the entire season of the fast, and added that we (Eastern Christians in general) have three other fasting seasons in addition to two days of fasting per week throughout the year, they were very surprised, and wouldn't have guessed this given all the time in the world.  Now of course, how many Christians do you know who conduct their manner of fast like this?  Even over here in the Middle East, I can assure you that not many do.  This doesn't help to introduce Muslims to the traditions we have honoured for centuries through practice.

One last note: the variability of fasting rules and traditions amongst the different Christian factions adds to their confusion.

Of course you know we have nothing to prove to muslims or anyone else. I do get you point.

Teach others that the fast of the Christian is the only true fast to God and that as such each person must make his fast work in him.

Because somebody fasts well with all dsicipline does not mean that they are holy or saved or closer to God than somebody who does not fast well.

Some orthodox do not eat meat or animal products which is good for keeping a fast 'in-part' only, and they are fine with that as the whole fast.

But remember the teachings of our father St. John Chrysostom which is the teaching of the orthodox fast:

Donot only your mouth fast, but also your eyes, ears, feet, hands and ALL members of the body. Let the hands fast by being free of avarice (touching things and handling things that are silly and uneccasary...games, dice, gold, etc.). Let the feet fast by ceasing to run after sin. Let the eyes fast by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful. Let the ear fast by listening to evil talk and gossip (secular music and talk radio and talk shows). Let the mouth fast from foul words, vain speach and unjust criticism. For what good is it if we obstain from birds and fish, but bite and devour our brothers? (fellow orthodox).

Obstain with ALL humility+++

St John Chrysostom


Too many of us beleive that the fast is in the kitchen only. It all over the house.

Why is the TV tuned into comedy shows and action flicks in the den?

Why are our minds busy with the ways of this life?

Why are we shopping in the malls and on line for things we can do without?

Why are we in the movie theatres and on vacation?

Truely today we are not standing like our brothers and sisters, our fathers before us.

America and the lust for the west has removed us from a very holy life we had long gone.

Yes we are still the orthodox christians in 2007; but that is the sad part.

We must re-establish our true faith in us.

This is for all of us.

The Church one fast and we are in that time right now. One day we will all take fully in it (again).

For now....

May we all complete our various fasts in safety and peace.

Dcn Amde Tsion
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2007, 04:00:59 PM »

Of course, this was no attempt to reduce the meaning of the fast to mere externals, but your points are good points, Abounash-Sham'maas.

I am first and foremost concerned about the spirit of the fast not being made visible to those amongst whom we live; I fear that many of us are too lax to focus even on the penitential spirit of the season, much less actively fast (though the latter helps to encourage and propel us towards the former).

In any case, the note on Muslims was tangential; I had wanted to mention the Coptic tradition as it is truly unique in its discipline requiring a complete fast until sunset.  In the Middle East, the Coptic Church is known for being the one that upholds the strictest spiritual discipline.
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2007, 11:25:05 PM »

Do any of you think that Muslim influences have entered into the OO churches?  Especially concerning fasting and prayer? 

I remember going to school with a St. Thomas christian who prayed 5 times a day and fasted from sunrise until sunset.  He also had a Qu'ran and a rug in his room, so maybe he himself was a little confused...

But still, I wonder if any of you think that there was an influence and how? 
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2007, 11:34:29 PM »

Copts (are supposed to) pray seven (not five) times a day (the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, and midnight hour prayers).

I thought the term "St. Thomas Christian" was a very general term relating to any Indian Christian, so the friend you have in mind may not even be OO. Given his apparantly strange behaviour, I probably wouldn't look to his practices as reflecting the standard of whatever Christian denomination (if any) he is part of.
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2007, 02:25:15 AM »

Copts (are supposed to) pray seven (not five) times a day (the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, and midnight hour prayers).

I thought the term "St. Thomas Christian" was a very general term relating to any Indian Christian, so the friend you have in mind may not even be OO. Given his apparantly strange behaviour, I probably wouldn't look to his practices as reflecting the standard of whatever Christian denomination (if any) he is part of.

