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Author Topic: Evening Divine Liturgies  (Read 7045 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 21, 2006, 02:58:59 PM »

What are the opinions (pro/con) on using evening divine liturgies to celebrate feast days in anticipation on the forefeast eve?
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2006, 03:05:19 PM »

What are the opinions (pro/con) on using evening divine liturgies to celebrate feast days in anticipation on the forefeast eve?

In nomine Iesu welkodox I offer you continued peace,

During Saturdays? Aren't disciplines to be relaxes on Saturdays? Or are you suggesting other days of the week?

Pax Vobiscum
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2006, 03:31:48 PM »

Sorry, I should have been more specific.  I'm talking about for the celebration of the major feasts which don't fall on a Sunday or Monday.  Normally it would be great vespers on the forefeast eve and divine liturgy in the morning.  I'm asking about the pros and cons of having an evening liturgy in anticipation of the feast in order to celebrate the feast, i.e. there would be no liturgy on the morning of the actual feast day.
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2006, 03:40:12 PM »

From a practical standpoint, and I find that the older I get the more practical I get, I love them with the exception of the all night Pascha liturgy that some parishes have. Theologically, no thoughts.
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2006, 02:12:10 AM »

There are many practical and pastoral issues that make the practice a good option for many parishes here in America. The Antiochian Archdiocese has published about 30 or so different Vesper Liturgy books to cover most of the major feast and saints. The only problem I have with these services is the way they are put together, I don't like how the transition from Vespers to Liturgy takes place since it does not follow the tradition set forth by the Vesper Liturgies of Christmas, Epiphany and Pascha.
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2006, 11:37:01 AM »

How does it transition?  I can't remember.

To my knowledge the Antiochians are the only ones who have approved these.  I think I remember reading somebody in the OCA was doing it too, but that it was stopped.
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2006, 11:28:11 PM »

How does it transition?  I can't remember.


What happens is during the singing of the Doxasticon after "Lord, I have Cried" the priest enters the Nave not with the censer, but with the Gospel Book and then we proceed to sing the hymn, "O Gladsome Light."  After that, we continue with the Liturgy by singing the Trisagion.

I have to admit that as an Antiochian, I really do not prefer this arrangement.  If its aim is to bring out more worshippers for the Great Feasts, it isn't happening.  We may as well just do the entire Liturgy at 6 A.M. and have Vespers the night before.  One of the things that really bothers me is that since there are so few of us, we have to chant the Liturgy and the Antiochian website does not have any (except harmonized versions) Byzantine chants for the Anaphora, the Cherubimic Hymn, the Meglynarion, etc.  So what we end up doing is singing the melody line of Russian settings like Tchaikovsky, Bortniansky, Archangelsky, etc.  If anyone knows where I can get these particular hymns in a Byzaninte setting I'd really appreciate it.

Scamandrius
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2006, 12:34:02 AM »

Byzantine chants for the Anaphora, the Cherubimic Hymn, the Meglynarion, etc.  So what we end up doing is singing the melody line of Russian settings like Tchaikovsky, Bortniansky, Archangelsky, etc.  If anyone knows where I can get these particular hymns in a Byzaninte setting I'd really appreciate it.

I think this is what you are looking for
http://stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Index.html
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2006, 01:18:31 PM »

I think this is what you are looking for
http://stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Index.html

Arimethea,

Thanks.  I have actually been to that sight before.  There are a lot of difficult pieces (I'm still very mediocre in my chanting ability  Cheesy) there and that is why I have been looking elsewhere for music. 

Scamandrius
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2006, 01:38:47 PM »

What happens is during the singing of the Doxasticon after "Lord, I have Cried" the priest enters the Nave not with the censer, but with the Gospel Book and then we proceed to sing the hymn, "O Gladsome Light."  After that, we continue with the Liturgy by singing the Trisagion.

I have to admit that as an Antiochian, I really do not prefer this arrangement.  If its aim is to bring out more worshippers for the Great Feasts, it isn't happening.  We may as well just do the entire Liturgy at 6 A.M. and have Vespers the night before.  One of the things that really bothers me is that since there are so few of us, we have to chant the Liturgy and the Antiochian website does not have any (except harmonized versions) Byzantine chants for the Anaphora, the Cherubimic Hymn, the Meglynarion, etc.  So what we end up doing is singing the melody line of Russian settings like Tchaikovsky, Bortniansky, Archangelsky, etc.  If anyone knows where I can get these particular hymns in a Byzaninte setting I'd really appreciate it.

Scamandrius

Scamandrius,
You could always get OLDER Slavic settings that are not the concert-type rather western forms of the composers listed above.  Many of them are if melody and ison type or have melody lines that are, well, a melody as opposed to those listed above.  Contact my priest at www.saintseraphim.com and he could hook you up.  He is an expert on Znammeny Chant. 
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2006, 02:07:52 PM »

Scamandrius,
You could always get OLDER Slavic settings that are not the concert-type rather western forms of the composers listed above.  Many of them are if melody and ison type or have melody lines that are, well, a melody as opposed to those listed above.  Contact my priest at www.saintseraphim.com and he could hook you up.  He is an expert on Znammeny Chant. 

