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Question: Vesperal Liturgies (not prescribed Vesperal Liturgies such as those during Great Lent) are...
uncanonical and should be abolished - 3 (7.7%)
cheat the faithful of the richness of the full cycle of services - 4 (10.3%)
both of the above - 10 (25.6%)
none of the above - 10 (25.6%)
are OK especially for today's working modern man - 12 (30.8%)
Total Voters: 39

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scamandrius
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« on: December 03, 2009, 11:09:06 PM »

tonight, I went to church expecting to sing the Vespers service to St. Barbara and St. John Damascene and instead it was the Vesperal Liturgy.  So, not only was I cheated out of the entire second part of Vespers, but also the whole of Orthros and the beginning of the Divine Liturgy. I don't know whose bright idea this whole thing was, but I say it shouldn't be used.  I know I'm probably in the minority on this, but I'm really frustrated with their existence.
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2009, 11:27:13 PM »

Coming from a Greek Catholic background, these are nothing new to me so they don't annoy me as much as they might a cradle or an Orthodox Christian from another background.  I would prefer not to have them (aside from the prescribed ones) but I can understand their use in today's society.  We have them occasionally at my parish for some feasts, but for more solemn ones (like the Feast of our patron St. Andrew earlier this week), we have both vespers and DL the following morning (we never do Matins).  If they are exceptions to the rule, rather than become the rule, then I think they're fine, so long as the local ordinary is okay with them.

But I can certainly understand your frustration.
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2009, 11:59:41 PM »

While I am not a big of Vesperal Liturgy being served when they are not called for by the Typikon (and yes there are Vesperal Liturgies called for by the Typikon), I would say they do serve a purpose in parish use.

First there is nothing un-canonical about their use, you can argue that they are a corruption of the tradition but there is nothing in the canons that forbid this service.

As for robbing the faithful of the complete cycle of the service I would argue that the Vesperal Liturgy actually adds to the cycle since were these services are being done the people are not attending Vespers or Orthros. So instead of just showing up for liturgy and missing all of Vespers and Orthros the faithful at least get to hear part of the hymns for Vespers. The serving of these services in the evening also allows for the entire family to participate because of the early start times for schools which prohibit school age children from attending.

These are just some of the pastoral considerations for these services that I hope allow you to rejoice that people are encouraged to celebrate the feast.
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2009, 12:25:20 AM »

I think it's actually nice to sprinkle Vesperal Liturgy in a few times per year.  We take the "Matins then Liturgy" thing for granted in the Roman/Greek tradition, when it can be done after Matins, after 6th Hour, or after Vespers.  It certainly is more common than people realize, though: the pair around Christmas & Theophany, the pair in Holy Week, plus every Wednesday, Friday, and non-Annunciation weekday feast in Lent.  It's a nice change of pace.
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2009, 01:08:58 AM »

Just to clarify, I am not opposing the presanctified Liturgies in Lent, nor the Vesperal Liturgies for Nativity Eve, Theophany Eve, Holy Saturday.  I am referring to festal Vesperal Liturgies outside of Great Lent.
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2009, 02:52:41 AM »

I try not to support variations from what tradition prescribes, but I think an enhanced use of Vesperal Liturgies would be a development to address the needs of the faithful in a society that precludes or significantly impedes access to Liturgical life.  (Admittedly, people could use vacation time from work to attend church services, if they have enough time to use, but they don't.) The people in my parish and others in my area do not have an appreciation for Orthros or Vespers.  They avoid them.  Vesperal Liturgies would help attract more interest in Vespers, exposing them to the beauty of our hymnology, and provide them more access to the Liturgy and the Eucharist.
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2009, 02:57:02 AM »

Or you could follow the Slavic custom of a Vigil (vespers and matins) on the eve of a feast. Sure, it's not a Eucharistic service, but the theological and doctrinal riches are immense.
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2009, 03:41:22 AM »

I've been fortunate to have attended Vespers for the feastdays of the 4 Orthodox Churches (plus one in Annapolis) in Central MD.

None of them is performed as a Vesperal Divine Liturgy.  More than 50% of Vespers services is in Greek even in instances when half the Orthodox Clergy present is non-Greek.  I particularly enjoy hearing the Old Testament readings....
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2009, 12:55:57 PM »

My two cents: Our parish priest has a secular job, so if it weren't for vesperal liturgies we wouldn't have any service for feasts.
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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2009, 02:27:35 PM »

I've never heard about such things.
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2009, 02:40:01 PM »

You don't do vesperal liturgies, even the prescribed ones (as noted by scamandarius above), mike?
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« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2009, 02:50:35 PM »

I don't know what exactly is a vesperal Liturgy, but if you mean midnight office + matins + hours + Liturgy served at night we do such only on Pascha, Nativity and St. Basil/ Circumcision of Christ Day.
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« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2009, 03:03:35 PM »

I don't know what exactly is a vesperal Liturgy, but if you mean midnight office + matins + hours + Liturgy served at night we do such only on Pascha, Nativity and St. Basil/ Circumcision of Christ Day.

Vesperal Liturgy is a combined service.  You begin Vespers, and continue through the Old Testament readings.  After the final OT reading, the deacon intones "Let us pray to the Lord," and the Priest say "For you are holy..." and the Choir sings the Trisagion hymn (or its designated replacement).  The Divine Liturgy continues from there (readings, etc.). 
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« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2009, 03:08:14 PM »

A vesperal liturgy is usually vespers up to the little litany after the Old Testament readings for the Feast and then the DL of St. John starting from the the Trisagion onwards.  There are no kathisma read at the beginning, either.  It's in the Typikon for Christmas, Theophany and Holy Thursday.
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« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2009, 03:12:06 PM »

I just found a fascinating article on the topic by Bishop TIKHON of the OCA Diocese of the West entitled Evening Divine Liturgies

While, as noted above, I'm not opposed to these in practice, His Excellency's words are very persuasive that these should not be done outside of the prescribed ones.
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« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2009, 04:48:16 PM »

Thanks, Schultz, for posting those words of His Grace, Bishop TIKHON.  What I found most poignant is despite the justification priests give for serving the Evening Vesperal Liturgies to accommodate the modern working man is that doing this actually does damage to the growth of the parish.  He writes:

Even in parishes that serve the Matins in the morning, the Faithful are not deprived of this beauty and "on-going education" provided by the provisions of our Holy Typikon. To serve a "Vesperal" Liturgy is to suppress that all, or to kill the possibility of the parish ever growing up into its full stature. I believe that nothing worthwhile was ever attained or will be attained by lowering our sights, our expectations.
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« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2009, 04:53:03 PM »

I found his comments on life in Soviet Russia to be most inspiring, especially his final comments on how we live in the most prosperous nation in the world and we still find excuses (5b).

It certainly has me leaning now towards actually having a (negative) opinion on vesperal liturgies.
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« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2009, 05:05:27 PM »

I just found a fascinating article on the topic by Bishop TIKHON of the OCA Diocese of the West entitled Evening Divine Liturgies.  

While, as noted above, I'm not opposed to these in practice, His Excellency's words are very persuasive that these should not be done outside of the prescribed ones.

I'd be interested if other hierarchs are of the same opinion.
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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2009, 06:49:27 PM »

The fact that Bishop Tikhon (and Bishop Nikolai), while being a stickler for rubrical exactitude, thought there was nothing wrong in the OCA (when most of the clergy and laity knew otherwise) leads me to discount what he he has to say about the subject.  He comes off like many other converts, fiaxted on ritual without pastoral concern.

One forgets the Typicon was written when the Emperor/King ensured the people could attend all the feastday services and the services had no competition.  The bottom line is we live in America and most people work daylight shifts making it impractical if not impossbile to attend morning services during the week.  One can maintain the Typicon and have empty churches on feastdays as I have witnessed at several churches, Byzantine Catholic and Orthodox, or make a pastoral compromise and have Evening Vesperal Liturgies with decent attendance.  At least at Vesperal Liturgies the people get to hear the Stichera which are the most ancient and important of the texts anyways.  As to whether these should be mandated or not becomes a difficult question.  I understand the idea that even if they are allowed they should not be mandated so that a priest/parish can take the full cycle but really one could do that anyway even if the Vesperal Litrugy is taken, taking Small Vespers before Liturgy and Matins the morning of the feast.
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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2009, 06:57:16 PM »

I just found a fascinating article on the topic by Bishop TIKHON of the OCA Diocese of the West entitled Evening Divine Liturgies.  

While, as noted above, I'm not opposed to these in practice, His Excellency's words are very persuasive that these should not be done outside of the prescribed ones.

I'd be interested if other hierarchs are of the same opinion.

Well not the Antiochians as they have mandated Evening Vesperal Liturgies for the Great Feasts that do not fall on Sunday or Monday and allow them for  the Feasts of: Circumcision/St. Basil, St. Anthony, Three Hierarchs, St. George, Sts. Constantine and Helen, SS. Peter and Paul, St. Elias, Beheading of St. John Baptist, The Archangels, St. Philip the Apostle, St. Nicholas, and  St. Ignatius.

I believe some OCA bishops allow them as well.
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« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2009, 07:30:46 PM »

A quick internet search shows that Presanctified Liturgy in the evening was something fostered in the US by Fr Alexander Schmemann.
 
Also this article shows that in the 70s the Presanctified was being served in the morning in both the US and in Russia.
http://www.holy-trinity.org/modern/theodosius.html   
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« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2009, 07:37:25 PM »


The 19th century liturgical textbooks of Nikolsky and Neapolitansky both say that the Presanctified Liturgy should begin at 10 a.m. (while the "full Liturgy" should be at 6 a.m. for an "early" service, and 9 a.m. for the "late" Liturgy).
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« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2009, 07:43:35 PM »

Do the EO's ever have regular liturgies in the evening?  In the Armenian Church we have a liturgy on Christmas Eve and Easter Eve.  It starts at 6:00 p.m. and it is just a regular liturgy.  

It follows an hour long service during which Bible passages pertaining to the feast day are read, concluding with the song of the three youths from Daniel.  After that service is done, they just start a regular liturgy.  The funny thing about it is that if Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, there is no liturgy in the morning, because you can't have two liturgies in a day.  They just do matins.

Anyway, I am just wondering if the EO's ever do regular liturgies in the evenings, or if you just do the vesperal liturgies.
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« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2009, 07:44:40 PM »

I have mixed feelings about the Vesperal Liturgies. I like them though since I would not be able to go to a morning liturgy on a feast so it is nice to be able to recieve communion for the feasts. At my parish, for major feast days (Transfiguration, Dormition, etc) we do Vesperal liturgies since people cannot come in the morning. I would like it though if we replaced the Vesperal Liturgy with a vigil but for one the Antiochians don't do vigils (at least I've never seen one done in an Antiochian church) so the Vesperal Liturgy is fine with me for the most part.
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« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2009, 08:10:06 PM »

A quick internet search shows that Presanctified Liturgy in the evening was something fostered in the US by Fr Alexander Schmemann.
 
Also this article shows that in the 70s the Presanctified was being served in the morning in both the US and in Russia.
http://www.holy-trinity.org/modern/theodosius.html     

In the Greek monastic tradition they still do Presanctified Liturgies in the morning.  However, I think it's "cheating" w/ regards to the fast.  Evening Liturgies should be in the evening.
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« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2009, 08:38:20 PM »

A quick internet search shows that Presanctified Liturgy in the evening was something fostered in the US by Fr Alexander Schmemann.
 
