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Author Topic: Liturgy Reform!!!  (Read 6581 times) Average Rating: 0
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Edmund
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« on: December 12, 2006, 11:41:31 PM »

Hello folks I was just reading out at the church for compline and I overheard some people talking about Liturgical reform and shortening the liturgy NOOOOOO. That was what first attracted me to Orthodoxy and then after research I found it to theologicly be the true church. I smell a Vatican II type mess. Could we orthodox actually end up with a modern catholic style liturgy,that couldnt happen could it? Does anyone know what people mean by reforming the DIVINE liturgy Huh

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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2006, 12:51:38 AM »

I can't really see that happening, we have far too many converts who love the liturgy, and really, I think most Orthodox love the liturgy just the way it is.  However...it's not like it hasn't happened in the past.  You can even see it today: the Antiochian and Greek liturgies are shorter than Slavic ones; the Greeks and Antiochians cut parts out in the late 19th century.  And then there were the Nikonian reforms in Russia back in the 17th century. THAT went over well!  Wink

Also it would be difficult to implement, people could just change jurisdictions if they didn't like what was happening.

My iconography teacher thinks the Antiochians will have a Catholic-style liturgy within our lifetime though.  She goes to an Antiochian church(she kind of has to as they are paying her to paint the church walls and ceiling...), and she likes to complain about how they always skip things and how they don't chant very much and so on.  She is kind of opinionated though...

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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2006, 01:44:17 AM »

I doubt you will ever see a Vatican II type mess occur in the Orthodox Church because that would mean that everyone would need to get together and decide something and agree to change it. There will always be variations in how the liturgy is served. Every parish has their own little things that they do different and this is ok.

There are different levels of liturgical reforms in peoples minds and some of these seem like huge changes to one person while no big deal to another. A current example is what the local Synod of the Greek Archdiocese in America is doing, they are working on unifying the liturgical text for the whole Archdiocese. The first step was to develop a common text for the Creed in English. Some people looked at the change as something on the line of heresy while others looked at it as trying to be closer to the Greek. Even minor wording changes can be traumatic to people.

The biggest problem in liturgical reform is what is done by individual Priest and Bishops that is not consistent with any tradition of the Church. There are priest out there who serve one way when they are by themselves and another way when their Bishop is there. These practices tend not to spread and would never be instituted in a council. Traditionally in the east the canons are very vague about specific liturgical practices and there a bigger elephants in the room that need to be talked about if an ecumenical council is ever held
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2006, 10:56:03 AM »

the Greeks and Antiochians cut parts out in the late 19th century.

And they added things to Holy Week at the same time!

Edmund: Don't worry. No major changes are going to happen. Also, we should note that sometimes "reform" doesn't mean shortening (e.g. most Orthodox Churches in the world have for at least the last 1,200 years been adding many things to the liturgy, especially silent prayers and various hymns to be chanted during those prayers. Schmemman's most widely-adopted liturgical "reform" recommendations -- which he borrowed from the great 20th century Roman Catholic scholar Fr. Louis Bouyer -- has actually added time to the Divine Liturgy by insisting that silent prayers be read aloud). That's a very recent reform, but many people like it, at least in parts of the U.S. diaspora.
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2006, 12:09:57 PM »

In my conversations with my parish priest (who has read a lot of Professor Fondoulis, eminent scholar of the Liturgy and professor of Liturgics at the University of Thessaloniki) he says that if people want to do Liturgical reform, they should a) stop singing things so slowly (he wasn't referring to the Cherubic Hymn or other things that are chanted at a length to fit a particular time) - the Lord have mercies and some other pieces in the Church add 10-15 minutes to the service in many places, and addings things that don't belong (my cantor back home does this, singing the megalynarion of the saint after the "and all your people" on weekday Liturgies); b) add back in the things that were cut when appropriate - i.e. if you have catecumens in the parish, re-add the catecumenal Litanies and prayers; c) get people to come to Matins and Liturgy... If they get in the habit of attending both services, then the Liturgy won't seem so long (and the people won't get so fidgety during Holy Week and other festal periods when the services are longer).
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2006, 12:21:27 PM »

Schmemman's most widely-adopted liturgical "reform" recommendations -- which he borrowed from the great 20th century Roman Catholic scholar Fr. Louis Bouyer -- has actually added time to the Divine Liturgy by insisting that silent prayers be read aloud). That's a very recent reform, but many people like it, at least in parts of the U.S. diaspora.
Saying the "silent prayers" aloud is not strictly a U.S diaspora practice. I know it is done in many parishes in Lebanon (which may have more to do with many of the Bishop's being educated at St. Sergius in Paris and St. Vladimir's in New York) and it is also being done in some parishes in Greece. While we can dismiss the practice in Lebanon as being influenced by Fr. Schmemman, how do we reconcile the practice being done in Greece? I will say it is not localized to one area in Greece but rather is quite far reaching. While I lived in Greece I traveled around on the weekends and spent time in Athens, Thessaloníki, and some of the islands and would say that about 50% of the churches said the "secret" prayers aloud. I should also point out that the parishes who said these prayers aloud were packed with people.
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2006, 12:33:57 PM »

Saying the "silent prayers" aloud is not strictly a U.S diaspora practice.

Of course not. It's obviously popular in France as well.

Quote
I know it is done in many parishes in Lebanon (which may have more to do with many of the Bishop's being educated at St. Sergius in Paris and St. Vladimir's in New York) and it is also being done in some parishes in Greece. While we can dismiss the practice in Lebanon as being influenced by Fr. Schmemman, how do we reconcile the practice being done in Greece? I will say it is not localized to one area in Greece but rather is quite far reaching. While I lived in Greece I traveled around on the weekends and spent time in Athens, Thessaloníki, and some of the islands and would say that about 50% of the churches said the "secret" prayers aloud.

