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Question: Can Priests change the Divine liturgy in any way? Rearrange it? Recite shorter prayers? Omit homolies? etc?
Yes - 10 (35.7%)
No - 18 (64.3%)
Total Voters: 28

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Author Topic: Can priests change / edit the Divine Liturgy?  (Read 5675 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 15, 2008, 12:03:36 PM »

I've been learning about the Church and I'm wondering if priests can change the liturgy at all? To give the best example, one of the eastern catholic churches that I go to recently had a 'play' / skit during Sunday liturgy. This is not common at all, i'd say maybe 2 or 3 times a year. The homily was omitted and replaced with a play about the birth of Christ. About 10+ people in costumes  dressed like Mary, Joseph and a baby doll as Jesus, with the Magi and others were all crowded on the side of the altar and preformed this play. I've heard about this happening in the roman/latin rite catholic church, but this is the first time i've seen anything like this in an eastern catholic church. Nearing Christmas, the priest thought this would be a good way to remind people of the true meaning of Christmas. Learning about the Orthodox faith, I thought I'd ask if this type of Eucharistic celebration could occur in the Orthodox Church? Can a priest or even bishop for that matter, make it possible to do this during the Divine Liturgy... In front of the Altar?

Thank you for your response.
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2008, 12:45:33 PM »

No and yes.

No, it is not a good idea to replace the homily with a play or anything like that.

But for pastoral reasons, sometimes the homily is moved to right before communion or after the liturgy; the Matins Gospels in Greek Churches is moved to the end of Matins.  Some litanies are made silent. These changes are not done to just "edit" the liturgy  but are done with the goal of allowing the faithful to participate more (for instance those with small children can't often come early to hear the Matins Gospel).  And these changes are common amongst many dioceses and areas, not the whim of the priest (the homily being moved may be at his discretion but the idea of moving a homily to a different place is established).

I personally prefer not to make even the common changes but the key point is there are pastoral considerations that are done with trepidation, not attempts to be more "inclusive" or "relevant" or trendy.
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2008, 12:54:14 PM »

I have heard some things changed slightly by my priest.  For example, he adds some prayers into the liturgy.  When praying for those traveling, he adds "by air" along with by land and sea.  He also adds in prayers for people struggling with addiction, those with AIDS, those in slavery, et cetera.  I personally have no problem with these additions, but I am curious if these sort of "little additions" are actually permitted.

Also, when visiting the parish by my mother's house when visiting, I noticed that the call for the catechumen to depart from the service was omitted.  At my church this part is still read, but nobody is expected to actually leave.

I have considered starting to leave the service then anyway, because the rest of the liturgy is just uncomfortable not being part of the faithful.  You can't sing half of the parts, because they don't apply to you.

Now I'm just rambling...
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2008, 12:58:21 PM »

No and yes.

No, it is not a good idea to replace the homily with a play or anything like that.

But for pastoral reasons, sometimes the homily is moved to right before communion or after the liturgy;

I was going to ask about this.  Lately, the priest at the OCA church I've been attending recently has started preaching his homily after the Great Entrance.  It's odd because when I was there earlier this year, the homily was after the Gospel, as normal. 

I have no idea why he changed it.  I have nothing against it, other than the fact that it just seems odd to me.
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2008, 01:02:27 PM »

Praying for travelers by air has been in the Antiochian Divine Liturgy as long as I can remember.
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2008, 01:07:32 PM »

Praying for travelers by air has been in the Antiochian Divine Liturgy as long as I can remember.

A priest didn't come up with this change on a whim though. It may have been suggested by a priest but it went to the Bishop for approval and the change was made universal.

An example of a priest adding to the liturgy on his own accord would be the priest who adds mothers, fore-mothers, and matriarchs whenever fathers, fore-fathers or Patriarchs are mentioned.
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2008, 01:32:57 PM »

My Priest keeps his wireless mic on during the entire Liturgy except when He distributes Communion.  Even the Silent prayers are recited via wireless mic.  He can do the Divine Liturgy in 30 minutes under the correct conditions.

I voted Yes.
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2008, 01:56:19 PM »

My Priest keeps his wireless mic on during the entire Liturgy except when He distributes Communion.  Even the Silent prayers are recited via wireless mic.  He can do the Divine Liturgy in 30 minutes under the correct conditions.

I voted Yes.

How is that possible?

