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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 5773 times) Average Rating: 0
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theosis
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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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« Reply #45 on: December 16, 2008, 12:46:55 PM »



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. 

 Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

A COPTIC Liturgy in 50 minutes?  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

And with a Bishop? Are you sure it wasn't Matins? There is no way in the world a Coptic Liturgy can be done in that amount of time with a Bishop present. A regular Coptic Liturgy is like 2 1/2 - 3 hours, I imagine with a Bishop it would be 4 hours+. The Coptic Church I've been to, heck Communion alone takes 30-45 minutes. Smiley I think nearly everything except the Epeclesis would have to be omitted for that to be possible in a Coptic Liturgy.

PS: edited to add, that I just read your next reply and saw your response....oh well, I guess as long as he was in a rush...Wink



I was just so shocked reading your post. I knew the EO in America had places with really short Liturgies (one priest, who is pretty well known I've been told does 15 minute weddings), but I just cannot imagine such things in a Coptic Church. Wow!

Also removed a comment that might lead the thread too off topic...

Peace . . . .

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« Reply #46 on: December 16, 2008, 12:51:18 PM »

I just cannot imagine such things, (30 minute EO Liturgies, 5o minute OO liturgies)....I pray we come to our senses before we have our own Vatican II. 

Lament not.  The examples brought up were exceptions to the rule, possibly even misunderstandings on the part of the observers.  A big problem arises, though, when we take the examples and begin to blow them up in our minds (i.e. "before we have our own Vatican II").  Fear, mistrust, defensiveness - all things that take our trust away from God's Providence.  All we must do is hold our True Course, not jerk the wheel.
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« Reply #47 on: December 16, 2008, 12:58:48 PM »


Lament not.  The examples brought up were exceptions to the rule, possibly even misunderstandings on the part of the observers.  A big problem arises, though, when we take the examples and begin to blow them up in our minds (i.e. "before we have our own Vatican II").  Fear, mistrust, defensiveness - all things that take our trust away from God's Providence.  All we must do is hold our True Course, not jerk the wheel.

Which is why I just removed that final comment from my reply, because it was a "gut reaction" made from shock, and not something I thought out...plus I didn't want to get into bashing Rome or the West or their council, because I don't see any good coming from that, and frankly do think the spirit of their council was a step in the right direction. (use of the local language etc.) Even though the practical effects of it were a leap aside rather than a step forward IMO. (and only IMO) Smiley

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« Reply #48 on: December 16, 2008, 01:31:53 PM »

The only Coptic liturgy I've ever attended was over three hours.

I don't think that the Orthodox Church needs to change anything in her ecclesiology; I love her the way she is!
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« Reply #49 on: December 16, 2008, 02:01:01 PM »

Are you sure it wasn't Matins?.....I was just so shocked reading your post. I knew the EO in America had places with really short Liturgies (one priest, who is pretty well known I've been told does 15 minute weddings), but I just cannot imagine such things in a Coptic Church. Wow!

No, it was Liturgy, not the Raising of Incense. However, I'm pretty sure Liturgies of this length are unique to this particular bishop due to the exceptional nature of his ministry and responsibilities. I doubt you'd come across this anywhere else.
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« Reply #50 on: December 16, 2008, 02:53:07 PM »

I just cannot imagine such things, (30 minute EO Liturgies, 5o minute OO liturgies)....I pray we come to our senses before we have our own Vatican II. 

Lament not.  The examples brought up were exceptions to the rule, possibly even misunderstandings on the part of the observers.

Misunderstandings?  On the day in question, which was the Beheading of John the Baptist and was followed by a near overflowing funeral of a young woman at 11 AM, I went to the Liturgy at 10 AM.  6 people attended the Liturgy which was served in a Chapel near the main Cathedral.  After the Liturgy, I was standing in the lobby of my Church deciding whether or not to attend the funeral (which I didn't) at 10:35 AM.   Huh  Note, around 100 people were waiting at the narthex of the Church at 10:50 AM for the funeral.   Huh

A few months later, my Priest complains about seeing too many former parishioners at funerals, baptisms and weddings.  Figure that out.   Huh
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« Reply #51 on: December 16, 2008, 03:12:25 PM »

Misunderstandings?  On the day in question, which was the Beheading of John the Baptist and was followed by a near overflowing funeral of a young woman at 11 AM, I went to the Liturgy at 10 AM.  6 people attended the Liturgy which was served in a Chapel near the main Cathedral.  After the Liturgy, I was standing in the lobby of my Church deciding whether or not to attend the funeral (which I didn't) at 10:35 AM.   Huh  Note, around 100 people were waiting at the narthex of the Church at 10:50 AM for the funeral.   Huh

A few months later, my Priest complains about seeing too many former parishioners at funerals, baptisms and weddings.  Figure that out.   Huh

Woah, there, tiger.  I said "exceptions to the rule, or misunderstandings."  Let's see what you've just revealed to us, shall we?

