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Author Topic: Quoting the Apocalpyse of John in an Akathist or Canon  (Read 464 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 24, 2015, 11:41:24 PM »

Would this be acceptable?  I had it in mind to try my hand at a canon; I've written an akathist hymn (actually closer to a classic Kontakion before), dedicated to thanking God for the revelation granted to John on Patmos.

I know we don't read this book liturgically, except in the Coptic church during the Paschal services, but at the very least, to my knowledge, not in the Byzantine, Syriac, Assyrian or Armenian churches.  This has always troubled me just a bit given the wonderful Orthodox monastery of St. John on Patmos of which His Wminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, who is dear to my heart, is a member.

Since tampering with the lectionary itself can be unwise and controversial, it occurred to me a lovely canon constructed out of quotes from the Apocalpyse, or should the 9 ode structure (I thought I'd break convention and put the scarier bits in Ode 2 even though this canon would not be specifically for Lent) prove too constricting, an Akathist, would allow this lovely book to be sung in the Byzantine Rite churches without violating Sacred Tradition.

Does this sound acceptable to people?
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2015, 08:18:59 PM »

What would be the purpose of it, other than as a "creative outlet"?
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2015, 08:42:45 PM »

The purpose would,be to commemorate our Father among the Saints, John the Theologian, Evangelist, Apostle, adopted son of the Theotokos, the beloved disciple, author of the fourth gospel, and the Revelation he received while exiled on Patmos, which has inspired us to put a monastery there.  It would also provide a means for the Revelation to be heard in church without altering the lectionary or any of the service books.
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2015, 08:48:42 PM »

Write it for yourself if you want and do not expect anything more from that. Is it satisfactional?
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2015, 08:50:45 PM »

The purpose would,be to commemorate our Father among the Saints, John the Theologian, Evangelist, Apostle, adopted son of the Theotokos, the beloved disciple, author of the fourth gospel, and the Revelation he received while exiled on Patmos, which has inspired us to put a monastery there.  

Any such work, even before it is written, should be discussed with a priest, and, ideally, a bishop, particularly if the intent is for it to be used liturgically. Going ahead without a clerical blessing is not the way to do it.

Moreover, there is no shortage of existing hymnography dedicated to St John. He is hardly an "unknown" saint.

Quote
It would also provide a means for the Revelation to be heard in church without altering the lectionary or any of the service books.

The Church, in her wisdom, has chosen to not draw from Revelation in her liturgical readings. You should be content with this.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2015, 08:51:54 PM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 05:51:15 AM »

My priest and father of confession has encouraged my liturgical study and forays into hymnography.  Naturally we have the understanding that if I write something it may never be used.  But I wanted to get the perspective of some of the clergy on here in addition if they feel quoting the Apocalypse could be harmful in any sense.

The beauty of canons and akathists is thanks to the moleben, the akathist service, and the expanding number of saints, there is no limit on them, and new akathists and canons are written all the time;'eventually some get official approval,and make it into the Menaia, as saints increase in popularity.
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« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 06:20:17 AM »

But I wanted to get the perspective of some of the clergy on here in addition if they feel quoting the Apocalypse could be harmful in any sense.

Does the fact that Revelation is not used liturgically in Orthodoxy tell you something? It should.
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« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 11:28:57 AM »

But I wanted to get the perspective of some of the clergy on here in addition if they feel quoting the Apocalypse could be harmful in any sense.

Does the fact that Revelation is not used liturgically in Orthodoxy tell you something? It should.

Like what?
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« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 12:00:27 PM »

Would this be acceptable?  I had it in mind to try my hand at a canon; I've written an akathist hymn (actually closer to a classic Kontakion before), dedicated to thanking God for the revelation granted to John on Patmos.

I know we don't read this book liturgically, except in the Coptic church during the Paschal services, but at the very least, to my knowledge, not in the Byzantine, Syriac, Assyrian or Armenian churches.  This has always troubled me just a bit given the wonderful Orthodox monastery of St. John on Patmos of which His Wminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, who is dear to my heart, is a member.

Since tampering with the lectionary itself can be unwise and controversial, it occurred to me a lovely canon constructed out of quotes from the Apocalpyse, or should the 9 ode structure (I thought I'd break convention and put the scarier bits in Ode 2 even though this canon would not be specifically for Lent) prove too constricting, an Akathist, would allow this lovely book to be sung in the Byzantine Rite churches without violating Sacred Tradition.

Does this sound acceptable to people?

From the wording of your message it sounds like you disagree with the Orthodox Church regarding the place of the Apocalypse in liturgical life and you wish to remedy this "problem" by writing a canon or Akathist to draw more attention to a book that the Church has decided for 2,000 years not to draw more attention to in liturgy.  It is strange to me that someone who disagrees with the Church would presume to play the role of Reformer by writing his own hymnography for the Church in order to "correct" the Church. 
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« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 01:56:40 PM »

But I wanted to get the perspective of some of the clergy on here in addition if they feel quoting the Apocalypse could be harmful in any sense.

