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Author Topic: Silent prayers and opening of the Royal Doors  (Read 9122 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 26, 2010, 09:46:39 AM »

I have noticed differences in the Liturgy from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in the Orthodox Church--and sometimes variations between different priests within the same jurisdiction.  I am referring to the prescribed silent prayers of the priest during the Liturgy.  Sometmes the prayers are silent and sometimes they are not.  Also, sometimes the Royal Doors are opened--and remain open during the entire Liturgy.  I am especially curious about the prayers of the priest where the people respond by saying, "Amen, Amen, Amen-Amen-Amen" during the Anaphora.  Any comments regarding these observations, (especially from clergy), would be welcomed.
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2010, 09:54:03 AM »

From my observation:

- Two schools of thought on the response of Amen during the Anaphora (remember, it's one long prayer from "It is proper and right" all the way through "And grant that with one voice and one heart...") seem to be, "it is a response for the deacons only, according to the rubrics," and "everyone should affirm the prayer with the Amen."

- As for the silent prayers, again the two schools of thought seem to be "they are supposed to be silent according to the rubrics" and "there is no reason other than the rubric to keep them silent."

- As for the doors, ISTM that the practice of opening/closing doors is more monastic & Slavic than Greek, which is likely why one doesn't see it in Greek-influenced parishes.  It is likely (this is a guess, mind you) a continuation of the same principle that led to solid icon screens (rather than separated icons or low screens) and silent prayers: if people don't respect the Liturgy, make it more mystical.  Beyond that, I don't know - I guess I'm just not exposed enough to the issue to comment further.
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2010, 10:09:26 AM »

From my observation:

- Two schools of thought on the response of Amen during the Anaphora (remember, it's one long prayer from "It is proper and right" all the way through "And grant that with one voice and one heart...") seem to be, "it is a response for the deacons only, according to the rubrics," and "everyone should affirm the prayer with the Amen."

- As for the silent prayers, again the two schools of thought seem to be "they are supposed to be silent according to the rubrics" and "there is no reason other than the rubric to keep them silent."

- As for the doors, ISTM that the practice of opening/closing doors is more monastic & Slavic than Greek, which is likely why one doesn't see it in Greek-influenced parishes.  It is likely (this is a guess, mind you) a continuation of the same principle that led to solid icon screens (rather than separated icons or low screens) and silent prayers: if people don't respect the Liturgy, make it more mystical.  Beyond that, I don't know - I guess I'm just not exposed enough to the issue to comment further.

It is not uniform within the Slavic churches to close the doors, particularly among those who came under the Eastern Catholic unions prior to the Nikonian period in Russia. I have heard two theories to explain this. One deals with the some of the Slavs being within the Patriarch of Constantinople's jurisdiction through the fall in 1453, thus the Greek influence, the other that the practice of closing the doors was abandoned as a Latin influence. I tend to doubt the Latinizing answer, as Father George points out the example of the Greek practice. I would be interested to learn about the Old-Rite practice on this issue.
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2010, 10:16:20 AM »

From my observation:
....
- As for the silent prayers, again the two schools of thought seem to be "they are supposed to be silent according to the rubrics" and "there is no reason other than the rubric to keep them silent."
....
Can we explore this a bit further? I, too, have wondered about "silent" prayers. Does it mean literally "completely inaudible and unuttered, remaining only within the thought processes of the priest"; or more that it is the priest's personal prayer, which the people observe? If "silent" truly means so mystical that the people have no part whatsoever in the prayer, then why can we find them so easily in a Liturgy book? They might be silent to the ears, but not to the eyes. All of what I have just said is really a question, having put into writing how I'm trying to sort this out.
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2010, 10:32:24 AM »

From my observation:

- Two schools of thought on the response of Amen during the Anaphora (remember, it's one long prayer from "It is proper and right" all the way through "And grant that with one voice and one heart...") seem to be, "it is a response for the deacons only, according to the rubrics," and "everyone should affirm the prayer with the Amen."

- As for the silent prayers, again the two schools of thought seem to be "they are supposed to be silent according to the rubrics" and "there is no reason other than the rubric to keep them silent."

- As for the doors, ISTM that the practice of opening/closing doors is more monastic & Slavic than Greek, which is likely why one doesn't see it in Greek-influenced parishes.  It is likely (this is a guess, mind you) a continuation of the same principle that led to solid icon screens (rather than separated icons or low screens) and silent prayers: if people don't respect the Liturgy, make it more mystical.  Beyond that, I don't know - I guess I'm just not exposed enough to the issue to comment further.