1. The day was the Beheading of John the Baptist - a day when most, if not all, Orthodox Churches must have Liturgy.
2. It was also the day of a huge funeral - something that does not often happen.
3. It was the funeral of a young woman - also not common.

So the Liturgy in question was, ahem, an "exception to the rule."  The funeral probably had to be scheduled 1 hour after Liturgy, so the Liturgy had to be done quickly in order to accommodate the funeral and the crowd around it.
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« Reply #52 on: December 16, 2008, 03:18:15 PM »

Cleveland, your prior post triggered my memory and I remembered the details of why the Liturgy took 30 minutes.  Sorry if I overreacted for I didn't see the "or" nor did I immediately understand the "exceptions to the rule."   angel

To accomodate the hundreds of people waiting in the narthex, the Divine Liturgy could have taken place in the main Cathedral at 10 AM rather than a small Chapel.  It was a rainy day and isn't the Church the "ark of Salvation?"  Sure didn't feel like it.   Sad
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« Reply #53 on: December 16, 2008, 03:19:20 PM »

While an exception on many parts, it still seems very inappropriate and irreverent to me.  I would have complained to the Bishop (and I think you SHOULD, SolEx).

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Funerals not allowed on Sundays.   Of course, the bishop can always give a dispensation though.
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« Reply #54 on: December 16, 2008, 03:23:28 PM »

^ The day in question was a Friday, a weekday.

My Priest tends to get rather defensive if his actions are questioned and I didn't want to blow something out of proprotion....
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« Reply #55 on: December 16, 2008, 03:27:39 PM »

To accomodate the hundreds of people waiting in the narthex, the Divine Liturgy could have taken place in the main Cathedral at 10 AM rather than a small Chapel.  It was a rainy day and isn't the Church the "ark of Salvation?"  Sure didn't feel like it.   Sad

That's a shame; I won't get into the practice of second-guessing why things were done the way they were, but it's sad that, in your words, "it didn't feel like it."
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« Reply #56 on: December 16, 2008, 03:29:21 PM »

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Funerals not allowed on Sundays.   Of course, the bishop can always give a dispensation though.

One of the Archdiocese may have this as a local rule, but no, there are no restrictions on Funeral Days - one could have a funeral any day of the year, including Pascha.  Remember, embalming the deceased is a practice only prevalent amongst the Orthodox in the last 100 years, and most of the rules pre-date this by 13-14 centuries.
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« Reply #57 on: December 16, 2008, 04:26:08 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...
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 )
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.
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 wanted to put all your requests into one post, (a) to test the whole "nesting" theory.  (b) to be able to put you all together so I can remember who mad requests  (c) to better answer all of your questions. 

Basically, I will try to cull out of my ecclesiology class the basic questions, premises, etc. that regard the present issue/discussion/question.  I will put it all in quotes, as it is "Class notes" from a particular person, in my own writing (which is word for word).  I will try to keep it limited, so that I do not break any laws, etc.  If anyone has a better idea, let me know and i'll stay on for the next hour or so.  If not, someone will have to correct the posts (moderators?).  Sorry that I am not more well versed in all of this! 

Expect my response within the next hour. 
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« Reply #58 on: December 16, 2008, 04:43:47 PM »

Quote
The local church is not the parish but the diocese.  We have not yet sufficiently understood the nature of the church in the parish.  We don’t have a theology of the parish. W e have canonical regulations for the relationships b/w the diocese and the parish, but not sufficient theology about the parish.  We must study the challenges and problems for the parish b/c that is where we meet the church.  For most people the diocese is an administrative institution.  It is important to understand and study the theology of the parish. 

Quote
There is one church, the church of God, JC, the temple of the HS and this church becomes tangible, accessible to us in the life of the local churches.  Now the local church should not be identified in OC with the parishes.  The local church is the diocese.  Where all the constitutive ministries of the church are present.  The one who embodies in his ministry the ministries of all, and the churches who are communing with one another in faith, life and witness. 

