Again I state the changes don't make the Liturgy shorter and aren't about making it shorter. The Little Litanies are removed but the Prayers of the Antiphons are chanted aloud, along with most of the other formerly silent prayers. The Antiphons are actually taken stationally; they start at their smaller church and process to the larger church. An Old Testament reading is added. The length of the Liturgy may actually be longer.
Fr. Deacon Lance
I don't recall any such procession during my visit there.
I also don't understand why they have special permission to change the Liturgy, when every other monastic community in Orthodoxy uses the same Liturgy as the rest of us? I've been Orthodox my entire life and was completely lost during their Liturgy, and could not follow it at all. There's something wrong when the faithful can't follow the Liturgy, and it's being spoken in their native tongue. (After a while I just put down my prayer book with the DL in it, because I couldn't find where they were at.)
Just because they have permission from the Bishop to use an altered Liturgy doesn't mean we (meaning the participants on the discussion board) have to like it. (Let us not forget that in the Council of Florence that it was all but 1 Orthodox Bishop who conceaded to the Catholic demands. Thankfully, St. Mark of Ephesus did not go along with the crowd.)
As others have said, it doesn't just stop with changes to the Liturgy, and not fasting from dairy. While I can't speak for the monks, the only time the nuns would wear any type of clothing that indicated that they were a monastic is when they were in church. Then they put on the same type of black cassock a Reader wears (forgive me, I don't know the official name of the garment.) They never wear a habit, and outside of church, walk around in regular clothes. Even during church their heads are uncovered. The nuns explained to me that as long as they were dressed modestly, it didn't matter what they wore. A few of the nuns were professors at the local college. I don't know if it's permitted for the monastics to have jobs outside of the monastary, but I haven't heard of this in other Orthodox monastaries.
During mealtimes, talking and socializing is permitted. It's been my experience at other monastaries that during mealtimes the only person permitted to speak is the Reader reading from the Psalms. This was not done at New Skete.
While many of these practices wouldn't be surprising for Catholic nuns, I do find them surprising for Orthodox nuns.
I'm not sitting here saying they're uncanonical, but why are they permitted exceptions that no one else is permitted?
This I don't understand.