Also this article shows that in the 70s the Presanctified was being served in the morning in both the US and in Russia.
http://www.holy-trinity.org/modern/theodosius.html   

I have been told by people who grew up in the Middle that the Presanctified service is usually celebrated around the noon hour on Wed. of Lent in order to celebrate the "Lord of Host" service (aka Great Compline) in the evening.
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« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2009, 09:01:51 PM »

Notice that this topic began with a poll.

I've noticed that not all of the those commenting on this topic are completing the poll, based on the comments that are being made. 
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« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2009, 09:28:39 PM »

Do the EO's ever have regular liturgies in the evening?  In the Armenian Church we have a liturgy on Christmas Eve and Easter Eve.  It starts at 6:00 p.m. and it is just a regular liturgy. 

It follows an hour long service during which Bible passages pertaining to the feast day are read, concluding with the song of the three youths from Daniel.  After that service is done, they just start a regular liturgy.  The funny thing about it is that if Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, there is no liturgy in the morning, because you can't have two liturgies in a day.  They just do matins.

Anyway, I am just wondering if the EO's ever do regular liturgies in the evenings, or if you just do the vesperal liturgies.

Only after midnight, i.e. Pascha and Nativity, or New Years (the latter is not original, but has been catching on.  Some do it around 8 ).

We have the same rule on one DL per day per altar.  I think all Orthodox do (I know Copts do).

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« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2009, 09:29:41 PM »

Notice that this topic began with a poll.

I've noticed that not all of the those commenting on this topic are completing the poll, based on the comments that are being made. 
I voted none,  but had nothing particular to say.
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« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2009, 10:52:22 PM »

Notice that this topic began with a poll.

I've noticed that not all of the those commenting on this topic are completing the poll, based on the comments that are being made.   

I hadn't even noticed the poll... Thank you for the heads-up.
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« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2009, 11:50:47 AM »

The fact that Bishop Tikhon (and Bishop Nikolai), while being a stickler for rubrical exactitude, thought there was nothing wrong in the OCA (when most of the clergy and laity knew otherwise) leads me to discount what he he has to say about the subject.  He comes off like many other converts, fiaxted on ritual without pastoral concern.

the implication that only we "crazy" converts are somehow wrong for wanting to follow the Typicon and that we should listen humbly to the cradles who are so much more wise than we is insulting and ridiculous.
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« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2009, 05:49:34 PM »

Scamadrius,

I did not you were a convert.  The thrust of that post was Bishop Tikhon proved himself to be unpastoral, obsessed with ritual while his Church was falling down around him, insisting nothing was wrong and ultimately retiring rather than be part of the solution.  Therefore, I don't give much weight to his thoughts on the matter.

However, it is a noted trend that some converts tend fixate on rubrics.  Cradles have their own problems tending to not want to change parish practice even if they no longer work for the majority of the parishioners.

As someone with a great interest in the study of the Liturgy, I must admit I myself can easily fall into rubricism.  The Sabbath was made for the man not man for the Sabbath, Our Lord said.  It is good to keep this in mind when discussing the Liturgy.  The Typicon was written in a different time and place and is heavily influenced by monastic rather than parochial usage.  I am not saying throw out the Typicon but pastoral nees of the people must precede exactitude with the Typicon.  What good are keeping all the services according to exact prescriptions of the Typicon if none of the parishioners can attend them?  e needs the services not God.  Evening Vesperal Liturgies are a pastoral concession to allow more to attend.  While not Vesperal my parish had our Thanksgiving Day Liturgy Wed night rather than Thurs morning for the first time this year.  The result was attendance more than double from a little over 20 to well over 50. 

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« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2009, 06:01:02 PM »

Deacon Lance,

But why does it have to be a Divine Liturgy?  What is so inherently wrong with Vespers that it simply must be served with a Divine Liturgy rather than as, say, an All Night Vigil service?  I understand that DL is inherently "greater" because that is where we received the Eucharist, but why can't parishes have an All Night Vigil on the eve of a Feast and then DL the next day?  I often wondered this when I was Catholic and I always chalked it up to the now-ingrained concept in American Catholic culture that a service that's not a Mass isn't worth going to.
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« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2009, 06:48:18 PM »

Deacon Lance,

But why does it have to be a Divine Liturgy?  What is so inherently wrong with Vespers that it simply must be served with a Divine Liturgy rather than as, say, an All Night Vigil service?  I understand that DL is inherently "greater" because that is where we received the Eucharist, but why can't parishes have an All Night Vigil on the eve of a Feast and then DL the next day?  I often wondered this when I was Catholic and I always chalked it up to the now-ingrained concept in American Catholic culture that a service that's not a Mass isn't worth going to.

Hear hear, Schultz! Without in any way wishing to belittle the importance of the DL, I've learned far more, and benefitted immensely, from attending evening Vigils, even if I can't attend the following morning's DL. The DL is indeed the culmination and fulfilment of the liturgical cycle, but the Vigils are our great and all-too-often unknown theological and doctrinal treasures.
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« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2009, 06:49:31 PM »

As someone with a great interest in the study of the Liturgy, I must admit I myself can easily fall into rubricism.  The Sabbath was made for the man not man for the Sabbath, Our Lord said.  It is good to keep this in mind when discussing the Liturgy.  The Typicon was written in a different time and place and is heavily influenced by monastic rather than parochial usage.  I am not saying throw out the Typicon but pastoral nees of the people must precede exactitude with the Typicon.  What good are keeping all the services according to exact prescriptions of the Typicon if none of the parishioners can attend them?  e needs the services not God.  Evening Vesperal Liturgies are a pastoral concession to allow more to attend.  While not Vesperal my parish had our Thanksgiving Day Liturgy Wed night rather than Thurs morning for the first time this year.  The result was attendance more than double from a little over 20 to well over 50. 

Father Deacon,

Whether I am a convert or not should not make a difference with the issue.  As far as the pastoral issue goes, why is it that the definition we associate with pastoral is "flexible, not fixed."  A pastor isn't someone who bends over backwards to accommodate someone.  Where will the bending end?  I, frankly, grow tired that the justification for these Vesperal Liturgies has to with pastoral care for the priest's flock; a priest must not also enforce the church's discipline, right otherwise there would be chaos.

You point to the number of people coming to the Vesperal Liturgies.  That is good.  However, from my experience, at a number of parishes, Antiochian and OCA, there has been no significant increase in attendance at the Vesperal Liturgies as opposed to serving the Liturgy the day of the feast.   But even if attendance were through the roof (and it isn't) there are some serious theological and pastoral concerns as well.  One thing that has not been brought up (as far as I know) is that the fasting discipline for an evening Liturgy would be such that very few people should partake of the Eucharist, as is demanded during the presanctified Liturgies of Great Lent.  Granted, those with medical conditions and other hardships should never be compelled to receive the Body of Christ only after inflicting on themselves hurt.
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« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2009, 07:31:09 PM »

 One thing that has not been brought up (as far as I know) is that the fasting discipline for an evening Liturgy would be such that very few people should partake of the Eucharist, as is demanded during the presanctified Liturgies of Great Lent.  Granted, those with medical conditions and other hardships should never be compelled to receive the Body of Christ only after inflicting on themselves hurt.

I don't see that as much a problem assuming most jurisdicitions/dioceses require fasting from Noon till Liturgy which is 6-7ish, about the same fast as Sunday, Midnight till 9-10ish. 
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« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2009, 07:34:19 PM »

But even if attendance were through the roof (and it isn't) there are some serious theological and pastoral concerns as well.  

I may agree with "pastoral" and "ecclesiological," but not necessarily "theological."

One thing that has not been brought up (as far as I know) is that the fasting discipline for an evening Liturgy would be such that very few people should partake of the Eucharist, as is demanded during the presanctified Liturgies of Great Lent.  Granted, those with medical conditions and other hardships should never be compelled to receive the Body of Christ only after inflicting on themselves hurt.

This is actually one of my issues with the monastic practice of the morning Presanctified Liturgy.  Vespers & Liturgy are moved to the morning, ruining one of the most beautiful parts of the routine with Presanctified - the greater anticipation that comes with the all-day fast.  In order to keep Liturgies in the morning, we ruin the daily cycle by singing evening hymns in the morning (my only complaint about Holy Week).  

I do not believe that this shifting of services to the morning is what the Church had in mind, either - otherwise, why would Vesperal Liturgies be forbidden on all Saturdays except Great Saturday?  Because you're not supposed to all-food fast on Saturdays!  The communion fast would break this rule.
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« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2009, 07:39:16 PM »

Fr Alexander Schmemann's book "Great Lent - A Journey to Pascha" has a very good and informative chapter on the whys and wherefores of the Presanctified Liturgy, including when it should be held.
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« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2009, 07:45:56 PM »

Fr Alexander Schmemann's book "Great Lent - A Journey to Pascha" has a very good and informative chapter on the whys and wherefores of the Presanctified Liturgy, including when it should be held.

His opinion on the matter (from that chapter) is very reasonable and pretty logical viz a viz Presanctified Liturgy - and seemingly in line with what I've observed and read elsewhere.  (For those who don't have the book, he ties the issue of time for celebration of the Liturgy to the fast that coincides with that day, arguing that the Liturgy is the completion of that Fast - thus, on weekdays of Lent when the fast is prescribed already, the Liturgy should be in the evening.)

However, I think the principle can be expanded when speaking about other Vesperal Liturgies and feastdays.
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« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2009, 07:48:21 PM »

Deacon Lance,

But why does it have to be a Divine Liturgy?  What is so inherently wrong with Vespers that it simply must be served with a Divine Liturgy rather than as, say, an All Night Vigil service?  I understand that DL is inherently "greater" because that is where we received the Eucharist, but why can't parishes have an All Night Vigil on the eve of a Feast and then DL the next day?  I often wondered this when I was Catholic and I always chalked it up to the now-ingrained concept in American Catholic culture that a service that's not a Mass isn't worth going to.

You answered your own question, because it is inherently greater and that is where we receive the Eucharist.  I mean you will always have a few diehards who understand the importance of Vespers/Orthros, but your average parishioner just isn't at that level.  Of course there are sometimes entire parishes where the diehards get concentrated but that is the exception not the norm.  I has always thought that this is a question that is more problematic for Greek Catholics than Orthodox, but from my experince in the Pittsburgh area Vespers is not well attended in any parish I have visited be it Ruthenian Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, OCA or ACROD.  Among the Greeks it isn't any better at Orthros.  The local Greek parish, had Vigil the night before the church was to be consecrated by the Metropolitan.  This was celebrated by the Metropolitan and was during the annual parish festival.  There were hundreds of people at the festival.  Besides the concelebrating priest's wives and cantor's wives I was the only one at Vigil until the artos was distributed, then about 20-30 wandered up from the parish hall for the last 10  minutes or so.  

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« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2009, 08:03:44 PM »

Fr Alexander Schmemann's book "Great Lent - A Journey to Pascha" has a very good and informative chapter on the whys and wherefores of the Presanctified Liturgy, including when it should be held.

His opinion on the matter (from that chapter) is very reasonable and pretty logical viz a viz Presanctified Liturgy - and seemingly in line with what I've observed and read elsewhere.  (For those who don't have the book, he ties the issue of time for celebration of the Liturgy to the fast that coincides with that day, arguing that the Liturgy is the completion of that Fast - thus, on weekdays of Lent when the fast is prescribed already, the Liturgy should be in the evening.)

However, I think the principle can be expanded when speaking about other Vesperal Liturgies and feastdays.