And the bigger question, why would he WANT to do that??
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2008, 02:11:08 PM »

Thank you for your responses. It's clear that some changes can be made in regards to the liturgy as many of you point out to subtleties being made here and there. The homily being moved, etc. etc. However, what I don't hear is "Yes, our priest had a play during the liturgy to explain the season of ...." I apologize. But let me clarify a bit. Can plays be performed during the liturgy? Regardless of content or reason, can they be present EVER? This is really the substance of the question.
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2008, 02:19:45 PM »

Quote
He can do the Divine Liturgy in 30 minutes under the correct conditions.

How can someone do the liturgy in 30 minutes? For my church, we're moving fast if it's less than 2 hours.
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2008, 02:38:24 PM »

I suspect that certain changes, albeit slight, are being made in some jurisdictions.

For example, here's one difference I noticed between the DL of St. John Chrysostomos celebrated in any Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the same DL celebrated in my Greek parish. In Ukrainian churches, it's an absolute must that after the Great Litany (after the words, "For to You are due all glory, honor, and worship...") the choir sings Psalm 102/103, "Bless the Lord, my soul," and after the Small Litany and before the singing of "Only Begotten Son and Word of God, You are immortal," the choir sings Psalm 145/146, "Put not your trust in princes..." (or, sometimes, a reader reads this Psalm alound). Now, in my Greek parish, I never heard these two Psalms ever sung or read. It's a bit of a pity because these two are among the very few Psalms that I actually like. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2008, 03:02:42 PM »

I suspect that certain changes, albeit slight, are being made in some jurisdictions.

For example, here's one difference I noticed between the DL of St. John Chrysostomos celebrated in any Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the same DL celebrated in my Greek parish. In Ukrainian churches, it's an absolute must that after the Great Litany (after the words, "For to You are due all glory, honor, and worship...") the choir sings Psalm 102/103, "Bless the Lord, my soul," and after the Small Litany and before the singing of "Only Begotten Son and Word of God, You are immortal," the choir sings Psalm 145/146, "Put not your trust in princes..." (or, sometimes, a reader reads this Psalm alound). Now, in my Greek parish, I never heard these two Psalms ever sung or read. It's a bit of a pity because these two are among the very few Psalms that I actually like. Smiley

The psalms are called for on Sundays but the antiphons "through the Intercessions of the Theotokos" et al are called for on other days or on Feasts.

in many Greek Churches, the antiphons are just always used--but not in all Churches.

In Christ,

Fr Anastasios
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2008, 03:20:34 PM »

My Priest keeps his wireless mic on during the entire Liturgy except when He distributes Communion.  Even the Silent prayers are recited via wireless mic.  He can do the Divine Liturgy in 30 minutes under the correct conditions.

I voted Yes.

I don't see how that's possible either, unless NOTHING is being sung and everything is just being read. The fastest Liturgy I've ever been to, was probably 50 minutes, from start to finish, for a weekday Liturgy (saint's feast day) and chanting from the GOA "green book" (no traditional cherubic hymns or anything). And I thought THAT was fast!  But 30 minutes? I just do not see how that's possible, unless a whole lot is being left out, or the choir/chanter is racing through the hymns, like the way some monks read the psalms during services. Smiley

Or is that a typo? I'm not sure I could READ the whole Liturgy in 30 minutes...LOL! (if we include all the "silent prayers" that is)
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2008, 03:24:53 PM »

I don't see how that's possible either, unless NOTHING is being sung and everything is just being read. The fastest Liturgy I've ever been to, was probably 50 minutes, from start to finish, for a weekday Liturgy (saint's feast day) and chanting from the GOA "green book" (no traditional cherubic hymns or anything). And I thought THAT was fast!  But 30 minutes? I just do not see how that's possible, unless a whole lot is being left out, or the choir/chanter is racing through the hymns, like the way some monks read the psalms during services. Smiley

Or is that a typo? I'm not sure I could READ the whole Liturgy in 30 minutes...LOL! (if we include all the "silent prayers" that is)

I wish I had a Typo; I witnessed the entire Divine Liturgy said in 30 minutes, with a chanter, short Gospel/Epistle readings and no one receiving Communion.  Clearly, a lot is being omitted.   Huh
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2008, 03:32:04 PM »

AS I understand it, no change may be done in the liturgy (additions or deletions) without the approval of the Bishop.

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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2008, 03:39:01 PM »

AS I understand it, no change may be donein the liturgy (additions or deletions) without the approval of the Bishop.