Elisha,

Many thanks.  I may just do that.  I love Znammeny chant.  I have so many recordings of examples of such a wonderful thing to come out of Russia.  I assume there are English translations of these settings.  Anyways, I'll get in touch with him after the Nativity/Theophany season about this. 

Scamandrius
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2006, 11:59:32 PM »

Back to the original question, the pros and cons of the Evening Divine Liturgy...
I think the jury is still out on this one. Like everything in North American, it depends upon one's jurisdictional tradition.

For instance, for ROCOR Orthodox, this is completely wrong (at least from the point of view of my ROCOR friends). They will go to vigil (or vespers) the night before a feast and, if possible, attend the Liturgy the next morning. Normally, these Liturgies are populated either by the retired or by the zealous (aka converts).

Now, for my Antiochian friends, until these Evening Divine Liturgy books came out, they rarely celebrated weekday feast days 10, 20, 30, or 40 years ago. These Evening Divine Liturgies, basically, reintroduced many feast days back into the Antiochian practice.

Many consider the Evening Divine Liturgy a terrible innovation. Alternatives that are offered are as follows:

1) Forget them all together (unless it is Easter, Christmas, Dormition or Theophany).

2) Move the service to the closest Sunday. (This sometimes occurs in some jurisdictions, but for the most part is frowned upon)

2) Keep the "normal" tradition which is either Vespers the night before and Orthros and Liturgy the next day or Vigil the night before and the Liturgy the next morning.

3) Celebrate only the Liturgy the night before and begin with either the hours or Great Doxology

4) Celebrate Orthros and Liturgy the night before.

I don't know which one is the best, but I guess as long as "something" is done, it is better than nothing.

Basil


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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2006, 12:08:47 AM »

So what we end up doing is singing the melody line of Russian settings like Tchaikovsky, Bortniansky, Archangelsky, etc.  If anyone knows where I can get these particular hymns in a Byzaninte setting I'd really appreciate it.

It's not just you, I've seen this elsewhere.
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« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2006, 12:29:25 AM »

Christ is born!  Glorify Him!

Many consider the Evening Divine Liturgy a terrible innovation. Alternatives that are offered are as follows:

1) Forget them all together (unless it is Easter, Christmas, Dormition or Theophany).         

No way!

2) Move the service to the closest Sunday. (This sometimes occurs in some jurisdictions, but for the most part is frowned upon)

Then why bothering having a liturgical calendar?  This is what happened when I was a Lutheran.  Whenever a major feast of the Church was celebrated, like Ascension, it was moved always to the Sunday afterwards.  That really screws up the lectionary.  And soon, major holy days were just ignored, like Transfiguration.  I can't remember an actual time as a Lutheran we celebrated Transfiguration beyond just a passing reference.

2) Keep the "normal" tradition which is either Vespers the night before and Orthros and Liturgy the next day or Vigil the night before and the Liturgy the next morning.

Preferable, but I know that only four to five would come out for the whole thing.  But those who couldn't make Vespers, could come to the Liturgy the next day and vice versa. I know that there are some people who don't come simply because after an exhausting day at work they are too tired to come out.  I understand that.

3) Celebrate only the Liturgy the night before and begin with either the hours or Great Doxology.

OK.

4) Celebrate Orthros and Liturgy the night before..

If the Feast DAy were on a non-Sunday so you could avoid celebrating two liturgies (which you can't do anyways), that might also work.

I don't know which one is the best, but I guess as long as "something" is done, it is better than nothing...

Basil,

I guess it is best to do something rather than nothing.  As I said above, if the Vesperal Liturgy is celebrated to increase attendance the night before, it's not working.  And I don't think that those who come (I'm talking only about my parish) would stop if we just did the entire Liturgy beginning with the Doxology.  One thing that does need to be addressed is that these Vesperal Books are not very well put together.  At "Lord I have Cried" they often have the wrong number of stichera, in the wrong order and the translations are frequently awkward and difficult to chant especially when seeing them for the first time.  We'll see if anything occurs.

Scamandrius



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« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2006, 01:13:30 AM »

To say they are not well attended is not fair to say. It depends on the parish and that can be said for the use of the services too. Some parishes are mature enough to be able to have Vespers the night before the feast and Orthros and Liturgy the day of the feast. Some parishes can not even get people to attend any services outside of Sunday services. While scamandrius sees in his parish the evening liturgies not well attended I have been in parishes where for some feast the liturgies are held in the morning and others are held in the evenings and the evening ones always have better attendance because those who work are able to attend while the morning liturgies tend to only be the old timers who attend every service no matter what time they are.