Fr George, this is why I mentioned Fr Alexander's book. What he writes about the Lenten vesperal liturgies applies just as much to the ad hoc ones.
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« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2009, 08:10:53 PM »

[
You answered your own question, because it is inherently greater and that is where we receive the Eucharist.  I mean you will always have a few diehards who understand the importance of Vespers/Orthros, but your average parishioner just isn't at that level.  Of course there are sometimes entire parishes where the diehards get concentrated but that is the exception not the norm.  I has always thought that this is a question that is more problematic for Greek Catholics than Orthodox, but from my experince in the Pittsburgh area Vespers is not well attended in any parish I have visited be it Ruthenian Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, OCA or ACROD.  Among the Greeks it isn't any better at Orthros.  The local Greek parish, had Vigil the night before the church was to be consecrated by the Metropolitan.  This was celebrated by the Metropolitan and was during the annual parish festival.  There were hundreds of people at the festival.  Besides the concelebrating priest's wives and cantor's wives I was the only one at Vigil until the artos was distributed, then about 20-30 wandered up from the parish hall for the last 10  minutes or so.  

Fr. Deacon Lance

Fr. Deacon,

Why can, or maybe I should say "do", many of a parish only come to a service if the Eucharist is distributed?  I think there is a mentality among many Orthodox which thinks "If there's no Eucharist, I'm not going."  Whatever happened to worship of our Lord at any of the services, wehther Vespers or Orthros, compline or the the non-Eucharistic services of Holy Week?  Why is it everyone will come on Pascha but only half on Great and Holy Friday?

Again, pastoral reasons are fine and dandy but not at the expense of who we are as Orthodox Christians in BOTH our faith and praxis.
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« Reply #42 on: December 07, 2009, 08:12:54 PM »


However, I think the principle can be expanded when speaking about other Vesperal Liturgies and feastdays.

Fr.,

Forgive me for being a grammar snob, but after reading your first paragraph of your post, it leads me to believe that you wanted a "don't" included after your "however" of the second paragraph, which would make more sense since you used that particular adversative.  Am I correct?  Or am I just being snobbish as usual?
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« Reply #43 on: December 07, 2009, 08:14:43 PM »

You answered your own question, because it is inherently greater and that is where we receive the Eucharist.  I mean you will always have a few diehards who understand the importance of Vespers/Orthros, but your average parishioner just isn't at that level.  

This is a most patronising comment, Fr Lance, both in your implication that the Vigil is a mysterious, arcane entity, inaccessible and incomprehensible to the "average" parishioner, and in characterising regular attendees of Vigils as "diehards".

A few years ago, a layman at my parish took the initiative (with the priest's permission) to compile and print bilingual vigil texts for many of the feasts in booklet form and make them available to anyone who wanted them. People of all generations and backgrounds (humble and educated) were soon saying much the same thing: For the first time I've had the chance to understand what going to this service is all about! It's a matter of education, not coercion.
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« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2009, 08:16:38 PM »

Fr George, this is why I mentioned Fr Alexander's book. What he writes about the Lenten vesperal liturgies applies just as much to the ad hoc ones.

Really, his discussion of timing in the book isn't actually about Presanctified Liturgies per se, but a general discussion of Feasts-Fasting-Liturgy.  However, his point about other times (outside of weekdays in Lent) is that evening Liturgy is for full fast days or very Major feasts, and that minor feasts/commemorations should be celebrated around noon, and Vigil days (& Sundays) should be in the morning.  But my thought is that our definition of what deserves a big build-up can be expanded.  Vesperal Liturgy for St. Nicholas?  He is one of the 3-5 most revered Saints in Christendom.  If his feast doesn't fall on a Sunday or Monday, why not?  I can understand not celebrating Vesperal Liturgy for, say, St. John the Russian, since there isn't as big a build-up.  How about a general allowance, that if a feastday falls on a Thurs or Sat in your parish, that you can do Vesperal Liturgy the evening before (full day of fasting on Wed or Fri)?
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« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2009, 08:19:00 PM »


However, I think the principle can be expanded when speaking about other Vesperal Liturgies and feastdays.

Fr.,

Forgive me for being a grammar snob, but after reading your first paragraph of your post, it leads me to believe that you wanted a "don't" included after your "however" of the second paragraph, which would make more sense since you used that particular adversative.  Am I correct?  Or am I just being snobbish as usual?

Actually, my "however" is in response to something left unsaid by me but implied by the text referred to (Fr. Schmemman's book) - that the timing of Liturgy w/ regards to the feastday & fasting of the day is well prescribed & fairly set in stone.   I didn't realize that I did this (setting up the adversative without stating the actual adversarial position).
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« Reply #46 on: December 07, 2009, 08:38:26 PM »

Fr George, this is why I mentioned Fr Alexander's book. What he writes about the Lenten vesperal liturgies applies just as much to the ad hoc ones.

Really, his discussion of timing in the book isn't actually about Presanctified Liturgies per se, but a general discussion of Feasts-Fasting-Liturgy.  However, his point about other times (outside of weekdays in Lent) is that evening Liturgy is for full fast days or very Major feasts, and that minor feasts/commemorations should be celebrated around noon, and Vigil days (& Sundays) should be in the morning.  But my thought is that our definition of what deserves a big build-up can be expanded.  Vesperal Liturgy for St. Nicholas?  He is one of the 3-5 most revered Saints in Christendom.  If his feast doesn't fall on a Sunday or Monday, why not?  I can understand not celebrating Vesperal Liturgy for, say, St. John the Russian, since there isn't as big a build-up.  How about a general allowance, that if a feastday falls on a Thurs or Sat in your parish, that you can do Vesperal Liturgy the evening before (full day of fasting on Wed or Fri)?

Interesting you should mention St Nicholas, Father, he is the patron saint of the church I attend, and he is very likely the patron of more Orthodox churches than any other saint in the world. For those whose jurisdictions follow the old calendar, this feast falls on a Saturday this year. Your suggestion for a vesperal liturgy for him sounds plausible, but would be unthinkable in parishes where he is the patron saint. Certainly in the church I have attended these past 13 years, nothing short of a full Vigil on the eve, and a Liturgy the following morning, irrespective of which day the feast falls on, will do.

I know I'm only a layman, and I do not wish seem like I'm telling clergy how to do their job. But having had lifelong experience with both Slavic and Greek "flavors" of Orthodoxy, may I suggest a perhaps more suitable pastoral alternative to a vesperal liturgy when a feast of reasonable rank falls on a weekday: adopt (with episcopal blessing, of course!) the Greek custom of transferring the celebration of a major feast from a weekday to the following Sunday, with a Vigil on the Saturday evening. I know that this is also permissible in Slavic tradition, particularly for patronal feasts. That way, the liturgical riches of Matins are still available, and people can still commune on the Sunday.
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« Reply #47 on: December 07, 2009, 08:59:47 PM »

You answered your own question, because it is inherently greater and that is where we receive the Eucharist.  I mean you will always have a few diehards who understand the importance of Vespers/Orthros, but your average parishioner just isn't at that level.  

This is a most patronising comment, Fr Lance, both in your implication that the Vigil is a mysterious, arcane entity, inaccessible and incomprehensible to the "average" parishioner, and in characterising regular attendees of Vigils as "diehards".

A few years ago, a layman at my parish took the initiative (with the priest's permission) to compile and print bilingual vigil texts for many of the feasts in booklet form and make them available to anyone who wanted them. People of all generations and backgrounds (humble and educated) were soon saying much the same thing: For the first time I've had the chance to understand what going to this service is all about! It's a matter of education, not coercion.

LBK,

It wasn't meant as an insult.  Simply a statement, one that I think is generally true.  Every parish has a small group who is very devout and will come to every and any service.  The majority of parishioners do not come.  And I am not refering to services in Greek or Slavonic, most Churches around here have all English services.  You can educate all you want my Church has been doing it for several years now, most people aren't coming to Church more than once a week.  If you can get more than the few who come anyways by having Evening Vesperal Liturgy I am all for it.  Of course as a deacon I have no say in the matter.  Transfering a Feast to Sunday is also a reasonable solution.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2009, 09:04:01 PM »

Interesting you should mention St Nicholas, Father, he is the patron saint of the church I attend, and he is very likely the patron of more Orthodox churches than any other saint in the world. For those whose jurisdictions follow the old calendar, this feast falls on a Saturday this year. Your suggestion for a vesperal liturgy for him sounds plausible, but would be unthinkable in parishes where he is the patron saint. Certainly in the church I have attended these past 13 years, nothing short of a full Vigil on the eve, and a Liturgy the following morning, irrespective of which day the feast falls on, will do.  

Maybe St. Nicholas is a bad example - but St. Demetrios, St. George, Prophet Elias, St. Panteleimon, St. Haralambos, St. John Chrysostom, St. John the Apostle, Evangelist, and Theologian are likely better examples.  Highly revered, but if their feastday falls on a weekday, then likely attendance will suffer because of work.

Of course, maybe the true answer lies in the most ancient of Christian practices: prayer before work, prayer after work.  But what priest & cantor want to start early enough to finish Liturgy before 8am? Wink

I know I'm only a layman, and I do not wish seem like I'm telling clergy how to do their job.

When respectful, the opinion is respected, IMO.  Like now! Smiley

But having had lifelong experience with both Slavic and Greek "flavors" of Orthodoxy, may I suggest a perhaps more suitable pastoral alternative to a vesperal liturgy when a feast of reasonable rank falls on a weekday: adopt (with episcopal blessing, of course!) the Greek custom of transferring the celebration of a major feast from a weekday to the following Sunday, with a Vigil on the Saturday evening. I know that this is also permissible in Slavic tradition, particularly for patronal feasts. That way, the liturgical riches of Matins are still available, and people can still commune on the Sunday.

Eh, in Greek practice (that I've seen & experienced) feast transferring is rare and I believe should remain quite rare (Annunciation {Holy Friday/Saturday to Pascha}, St. George {April 23 to Bright Monday}, and a few others like St. Nicholas Planas {weekday to Saturday} and Sts. Nicholas, Raphael and Irene {? to Bright Wednesday} come to mind, but all their transfers are because of Great Lent-en considerations).
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« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2009, 10:12:37 PM »

TO REPLY #34

I cannot understand why discretion and flexibility should equate to throwing out the Typicon.  This attitude is a phenomenon in today's society in many aspects, work rules, laws etc.  God has given us a brain to think with and and intellect with which to discern.  The exercise of Economy is an example of the Church's appreciation for clerical discernment. Otherwise, computers could make all decisions for society. We can make exceptions for particular reasons, such as accommodating the schedules of the faithful, and continue to adhere to whatever rule, such as the Typicon. I've advocated for some level of use of the Vesperal Liturgies, which, I don't not have a strong opinion about, but I am not criticising the Typicon in general.
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« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2009, 10:19:19 PM »

Fr Lance

The layman who has taken the initiative I described is, in fact, not of the ethnic ancestry of the parish in which this has been done. Yet an effort was made by this person to learn at least enough of the liturgical language in both spoken and written form to get by, acquire the liturgical texts, and learn enough rubrics to compile the service booklets. Quite an achievement, I must say, and one which "shamed" many in the parish community.