Quote
The local parish, diocese is the visible expression of God’s church.  In eucahrist we all receive JC without dividing JC.  The HS distributes JC to all and unites all to JC.  Now you can understand this as the basis of what we call communion ecclesiology.  This notion of relationality becomes expreiencially accessible to us in the celebration of the eucharist.  The eucharist is the basic liturgical level of the church which is the Trinitarian faith.  It is from the eucharist that the church understands who she is.  What is her message, and what she preaches to the world. 

This comment is based on a text from Lohfink "Jesus and Community" as well as Raymond Brown's  text on the apostolic community...i gota find the reference...As well as the professor's thoughts...

Quote
The church recognized the development of the parish but didn’t want to lose its connection to the ministry of the bishop.  We have the commemoration of the bishop, etc.  The most under-developed ecclesiology is that of the parish.  We will study Ignatius, who is the center of orthodox Eucharistic, experiential, episkopo-centric ideas, but the church developed.  Now you cannot say that the church is not the center of church life.  But from an Ecumenical perspective most of the Christian churches recognize the importance of the ministry of the one who unites the ministry of the many, as constitutive of the church. 

Quote
Lohfink say that bishops are important for the well being of the church.  OC insist that the bishop is important for the being of the church.  This is a big difference.  The priest is not only there to unite them specially but also historically, to unite with the ministry of JC.  Ecclesiology has developed, we moved from episcopo-centric to presbytero-centric celebrations of the Eucharist.  Our ecclesiology is centered in Ignatius, but we rarely have the kind of eucharist that he is presenting.  In most instances we have the presbyters celebrating the eucharist at the local level, and in some cases the local parish has not seen the bishop in years. 

Quote
In OC ecclesiology you cannot have it without the bishop.  But the development of the parish have generated a problem for the episkopo-centric polity of the church.  In most cases we are commemorating him, but people don’t know what this is.  It is important to rediscover in what ways the bishop will become central for the life of the local parish. We need new ways to connect the bishop with the life of the local parish beyond the notion of a church bureaucrat.  Zizioulas suggests that we have to have smaller diocese so that the bishop will be able to know the people of God. 

Quote
What the priest is doing is what the bishop was doing in the episkopocentric communities of the early church.  We have not yet developed a sufficient theology of the parish.  What Zizioulas says is that when we argue that the eucharist as it is celebrated in the parish does not disclose the catholicity of the church, but it is expressed in the episkope, we have somehow damaged our Eucharistic ecclesiology.  So what is happening is exactly this, at the local level by the priest, uniting the ministries of the many in JC, that is the ministry of the bishop, as described by Zizioulas. 

Quote
The church didn’t want to disconnect the commemoration of the eucharist in the parish from the bishop, hence the commemoration of his name in the liturgy, etc. so he is symbolically there.  When you acknowledge that there is only one ministry of the church and all the people participate in it, then the task of the bishop is to encourage that the ministry of all is to be actualized for the enrichment of the church and to express the unity.  He coordinates and empowers, facilitates the actualization of the ministries of the church.  He does not suppress them, he allows the different gifts of JC’s ministry to be exemplified at the local level. 

Zizioulas is correct in insisting that in every aspect of the church life you need the ministry of the one who unites the ministry of the many and the ministry of the many do not deny the one, and vice versa.  That is an important ecclesiological factor. 

Some key questions from a lecture: 

Quote
If the catholicity of the church is expressed, actualized and lived wherever the eucharist is celebrated how can you say that the celebration of the eucharist in the parish is not the manifestation of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church?  What is missing?  What is deficient if Christ is manifest in His fullness? 

I also have a 3-4 page very "detail oriented" summary of this discussion, with some fairly standard as well as some what I would say "radical" conclusions that I would be willing to share with people, but is probably too much to post online from any one source. 

Also, I would be able to send the entire ecclesiology class document to whomever would like...

BUT YOU NEED TO PM ME FIRST!  I put that in bold b/c I am in the middle of finals, so I don't have the time to hunt people down.  Please forgive me, and I hope to be able to reach all of you who are interested, soon. 

p.s.  I hope this provides some food for thought.  there is obviously more to this that I have, but I think this is enough for one round.  Unless people want more...in that case PM me your e-mail and i'll send it to you. 







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« Reply #59 on: December 16, 2008, 05:42:39 PM »

Is it no also common among the Greeks (with permission of the Hierarchs) to suppress certain parts that the Slavs usually take?  For example:

The Insistent Litany after the Gospel
The Litanies of the Catechumens and Faithful
The second set of Angel of Peace petitions in the Litany before the Our Father

This could account for a good 15 minutes.
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« Reply #60 on: December 16, 2008, 07:51:44 PM »

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Funerals not allowed on Sundays.   Of course, the bishop can always give a dispensation though.