One of the biggest pros is that it gets people in the habit of fasting most of the day and preparing ones self for communion so that when the Great Fast rolls around they are use to it for when Presanctified Liturgy (which is a form of the Vesperal Liturgy) is served.
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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2006, 07:38:37 AM »

My Antiochian parish under the direction of our diocesian bishop has the vespers with the Divine Liturgy on the FeastDay for most ocassions.  Attendance has not changed one way or the other, the traditional practice is used. More families tend to attend the evening service, more home schoolers show for the Liturgy but it still seems that people come to one either the vespers or the Liturgy but seldom to both except for Saturday and Sunday (then again, many people in my parish travel 40-50 miles to get to the Feast).

The key is that unlike previous practice in the Antiochian  jurisdiction, the feasts are being celebrated on a regular , not just occassional basis.  More people are coming and participating in the worship services of the church.  More important, many parents are coming with their children, exemplifying the value of participating fully in the life of the Church on a 7 day a week basis.

We are blessed to have true pastors and servants ,  Priests, Deacons, subdeacons and  Readers who assure that  Orthros and Vespers or Compline are served daily in the parish.

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« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2006, 12:32:31 AM »

Thomas,

You are right, the services are better attended, but it would be better if parishes  (regardless of jurisdiction) where allowed some options (that is, to use an evening Divine Liturgy or vespers the night before and Orthros/Liturgy the next day) based upon the need of each parish.

I also note, that the couple of old Evening Divine Liturgy books (Antiochian) that I have in my library are, to be honest terrible. They could use a revision.

Basil
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« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2006, 12:47:07 AM »

Well, as someone, who got used to work crazy hours, I am absolutely for evening Divine Liturgies. That practice provides access to Holy Communion to so many people.
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2006, 08:28:06 PM »

To further the conversation on the Evening Divine Liturgy (as used by the Antiochians) does anyone know how this form of evening service was picked by them? What I mean, is the EDL basically follows the outline of the Vesperal Liturgy that is held on the eve of the 3 great feasts: Christmas, Epiphany and Pascha. These services are actually held late on the DAY OF these celebrations. The EDL is actually served, not on the day of, but on the eve. To our liturgists out there - does this make sense? Could one hold the EDL on the evening of the feast, rather than the evening before?

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« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2006, 10:24:59 AM »

Basil,

The liturgical day starts on the evening before the calendar date of the feast. So the evening before the feast is actual the feast day according to the typicon.  If you waited until the evening of the feast itself you would actually be celebrating a day late.

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« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2006, 04:12:07 PM »

I can remember seeing in the liturgical guide for the Antiochian Archdiocese a year or two ago a note from Bishop BASIL requesting that parishes serve feastday liturgies in the morning of the feast as opposed to the evening whenever possible.  I recall that, at least in my parish, the practice beforehand was to do vespers that transitioned into the Liturgy.  But since then, we seem to do mostly Liturgies on the morning of the feast, preceded by the Great Doxology, although we occasionally do evening liturgies from time to time.
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« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2006, 04:23:44 PM »

I thought I remembered reading somewhere that they were mandated, at least at one time, for the majority of the major feasts.  I can't remember the exact criteria, but it was like if the feast didn't fall on a weekend, it had to be celebrated with an evening liturgy.  The AOA church near me uses them for just about everything that I'm aware of, including the Nativity.
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« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2006, 09:43:00 AM »

In relationship to the note above, perhaps we are getting a glimpse of how the Antiochian's would be under the direction of Bishop BASIL if he were elected as Metropolitan to the Holy Synod from his instructions about the evening worship.

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« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2006, 08:32:38 PM »

In relationship to the note above, perhaps we are getting a glimpse of how the Antiochian's would be under the direction of Bishop BASIL

For Sundays and other major feast days, Bishop +BASIL creates typicon notes for all the priests, chanters and readers to follow rather than what is presented on the Antiochian website.  And these notes assume that parishes serve Vespers, Matins and the Liturgy and not an abbreviated form. I'm very grateful that this man, who has such a passion for the liturgy is my bishop.

On a personal note, elevating His Grace, Bishop +BASIL to that position would be nothing more than a huge boon for the Antiochian Archdiocese in America. 

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« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2007, 07:10:32 PM »

I do not know much about canon law, but exactly what is it that would make a Vesperal Divine Liturgy controversial?  Is there a rule that a Divine Liturgy has to be celebrated in the morning?  I vaguely remember reading in one of Fr. Schmemmann's (God rest his soul) books that even when Vesperal Liturgies are called for (the Presanctified, Holy Week, Christmas and Theophany) they were still traditionally celebrated in the morning.  Why is this? 