FWIW, the Bishop could have given Economia to my Priest for a 30 minute Liturgy.  On some Sundays, Liturgy takes 60-75 minutes (without Memorial Services, Artoclasias, Processions, etc.) although that now depends on how many people receive Communion for my Priest is the only presiding Priest.

In DC on Sunday, the Liturgy lasted under 80 minutes with no Memorial Services or Artoclasias.

Shortened Liturgies are becoming the norm, at least in the GOA.
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2008, 04:02:02 PM »

I suspect that certain changes, albeit slight, are being made in some jurisdictions.

For example, here's one difference I noticed between the DL of St. John Chrysostomos celebrated in any Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the same DL celebrated in my Greek parish. In Ukrainian churches, it's an absolute must that after the Great Litany (after the words, "For to You are due all glory, honor, and worship...") the choir sings Psalm 102/103, "Bless the Lord, my soul," and after the Small Litany and before the singing of "Only Begotten Son and Word of God, You are immortal," the choir sings Psalm 145/146, "Put not your trust in princes..." (or, sometimes, a reader reads this Psalm alound). Now, in my Greek parish, I never heard these two Psalms ever sung or read. It's a bit of a pity because these two are among the very few Psalms that I actually like. Smiley

The psalms are called for on Sundays but the antiphons "through the Intercessions of the Theotokos" et al are called for on other days or on Feasts.

in many Greek Churches, the antiphons are just always used--but not in all Churches.

In Christ,

Fr Anastasios

Thank you Father. So, then, could the absence of Psalms be explained by the fact that in our parish - where we still do not have a building of our own, but rent an Episcopal chapel - we celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Saturdays?

But we do say "...risen from the dead," the way it should be said on Sundays!
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« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2008, 04:40:05 PM »

I wish I had a Typo; I witnessed the entire Divine Liturgy said in 30 minutes, with a chanter, short Gospel/Epistle readings and no one receiving Communion.  Clearly, a lot is being omitted.   Huh

I think the shortest Byzantine Liturgy I've ever been to - short readings, no sermon, no one receiving Communion, and prayers being said rather rapidly - lasted for about 1h20. Sunday Liturgy at my parish usually lasts well over two hours.

I did once attend a Coptic Liturgy where the serving Bishop managed to get through everything in about 45-50mins, but I'm not familiar enough with that Liturgical tradition to know what, if anything, was omitted to make that possible. 
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2008, 04:46:31 PM »

Now, in my Greek parish, I never heard these two Psalms ever sung or read. It's a bit of a pity because these two are among the very few Psalms that I actually like. Smiley

This is a Greek vs. Slavic thing. In the Greek churches, the Psalms and Beatitudes are usually only sung in monasteries, whereas in the Slavic traditions this has been retained in the parishes (although the Psalms are rarely sung in their entirety).

in many Greek Churches, the antiphons are just always used--but not in all Churches.

Bless Father,

Do the Old Calendar Greek churches follow the same practices as the New Calendar churches in this respect, or are the Typika and Beatitudes normally sung?

But we do say "...risen from the dead," the way it should be said on Sundays!

Is this 'allowed' canonically speaking?
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« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2008, 05:25:22 PM »

[
I wish I had a Typo; I witnessed the entire Divine Liturgy said in 30 minutes, with a chanter, short Gospel/Epistle readings and no one receiving Communion.  Clearly, a lot is being omitted.   Huh

It wasn't Typica?  It sounds like one and that would definitely only take about 25-30 minutes.
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« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2008, 06:20:10 PM »

AS I understand it, no change may be done in the liturgy (additions or deletions) without the approval of the Bishop.

The above comment is what it boils down to and answers the OP most directly.

FWIW, the Bishop could have given Economia to my Priest for a 30 minute Liturgy.  On some Sundays, Liturgy takes 60-75 minutes (without Memorial Services, Artoclasias, Processions, etc.) although that now depends on how many people receive Communion for my Priest is the only presiding Priest.

In DC on Sunday, the Liturgy lasted under 80 minutes with no Memorial Services or Artoclasias.

On a Sunday in a major Church?  (a) No one is receiving communion, (b) shortened melodies.  Do those 2 reasons sound right?

Shortened Liturgies are becoming the norm, at least in the GOA.

