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alexp4uni
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« on: September 24, 2008, 09:02:37 PM »

What's the NY St Nersess Seminary position on "liturgical silence"? I had a friend who sneaked in his iPhone to tape Sunday service at St Vartan Cathedral when he visited. They mainly had the priest  and chanters along with their women choir reciting the texts. Meanwhile the majority of the congregants listened with a few chanting along.

In your opinion is it appropriate for congregants to be told when to sing and recite by the priest or is Congregational/Priest recitation the way to go?

By the way from the few videos of Ecthmiadzin Church the service are quite solemn. Thank you for sharing.
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« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2008, 09:07:17 PM »

This topic was split off from a thread about the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, at Etchmiadzin:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17604.0.html
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2008, 09:09:53 PM »

What's the NY St Nersess Seminary position on "liturgical silence"? I had a friend who sneaked in his iPhone to tape Sunday service at St Vartan Cathedral when he visited. They mainly had the priest  and chanters along with their women choir reciting the texts. Meanwhile the majority of the congregants listened with a few chanting along.

In your opinion is it appropriate for congregants to be told when to sing and recite by the priest or is Congregational/Priest recitation the way to go?

By the way from the few videos of Ecthmiadzin Church the service are quite solemn. Thank you for sharing.

The people in the congregation are supposed to be singing the parts sung by the choir.  The choir is supposed to be just leading the congregation in prayer.  Unfortunately, most people don't sing along. 
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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2008, 09:13:57 PM »

Quote
What's the NY St Nersess Seminary position on "liturgical silence"? I had a friend who sneaked in his iPhone to tape Sunday service at St Vartan Cathedral when he visited. They mainly had the priest  and chanters along with their women choir reciting the texts. Meanwhile the majority of the congregants listened with a few chanting along.

In your opinion is it appropriate for congregants to be told when to sing and recite by the priest or is Congregational/Priest recitation the way to go?
By the way from the few videos of Ecthmiadzin Church the service are quite solemn. Thank you for sharing.
The people in the congregation are supposed to be singing the parts sung by the choir.  The choir is supposed to be just leading the congregation in prayer.  Unfortunately, most people don't sing along. 

Yeah the only thing not appropriate is when an ordained member is speaking like a priest, deacon or a reader. But besides that all the thing the "chanters" chant is meant to also be for the congregation.
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2008, 10:51:32 AM »

^ Correct. In fact, our liturgy books use the terms "Presbyteros" (Priest), "Diakonos" (Deacon), and "Laios" (People). Nowhere is the term "Choros" (Choir) found. The assumption is that the choir are part of the laity, and therefore sing with them.
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2008, 11:22:13 AM »

^And it's for this reason that I (as a choir member) prefer singing amongst the congregation when we have room to do so.  We have a loft at the back of our parish where the choir crowds in when the floor below is too congested for the 5-8 of us.  We have room then, but it seems there's sort of a disconnect between us and the congregation then.  There's also a bit of lag between our singing and our priest's so it sound a little echo-y then.  We blend much better and get more of the congregation to sing when we're mixed in... but then there's no place to put the music stands.  Smiley 
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2008, 08:09:27 PM »

^And it's for this reason that I (as a choir member) prefer singing amongst the congregation when we have room to do so.  We have a loft at the back of our parish where the choir crowds in when the floor below is too congested for the 5-8 of us.  We have room then, but it seems there's sort of a disconnect between us and the congregation then.  There's also a bit of lag between our singing and our priest's so it sound a little echo-y then.  We blend much better and get more of the congregation to sing when we're mixed in... but then there's no place to put the music stands.  Smiley 

From my very limited understanding the extreme division between "people" and "choir" is a throw back to the byzantine era when the liturgy was at Broadway level of complexity and it was a semi-spectator service.
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2008, 08:21:50 PM »

^This can be a thorny issue.  First of all the Orthodox ethos has always maintained a distinction between the priest, people and choir.  I don't know how Y can say that there is no such distinction.  How else would you explain that the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia had in its employ a great number of priests, deacons, and chanters (i.e. readers)?   In Western Christianity, these three divisions have become so muddled as to become indistinguishable from one another and thus there is chaos and anarchy in their offices and services. And there are many people, in my opinion, who are mainly converts from Protestant Christianity who want the same kind of "congregational' mentality when it comes to participation in the divine Liturgy.   If people have the gift to sing, let them sing. Bishop BASIL once remarked it is "sinful" when someone decides not to use such a gifting in the Divine Liturgy, but such a gifting is not given to everyone and some people are so completely tone deaf and musically illiterate that they complement those who cannot sing since they pray in silence.  Prayer in silence is still participation in the Liturgy.  We should not sacrifice the beauty of the prayers or the music of the Divine Liturgy because people feel left out, which they think is "undemocratic."  Not everyone is gifted this way.  Prayer is still prayer whether uttered aloud or said in the heart.
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2008, 10:17:21 PM »

^ So those who cannot do something well should not do it at all? That seems rather harsh.

Besides, I said there was no distinction between laity and choir. I never said there was no distinction between priest, deacons, and people; in fact, I specifically stated that there is.
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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2008, 10:31:23 PM »

^ So those who cannot do something well should not do it at all? That seems rather harsh.

Besides, I said there was no distinction between laity and choir. I never said there was no distinction between priest, deacons, and people; in fact, I specifically stated that there is.

Lol So did I, scamandrius are you just trying to misinterpret our words?
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« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2008, 11:04:16 PM »

In our Church, the people who usually make up a choir are not ordained in any way, so it is not like they have some specific role that is different from the people.  In fact, our former archbishop used to say that when he was a priest he would sometimes break the choir up and have them stand among the congregation to try to get them singing. 