It does bug me when vespers and matins get flip-flopped during Holy Week, but I have been told to stop thinking that Orthodoxy should always make sense!
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« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2007, 12:23:52 AM »

I like having Vesperal Liturgies because I can take my school-aged sons to the feast day services. We live too far away to attend a morning service and they would miss school. Holy Week is when I make the exception and pull them out of school to attend the services if need be.
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« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2007, 03:57:08 PM »

I vaguely remember reading in one of Fr. Schmemmann's (God rest his soul) books that even when Vesperal Liturgies are called for (the Presanctified, Holy Week, Christmas and Theophany) they were still traditionally celebrated in the morning.  Why is this? 
I would not be surprised if Fr. Schmemmann made this claim but just remember that Schmemmann often made remarks to back up the points he was trying to make and often had nothing to back up many of his liturgical history claims. Schmemmann was a great philosopher on the liturgy but a bad historian. It is true that Vesperal Liturgies are held earlier in the day but we are talking more of a mid-day early afternoon time frame. Remeber that when the Vesper Liturgy is called for the services of the Hours and Typika are called for before the Vespers and traditionally those are held after Orthros.

Quote
It does bug me when vespers and matins get flip-flopped during Holy Week, but I have been told to stop thinking that Orthodoxy should always make sense!
The concern is always about maintaining the order of the services, the specific time frame matters less. If you want to continue the talk about flipping of services in Holy Week I can split the thread.
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« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2007, 07:41:19 PM »

Arimethea:

Thank you. What you say about Fr. Schmemman seems to be true, from what I have read of him.

I'm more interested in hearing from anyone as to whether or not there is a real theological argument against Vesperal Divine Liturgies at times when they are not called for.  Tamara brings up an excellent point that pastorally makes all the sense in the world.  So other than the fact that we have to leave off the second half of vespers and the antiphons of the Liturgy, is there a theological reason why this should not be done?
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« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2007, 01:14:16 AM »

is there a theological reason why this should not be done?
You won't find a Theological argument because our Theology is the God created the heavens and the earth, he sent his only begotten Son who was crucified, raised from the dead and is coming. Also the Spirit who proceeds from the Father and along with Son is One God.

The arguments against the Vesperal Liturgy are pastoral and traditional. Our theology is so simple that you really have to screw things up royally in order to break our basic theology which can be done very easily just by adding more to our core theology.
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« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2007, 12:07:41 AM »

You won't find a Theological argument because our Theology is the God created the heavens and the earth, he sent his only begotten Son who was crucified, raised from the dead and is coming. Also the Spirit who proceeds from the Father and along with Son is One God.

The arguments against the Vesperal Liturgy are pastoral and traditional. Our theology is so simple that you really have to screw things up royally in order to break our basic theology which can be done very easily just by adding more to our core theology.

Arimathea,

No offense, but simple just doesn't cut it for me.  If it were simple, then are we "saved" now?  Is there a Second and Glorious comming?  Is there a purgatory? 

If you just cut and paste your response and add it as an answer to my questions it would provide for a difficult answer.  Now, I understand that when you expound on all of the things which you mentioned, you can get an answer to my questions...but you said to make it simple. 

I personally am a big fan of making things common sense, not necessarily simple.  If I wanted to be simple, I would follow the monastic route. 

I may have come accross kind of harshly...but I feel very strongly on this...obviously... Wink
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« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2007, 01:22:02 PM »

Andrew,

Something to consider from St. Theophan the Recluse:

Quote
All of our liturgical hymns are instructive, profound and sublime.
They contain the whole of our theology and moral teaching,
give us Christian consolation and instill in us a fear of the Judgment.
He who listens to them attentively has no need of other books on the Faith.

St Theophan the Recluse

If most of the laity are unable to show up for the services due to timing issues then they miss out
on the traditional way Orthodox Christians were catechized through the centuries.

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« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2007, 01:33:29 PM »

Andrew,

Something to consider from St. Theophan the Recluse:

If most of the laity are unable to show up for the services due to timing issues then they miss out
on the traditional way Orthodox Christians were catechized through the centuries.

I agree, but it's a difficult situation.  7 p.m. liturgies would be too late for my kids on a school night.  In the morning one of us has to take them to school, so only one of us can go.  Like this morning when my wife went to the St. Stephen's Day liturgy.

What's interesting to me is reply #6 in the thread states that the evening liturgies haven't increased attendance.
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« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2007, 01:47:20 PM »

I agree, but it's a difficult situation.  7 p.m. liturgies would be too late for my kids on a school night.  In the morning one of us has to take them to school, so only one of us can go.  Like this morning when my wife went to the St. Stephen's Day liturgy.

What's interesting to me is reply #6 in the thread states that the evening liturgies haven't increased attendance.

How do we know that evening Liturgies have not increased attendance? We would need to do some kind of survey to find out if this is true or not. I attended evening Liturgy for St. Ignatius and St. Stephen's feast days and on both occasions our parish was full.

