Author Topic: Vespers and Great Vespers  (Read 2552 times)

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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Vespers and Great Vespers
« on: April 28, 2008, 11:55:13 PM »
So, what's the difference?  Our Bright Week schedule lists Great Vespers on Wednesday.  Thanks-

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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Vespers and Great Vespers
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 12:19:03 AM »
Speaking from my working knowledge of the Russian Vespers tradition:

Daily Vespers
  • No entrance of the clergy before "Gladsome Light"
  • Always (iirc) only one verse for the Prokeimenon (since this is almost always the Prokeimenon of the Day [of the week])
  • Augmented Litany at the end of the service, but before the Dismissal

Great Vespers
  • Clergy entrance before "Gladsome Light"
  • Often, though not always, a 3-verse Prokeimenon
  • Augmented Litany following the Prokeimenon (and any readings, if prescribed) and before the prayer "Vouchsafe, O Lord..."
  • Litya often, though not always, preceding the Aposticha

The weekly example of Great Vespers is that prayed on Saturday nights.


A good reference for more on the above:  http://oca.org/MDoutlines-content.asp?ID=60&SID=13
« Last Edit: April 29, 2008, 02:55:20 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Vespers and Great Vespers
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 12:33:11 AM »
Thanks PtA!

So, the table lists "During a Forefeast or after a Forefeast" - am I correct that Bright Week is after a Forefeast?  I'm a little confused. :-\
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Vespers and Great Vespers
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 12:42:06 AM »
Thanks PtA!

So, the table lists "During a Forefeast or after a Forefeast" - am I correct that Bright Week is after a Forefeast?  I'm a little confused. :-\
Actually, the OCA table lists "During a Forefeast or Afterfeast". ;)

Speaking more my own perception rather than any rubrical standard, istm that Pascha is considered such a major feast (the Feast that transcends all other Feasts) that every day of Bright Week is treated as being at least equal to any other major one-day feast.  Also, whereas the Afterfeast (a.k.a. Postfeast) of any other major feast continues for only one week, the Afterfeast of Pascha continues for a whole 40 days (Bright Week included) until Ascension Thursday.  So, according to the rubrics, we are now in an afterfeast, the Afterfeast of Pascha.
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Offline arimethea

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Re: Vespers and Great Vespers
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008, 08:56:27 AM »
Vespers during Bright Week is a completely different service. There is no opening Psalm and we go right into the Paschal dismissal after the Aposticha. Also the daily prokeimenon is replaced by a Great Proleimenon that is different each day. In the Greek practice the services is opened with "Glory to the holy, consubstantial..." while the Slavic practice is to use the normal "Blessed is our God..."
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Vespers and Great Vespers
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2008, 04:19:18 PM »
I believe that Great Vespers is Vespers done the night before a Liturgy, which is why we use it on Saturdays. Occasionally when we have weekday Liturgies such as Annunciation, we'll have Great Vespers on other days as well.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Vespers and Great Vespers
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2008, 06:16:49 PM »
I believe that Great Vespers is Vespers done the night before a Liturgy, which is why we use it on Saturdays. Occasionally when we have weekday Liturgies such as Annunciation, we'll have Great Vespers on other days as well.

Great Vespers is actually not determined by Divine Liturgy, just the size of the feast.  Great Vespers is done during each day of Bright Week because each day is Pascha all over again.  Pascha is a 3-layered feast (unlike the other great feasts, which have only two layers): the feastday/afterfeast (which all the major feasts have), the general festal period (which all the feasts have), and a 1-week intense repetition of the feast (unique to Pascha).

Speaking from my working knowledge of the Russian Vespers tradition:

Daily Vespers
  • No entrance of the clergy before "Gladsome Light"
  • Always (iirc) only one verse for the Prokeimenon (since this is almost always the Prokeimenon of the Day [of the week])
  • Augmented Litany at the end of the service, but before the Dismissal

Great Vespers
  • Clergy entrance before "Gladsome Light"
  • Often, though not always, a 3-verse Prokeimenon
  • Augmented Litany following the Prokeimenon (and any readings, if prescribed) and before the prayer "Vouchsafe, O Lord..."
  • Litya often, though not always, preceding the Aposticha
 

This is a pretty good list, except that the most commonly celebrated Great Vespers (Saturday nights), at least in the Greek practice, only has a 2-verse Prokeimenon.

All this said, 2 notes:

1. As Arimethea noted, all Bright Week services are radically altered by the constant intense celebration of Pascha.  Especially in the Greek-tradition practice (Antiochian, EP, Greek, etc.), the beginnings of the services are changed, the Psalms are entirely eliminated, the endings of the services are changed, etc. - all this in addition to more minor rubrical changes (such as: deacons are not to use the deacons' doors, only the beautiful doors; in many traditions also the priest is the only one who censes during the week; etc.).

2. One last note: there is also a "Small Vespers," which is different than regular daily Vespers in one detail: it is daily vespers done before a vigil (the vigil containing a Great Vespers).  Minor detail.
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Vespers and Great Vespers
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2008, 10:57:51 PM »
Great Vespers is actually not determined by Divine Liturgy, just the size of the feast.  Great Vespers is done during each day of Bright Week because each day is Pascha all over again.  Pascha is a 3-layered feast (unlike the other great feasts, which have only two layers): the feastday/afterfeast (which all the major feasts have), the general festal period (which all the feasts have), and a 1-week intense repetition of the feast (unique to Pascha).
Interesting. So that would explain the Great Vespers before days like Anunciation. Thank you.
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