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Author Topic: ROCOR/MP vs. OCA  (Read 4125 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 30, 2009, 03:57:58 AM »

I was wondering, are there any differences liturgically and in traditions between the ROCOR/Moscow Patriarchate and the OCA?  I know that the OCA has Russian roots, so I'm curious if there has been any evolution of those roots, or how liturgically similar/not so similar they are.  When describing the various jurisdictions in my area, one person said that the ROCOR parish would be the "full tilt" practice, so I'm wondering if others see this as well.
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2009, 01:51:20 PM »

I was wondering, are there any differences liturgically and in traditions between the ROCOR/Moscow Patriarchate and the OCA?  I know that the OCA has Russian roots, so I'm curious if there has been any evolution of those roots, or how liturgically similar/not so similar they are.  When describing the various jurisdictions in my area, one person said that the ROCOR parish would be the "full tilt" practice, so I'm wondering if others see this as well.

Well, it depends. Russian roots, yes, but in the east, particularly here in Pennsylvania, the large number of Rusyns and Ukrainians in the OCA has given it a different feel. The OCA in the west, on the other hand, is still very Russian. You're more likely to encounter Vigil on Saturday evenings in an ROCOR parish, and Great Vespers on Saturday evening with Matins before Liturgy on Sundays in an OCA parish. Yes, I'd say that generally, the OCA is less Russian (where Russian means exactly that, and not Slavic in general) than the ROCOR, but the ROCOR is specifically a Russian jurisdiction. The OCA was, historically, but has had several infusions of other Slavic groups.

You also have to take into account the demographic changes in Orthodoxy, which traditionally, has been an urban faith centering around one or more ethnic churches, in cities large enough to support those churches, but especially in the last twenty years, has been expanding beyond the cities to the suburbs and even small towns. These areas do not have populations large enough to support several mono-ethnic churches, so parishes are pan-ethnic, much as most Catholic parishes these days are pan-ethnic. So even if your OCA parish has Russian roots, if there are Greeks, Arabs, and fifteen different kinds of Slavs in your parish, you end up with a less specifically Russian praxis.



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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2009, 03:32:09 PM »

This may deserve its own thread, but I thought I'd ask this follow-up question in regard to a quote by rwprof

"You're more likely to encounter Vigil on Saturday evenings in an ROCOR parish, and Great Vespers on Saturday evening with Matins before Liturgy on Sundays in an OCA parish."

What is the difference between a Vigil and a Great Vespers?
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2009, 03:33:56 PM »

This may deserve its own thread, but I thought I'd ask this follow-up question in regard to a quote by rwprof

"You're more likely to encounter Vigil on Saturday evenings in an ROCOR parish, and Great Vespers on Saturday evening with Matins before Liturgy on Sundays in an OCA parish."

What is the difference between a Vigil and a Great Vespers?

Length, for one.  Vigil includes Matins.
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2009, 04:00:46 PM »

This may deserve its own thread, but I thought I'd ask this follow-up question in regard to a quote by rwprof

"You're more likely to encounter Vigil on Saturday evenings in an ROCOR parish, and Great Vespers on Saturday evening with Matins before Liturgy on Sundays in an OCA parish."

What is the difference between a Vigil and a Great Vespers?

Length, for one.  Vigil includes Matins.

Sat. Vigil at a typical Rocor Parish takes about 2.5 to 3 hours. After that you are expected to say your pre-communion prayers at home.
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2009, 04:16:49 AM »

This may deserve its own thread, but I thought I'd ask this follow-up question in regard to a quote by rwprof

"You're more likely to encounter Vigil on Saturday evenings in an ROCOR parish, and Great Vespers on Saturday evening with Matins before Liturgy on Sundays in an OCA parish."

What is the difference between a Vigil and a Great Vespers?

Length, for one.  Vigil includes Matins.

So what is the difference between Vespers and Great Vespers?
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2009, 09:12:56 AM »

This may deserve its own thread, but I thought I'd ask this follow-up question in regard to a quote by rwprof

"You're more likely to encounter Vigil on Saturday evenings in an ROCOR parish, and Great Vespers on Saturday evening with Matins before Liturgy on Sundays in an OCA parish."

What is the difference between a Vigil and a Great Vespers?

Length, for one.  Vigil includes Matins.

So what is the difference between Vespers and Great Vespers?

