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Poll
Question: What services does your Church do on Holy Wednesday?  (Chose one of the first two options, one of the middle two, and one of the last three)
Morning: Presanctified Liturgy - 20 (27.8%)
Morning: Nothing, or Other (please specify) - 3 (4.2%)
Afternoon: Unction - 5 (6.9%)
Afternoon: Nothing, or Other (please specify) - 7 (9.7%)
Evening: Unction - 24 (33.3%)
Evening: Orthros/Matins/"Bridegroom" (with or without anointing) - 12 (16.7%)
Evening: Nothing, or Other (please specify) - 1 (1.4%)
Total Voters: 34

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« on: April 15, 2009, 05:57:37 PM »

I wanted to gauge what other folks' parishes do on Holy Wednesday; I've heard of anything between the minimum (nothing), to what we do (3 services: Presanctified, Unction, and Orthros).
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2009, 06:05:19 PM »

morning: Hours with Gospel then Presanctified Liturgy
afternoon: nothing
evening: Thursday's Matins

We had Unction on Monday
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2009, 06:15:28 PM »

Our OCA parish celebrated the Presanctified Liturgy this morning at the nearby women's monastery.  Tonight, AFAIK, we'll only have Holy Unction.  If we had vespers then I'll update this when I get back tonight.
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 06:17:51 PM »

Only the Unction service unfortunately.
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 06:19:14 PM »

In my ROCOR parish:
Morning: Hours and pre-sanctified liturgy
Evening: Confession, Compline, Matins, and Unction.
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 09:12:17 PM »

In one place they did Pre-Sanctified in the morning, Unction in the afternoon, Unction again at the late evening (the middle unction was for children). 

At the school they did (last year) Presanctified in the morning, Unction in the afternoon, Bridegroom at night.  This year they did Unction twice (like the first example I gave). 
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2009, 09:30:22 PM »

Anybody know when and why the Anointing was added into the evening Service for Great and Holy Wednesday?

We shared the anointing with the Romanian parish last night and both Romanian priests said that anointing is something recent.  I myself cannot remember it from my younger days.

Do Russian parishes do it in the States?
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2009, 09:31:28 PM »

At the school they did (last year) Presanctified in the morning, Unction in the afternoon, Bridegroom at night.  This year they did Unction twice (like the first example I gave).   

Why the switch?  That doesn't make sense for the school; they should have done the Orthros in the evening, and anointed people at the end of that service who missed the full unction service.
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2009, 09:33:07 PM »

Anybody know when and why the Anointing was added into the evening Service for Great and Holy Wednesday?

We shared the anointing with the Romanian parish last night and both Romanian priests said that anointing is something recent.  I myself cannot remember it from my younger days.

Do Russian parishes do it in the States?

I don't know the answer to your final question, but to the first: in our Holy Week Class (taught by Fr. Calivas) he said that it was a relatively recent addition to the routine; unfortunate in that it has displaced the Orthros service for many parishes, but beautiful in that it helps cap our preparation for Pascha with all the blessings it provides (healing of soul, healing of body, forgiveness of sins).
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2009, 10:22:43 PM »

Anybody know when and why the Anointing was added into the evening Service for Great and Holy Wednesday?

We shared the anointing with the Romanian parish last night and both Romanian priests said that anointing is something recent.  I myself cannot remember it from my younger days.

Do Russian parishes do it in the States?
Father, I thought that was what the Holy Unction service was part of?  My OCA parish has always had anointing with the Holy Unction service ever since I became Orthodox back in '04.
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« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 11:03:35 PM »

Father, I thought that was what the Holy Unction service was part of?  My OCA parish has always had anointing with the Holy Unction service ever since I became Orthodox back in '04. 