Just to add, there is a group called "Mar Thoma Christians" who look like Malankara Orthodox, but really are a reformed group.  Some of their own congregants are even confused as to whether they're "Orthodox" or not.

God bless.
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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2007, 04:31:40 AM »

Copts (are supposed to) pray seven (not five) times a day (the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, and midnight hour prayers).


Bahyaat Rab'bak?  I wasn't aware at all, ya zalameh.  I was asked once by a Muslim whether we had clear rules of prayer for laymen.  I didn't think that beyond the practical routine of morning, noon, and night, there was anything set and clear like this even in Egyptian practice.  Ya gamaa`a, intoo il-aqbaat anshat min'na kul'lina.
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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2007, 05:01:29 AM »

The indian practise is prayer seven times a day and not five times,  in the middle east islam may have got influenced by Christianity and not the other way around.

Aserbs friend seems to be a confused guy, indian christians and muslims have very little in common.  Although many are nice people.
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2007, 11:11:17 AM »

He was pretty confused. 

Thanks for the info, all of you!
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« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2007, 10:34:22 AM »

Correct me if I'm wrong please but doesn't the Coptic practice come from "Seven times a day do I praise thee because of the righteous judgments." (Psalm 118{119}:164).

Do any other Churches practise seven daily prayers?
How many do the other Church practise if not seven?
What reasons might be given for this please?
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« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2007, 08:25:29 PM »

I am not sure about the Coptic practice, not being Coptic... Wink

In most Eastern Orthodox churches we do not practice prayer 7 times a day, but rather we have several other practices. 

Generally I would say that the EO church focuses on "Let every breath praise the Lord" and the idea of praying "unceasingly" as the psalms and St. Paul tell us.  So, rather than having a legalistic view of "having" to pray a certain number of times, we are focusing more on the idea that our entire lives are an act of prayer. 

Also, in the Orthodox church we have ~ 8 services which are set aside as liturgical services you could have in a day.  You could do more, but these are prescribed and can be found easily, and practiced in the church. 

Vespers
Midnight Compline
Matins
Liturgy
1st Hour
3rd Hour
6th Hour
9th Hour

And then it starts again.  This is the usual order.  Sometimes the hours get placed before Matins, but that depends on the place. 
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« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2007, 08:40:10 PM »

Well, you pretty much listed the "seven times a day" prayers that we say:

Prime (first hour)
Terce (third hour)
Sext (sixth hour)
None (ninth hour)
Vespers (11th hour)
Compline (12th hour)
Midnight

And then the Liturgy

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Potentially, they can be longer church services with raising of incense, although this is done only in cases of Prime, Vespers, and Midnight.

Now keep in mind, this is not meant to be some legalistic structured "you must do" type of thing.  These are just spiritual exercises.  We as Copts also believe in the concept of praying unceasingly, and I can safely assume the same for any OO (in fact, the idea of "seven times a day" pretty much means to pray unceasingly throughout the whole day, dedicating every hour of the day to God.)

God bless.

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« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2007, 11:04:26 PM »

I have heard that the OO churches do not have certain types of services that the EO churches do. 

For example, I have heard that the OO churches do not have Paraklisis (Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos). 

Do you know anything about this? 

Do you have supplicatory cannons to the Cross, or Christ, or the Powers (Angels)?  (we do so that's why i'm asking). 
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« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2007, 11:06:20 PM »

I totally forgot to ask this earlier: 

What kind of services do the OO churches have during the week? 

In the EO churches we have Great Compline on Monday Nights.

Presanctified Liturgy on Wednesdays (and Fridays in some churches)

Supplications to the Theotokos on Friday Nights (GOA and others). 

Then saturday mornings are usually free, or reserved for Saturday of Souls, and then Sundays are the different Sundays of Lent, etc. 
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« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2007, 11:22:56 PM »

Yes mina is right, this is a spiritual exercise and not a legalistic demand,  the church expects that prayer be unceasing. The hours are reckoned in much the same way in every church I think.

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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2007, 08:59:01 AM »

I totally forgot to ask this earlier: 

What kind of services do the OO churches have during the week? 