Length, for one thing.  Great Vespers is for Sunday eve and the eve of Feasts, so more hymns etc. foreseeing the feast.
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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2009, 09:10:11 PM »

So what is the difference between Vespers and Great Vespers?

The structure of both services is similar, but the Small Vespers does not have an entrance or any readings from the OT. Great Vespers does.

Since there is no entrance in the Small Vespers, it is customary to keep the church more subdued and simply read or intone the "Gladsome Light"; whereas, in a Great Vespers, all the lights/candles are lit brightly and the hymn is chanted by the full choir.

Also, since there is no entrance, the priest does not put on the phelonion -- only the exorason and epitrachilion.

In the Byzantine tradition, one can add an Artoklasia (blessing of the five loaves), often with a solemn procession of the festal Icon, near the end of the Great Vespers. Not so for a Small Vespers, of course.

Finally, in monastic settings (e.g. Mt. Athos), they tend to chant all of the hymns during Small Vespers in the syndomon (fast) style, so that each syllable has only one note. During Great Vespers, everything is done argo-syndomo (slow-fast), or sometimes even in argon (slow), which is much more ornate. Same goes for a lot of parishes.

Typically, one only celebrates Great Vespers on the eve of a Divine Liturgy; Small Vespers is for every other day.
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2009, 11:07:26 AM »

So what is the difference between Vespers and Great Vespers?
Typically, one only celebrates Great Vespers on the eve of a Divine Liturgy; Small Vespers is for every other day.
Just as a note Vespers tends to be the daily office, Great Vespers is always done on Saturdays and when done as part of Vigil or before a feast. Small or Little Vespers is a special Vespers that is served as part of an All-Night Vigil. Small Vespers usually takes place before the evening meal and has its own unique hymnography differing from the Great Vespers which will be celebrated as part of the Vigil.

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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2009, 11:45:36 AM »

This may deserve its own thread, but I thought I'd ask this follow-up question in regard to a quote by rwprof

"You're more likely to encounter Vigil on Saturday evenings in an ROCOR parish, and Great Vespers on Saturday evening with Matins before Liturgy on Sundays in an OCA parish."

What is the difference between a Vigil and a Great Vespers?

Length, for one.  Vigil includes Matins.

Sat. Vigil at a typical Rocor Parish takes about 2.5 to 3 hours. After that you are expected to say your pre-communion prayers at home.

Right. The difference is whether you run Vespers and Matins together the night before (Vigil) or do Vespers the night before and Matins on Sunday before Liturgy.
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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2009, 07:39:29 PM »

I was wondering, are there any differences liturgically and in traditions between the ROCOR/Moscow Patriarchate and the OCA?

Sure. There are (large) sections of the OCA that are decidedly not Russian in their liturgical heritage, e.g. the Romanian, Bulgarian and Albanian parishes. That's something like 30 percent of OCA parishes.

In addition to that, one liturgical difference has to do with the reception of heterodox. The OCA chrismates those who have previously received a Trinitarian baptism outside Orthodoxy; when Roman Catholic clergy convert, the OCA receives them merely by vesting (no baptism, chrismation or ordination). The ROCOR/MP, on the other hand, baptizes and chrismates everyone.
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2009, 07:47:38 PM »

So what is the difference between Vespers and Great Vespers?
Typically, one only celebrates Great Vespers on the eve of a Divine Liturgy; Small Vespers is for every other day.
Just as a note Vespers tends to be the daily office, Great Vespers is always done on Saturdays and when done as part of Vigil or before a feast. Small or Little Vespers is a special Vespers that is served as part of an All-Night Vigil. Small Vespers usually takes place before the evening meal and has its own unique hymnography differing from the Great Vespers which will be celebrated as part of the Vigil.

Liturgics isn't my area of study, so you may be right. But I've never encountered this distinction in Greek liturgical books or when attending Athonite monasteries. It's also not in Fondoulis -- at least I haven't seen it.

