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Author Topic: Questions for chanting an Orthodox wedding  (Read 1567 times) Average Rating: 0
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scamandrius
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« on: May 29, 2009, 01:42:46 AM »

Two friends of mine are getting married soon.  Both want a "traditional" Orthodox wedding without the "extras" other confessions thrown in.  However, I'm not sure about a few things and I hope some of you seasoned chanters and priests and deacons and informed laymen can help me out.

1)  After the prayer which ends "For thou dost bless and sanctify all things,...", in the book I have, it calls for Psalm 128 with "Glory to Thee, our God, Glory to Thee" to be chanted.  Question:  Is this a Slavic tradition and/or Greek tradition? Question:  If it is to be chanted in the Greek tradition, what tone?

2)  At the common cup, is it really appropriate to chant the Koinonikon hymn "I will take the cup of Salvation?"  To my understanding, this hymn is chanted as a communion hymn only at feasts of the Theotokos.  And also, considering, that the cup the bride and groom receive is NOT the Eucharist, is the modern chanting of this hymn appropriate or not?

3)  When the bride and groom process around the table three times, should the hymn "O Isaiah, Dance Thy Joy" be chanted only three times as well?

4)  How many times should the hymn "O Holy Martyrs" be chanted?

I'd appreciate any help with this.  Many thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2009, 08:19:30 AM »

Two friends of mine are getting married soon.  Both want a "traditional" Orthodox wedding without the "extras" other confessions thrown in.  However, I'm not sure about a few things and I hope some of you seasoned chanters and priests and deacons and informed laymen can help me out.

1)  After the prayer which ends "For thou dost bless and sanctify all things,...", in the book I have, it calls for Psalm 128 with "Glory to Thee, our God, Glory to Thee" to be chanted.  Question:  Is this a Slavic tradition and/or Greek tradition? Question:  If it is to be chanted in the Greek tradition, what tone?
The most common tone I have heard is Plagal 4.

Quote
2)  At the common cup, is it really appropriate to chant the Koinonikon hymn "I will take the cup of Salvation?"  To my understanding, this hymn is chanted as a communion hymn only at feasts of the Theotokos.  And also, considering, that the cup the bride and groom receive is NOT the Eucharist, is the modern chanting of this hymn appropriate or not?
This is a joyful service so of course it is appropriate to sing it. It is just a psalm verse.
Quote

3)  When the bride and groom process around the table three times, should the hymn "O Isaiah, Dance Thy Joy" be chanted only three times as well?
It is only chanted once in Plagal 1
Quote

4)  How many times should the hymn "O Holy Martyrs" be chanted?
Once in Tone 7
Quote
I'd appreciate any help with this.  Many thanks.
There is music out there for all of this and I am sure others on here can point you to where to find them online. Most of these are questions you should be asking the presbyter who will be serving this wedding so you know how he wants it done.
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2009, 11:34:42 AM »

St. Athony's has all the music for the wedding ceremony in staff and byzantine notation. I'm pretty sure Papa Ephraim has the rubrics notated as well. Hopefully this will help....


http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Mysteries.htm
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2009, 02:48:31 PM »

It is also traditional to chang "douloi kyriou" or "servants of the Lord" while the wedding party is coming in, and "axion estin" or "it is truly meet/right" while the bride is coming in.  Also, at the end it is traditional to chant the resurrectional doxastikon from Plagal of the 1st (en ti erithra/in the red sea)
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2009, 02:55:13 PM »

Thanks for your help, everyone.  One more thing, where should the Apolytikion and the Kontakion of Sts. Constantine and Helena be chanted?  In the book i have, there is no indication that they should be chanted at all.
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2009, 05:54:25 PM »

Thanks for your help, everyone.  One more thing, where should the Apolytikion and the Kontakion of Sts. Constantine and Helena be chanted?  In the book i have, there is no indication that they should be chanted at all.