Thank you Father.  I have another question based on your response.  Is it permissible to ignore rubrics?
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2010, 10:46:15 AM »

From my observation:

- Two schools of thought on the response of Amen during the Anaphora (remember, it's one long prayer from "It is proper and right" all the way through "And grant that with one voice and one heart...") seem to be, "it is a response for the deacons only, according to the rubrics," and "everyone should affirm the prayer with the Amen."

- As for the silent prayers, again the two schools of thought seem to be "they are supposed to be silent according to the rubrics" and "there is no reason other than the rubric to keep them silent."

- As for the doors, ISTM that the practice of opening/closing doors is more monastic & Slavic than Greek, which is likely why one doesn't see it in Greek-influenced parishes.  It is likely (this is a guess, mind you) a continuation of the same principle that led to solid icon screens (rather than separated icons or low screens) and silent prayers: if people don't respect the Liturgy, make it more mystical.  Beyond that, I don't know - I guess I'm just not exposed enough to the issue to comment further.

Thank you Father.  I have another question based on your response.  Is it permissible to ignore rubrics?

But the question remains, whose rubrics? When does a custom or practice become a rubric? We know that there are differences that have developed over the centuries and within national churches within Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2010, 12:57:04 PM »

From my observation:
....
- As for the silent prayers, again the two schools of thought seem to be "they are supposed to be silent according to the rubrics" and "there is no reason other than the rubric to keep them silent."
....
Can we explore this a bit further? I, too, have wondered about "silent" prayers. Does it mean literally "completely inaudible and unuttered, remaining only within the thought processes of the priest"; or more that it is the priest's personal prayer, which the people observe? If "silent" truly means so mystical that the people have no part whatsoever in the prayer, then why can we find them so easily in a Liturgy book? They might be silent to the ears, but not to the eyes. All of what I have just said is really a question, having put into writing how I'm trying to sort this out.
It means with low voice.
Back home that is how we did the liturgy. Out of the anaphora only the words preceding the Sanctus were said in a raising tone, and the words of institution as well. The epiklesis was inaudible bat we knew its time because it was marked by three, short clear rings of a handbell that gave the signal to the bell ringer in the belfry to ring the bells.
Nobody said any "Amen, amen, amen..."
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2010, 01:13:31 PM »

Nobody said any "Amen, amen, amen..."

I must admit that I am a bit disturbed by that part. This was also done at my parish when I was a Ruthenian Catholic, and I was disturbed--though I did not know why it disturbed me.
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2010, 02:50:15 PM »

It is not uniform within the Slavic churches to close the doors, particularly among those who came under the Eastern Catholic unions prior to the Nikonian period in Russia. I have heard two theories to explain this. One deals with the some of the Slavs being within the Patriarch of Constantinople's jurisdiction through the fall in 1453, thus the Greek influence, the other that the practice of closing the doors was abandoned as a Latin influence. I tend to doubt the Latinizing answer, as Father George points out the example of the Greek practice. I would be interested to learn about the Old-Rite practice on this issue.

The practice of closing the doors is also found in Old Believer practice. Here is a video of an Old Believer Liturgy in Russia and the doors are closed until the priest brings out communion. I've seen this done in every Russian church I've ever been to. I believe that the doors are closed at the consecration and then opened when communion is brought out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVpkDR-OxSw&feature=related
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2010, 03:01:54 PM »

It is not uniform within the Slavic churches to close the doors, particularly among those who came under the Eastern Catholic unions prior to the Nikonian period in Russia. I have heard two theories to explain this. One deals with the some of the Slavs being within the Patriarch of Constantinople's jurisdiction through the fall in 1453, thus the Greek influence, the other that the practice of closing the doors was abandoned as a Latin influence. I tend to doubt the Latinizing answer, as Father George points out the example of the Greek practice. I would be interested to learn about the Old-Rite practice on this issue.