Hardly; it's a regional thing.  Most Liturgies that I have attended (Metropolises of Pittsburgh, Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, Archdiocesan District, and San Francisco - haven't been to Chicago Metropolis for services in 15+ years) on Sundays, even in small Churches, have taken more than 90 minutes.  Those Liturgies have been spread over "Greek-Greek" parishes, "kind of Greek" ones, and "not Greek at all."
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« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2008, 06:23:53 PM »

All the above said, I've been to a weekday Matins + Liturgy with the Bishop (it should be stated that it was just the Bishop and I present) that was 90 minutes total; Antiphons, no Kathismas of the Psalter, and no "Green Book" stuff, either.  At my parish now we usually take about an hour per service (Orthros + Liturgy) on weekdays; I get to sing traditional melodies, and "add back" elements like the canon or the full psalms at "Let everything that has breath" ("Pasa Pnoi").  Ideally, the only elements to a Sunday Liturgy that should lengthen it beyond that are (a) longer sermon, (b) longer Communion, and (c) Typica, if you do them.
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« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2008, 06:30:04 PM »

cleveland,

Was the Bishop serving as a priest and you were reading/singing the service?  Just curious.  Thanks.
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« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2008, 06:33:14 PM »

cleveland,

Was the Bishop serving as a priest and you were reading/singing the service?  Just curious.  Thanks.

The Bishop was just serving - Episcopal Vestments, but he was the only celebrant.  I was chanting.  I can't recall which Saint's day it was, but we were alone in the chapel at the Metropolis.
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« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2008, 08:54:42 PM »

[
I wish I had a Typo; I witnessed the entire Divine Liturgy said in 30 minutes, with a chanter, short Gospel/Epistle readings and no one receiving Communion.  Clearly, a lot is being omitted.   Huh

It wasn't Typica?  It sounds like one and that would definitely only take about 25-30 minutes.
Yes, the Typica is often read in place of the Liturgy if no priest is present to celebrate.  This reader's service has many of the same prayers and hymns as the Divine Liturgy but none of the sections that require a priest (i.e., the Liturgy of the Eucharist), hence the service can be completed in much less time than the Liturgy.  But with a priest?  Why would a church read the Typica with a priest present?
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« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2008, 09:09:50 PM »

[
I wish I had a Typo; I witnessed the entire Divine Liturgy said in 30 minutes, with a chanter, short Gospel/Epistle readings and no one receiving Communion.  Clearly, a lot is being omitted.   Huh

It wasn't Typica?  It sounds like one and that would definitely only take about 25-30 minutes.
Yes, the Typica is often read in place of the Liturgy if no priest is present to celebrate.  This reader's service has many of the same prayers and hymns as the Divine Liturgy but none of the sections that require a priest (i.e., the Liturgy of the Eucharist), hence the service can be completed in much less time than the Liturgy.  But with a priest?  Why would a church read the Typica with a priest present?
I've actually known of it happening.  The priest asked whether anyone was going to commune, and when no one answered in the affirmative, he served a Typica service.
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« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2008, 09:18:13 PM »

I wish I had a Typo; I witnessed the entire Divine Liturgy said in 30 minutes, with a chanter, short Gospel/Epistle readings and no one receiving Communion.  Clearly, a lot is being omitted.   Huh

I think the shortest Byzantine Liturgy I've ever been to - short readings, no sermon, no one receiving Communion, and prayers being said rather rapidly - lasted for about 1h20. Sunday Liturgy at my parish usually lasts well over two hours.

I did once attend a Coptic Liturgy where the serving Bishop managed to get through everything in about 45-50mins, but I'm not familiar enough with that Liturgical tradition to know what, if anything, was omitted to make that possible. 

I'd love to know how he did it:a Coptic DL usually is a two hour affair AT LEAST.
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« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2008, 11:44:35 PM »

[
I wish I had a Typo; I witnessed the entire Divine Liturgy said in 30 minutes, with a chanter, short Gospel/Epistle readings and no one receiving Communion.  Clearly, a lot is being omitted.   Huh

It wasn't Typica?  It sounds like one and that would definitely only take about 25-30 minutes.
Yes, the Typica is often read in place of the Liturgy if no priest is present to celebrate.  This reader's service has many of the same prayers and hymns as the Divine Liturgy but none of the sections that require a priest (i.e., the Liturgy of the Eucharist), hence the service can be completed in much less time than the Liturgy.  But with a priest?  Why would a church read the Typica with a priest present?