The problem with saying the congregation shouldn't sing is that it contributes to the audience mentality, where people think they are supposed to come to church to watch and listen, but not participate.  They get bored, complain they get nothing out of it, want to shorten the liturgy, etc.   This sort of thing has been addressed in other threads.  Yes, people can pray silently, but there is a stronger feeling of participation when you sing out loud.  I also understand the concern with people in the congregation not having good voices, but no one says you have to sing really loud.   Smiley  Singing softly is O.K. and that is usually what I do when I sing, since I'm not that good.
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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2008, 11:19:00 PM »

^This can be a thorny issue.  First of all the Orthodox ethos has always maintained a distinction between the priest, people and choir.  I don't know how Y can say that there is no such distinction.  How else would you explain that the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia had in its employ a great number of priests, deacons, and chanters (i.e. readers)?   In Western Christianity, these three divisions have become so muddled as to become indistinguishable from one another and thus there is chaos and anarchy in their offices and services. And there are many people, in my opinion, who are mainly converts from Protestant Christianity who want the same kind of "congregational' mentality when it comes to participation in the divine Liturgy.   If people have the gift to sing, let them sing. Bishop BASIL once remarked it is "sinful" when someone decides not to use such a gifting in the Divine Liturgy, but such a gifting is not given to everyone and some people are so completely tone deaf and musically illiterate that they complement those who cannot sing since they pray in silence.  Prayer in silence is still participation in the Liturgy.  We should not sacrifice the beauty of the prayers or the music of the Divine Liturgy because people feel left out, which they think is "undemocratic."  Not everyone is gifted this way.  Prayer is still prayer whether uttered aloud or said in the heart.

This is from the Russian Typicon, at once instructive and amusing:

Chapter 28: On disorderly cries

Disorderly cries by the church singers ought not to be allowed in church singing. And those who make them are not allowed either. Let them be removed from their ministry and sing in the church no more. For it is proper to sing according to the order, and with one accord to glorify the Master and Lord of all, as if coming from our hearts through one mouth. Those who disobey are condemned to eternal torture since they do not follow the tradition and rules of the holy Fathers.


I also have the Slavonic version on file, if anyone is interested.  Smiley

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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2008, 11:56:31 PM »


This is from the Russian Typicon, at once instructive and amusing:

Chapter 28: On disorderly cries

Disorderly cries by the church singers ought not to be allowed in church singing. And those who make them are not allowed either. Let them be removed from their ministry and sing in the church no more. For it is proper to sing according to the order, and with one accord to glorify the Master and Lord of all, as if coming from our hearts through one mouth. Those who disobey are condemned to eternal torture since they do not follow the tradition and rules of the holy Fathers.


I also have the Slavonic version on file, if anyone is interested.  Smiley



This had to have been written by someone who had a bad experience.   Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2008, 12:51:46 AM »

Bad experiences are not rare, unfortunately. The "eternal torture" bit is interesting, though.  Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2008, 07:39:23 AM »

Yes, in Russia, babies do not cry, everyone sings from memory in just the right pitch, and dragons frolick in fields of golden daffodils.
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« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2008, 02:54:52 PM »



In former Soviet Russia, the choir sings you!
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« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2008, 03:24:27 PM »

^^^^^^

post of the day nomination!!!!
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2008, 01:26:45 AM »

^ So those who cannot do something well should not do it at all? That seems rather harsh.

Besides, I said there was no distinction between laity and choir. I never said there was no distinction between priest, deacons, and people; in fact, I specifically stated that there is.

Lol So did I, scamandrius are you just trying to misinterpret our words?

Read what I wrote. I said that there was a distinction between priests, choir and people.  Neither of you mentioned this.  You both said, "priests, deacons and people."  I will await your apologies.  Wink

It is not a harsh statement.  As I specifically mentioned (or maybe you were too emotionally high after swooning from hearing Obama speak to take notice and read what I wrote), I said that we are each gifted differently by the Holy Spirit.  Those who have the capacity to sing and those who do not have the capacity to sing are no more, no less important in the worship of God as our communal work in the Liturgy.  I just believe that, to maintain the beauty of the sung Liturgy and not to convolute the distinction between choir and people which has infected Western Christianity, those who are not gifted in such ways should not detract from the beauty.  People can participate in other ways besides singing.  I fail to see how that is too harsh.
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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2008, 02:08:35 AM »



In former Soviet Russia, the choir sings you!

Oy, but he looks Jewish!  laugh
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« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2008, 07:13:46 AM »

Read what I wrote. I said that there was a distinction between priests, choir and people.  Neither of you mentioned this.  You both said, "priests, deacons and people." 

I have read what you wrote:

the Orthodox ethos has always maintained a distinction between the priest, people and choir.  I don't know how Y can say that there is no such distinction. 

You accused me of saying that there is no distinction, when actually I said:

^ Correct. In fact, our liturgy books use the terms "Presbyteros" (Priest), "Diakonos" (Deacon), and "Laios" (People). Nowhere is the term "Choros" (Choir) found. The assumption is that the choir are part of the laity, and therefore sing with them.

Never did I say that there is no distinction between the priest, people and choir. I said there was no distinction between people and choir. The priest's part is distinct, as is the deacon's, and I pointed that out before you ever responded.
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« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2008, 07:55:22 AM »

Yes, in Russia, babies do not cry, everyone sings from memory in just the right pitch, and dragons frolick in fields of golden daffodils.

 Grin Grin  You're dangerous, YB...

(Memo to self:  Do not drink coffee while reading posts, particularly YB's)

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« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2008, 05:44:03 PM »

^ Glad you liked it.
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