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Author Topic: Daily Divine Liturgies for 40 Days before Christmas  (Read 3505 times) Average Rating: 0
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filipinopilgrim
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« on: December 10, 2007, 02:02:25 PM »

Dear forum members;

The website of the Sacred Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of St. Irene Chrysovalantou (www.stirene.org) in New York (under the Ecumenical Patriarchate) is currently advertising the "Sarantaliturgo of Christmas." The Sarantaliturgo is the practice of celebrating Divine Liturgy every day for 40 days prior to the Nativity of Our Lord. According to the calendar of services at the right side of the website's homepage, the Divine Liturgy is held every night at the monastery, from 9:30 P.M. to 1:00 A.M. (3.5 hours!!!), in addition to daily Matins in the morning (7-8 AM)

In another forum where I asked about this practice, I was told that the Divine Liturgy must have such a long time slot because it is preceded by Matins -- which, if true, means that this monastery is celebrating Matins twice a day for the duration of the Sarantaliturgo: once in the morning, and another late at night, prior to Divine Liturgy. (Vespers is apparently not included in the time slot because the same calendar of services separately lists an Artoclasia / Great Vespers for Wednesday, December 12, from 6:00 to 8:30 P.M.)

Another commented that this practice of daily Divine Liturgies during the pre-Nativity fast actually violates the Typikon.

My questions are: is this practice exclusively a Greek practice, or is it also known in other Byzantine traditions (Serb, Romanian, Russian)? And is it really possible to celebrate Matins twice in the same day? (Please take note that the monastery in question here is Greek)? And are daily Divine Liturgies really forbidden on at least some days of the pre-Nativity fast?

Just asking

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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2007, 02:25:19 PM »

it's only a Greek practice..
though you might want to look up "Sorokoust" (Rus. 40 days)

Sarandalitourgo applies to the nativity Fast, the 40 Liturgies for a newly ordained priest, and for the intentions of the dead and the living.

look up this link also..
http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?t=4309

as far as I know, Liturgies with Consecration are forbidden on the Great and Holy Lent leading up to Pascha, except on Saturday and Sunday, nativity fast is less strict and you can have Liturgies with consecration everyday of the week.

The Moastery in question, has Midnite liturgy, 11:10-11-15 they have matins and on the dot, 12AM is when they start Liturgy. That is the ONLY Liturgy they serve that day/or night, early morning. they usually finish up at 1:00-1:08 AM

Link to other webfora is permitted by Admin to facilitate discussion.

+Fr Chris
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 08:18:23 AM by FrChris » Logged


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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2007, 02:27:49 PM »

http://handmaidleah.wordpress.com/2007/05/24/the-forty-liturgies/

FROM THE COUNSELS OF ELDER CLEOPA:
Commemoration at Forty Divine Liturgies:

I want to relate a story to you. France was Orthodox until the year 1054, as was Italy, for until that time all countries were of ONE faith. The Roman Catholics (Papists/Vatican Religion) separated from us in 1054, in the great papal schism when our Church was torn apart because of papal reforms.

Before that time, there was a priest in France (which was still Orthodox) who had a brother in the military. The French  were at war with the Mauritanians. Mauritania is what we refer to as French Africa, right on the other side of the Gibraltar, toward Liberia. At one time it was a Kingdom. So the French were there fighting against the Mauritanians, on the other side of Gibraltar, in Africa.

The French priest’s brother went to Mauritania with his military regiment. At that time war wasn’t like it is now with atomic bombs and planes , canons and guns; then they fought with Swords, like in the days of Stephen the Great1, with swords and arrows.

The French thus went into Mauritania to fight this great battle between the European armies and those in Africa. Even though the French won the battle, many of their soldiers were captured by the Mauritanians, amongst whom was the priest’s brother. The priest was from Marseilles, a French port which is on the Mediterranean Sea.

The priest did not know that his brother had fallen prisoner, and when the other soldiers returned to France at the end of the war, he asked them, “Have you seen my brother?” “Father, I think he died in all the carnage of the battle. Bodies were laying like tree stumps –The Battle was so bad- and I think that he died, poor man.”

The priest, with a BROTHER’S LOVE, decided to serve the Divine Liturgy for Forty days in which he specifically commemorated his Brother. However, the priest’s brother was not dead, but rather a prisoner, and he was bound with chains in a prison with many others who were also chained.