I'm not sure of the exact causal influence in Greece, nor am I entirely convinced that your experience is truly reflective of the entire Church in Greece (but who knows?). That's why I restricted my comments to the U.S., where it is clear by whom, where, when and why this practice was first promulgated and defended.

If I had to guess, I would say it may be something coming out of Thessaloniki, based on what I have read from various students of Fondoulis.

Regardless, it's still recent in vintage, even if it attempts to base itself on certain aspects of the early Anaphora.
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2006, 01:37:46 PM »

P.S. As I've thought about it: It could even be through Schmemman's writings, which have been translated into Greek for quite some time and are rather popular.
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2006, 02:01:19 PM »

I think the influence in Greece originated with the Kollyvades movement and their torch was picked up by ZOE.

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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2006, 02:04:48 PM »

I think the influence in Greece originated with the Kollyvades movement and their torch was picked up by ZOE.

Ah, yes. Doesn't ZOE publish Schmemman?
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2006, 02:32:46 PM »

Edmund: Don't worry. No major changes are going to happen.

I agree.  I think the one thing that unites Orthodoxy more than anything else is the inherently conservative approach to worship.  I also think people are aware of the fact that in our past, when sweeping changes have been made (such as the Nikonian reforms), it has led to a lot of internal division and chaos.

Quote
Also, we should note that sometimes "reform" doesn't mean shortening (e.g. most Orthodox Churches in the world have for at least the last 1,200 years been adding many things to the liturgy, especially silent prayers and various hymns to be chanted during those prayers. Schmemman's most widely-adopted liturgical "reform" recommendations -- which he borrowed from the great 20th century Roman Catholic scholar Fr. Louis Bouyer -- has actually added time to the Divine Liturgy by insisting that silent prayers be read aloud). That's a very recent reform, but many people like it, at least in parts of the U.S. diaspora.

Fr. Schmemann can be something of a lightning rod as far as this topic goes.  People it seems either tend to really like him, or really not like him.  Regardless, one "reform" I think you can credit Fr. Schmemann with is his advocacy of making the Eucharist central in our lives and worship.  Personally, I can certainly appreciate that side of his thinking.

Generally speaking, when people talk about this subject, I think what they're really saying is how do we adhere to monastic typikons in parish settings (the cathedral office no longer being part of our church).  I think that is really the central issue.
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2006, 02:44:27 PM »

Generally speaking, when people talk about this subject, I think what they're really saying is how do we adhere to monastic typikons in parish settings (the cathedral office no longer being part of our church).  I think that is really the central issue.

Maybe. Although I think it is probably incorrect to assume that the monastic order for a particular service is necessarily longer than the corresponding service in the Cathedral Office. The monastic typikon may have more readings, more dogmatic hymns and more psalms, but the Cathedral Office was called the Asmatic Office for a reason! I have been told that the Orthodox parish in Oxford has celebrated a reconstructed Vespers according to the Cathedral Office and it was substantially longer than our current monastic-influenced Vespers.
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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2006, 03:00:10 PM »

Maybe. Although I think it is probably incorrect to assume that the monastic order for a particular service is necessarily longer than the corresponding service in the Cathedral Office. The monastic typikon may have more readings, more dogmatic hymns and more psalms, but the Cathedral Office was called the Asmatic Office for a reason! I have been told that the Orthodox parish in Oxford has celebrated a reconstructed Vespers according to the Cathedral Office and it was substantially longer than our current monastic-influenced Vespers.

Point well taken.  I actually should have said "a cathedral office" and not "the cathedral office".  Really what I meant was there is no separate set of rubrics formed specifically for non monastic settings.
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2006, 03:48:59 PM »

Maybe. Although I think it is probably incorrect to assume that the monastic order for a particular service is necessarily longer than the corresponding service in the Cathedral Office. The monastic typikon may have more readings, more dogmatic hymns and more psalms, but the Cathedral Office was called the Asmatic Office for a reason! I have been told that the Orthodox parish in Oxford has celebrated a reconstructed Vespers according to the Cathedral Office and it was substantially longer than our current monastic-influenced Vespers.

Actually, Prof. A Lingas, who is probably the foremost expert on the Cathedral office has said this is an oft repeated error.  He states that the cathedral service in many ways is simpler than the monastic office.  The cathedral office generally had psalms done by cantor/choir and the people responded with a simple refrain like: "Glory be to You O Lord" and the like.  And the music was simpler compared to the monastic canons.  The complications of the office were in the clergy required to perform certain rubrical elements like the entrances and lighting of the lamps.

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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2006, 04:27:26 PM »

I doubt you will ever see a Vatican II type mess occur in the Orthodox Church because that would mean that everyone would need to get together and decide something and agree to change it.
Yes, that is how it is supposed to work.

But think about how the Calendar issue was handled in the 1920's. If the "reformers" decide their new way will be better, they'll just go ahead and do it and dare Orthodoxy to break Communion with them.
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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2006, 05:48:42 PM »

He states that the cathedral service in many ways is simpler than the monastic office.

Yes, yes. That's the standard line. But I'm talking about LENGTH of time, not structure or even music. As you mentioned, entrances were astoundingly ornate and very lengthy. (And, for that matter, I'm still not convinced that antiphonal hymnody is necessarily any SHORTER, even if it is easier to perform.)

Anyway, I brought this up only because there are some who go on and on about the supposed simplicity of the Cathedral Rite and how it would be great to have antiphonal singing again, but how many people would like to have a 45-minute-long Kiss of Peace?
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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2006, 07:12:00 PM »

Yes, yes. That's the standard line. But I'm talking about LENGTH of time, not structure or even music. As you mentioned, entrances were astoundingly ornate and very lengthy. (And, for that matter, I'm still not convinced that antiphonal hymnody is necessarily any SHORTER, even if it is easier to perform.)

