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Author Topic: Monastic All-Night Vigils: Input needed!  (Read 1121 times) Average Rating: 0
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Fr. George
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« on: November 10, 2006, 11:44:16 PM »

I'm in the process of designing a vigil in the all-night style for St. George in April... The reason why I'm working on it now is to convince the chaplain to put it on the schedule.

St. George's day falls on a school-day, the Monday after the Myrrh-Bearing Women Sunday.  In order to accomplish that, the vigil must be done between 5pm and 1am (8 hours) on Sunday - those are the parameters set by the chaplain.  My idea is to do it this way, in order to maximize the services and whatnot:

5pm: Great Vespers with Liti and Artoclasia
7pm: Paraklesis to St. George
8pm: Small Compline with Salutations of St. George
9pm: Matins with Lamentations to St. George, and the Canons
11:30pm: Divine Liturgy

I'll stop here to keep the initial post short, but I'll include a more detailed breakdown of each of the services later.  What I am seeking is this:

1. What are the elements that others have experienced in an All-Night Vigil?  I have been to a few, but we did them here at school, according to what a few people had experienced.

2. Would the vigil as stated above (and possibly below) be appealing?
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2006, 12:07:59 AM »

Other than hanging up a disco ball and having some dance music, I think you have it all covered...
All-nighters can be fun!
j/k

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arimethea
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2006, 02:31:36 AM »

5pm: Great Vespers with Liti and Artoclasia
7pm: Paraklesis to St. George
8pm: Small Compline with Salutations of St. George
9pm: Matins with Lamentations to St. George, and the Canons
11:30pm: Divine Liturgy

I find this to be an unusual setup for the Vigil in Greek practice. The Great Vespers is not usually broken up by a Paraklesis or Small Compline.  What is normal is the chanting of 9th hour and little Vespers, a break for the evening meal and then Little Compline is said with the canon of preparation for communion and then Great Vespers with Liti and Artoclasia. There is a unique opening and ending for Great Vespers when it is served as a vigil. There is no break between Great Vespers and Orthros which in a vigil setting removes the royal office and start with "Glory to God in the Highest..." and then the 6 psalms. The Liturgy begins after the Great Doxology as usual and is normal until communion when psalm 22 is read along with the pre-communion prayers.

I have fairly complete copies of the menion text for St. George since I grew up in a parish named in his honor and I have never seen or heard of the Lamentations for St. George. This may exist in a local custom but I would caution against using them for two reasons. First being that they have be reserved in current usage for Christ and his Mother and thus should be kept special for their honor alone. Secondly the Fest of St. George almost always falls during the Pascha season which is a season of pure joy and the Lamentations (which is a bad translation of a word that actually means "praises") are written in a style of Bright Sorrow, that being they have a question of sadness that is answered by joy.

Paraklisis or supplication services are usually done after the liturgy later in the day before 9th hour. Hope this information helps you. I am surprised that the monks who have lived on Athos who are at HC now don't follow the order I just laid out since it is from my times on Athos during the Pascha season that I have experienced this structure first hand for festal vigils. There is a different order for how the monastic vigil is done when it is not a major feast and little vespers is not served which is more similar in structure to what you have put forth but includes the midnight office (which in some practice is not said at all during the pascha season) and all the hours.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 02:35:32 AM by arimethea » Logged

Joseph
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2006, 03:40:08 AM »

I find this to be an unusual setup for the Vigil in Greek practice. The Great Vespers is not usually broken up by a Paraklesis or Small Compline.  What is normal is the chanting of 9th hour and little Vespers, a break for the evening meal and then Little Compline is said with the canon of preparation for communion and then Great Vespers with Liti and Artoclasia. There is a unique opening and ending for Great Vespers when it is served as a vigil. There is no break between Great Vespers and Orthros which in a vigil setting removes the royal office and start with "Glory to God in the Highest..." and then the 6 psalms. The Liturgy begins after the Great Doxology as usual and is normal until communion when psalm 22 is read along with the pre-communion prayers.

I have fairly complete copies of the menion text for St. George since I grew up in a parish named in his honor and I have never seen or heard of the Lamentations for St. George. This may exist in a local custom but I would caution against using them for two reasons. First being that they have be reserved in current usage for Christ and his Mother and thus should be kept special for their honor alone. Secondly the Fest of St. George almost always falls during the Pascha season which is a season of pure joy and the Lamentations (which is a bad translation of a word that actually means "praises") are written in a style of Bright Sorrow, that being they have a question of sadness that is answered by joy.

Paraklisis or supplication services are usually done after the liturgy later in the day before 9th hour. Hope this information helps you. I am surprised that the monks who have lived on Athos who are at HC now don't follow the order I just laid out since it is from my times on Athos during the Pascha season that I have experienced this structure first hand for festal vigils. There is a different order for how the monastic vigil is done when it is not a major feast and little vespers is not served which is more similar in structure to what you have put forth but includes the midnight office (which in some practice is not said at all during the pascha season) and all the hours.

Well, the monks on campus at HC have little say in the setup of the vigils - normally the students do them - which is possibly why they take on the shape that they do.  We haven't done the hours in any of the many vigils that we've done, nor the midnight office.

The last all-nighter we did was for the 25th of March, and it went Great Vespers, Compline with the Akathist Hymn, Paraklesis, Full Orthros, Divine Liturgy.  When we do small vigils (i.e. 9pm to 1 or 2am) we do Great Vespers, Orthros, Liturgy.  It is only when we consciously want to do an all-nighter that we insert the compline and paraklesis services.

In fact, the logic behind the proposed structure is this: 1. Normally we don't do small and great vespers for a saint here at school... don't know why, but we don't, even for saints that call for vigils.  2. Paraklesis is after Great Vespers so that those who wish to rest (or eat, for those who won't receive) after vespers can do so. 

The Lamentations aren't a must - they exist in the Greek and I believe also in Arabic, and have come from several monasteries of St. George.  We have a book in the Chapel that contains Lamentations to several saints (10 or 12).  I did have the same concern, though, about doing Lamentations during the Paschal period.  The only reason why we've still penciled them into the schedule is because of the way the funeral service acts during the Paschal period - if St. George was during bright week, then we wouldn't do them at all, as the Funeral Service is radically different... but it's not, and during the rest of the season the service only has small changes, but still contains the normal hymns.  It's not a must that we do them - we would substitute the regular readings from the Psalter in their place.

Thanks for the Input... I always appreciate the dialogue!  Let me know if you have more thoughts - I still have 5 months to plan this!
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Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
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