The Holy Unction service is a Sacrament of the Church which is usually reserved for those who are ill; anyone sick can, as the Epistle tells us, "call for the Elders of the Church" (presbyter = Elder), who will anoint them with oil blessed for the purpose.  There is no direction as to a specific time of year; rather, like Baptism, Chrismation, Marriage, and Burial it is performed when needed.  As a pious practice, to prepare us for great feasts or times of fasting, various churches celebrate it regularly: most places will celebrate it on Holy Wednesday; some will also celebrate it before Christmas & Theophany; and others will also celebrate it as part of Clean Monday.
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2009, 01:27:25 AM »

So why is the unction given to everyone, regardless of the state of their physical health?  It would seem to me that only the sick should receive the mystery.
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2009, 01:38:51 AM »

So why is the unction given to everyone, regardless of the state of their physical health?  IT would seem to me that only the sick should receive the mystery.
Are we not all sick by consequence of the fall of mankind into sin, sickness, and death?

From one of the Epistles prescribed for the service of Holy Unction (James 5:13-16):
Is any one among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.

According to this passage, Unction is also for the forgiveness of sins (not to replace the sacramental mystery of Confession).  Are we not all sinners in need of forgiveness?
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2009, 02:23:03 AM »

I voted the 1st and 6th options, although in reality they are reversed (bg matins in the morning, Presanct in the evening) - and no Unction.  My priest hasn't done it on Holy Wednesday the past few years.  I asked him why, and he said that there aren't any real sick people around.  Seems a poor excuse to me, but if it was during the day, I'd be at work anyways.

Although, I do see the point and saw this mention yesterday when searching for something else:
"Many serve Holy Unction service on Wednesday night, and sometimes omit the canonically appointed, and very beautiful and instructive matins for the institution of the Eucharist. The "Trebnic" is a prayer book used by the priest which has many prayers for "special needs" in it, such as unction, marriage, confession, funerals, blessings of all kinds, etc. Holy unction is usually served for the sick (not as "last rites", but for healing), but many serve it for an entire parish, since we are all at least spiritually sick to some degree. Not everyone agrees with this opinion, and some only serve this service for those who are physically sick. This service may be served any time there is a need, and is not prescribed in the typicon for Holy week."

From Answer 3 here:  http://www.orthodox.net/questions/holy_week_1.html
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2009, 03:44:06 AM »

Our Monastery celebrated Holy Unction on Holy Thursday Morning (this morning) as is the ancient custom.
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« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2009, 06:57:47 AM »

Presanctified yesterday morning. Holy Thursday Matins then Holy Unction yesterday evening.


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« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2009, 07:00:55 AM »

Anybody know when and why the Anointing was added into the evening Service for Great and Holy Wednesday?

We shared the anointing with the Romanian parish last night and both Romanian priests said that anointing is something recent.  I myself cannot remember it from my younger days.

Do Russian parishes do it in the States?

The OCA where I went didn't do it until we got an assistant Greek priest (he married a Russian, and we used to joke that he converted to Russian Orthodoxy).  After that, people wouldn't think of not having it.  We used to have pre-sanctified.

I was told by a St. Vlad type, that the service fell into disuse because people thought of the unction as a topic..."Father, I have this corn..."  I added "Father, I have this hemorrhoid..." Shocked

I noticed that the Russians have a lot more anointing with holy oil.  There's some section in Hapgood on this IIRC.

At my home parish (Antiochian), we do unction in the evening.


I don't know the answer to your final question, but to the first: in our Holy Week Class (taught by Fr. Calivas) he said that it was a relatively recent addition to the routine; unfortunate in that it has displaced the Orthros service for many parishes, but beautiful in that it helps cap our preparation for Pascha with all the blessings it provides (healing of soul, healing of body, forgiveness of sins).

We used to go to the Arab Orthodox Church for the service, back when the other parishes were getting on their feet (in the last ten years or so Chicago has gone from 1 to at least 4 Antiochians parishes that I know of).  The priest (Palestinian) mentioned that many back home in the old days (min zamaan, ya'nii) used to go to the unction service and take their only communion for the year on Holy Thursday (trying to get out of confession?).

I and my sons go to a Greek parish.  There they have two services for unction (the chapel service starts when the Church has filled up) in the afternoon.  Pre-sanctified is early in the morning, Matins/Foot washing in the evening.


Btw, I've noticed that the prayer of St. Ephraim disappears around Holy Wednesday. Anyone know when or why?

