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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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Shanghaiski
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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.

Fr. John W. Morris
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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.

Fr. John W. Morris
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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.

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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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