I understand 7 pm may still be too late for little ones but as they get older the timing will work. My sons are aged 10 and 13. We live 45 minutes away from the parish but I can usually get them home by 10 pm. It is an hour past their normal bedtime but we aren't attending the services every night so they can afford to lose one hour of sleep once in awhile.
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« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2007, 02:22:16 PM »

How do we know that evening Liturgies have not increased attendance?

We don't, but one person in the AOA remarked that in their parish it didn't.  I don't have a real major issue with it being done either way.
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« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2007, 02:51:36 PM »

At seminary we're told often that when you're a priest to just go to the parish and do as many services as you can.  This way you provide people with at least the OPPORTUNITY to come...

It could take years though for people to come and appreciate what you are offering.  It took people centuries to appreciate Christ...why is it any different now? 
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« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2007, 07:42:51 PM »


What's interesting to me is reply #6 in the thread states that the evening liturgies haven't increased attendance.

Just so that we are absolutely clear, I was referring to the situation at my parish and I was not making judgments across the board at other parishes.  Either way, there are about maybe 8 or 9 that make it out for these Vesperal Liturgies (that includes priest and the two chanters).  We are a parish that maybe has about 100 people there on Sunday Liturgies. and when we have had morning liturgies that begin around 6:00 am, we have actually had more people come out for those since what could be better than the Eucharist to start your day? Smiley

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« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2007, 07:25:49 PM »

At seminary we're told often that when you're a priest to just go to the parish and do as many services as you can.  This way you provide people with at least the OPPORTUNITY to come...

It could take years though for people to come and appreciate what you are offering.  It took people centuries to appreciate Christ...why is it any different now? 
Excellent post!!! Great conclusions!
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« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2007, 07:52:59 PM »

I do not know much about canon law, but exactly what is it that would make a Vesperal Divine Liturgy controversial?

1) None of the ancient, medieval, early modern or modern Typika call for such a service.

2) There is therefore obvious confusion over the necessary structure of such a service, especially because the established models do not necessarily make good sense from a theological or liturgical perspective (perhaps cleveland can speak more on this).

3) Some think it is unlikely that many parishioners can/will/would/want to follow the fasting expectations that attend such evening liturgies.

4) A day-long fast is more appropriate for (a) somber times or (b) in preparation for only the greatest feasts. By adding such fasts to one's monthly – perhaps even weekly – experience, one changes the larger established cycle of fasting and feasting quite substantially. (What if the Vesperal Liturgy falls on a Tuesday?)

Thus, some feel this innovation doesn't really make it easier for the faithful in general to partake of the Eucharist and/or it creates the conditions for laxity in the eucharistic fast.

Quote
Is there a rule that a Divine Liturgy has to be celebrated in the morning?

All of the earliest sources (circa AD 90 to 150) indicate that the Eucharistic celebration was held in the very early morning on Sunday, which is the time and day at which our Lord rose.

The bottom line: For better or worse, the Typikon has settled on a cycle of liturgical services that maintains a certain rhythm and balance, based on generally consistent principles. Frequent Vesperal Liturgies simply aren't part of that Typikon. If one dips one's toes in here and there – sampling the ecclesiastical year and its fasting disciplines at choice times – then a foreign addition doesn't really seem to strike a dissonant note.  Since this is often the necessary reality for many of the faithful, Vesperal Liturgies seem to make some kind of pastoral sense. But that doesn't change the fact that they don't really fit into the actual symphony.
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« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2007, 08:16:22 PM »

It is interesting to note that, in many Muslim countries, most Orthodox go to church on Friday, because it is the day off. The service they actually serve on that day, is not the Friday service, but the Sunday service.  This too we know, does not fit, but is an accomodation to a particular situation.  Evening Divine Liturgies are similiar: They don't "fit" the Typikon but are an accomodation to a situation. What's worse, and creeping into many parishes, is simply just "moving" major feasts to the nearest Sunday.

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« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2007, 09:52:01 PM »

It is interesting to note that, in many Muslim countries, most Orthodox go to church on Friday, because it is the day off. The service they actually serve on that day, is not the Friday service, but the Sunday service.  This too we know, does not fit, but is an accomodation to a particular situation.  Evening Divine Liturgies are similiar: They don't "fit" the Typikon but are an accomodation to a situation. What's worse, and creeping into many parishes, is simply just "moving" major feasts to the nearest Sunday. 

One of my issues with Vesperal Liturgies is the difficulty with fasting all day beforehand.... It's one of the reasons why Vesperal Liturgies are prohibited on Sundays and Saturdays (days when abstinence of food is not to be done, with the exception of Great and Holy Saturday).  People end up coming up with the various compromises (which I adhere to, as well) such as "not eating for 8 hours before" or whatever it happens to be... But the standard is supposed to be fasting that calendar day before one receives (with the exception of vigils), so if the Liturgy is at 9am the fast is 9hours, and if the Liturgy is at 5pm the fast is 17 hours... It's hard for people to go to work, etc and keep that fast without getting weak or whatnot.  It's actually one of the justifications behind moving Presanctified Liturgy to the mornings (often done in monasteries, and definitely done during Holy Week).
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« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2007, 09:54:32 PM »

"1) None of the ancient, medieval, early modern or modern Typika call for such a service."