Fr George

Where I come from, the Greek transfer of higher-ranking (non-patronal) feasts from a weekday to the following Sunday is quite common. The feasts you mentioned are in this group, but, in my experience of Greek practice, a number of feasts outside of lenten periods were similarly transferred. In my Slavic experience, one of the few non-patronal feasts I have come across which is commonly transferred is that of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, in churches of the ROCOR jurisdiction, perhaps because of the justifiably immense devotion of Russians to this saint.
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« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2009, 10:21:58 PM »

Where I come from, the Greek transfer of higher-ranking (non-patronal) feasts from a weekday to the following Sunday is quite common. The feasts you mentioned are in this group, but, in my experience of Greek practice, a number of feasts outside of lenten periods were similarly transferred. In my Slavic experience, one of the few non-patronal feasts I have come across which is commonly transferred is that of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, in churches of the ROCOR jurisdiction, perhaps because of the justifiably immense devotion of Russians to this saint.

Interesting.  I'd probably prefer, if the options were between moving the feast or doing a Vesperal Liturgy, the latter, depending on the feast.
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« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2009, 10:54:48 PM »

Where I come from, the Greek transfer of higher-ranking (non-patronal) feasts from a weekday to the following Sunday is quite common. The feasts you mentioned are in this group, but, in my experience of Greek practice, a number of feasts outside of lenten periods were similarly transferred. In my Slavic experience, one of the few non-patronal feasts I have come across which is commonly transferred is that of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, in churches of the ROCOR jurisdiction, perhaps because of the justifiably immense devotion of Russians to this saint.

Interesting.  I'd probably prefer, if the options were between moving the feast or doing a Vesperal Liturgy, the latter, depending on the feast.

... with the blessing of your bishop, of course ...  Smiley
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« Reply #53 on: December 07, 2009, 10:58:01 PM »

... with the blessing of your bishop, of course ...  Smiley

Actually, as the 2nd priest, I can't even talk to my Bishop about official stuff without permission of the Proistamenos.
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« Reply #54 on: December 07, 2009, 11:06:43 PM »

Fair enough. As I said, I don't want to come across as telling you how to do your job.  Smiley  angel
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« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2011, 10:31:42 PM »

tonight, I went to church expecting to sing the Vespers service to St. Barbara and St. John Damascene and instead it was the Vesperal Liturgy.  So, not only was I cheated out of the entire second part of Vespers, but also the whole of Orthros and the beginning of the Divine Liturgy. I don't know whose bright idea this whole thing was, but I say it shouldn't be used.  I know I'm probably in the minority on this, but I'm really frustrated with their existence.
+1! Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco would agree with you. (He abolished Vesperal Liturgy in the DOW, except for where it was needed). I agree!
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« Reply #56 on: October 05, 2012, 10:24:54 PM »

A slight resurrection & tweak on the subject

So the vespers part is for the next day (the hymns, etc) but the LITURGY is for THAT day. 

1.  How so we merge the Jewish with the roman calendar here? I mean...how does that happen/work?
2.  When you say the dismissal for liturgy which saints do you celebrate?  You would think the day of, b/c that is what you are ending, but 1 hour prior you did vespers for the NEXT DAY!

Anyone else see the confusion!?
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« Reply #57 on: October 05, 2012, 10:41:01 PM »

A slight resurrection & tweak on the subject

So the vespers part is for the next day (the hymns, etc) but the LITURGY is for THAT day. 

1.  How so we merge the Jewish with the roman calendar here? I mean...how does that happen/work?
2.  When you say the dismissal for liturgy which saints do you celebrate?  You would think the day of, b/c that is what you are ending, but 1 hour prior you did vespers for the NEXT DAY!

Anyone else see the confusion!?

The Vespers and Liturgy are for the Feast being celebrated so everything is for the next day so to speak.
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« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2012, 12:07:50 PM »

A slight resurrection & tweak on the subject

So the vespers part is for the next day (the hymns, etc) but the LITURGY is for THAT day. 

1.  How so we merge the Jewish with the roman calendar here? I mean...how does that happen/work?
2.  When you say the dismissal for liturgy which saints do you celebrate?  You would think the day of, b/c that is what you are ending, but 1 hour prior you did vespers for the NEXT DAY!

Anyone else see the confusion!?

The Vespers and Liturgy are for the Feast being celebrated so everything is for the next day so to speak.

1. My understanding is that they are 2 different liturgies on 2 different days. No Christmas Eve liturgy is for the 24th & Christmas Day liturgy is for 25th

2.  If they are BOTH for the same day, how did that happen? Out of economy? Because you can't have 2 liturgies on the same day unless you have 2 altars & 2 priests
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« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2012, 12:39:02 PM »

As to Vesperal Liturgies conducted on Christmas Eve, I think item 1 above is correct.  The Liturgy is that of December 24th, but I'm not sure about the Vespers, though I think it's of the 24th too.
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« Reply #60 on: October 06, 2012, 01:18:12 PM »

As to Vesperal Liturgies conducted on Christmas Eve, I think item 1 above is correct.  The Liturgy is that of December 24th, but I'm not sure about the Vespers, though I think it's of the 24th too.

I think so. Similar situation is with the feast of the Martyrs of Sebaste: in my parish there was the Liturgy of Presantificated Gifts (so done with Vespers) in the evening of the 9th of March, so when They're commemorated. The same happen during Holy Week, but it's a special case for Vesperal Liturgies.

Also in the eve of Theophany the Liturgy is for the 5th of January. After the Vesperal Liturgy (at least in my parish) the icon of the Theopany is solemnly brought into the centre of the church during singing the festal troparion.

For this moment I remember only one Vesperal Liturgy for the e\next day: it's Liturgy of Presantificated Gifts of the first Friday of the Great Lent, which treats about st. Theodor the Tyron. However, in my parish it was in the morning, so for me it was a Friday's Liturgy and on the next day I was again on the Liturgy, but of st. John Chrysostom
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« Reply #61 on: October 06, 2012, 01:41:25 PM »

A slight resurrection & tweak on the subject

So the vespers part is for the next day (the hymns, etc) but the LITURGY is for THAT day. 

1.  How so we merge the Jewish with the roman calendar here? I mean...how does that happen/work?
2.  When you say the dismissal for liturgy which saints do you celebrate?  You would think the day of, b/c that is what you are ending, but 1 hour prior you did vespers for the NEXT DAY!

Anyone else see the confusion!?

The Vespers and Liturgy are for the Feast being celebrated so everything is for the next day so to speak.

1. My understanding is that they are 2 different liturgies on 2 different days. No Christmas Eve liturgy is for the 24th & Christmas Day liturgy is for 25th

2.  If they are BOTH for the same day, how did that happen? Out of economy? Because you can't have 2 liturgies on the same day unless you have 2 altars & 2 priests

Can't be.  Christmas Eve is a Fast day.  Any way you slice it on Christmas, Theophany, and Pascha two Liturgies are served on the same Liturgical day on one altar by one priest less than 24 hours apart.  These three Feasts supercede the rule.
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« Reply #62 on: October 06, 2012, 02:29:32 PM »

A slight resurrection & tweak on the subject

So the vespers part is for the next day (the hymns, etc) but the LITURGY is for THAT day. 

1.  How so we merge the Jewish with the roman calendar here? I mean...how does that happen/work?
2.  When you say the dismissal for liturgy which saints do you celebrate?  You would think the day of, b/c that is what you are ending, but 1 hour prior you did vespers for the NEXT DAY!

Anyone else see the confusion!?

The Vespers and Liturgy are for the Feast being celebrated so everything is for the next day so to speak.

1. My understanding is that they are 2 different liturgies on 2 different days. No Christmas Eve liturgy is for the 24th & Christmas Day liturgy is for 25th

2.  If they are BOTH for the same day, how did that happen? Out of economy? Because you can't have 2 liturgies on the same day unless you have 2 altars & 2 priests

Can't be.  Christmas Eve is a Fast day.  Any way you slice it on Christmas, Theophany, and Pascha two Liturgies are served on the same Liturgical day on one altar by one priest less than 24 hours apart.  These three Feasts supercede the rule.

Do you know how that happened?  I really thought that they are their own liturgies, just like on Holy Saturday
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« Reply #63 on: October 06, 2012, 08:49:38 PM »

A slight resurrection & tweak on the subject

So the vespers part is for the next day (the hymns, etc) but the LITURGY is for THAT day. 

1.  How so we merge the Jewish with the roman calendar here? I mean...how does that happen/work?
2.  When you say the dismissal for liturgy which saints do you celebrate?  You would think the day of, b/c that is what you are ending, but 1 hour prior you did vespers for the NEXT DAY!

Anyone else see the confusion!?

The Vespers and Liturgy are for the Feast being celebrated so everything is for the next day so to speak.

1. My understanding is that they are 2 different liturgies on 2 different days. No Christmas Eve liturgy is for the 24th & Christmas Day liturgy is for 25th

2.  If they are BOTH for the same day, how did that happen? Out of economy? Because you can't have 2 liturgies on the same day unless you have 2 altars & 2 priests

Can't be.  Christmas Eve is a Fast day.  Any way you slice it on Christmas, Theophany, and Pascha two Liturgies are served on the same Liturgical day on one altar by one priest less than 24 hours apart.  These three Feasts supercede the rule.

Do you know how that happened?  I really thought that they are their own liturgies, just like on Holy Saturday

I don't.  The exception that proves the rule?  But even Holy Saturday isn't its own liturgy.  What is happening on Pascha is we celebrate the old Cathedral Rite Paschal Liturgy on Holy Saturday and the normal Sabbaite Paschal Liturgy on Pascha Sunday.  We perceive the Vesperal Liturgy to be non-Paschal because it lacks features we associate with Pascha like "Christ is Risen" but this tropar was simply not part of the Cathedral Rite in Hagia Sophia.
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« Reply #64 on: October 06, 2012, 09:42:03 PM »

A slight resurrection & tweak on the subject

So the vespers part is for the next day (the hymns, etc) but the LITURGY is for THAT day. 

1.  How so we merge the Jewish with the roman calendar here? I mean...how does that happen/work?
2.  When you say the dismissal for liturgy which saints do you celebrate?  You would think the day of, b/c that is what you are ending, but 1 hour prior you did vespers for the NEXT DAY!

Anyone else see the confusion!?

The Vespers and Liturgy are for the Feast being celebrated so everything is for the next day so to speak.

1. My understanding is that they are 2 different liturgies on 2 different days. No Christmas Eve liturgy is for the 24th & Christmas Day liturgy is for 25th

2.  If they are BOTH for the same day, how did that happen? Out of economy? Because you can't have 2 liturgies on the same day unless you have 2 altars & 2 priests

Can't be.  Christmas Eve is a Fast day.  Any way you slice it on Christmas, Theophany, and Pascha two Liturgies are served on the same Liturgical day on one altar by one priest less than 24 hours apart.  These three Feasts supercede the rule.

Do you know how that happened?  I really thought that they are their own liturgies, just like on Holy Saturday

I don't.  The exception that proves the rule?  But even Holy Saturday isn't its own liturgy.  What is happening on Pascha is we celebrate the old Cathedral Rite Paschal Liturgy on Holy Saturday and the normal Sabbaite Paschal Liturgy on Pascha Sunday.  We perceive the Vesperal Liturgy to be non-Paschal because it lacks features we associate with Pascha like "Christ is Risen" but this tropar was simply not part of the Cathedral Rite in Hagia Sophia.

I see your point.  Could this be said for Christmas & epiphany as well?
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« Reply #65 on: October 31, 2012, 04:27:42 PM »


I don't.  The exception that proves the rule?  But even Holy Saturday isn't its own liturgy.  What is happening on Pascha is we celebrate the old Cathedral Rite Paschal Liturgy on Holy Saturday and the normal Sabbaite Paschal Liturgy on Pascha Sunday.  We perceive the Vesperal Liturgy to be non-Paschal because it lacks features we associate with Pascha like "Christ is Risen" but this tropar was simply not part of the Cathedral Rite in Hagia Sophia.