In the EO churches we have Great Compline on Monday Nights.

Presanctified Liturgy on Wednesdays (and Fridays in some churches)

Supplications to the Theotokos on Friday Nights (GOA and others). 

Then saturday mornings are usually free, or reserved for Saturday of Souls, and then Sundays are the different Sundays of Lent, etc. 

I think the purpose of what you call the "Great Compline" is generally fulfilled through our Tasbeha (Midnight Praise) services. Our particular chants and tunes of the Tasbeha services usually correspond with the appropriate season.

I'm not sure about the other OO Churches, but according to the Coptic tradition the Divine Liturgy is (if possible) celebrated every day of the week, and hence we have no need of a "Presanctified Liturgy". According to wiki (and I realise it's not the most reliable source so feel free to offer correction where, and if, correction is due):

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, informally Presanctified Liturgy, is an Eastern Christian liturgical service for the distribution of communion on the weekdays of Great Lent. Great Fast (Lent) is a season of repentance, fasting, and intensified prayer, and so the Eastern Church regards more frequent reception of communion as especially desirable at that time. However, the Divine Liturgy has a festal character not in keeping with the season. The Presanctified Liturgy is therefore celebrated instead.

If the above is true, then you may begin to understand why we Copts do not have Presanctified Liturgies, given that the hymns and general character of our Divine Liturgical services generally vary according to the season. In the days of the Great Lent, the hymns and their corresponding melodies mark the Divine Liturgy with a penitential character and somber mood. Our Divine Liturgy only has a "festal character" when performed in "festal seasons" e.g. during the Holy Fifty days of the Resurrection.

With regard to supplications to St. Mary, I guess in the Coptic tradition such is fulfilled in the "Theotokias" of the Tasbeha service (which, I might mention, can be performed any night of the week).

With regard to Saturday mornings, we usually perform Divine Liturgies. Weekend and Weekday Liturgies are slightly different.
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« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2007, 07:33:01 PM »


The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, informally Presanctified Liturgy, is an Eastern Christian liturgical service for the distribution of communion on the weekdays of Great Lent. Great Fast (Lent) is a season of repentance, fasting, and intensified prayer, and so the Eastern Church regards more frequent reception of communion as especially desirable at that time. However, the Divine Liturgy has a festal character not in keeping with the season. The Presanctified Liturgy is therefore celebrated instead.

If the above is true, then you may begin to understand why we Copts do not have Presanctified Liturgies, given that the hymns and general character of our Divine Liturgical services generally vary according to the season. In the days of the Great Lent, the hymns and their corresponding melodies mark the Divine Liturgy with a penitential character and somber mood. Our Divine Liturgy only has a "festal character" when performed in "festal seasons" e.g. during the Holy Fifty days of the Resurrection.


I would say that this explanation is fair.  This is the general sense regarding Presanctified Liturgies. 

I believe John of Damascus was the first to "develop" the Presanctified?  Or John the Dialogian...I always get them confused for some reason.  I'll look it up when I get a chance, or you could feel free to do it too. 

Quote
With regard to supplications to St. Mary, I guess in the Coptic tradition such is fulfilled in the "Theotokias" of the Tasbeha service (which, I might mention, can be performed any night of the week).

You also called the Midnight Praise "Tasbeha" so is it one service or two? 

These "theotokias", are they canons?  part of a canon?  or are they just random praises to the theotokos? 

The EO service of Paraklisis is done at any time when a person is in need of the help of the Theotokos, so it also has an everyday purpose. 

However, the Supplications services are done ONLY during Lent, and ONLY on Fridays.  Its not that you are strictly FORBIDDEN to serve it outside of Lent, its just that it has no "purpose" outside of Lent, and is very connected to the Lenten season in terms of themes, etc. 

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« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2007, 12:30:18 PM »

serb1389, check with a Copt but I thought the Coptic midnight prayers contained three services after a short introduction of sorts and then a brief conclusion afterwards as well.
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« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2007, 11:20:44 PM »

Thank you. 

Your explanation, if correct, would be very insightful, but I would still have more questions so i'll wait until someone answers my original query. 