Have not the Antiochians in the act of requiring them for the certain Great Feasts created a new Typicon in part?  And is it not time that Churches take a serious look at creating a Parochial Typicon, instead of half-heartedly using a Monastic Typicon that really doesn't work in todays situation.  The Byzantine Church once existed with multiple Cathedral and Monastic Typicons in use at the same time.  Why is the Sabbaite Typicon to be enshrined as the standard forever?

"2) There is therefore obvious confusion over the necessary structure of such a service, especially because the established models do not necessarily make good sense from a theological or liturgical perspective (perhaps cleveland can speak more on this)."

What confusion? Copy the structure used in the Vigil Liturgies for Christmas and Theophany and the others that are in the Typicon.  Again the Antiochians do not copy them exactly but their current use is a good adaptation.

"3) Some think it is unlikely that many parishioners can/will/would/want to follow the fasting expectations that attend such evening liturgies.

4) A day-long fast is more appropriate for (a) somber times or (b) in preparation for only the greatest feasts. By adding such fasts to one's monthly – perhaps even weekly – experience, one changes the larger established cycle of fasting and feasting quite substantially. (What if the Vesperal Liturgy falls on a Tuesday"

Is not the required from noon the day of the Liturgy?  This fast approximates the regular Sunday fast from midnight till Liturgy.  It is perhaps more ascetic since one is awake and experiencing hunger for the 5-7 hours until Liturgy unlike the Sunday fast.

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« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2007, 10:35:47 PM »

Is not the required from noon the day of the Liturgy?

I have heard that such is the typical standard in the (American) Antiochian Church. But, of course, that's purely the personal/arbitrary/pastoral decision of one (maybe a few) bishops (cf. cleveland's post on the (original) norm).

What happens if this innovation becomes the standard "parochial" Typikon and there happens to be a good number of weekday feasts that fall on Monday? Do we violate the letter and spirit of the canons (which contain an important theological principle in this case, I think) and fast on Sunday in preparation for Sunday night's Vesperal Liturgy?

I suppose it depends on the parish, but I see no compelling reason why this innovation (especially with its various implications) offers a great benefit in reality. Those who are eager to celebrate the feast in the evening can always attend Great Vespers/Vigil.
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« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2007, 11:15:20 PM »

What happens if this innovation becomes the standard "parochial" Typikon and there happens to be a good number of weekday feasts that fall on Monday? Do we violate the letter and spirit of the canons (which contain an important theological principle in this case, I think) and fast on Sunday in preparation for Sunday night's Vesperal Liturgy?

The Antiochian Archdiocese has forbidden the celebration of the Vesperal Liturgy on Sunday evening for any feast that falls on a Monday. In those cases the liturgy is to be celebrated on Monday morning.
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« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2007, 12:34:50 AM »

"What happens if this innovation becomes the standard "parochial" Typikon and there happens to be a good number of weekday feasts that fall on Monday? Do we violate the letter and spirit of the canons (which contain an important theological principle in this case, I think) and fast on Sunday in preparation for Sunday night's Vesperal Liturgy?"

I don't understand the conflict people see in this considering we already do fast every Sunday from Midnight until after Liturgy.  If there were a Sunday evening Liturgy in addition to the one Sunday morning could not the fast be modified to allow a meal after the morning Liturgy and resume the Eucharistic fast until evening?  Or one could simply disallow the evening Liturgy when the Feast falls on Sunday Evening as the Antiochians do.
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« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2007, 01:54:30 PM »

Quote
Have not the Antiochians in the act of requiring them for the certain Great Feasts created a new Typicon in part?

Yes.
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« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2007, 12:22:55 AM »

Dear Friends:

I must respectfully disagree with those who say there is no precedent for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the evening. 

In the 20th chapter of the book of Acts, the story is related of a young man, Eutychus, who falls asleep because the sermon lasts until after midnight during the Liturgy ( the breaking of bread).

In the 11th chapter of the First Letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul describes the Eucharist taking place during an evening meal. He even complains about those who start eating before the others and those who get drunk !

We should also remember that our Lord instituted the Eucharist during the Mystical Supper; not the Mystical Breakfast !

We need to be discerning. Tradition does not mean a slavish imitation of what was done one hundred years or six hundred years ago. The church's liturgy has evolved overtime. At one time, the short Kontakion hymn was an entire cantata. The fact is *every* parish uses an abbreviated form of the Typicon. if we celebrated the entire Orthros according to the monastic Typicon, the Orthros alone would last nearly 4 hours.