The practice of closing the doors is also found in Old Believer practice. Here is a video of an Old Believer Liturgy in Russia and the doors are closed until the priest brings out communion. I've seen this done in every Russian church I've ever been to. I believe that the doors are closed at the consecration and then opened when communion is brought out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVpkDR-OxSw&feature=related

Thank you. As a side note, over the years I have found that there are certain tonal similarities between the chant of the Old Believers and the Rusyn plainchant. The anaphora tone used in this video echoes to some extent the chant used by the Rusyns in the anaphora for the Liturgy of St. Basil. Not exactly but enough to allow a musicologist to trace a common root.
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2010, 03:06:15 PM »

From my observation:
....
- As for the silent prayers, again the two schools of thought seem to be "they are supposed to be silent according to the rubrics" and "there is no reason other than the rubric to keep them silent."
....
Can we explore this a bit further? I, too, have wondered about "silent" prayers. Does it mean literally "completely inaudible and unuttered, remaining only within the thought processes of the priest"; or more that it is the priest's personal prayer, which the people observe? If "silent" truly means so mystical that the people have no part whatsoever in the prayer, then why can we find them so easily in a Liturgy book? They might be silent to the ears, but not to the eyes. All of what I have just said is really a question, having put into writing how I'm trying to sort this out.

I should have been more precise in my language; not "silent," but "generally inaudible" to those not in the Sanctuary.
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2010, 03:09:34 PM »

Thank you Father.  I have another question based on your response.  Is it permissible to ignore rubrics?

Eh, that's debatable.  We already do, by omitting certain litanies & prayers from the Liturgy; very few people actually do the entire Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom as it appears officially.  The fall-back position is simple, though, coming from the Church: do what your Bishop tells you to (or allows you to).
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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2010, 03:19:20 PM »

Eh, that's debatable.  We already do, by omitting certain litanies & prayers from the Liturgy; very few people actually do the entire Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom as it appears officially.  The fall-back position is simple, though, coming from the Church: do what your Bishop tells you to (or allows you to).

Understood.  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2010, 09:19:57 PM »

If we look to the Greek Liturgy of St. James the Epiclesis is aloud and the people respond Amen.  The same was once true of the other Byzantine Liturgies and is still true of the Syiac Orthodox Liturgies.  I think the logical conclusion is that the reason the rubric now specifies the deacon alone respond Amen is because he is the only one who can hear it since the Epiclesis is recited quietly.  If a hierarch allows the Epiclesis to be taken aloud the people should be given back the Amen that was originally theirs.
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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2010, 10:05:43 PM »

If we look to the Greek Liturgy of St. James the Epiclesis is aloud and the people respond Amen.  The same was once true of the other Byzantine Liturgies and is still true of the Syiac Orthodox Liturgies.  I think the logical conclusion is that the reason the rubric now specifies the deacon alone respond Amen is because he is the only one who can hear it since the Epiclesis is recited quietly.  If a hierarch allows the Epiclesis to be taken aloud the people should be given back the Amen that was originally theirs.
IIRC there are prohibitions about saying prayers silently in the Justinian Code (the Novels).

The Copts also say the Epiclesis and the responses out loud, led by the deacon.
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« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2010, 10:53:16 PM »

If we look to the Greek Liturgy of St. James the Epiclesis is aloud and the people respond Amen.  The same was once true of the other Byzantine Liturgies and is still true of the Syiac Orthodox Liturgies.  I think the logical conclusion is that the reason the rubric now specifies the deacon alone respond Amen is because he is the only one who can hear it since the Epiclesis is recited quietly.

That was my conclusion, also. 
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« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2010, 11:07:58 PM »

Nowadays, at my parish, at least, we've gone back to the older custom:  the priest recites the Epiclesis aloud, and the people respond.
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« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2010, 10:13:51 AM »

Nowadays, at my parish, at least, we've gone back to the older custom:  the priest recites the Epiclesis aloud, and the people respond.

So then the rubrics were changed?
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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2010, 10:59:08 AM »

Nowadays, at my parish, at least, we've gone back to the older custom:  the priest recites the Epiclesis aloud, and the people respond.

So then the rubrics were changed?

Not formally - more like "disregarded."  There are many clergy who read the Anaphora aloud & the people respond with the "Amen"s.  I know someone, somewhere will object, which is fine, but I do caution anyone who does not do the full Divine Liturgy with every litany, prayer, psalm, etc. against being too vehement in their objection.
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« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2010, 11:17:20 AM »

Not formally - more like "disregarded."  There are many clergy who read the Anaphora aloud & the people respond with the "Amen"s.  I know someone, somewhere will object, which is fine, but I do caution anyone who does not do the full Divine Liturgy with every litany, prayer, psalm, etc. against being too vehement in their objection.

Do the rubrics state that the full Divine Liturgy must be celebrated?