Typica is not often done in Greek Churches, so I doubt SolEX01 witnessed that.
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« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2008, 11:51:12 PM »

Typica is not often done in Greek Churches, so I doubt SolEX01 witnessed that.

I do not know what a Typica service looks like.  Thanks Cleveland.   Smiley
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« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2008, 12:17:23 AM »

So is the conclusive answer that priests can only make changes with their bishop's approval?
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« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2008, 01:52:10 AM »

So is the conclusive answer that priests can only make changes with their bishop's approval?

This is the way it has to be.  Our orthodox ecclesiology is focused on the bishop.  He is the presider, and the priest is the presider by virtue of the bishop.  Any changes to the liturgy have to come with the blessing of the bishop b/c he is the chief presider.  That's our ecclesiology.  To do anything else would be to change the ecclesiastical nature of the church.  Unless some of you want to take a crack at how we can have an "ecclesiology of the parish" which is something we just studied in our ecclesiology class.  There actually is no ecclesiology of the parish, only of the metropolis.  that is interesting b/c there is no bishop in every parish, just in the metropolis, so our church needs an ecclesiology of the parish. 
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« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2008, 02:40:32 AM »

that is interesting b/c there is no bishop in every parish, just in the metropolis, so our church needs an ecclesiology of the parish.

So wait, are you proposing that Orthodoxy should change its entire ecclesiology?
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« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2008, 03:51:09 AM »

FWIW, the Bishop could have given Economia to my Priest for a 30 minute Liturgy.  On some Sundays, Liturgy takes 60-75 minutes (without Memorial Services, Artoclasias, Processions, etc.) although that now depends on how many people receive Communion for my Priest is the only presiding Priest.

In DC on Sunday, the Liturgy lasted under 80 minutes with no Memorial Services or Artoclasias.

On a Sunday in a major Church?  (a) No one is receiving communion, (b) shortened melodies.  Do those 2 reasons sound right?

I attended Church in DC on Sunday.  One Priest serving, A Capella Choir, Church was about half-full with handful of Sunday School children.

Where I live, the Priest and Choir rush through things; Ten years ago, DL lasted close to 2 hours with slower paced choir, slower reading, lot more Greek.  A lot of Parishioners wanted a later start and a shorter Liturgy ... and stopped showing up after all.

Shortened Liturgies are becoming the norm, at least in the GOA.

Hardly; it's a regional thing.  Most Liturgies that I have attended (Metropolises of Pittsburgh, Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, Archdiocesan District, and San Francisco - haven't been to Chicago Metropolis for services in 15+ years) on Sundays, even in small Churches, have taken more than 90 minutes.  Those Liturgies have been spread over "Greek-Greek" parishes, "kind of Greek" ones, and "not Greek at all."

I attended DL in York, PA in August - Liturgy lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes with a Memorial Service and handful of Communicants.  Priest and Chanters said things slowly and clearly, to my family's enjoyment.  For the Churches I've attended in the NJ Metropolis, 90-120 minutes appears to be the norm.
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« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2008, 07:48:59 AM »

I'd love to know how he did it:a Coptic DL usually is a two hour affair AT LEAST.

Your guess is as good as mine. All other Coptic Liturgies I've been to (including ones where this bishop was serving) have been much longer; though not necessarily two hours. It was early morning, he was in a rush (had to catch a plane later that day), and so managed to race through it somehow  Huh
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« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2008, 08:02:33 AM »

I was ordained as a Serbian Orthodox priest.  I had to take an oath, one hand on the precious Cross and one on the Gospels, that I would not deviate from the printed text of the Service Books.   

Conventional shortenings are considered acceptable.  Changes are forbidden by the priestly oath.  Do other Churches ask their priests to take an oath of this nature?
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« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2008, 08:32:25 AM »

I was ordained as a Serbian Orthodox priest.  I had to take an oath, one hand on the precious Cross and one on the Gospels, that I would not deviate from the printed text of the Service Books.   

Conventional shortenings are considered acceptable.  Changes are forbidden by the priestly oath.  Do other Churches ask their priests to take an oath of this nature?

I would say it falls between the approval of the bishop in the front of the Service Book and the antimensis.  A priest serves at the bishop's pleasure: a priest going off the reservation is like an ambassador conducting his own foreign policy.