At my home parish (Antiochian), we do unction in the evening.

I and my sons go to a Greek parish.

Okay, I'm confused. Antiochian or Greek?

LOL.  I meant we go to a Greek parish for the unction service, for this part of the year (we go to the Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral for it every month.  Why they have it every month, no one seems to know.  People also bring bottles of oil for the service to take home).  I point out that the other language (they don't speak Greek) is the language the Bible was written in, and the language the Aposltes wrote in.  (the Romanian service is all in Romanian, another reason we go).
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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2009, 07:04:01 AM »

At my home parish (Antiochian), we do unction in the evening.

I and my sons go to a Greek parish.

Okay, I'm confused. Antiochian or Greek?


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« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2009, 07:14:55 AM »

Btw, I've noticed that the prayer of St. Ephraim disappears around Holy Wednesday. Anyone know when or why?
Lent ends on Palm Sunday. Holy Week is not part of Lent.
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« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2009, 07:18:30 AM »

At the school they did (last year) Presanctified in the morning, Unction in the afternoon, Bridegroom at night.  This year they did Unction twice (like the first example I gave).   

Why the switch?  That doesn't make sense for the school; they should have done the Orthros in the evening, and anointed people at the end of that service who missed the full unction service.

Mr. Texas wanted it.  He wanted a special service for the "children" and then a "regular" service.  TEXAS! 
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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2009, 07:19:08 AM »

Btw, I've noticed that the prayer of St. Ephraim disappears around Holy Wednesday. Anyone know when or why?
Lent ends on Palm Sunday. Holy Week is not part of Lent.

Yes, but the prayer is said at Bridegroom Matins from Sunday night (ie. Mon. Matins) through Tuesday (i.e. Wednesday).

At my home parish (Antiochian), we do unction in the evening.

I and my sons go to a Greek parish.

Okay, I'm confused. Antiochian or Greek?




LOL.  Answered above in the OP.
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« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2009, 09:45:35 AM »

Regarding the Wednesday anointing, this came from a hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad in the States:

There is a similar difference [between Greeks and Russians] in the views held about the Sacrament of Holy Unction:
traditionally the Russian Church has reserved this Sacrament for the sick, and for those who are seriously ill at that. In the Greek Church, it is given to people who are healthy, usually on Holy Wednesday evening.

The spread of this anointing of the healthy in ROCOR came from the group that is now HOCNA. It was begun at Jordanville after I had graduated, and is something I am not comfortable with. At ordination, we promised *not* to anoint the healthy, but only the sick.

It is true that all humans are sick with sin; but we have confession for that illness.
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« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2009, 09:47:34 AM »

Evening unction only...people wouldn't show up for more than that I'm afraid...sad really.
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« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2009, 09:50:29 AM »

Holy Unction and the singing of Preterpivyj.
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« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2009, 10:00:40 AM »

Holy Unction and the singing of Preterpivyj.
Oh! How I miss that!
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« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2009, 10:38:47 AM »

At ordination, we promised *not* to anoint the healthy, but only the sick.

This seems a bit unusual; I've never heard of this before.  Does anybody have a text, or example, of what he's speaking about?
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« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2009, 11:59:02 AM »

We have Wednesday Bridegroom Matins Tuesday night, Presanctified Liturgy Wednesday morning, and Unction Wednesday night.
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« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2009, 01:32:04 PM »

I didn't vote, but in the Coptic Church it's:
Last Friday of Lent: Anointing of the sick (preemptive in case something happens during holy week when it cannot be done because of the Church's preoccupation with the Passion) & Divine Liturgy
Lazarus Saturday (my church doesn't do this, but should be a divine Liturgy)
Eve of Palm Sunday Vespers
Palm Sunday Liturgy
General Burial Service (same reason as anointing, if someone dies they attended their own funeral)
Eve of Monday Pascha service (about 3 hr at least)
Monday morning Pascha service (about 1 hr at least)
Monday noon Pascha service (about 2 hr at least)
Eve of Tuesday Pascha service
Tuesday morning Pascha service
Tuesday noon Pascha service
Eve of Wed Pascha
Wed morning Pascha
Wed noon pascha
eve of Thurs Pascha
Thursday morning: Pascha service, washing of feet, Divine Liturgy (About 5 hr at leat)
Eve of Great Friday (About 4 hr)
Great Friday (About 8 hr at least)
Joyous Saturday (About 7 hr at least, from midnight to 7:00 am Saturday)
Feast of the Resurrection (5.5 hr at least, past midnight into Sunday)
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« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2009, 02:54:21 PM »

At ordination, we promised *not* to anoint the healthy, but only the sick.