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« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2010, 12:07:50 PM »

Nowadays, at my parish, at least, we've gone back to the older custom:  the priest recites the Epiclesis aloud, and the people respond.
Because the practice has completely fallen out of the use of the various Orthodox churches, I believe that demands for its resuscitation can only come from an overeducated sort of parish. Just can't imagine the people back home-peasants, workers, for most part-coming up with such proposal.
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« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2010, 12:39:23 PM »

Nowadays, at my parish, at least, we've gone back to the older custom:  the priest recites the Epiclesis aloud, and the people respond.
Because the practice has completely fallen out of the use of the various Orthodox churches, I believe that demands for its resuscitation can only come from an overeducated sort of parish. Just can't imagine the people back home-peasants, workers, for most part-coming up with such proposal.
No, they probably would just become anticlerical.

Dreptslavitor?  I've never seen that before.
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« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2010, 01:11:47 PM »

they have been kind of anticlerical for as far as one can remember, but a peasant style form of anticlericalism that doesn't keep them from coming to church.
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« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2010, 05:21:28 PM »

In the both Parishes I attend those Prayers are said loudly and in one people respond 'Amen' and in another one they not.
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« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2010, 11:05:12 AM »

The earliest sources, from the fourth century, indicate that the anaphora was a central part of the liturgy.

But the advent of large cathedral churches -- especially ones with patriarchal and imperial retinues -- necessarily changed/shaped liturgical practices. According to St. Maximos the Confessor, the anaphora was recited "mystikos" (silently/quietly, i.e. not chanted aloud) during his time. Obviously, in a huge church like Hagia Sophia with thousands of clamoring bodies, simply reading something in the altar would not be audible to the hoi polloi. So, from at least the sixth century, the anaphora was "silent." The earliest "rubrics" we have, from the ninth century, also call for "silent" prayers. Eventually, this produced a whole theology of "mystery," complemented by a high iconostasis, closing the Beautiful Gates and extended chanting, so as to fill the silence. Such was the case in most locales for many centuries (except maybe in churches built by the Venetians). That's how they do it on Mt. Athos and every parish I've been to in Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria & Romania.  

With the advent of modern liturgical scholarship in the 50s and 60s, and the discovery of this history, some parishes have started to read everything aloud, for all to hear. In North America, SVS has been the main force behind the movement, which usually goes hand-and-hand with Schmemannite Eucharistic theology.
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« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2010, 12:46:40 PM »

The earliest sources, from the fourth century, indicate that the anaphora was a central part of the liturgy.

But the advent of large cathedral churches -- especially ones with patriarchal and imperial retinues -- necessarily changed/shaped liturgical practices. According to St. Maximos the Confessor, the anaphora was recited "mystikos" (silently/quietly, i.e. not chanted aloud) during his time. Obviously, in a huge church like Hagia Sophia with thousands of clamoring bodies, simply reading something in the altar would not be audible to the hoi polloi. So, from at least the sixth century, the anaphora was "silent." The earliest "rubrics" we have, from the ninth century, also call for "silent" prayers. Eventually, this produced a whole theology of "mystery," complemented by a high iconostasis, closing the Beautiful Gates and extended chanting, so as to fill the silence. Such was the case in most locales for many centuries (except maybe in churches built by the Venetians). That's how they do it on Mt. Athos and every parish I've been to in Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria & Romania.  

With the advent of modern liturgical scholarship in the 50s and 60s, and the discovery of this history, some parishes have started to read everything aloud, for all to hear. In North America, SVS has been the main force behind the movement, which usually goes hand-and-hand with Schmemannite Eucharistic theology.


This is pretty much what I was taught.  'Silent Prayers' are a mercy in some ways for the priest, who has to shout through most of the service to be heard in a large church.  Frankly, it is very hard to get through Orthros and Divine Liturgy (along with a reasonable sermon) at the top of one's voice.  Also, it isn't very aesthetical or calming to have an entire service shouted at the congregation.

To be honest, I don't think it helps people any more to do one or the other, as I have not seen much of a difference between congregations that do and those that don't.  They all struggle with the same problems with only slightly different symptoms.  One is proud of heritage, the other proud of correct knowledge.

I like having the Doors closed when I can so that my desperate attempts to get the attention of a mesmerized or drowsy alter boy aren't seen by the entire congregation so as to distract them from prayer.  For times when the Doors are open, I have employed the use of a laser pointer, which seems to be very effective in waking them from their semi-comas and directing them to the processional candles when needed.  Wink
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« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2010, 11:53:56 AM »

This is pretty much what I was taught.  'Silent Prayers' are a mercy in some ways for the priest, who has to shout through most of the service to be heard in a large church.  Frankly, it is very hard to get through Orthros and Divine Liturgy (along with a reasonable sermon) at the top of one's voice.  Also, it isn't very aesthetical or calming to have an entire service shouted at the congregation.