When I was first trained as a cantor in the Russian church, over thirty years ago, I was taught out of a text called "Nastol'naya Kniga", an explanatory description of the church services. I remember that descriptions often concluded with "or at the discretion of the rector". I may not be quoting this correctly - it was a *very* long time ago; but I do remember that the Typicon does give some latitude to the parish priest as to the manner in which the services are performed, with the blessing of his bishop of course.

It seems to me, that the evening celebration of the Eucharist, is not so much an "innovation " as a practical return to an ancient practice.

Best wishes,

Francis Frost
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« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2007, 05:15:16 AM »

Francis,

I would submit that the issue of whether or not there is precedence for the practice is moot, since there are examples of many practices in the Bible which are not continued.  The same 11th Chapter of 1st Corinthians tells us to eat if we're hungry before gathering for the Lord's Supper - a practice which may have been followed at first, but which later the Church dec, aided in Her Wisdom to discontinue.  In the end, Orthodoxy's view that Holy Tradition is equal or greater than Holy Scripture should guide the discussion - the practice of Evening Liturgy has been reserved for special times of the year (prescribed only for a few feasts and Presanctified in Lent), and even then the Vesperal Liturgy has been placed in the morning so as not to put undue burden on the people (go ahead, read the Typikon - it says that Vesperal Liturgy for Christmas and Epiphany is to take place in the morning after Royal Hours, the day before the feast; same with Presanctified, which is to take place the in the morning the day before the feastday). 

The Church saw that people wouldn't/couldn't do the all-day fast that would be required for a Vesperal Liturgy, so she moved her Liturgies to the morning.  The same 11th Chapter of 1st Corinthians speaks of making sure one is prepared to receive the Body and Blood of Christ... So while we, out of "pastoral concern," wish to do Evening Liturgies so people can make it after work, we're not being very pastoral when we ask of them to not eat during a full workday.  Our usual compromise - telling them not to eat for 6 or 8 hours before - ruins the picture of the daily nature of Liturgy and the fast of the day that is associated with it, instead attaching only some idea of the empty belly to our Eucharistic Fast.
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« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2007, 09:52:42 AM »

I agree with Cleveland, but I am of the mind that "something" is better than "nothing."  We should probably state that the morning liturgy is the best way to celebrate the weekday feasts and let the priest use his discretion.

In regards to fasting 6 to 8 hours before, my older Greek friends say that's all they used to fast for Sunday mornings. Meaning, they always ate late on Saturday night (as they did every day of the week) and Liturgy began at 7am. The church was also in the village so fasting wasn't an issue. You just woke up, dressed and walked to church a few hundred yards. These 10:30am Liturgies and American "supper at 6" lifestyles makes fasting for communion difficult for most.

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« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2007, 11:11:13 PM »

Dear Cleveland:

Not to belabor a point, but..

When the church moved the Liturgy from evening to mornings, it was for the sake of the people. That *was* an innovation. If serving the Liturgy in the evening is *now* an innovation, so what ? - if it is done for the sake of the people.

The Liturgy is the "people's work". There is something profoundly anti-liturgical about a Liturgy with no people. For many years I worked the graveyard shift so that I could be available to sing those feast day Liturgies - in both an OCA and a Greek parish. I could not count the number of Liturgies attended by myself and the priest, or *maybe* a few baba's or yaya's. To me, there is something wrong with that picture.

When a new priest in our OCA parish started evening Liturgies, the church was filled - the same for the Presanctified liturgies. Most parishes have a lenten pot-luck after the Presanctified Liturgies. People not only participate in the Liturgy, they are encouraged to keep the fasts - not a small accomplishment in this day and age.

In our Wichita diocese of the Antiochian Archdiocese, the hybrid Vesperal Liturgies are no longer served; but the Liturgy *is* sometimes served on the eve of a feast - with the usual festal Liturgy preceded by the Orthros. These services are well attended -at least in Wichita and Tulsa where we attend services.

Our Lord said: "The Sabbath was made for man; not man for the Sabbath".  Could we not say the same for the Typicon ?  Please understand, I don't mean to advocate *for* any particular form; but I do believe that our bishops and priests should be able to exercise some discretion about the performance of the Liturgy in a way the best benefits their parishioners. Is that not reasonable ?

The good news is that at least, we are talking about such things. When I was young, no one knew or cared much about liturgical practice. In those days, the church was just for old folks. Now there are young people and families filling the church. Glory to God for that !

Best wishes,

Francis Frost
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« Reply #49 on: January 25, 2007, 02:18:02 PM »

When the church moved the Liturgy from evening to mornings, it was for the sake of the people. That *was* an innovation. If serving the Liturgy in the evening is *now* an innovation, so what ? - if it is done for the sake of the people.

Baseless conjecture. I challenge you to come up with ONE 1rst or 2nd century source that speaks of a Christian community that used to celebrate the eucharistic liturgy in the evening, but then decided to move the time "for the sake of the people."