I see your point.  Could this be said for Christmas & epiphany as well?
I am by no means an expert on these things. However, I might speculate that since Theophany is liturgically very rich, that its set of services was patterned after Pascha. It is my understanding that Christmas is a somewhat later development in liturgical history and was patterned after Theophany, which at one time included commemoration of the Nativity.

Now, moving back to the general idea of Versperal Liturgies: during Advent this year, we have planned a service every Wednesday beginning November 14, alternating between the Advent Paraklesis and three VDLs, namely Entrance of the Theotokos (which we know we're celebrating a day late, but felt the consistency of Wednesday services was important; then in December for St Nicholas and for St Ignatius (our parish patron).

As was said years ago in this thread, it's unfortunate that we are getting just bits of two services. I know the argument can be made that at least we're remembering the feasts, and doing what we can to encourage attendance. However, I feel that we really aren't doing justice to the Feasts - there's little content concerning the point of the Feast in the portions that make up the VDL. It would, IMO, be better to have a Vespers service (with few if any abbreviations), making that a major event in itself. I also think that we need - and I'm speaking of people in my own parish - to get our congregations out of the "the only important service is the DL" mindset. So it is my position that these VDLs are really a disservice to our people.

Because of our limited parish resources, it's practical for us to have only one service at Christmas. Once again (last year's Sunday Dec 25 made an exception), our priest has announced that it will be the VDL with St Basil's Liturgy. I'm disappointed about that decision. I think we'll have had our fill of VDLs in the previous weeks for one thing. Then, this service is the least joyous of the Christmas services. It is not one to which I would invite family (all non-Orthodox) or friends, but I would invite them to join me for Orthros + DL of St John C - especially if it were at midnight. That hour would create interest in itself, and is certainly not unusual in this community due to the high number of RCs who do celebrate Midnight Mass at Christmas. I really had my heart set on attending a Christmas Eve service at a church of one of my family members. I'm thinking I'm going to go ahead and do that anyway. My priest won't be happy about that - I generally anchor the chanters - but I am annoyed that he made that announcement with no consultation of the congregation. I know there are others who, like me, have family obligations that we like to attend to just once a year, so I am concerned about the attendance in any case.
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« Reply #66 on: October 31, 2012, 07:17:42 PM »

Now, moving back to the general idea of Versperal Liturgies: during Advent this year, we have planned a service every Wednesday beginning November 14, alternating between the Advent Paraklesis and three VDLs, namely Entrance of the Theotokos (which we know we're celebrating a day late, but felt the consistency of Wednesday services was important; then in December for St Nicholas and for St Ignatius (our parish patron).

That's good that your parish is celebrating some special services during Advent. Not so many parish organzie something special (at least in Poland). And it's very important fast and it would be good thath in this special time people spend more time in church and on shopping Wink

Because of our limited parish resources, it's practical for us to have only one service at Christmas. Once again (last year's Sunday Dec 25 made an exception), our priest has announced that it will be the VDL with St Basil's Liturgy. I'm disappointed about that decision. I think we'll have had our fill of VDLs in the previous weeks for one thing. Then, this service is the least joyous of the Christmas services. It is not one to which I would invite family (all non-Orthodox) or friends, but I would invite them to join me for Orthros + DL of St John C - especially if it were at midnight. That hour would create interest in itself, and is certainly not unusual in this community due to the high number of RCs who do celebrate Midnight Mass at Christmas. I really had my heart set on attending a Christmas Eve service at a church of one of my family members. I'm thinking I'm going to go ahead and do that anyway. My priest won't be happy about that - I generally anchor the chanters - but I am annoyed that he made that announcement with no consultation of the congregation. I know there are others who, like me, have family obligations that we like to attend to just once a year, so I am concerned about the attendance in any case.

It's a bit shocking and as you said, it's not good that the priest hadn't consulted it with the parishoners. I think it's not appropraite, e.g so beautiful Canon of the Nativity is sung in the enitiry during the Orthros. Only the katavasias can be chanted during the Vesperal Liturgy of st. Basil. Great Compline + Matins + Divine Liturgy of st. John Chrystosom for the Nativity celebrated at midnight are one of the most beautiful services. It's a big waste for the congregation...
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« Reply #67 on: October 31, 2012, 08:02:14 PM »

Unfortunately the signs of the times dictate that we must adopt Vesperal Liturgies.  People don't always have good access to their parish on a regular work day.  It could be out of the way, or the time for Liturgy could mean they can't concievably go to church and to work in a feasible manner.  Not every Great Feast or important Feast is a national holiday, especially in North America.  So we have to find a way that people can still continue the tradition, but in light of the current reality we face.
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« Reply #68 on: October 31, 2012, 08:13:04 PM »

Unfortunately the signs of the times dictate that we must adopt Vesperal Liturgies.  People don't always have good access to their parish on a regular work day.  It could be out of the way, or the time for Liturgy could mean they can't concievably go to church and to work in a feasible manner.  Not every Great Feast or important Feast is a national holiday, especially in North America.  So we have to find a way that people can still continue the tradition, but in light of the current reality we face.

Actually, I think thaht better option are very early Liturgies (5, 6 or 7 AM) I know some parishes in Poland, Serbia and probaly other countries do so. No problem with Eucharist fasting and no question if it's cannonical or not. And in the evening before Vespers or All-niGht Vigil celebrated on 6, 7 PM...
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« Reply #69 on: October 31, 2012, 08:18:00 PM »

Unfortunately the signs of the times dictate that we must adopt Vesperal Liturgies.  People don't always have good access to their parish on a regular work day.  It could be out of the way, or the time for Liturgy could mean they can't concievably go to church and to work in a feasible manner.  Not every Great Feast or important Feast is a national holiday, especially in North America.  So we have to find a way that people can still continue the tradition, but in light of the current reality we face.

Actually, I think thaht better option are very early Liturgies (5, 6 or 7 AM) I know some parishes in Poland, Serbia and probaly other countries do so. No problem with Eucharist fasting and no question if it's cannonical or not. And in the evening before Vespers or All-niGht Vigil celebrated on 6, 7 PM...

I can only speak for myself, but this is hard even for me.  I guess it depends where the church is.  If the church is in downtown, it is doable.  The church I am looking to go to is about 15kms east of where I live.  I work 25kms west, they are in completely different directions.  Plus I have small children who I still have to wake up, dress up, get ready, and bring to daycare in the morning.  If Vesperal Liturgy is at 7pm, I have enough time to leave work, pick-up from daycare, then go to church.  Probably have some snacks for the kids.

One of the things I appreciated as a Catholic is the easy access to Liturgy.
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« Reply #70 on: October 31, 2012, 10:13:09 PM »

What about a full Vespers, Matins and then the liturgy all on the eve of the feast? Nobody misses any of the cycle, but most can come. And heck, the "liturgy only" crowd can just show up later in the evening and skip Vespers and Matins. What say ye?
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« Reply #71 on: October 31, 2012, 11:02:29 PM »

What about a full Vespers, Matins and then the liturgy all on the eve of the feast? Nobody misses any of the cycle, but most can come. And heck, the "liturgy only" crowd can just show up later in the evening and skip Vespers and Matins. What say ye?

No
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« Reply #72 on: November 01, 2012, 01:04:27 AM »

Unfortunately the signs of the times dictate that we must adopt Vesperal Liturgies.  People don't always have good access to their parish on a regular work day.  It could be out of the way, or the time for Liturgy could mean they can't concievably go to church and to work in a feasible manner.  Not every Great Feast or important Feast is a national holiday, especially in North America.  So we have to find a way that people can still continue the tradition, but in light of the current reality we face.

Actually, I think thaht better option are very early Liturgies (5, 6 or 7 AM) I know some parishes in Poland, Serbia and probaly other countries do so. No problem with Eucharist fasting and no question if it's cannonical or not. And in the evening before Vespers or All-niGht Vigil celebrated on 6, 7 PM...

I wish we did that.

I also wish we did at least a couple morning presanctified liturgies in Lent.
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« Reply #73 on: November 01, 2012, 01:05:14 AM »

What about a full Vespers, Matins and then the liturgy all on the eve of the feast? Nobody misses any of the cycle, but most can come. And heck, the "liturgy only" crowd can just show up later in the evening and skip Vespers and Matins. What say ye?

No

That would be the Greek way, agripnia, yes?
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« Reply #74 on: November 01, 2012, 01:08:18 AM »

Unfortunately the signs of the times dictate that we must adopt Vesperal Liturgies.  People don't always have good access to their parish on a regular work day.  It could be out of the way, or the time for Liturgy could mean they can't concievably go to church and to work in a feasible manner.  Not every Great Feast or important Feast is a national holiday, especially in North America.  So we have to find a way that people can still continue the tradition, but in light of the current reality we face.

Actually, I think thaht better option are very early Liturgies (5, 6 or 7 AM) I know some parishes in Poland, Serbia and probaly other countries do so. No problem with Eucharist fasting and no question if it's cannonical or not. And in the evening before Vespers or All-niGht Vigil celebrated on 6, 7 PM...
I'm not a morning person, and, given rush hour traffic in Chicago, it wouldn't matter even if I were.  The Typikon was made for man, not man for the Typikon, and I've yet to see the explanation for the cosmos coming to a grinding halt by celebrating Vesperal DL other than on the days that the Pharisees celebrate them.
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« Reply #75 on: November 01, 2012, 01:09:26 AM »

Unfortunately the signs of the times dictate that we must adopt Vesperal Liturgies.  People don't always have good access to their parish on a regular work day.  It could be out of the way, or the time for Liturgy could mean they can't concievably go to church and to work in a feasible manner.  Not every Great Feast or important Feast is a national holiday, especially in North America.  So we have to find a way that people can still continue the tradition, but in light of the current reality we face.

Actually, I think thaht better option are very early Liturgies (5, 6 or 7 AM) I know some parishes in Poland, Serbia and probaly other countries do so. No problem with Eucharist fasting and no question if it's cannonical or not. And in the evening before Vespers or All-niGht Vigil celebrated on 6, 7 PM...

I wish we did that.

I also wish we did at least a couple morning presanctified liturgies in Lent.
Now THAT I have a problem with.
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« Reply #76 on: November 01, 2012, 01:14:10 AM »

Unfortunately the signs of the times dictate that we must adopt Vesperal Liturgies.  People don't always have good access to their parish on a regular work day.  It could be out of the way, or the time for Liturgy could mean they can't concievably go to church and to work in a feasible manner.  Not every Great Feast or important Feast is a national holiday, especially in North America.  So we have to find a way that people can still continue the tradition, but in light of the current reality we face.

Actually, I think thaht better option are very early Liturgies (5, 6 or 7 AM) I know some parishes in Poland, Serbia and probaly other countries do so. No problem with Eucharist fasting and no question if it's cannonical or not. And in the evening before Vespers or All-niGht Vigil celebrated on 6, 7 PM...

I wish we did that.

I also wish we did at least a couple morning presanctified liturgies in Lent.
Now THAT I have a problem with.

LOL. What was that you were just saying about not celebrating the Typicon with the Pharisees?
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« Reply #77 on: November 01, 2012, 01:16:22 AM »

Unfortunately the signs of the times dictate that we must adopt Vesperal Liturgies.  People don't always have good access to their parish on a regular work day.  It could be out of the way, or the time for Liturgy could mean they can't concievably go to church and to work in a feasible manner.  Not every Great Feast or important Feast is a national holiday, especially in North America.  So we have to find a way that people can still continue the tradition, but in light of the current reality we face.