One of the Archdiocese may have this as a local rule, but no, there are no restrictions on Funeral Days - one could have a funeral any day of the year, including Pascha.

I never heard or saw an Orthodox funeral take place on a Sunday regardless of how hush-hush the funeral was supposed to be.
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« Reply #61 on: December 16, 2008, 09:39:34 PM »

I went to a Ukranian Church once where everybody was going at lightening speed, from the singers to the final blessing and the liturgy took 40 minutes.  And it was a full service!  It was a page every 30 seconds:

hospodevipomolimosHOSPODIPOMILUI!

Thats how it sounded.

Ironically, the sermon afterwards took 45 minutes.  And I couldn't understand a lick of it because it was half in Ukranian and half garbled English.

I was still there for two hours, but it felt...well....like a Drive Thru Orthiodoxy.....or Drive By, depending on the POV.
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« Reply #62 on: December 17, 2008, 08:25:02 AM »

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Funerals not allowed on Sundays.   Of course, the bishop can always give a dispensation though.

One of the Archdiocese may have this as a local rule, but no, there are no restrictions on Funeral Days - one could have a funeral any day of the year, including Pascha.

I never heard or saw an Orthodox funeral take place on a Sunday regardless of how hush-hush the funeral was supposed to be.

In this country, we've done a good job of keeping funerals away from Sundays (ironically, though, we keep doing Trisagions and Memorials and the like on Sundays when, technically, they're only to be done on Saturdays - the designated day to remember the deceased); however, the general rules for Orthodox funerals are formulated for our Orthodox-majority nations, most of which still don't use embalming fluid for preservation (so funerals must be done within 1-2 days of death).
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« Reply #63 on: December 19, 2008, 01:44:19 AM »

This thread is depressing. I thought that the Orthodox are, by and large, immune from the desire to abbreviate the liturgy to excess (granting that there are "standard abbreviations" established by long-standing custom) but here (and elsewhere) it seems as if some Orthodox are now competing with us Latins to shorten the Liturgy.

At least, we Latins have daily Liturgies, so that somehow compensates for our short Sundays, but since most Orthodox parishes have services only on Sundays (or, in the case of many Slav parishes, Saturdays and Sundays), reducing even that to a mere hour or so would seem inexcusable.
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« Reply #64 on: December 19, 2008, 10:12:18 AM »

This thread is depressing. I thought that the Orthodox are, by and large, immune from the desire to abbreviate the liturgy to excess (granting that there are "standard abbreviations" established by long-standing custom) but here (and elsewhere) it seems as if some Orthodox are now competing with us Latins to shorten the Liturgy.

At least, we Latins have daily Liturgies, so that somehow compensates for our short Sundays, but since most Orthodox parishes have services only on Sundays (or, in the case of many Slav parishes, Saturdays and Sundays), reducing even that to a mere hour or so would seem inexcusable.

Hmmm.  I don't want to rain on your pity parade, but the Orthodox Divine Liturgy can, without abbreviations, be done in under an hour.  I've seen it myself, and known others who have also - Monasteries, while great for the true all-night vigils, and for musical selections that can (for one piece) take over an hour, are also great for brief Daily Liturgies - not by attrition, but by simplification of the music, and speed through the communion line. 

The biggest factors affecting the length of the service tend to be: 1. Speed/complexity of the music selected by the Choir(s); 2. Number of communicants.  Our weekday services can indeed be under an hour (very easily), and our Sundays are only as long as they are because of 1 and 2 (i.e. Choirs usually select very "nice" music, and Sundays are normally peak days for communion).  I have yet to find an Orthodox Church in this country (USA) who does Sunday Liturgy in under 90 minutes on a regular basis; of course, I've also never been to a parish with fewer than 100 member families save one.

No, we're not really "racing" with anyone to try and cut our services; yes, there are those who, in many parishes, grumble that our Liturgy takes too long (knowing fully well that their friends can find a 30-40 minute Mass at their church, and that the Orthodox Liturgy used to be 3-4 times its current length - thanks to 1 and 2 above).  However, our typical solution has not been to dismantle the Liturgy, but instead to adapt a wee bit, and to instead train our folks to handle the length.

This is exactly why it is dangerous to judge the practices of the other parishes - 2nd/3rd/4th-hand information and a lack of the "whole picture" can lead us to judge improperly (since most human judgment is improper anyway!).
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