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Author Topic: Evening services without a priest?  (Read 1468 times) Average Rating: 0
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Eugenio
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« on: May 07, 2008, 04:26:28 PM »

So, I'm one of a handful of Orthodox Christians who live in a small town without an Orthodox Church.

We're thinking of getting together and doing some priest-less services. We'll probably meet around dinnertime on Saturday night at someone's home to do this - although we may also meet on some Sunday mornings.

So what should we do? I Googled around and I ran into a whole bunch of terminology regarding priest-less (not to mention deacon-less) services in the Orthodox Church. But I don't know the differences between these nor do I know when you're supposed to do one vs. the other. So, briefly, what are the differences in practice and purpose between the following services?

-Typika
-Akathist
-Vespers
-Compline
-Reader's Service

I'm assuming these are all different things? Or is there some overlap? Is there an appropriate time/day to do one as opposed to another?
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 04:41:40 PM »

Well...

A reader's service is a generic term for any service formatted to be done without a Priest / Deacon.

Vespers is the sunset (before dinner) prayers, and the most commonly done evening prayer service in Orthodoxy.

Compline is the night (after dinner) prayers.

Akathist is a set of hymns to the Theotokos done as part of a Compline service.

Typika is a brief service which seems to have developed as an alternative to Liturgy (i.e. when there is no Priest or Bishop present) and is normally done in either the late morning or afternoon.
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008, 04:45:49 PM »

I'll have to give you the abbreviated answer, as I am about to leave work.

Typika is the shortest, a sort of "bare bones" prayer. It involves a couple of litanies, the Lord's prayer, epistle and gospel reading, a short supplication, and a Theotokion. You can insert other various prayers, though, as the situation allows.

Akathist is directed toward a particular saint, such as the Theotokos or one's patron saint. Usually these are done on festal days.

Vespers is done only at night, ideally at sundown.

Compline can be pretty lengthy, requiring a couple of hours--though I've seen them as short as 30 minutes. This is the one I prefer when we get together with friends to pray.

Reader's service is usually done as a replacement for Divine Liturgy. It involves reading the hours and the Typika. My parish does this on Sunday mornings when my priest is out of town and we cannot find a replacement (that's happening less often now).

Hope that helps. Others will probably be able to give you a more in-depth answer.
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arimethea
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 04:48:49 PM »

Small Compline is a Reader Service by its nature and is very easy to put together. You can even put in the daily canon if you are looking to expand it.
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Joseph
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 05:05:04 PM »

You have probably come across Fr. John Whiteford's Reader's Service Horologion site in your travels through cyberspace.  The materials he presents are fantastic and, while they can be confusing at first, you can always ask Fr. John questions or even ask here.  There are a number of people here who are knowledgable about reader's services.

As someone who does reader's services often at home, I would suggest starting with Saturday evening vespers and slowly getting used to the flow of the service before graduating to daily vespers. 
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Psalti Boy
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2008, 02:51:45 AM »

You have probably come across Fr. John Whiteford's Reader's Service Horologion site in your travels through cyberspace.  The materials he presents are fantastic and, while they can be confusing at first,

These are the ones my wife and I use at home.

PB
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2008, 01:12:36 PM »

Bishop BASIL of the Antiochian Diocese of the West and Midamerica has also compiled a number of notes, typicon charts, hymns and even music on his website.  It is located at:
http://www.networks-now.net/litresswraoc/

Check it out.
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2008, 12:50:14 AM »

Bishop BASIL of the Antiochian Diocese of the West and Midamerica has also compiled a number of notes, typicon charts, hymns and even music on his website.  It is located at:
http://www.networks-now.net/litresswraoc/

Check it out.

Thank you, I will.

PB
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