Oh and I found out that the Presanctified Liturgy is ascribed to Pope Gregory the Great.  Although, some contend that it was first formulated by heretics, and Gregory's name just got attached to it to circumvent any heretical authorship of the service...the entire idea is arguable though. 

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« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2007, 10:32:21 AM »

Do you mean Pope Gregory of Rome?
I'm unsure whether the OO Churches recognise Pope Gregory of Rome or not. During which years was he Pope in Rome? This should answer the question.
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« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2007, 11:26:31 AM »

Yes, its the same person.  Gregory the Great was pope of Rome. 

He was Pope in the 4th century....so before Chalcedon...

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« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2007, 03:59:45 PM »

Do you mean Pope Gregory of Rome?
I'm unsure whether the OO Churches recognise Pope Gregory of Rome or not. During which years was he Pope in Rome? This should answer the question.

The Popes of Rome were the same as the Popes of any other see or Patriarchate for most of the time that Christianity was a religion in Rome.

Rome today is among itself as a 'lone' patriarchate today having no connection with the rest of the universal apostolic church of God. Or if you ask Rome or its adherence they would state the opposite of course.

The Gregory of question is recognised by the universal apostolic church of God.
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« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2007, 05:11:05 PM »

surajiype, EkhristosAnesti,  minasoliman

Thanks for your input and responses on the subject.

I just want to mention some thoughts I have which needs no response (unless you want to of course):

It is hard to love the Lord today and "actually" BE orthodox christians in todays world.

Too many young people (under 35 years) are so misguided and un-informed. You all seem to have escaped this era of igonornace of God among the younger orthodox of today.

I have in my situation young orthodox christians who do not know anything about God, His Church or His Salvation.....His great and imortal gifts.

They are pre-occupied with sillyness such as fashion, hair styles and computor/digital culture. This is not bad since young people will be .... "young"!. BUT..... Orthodox youth must have a since of direction that keeps them centered on the Lord. It is a mistake that so many adults (35 years or more) think that young people can exist without the riggers of the faith. This is whats wrong.

This is the root of the problem.

I look around sometimes anywhere (and in the Church) and see people say and do things that are shocking. Things that should not be done anywhere in an orthodox persons life. Smoking is a habit of the sinful. To smoke on church property is sacralege. Playing the wild music which sings about ludeness, rudeness and godlessness is a sin on the hearer anywhere he/she listens to it. But to have it blasting out of a car radio on church property after service is sacralege. Also the clothing and the whole way people enter the church for worship; late, unprepared, in tight jeans and tight tops (women), with baseball shirts on (men, boys) is a sign of low respect for the holiness of God and His Church. We should come to the worship service with MORE correctness than we give to any other activity. How can a person graduate school always late and never prepared? How can a person make it in the work world late every day, and dressing like a jail house inmate or a women of the evening? So with these things we are taught to do our best.

Well lets do our best in Gods house and in life in general as orthodox christians.

I do not mean to change the subject....

Praying and fasting must have real meaning. We are to be seen as and live as 'praying" people.

If we keep with prayer 7 times a day yet love sin (or like to look like we like sin) we pray falsley.

Looking like you like sin (but yet being perfectly sinless in actual deed)....IS SIN. In other words dressing like Britaney Spears and hanging out with her type of crowed and at the same time never doing anything that she does but living actually like a holy women in all aspects .... IS a SIN. This is falseness. We can not represent sin and rightiousness.

I try to point this out to young people who feel that..."Well; I only like the cloths and the music...I do not do those things". Some parents support this thinking also as a way to keep their children "in" the things they like and yet "be" something else. So-called 'meeting them half way'.

God is going to meet us in the clouds. It will not be any 'half way' at that meeting. So while it works (seemingly) for now this method is not preparing us for God.

I pray that you all continue to growing in the faith.

Please keep yourselves free from the enemy. He is at your door right now. You of course know this. The enemy is always asking you to do the things you know are destructive to yoursselves or others. It wants you to believe that it is good to be rude and lude because that it apart of being "young'.

Continue with your fasts.