To be honest, I don't think it helps people any more to do one or the other, as I have not seen much of a difference between congregations that do and those that don't.  They all struggle with the same problems with only slightly different symptoms.  One is proud of heritage, the other proud of correct knowledge.

I like having the Doors closed when I can so that my desperate attempts to get the attention of a mesmerized or drowsy alter boy aren't seen by the entire congregation so as to distract them from prayer.  For times when the Doors are open, I have employed the use of a laser pointer, which seems to be very effective in waking them from their semi-comas and directing them to the processional candles when needed.  Wink

Bless Father,

Great post!  Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2010, 12:57:00 PM »

This is pretty much what I was taught.  'Silent Prayers' are a mercy in some ways for the priest, who has to shout through most of the service to be heard in a large church.  Frankly, it is very hard to get through Orthros and Divine Liturgy (along with a reasonable sermon) at the top of one's voice.  Also, it isn't very aesthetical or calming to have an entire service shouted at the congregation.

To be honest, I don't think it helps people any more to do one or the other, as I have not seen much of a difference between congregations that do and those that don't.  They all struggle with the same problems with only slightly different symptoms.  One is proud of heritage, the other proud of correct knowledge.

I like having the Doors closed when I can so that my desperate attempts to get the attention of a mesmerized or drowsy alter boy aren't seen by the entire congregation so as to distract them from prayer.  For times when the Doors are open, I have employed the use of a laser pointer, which seems to be very effective in waking them from their semi-comas and directing them to the processional candles when needed.  Wink

Bless Father,

Great post!  Smiley

God bless you!

I advise all those who argue for 'this' or 'that' to first look for evidence that something works, as in bears fruit.  Very often we get in silly arguments over things that have no real effect on us, but skip over important decisions that have dire consequences.

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« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2010, 02:09:13 PM »

God bless you!

I advise all those who argue for 'this' or 'that' to first look for evidence that something works, as in bears fruit.  Very often we get in silly arguments over things that have no real effect on us, but skip over important decisions that have dire consequences.

Yes!
How about this Father:  If prayers are being said aloud during Liturgy and you are disturbed---say the Jesus Prayer on your prayer rope. 

If prayers are being said quietly during Liturgy and you prefer that they are said aloud---say the Jesus Prayer on your prayer rope.  Grin
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« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2010, 02:58:56 PM »

God bless you!

I advise all those who argue for 'this' or 'that' to first look for evidence that something works, as in bears fruit.  Very often we get in silly arguments over things that have no real effect on us, but skip over important decisions that have dire consequences.

Yes!
How about this Father:  If prayers are being said aloud during Liturgy and you are disturbed---say the Jesus Prayer on your prayer rope. 

If prayers are being said quietly during Liturgy and you prefer that they are said aloud---say the Jesus Prayer on your prayer rope.  Grin

I was disciplined once for using a prayer rope during a service.  The priest told me, "When we pray, we pray together.  Use the Jesus Prayer outside of the services."

He was right.

When we come together, we pray together.

The only times I have used the Jesus Prayer in services is when I was attending services in a language I could not speak and had no understanding of what is going on.  Of course, major services I already know, and was able to 'fill in the blanks' from memory.  But, we must do our best to pray together when we are together.

So, if you are annoyed that prayers are silent or aloud, the key is to just get through it with the remembrance of how much you annoy other people.  Well, at least that's what I do.  Wink


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« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2010, 04:01:03 PM »

The priest told me, "When we pray, we pray together.  Use the Jesus Prayer outside of the services."

He was right.

When we come together, we pray together.
Oh my.  I do not feel that I am separating myself from the parish when I am moved to silently say the Jesus Prayer during the Divine Liturgy. 

Other priests have told me it is okay.

I think I will stick to that advice.

Thank you father.
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« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2010, 05:38:54 PM »

The priest told me, "When we pray, we pray together.  Use the Jesus Prayer outside of the services."

He was right.

When we come together, we pray together.
Oh my.  I do not feel that I am separating myself from the parish when I am moved to silently say the Jesus Prayer during the Divine Liturgy. 

Other priests have told me it is okay.

I think I will stick to that advice.

Thank you father.



I'm sure you will do what you want.  Only remember that we can 'feel' really good about bad things, too.  Otherwise, there would be a lot less sin in the world.  I hazard to guess that about half the sins we commit give us good feelings.  I can feel like I am 'blessing' another when in fact he feels like I am 'cursing' him.  Ever been stuck on a bus or an airplane with an overly-friendly passenger who can't stop talking (wait, that describes me!  Cheesy )?