Yes it should, but check with the priest b/c sometimes they don't want it, or they want it in a different spot.  I've chanted it in a different spot for every wedding i've chanted...so...be careful with that one. 
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2009, 09:29:17 PM »

My comments, from an assistant chanter in a GOAA parish since 1976, under 3 presiding priests over these years; two of whom graduated from Holy Cross in the mid-'60's; the current one in the early '90's.  These responses also apply to having chanted at weddings celebrated by numerous visiting priests.

Re. Psalm 128:  Yes, it is always done.  The priest intones the verse; the chanter responds, "Glory to Thee Our God..."  (The first priest I worked under would skip it, but it's in all the Greek-English service books.)

"Cup of Salvation:"  Both of the priests mentioned above, who graduated in the '60's, omitted it, due to the reason you've mentioned; it is a communion hymn, and this is not communion.  My current priest does want it chanted. I've never seen a non-Greek priest do it.  (I've always wondered how it crept into Greek practice.  One priest guessed that it is remnant from when weddings were conducted within the context of the Divine Liturgy, but that doesn't make sense to me, because it is not done in non-Greek practice.)

The Dance of Isaiah:" Each hymn is chanted once, "Dance O Isaiah...;" "O Holy Martyrs...;" "Glory to Thee O Christ..."  The priest chants the first one, the chanter, the other two.)

We do not chant the Troparion to Sts. Constantine and Helen, because we have an organist playing, Here Comes the Bride.  Typically, previously, "Axion Estin" or "By the Beauty...," was chanted traditionally, especially in Greece, for the bride as she came down the isle.  A few years back, when we didn't have an organist that day, my priest chanted the Sts. C & H Hymn at that point.  When I asked him why he did not chant "By the Beauty", he said, even in Greece,  morality being what it is today, "By the Beauty" is not appropriate and has been replaced by the Sts. C & H troparion.

After checking the references provide above, knowing you as I do from this forum, you probably don't need this advice, but you should check with the priest well in advance.  These are the types of items that a priest will have his own way of doing, let alone, what the metropolitan of the metropolis may require.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 09:40:33 PM by Basil 320 » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2009, 10:01:04 PM »

Basil 320,

Thanks for your comments.  They are quite helpful.  The reason I have been asking these questions is not because my priest isn't knowledgeable about them, necessarily, but because there is a lot of mixing of various Orthodox traditions.  I am part of an Antiochian parish and though we follow the modern Greek practice with the Typicon and such, but we are in the habit of doing such things that incorporate other Orthodox traditions that are not Greek.  We've also had the problem that because so many our weddings have one spouse who is not Orthodox that many "western traditions" have crept in, which leads to a lot of confusion.  The people that are being married want a "traditional" Orthodox marriage and I want to give them that and do so appropriately with reverence and beauty.

I plan to talk with my priest tomorrow and bring up all of these issues tomorrow.  So, thanks again, everyone.
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2009, 10:07:25 PM »

Quote
We do not chant the Troparion to Sts. Constantine and Helen, because we have an organist playing, Here Comes the Bride.  Typically, previously, "Axion Estin" or "By the Beauty...," was chanted traditionally, especially in Greece, for the bride as she came down the isle.  A few years back, when we didn't have an organist that day, my priest chanted the Sts. C & H Hymn at that point.  When I asked him why he did not chant "By the Beauty", he said, even in Greece,  morality being what it is today, "By the Beauty" is not appropriate and has been replaced by the Sts. C & H troparion.

Interesting about the troparion to Sts Constantine and Helen. From my experience, a common and beautiful Russian custom is the singing of Blazhen Muzh (Blessed is the Man) once the bride has arrived at the church but has not yet entered it, and Dostoyno Yest' (It is Truly Meet) as she enters the church. L'vov's arrangement of the laytter hymn is most often used, and it is simply sublime. MUCH more reverent and majestic than Here Comes the Bride...  Tongue Grin
« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 10:09:30 PM by LBK » Logged
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