Actually, I think thaht better option are very early Liturgies (5, 6 or 7 AM) I know some parishes in Poland, Serbia and probaly other countries do so. No problem with Eucharist fasting and no question if it's cannonical or not. And in the evening before Vespers or All-niGht Vigil celebrated on 6, 7 PM...

I wish we did that.

I also wish we did at least a couple morning presanctified liturgies in Lent.
Now THAT I have a problem with.

LOL. What was that you were just saying about not celebrating the Typicon with the Pharisees?
I said I have a problem with it. I didn't say I'd make a problem over it.

I can't imagine a problem that would necessitate having them AM instead of PM, but they had to, they'd have to.
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« Reply #78 on: November 01, 2012, 04:48:28 AM »

What about a full Vespers, Matins and then the liturgy all on the eve of the feast? Nobody misses any of the cycle, but most can come. And heck, the "liturgy only" crowd can just show up later in the evening and skip Vespers and Matins. What say ye?
Certainly a marathon especially for parishes that are short on clergy, altar servers, and singers (chanters and/or choir). But it might be well worth the effort. I'd be willing to explore it. My priest - in his early 70s - would claim lack of stamina for all of that. But I'd be willing to go with a reader's Vespers and even Orthros and have the priest begin to lead at the DL. Reader's services would also be briefer - the hymns and readings would be there for the most part, but with many of the prayers reduced to "Lord have mercy" (x 12 or 40) - but even many of those are eventually repeated in the DL. OK - I think I've talked myself into it  Cheesy !
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« Reply #79 on: November 05, 2012, 05:05:06 PM »

Quote
author=FrGeorge

Maybe St. Nicholas is a bad example - but St. Demetrios, St. George, Prophet Elias, St. Panteleimon, St. Haralambos, St. John Chrysostom, St. John the Apostle, Evangelist, and Theologian are likely better examples.  Highly revered, but if their feastday falls on a weekday, then likely attendance will suffer because of work.

Of course, maybe the true answer lies in the most ancient of Christian practices: prayer before work, prayer after work.  But what priest & cantor want to start early enough to finish Liturgy before 8am? Wink

By the way, that is what St. John the Baptist Cathedral (Washington,DC ROCOR)  does. Their workday liturgies start at 6:40, and end sometime before 9:00. Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco(ROCOR) has daily liturgies at 8:00 every morning, and vigil at 6:00 every evening. Some other churches also have daily liturgy at relatively early hours.
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« Reply #80 on: November 05, 2012, 06:29:41 PM »

Quote
author=FrGeorge

Maybe St. Nicholas is a bad example - but St. Demetrios, St. George, Prophet Elias, St. Panteleimon, St. Haralambos, St. John Chrysostom, St. John the Apostle, Evangelist, and Theologian are likely better examples.  Highly revered, but if their feastday falls on a weekday, then likely attendance will suffer because of work.

Of course, maybe the true answer lies in the most ancient of Christian practices: prayer before work, prayer after work.  But what priest & cantor want to start early enough to finish Liturgy before 8am? Wink

By the way, that is what St. John the Baptist Cathedral (Washington,DC ROCOR)  does. Their workday liturgies start at 6:40, and end sometime before 9:00. Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco(ROCOR) has daily liturgies at 8:00 every morning, and vigil at 6:00 every evening. Some other churches also have daily liturgy at relatively early hours.
Curious: how many show up?
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« Reply #81 on: November 11, 2012, 11:25:57 AM »

Sorry to post late to this thread.

To start, the ideal minimum of course is Vespers the day before, then Orthros and Liturgy in the morning of the feast.   If you want to have services outside of weekday working hours, there are a limited number of variants on your options (keep the ideal, do DL only at night, do Vespergy, do Vespers+Orthros as Vigil, do Vigil+Liturgy, do Vigil/Vespers only).

I've seen two options not discussed in this thread:

1. Have Vespers the night before and then Liturgy the evening of (e.g. at 7:00PM Tuesday and 7:00PM Wednesday of a major feast).  A Greek Catholic parish I know does this.   Why is this not commonly done?

2. Have Vespers at a "normal" time (e.g. 6PM) and then have Orthros/Liturgy later that night (8PM and 9PM).   The Church of St. Demetrius in Thessalonica -the only Orthodox parish I'be been to that has regular daily Vespers*, Orthros, and Divine Liturgy and shifts of cantors/priests to fit this schedule - did this for one polyeleos feast in November (and had Orthros/Liturgy again the next day with another shift of cantors/priests!  As an aside, they're good at keeping Orthros and DL to an hour each)

I think all of the options have good points and bad points, and that in the end it's the pastor's decision as to what's best for the sheep of a particular parish.   We must pray that he does so wisely.   

IMO, we're also hampered by a "church is an hour or two on Sunday except for parish events and for extra special traditional feasts" mentality.   I find that the same people who attend Vespers and Orthros are also the same people who come for feast day liturgies.   My experience is that basic mentality is prevalent in both Greek Catholic and Orthodox parishes.  i.e. no one is in church at the hexapsalms, people trickle in during Orthros, but only start really getting in during the Doxology. 

Markos

* another parish in Thessalonica has daily Vespers - right next to the arch of Galerius, I forgot what it's called - with maybe 4-5 regular  attendees.  One night a Greek rap concert was going out at the arch, and not only could you hear the "music" clearly during the litanies but opening the door meant that the service was inaudible until the door was shut again.   
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« Reply #82 on: January 04, 2014, 10:43:55 PM »

Since I was looking for something else and stumbled upon this,

Thread resurrection!

A slight resurrection & tweak on the subject

So the vespers part is for the next day (the hymns, etc) but the LITURGY is for THAT day. 

1.  How so we merge the Jewish with the roman calendar here? I mean...how does that happen/work?
2.  When you say the dismissal for liturgy which saints do you celebrate?  You would think the day of, b/c that is what you are ending, but 1 hour prior you did vespers for the NEXT DAY!

Anyone else see the confusion!?

The Vespers and Liturgy are for the Feast being celebrated so everything is for the next day so to speak.

1. My understanding is that they are 2 different liturgies on 2 different days. No Christmas Eve liturgy is for the 24th & Christmas Day liturgy is for 25th

2.  If they are BOTH for the same day, how did that happen? Out of economy? Because you can't have 2 liturgies on the same day unless you have 2 altars & 2 priests

Can't be.  Christmas Eve is a Fast day.  Any way you slice it on Christmas, Theophany, and Pascha two Liturgies are served on the same Liturgical day on one altar by one priest less than 24 hours apart.  These three Feasts supercede the rule.

Do you know how that happened?  I really thought that they are their own liturgies, just like on Holy Saturday

I don't.  The exception that proves the rule?  But even Holy Saturday isn't its own liturgy.  What is happening on Pascha is we celebrate the old Cathedral Rite Paschal Liturgy on Holy Saturday and the normal Sabbaite Paschal Liturgy on Pascha Sunday.  We perceive the Vesperal Liturgy to be non-Paschal because it lacks features we associate with Pascha like "Christ is Risen" but this tropar was simply not part of the Cathedral Rite in Hagia Sophia.

I have a theory on why there are two Liturgies for the one feast of Nativity in the Byzantine rite (it may also apply to the Armenian tradition, but I can't say).  It's not official, but it is based on some loose ends I picked up along the way in my reading and by comparison with the Syriac tradition. 

According to my reading, there was, in the Holy Land, a tradition where the Patriarch of Jerusalem, with his clergy and the faithful, would process from Jerusalem to Bethlehem in the evening and celebrate, after the appropriate evening service, a Liturgy at the Church of the Nativity.  After this, they would return in procession to Jerusalem to celebrate, after the appropriate morning services, the Liturgy at the Church of the Resurrection.  What gives it away, IMO, is the Gospel pericope read at each service: that of the evening service is focused on events at Bethlehem (e.g., the birth, the appearance of the angel to the shepherds) while that of the morning service focuses on events which took place at Jerusalem (e.g., the visit of the Magi with Herod "who came to Jerusalem" to inquire where the newborn king of the Jews could be found). 

This pattern holds true in at least two rites with a hagiopolite* influence: Byzantine and Syriac.  I'm not certain if Jerusalem had an evening service and Bethlehem a morning service independent of the Patriarch (two Liturgies in one day in each church), or if all the people basically shifted back and forth with the bishop (two Liturgies in one day, but only one per church), but the Byzantine rite has retained the two Liturgies for the one feast, and the readings line up to match my description above. 

In the Syriac tradition (at least as practiced in India), we are pretty strict regarding the celebration of more than one Liturgy per day, so another practice has developed.  The Midnight Office on Christmas includes, after its third watch, a procession to the Western end of the church.  The theme of the hymns sung during the procession is the journey to Bethlehem.  When the procession has reached its destination, the same Epistle and Gospel read at the Byzantine rite Vesperal Liturgy is read.  In the middle of the Gospel (the Lucan account of the Nativity), when we hear about the appearance of the angel and the singing of their hymn, the celebrant lights a bonfire (appropriate for a night service celebrated at least partly outdoors).  While he does this, the people sing "Glory to God in the highest, etc." thrice as it appears in the Gospel text, followed by the Great Doxology which begins with the same words (it is anticipated here, its usual place being toward the end of the Midnight Office).  Usually, there is a procession around this fire (while the Doxology is sung), if not by all the people, then at least by the clergy.  Then the Gospel reading is picked up again, concluded, and they process back into the church and towards the altar/bema, where the holy cross is elevated as on 14 September (we do this on a few feasts throughout the year).  During the procession back into the church, the accompanying hymn has as its theme the return journey from Bethlehem and the proclamation of that which we have seen and witnessed there.  After the Midnight Office is concluded, it is followed by Matins, the Hours, and the Liturgy, where the Gospel is, as expected, the same as in the Byzantine rite: the Matthean account of the arrival of the Magi in Jerusalem. 

In summary, I think what's going on here is that two related liturgical rites are preserving remnants of an ancient hagiopolite practice, adapted to their own liturgical sensibilities.  I don't know how much this holds true for the Armenians, but they have an evening and a morning Liturgy for Nativity (in at least one sense, two Liturgies for one day).  Also, they have never separated this celebration from Epiphany as the rest of us have.  Perhaps this helps make sense of why Epiphany also has an arrangement of services similar, if not identical, with Christmas (the Armenian rite is related to both the Byzantine and Syriac rites and also has considerable hagiopolite influence).             



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« Reply #83 on: January 04, 2014, 11:32:03 PM »

So the Syriac Rite knows no days with double Liturgies, not even Pascha?
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« Reply #84 on: January 04, 2014, 11:41:24 PM »

So the Syriac Rite knows no days with double Liturgies, not even Pascha?

No.  We have a Liturgy on Holy Saturday, but it is celebrated after Ninth Hour and before the Paschal Vespers.  Its hymns and rubrics follow the Holy Week order and not the ordinary or Lenten variations, and it is commonly, though not by necessity, celebrated in black vestments.  Its Gospel is a repetition of the Matthean account of the burial of Christ, but its Epistles have baptismal/paschal themes (I Peter 3 and Romans 6).  So it is somewhat transitional, but leaning toward Holy Week, whereas the Byzantine Paschal Vigil is transitional but leaning toward the feast. 