Anyway, I brought this up only because there are some who go on and on about the supposed simplicity of the Cathedral Rite and how it would be great to have antiphonal singing again, but how many people would like to have a 45-minute-long Kiss of Peace?

Or longer - remember, it was easier to move about with no pews!
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2006, 09:10:06 PM »

how many people would like to have a 45-minute-long Kiss of Peace?

You would have to be really fond of your concelebrant.
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« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2006, 12:34:19 AM »

I keep hearing about this Cathedral Rite...why was it stopped or supressed? I tried looking online but I couldn't find much. Anybody know some informative links or recommend books specifically on the topic?
What was the major difference between our monastic rite and the Cathedral Rite?

Speaking of changes, I've been told by my priest and have also read that back in the day, in Eastern churches (ie. Constantinople) the iconostasis would not be the full lenght like it was i nthe later middle ages until today, but rather an altar railing (kne-high) with icons on that.

-sort of like St Paul's Irvine GOC??


Sorry for all the questions. I've been searching for the Rite's history and its nowhere to be found.
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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2006, 04:56:34 AM »

I keep hearing about this Cathedral Rite...why was it stopped or supressed? I tried looking online but I couldn't find much. Anybody know some informative links or recommend books specifically on the topic?
What was the major difference between our monastic rite and the Cathedral Rite?

The Cathedral Rite was never "suppressed" as such.  It was gradually hybridized with Studite (after the Studios, A Constanipolitan monastery), Palestinian and Palestinian-inspired Monastic Rites that later flourished in Constantinople as well.  This hybridization seems to have begun well before the iconoclastic controversy, but it would seem that it really gained steam after the controversy ended the first time under the influence of Theodore the Studite, and again after the final victory of Orthodoxy.  This is because monasticism really began to gain power and prestige in a large way in Constantinople after this time, largely because it had been monks who had defended the Orthodox position regarding icons during the iconoclastic struggle.  The final triumph of Orthodoxy in 843 was really a monastic victory, as well as a victory for the Church.  As monasticism gained in importance in the imperial capital, the capital itself gained new prestige and confidence and began a period of prosperity and growth once again.  The newly invigorated Constantinople now made its influence felt liturgically throughout the empire and even beyond its borders.    Thus, a period of liturgical cross-hybridization occurred between Palestinian monasticism and  Constantinople.  After 1261, the monks once again won more influence in the capital after the "secular" clergy were  feeling demoralized after the Latin rule of the city.  A new monastic synthesis that incorporated elements of the old Cathedral-Monastic synthesis from earlier days began to gain more and more influence, until it basically won the day.  Athonite monks later made a redaction of this synthesis, and since Athos had come into its own by this time (14th century) as a great centre of Orthodoxy (partly because of the Hesychasm debate and its aftermath), it too gained sway throughout the Mediterranean world and beyond. 

I can't tell you from where I sit right now which elements are "monastic" and which are "cathedral" in the liturgy that has come down to us.  But it would seem consistent with what I know of historical practice to say that things like litanies, the Trisagion, the Monogenes, the Symbol of Faith (the Creed), etc. are "cathedral inspired" elements of the liturgy.  So are a whole lotta other things in it.......Of course, it's important to remember that many key elements of the liturgy  predate "Cathedral Rite" usage quite a bit!  I don't know about the Divine Liturgy, but certainly in other kinds of liturgical worship, monks favoured a lot of recitation of psalms and scripture.  However, with such a lot of cross-polinization going on, unless you read Robert F.Taft's monumental (and as yet unfinished) A History of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, I don't know how you would really figure out what was what in this regard.  Maybe somebody else can help.  One thing that I can say for sure is that a new redaction of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom slowly supplanted the Liturgy of St. Basil as the principle liturgy in use starting from about the year 800 or so.  There are other obvious liturgical and paraliturgical reforms that took place that are essentially, though not entirely, separate from the development of the Divine Liturgy, which I believe is what you are really asking about in your question, so I won't go into this other stuff.

Another change that came about under monastic influence was that the space in which the liturgy was performed effectively became smaller, and processions became less important and were even obliterated.  This is partly because of the construction of smaller monastic churches in the capital during this time, and partly because, it would seem to me, of the monastic dislike of what the monks saw as being superfluous pomp and ceremony. 

For more information about this that is relatively easy to digest, I would recommend Taft's very brief work The Byzantine Rite: A Short History(ISBN 0-8146-2163-5).  Chapters should be able to order this for you.  It will only set you back 16 Canadian dollars at most, I should think, maybe less.  Otherwise, it should be available for consultation somewhere at the U of T library or even the York U library along with the other Taft tomes already mentioned, should you wish to become a real liturgical archaelogist.  Wink  (Bring a big shovel with you.)  Of course, in the same sections of the library where you find the Taft, you'll find interesting stuff written by other liturgical scholars too.
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« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2006, 05:19:17 AM »

Speaking of changes, I've been told by my priest and have also read that back in the day, in Eastern churches (ie. Constantinople) the iconostasis would not be the full lenght like it was i nthe later middle ages until today, but rather an altar railing (kne-high) with icons on that.

It's true that it took a long time for the iconostasis in its present form to develop.
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« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2006, 09:23:05 AM »

I keep hearing about this Cathedral Rite...why was it stopped or supressed?