Continue praying 7 times a day and complete the holy fast in safety and in peace.

Continue to post the positive and spritually healthy words you are posting here.

Please offer pray for the young people I am working with. They have along way to go. And with the parents they have (who also are very ignorant to true orthodoxy) makes the task that much harder.

I will get out of the way now....

Thanks for allowing me this side track.

Deacon Amde Tsion
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« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2007, 01:18:08 AM »

Amdetsion,

Thanks for your words. 

Here is my question to you (or anyone else):

Why is it that we hold the idea that if we fast, but love other sins, then we are not fasting? 

This thought makes no sense to me.  we ARE STILL FASTING, whether or not we are doing other things on the side.  Its not like the fasting is doing NOTHING to bring us closer to God, its just that the other things are pulling us away from Him at the same time. 

Any enlightenment you can offer to me would be most appreciated.  Maybe the OO churches have a different perspective on fasting in general which I am unaware of? 
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« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2007, 10:39:07 AM »

What Fr. Dn. Amde is saying is that fasting is vain if you don't improve your spiritual life.  Hence, the "you're not really fasting" part.  It's an allegorical way of taking things.

I'm sure the EO's would say something similar.

God bless.
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« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2007, 08:47:02 AM »

But that's exactly my point.  You are not fasting in VAIN.  You are STILL fasting.  Maybe not "the best" or "perfectly"  but its not like you are doing NOTHING, which is what the model insinuates. 

If you are "fasting" and then you "eat your brethren" then you are not fasting.  This is the premise. 

But this just doesn't make sense, because you ARE fasting, just not in the truest sense of the word...and maybe that's where the crux of the matter is.  If you are "fasting" and "eating your brethren" at the same time, then you are not really fasting but just abstaining from food, which is trivial and doesn't help in your path to salvation. 

Does the OO church have a particular view on this?  Especially during Lent?
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« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2007, 05:56:50 PM »

But that's exactly my point.  You are not fasting in VAIN.  You are STILL fasting.  Maybe not "the best" or "perfectly"  but its not like you are doing NOTHING, which is what the model insinuates. 

If you are "fasting" and then you "eat your brethren" then you are not fasting.  This is the premise. 

But this just doesn't make sense, because you ARE fasting, just not in the truest sense of the word...and maybe that's where the crux of the matter is.  If you are "fasting" and "eating your brethren" at the same time, then you are not really fasting but just abstaining from food, which is trivial and doesn't help in your path to salvation. 

Does the OO church have a particular view on this?  Especially during Lent?

Serb1389,

I'm sorry.  You lost me at "eat your brethren."  What in the world do you mean there?

Frankly, I don't know how clear I can get.  If you are defining fasting as simply abstaining from certain foods, then yes, regardless of prayer or not fasting occurs.  If one likes to broaden the definition of fasting to include a spiritual lifestyle, the exclusion of prayer from food abstaining therefore is not fasting.  It depends on how you define it.

I don't know what the big deal is.

God bless.
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« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2007, 08:57:38 PM »

I'm positive that St. John Chrysostom talks about this, but i'm pretty sure that its in the bible also. 

Eating your brethren is when we cuss at people, yell at them, treat them like dirt, etc. and are just jerks in general. 

So when we fast, but are jerks to others, the teaching is that we might as well not fast.  the purpose of fasting is to decrease ourselves so that Christ may increase in us. 

This has been what others have posted in this thread, as well as my general understanding of fasting. 

My question is twofold:

1.  What does the OO church have to say on fasting, and in particular how we conduct ourselves with our neighbor? 

2.  I will use your point.  If I consider fasting as prayer and abstaining from food, yet I do  not respect my brethren, then am I still fasting? 

Just trying to figure out what the OO church says about these things. 

Thanks for all your help!  sorry that things have been so confusing! 

God bless you too! 
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March 27th and May 30th 2010 were my Ordination dates, please forgive everything before that
Tags: Syriac Orthodox Lent fasting Armenian Church Coptic Orthodox Church Ethiopian Orthodox Church Holy Week Palm Sunday Indian Orthodox OO Lent 
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