If there is ever a "double Liturgy", it is always a pastoral provision (e.g., two Liturgies, two priests, two altars, one day), never a requirement of a "typicon". 
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« Reply #85 on: January 04, 2014, 11:51:49 PM »

That is interresting.  Do you know what the Coptic or Ethiopian practice is?
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« Reply #86 on: January 05, 2014, 12:10:33 AM »

That is interresting.  Do you know what the Coptic or Ethiopian practice is?

While I defer to them, I think their equivalent of the Byzantine Vesperal Liturgy for Christmas is actually a Liturgy for the day before the feast (IOW, Christmas Eve morning/day), and not a "first Liturgy" of the feast itself. 
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« Reply #87 on: January 05, 2014, 04:19:19 PM »

What about a full Vespers, Matins and then the liturgy all on the eve of the feast? Nobody misses any of the cycle, but most can come. And heck, the "liturgy only" crowd can just show up later in the evening and skip Vespers and Matins. What say ye?

Now, now, that would be too logical!
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« Reply #88 on: January 05, 2014, 04:22:14 PM »

So the Syriac Rite knows no days with double Liturgies, not even Pascha?

No.  We have a Liturgy on Holy Saturday, but it is celebrated after Ninth Hour and before the Paschal Vespers.  Its hymns and rubrics follow the Holy Week order and not the ordinary or Lenten variations, and it is commonly, though not by necessity, celebrated in black vestments.  Its Gospel is a repetition of the Matthean account of the burial of Christ, but its Epistles have baptismal/paschal themes (I Peter 3 and Romans 6).  So it is somewhat transitional, but leaning toward Holy Week, whereas the Byzantine Paschal Vigil is transitional but leaning toward the feast. 

If there is ever a "double Liturgy", it is always a pastoral provision (e.g., two Liturgies, two priests, two altars, one day), never a requirement of a "typicon". 

Between the ninth hour and vespers? Kind of sneaking it in, then, in the time between times.
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« Reply #89 on: January 05, 2014, 04:59:50 PM »

Between the ninth hour and vespers? Kind of sneaking it in, then, in the time between times.

I suppose you could look at it that way, yes. 

Typically, we celebrate the Liturgy after the singing of the Sixth Hour.  For the most part, this is true of Liturgies on days of fasting as well, but on certain days (e.g., Wednesday of the Fast of the Ninevites, Holy Saturday), we are instructed to celebrate the Liturgy only after the Ninth Hour in order to keep the day's fast at its normal length rather than shortening it.  To celebrate the Liturgy in conjunction with Vespers or after Vespers would prevent its celebration the following morning (since it would count for the next liturgical day, not the present liturgical day).  So the Liturgy is celebrated between Ninth Hour and Vespers (on Holy Saturday, traditionally there should be a "Rite of Forgiveness" served after the Liturgy to end the period of Great Lent/Holy Week, similar in order and content to the "Rite of Forgiveness" which begins Great Lent, but this is rarely served nowadays). 

When the Paschal Vespers is served, it is served most festively, the only differences from a normal Festal Vespers being related to the situation of the Tomb.   
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« Reply #90 on: January 05, 2014, 05:06:09 PM »

Between the ninth hour and vespers? Kind of sneaking it in, then, in the time between times.

I suppose you could look at it that way, yes. 

Typically, we celebrate the Liturgy after the singing of the Sixth Hour.  For the most part, this is true of Liturgies on days of fasting as well, but on certain days (e.g., Wednesday of the Fast of the Ninevites, Holy Saturday), we are instructed to celebrate the Liturgy only after the Ninth Hour in order to keep the day's fast at its normal length rather than shortening it.  To celebrate the Liturgy in conjunction with Vespers or after Vespers would prevent its celebration the following morning (since it would count for the next liturgical day, not the present liturgical day).  So the Liturgy is celebrated between Ninth Hour and Vespers (on Holy Saturday, traditionally there should be a "Rite of Forgiveness" served after the Liturgy to end the period of Great Lent/Holy Week, similar in order and content to the "Rite of Forgiveness" which begins Great Lent, but this is rarely served nowadays). 

When the Paschal Vespers is served, it is served most festively, the only differences from a normal Festal Vespers being related to the situation of the Tomb.   

Do Syriac tradition churches celebrate Qurbono after noon or 3 p.m., or after the reading of said hours--like how in Russian churches third and sixth hours are read Sunday mornings, before Liturgy?
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« Reply #91 on: January 05, 2014, 05:18:56 PM »

Do Syriac tradition churches celebrate Qurbono after noon or 3 p.m., or after the reading of said hours--like how in Russian churches third and sixth hours are read Sunday mornings, before Liturgy?

Usually it's in the morning after the reading of the Third and Sixth Hours, which are anticipated.  So, for example, a typical parish in America will begin the Liturgy around 9.30am, but it is after the Sixth Hour.  If the Liturgy is ever actually postponed to a later hour, it is on days of fasting as I described above: it might be celebrated at noon, but the Ninth Hour will have been prayed before the start of the Liturgy.  In those places where the Liturgy is celebrated in the evening for some reason, the Liturgy is usually begun after Compline (which will have been cut short by a few minutes).   
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« Reply #92 on: January 05, 2014, 06:47:04 PM »

The fact that Bishop Tikhon (and Bishop Nikolai), while being a stickler for rubrical exactitude, thought there was nothing wrong in the OCA (when most of the clergy and laity knew otherwise) leads me to discount what he he has to say about the subject.  He comes off like many other converts, fiaxted on ritual without pastoral concern.

the implication that only we "crazy" converts are somehow wrong for wanting to follow the Typicon and that we should listen humbly to the cradles who are so much more wise than we is insulting and ridiculous.

The Typikon has evolved over the centuries to meet the needs of the Church. The Church has always made accommodations to enable as many of the faithful to attend services as possible. It is obvious that sometime in the past the entire cycle of Holy Week services was shifted to the evening to make it easier for the faithful to attend, because almost every service of Holy Week that we serve in the evening is a form of Matins and obviously was originally done in the morning not the evening before. The Vesperal Divine Liturgy is a good solution to the problem that the vast majority of our people cannot take time away from work or school to attend a feast day Divine Liturgy on a weekday morning. It is far better than shifting the feast day to a Sunday, which used to be the practice in some parishes or having a morning service that only few people in the parish can attend. As long as the doctrine of the Church is not compromised, we can tweak the Typikon to fit the needs of an Orthodox parish in modern American society. It is difficult even in a monastery to follow all the instructions of the Typikon, much less in a parish setting. I doubt that there is any parish in America that follows all the instructions of the Typikon. Every jurisdiction abbreviates the services as mandated by the Typikon.  At least in that way we can observe the feast on the actual fest day at a time when the faithful can participate. However, a Priest should not take upon himself the authority to make decision on what to leave out of the services as mandated by the Typikon, but must follow the instructions of his Bishop. In the case of Antiochian Orthodox, Metropolitan Philip authorized the Evening Divine Liturgy over 35 years ago. Therefore, when I serve an Evening Divine Liturgy, I am following the instructions of my Bishop.

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« Reply #93 on: January 05, 2014, 06:57:19 PM »

The Vesperal Divine Liturgy is a good solution to the problem that the vast majority of our people cannot take time away from work or school to attend a feast day Divine Liturgy on a weekday morning. It is far better than shifting the feast day to a Sunday, which used to be the practice or having a morning service that only few people in the parish can attend.

Why do you feel this way, Father? 
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« Reply #94 on: January 05, 2014, 07:04:59 PM »

You answered your own question, because it is inherently greater and that is where we receive the Eucharist.  I mean you will always have a few diehards who understand the importance of Vespers/Orthros, but your average parishioner just isn't at that level.  

This is a most patronising comment, Fr Lance, both in your implication that the Vigil is a mysterious, arcane entity, inaccessible and incomprehensible to the "average" parishioner, and in characterising regular attendees of Vigils as "diehards".

A few years ago, a layman at my parish took the initiative (with the priest's permission) to compile and print bilingual vigil texts for many of the feasts in booklet form and make them available to anyone who wanted them. People of all generations and backgrounds (humble and educated) were soon saying much the same thing: For the first time I've had the chance to understand what going to this service is all about! It's a matter of education, not coercion.

LBK,

It wasn't meant as an insult.  Simply a statement, one that I think is generally true.  Every parish has a small group who is very devout and will come to every and any service.  The majority of parishioners do not come.  And I am not refering to services in Greek or Slavonic, most Churches around here have all English services.  You can educate all you want my Church has been doing it for several years now, most people aren't coming to Church more than once a week.  If you can get more than the few who come anyways by having Evening Vesperal Liturgy I am all for it.  Of course as a deacon I have no say in the matter.  Transfering a Feast to Sunday is also a reasonable solution.

Fr. Deacon Lance

I do not think that transferring a feast to a Sunday is a reasonable solution. It defeats the whole purpose of the Church calendar and its cycle of feasts and fasts. We should celebrate a feast day on the actual feast day. That is why I strongly favor the Evening Divine Liturgy as a reasonable compromise to meet the situation of Orthodox living in a society in which we are only a small minority. At least a Vesperal Divine Liturgy gives the faithful a chance to hear some of the hymns of the feast.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #95 on: January 05, 2014, 07:09:23 PM »

A vesperal liturgy is usually vespers up to the little litany after the Old Testament readings for the Feast and then the DL of St. John starting from the the Trisagion onwards.  There are no kathisma read at the beginning, either.  It's in the Typikon for Christmas, Theophany and Holy Thursday.

It is also in the Typikon for Holy Saturday.  Therefore, the format is not  modern invention, but is part of the ancient tradition of the Church.

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« Reply #96 on: January 05, 2014, 07:11:14 PM »

You answered your own question, because it is inherently greater and that is where we receive the Eucharist.  I mean you will always have a few diehards who understand the importance of Vespers/Orthros, but your average parishioner just isn't at that level.  

This is a most patronising comment, Fr Lance, both in your implication that the Vigil is a mysterious, arcane entity, inaccessible and incomprehensible to the "average" parishioner, and in characterising regular attendees of Vigils as "diehards".

A few years ago, a layman at my parish took the initiative (with the priest's permission) to compile and print bilingual vigil texts for many of the feasts in booklet form and make them available to anyone who wanted them. People of all generations and backgrounds (humble and educated) were soon saying much the same thing: For the first time I've had the chance to understand what going to this service is all about! It's a matter of education, not coercion.

LBK,

It wasn't meant as an insult.  Simply a statement, one that I think is generally true.  Every parish has a small group who is very devout and will come to every and any service.  The majority of parishioners do not come.  And I am not refering to services in Greek or Slavonic, most Churches around here have all English services.  You can educate all you want my Church has been doing it for several years now, most people aren't coming to Church more than once a week.  If you can get more than the few who come anyways by having Evening Vesperal Liturgy I am all for it.  Of course as a deacon I have no say in the matter.  Transfering a Feast to Sunday is also a reasonable solution.

Fr. Deacon Lance

I do not think that transferring a feast to a Sunday is a reasonable solution. It defeats the whole purpose of the Church calendar and its cycle of feasts and fasts. We should celebrate a feast day on the actual feast day. That is why I strongly favor the Evening Divine Liturgy as a reasonable compromise to meet the situation of Orthodox living in a society in which we are only a small minority. At least a Vesperal Divine Liturgy gives the faithful a chance to hear some of the hymns of the feast.

Fr. John W. Morris

Today, per the directive from on high, we celebrated Theophany this Saturday night/Sunday instead of Sunday night/Monday. We could not have done vesperal liturgy on a Sunday night anyway.