Quote
The monastic liturgical tradition of the Orthodox East has come down to us through the "Typikon of the Church Service of the Holy Lavra at Jerusalem of our God-bearing Father St. Savas," popularly known as "The Typikon of St. Savas."[27] As the title indicates, this Typikon originated at the Lavra founded by St. Savas (+532) at Jerusalem in the year 484.[28] In the initial stages of its development, the Typikon was influenced by practices and customs of the early monastic communities in Egypt, Palestine and Asia Minor, as well as the Cathedral Office of Jerusalem, which had become a center of pilgrimage. During the seventh and eighth centuries the Typikon of St. Savas was revised and greatly enriched by the massive infusion of ecclesiastical poetry. In the course of the eighth century as a result of the iconoclastic controversy, the Palestinian monastic Typikon came to the monasteries of Con­stantinople, and especially to the Monastery of Studios. Due to the work of its hegoumenos St. Theodore (+826), this monastery had become the center of monastic revival and reform in the Im­perial City. At Studios the Palestinian Typikon underwent a new synthesis. It was embellished further with new poetry and with elements of the Cathedral Office of Constantinople. The Studite rite spread to other monastic communities as well.[29]

In a subsequent development, the Studite synthesis was re­worked and further modified by Palestinian monks during the course of the eleventh century. In the process a new, revised Typikon of St. Savas was produced and established. This new revised monastic Typikon soon gained in popularity and use. At the begin­ning of the thirteenth century it began to replace both the Cathedral Office as well as the Studite synthesis at Constantino­ple. By the fifteenth century these usages had become defunct. The new, revised Typikon of St. Savas prevailed throughout the Orthodox world, until the nineteenth century.[30] The position of the new Sabaite Typikon was especially solidified in the sixteenth century by virtue of its publication in 1545, thus becoming the earliest of the printed typika.

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8505.asp

Quote
Speaking of changes, I've been told by my priest and have also read that back in the day, in Eastern churches (ie. Constantinople) the iconostasis would not be the full lenght like it was i nthe later middle ages until today, but rather an altar railing (kne-high) with icons on that.

The pre-cursor was the Templon.  http://www.culture.gr/2/21/218/218bf/e218bf1.html

In every Greek and Antiochian church I've visited, they do not have the floor to ceiling iconostasis like Slavic churches do.  What they have is actually more similar in style to the older templon.
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« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2006, 09:53:55 AM »

Thank you Pravoslav, that was such an informative and well-put post. I will check my churchs bookstore, library, or amazon.
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« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2006, 10:01:49 AM »

One must remember, when the Latins took over the city one of their expressed goals was the westernization of the Empire.  The monks of Studios helped maintain a traditional Roman (the Westerners were usurpers to the name of "Roman") liturgy (Chrysostom and Basil)... However, it was going to be in the style they practiced (i.e. Monastic).  When the Latins were finally expelled, it was mostly thanks to the efforts of the monks in Constantinople that the Orthodox Liturgy hadn't been lost - and by the same token, because it was the major preservation of the Liturgy, it became the major expression... THus, the dominance of the Monastic typikon.

Welkodox,

Thanks for the link on the Templon.  I didn't know where a pic of one would have existed.

Timos,

Look well at the pic of the Templon.  At first it would have had smaller depictions, methinks, but in any case it was indeed the precursor.  The low wall was pre-Christian, and the addition of the icons came as the Empire was baptized.  I suppose your pic of the church comes pretty close.  Remove the pews, enlarge the icons a smidge, and move the pulpit to the center of the church (remove the book-holder, and lower the sides a bit) and you get a more accurate picture of a 4th-5th century City Church.
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« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2006, 10:06:31 AM »

So basically the Cathedral Rite just had more (elaborate) processions, psalm-chanting, and litanies. This type of liturgy really seems to me that this would've been a liturgy of the people- where they would have lots of participation. The monastic-rite that we use today seems more of an altar-based liturgy where the clergy dominate the scene; which would make sense since monastics are often clergy (though not always of course). I'm not saying that in the Cathedral Rite, there was no services at an altar- just that there was more lay participation perhaps.

My priest told me that long ago, there was a special church-bakery where the prosfora bread would be prepared. Then the clergy would process from this special building to the church (most notably Agia Sophia) and the deacons/altar servers would fan the bread and wine with real cloth fans (to keep flies away), rather than the gold ones we have today- hence our Great Entrance...
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« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2006, 10:13:16 AM »

Welkodox,

Thanks for the link on the Templon.  I didn't know where a pic of one would have existed.

No problemo.  New Skete has what is basically a Templon.

http://www.newsketemonks.com/images/monks/Lukehom.JPG

Incidentally, they are probably also at the very far extreme of liturgical reform of any Orthodox group I'm aware of.
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« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2006, 10:37:12 AM »

So basically the Cathedral Rite just had more (elaborate) processions, psalm-chanting, and litanies. This type of liturgy really seems to me that this would've been a liturgy of the people- where they would have lots of participation. The monastic-rite that we use today seems more of an altar-based liturgy where the clergy dominate the scene; which would make sense since monastics are often clergy (though not always of course). I'm not saying that in the Cathedral Rite, there was no services at an altar- just that there was more lay participation perhaps.

Well, it's true that the processions were more elaborate, but that's largely due to the fact that there were more people involved - the bishop, dozens of priests, even more deacons and subdeacons.  Plus, the Church would be packed - we are talking about city cathedral-churches and all - which is why things like the kiss of peace would take so long, as each person would give the kiss of peace to each other person within their own station of life (presbyters to presbyters, deacons to deacons, and amongst the laity men to men and women to women).  The Antiphons lent themselves to participation because you would have a simple refrain, while the cantors would have the more complicated verses.

It's an ironic observation that the current service is more altar-based; the monks do about as much movement in their services as the ancient Cathedral Rite did - narthex to nave to altar back to narthex then to altar.  It is in the Cathedral Churches of the modern day that we have cut Liturgical movement; I personally blame the pews for part of it, as they do not facilitate easy personal movement.