Regardless, if we are to base things solely on antiquity and the scriptural witness, we shouldn't forget that no early source records a weekday eucharistic "feast." As far as we know (from extant evidence), the earliest communities only celebrated the liturgy on Sundays. The Didache, Pliny's Letter to Trajan, Justin Martyr and the reconstructed text of Celsus' "On the True Doctrine" all speak of the assembly on the Lord's Day (the day of the Sun). Pliny and Celsus specifically mention that the assembly took place early in the morning, since this was both the day and the time of the Lord's resurrection.

Of course, Tertullian tells us that some Christians would take the Eucharist home with them, so as to commune on it in between eucharistic gatherings, but this practice fell out of use for obvious reasons. According to Taft (if I remember correctly...do you remember, cleveland?), this was one of the reasons why the Church created the first Vesperal Liturgy, i.e. the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy. Since there could only be ONE eucharistic celebration (and that on the Lord's Day), and since the people still wanted to receive more than once a week, the Church needed to do a liturgy without a consecration. We still think along similar lines during Great Lent, wherein the Divine Liturgy itself is reserved for Saturdays or Sundays.

Anyway, any change in the Typikon is a matter for the Bishops. I'm thankful that those in the Ecumenical Patriarchate have more-or-less resisted weekday Vesperal Liturgies and find it noteable that the most knowledgeable Antiochian hierarch has done the same.
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« Reply #50 on: January 25, 2007, 09:13:38 PM »

Dear Pensateomnia:

Please be more specific.  What is baseless conjecture ?

If you mean the fact the the first Liturgies were in the evening, then we need look no further than the New Testament.

Matthew 26:20    "And when it was evening... '"
Mark 14:17    "And when it was evening..."
Luke 22:20   "And likewise the cup after supper..."
John 13:2    "and during supper..."
Luke 24:29  "stay with us, for it is toward evening, the day is now far spent... and He took the bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened."

Acts 20:7 "On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them... and he prolonged his speech until midnight...""

I Corinthian 11:17 - 33

Each of these scriptural references to the Eucharist, places it in the evening.

This in *not* baseless conjecture. It is the Bible !

As Cleveland pointed out, the Liturgy was later moved to the morning in order to accommodate those who were fasting before communion. This was *at that time* an innovation. What it tells us, is that an innovation is permissible for the sake of the flock.

You are absolutely right to say that it is the prerogative of our bishops to decide *when*, and *how* the Liturgy is to be performed. What is more, they need no imprimatur from me, or you, to do so.

While it is true that we do not use the Vesperal Liturgy format in our diocese, Bishop Basil does serve the Divine Liturgy in the evening - most notably on his Name's Day, if it does not fall on a weekend. I can tell you this with confidence, as I have attended those Liturgies every year for the past seven years. This too, is not conjecture.

What troubles me about so many of these postings is that while there are multiple references to  patrisitcs and  liturgical references - there is no reference to the scriptures at all ! Hopefully this is not indicative of what our seminaries are teaching these days !  Tradition and Scripture are inseparable. They are two sides of the same coin. The holy Fathers never made an argument without reference to the Scriptures.

What is far more troubling about these arguments, is the implied criticism of others. "Look at what those Antiochians,.. or those Greeks, ... or those Russians are doing! " Those people, whatever they are doing, are our fellow Orthodox Christians. Last fall, on another web-site, a retired bishop of the OCA roundly criticized the Greek bishops for holding an Aghiasmo followed  by a barbeque for the Holy Cross. "What kind of Typicon are following, he said"  Never mind, that the offending barbeque was held the weekend *after* the fast day !  It is this kind of self-righteous, Pharisaical bickering that keeps us Orthodox separated from each other. St Paul told us: "Let all that you do, be done in love".

We will not be saved by our perfect performance of the Typicon; but we may be damned by our scorn for our brothers and sisters.

Forgive me for speaking so boldly; but many of my generation sacrificed much for the sake of Orthodox unity - hopefully it was not in vain !

Best wishes to all for the coming Holy Fast

Sincerely,

F Frost
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« Reply #51 on: January 27, 2007, 05:51:12 PM »

What is baseless conjecture ?

You seem to have read too quickly. I shall simply re-post what I previously wrote with some added emphasis. Perhaps the bold function will help clear things up.

I challenge you to come up with ONE 1rst or 2nd century source that speaks of a Christian community that used to celebrate the eucharistic liturgy in the evening, but then decided to move the time "for the sake of the people."

As for the other stuff: It's really a non-issue for me personally. I simply follow what my Bishop says. End of story.

If I must engage in a general commentary, however, I would venture to say that (in my experience) the American clergy is more likely to err on the side of unilaterally altering the Typikon (or even ignoring it!). The best priests and bishops I have known (as in, the best pastors and spiritual fathers) have always been keenly attentive to proper teleturgical praxis. Of course, the Typikon carries no dogmatic or salvific value, but humble obedience, good order and uniformity in practice are too easily replaced with laxity or innovation -- often without proper consultation.
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