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!