My priest told me that long ago, there was a special church-bakery where the prosfora bread would be prepared. Then the clergy would process from this special building to the church (most notably Agia Sophia) and the deacons/altar servers would fan the bread and wine with real cloth fans (to keep flies away), rather than the gold ones we have today- hence our Great Entrance... 

I don't think the Skevophylakion was a bakery, but it definitely was a place where the people would bring their offerings of bread and wine, and the deacons would prepare them for Liturgical use.  It was a building usually on the North side of the Church, totally independent of the Church - the Deacons would have to leave the building and come into the Church through one of the Narthex doors.  The Great Entrance, as you well-stated, was the bringing in of these items by the deacons, and their presentation to the bishop and the presbyters who were waiting inside.
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« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2006, 11:06:18 AM »

Asmatic Vespers:

Great Litany
Prayer of Light 1
Psalm 85 with refrain: Glory to You O God
Little Litany
Prayer of Light 2
Psalm 67 (1st vs only with Little Doxology)
Little Litany
Prayer of Entrance
Psalm 140 with refrain: We glorify Your Lifegiving Resurrection O Lord
(Blessing, Entrance, Incensation, and Lighting of Lamps performed during Psalm 140)
Prokimen
Insistent Litany
Little Antiphons (just as at Divine Liturgy but 4 verses of Pslams: 114, 115 ,116 replacing usual ones)
Litany of Catechumens with Prayer (Prayer is differnt from one currently in Liturgy)
Litany of the Faithful with 2 Prayers (Prayers are different from ones currently in Liturgy)
Litany of Supplication
Prayer of Light 8
Prayer of Bowing of Heads
Procession to Skeuphylakion (Prothesis building) with 2 prayers
Procession to Baptistry with 2 prayers
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« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2006, 11:21:37 AM »

Deacon Lance,

What's your source for that layout?  I'm very interested...
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« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2006, 11:29:51 AM »

I keep hearing about this Cathedral Rite...why was it stopped or supressed? I tried looking online but I couldn't find much. Anybody know some informative links or recommend books specifically on the topic?
What was the major difference between our monastic rite and the Cathedral Rite?

It's tough to find much information online. Here's a paper I wrote a few years ago. I'd certainly write it differently today, based on far more research, but it'll give you a starting-point.

The Byzantine Liturgy: From Constantine to Today

The history of the Byzantine Rite is, as Fr. Alkiviadis Calivas points out, largely coterminous with the history of the Typikon, in so far as the Typikon flows naturally from the already-existing Liturgy and "presupposes its existence." (1)  Accordingly, no history of the Typikon could divorce rubrics from theology, form from meaning, or ritual from its fullest context. This paper will therefore present the Typikon in this light, with special attention to its four main stages of development: the 4th century Patristic Liturgy, the Asmatike Akolouthia of the Constantinopolitan Cathedral Rite, the monastic tradition, and, finally, the Byzantine synthesis, which combined certain elements of the Cathedral structure with the ethos and rich hymnography of the monastic tradition.

Patristic Worship: Liturgy in Context

Despite obvious development in form and content, the Christian liturgy evinces a remarkable sense of continuity in all ages of its history. Christian worship is and always has been eucharistic in focus: believers have always assembled to give thanks, break bread and receive Christ's body and blood; the anaphora has always been the theological and spiritual backbone of the Church's liturgical life; and the ethos of the divine services have accordingly been characterized by the joyful proclamation and experience of eschatological victory in Christ.

While these theological and spiritual realities remained constant, the liturgical life of the Church experienced a profound flowering in the Patristic period post pacem. By the end of the fourth century, the Church had the complete financial, juridical and military support of the state. This striking change in Christianity's worldly status redefined the parameter of the Church's experience, including the experience of liturgy. Instead of small Christian communities in house churches, huge crowds began to flood massive and sometimes elaborate basilicas (often built by the state), wherein believers would receive catechism, Baptism, Eucharist and, ultimately, participate in all aspects of the burgeoning Church's life. It is therefore essential to understand the places in which Christians began to worship post pacem in order to understand the new liturgical practices of the fourth century. Form and environment necessarily influence ritual. A liturgical action must take place in a liturgical space, and the liturgical space conforms to the liturgical action.(2) While this paper does not allow for a detailed discussion, some things are worthy of special attention (since they have a direct bearing on the patristic liturgy). Chief among these is the importance of movement in the Patristic liturgy: the nave itself and the altar area were not used for every service, as they are today. They were reserved for the Eucharistic celebration proper. Each part of the Church structure – from atrium, to baptistry, to narthex, to nave – had a specific function and was used accordingly.

A brief example will serve to illustrate the deep meaning implicit in these spatially-bound traditions. The Sunday service would begin in the atrium, an open-air courtyard, and/or in the narthex.(3) Once it was time for the actual Liturgy to begin, the Bishop would walk into the nave, through the ambo and into the altar and up the synthronon, an amphitheatrical set of stairs in the apse of most churches of the time. There were liturgical prayers and gestures for each action and place: Orthros for the narthex; litanies, sacerdotal prayers and blessings for the ambo; and, finally, the Scripture readings while on the synthronon.(4) The Asiatic synthrona went up very high, and since the Bishop and presbyters sat or stood thereupon during the Scripture readings, the faithful could see the Bishop above the pillars that separated the nave from the altar. These liturgical niceties were not mere decorations, nor are they historical points of trivia. The ascent of the presbytery from the ambo to the synthronon represented Christ's ascension; and the Bishop's descent after the readings to dismiss the catechumens symbolized the Last Judgment. These various actions of the Patristic liturgy, related as they are to the physical layout of the basilica church, emphasized the eschatological nature of liturgical experience. The fourth century Christians were thinking about their actions and worship in terms of the things to come, not as a celebration of the past – herein we see theological continuity with the early Church, despite all the room and reason for change in form and style.   