The priest would be serving Divine Liturgy at about 10:00 in the morning, and at that exact time all the chains would fall off of his brother, leaving him completely free.

The other prisoners said, “What is happening with you? Why do those Chains fall off of you? Are you some kind of wizard?”

“No, I don’t know anything about magic stuff.”
“Yeah right!, You don’t know magic!”
All of his chains would break and fall off every day at 10:00. The guards would chain him again and the next day the chains would break and fall. Another set of chains, and another set broken like dust.
“This Guy is a real Wizard! He’ll just walk out of prison when he wants, look, the chains can’t hold him!”

No One understood what was going on, and they would ask Him,
“What kind of magic do you have? Do you have some magical amulet hidden in your shirt or in your pants?”
Saying this, the guards would strip him of his clothes. “Tie me up naked, if you don’t believe me!”
They did exactly that, and the next day, the chains would again fall off of him. The guards were baffled and asked each other, “Where does he hide his magic? If we knew how to do what he does, we could escape from anywhere!, “Now where do you hide your magic?” He insisted, “I don’t know magic.”

“Then what religion are you?” they asked, since they were all Moslems.

“I am a Christian. I believe in Christ. I don’t know any incantations because I believe otherwise. My brother is a priest in my homeland of France, and I think that he is serving the Liturgy now and removes a particle for me at Proskomedia, thinking that I am dead. If I WERE dead and in hell, I would be unbound even there, like I am here. I think this is what is happening, but I don’t even know for sure.”

“How long is this going to happen to you?”
“Our practice is to serve forty Liturgies. You will see that for these forty days, the chains fall off of me.”
“After that, what will happen?”
“I don’t know what will happen, except that I will be delivered from your hands.”
“How? You won’t slip out of our hands!”
“I believe that God would deliver me even if I were in hell, thanks to the forty Liturgies; and he will certainly deliver me from your hands here.”
“You’ll see what kind of supervision we put you under then!”
The guards figured out when the Forty days would be up, and did not put chains on the Man during that time, “It’s useless to chain him because during these forty days they just break apart and fall off of him!”

On the Fortieth day, they were all keeping watch over him. They put double bars on the doors, bound him in chains again, and set a guard just for him, “Don’t take your eyes off of him. Today is the fortieth day and he claims that he will leave here!”

As the guards were watching him, suddenly they beheld that the roof of the prison split open and a hand descended, took the prisoner by the hair of his head, and he was gone.

Where did he go? He was deposited on the porch of his house in Marseilles within a moment from the time he was lifted out of prison.

The Guards were asked, “What Happened!?”
“Christ came. We saw a hand,” (They did not know that it was the angel of the Lord, not Christ himself.) “He snatched the prisoner from us and we fell down trembling. No one could have even grabbed him by the foot.”
“How did he get out?”
“Through the roof of the prison, and then it closed back up again.”
One of the guards said, “Do you see how powerful the Christian faith is? Do you see the strength of their Christ? It didn’t matter how much you guarded him, but he took him when He wanted!”
When the priest saw his brother, he said “My Brother! You have come home!, They told me you died. Today I finished serving the fortieth Liturgy in which  I removed a particle for your soul.”
The former prisoner said, “You did the right thing, Brother, for if I had been in hell, you would have delivered me from there. Since I was still on Earth, you brought me out of prison. May God reward you. Listen to what happened to me…” and he proceeded to tell his brother about the chains.
So you see how strong those prayers are during the forty Liturgies when one is remembered at the Proskomedia.


There is another example of a miracle in connection with the forty Liturgies. An elderly Hieromonk who was an abbot had a disciple who was not very obedient. The elder frequently told him, “Be obedient my son, or you will suffer eternal torments.”
But the disobedient disciple still did not follow the counsel of the elder. He died before his elder, but after his death, the elder had a vision of the disciple in hell. The Disciple said to him, “Father, Please serve forty Liturgies for me,2 for I was disobedient and bad, upsetting you so much.”
After the elder had completed serving those forty Divine Liturgies, he again beheld his disciple, but this time he was clothed in robes as bright as the sun, and he said to the elder, “Through your holy prayers and intercessions which you made for me, I have been released and saved.”