For example, I'm looking at my ieratikon right now, published in Athens in 1992. There are entries for Great and Small Vespers. The rubrics call for Small Vespers to be celebrated on every day, in the manner I described.
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2009, 10:47:33 PM »

The vespers in my ROCOR parish usually lasts for 2 hours, except maybe before major feasts. I have no idea what it is like in OCA because I've never been to a vespers in OCA.
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« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2009, 08:49:42 AM »

For example, I'm looking at my ieratikon right now, published in Athens in 1992. There are entries for Great and Small Vespers. The rubrics call for Small Vespers to be celebrated on every day, in the manner I described.
I will go and take a look at that book when I get a chance this week, I don't have a copy of it handy right now. I am wondering if the they are calling daily vespers "little vespers" to distinguish it from "Great Vespers." What are the Greek words they are using? There is a difference between the daily office of Vespers and Small Vespers, not Psalter reading, elimination of some litanies and such. I do know some parishes follow the order of Small Vespers to reduce length of the service for their daily office but when I was in Greece the order seemed to follow the daily office.
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« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2009, 09:14:34 AM »

when Roman Catholic clergy convert, the OCA receives them merely by vesting (no baptism, chrismation or ordination).

If the OCA bishop instructs a priest to receive a Catholic priest by chrismation, i.e., there is no bishop present and no vesting, is that Catholic priest received as a layman?

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The ROCOR/MP, on the other hand, baptizes and chrismates everyone.

Yes and no.  It is common in the States, and not very common in Europe and Australia. In our diocese of Australia and New Zealand the norm is to receive people according to the various services of reception laid down in the Hapgood Service Book.  This is a faithful reflection of Russian practice back through many centuries.   For such as Catholics reception is by Chrismation or Confession of Faith.  I have been present when Metropolitan Hilarion himself received an ex-Catholic Cistercian monk by Chrismation.   
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« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2009, 02:53:29 PM »

If the OCA bishop instructs a priest to receive a Catholic priest by chrismation, i.e., there is no bishop present and no vesting, is that Catholic priest received as a layman?

Within the constraints of that hypothetical, I don't see how it could be done otherwise. However, every actual case I know of involves the direct participation of the Bishop. For example, when Fr. William Popp converted from Catholicism, he was vested by Archbishop Valerian. Then-Fr. Popp is now Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit.
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« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2009, 06:15:43 PM »

If the OCA bishop instructs a priest to receive a Catholic priest by chrismation, i.e., there is no bishop present and no vesting, is that Catholic priest received as a layman?

Within the constraints of that hypothetical, I don't see how it could be done otherwise. However, every actual case I know of involves the direct participation of the Bishop. For example, when Fr. William Popp converted from Catholicism, he was vested by Archbishop Valerian. Then-Fr. Popp is now Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit.

I would have thought that there must be Roman Catholic priests who convert and whom the local bishop does not want to have as a priest or simply does not need as a priest.  In that case the bishop (or any Orthodox priest) would receive him by Chrismation.  There is no "carry over" of the Roman Catholic priesthood into Orthodoxy.  He is a layman.  It illustrates that there is no acceptance of the Roman Catholic priesthood per se, but that at the time of vesting, by economia, an infusion of grace takes places which animates or valourises the empty form of the Catholic ordination.
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« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2009, 08:12:30 PM »

There is no "carry over" of the Roman Catholic priesthood into Orthodoxy.  He is a layman.  It illustrates that there is no acceptance of the Roman Catholic priesthood per se, but that at the time of vesting, by economia, an infusion of grace takes places which animates or valourises the empty form of the Catholic ordination.

Reception by vesting has never made much sense to me. Honestly, I've never heard or read that explanation from Bishops who actually do receive RC clergy by vesting. I've certainly read it online from people like us trying to figure it all out. But if you read official statements, they speak of receiving the cleric by "recognition" -- which presumes there is indeed something to recognize.
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« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2009, 07:14:27 AM »

Reception by vesting has never made much sense to me. Honestly, I've never heard or read that explanation from Bishops who actually do receive RC clergy by vesting. I've certainly read it online from people like us trying to figure it all out. But if you read official statements, they speak of receiving the cleric by "recognition" -- which presumes there is indeed something to recognize.

The archives have a very useful article by Irish Melkite which delves into the Catholic adherence to Augustinian sacramental theology (which allows all the sacraments outside the Church if there is a "hands-on-head" transmission of the episcopate) and the Orthodox adherence to the more restrictive Cyprianic sacramental theology (no sacraments outside the Church.)

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13357.msg185268.html#msg185268

"There are basically two theories of apostolic succession and, in most instances, the application of the theory held by a given Church effectively determines the validity accorded to claimed presbyteral and episcopal orders and, ipso facto, the validity of sacraments administered by those claiming to possess valid orders ..."