Does the fact that Revelation is not used liturgically in Orthodoxy tell you something? It should.

It's prescriped to be read during sunday vigil. Couldn't find  any more reliable source for now but anyway:

Quote
"From the Sunday of Pascha to the Sunday of All Saints, the Acts of the Apostles is read. On the remaining Sundays of the year are read seven Catholic Epistles of the Apostles, and the fourteen Epistles of the Holy Apostle Paul, and the Apocalypse of Saint John the Theologian."

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lity_(Orthodox_Vespers)
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« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 06:39:09 PM »

But I wanted to get the perspective of some of the clergy on here in addition if they feel quoting the Apocalypse could be harmful in any sense.

Does the fact that Revelation is not used liturgically in Orthodoxy tell you something? It should.

It's prescriped to be read during sunday vigil. Couldn't find  any more reliable source for now but anyway:

Quote
"From the Sunday of Pascha to the Sunday of All Saints, the Acts of the Apostles is read. On the remaining Sundays of the year are read seven Catholic Epistles of the Apostles, and the fourteen Epistles of the Holy Apostle Paul, and the Apocalypse of Saint John the Theologian."

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lity_(Orthodox_Vespers)

I would regard that information as incorrect. Never has Revelation been read in any of the churches (parish or monastic) I have attended over the decades, nor have any of the liturgical calendars (including those produced for clergy, which have full rubrics) I have seen ever listed appointed readings from Revelation anywhere, in any service of the Orthodox liturgical cycle.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 06:41:42 PM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 07:25:23 PM »

But I wanted to get the perspective of some of the clergy on here in addition if they feel quoting the Apocalypse could be harmful in any sense.

Does the fact that Revelation is not used liturgically in Orthodoxy tell you something? It should.

It's prescriped to be read during sunday vigil. Couldn't find  any more reliable source for now but anyway:

Quote
"From the Sunday of Pascha to the Sunday of All Saints, the Acts of the Apostles is read. On the remaining Sundays of the year are read seven Catholic Epistles of the Apostles, and the fourteen Epistles of the Holy Apostle Paul, and the Apocalypse of Saint John the Theologian."

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lity_(Orthodox_Vespers)

I would regard that information as incorrect. Never has Revelation been read in any of the churches (parish or monastic) I have attended over the decades, nor have any of the liturgical calendars (including those produced for clergy, which have full rubrics) I have seen ever listed appointed readings from Revelation anywhere, in any service of the Orthodox liturgical cycle.

But I'll bet you've never been to Mount Athos (Wink):

Quote
The typicon directs that subsequently the reading of the life of the saint whose feast it is to be read or, on a Sunday, a selection from the New Testament.[note 2] During this time all sit and the a piece of the blessed bread and a cup of the blessed wine are given to each to provide nourishment to sustain him through the rest of the vigil with the caveat that they are to be consumed straightway so as to keep the fast before Communion. While this custom is still observed in some monasteries, notably on Mount Athos, usually nowadays the blessed bread is simply distributed to the faithful when they exit the service; however, in the Russian tradition, at matins following the singing of Psalm 50(51), all come forward to venerate the Gospel Book (if it is Sunday) or the icon of the feast, and each person is anointed and given a piece of the blessed bread dipped in the wine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lity_(Orthodox_Vespers)

"Note 2" is the rubric that Alpo referenced. 
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« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 07:39:06 PM »

I have indeed attended monastic vigils where the blessed bread and wine is distributed as described. However, that has nothing to do with whether or not Revelation forms part of the Orthodox lectionary. The clerical liturgical calendars I am familiar with are for parish and monastery use. Nowhere are there appointed readings from Revelation.

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« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 07:47:30 PM »

I have indeed attended monastic vigils where the blessed bread and wine is distributed as described.

But not on Mount Athos.

Quote
However, that has nothing to do with whether or not Revelation forms part of the Orthodox lectionary. The clerical liturgical calendars I am familiar with are for parish and monastery use. Nowhere are there appointed readings from Revelation.

Why would there need to be readings from Revelation at the Liturgy when the Liturgy itself is Revelation? 
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« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 07:53:53 PM »

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But not on Mount Athos.

Your point?  Huh

Quote
Why would there need to be readings from Revelation at the Liturgy when the Liturgy itself is Revelation? 

So you agree that Revelation is not part of the liturgical lectionary. Good.
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« Reply #15 on: Yesterday at 09:50:38 PM »

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But not on Mount Athos.

Your point?  Huh

Since the Wiki entry specified that the custom of NT readings at Vigil is kept in "some monasteries, notably on Mount Athos", I suggested that you would not know about this through your extensive and venerable experience if you haven't been to Mount Athos.  Instead of addressing that, you mentioned that you've been to monastic vigils before.  So have I...but not on Mount Athos. 