History and Sources

If such then is the tenor and theology of the Patristic liturgy, what of its sources?  From the time of the fourth century, there have been three valid liturgies in the Byzantine tradition: one based on St. Basil the Great's anaphora, another called St. James' Liturgy, and, finally, the Liturgy contained in the Apostolic Constitutions (which later came to be associated with the pen of St. John Chrysostom). It should come as no surprise that these three prevail, since they represent the three most important centers of the early Christian Church: St. Basil's moved quickly from Cappadocia to Constantinople; St James' came from Jerusalem; and the Apostolic Constitutions came from Antioch. Scholars have said that St. John's liturgy is clearly a liturgy of the 3rd century, which received a very hesitant elaboration in the 4th century. How then did an Antiochian liturgy of such vintage come to dominate the current Byzantine Typikon? In the 8th century or later it made its way to Constantinople and, after a few centuries, established itself as the normal Byzantine eucharistic celebration. However, it is clear that such a practice was not standard in the earlier years of the Church, since the Ecumenical Councils mention the liturgies of St. Basil, St. James and the Apostolic Constitutions – but not St. John's. Furthermore, the anaphora does not use the word homoousios when it speaks of Christ, an oversight unacceptable to a post-Nicene Christian during the period of the Councils.

In addition to these liturgies, which constitute the core of the Byzantine Typikon, there are a number of euchologia that offer us important information. Most of these sources, which are full of sacerdotal prayers (a key part of all major services, especially in the Cathedral Rite), date from the 7th or 8th centuries at the earliest, but there is an earlier, much-celebrated euchologium written by St. Serapion, a 4th century bishop of the Church and a close friend of St. Athanasios the Great.(5)  All of these sources point to the variety of liturgical expression in the earliest years of the Byzantine Rite, but – again – despite their obvious differences of authorship and structure, the ethos and content are strikingly similar to the current Typikon.

The Cathedral Rite

This measured diversity – to coin a phrase intended to maintain some equilibrium between the dynamism and continuity evident in the 4th century – took even more definite form in the 6th century.  Under the influence of Justinian I (527-565), codifier of law, supporter of orthodoxy, conqueror of Italy, the city of Constantinople began to develop a distinctly "Byzantine" flavor, full of lavish ritual splendor and imperial pomp. The so-called Cathedral Rite was born (in its particular Byzantine manifestation), with its emphasis on beauty, song and, because of the city-wide character of life in the capital, a solid stational liturgical tradition. It should come as no surprise that the practices of the Great Church exerted a great influence on the rest of the Orthodox world. Although there was no formal promulgation, other churches were naturally wont to follow the lead of Constantinople. This meant that the overall grandeur of liturgical ceremony was greatly increased in this period (but we should note that the celebration of the Eucharist was always a solemn event). The solemnity and beauty usually reserved for the Eucharist, which was not celebrated every day outside of the monasteries, naturally began to exert an influence on the daily office of the Constantinopolitan church, graced as it was with the presence of the imperial court and impressive Church infrastructure. In fact, Robert Taft has pointed out that Justinian’s reconstruction of Hagia Sophia made setting and decoration even more of an integral part of the Byzantine Rite, a trend which continues to this day and has had a profound impact on all Orthodox liturgy and mystagogy.(6)  The rite itself, however, is little more than an elaboration on the normal patterns already established for parochial worship. As Fr. Calivas notes, the rite included everything one would expect, including "Eucharistic liturgies, sacramental rites, a lectionary system, a calendar, and a daily office, which consisted of four services: Vespers, Pannychis...Orthros and Tritheke."(7)  The earliest manuscripts of the Cathedral Rite's Typikon of the Great Church date from the ninth and tenth centuries, and these make it clear that the Constantinopolitan tradition was most marked by antiphons, responses and hymns, especially in its daily office, which included a large number of sung psalms, petitions and sacerdotal prayers.

The intricacies of the various services of the rite are too complex to detail here, but it is clear that the modern Byzantine Rite has inherited a good number of its characteristics, including antiphons and sacerdotal prayers, even though these elements have shifted location and meaning. A ready example can be found in the current Divine Liturgy. The short antiphonal hymns in the beginning of the Liturgy (e.g. "Through the prayers of the Theotokos") actually come from the daily office of the Cathedral Rite, which structured itself around such congregational responses. Also, the current practice of chanting Psalm 140/41 at the beginning of Vespers has its roots in the vesperal service of Constantinople, which began with 8 antiphons, all connected by a sacerdotal prayer. The second through seventh antiphon were variable, chosen according to the nature of the feast, but the last one was always Psalm 140/41.

The Monastic Tradition
   
Although the Cathedral Rite deserves extensive analysis, its ethos and preoccupation becomes more evident in comparing it to the so-called monastic tradition. While the Sung Office was focused on grandeur and easy-to-remember responses, the monastic tradition was more contemplative, individual and far less ornate. It was also far more concerned with composition and dogmatic hymns. The Great Lavra of St. Savas had been home to a number of famous hymnographers – including St. John the Damascene – all of whom had spent considerable effort to expound and honor the Church’s teachings, feasts, and even saints in poetic song. Their work had founded a liturgical rite focused around what would become the Triodion, Pentecostarian, and Menaia. Perhaps most importantly, the monastic tradition had a more full daily office, since it was designed to facilitate constant prayer (cf. the Horologion of today).