That being said, even if a priest went strictly by the book, human beings being what we are, there would still be variations.  The question is, as you stated Father (good to see you again, btw.  Many years!), is what is acceptable.  I've noticed the many, many, many variations that I have seen in the various parishes across many jurisdictions, and yet still Orthodox (but that's just my opinion. An OCA bishop expresses his horror when over a priest (OCA but filling in at an Antiochean parish) celebrated the great and holy Saturday DL on the winding sheet in the tomb.  The bishop emphasized the altar/antimensis as being the Lord's throne not his tomb.  I actually liked it: attending DL at the Church of the Resurrection in the tomb at Jerusalem, the tomb was the altar area).  I've often thought of the volumes such customs would take up if recorded.

I haven't had a chance to do more than glance at it, but the EOB has an article claiming the presbyters (priests) are the successors of the Apostles, not the bishops. I'll have to see what's that all about.
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« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2008, 09:40:30 AM »

that is interesting b/c there is no bishop in every parish, just in the metropolis, so our church needs an ecclesiology of the parish.

So wait, are you proposing that Orthodoxy should change its entire ecclesiology?

that was the idea that was presented in my class.  It is not about changing our entire ecclesiology, but rather DEVELOPING an ecclesiology that reflects the modern paradigm.  As it stands right now, our ecclesiology is one of the DIOCESE (metropolis), and not of the parish.  Only at the diocese do you ACTUALLY have the "fullness" of the church b/c that is where the bishop is.  Now, of course we have communion ecclesiology saying wherever people are taking communion there is the fullness of Christ, the fullness of the church.  However, in terms of ecclesiological principles, there is a great need to develop an ecclesiology of the parish, b/c the bishop is just not there.  There are 2 options:  either we put a bishop in each parish (each city), or we develop an ecclesiology that reflects the current situation = priest, parish (ecclesiology of the local parish). 

I could probably post some of my notes on this if people are interested...I have to go through the proper channels though before I post anything...
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« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2008, 09:45:42 AM »

Do other Churches ask their priests to take an oath of this nature?

Not that I'm aware of (and I've been to a fair number of ordinations).  Let me ask you this, which may help me answer your question better: when did you make this oath - during the ordination, just before, just after, etc?
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« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2008, 09:52:12 AM »

that was the idea that was presented in my class.  It is not about changing our entire ecclesiology, but rather DEVELOPING an ecclesiology that reflects the modern paradigm.  As it stands right now, our ecclesiology is one of the DIOCESE (metropolis), and not of the parish.  Only at the diocese do you ACTUALLY have the "fullness" of the church b/c that is where the bishop is.  Now, of course we have communion ecclesiology saying wherever people are taking communion there is the fullness of Christ, the fullness of the church.  However, in terms of ecclesiological principles, there is a great need to develop an ecclesiology of the parish, b/c the bishop is just not there.  There are 2 options:  either we put a bishop in each parish (each city), or we develop an ecclesiology that reflects the current situation = priest, parish (ecclesiology of the local parish). 

I could probably post some of my notes on this if people are interested...I have to go through the proper channels though before I post anything...

I think the "Ecclesiology of the parish" has been in effect for quite some time now: there hasn't been 1 Bishop to each parish for nearly 2,000 years (3rd century is the last of it, really, before the expansion of the Church in the early 4th Century).  The fullness of the Church is present because of the blessing given to the Priest by the Bishop to serve the Eucharist, which commemorates his name and which mystically unites them with him (and Him) despite the apparent limitations of time and space.

Part of the more modern disconnect in some areas is, I think, because of an under-utilization of the Chancellors, who should be doing 90%+ of the administrative work, leaving the Bishops free to do more traveling, preaching, teaching, etc.

But I don't think that there is as much of a disconnect as we think between our core ecclesiology and the modern parish-situation.  If we were to re-focus on the parish, it would have no change in the core ecclesiology (i.e. the Priest isn't a Bishop) unless one wanted to Change the ecclesiology (thus, giving the Priest the responsibilities and rights of a Bishop).
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« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2008, 10:04:06 AM »

that was the idea that was presented in my class.  It is not about changing our entire ecclesiology, but rather DEVELOPING an ecclesiology that reflects the modern paradigm.  As it stands right now, our ecclesiology is one of the DIOCESE (metropolis), and not of the parish.  Only at the diocese do you ACTUALLY have the "fullness" of the church b/c that is where the bishop is.  Now, of course we have communion ecclesiology saying wherever people are taking communion there is the fullness of Christ, the fullness of the church.  However, in terms of ecclesiological principles, there is a great need to develop an ecclesiology of the parish, b/c the bishop is just not there.  There are 2 options:  either we put a bishop in each parish (each city), or we develop an ecclesiology that reflects the current situation = priest, parish (ecclesiology of the local parish). 