Having some experience praying with monks matters little if we're discussing a custom maintained in a few places neither of us has visited.  Without more information, we can't really dismiss it just because we've experienced something different somewhere else.     

Quote
Quote
Why would there need to be readings from Revelation at the Liturgy when the Liturgy itself is Revelation? 

So you agree that Revelation is not part of the liturgical lectionary. Good.

No one in this thread contested that Revelation is not part of the liturgical Lectionary, but way to miss the log for the speck. 
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« Reply #16 on: Yesterday at 09:58:06 PM »


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No one in this thread contested that Revelation is not part of the liturgical Lectionary, but way to miss the log for the speck. 

Then what's the point of your attempt to muddy the waters by invoking the Athonite custom at monastic artoklasia as described in the Wiki article?  Huh

While no-one has contested the absence of Revelation from the lectionary, the OP is attempting to justify the writing of hymnody which does exactly that.
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« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 10:31:44 PM »

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No one in this thread contested that Revelation is not part of the liturgical Lectionary, but way to miss the log for the speck. 

Then what's the point of your attempt to muddy the waters by invoking the Athonite custom at monastic artoklasia as described in the Wiki article?  Huh

Someone else brought it up, with a citation, and you dismissed it as erroneous without providing any evidence other than "I haven't seen it done" and "It's not in the Lectionary".  That's simply not good enough.  I'm not muddying the waters: I'm trying to clear them up, and you're not.     

Quote
While no-one has contested the absence of Revelation from the lectionary, the OP is attempting to justify the writing of hymnody which does exactly that.

He's hardly the first person in the history of the Church to suggest composing a hymn concerning a subject that hasn't been hymned before.  That's how liturgy develops.  Some things stick and others don't.  You don't like his idea and that is your prerogative.     

But you and at least one other person keep emphasising how Revelation's absence from the Lectionary "ought to tell us something", neither of you have said what that is.  I'm very interested to know what that is, which is why I asked almost twelve hours ago.  Revelation is still considered Scripture despite not making an appearance in the Lectionary (along with at least a dozen other books) and the implication that a book of Scripture is not suitable subject matter for pious meditation, reflection, liturgical composition, etc. is more scandalous and anti-Orthodox to me than some unknown person on the internet trying his hand at poetry.   
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« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 10:47:06 PM »

The OP is full of contradictions in his posts:

Quote
Since tampering with the lectionary itself can be unwise and controversial, ..... would allow this lovely book to be sung in the Byzantine Rite churches without violating Sacred Tradition.

Quote
It would also provide a means for the Revelation to be heard in church without altering the lectionary or any of the service books.

Quote
Naturally we have the understanding that if I write something it may never be used.

The essays on his blog are also contradictory. On the one hand, he decries dilutions or innovations in liturgical practice which have no basis in holy tradition, on the other, he advocates exactly these things. Jah777's post eloquently sums up the problem with the OP's premise.

Quote
He's hardly the first person in the history of the Church to suggest composing a hymn concerning a subject that hasn't been hymned before.  That's how liturgy develops.

New hymns and services are being written for newly-proclaimed saints. This is not only permitted, but very welcome. However, this is not what the OP is advocating.
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« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 10:54:23 PM »

Quote
He's hardly the first person in the history of the Church to suggest composing a hymn concerning a subject that hasn't been hymned before.  That's how liturgy develops.

New hymns and services are being written for newly-proclaimed saints. This is not only permitted, but very welcome. However, this is not what the OP is advocating.

The Church didn't always limit itself to writing hymns and services solely for newly-proclaimed saints. Why has that changed?
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« Reply #20 on: Yesterday at 11:22:34 PM »

LBK you didn't answer mor question and I'd also like to know what that should tell me as I'm still learning.
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« Reply #21 on: Yesterday at 11:50:38 PM »

Not so long ago, hymnographic composition was largely a monastic endeavor, a vocation, an obedience. The few non-monastics whose works found their way into the body of the Orthodox liturgical deposit wrote their works with the same approach of humility and obedience to the Church's teachings as the monastics.

In recent years, just as with iconography, the writing of hymns seems to have become a sideline to one's "creative" expression. This is the impression I am getting from the OP, both in what he has posted on this thread, and in his more extensive writings on this and other matters in his blog.

On the one hand, his priest has told him that the hymns he pens would not find their way into liturgical use. On the other, the OP continues to push for the liturgical use of such works. He can't have it both ways.
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« Reply #22 on: Today at 01:28:17 AM »

I wasn't saying it was actually read but that it is prescriped to be read. As for the complaint, you could take it to Sts. Sabbas and John. I'm sure they would be very impressed. Tongue
« Last Edit: Today at 01:29:28 AM by Alpo » Logged

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