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Author Topic: The Vespers hymn--O Come, Let us Worship: chant or say  (Read 2372 times) Average Rating: 0
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scamandrius
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« on: October 25, 2009, 12:15:38 AM »

At the beginning of Vespers, outside of Pascha, we have the opening hymn:

O come, let us worship God our King.
O come, let us worship Christ, our King and our God.
O come, let us worship Christ Himself, our King and our God.

Now in my old church (Antiochian) we'd sing this in a four part Russian setting. In my new church (also Antiochian), this is merely said.  I know that for minor commemorations, other hymns are merely said instead of chanted, but on Saturday nights shouldn't this be chanted as well?

Both priests say it's the Antiochian traditional way to do it (one says chant/sing; the other speak).  To me, whenever I hear "Antiochian tradition" I cringe because that is usually code for "whatever we feel like doing."

Please also give your church's jurisdiction when you respond.
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2009, 01:55:20 AM »

In my GOAA parish, we've always read them, year 'round. This has been the method for years, and our current presiding priest is very knowledgeable and rather traditional in his liturgics.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2009, 01:57:47 AM by Basil 320 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2009, 02:16:55 AM »

In the Eastern Slav tradition there are two possibilities for the beginning of the service.  If Great Vespers is being served alone, the trisagion prayers, "come let us worship", and psalm 103 (104) are chanted by the reader, with no censing.  If Great Vespers is to be served together with Matins as a Vigil, then the trisagion is not chanted at all, "come let us worship" is sung without lord have mercies or glories and psalm 103 is sung or in some settings sung and chanted together.  The priest censes the entire church accompanied by the deacon (if one is serving) carrying a candle during the singing of psalm 103.  Some (many?) parishes might well break this rule and just do the sung beginning even if there is no vigil, because it is more interesting and festive.  If Small Vespers is served only the chanted beginning is used. 

Slavs tend to really frown on recitation (i.e. just speaking without chanting).  Everything is chanted or sung in the Slav traditions as far as I know, with the exception of "silent" priestly prayers.  I don't know enough about your tradition to know whether or not it is correct to simply recite some things during some services.  I know that this is the case in some (all?) Greek monastic settings, if not parish worship.  Someone else can better enlighten you about the Antiochian and Greek traditions in this regard.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2009, 02:32:32 AM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2009, 06:27:58 AM »

In my experience, Greek tradition is to read (not intone or sing) those verses, and at least the first 2/3 of the Psalm.  Only on the feastday of the Church, or an all-night Vigil, is the last 1/3 of the Psalm chanted melodiously (IOW not quickly), beginning with "When you open your hand, they are filled with good things."

Also, since P-bob brought it up, Greek tradition only censes at the beginning of vespers when it is part of a vigil; however, the censing takes place at the singing of the hymn "I shall enter your house," which is added for vigils only and occurs before the verses and reading of the Psalm.  The deacon with lit candle accompanies the priest as they cense beginning outside of the sanctuary.  The service begins at the end of the hymn when they have finished censing with the words "Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-giving..." instead of "Blessed is our God."
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2011, 09:25:28 PM »

It should be chanted, and usually is either chanted or sung by clergy in the Slavic Tradition.
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2011, 09:30:44 PM »

Usually said, but occasionally chanted with the "Anixandare" ("opening your  hand..."), at cathedrals and monasteries.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ENZfoFQrAI
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 09:42:38 PM by augustin717 » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2011, 09:34:15 PM »

^I would love to chant all the anoaxindarii for a Great Vespers of a Great Feast but I fear that people will leave after 20 minutes and we haven't even finished Psalm 103!
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 09:37:55 PM »

I asked a Russian priest about it once, and he said "O come let us worship" is only sung at Vigil (it's possible that was a generalization). At all other services, it is chanted in the "psalm tone" (monotone).

I asked him why, then, I've heard Antiochians sing this in the traditional Russian 4-part melody at regular Vespers, Matins, Akathists, etc. He just kind of rolled his eyes and said, "Antiochians..." He explained that the Antiochians like to adopt Russian music, which is fine, but often use it incorrectly.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 09:38:41 PM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2011, 09:43:48 PM »

My parish follows ROCOR practice liturgically, so it's much as Pravoslavb and bogdan posted. It is sung at Vigils, and plainchant for Simple Vespers or Great Vespers alone. I only recall prayers just being said on a few occasions when a reader/chanter was in training.  In my parish the general practice is if the reader for some reason doesn't happen to know a tone to simply use the Fourth tone.
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2011, 10:53:40 PM »

My parish follows ROCOR practice liturgically, so it's much as Pravoslavb and bogdan posted. It is sung at Vigils, and plainchant for Simple Vespers or Great Vespers alone. I only recall prayers just being said on a few occasions when a reader/chanter was in training.

This is exactly my experience in my many years of experience of Slavic practice. Simple chant at lesser services, including Little Vespers and the Hours, and sung at feasts of higher rank.
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2011, 09:46:15 AM »

I asked him why, then, I've heard Antiochians sing this in the traditional Russian 4-part melody at regular Vespers, Matins, Akathists, etc. He just kind of rolled his eyes and said, "Antiochians..." He explained that the Antiochians like to adopt Russian music, which is fine, but often use it incorrectly.

Funny. Grin
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2011, 09:54:08 AM »

I with the OCA and we intone it. Smiley

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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2011, 10:14:31 AM »

In my parish, the chanters sing it.
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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2011, 10:14:57 AM »

In my OCA church the clergy sing it for Vespers.  Huh
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« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2011, 09:31:39 PM »

At our Antiochian parish, we intone it rather than either sing or read it.
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« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2011, 05:39:53 AM »

According to ROCOR practice, as far as I know the only time anything is 'read' in the service is during a reader's service, and the reader intoned prokeimenon, apostle, alleluia verses etc in the ordinary monotone chanting, but when he/she reads the Gospel, it must not be intoned, but read in a normal speaking voice without affectation.
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« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 05:41:15 AM by Adelphi » Logged

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