I could probably post some of my notes on this if people are interested...I have to go through the proper channels though before I post anything...

I think the "Ecclesiology of the parish" has been in effect for quite some time now: there hasn't been 1 Bishop to each parish for nearly 2,000 years (3rd century is the last of it, really, before the expansion of the Church in the early 4th Century).  The fullness of the Church is present because of the blessing given to the Priest by the Bishop to serve the Eucharist, which commemorates his name and which mystically unites them with him (and Him) despite the apparent limitations of time and space.

Part of the more modern disconnect in some areas is, I think, because of an under-utilization of the Chancellors, who should be doing 90%+ of the administrative work, leaving the Bishops free to do more traveling, preaching, teaching, etc.

But I don't think that there is as much of a disconnect as we think between our core ecclesiology and the modern parish-situation.  If we were to re-focus on the parish, it would have no change in the core ecclesiology (i.e. the Priest isn't a Bishop) unless one wanted to Change the ecclesiology (thus, giving the Priest the responsibilities and rights of a Bishop).

The problem with this, as far as I have gathered without going to my notes, is that in the Eucharist, which is the element which unites us, the presider/enactor/etc. of the eucharist is the bishop.  However, now it is the priest who presides over the eucharist, EVEN THOUGH it is the bishop who gives him that right.  In the ancient church the prerogative of the presbyter was to be in council with the bishop (presbyterium) and to preach and teach, etc.  They were never the sole presiders over the eucharist, until after the 4th c. as you had said. 

Again, what I think is the major problem, as far as I have gathered, is that our basic ecclesiology is One bishop, One eucharist, One church.  So, how does the priest fit into that system?  I am not sure that your answer is an adequate one.  Just because he is given permission to preside over the eucharist, doesn't mean that the priest is the bishop right?  But the bishop is the presider over the eucharist.  You can see how we need to DEVELOP an ecclesiology that reflects the modern system. 

I think i'm gona send you my notes brother.  The whole class was kind of confusing, and I can't really argue what others have argued.  If you want to do some more reading on it, Zizioulas printed his thesis in English, in which the last section of his book deals directly with this issue.  Also the WCC has some good articles on this problem.  PM me your e-mail, since i'm pretty sure i've lost it now...
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« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2008, 10:13:19 AM »

Again, what I think is the major problem, as far as I have gathered, is that our basic ecclesiology is One bishop, One eucharist, One church.  So, how does the priest fit into that system?  I am not sure that your answer is an adequate one.  Just because he is given permission to preside over the eucharist, doesn't mean that the priest is the bishop right?  But the bishop is the presider over the eucharist.  You can see how we need to DEVELOP an ecclesiology that reflects the modern system. 

Can it not be that the Priest is mystically united to the Bishop in the celebration of the Eucharist just as we are united to one another, manifesting the unity of the Diocese through that Bond and allowing the Bishop to be presiding over each Liturgy just as a typeological Christ (since that is his role), just as we are mystically untied with all those celebrating the Eucharist all around the world, backwards and forwards and outside of time?

I think i'm gona send you my notes brother.  The whole class was kind of confusing, and I can't really argue what others have argued.  If you want to do some more reading on it, Zizioulas printed his thesis in English, in which the last section of his book deals directly with this issue.  Also the WCC has some good articles on this problem.  PM me your e-mail, since i'm pretty sure i've lost it now...

Sounds good.  I've sent it to you.
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« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2008, 11:33:18 AM »

that is interesting b/c there is no bishop in every parish, just in the metropolis, so our church needs an ecclesiology of the parish.

So wait, are you proposing that Orthodoxy should change its entire ecclesiology?

that was the idea that was presented in my class.  It is not about changing our entire ecclesiology, but rather DEVELOPING an ecclesiology that reflects the modern paradigm.  As it stands right now, our ecclesiology is one of the DIOCESE (metropolis), and not of the parish.  Only at the diocese do you ACTUALLY have the "fullness" of the church b/c that is where the bishop is.  Now, of course we have communion ecclesiology saying wherever people are taking communion there is the fullness of Christ, the fullness of the church.  However, in terms of ecclesiological principles, there is a great need to develop an ecclesiology of the parish, b/c the bishop is just not there.  There are 2 options:  either we put a bishop in each parish (each city), or we develop an ecclesiology that reflects the current situation = priest, parish (ecclesiology of the local parish). 