This seems a bit unusual; I've never heard of this before.  Does anybody have a text, or example, of what he's speaking about?

It's not in the Trebnik in Serbian or in Church Slavonic (the line about the anointing).  It might have been an addition by a bishop...

You know, now that I think about it though I remember my father would never anoint anyone who was not sick.  He would always say that Euhelaion is for those who are sick only (like really physically sick).  He was a pretty "strict traditional" kind of guy...
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« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2009, 07:52:04 PM »

We have Wednesday Bridegroom Matins Tuesday night, Presanctified Liturgy Wednesday morning, and Unction Wednesday night.
No Thursday Bridegroom Matins on Wednesday night?
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« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2009, 12:02:44 PM »

We have Wednesday Bridegroom Matins Tuesday night, Presanctified Liturgy Wednesday morning, and Unction Wednesday night.
No Thursday Bridegroom Matins on Wednesday night?
No, we don't do that service at all. Actually, this year we have more services than we've ever had. Our priest has been adding a couple each year he's been at the parish. When he started, all we did was Unction and the Holy Friday services on, with the exception of baptisms Holy Saturday. This year was the first year we baptized on Holy Saturday. Our priest has really turned around what used to be a rather troubled parish and has been restoring the traditions of Orthodoxy ever since. He, for instance, started us praying Matins for the first time in the history of the parish. We've come a long way in the last ten years.
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« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2009, 04:01:29 PM »

We have Wednesday Bridegroom Matins Tuesday night, Presanctified Liturgy Wednesday morning, and Unction Wednesday night.
No Thursday Bridegroom Matins on Wednesday night?

There are a great number of parishes who don't do Thursday Matins (which kinda isn't Bridegroom, and kinda is), and have replaced it with the Unction service.
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« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2009, 05:29:35 PM »

We have Wednesday Bridegroom Matins Tuesday night, Presanctified Liturgy Wednesday morning, and Unction Wednesday night.
No Thursday Bridegroom Matins on Wednesday night?

There are a great number of parishes who don't do Thursday Matins (which kinda isn't Bridegroom, and kinda is), and have replaced it with the Unction service.

We did both.


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« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2009, 09:53:57 PM »

I'm really getting confused reading all these post's ...How can some of the orthodox churches cut out some of the ancient services that are for the glory of God and his praise and worship...Why! shouldn't the ancient practices still be  practiced in all the orthodox churches at the appropriate time instead of replacing one service for another or cutting some out...
What is going on with orthodoxy is it becoming lax, lazy...worldly...This is depressing to read these posts...Is orthodoxy losing it.... Huh Huh
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« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2009, 11:26:23 PM »

I have been to a Church which performed Wednesday night Bridegroom service before Unction - I suppose the Epistle/Gospel readings were dispensed in the first Unction service of two because the service would have otherwise ended at 10 PM.

Priest of this Church has since left; I don't know if His successors continued.
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« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2009, 11:58:34 PM »

I'm really getting confused reading all these post's ...How can some of the orthodox churches cut out some of the ancient services that are for the glory of God and his praise and worship...Why! shouldn't the ancient practices still be  practiced in all the orthodox churches at the appropriate time instead of replacing one service for another or cutting some out...
What is going on with orthodoxy is it becoming lax, lazy...worldly...This is depressing to read these posts...Is orthodoxy losing it.... Huh Huh

Well our current Holy Week practices are not that ancient. For the most part they originate in the 9th Century with the creation of the Triodion by the Studites. There is no doubt that the early services, those of Mon, Tue and Wed, are historically the earliest but as the week progresses there is more innovation present. The procession with the Epatathios doesn't exist before the 1600's.
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« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2009, 12:13:20 AM »