Sometimes, however, we've been celebrating vesperal liturgies on Friday nights, which is just odd.
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« Reply #97 on: January 05, 2014, 11:46:45 PM »

I do not think that transferring a feast to a Sunday is a reasonable solution. It defeats the whole purpose of the Church calendar and its cycle of feasts and fasts. We should celebrate a feast day on the actual feast day. That is why I strongly favor the Evening Divine Liturgy as a reasonable compromise to meet the situation of Orthodox living in a society in which we are only a small minority. At least a Vesperal Divine Liturgy gives the faithful a chance to hear some of the hymns of the feast.

Father,

If we cannot follow the tradition as we have received it due to the need to adapt to different pastoral situations, I think the solution some have suggested in this thread--a Greek style vigil--is the best practice.  It anticipates the feast without disrupting the order of services or omitting major services entirely, respects the cycle of feasts and fasts which we agree is important, and allows people the same chance to show up early or late that normal parish schedules offer.  But though I've worshiped at and served my share of evening Liturgies, I have at least three reservations about them: 

1.  In traditions like mine, where we simply serve Vespers and Compline fully and then go into the normal Liturgy, it basically eliminates the morning services from parish life, even if they could theoretically be served the next morning for those who are able to come.  In traditions like the Byzantine rite, where there is an order for a combined "Vesperal Liturgy", the same issue is there, except that I've also been told that the morning services would not be able to be served (since the Liturgy has been offered)...in other words, it's not just that the services are omitted, but serving them becomes an impossibility even if you wanted to do them.  I don't know how true that is, but it is certainly what informed people have unanimously told me. 

Also, even if the pattern for such Vesperal Liturgies is taken from the Typikon, it ignores the fact that, with only one exception, all feasts with a Vesperal Liturgy also have a Liturgy in the morning.  The Vesperal Liturgy appears to function as a preparation for the feast, not the celebration of the feast itself.   

2.  In addition to the hindered liturgical participation, fasting usually causes a problem.  Either we tell people to avoid food and drink for the entire day (I've seen this in parishes) or we come up with a minimum that seems to vary from nine hours to three or four (!).  Fasting, in turn, often negatively affects people who work during the day, depending on the profession and the make up of the person, making their work day and their participation in the Liturgy more of a struggle than otherwise would be the case.  Of course, one doesn't necessarily have to commune at a Vesperal Liturgy, but such a person could just as easily have attended a normal Vespers.   

3.  For all the talk about the liturgical day beginning the evening before, we generally don't look at our days like that.  If I go to Liturgy on the evening of 1 February, I'm not thinking "Today is a feast day", I'm thinking "Tomorrow is a feast day, but I have to go to church tonight because there's no service tomorrow"...and when I wake up on the morning of the 2nd, suddenly it's not really all that special a day.  We agree that feasts ideally should be celebrated on their actual days, and not transferred, but while a Vesperal Liturgy technically doesn't violate this principle, I'd say it does for all practical purposes. 

But if you're going to allow for Vesperal Liturgies as a reasonable accommodation, then I see no reason why, as a general principle, feasts cannot be transferred to the following Saturday (or, if that's not feasible, Sunday).  The major feasts of the Lord and the more important feasts of our Lady probably ought to stay on their actual dates (certainly for feasts like the Ascension, Annunciation, Christmas, Dormition), but the only saints' feast I can think of that should always stay on its date is SS Peter and Paul (because of the fast).  Just about everything else could be transferred to the following weekend without major problems, even some feasts of the Lord and of our Lady (e.g. 6 August, 8 and 14 September, 21 November).  Perhaps I'm biased because we do that in my tradition for certain feasts, but it doesn't seem to wreak any more havoc than Vesperal Liturgies, and it avoids some of their problems.     
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« Reply #98 on: January 09, 2014, 10:44:31 PM »

I do not think that transferring a feast to a Sunday is a reasonable solution. It defeats the whole purpose of the Church calendar and its cycle of feasts and fasts. We should celebrate a feast day on the actual feast day. That is why I strongly favor the Evening Divine Liturgy as a reasonable compromise to meet the situation of Orthodox living in a society in which we are only a small minority. At least a Vesperal Divine Liturgy gives the faithful a chance to hear some of the hymns of the feast.

Father,

If we cannot follow the tradition as we have received it due to the need to adapt to different pastoral situations, I think the solution some have suggested in this thread--a Greek style vigil--is the best practice.  It anticipates the feast without disrupting the order of services or omitting major services entirely, respects the cycle of feasts and fasts which we agree is important, and allows people the same chance to show up early or late that normal parish schedules offer.  But though I've worshiped at and served my share of evening Liturgies, I have at least three reservations about them: 

1.  In traditions like mine, where we simply serve Vespers and Compline fully and then go into the normal Liturgy, it basically eliminates the morning services from parish life, even if they could theoretically be served the next morning for those who are able to come.  In traditions like the Byzantine rite, where there is an order for a combined "Vesperal Liturgy", the same issue is there, except that I've also been told that the morning services would not be able to be served (since the Liturgy has been offered)...in other words, it's not just that the services are omitted, but serving them becomes an impossibility even if you wanted to do them.  I don't know how true that is, but it is certainly what informed people have unanimously told me. 

Also, even if the pattern for such Vesperal Liturgies is taken from the Typikon, it ignores the fact that, with only one exception, all feasts with a Vesperal Liturgy also have a Liturgy in the morning.  The Vesperal Liturgy appears to function as a preparation for the feast, not the celebration of the feast itself.   

2.  In addition to the hindered liturgical participation, fasting usually causes a problem.  Either we tell people to avoid food and drink for the entire day (I've seen this in parishes) or we come up with a minimum that seems to vary from nine hours to three or four (!).  Fasting, in turn, often negatively affects people who work during the day, depending on the profession and the make up of the person, making their work day and their participation in the Liturgy more of a struggle than otherwise would be the case.  Of course, one doesn't necessarily have to commune at a Vesperal Liturgy, but such a person could just as easily have attended a normal Vespers.   

3.  For all the talk about the liturgical day beginning the evening before, we generally don't look at our days like that.  If I go to Liturgy on the evening of 1 February, I'm not thinking "Today is a feast day", I'm thinking "Tomorrow is a feast day, but I have to go to church tonight because there's no service tomorrow"...and when I wake up on the morning of the 2nd, suddenly it's not really all that special a day.  We agree that feasts ideally should be celebrated on their actual days, and not transferred, but while a Vesperal Liturgy technically doesn't violate this principle, I'd say it does for all practical purposes. 

But if you're going to allow for Vesperal Liturgies as a reasonable accommodation, then I see no reason why, as a general principle, feasts cannot be transferred to the following Saturday (or, if that's not feasible, Sunday).  The major feasts of the Lord and the more important feasts of our Lady probably ought to stay on their actual dates (certainly for feasts like the Ascension, Annunciation, Christmas, Dormition), but the only saints' feast I can think of that should always stay on its date is SS Peter and Paul (because of the fast).  Just about everything else could be transferred to the following weekend without major problems, even some feasts of the Lord and of our Lady (e.g. 6 August, 8 and 14 September, 21 November).  Perhaps I'm biased because we do that in my tradition for certain feasts, but it doesn't seem to wreak any more havoc than Vesperal Liturgies, and it avoids some of their problems.     

One fasts after lunch to receive Communion at an Vesperal Liturgy, which is about as long as one fasts if one fasts after midnight to receive Communion at a morning Liturgy
The whole point of the liturgical calendar is the sanctification of our time. That is why we must celebrate feast days on the feast day itself. Transferring  a feast to Saturday is not much better than transferring it to Sunday.
The Typikon has changed through the centuries. During the 19th century, the Greeks moved the Matins Gospel to after the 8th ode of the canon because people were arriving too late to hear the Gospel if it was chanted before the canon, where it belongs. There is nothing wrong with adapting our observance of feast days so that the people can participate. If I serve the Divine Liturgy on the morning of a feast very few people would be able to come. It is not a violation of the Orthodox Faith to be practical.
The liturgical day begins at sunset. If our people do not understand that, we must teach them.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #99 on: January 09, 2014, 10:49:20 PM »

The Vesperal Divine Liturgy is a good solution to the problem that the vast majority of our people cannot take time away from work or school to attend a feast day Divine Liturgy on a weekday morning. It is far better than shifting the feast day to a Sunday, which used to be the practice or having a morning service that only few people in the parish can attend.

Why do you feel this way, Father? 

Because people can attend an Evening Diving Liturgy. Most people cannot attend a morning Divine Liturgy during the week. That is why.

Fr.  John W. Morris
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« Reply #100 on: January 09, 2014, 11:01:22 PM »

The whole point of the liturgical calendar is the sanctification of our time. That is why we must celebrate feast days on the feast day itself. Transferring  a feast to Saturday is not much better than transferring it to Sunday.
...

It is not a violation of the Orthodox Faith to be practical.

But, Father, clearly you believe that "being practical" has its limits.  I do, too.  We disagree, though, on those limits because it's an open question.  

Why is transferring a feast to the weekend not a good idea?  I already conceded that this would not be feasible for a number of feasts for a few reasons, but others (e.g., feasts of saints) wouldn't encounter such problems.  I agree with you that feasts should be celebrated on their proper days because of the "sanctification of time", but feasts should also be feasted, not extremely abbreviated.  Why is it better to attach half a Vespers to the front end of the Liturgy the evening before the feast rather than transfer it to a Saturday and do it properly?  Neither is what is called for in the Typikon, so what is the basis for deciding that truncated services on the day before the calendar date are better than full services a couple of days later?  

Regarding the fasting required before an evening Liturgy, the rule you have given may be the rule of your jurisdiction, or a common guideline, but I've heard others, some requiring less fasting and some requiring more, both in EO and in OO.  In contrast, the rules for fasting before a morning Liturgy are basically the same everywhere.  
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« Reply #101 on: January 14, 2014, 10:53:27 PM »

The whole point of the liturgical calendar is the sanctification of our time. That is why we must celebrate feast days on the feast day itself. Transferring  a feast to Saturday is not much better than transferring it to Sunday.
...

It is not a violation of the Orthodox Faith to be practical.

But, Father, clearly you believe that "being practical" has its limits.  I do, too.  We disagree, though, on those limits because it's an open question.  

Why is transferring a feast to the weekend not a good idea?  I already conceded that this would not be feasible for a number of feasts for a few reasons, but others (e.g., feasts of saints) wouldn't encounter such problems.  I agree with you that feasts should be celebrated on their proper days because of the "sanctification of time", but feasts should also be feasted, not extremely abbreviated.  Why is it better to attach half a Vespers to the front end of the Liturgy the evening before the feast rather than transfer it to a Saturday and do it properly?  Neither is what is called for in the Typikon, so what is the basis for deciding that truncated services on the day before the calendar date are better than full services a couple of days later?  

Regarding the fasting required before an evening Liturgy, the rule you have given may be the rule of your jurisdiction, or a common guideline, but I've heard others, some requiring less fasting and some requiring more, both in EO and in OO.  In contrast, the rules for fasting before a morning Liturgy are basically the same everywhere.  

We do not celebrate feast days on the day before because the liturgical day begins at sunset not midnight. We do the best we can to observe the feast on the feast day itself. At least at a Vesperal Liturgy the people get to hear some of the stichera of the feast. Saturday is just as difficult as a week day morning, because of soccer games and other such activities on Saturday morning.

Fr. John  W. Morris
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