I could probably post some of my notes on this if people are interested...I have to go through the proper channels though before I post anything...

I don't think we need to improve on the Council of Jerusalem and St. Ignatius.  St. Ignatius insists on the bishop, OR someone appointed by him.  The priest, and his parish is in communion with their bishop, hence the fullness is there.  Only in a widowed diocese does this become an issue (and necessitate a new bishop).

that was the idea that was presented in my class.  It is not about changing our entire ecclesiology, but rather DEVELOPING an ecclesiology that reflects the modern paradigm.  As it stands right now, our ecclesiology is one of the DIOCESE (metropolis), and not of the parish.  Only at the diocese do you ACTUALLY have the "fullness" of the church b/c that is where the bishop is.  Now, of course we have communion ecclesiology saying wherever people are taking communion there is the fullness of Christ, the fullness of the church.  However, in terms of ecclesiological principles, there is a great need to develop an ecclesiology of the parish, b/c the bishop is just not there.  There are 2 options:  either we put a bishop in each parish (each city), or we develop an ecclesiology that reflects the current situation = priest, parish (ecclesiology of the local parish). 

I could probably post some of my notes on this if people are interested...I have to go through the proper channels though before I post anything...

I think the "Ecclesiology of the parish" has been in effect for quite some time now: there hasn't been 1 Bishop to each parish for nearly 2,000 years (3rd century is the last of it, really, before the expansion of the Church in the early 4th Century).  The fullness of the Church is present because of the blessing given to the Priest by the Bishop to serve the Eucharist, which commemorates his name and which mystically unites them with him (and Him) despite the apparent limitations of time and space.

Part of the more modern disconnect in some areas is, I think, because of an under-utilization of the Chancellors, who should be doing 90%+ of the administrative work, leaving the Bishops free to do more traveling, preaching, teaching, etc.

But I don't think that there is as much of a disconnect as we think between our core ecclesiology and the modern parish-situation.  If we were to re-focus on the parish, it would have no change in the core ecclesiology (i.e. the Priest isn't a Bishop) unless one wanted to Change the ecclesiology (thus, giving the Priest the responsibilities and rights of a Bishop).

Actually, it is the demise of the chorbishop (living on in the Arabic word for "priest" khuuri) that put an end to a bishop in every local church.  But even before them, although bishops, they could not ordain etc.  Their disappearance didn't change ecclesiology.
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« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2008, 11:43:53 AM »

Quote
You can see how we need to DEVELOP an ecclesiology that reflects the modern system. 

Well I hate to say it, but as for me, actually I can't. I don't really understand the problem here...
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« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2008, 12:33:57 PM »

Quote
You can see how we need to DEVELOP an ecclesiology that reflects the modern system. 

Well I hate to say it, but as for me, actually I can't. I don't really understand the problem here...

Me neither. I don't see a "problem," really. Or a "NEED" to reflect "the modern system" (BTW, what is it? Smiley )
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« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2008, 12:35:56 PM »

Again, what I think is the major problem, as far as I have gathered, is that our basic ecclesiology is One bishop, One eucharist, One church.  So, how does the priest fit into that system?  I am not sure that your answer is an adequate one.  Just because he is given permission to preside over the eucharist, doesn't mean that the priest is the bishop right?  But the bishop is the presider over the eucharist.  You can see how we need to DEVELOP an ecclesiology that reflects the modern system. 

Can it not be that the Priest is mystically united to the Bishop in the celebration of the Eucharist just as we are united to one another, manifesting the unity of the Diocese through that Bond and allowing the Bishop to be presiding over each Liturgy just as a typeological Christ (since that is his role), just as we are mystically untied with all those celebrating the Eucharist all around the world, backwards and forwards and outside of time?

I think i'm gona send you my notes brother.  The whole class was kind of confusing, and I can't really argue what others have argued.  If you want to do some more reading on it, Zizioulas printed his thesis in English, in which the last section of his book deals directly with this issue.  Also the WCC has some good articles on this problem.  PM me your e-mail, since i'm pretty sure i've lost it now...

Sounds good.  I've sent it to you.

I'd like it too.

But I still don't see the problem, as priests at a service where the bishop presides concelebrate.  The local parish is doing the same, just without the bishop physically present.
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