Is orthodoxy losing it.... Huh Huh
Losing what? Huh
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« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2009, 12:30:02 AM »

Is orthodoxy losing it.... Huh Huh
Losing what? Huh


It's traditions,,the ancient way.That people were familiar with for century's ...now certain services are omitted or replaced or shortened,,,,,Maybe this is the beginning of the great falling away that begins first on the clergy level and then infects the lay people that Holy Scripture warns us about....Even the Blessed Lord says when he comes back will he find any faith left....
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« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2009, 12:51:34 AM »

I'm really getting confused reading all these post's ...How can some of the orthodox churches cut out some of the ancient services that are for the glory of God and his praise and worship...Why! shouldn't the ancient practices still be  practiced in all the orthodox churches at the appropriate time instead of replacing one service for another or cutting some out...
What is going on with orthodoxy is it becoming lax, lazy...worldly...This is depressing to read these posts...Is orthodoxy losing it.... Huh Huh

Well our current Holy Week practices are not that ancient. For the most part they originate in the 9th Century with the creation of the Triodion by the Studites. There is no doubt that the early services, those of Mon, Tue and Wed, are historically the earliest but as the week progresses there is more innovation present. The procession with the Epatathios doesn't exist before the 1600's.


I really don't buy this above ,I do understand adding services Thur the centuries for the Glory of God for his praise and worship, but to take away from God  after they been established for his glory this i don't understand...

Also we can never have enough services for the glory of God thats how great the lord is...
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« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2009, 12:55:49 AM »

Is orthodoxy losing it.... Huh Huh
Losing what? Huh


It's traditions,,the ancient way.That people were familiar with for century's ...now certain services are omitted or replaced or shortened,,,,,Maybe this is the beginning of the great falling away that begins first on the clergy level and then infects the lay people that Holy Scripture warns us about....Even the Blessed Lord says when he comes back will he find any faith left....
I would say that if you're looking at possible apostasy, there are concerns more pressing than how closely churches follow the Typikon.  What about fulfilling the commandments given in Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew?  What about loving and forgiving those who have done us evil, or returning good for evil?  What about extending mercy to those who hate us?  Maybe we should focus more on these things that God desires of us (without neglecting our liturgical responsibilities).
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« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2009, 09:23:32 AM »

Morning: Presanctified Liturgy
Afternoon: Nothing
Evening: Small Compline

In Bulgaria Holy Unction is always on Holy Thursday morning after the liturgy of Saint Basil.
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« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2009, 10:05:02 AM »

In Bulgaria Holy Unction is always on Holy Thursday morning after the liturgy of Saint Basil.

Fascinating!  Thank you for sharing that tidbit with us!
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« Reply #42 on: April 21, 2009, 11:30:41 AM »

In Bulgaria Holy Unction is always on Holy Thursday morning after the liturgy of Saint Basil.
I did not know that. Thank you, and welcome to the forum!
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« Reply #43 on: April 21, 2009, 03:14:33 PM »

At the school they did (last year) Presanctified in the morning, Unction in the afternoon, Bridegroom at night.  This year they did Unction twice (like the first example I gave).   

Why the switch?  That doesn't make sense for the school; they should have done the Orthros in the evening, and anointed people at the end of that service who missed the full unction service.

Mr. Texas wanted it.  He wanted a special service for the "children" and then a "regular" service.  TEXAS!  

That's Father Texas to you, buddy.
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« Reply #44 on: April 21, 2009, 03:29:57 PM »

At the school they did (last year) Presanctified in the morning, Unction in the afternoon, Bridegroom at night.  This year they did Unction twice (like the first example I gave).   

Why the switch?  That doesn't make sense for the school; they should have done the Orthros in the evening, and anointed people at the end of that service who missed the full unction service.

Mr. Texas wanted it.  He wanted a special service for the "children" and then a "regular" service.  TEXAS!  

That's Father Texas to you, buddy.

Took you that long to notice huh...getting slow in your old age  Wink
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