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Author Topic: Interruption of Divine Liturgy - not allowed  (Read 1019 times) Average Rating: 0
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BasilCan
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« on: February 28, 2009, 09:16:50 PM »

Okay, I got an interesting email question from a friend of mine. Is there a canon that says, once you begin the Divine Liturgy, you cannot stop? Example, let's say after the first ekentia, the deacon drops dead. Compassion would say we would stop everything, take care of this guy and go to the hospital. My buddy (a priest by the way) said, no, once he says "Blessed is the Kingdom" the "ride" doesn't stop until the priest is machine gunned or the dismissal is pronounced. Is this true and, if so, what canon is this?

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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2009, 09:25:56 PM »

I do not know the answer to this.

But, I recall, many years ago, an aged archimandrite had (probably) a heart attack, while he was celebrating the Liturgy.  The Chanter told us, a Liturgy has never been stopped without completion.  The priest sat in a chair and completed the Liturgy, prior to going to the hospital.  He also survived the attack.
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2009, 09:30:20 PM »

I don't know about a canon but they way I have heard it is that if I believe the anaphora has not happened, the liturgy can stop, but if it has gotten that far, it must be completed, and if someone reposes, or has to go to the hospital, another priest would have to come and pick up where the other left off.
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2009, 09:53:23 PM »

I do not know the answer to this.

But, I recall, many years ago, an aged archimandrite had (probably) a heart attack, while he was celebrating the Liturgy.  The Chanter told us, a Liturgy has never been stopped without completion.  The priest sat in a chair and completed the Liturgy, prior to going to the hospital.  He also survived the attack.

This Archimandrite is a hero!!!
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2009, 10:06:57 PM »

The case that I am trying to recall happened in GULAG during the darkest of communist ages - the rule of Stalin. An imprisoned Ukrainian Orthodox priest was secretly celebrating a Liturgy for his fellow prisoners. It was not the first time. But on that particular day, the situation did not develop well. NKVD security guards approached that part in a barrack. The faithful, which were present still had time to run, and most of them did so, AFAIR upon the blessing of this priest. But the priest felt that he need to finish the Liturgy. The information did not specify if anaphora allready took place. Potentially, yes. One of the altar servers choose to stay with the priest. Therefore, NKVD captured them both. I am ashamed to admit that I do not remember the extent of the punishment - either a death penalty or an incerase for the time of incarceration.

The article that I saw about this event even included the names of the priest and the altar server, based on information from other participant(s) of the interrupted Liturgy, who hid on that day and then ultimately survived GULAG. I wish I could remember these names!
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2009, 10:33:20 PM »

Has anyone heard of so-called "teaching liturgies" where the priest pauses every so often to explain what's going on in a certain part of the liturgy?  Fr. Luke Veronis spoke on AFR about the GOA parish he's at, and they've done this one or two times, with positive feedback from those in the nave.  Would this fall under the category of "stopping" the liturgy?
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2009, 10:38:11 PM »

I've heard of priests pausing to make sure that an ill or incapacitated person is being ministered to properly by someone else and then continuing with the Liturgy.

Here's the rub: I don't think there is a codified, absolute rule out there; if the Liturgy transcends time and space, then it could be paused and resumed, no?  I can definitely see the argument for not "stopping" once the Anaphora is begun, but again, unless it is completed what is there to lose?

Personally, I don't think there is a rule because (a) they've never needed one, and (b) they've always adapted to the situation as it has presented itself.  Btw, I don't know if we can make the statement "no Liturgy has ever been interrupted/stopped," unless such has been revealed to us by the Almighty, Who sees and knows all.
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2009, 10:39:01 PM »

Has anyone heard of so-called "teaching liturgies" where the priest pauses every so often to explain what's going on in a certain part of the liturgy?  Fr. Luke Veronis spoke on AFR about the GOA parish he's at, and they've done this one or two times, with positive feedback from those in the nave.  Would this fall under the category of "stopping" the liturgy?

I doubt it - essentially all that happens in a "teaching liturgy" is 4-8 sermons instead of 1.
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