The Studion Synthesis

These two traditions, which are by no means antithetical to each other, found an advocate who would see them wed in the person of St. Theodore the Studite, a tremendously influential monastic reformer. Starting during his own life in the late 8th century, St. Theodore and his monastery began a project of monastic and liturgical reform that would set the stage for the course of Byzantine worship. Since he was in Constantinople, he was obviously aware of the Sung Office, but, as a monk and theologian, he was also keenly desirous of using the dogmatic and spiritual power of the Middle Eastern hymns in heresy-torn Constantinople. As Fr. Calivas says, "At Studios, St. Theodore created a new order of services...he grafted the prayers and litanies of the Euchologion of the Great Church – Hagia Sophia – to the Palestinian Daily Office with its hymns and psalmody."(8 )  In chosing some of the most powerful and important parts of each rite, the monks of Studion created an usual balance between accessibility and rigor. Nevertheless, their reforms were not pervasive in influence – not even in the city itself – until after the Latin occupation ended. It was at this point, perhaps because of the monks' spiritual and moral authority as those who had stood against the Westerners and also because the normal Cathedral Rite had been hampered by Latin interference, that the Great Church switched its Typikon to the Studion-inspired practice. The rest of the Byzantine-influenced world was bound to follow suit, even as it had before.

Although there would be little major revision of the rite after this, it did not cease to change according to circumstances, nor did it completely surpress other rites immediately. St. Symeon of Thessalonike, for example, tells us about the worship in his cathedral church, which, less hampered by the Latins, had maintained its parochial traditions even up into the 15th century.(9) The greatest changes in the Byzantine Typikon after its Studite synthesis involve the service of the proskomedi, the structure of the church building, its iconographic program (including a higher iconostasion) and various influences from Slavic sources. Throughout all of these later-Byzantine and post-Byzantine changes, the only clear departure from earlier trends is a certain rigidness – even to the point of denying any possibility that the rite can continue to evolve. Lastly, some of the changes we have outlined in the liturgical services have prompted the Church to drift away from a robust understanding of the eschatological nature of liturgical life(10)  – and that is an ecclesial consciousness worth recovering.

Endnotes

(1) Calivas, Alkiviadis. Essays in Theology and Liturgy, Vol 3. Brookline: Hellenic College Press, 2003, p. 63.

(2) Cf. Taft, Robert. The Byzantine Rite: A Short History. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1992: "Byzantine liturgy and its theology -- within the native context of Byzantine church architecture, church decoration, and liturgical disposition which enfold the ritual like its natural womb -- join to forge what H.-J. Schulz has felicitously called a peculiar Symbolgestalt or symbolic matrix," (p. 17).

(3) Early Byzantine churches had an atrium (a special inclosed courtyard) that was as large as the nave. There are still a number of churches surviving with such. In the middle of the atrium, there was a fountain. This is where the people would gather before the services. On Pascha they would accept the newly baptized from the baptistry out in the atrium, greet them, light candles and sing Christ is risen. This is why we still go outside on major feasts. It is a vestige of having an outdoor liturgical space (the atrium). In certain traditions (e.g. Greek), the blessing of the water is done outside (another vestige of the fountain).

(4) In general there was a lot of movement in the church (even more than today). There were more places, rooms and partitions in the Church building, all of which had certain rites and celebrations associated with them. Prayers would begin in the atrium, with psalms or the hours, Orthros would be in the narthex, the liturgy of Word would take place around the ambo (the pulpit, which would have been in the very middle of the nave -- no pews -- and the people would have gathered around it), and finally the Eucharist would take place around the altar, with the people crowding around but separated by a low partition.

This dynamism and movement survives in the monastery: there is still a fountain right outside of the Church where the blessing of the water takes place on the beginning of every month and on Epiphany. The monks still do certain services only in the narthex or exo-narthex (parishes do the exorcisms et al. before a Baptism in the narthex -- another vestige -- and the betrothal service was held in the narthex until recently). Further, like the early Church, there are monasteries that still use the fountain on a regular basis.

(5) As should be obvious, these euchologia and the Liturgies themselves represent the most obvious antecedents of the Cathedral Rite. In so far as they reflect the traditions of parishes in the world, they are a Cathedral Rite. The sung service of the Great Church relied heavily on these sources.

(6) Ibid, pp. 29-31.

(7) Calivas, p. 71.

(8 ) Ibid., p. 85.

(9) See Symeon of Thessalonike. Treatise on Prayer: An Explanation of the Services Conducted in the Orthodox Church. Simmon, Harry, trans. Brookline: Hellenic College Press, 1984.

(10) Cf., for example, the 3rd and 4th century liturgy to Theodore of Mopsuestia to St. Maximos the Confessor to St. Germanos of Constantinople to St. Nicholas Cabasilas – a steady growth away from eschatology to typology and spiritual symbolism.
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« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2006, 11:32:15 AM »

Evening Worship by Nicholas Uspensky tran. Fr. Paul Lazor, Treatsie on Prayer by St. Simeon of Thessalonika, Outline of Asmatic Vespers perfomed by Capella Romana by Prof. A Lingas, Articles on Cathedral Offcie in Dumbarton Oak Papers and OCA and OCP by Prof. O Strunk, sorry don't have the volume numbers at hand at the moment.
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« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2006, 11:40:07 AM »

"Also, the current practice of chanting Psalm 140/41 at the beginning of Vespers has its roots in the vesperal service of Constantinople, which began with 8 antiphons, all connected by a sacerdotal prayer. The second through seventh antiphon were variable, chosen according to the nature of the feast, but the last one was always Psalm 140/41."