The End and Glory be to God!

1 One of the greatest Romanian princes who reigned in Moldavia during the 15th century and who kept the Turks from completely overrunning Romania. Stephen built a Church or Monastery for every battle which he won -over 40- in Moldavia. He was Canonized by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 1992
2 SARANDALITOURGO- 40 Liturgies, 40 Consecutive Liturgies…This does not mean serving a Liturgy only for 1 person. But rather 40 consecutive daily Liturgies in which the person is specifically remembered at The Proskomedia and during The Litany (Great Entrance)

Source added upon administrator's request.

+Fr Chris
« Last Edit: December 11, 2007, 03:41:14 PM by FrChris » Logged


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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2007, 02:36:45 PM »

Hmmm.

Well, I don't know about the practices of the other Churches re: 40 Liturgies.

And as for violating the Typikon: anyone who wishes to make that claim should provide evidence to back it up.  I don't have a Typikon on me where I'm at, but I can try to look it up at some point today.

As for it being long/doubling of matins - in theory doubling any service is unnecessary, however it is frequently done for special reasons: Vespers is often doubled for Vigils - once done at it's normal time (so as not to break the daily routine, and the intended time of the service), and once again as part of the festal Vigil.  This appears to be what they're doing.  Monastic Orthros can be quite long, and this would sufficiently explain the 3 1/2 hour time slot.
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2007, 02:42:31 PM »

as far as I know, Liturgies with Consecration are forbidden on the Great and Holy Lent leading up to Pascha, except on Saturday and Sunday, nativity fast is less strict and you can have Liturgies with consecration everyday of the week.

The only exceptions to this are: The Feast of the Annunciation (Liturgy permitted), and the Wed and Fri of the week before Cheesfare (no Consecration Liturgy on those days, as they are considered quasi-Lenten).
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2007, 09:08:51 PM »

Vespers is often doubled for Vigils - once done at it's normal time (so as not to break the daily routine, and the intended time of the service), and once again as part of the festal Vigil. 
These vespers are two separate services (Little Vespers and Great Vespers) with different rubrics and different hymnography so it really isn't doubling up on a service. 
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2007, 09:42:00 PM »

These vespers are two separate services (Little Vespers and Great Vespers) with different rubrics and different hymnography so it really isn't doubling up on a service. 

It isn't doubling the hymns, but the idea is the same: Vespers is the sundown service, and we do it twice.  Not that it's really a problem, as long as we don't deal in absolutes (like saying "you can never double" or "never do a service out of its proper time" - absolutes that don't stand to the test of Tradition).
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2007, 02:00:35 AM »

as an aside: I sort of doubt the part of the priest placing a part of the bread for proskomede because this is a Byzantine practise not a western practise at all unless someone would want to prove or propose that the West had this tradition until it died out or suddenly stopped @ 1054...highly unlikely.
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2007, 02:14:34 PM »

as an aside: I sort of doubt the part of the priest placing a part of the bread for proskomede because this is a Byzantine practise not a western practise at all unless someone would want to prove or propose that the West had this tradition until it died out or suddenly stopped @ 1054...highly unlikely.

you'll need to take it up with elder cleopa, and questioning an elder is tanatamount to sin i dare say.
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2007, 02:37:41 PM »

and questioning an elder is tanatamount to sin i dare say.

Eh - questioning with the intention of truly learning and believing I believe isn't (see Thomas' response to the reports of the Resurrection); if it's doubting the work of the Spirit, then it is more serious.  Let's just not over-do it.
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2007, 03:10:58 PM »

elder cleopa

You need to cite the source of that article - Arimethea
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2007, 12:18:01 AM »

Well I'm not questioning the Elder's authority, I'm questioning whether or not this can be taken for fact or not...even if this is what he said, perhaps this is what he was taught. The source, not the elder might not be correct; so again its not about the elder but about the source.
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2007, 12:36:06 AM »

you'll need to take it up with elder cleopa, and questioning an elder is tanatamount to sin i dare say.

Questioning an elder is tanatamount to sin?  I don't think so.  Roll Eyes
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Tags: sarantaliturgo Monasticism Greek Orthodox nativity Divine Liturgy 
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