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« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2009, 08:56:24 AM »

But, Father, that's just an essay written by some layman on the Internet (is he even Orthodox?). That's my point: I'm aware of Cyprianic ecclesiology, but I have yet to see an official, modern source that embraces it systematically and says, "This is our exact reasoning for receiving by vesting: We are animating a previously invalid ordination." On the contrary, official sources speak of "recognition."
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« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2009, 09:38:19 AM »

"THE RECEPTION OF HERETIC LAITY AND CLERGY INTO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH"
This is by retired Bp Tikhon of San Francisco.

http://www.holy-trinity.org/liturgics/tikhon.lit10.html


He makes no attempt to tackle the question which intrigues me because the answer gets to the essence of what "vesting" means.  If a bishop does not want to receive a Roman Catholic priest by vesting but he receives him by Chrismation or permits one of his clergy to perform the Chrismation  - what happened with the Roman Catholic Orders?   Is the new convert a priest or a layman?
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« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2009, 09:56:07 AM »

Having met several former Roman Catholic priest who have become Orthodox it seems like those who wish to remain celibate tend to gravitate towards the Jurisdictions that vest and those who want to get married and become Orthodox priest tend to gravitate towards the Jurisdictions that chrismate and ordain. 
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« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2009, 02:00:59 AM »

Sure. There are (large) sections of the OCA that are decidedly not Russian in their liturgical heritage, e.g. the Romanian, Bulgarian and Albanian parishes. That's something like 30 percent of OCA parishes.

In addition to that, one liturgical difference has to do with the reception of heterodox. The OCA chrismates those who have previously received a Trinitarian baptism outside Orthodoxy; when Roman Catholic clergy convert, the OCA receives them merely by vesting (no baptism, chrismation or ordination). The ROCOR/MP, on the other hand, baptizes and chrismates everyone.
This has not been my experience in the OCA. My parish receives a few people in every year and it is always by baptism and chrismation, Roman Catholics inclusive.
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« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2009, 08:15:51 PM »

What the Greeks call Little/Small Vespers the Slavs call Daily Vespers.  What the Slavs call Little/Small Vespers is something only they do, generally in monasteries not parishes.  On the day a Vigil is served they take Little Vespers at the normal Vespers time and then take Vigil after supper.  In this context Little Vespers, has no litanies except for a three petition triple Litany at the end of the service.  The are only 4 Stichera at Psalm 140 (on Sundays they are the first three Resurrection Stichera, the First doubled. 
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« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2009, 02:22:52 PM »

What the Greeks call Little/Small Vespers the Slavs call Daily Vespers.  What the Slavs call Little/Small Vespers is something only they do, generally in monasteries not parishes. 
Small Vespers is the same in both Greek and Russian practice, generally only occurring in monasteries and served before a vigil. The Greeks will usually not add the word Daily in front of Vespers like the Russians do and simply call it Vespers and make the distinction with Great Vespers.
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« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2009, 02:37:32 PM »

Sure. There are (large) sections of the OCA that are decidedly not Russian in their liturgical heritage, e.g. the Romanian, Bulgarian and Albanian parishes. That's something like 30 percent of OCA parishes.

In addition to that, one liturgical difference has to do with the reception of heterodox. The OCA chrismates those who have previously received a Trinitarian baptism outside Orthodoxy; when Roman Catholic clergy convert, the OCA receives them merely by vesting (no baptism, chrismation or ordination). The ROCOR/MP, on the other hand, baptizes and chrismates everyone.
This has not been my experience in the OCA. My parish receives a few people in every year and it is always by baptism and chrismation, Roman Catholics inclusive.
it depends on the parish and diocese.
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« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2009, 02:58:19 PM »

What the Greeks call Little/Small Vespers the Slavs call Daily Vespers.  What the Slavs call Little/Small Vespers is something only they do, generally in monasteries not parishes.  On the day a Vigil is served they take Little Vespers at the normal Vespers time and then take Vigil after supper.  In this context Little Vespers, has no litanies except for a three petition triple Litany at the end of the service.  The are only 4 Stichera at Psalm 140 (on Sundays they are the first three Resurrection Stichera, the First doubled.   

Echoing arimethea, we do have Little/Small Vespers, done at the usual Vespers time before a vigil, which is different than "Vespers" - the daily office.  The "catch" is that most parishes don't do vigils, so they do the Great Vespers at the Little Vespers time, with the Matins on the following morning.
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