But this is one of the first features to be abbreviated. St. Simeon says in his treatsie that because the people grumbled about the length of the service the Antiphons between Psalm 85 and Psalm 140 were reduced to one verse of Psalm 67.  Just going to show that abbreviation of services have been around along time and were done to keep the people happy. Conversely, because they were so popular, Canons were added to Asmatic Matins which were not a feature of the Asmatic office.
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« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2006, 11:50:50 AM »

But this is one of the first features to be abbreviated. St. Simeon says in his treatsie that because the people grumbled about the length of the service the Antiphons between Psalm 85 and Psalm 140 were reduced to one verse of Psalm 67.  Just going to show that abbreviation of services have been around along time and were done to keep the people happy. Conversely, because they were so popular, Canons were added to Asmatic Matins which were not a feature of the Asmatic office.

And, nowadays, many people outside of the monasteries have done away with the Canons! (By the way, isn't this a possible indication of the length of the Asmatic Office? At least in my experience, it takes about 5 minutes to chant a decent-sized Psalm at a reasonably syndomon pace -- and that's without a refrain!)
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« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2006, 12:06:00 PM »

By the way, isn't this a possible indication of the length of the Asmatic Office? At least in my experience, it takes about 5 minutes to chant a decent-sized Psalm at a reasonably syndomon pace -- and that's without a refrain!

The original as done in Hagia Sophia yes, as done by St. Simeon in Thessalonika, no. His Cathedral Vespers probably took no longer than Great Vespers with Litija do now.
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« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2006, 01:41:55 PM »

So very basically, there was just a ton of psalms with simple refrians being sung by cantor and people. Reminds me a little bit of the Benedictine Office (still done today in Western Rite Orthodox parishes and in traditional Catholic ones).

I wonder what the likelyhood of bringing back some of the psalms and refrains into the liturgy for people to sing but a problem I guess would be where they would go, which psalms, unless we've got the primary sources hidden away in some musty Istanbul library belonging to St. George's cathedral or buried under some concrete in the Chora monastery...it makes me sad to think of Chora or of Agia Sophia or even of Panagia's monastery in Pontos. Back to my original post, the reason I wodner is because my presvytera of all people (and she's a very dedicated person) has complained of the long services dominated by priest/chanter/choir...lets face it most people are not going to learn the chants except for the very popular ones. So maybe putting in some refrains in between the chanting would heighten people's participation...then again still we would have the problem of a long liturgy unless we were to cut some of the actual chanting out...but that i nturn would be a shame since theres so many beautiful chants and such a revision could easily get out of hand like Vat II did. So we're basically stuck the way we are it seems.
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« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2006, 02:46:59 PM »

New Skete has revised the Divine Office to include some of the old Cathedral elements such as the chanting the Pslams and Canticles with Refrains and they publish their own Service books but they are the only ones allowed to use them as far as I know.  Perhaps elements of their books would be approved if a hierarch was asked.  I am pretty sure that in the Cathedral Pslater with proper refrains for each psalm still exists in Greek, so that could be translated as well.
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« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2006, 08:03:46 PM »

Thank you Pravoslav, that was such an informative and well-put post. I will check my churchs bookstore, library, or amazon.

You're welcome.  I think I should say that I should have been more careful in the way I put some things in my post.  For example, I think that the things that really changed in liturgical practice from the 9th to the 14th centuries were "divine offices" like the hours, vespers, matins; also hymnography, and how the calendars and lectionaries were ordered.  I would tend to think that the Divine Liturgy itself didn't change that much, all things considered.  Also, when I said that litanies were a cathedral usage, I should have been more specific, or should I say vague!  That is to say, there were litanies before there was a Cathedral Rite.  From what I can remember, I think the Cathedral Rite creators incorporated extant litanies and changed them.  Also, if one can say that the Trisagian is something that first appeared in cathedral usage, it was certainly quite early on in the "cathedral era."

Getting back to my point about the Divine Liturgy.... The new redaction of Chrysostom that appeared about the year 800 wasn't changed that much from its earlier version.  It was tweaked here and there, I think, and made to mirror almost indentically the Basil "matrix", as far as I can tell.

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« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2006, 09:53:11 AM »

For those interested:

Alexander Lingas, 'Festal Cathedral Vespers in Late Byzantium', Orientalia Christiana Periodica 63 (Rome: PontificalInstitute of Oriental Studies, 1997): 421–59.

many other articles on the cathedral Rite by Prof Lingas as well listed here:
http://www.cappellaromana.org/Lingas_A%20_CV_8Feb01.pdf

Sunday Matins in the Byzantine Cathedral Rite
Music and Liturgy
Alexander Lingas

This is an interdisciplinary examination of the office of Sunday Matins as celebrated in the Byzantine cathedral Rite of the Great Church from its origins in the popular psalmodic assemblies of the fourth century to its comprehensive reform by Archbishop Symeon of Thessalonica (†1429), Byzantium's last and most prolific liturgical commentator. Specifically, it studies the influence of developments in liturgical music and piety-notable among which were the advent of monastic hymnody and virtuosic styles of chanting-on the order of service at the Constantinopolitan and Thessalonian cathedrals of Hagia Sophia. This is accomplished through reconstructions of the service of Sunday matins as celebrated in the two churches from musical manuscripts, books of rubrics ('typika'), and liturgical commentaries. The act of giving musical flesh to these ceremonies allows the author to address questions of interest not only to musicologists, but also to students of Byzantine liturgy, art and intellectual history.

Hardback - ISBN: 0754650472 - c. £49.50 - March 2006 - pp. c. 300, Ashgate Publishing

« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 10:25:32 AM by Deacon Lance » Logged

My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Edmund
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« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2006, 12:38:27 AM »

Thanks everybody for you input,I was at vespers and talked to our priest too. My mind is now at ease. Coming from a RC background when I heard the words"liturgical reform" I had visions of torn down iconostasis, teenage girls in leotards doing liturgical dance, priest facing the people, Andrew Lloyd Weber style hymns, and the general iconoclasm and banal modern RC liturgy, whew I can sleep tonight a little better. Grin 
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