Anyway, since your signature identifies you as an Antiochian, I would also warn you to never, ever have your prayer rope out in front of Metropolitan Philip.  He has also admonished people for prayer ropes during services.  I'm sure your priest, if he is Antiochian, would never openly counsel you to disobey your Metropolitan.  So, if you are Antiochian, you may want to ponder what I am saying a bit more.  It is a little more than just my personal opinion, but an instruction I have received, one that was echoed in seminary (it may still be against policy to use a prayer rope during services at Three Hierarch's Chapel at St. Vladimir's, but it has been a while since I was there as a student) and by others in authority.

If you are saying a different prayer from what others are praying, then you are separating yourself and having your own service.  Like I said, there are times when the service is totally inaccessible, and so it is better to pray on your own than to let your mind wander.  There are silent periods when no prayers are going on, and it is fine to pray on your own.  Not when the service is on.


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« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2010, 08:03:36 PM »

The priest told me, "When we pray, we pray together.  Use the Jesus Prayer outside of the services."

He was right.

When we come together, we pray together.
Oh my.  I do not feel that I am separating myself from the parish when I am moved to silently say the Jesus Prayer during the Divine Liturgy. 

Other priests have told me it is okay.

I think I will stick to that advice.

Thank you father.



I'm sure you will do what you want.  Only remember that we can 'feel' really good about bad things, too.  Otherwise, there would be a lot less sin in the world.  I hazard to guess that about half the sins we commit give us good feelings.  I can feel like I am 'blessing' another when in fact he feels like I am 'cursing' him.  Ever been stuck on a bus or an airplane with an overly-friendly passenger who can't stop talking (wait, that describes me!  Cheesy )?

Anyway, since your signature identifies you as an Antiochian, I would also warn you to never, ever have your prayer rope out in front of Metropolitan Philip.  He has also admonished people for prayer ropes during services.  I'm sure your priest, if he is Antiochian, would never openly counsel you to disobey your Metropolitan.  So, if you are Antiochian, you may want to ponder what I am saying a bit more.  It is a little more than just my personal opinion, but an instruction I have received, one that was echoed in seminary (it may still be against policy to use a prayer rope during services at Three Hierarch's Chapel at St. Vladimir's, but it has been a while since I was there as a student) and by others in authority.

If you are saying a different prayer from what others are praying, then you are separating yourself and having your own service.  Like I said, there are times when the service is totally inaccessible, and so it is better to pray on your own than to let your mind wander.  There are silent periods when no prayers are going on, and it is fine to pray on your own.  Not when the service is on.




Sorry Father excuse my ignorance but isn't it possible to pray the Jesus prayer and participate in the Liturgy?
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« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2010, 08:17:14 PM »

Quote
  He has also admonished people for prayer ropes during services
.
Rightly so. They look funny when worn by laymen  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2010, 09:22:42 PM »

The Jordanville Prayer book also admonishes people not to pray their own prayers during the Liturgy.

Quote
Then, having bowed to the right and the left, one stands in one's place and listens to the psalms and prayers read in church, but one does not say to oneself other prayers of one's own choosing nor read them according to books different from the church chanting, for such things the holy Apostle Paul condemns as having forsaken the assembly of the Church. (Hebrews 10:25)

Source: p. 388 of The Jordanville Prayerbook, Fourth Edition

The Liturgy is a work of the people. We aren't to be going off on our tangentel prayers, but to be active participants in the service going on around us.
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« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2010, 10:00:51 PM »

The Jordanville Prayer book also admonishes people not to pray their own prayers during the Liturgy.

Quote
Then, having bowed to the right and the left, one stands in one's place and listens to the psalms and prayers read in church, but one does not say to oneself other prayers of one's own choosing nor read them according to books different from the church chanting, for such things the holy Apostle Paul condemns as having forsaken the assembly of the Church. (Hebrews 10:25)

Source: p. 388 of The Jordanville Prayerbook, Fourth Edition

The Liturgy is a work of the people. We aren't to be going off on our tangentel prayers, but to be active participants in the service going on around us.



You get the Gold Star!  I was trying to remember that reference, thank you so much.

We need to pray together when we come together, otherwise the service becomes self-oriented and is no different than when we are alone.

I suppose when you have Metropolitan Philip and ROCOR in agreement on something... Smiley

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« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2010, 12:49:45 AM »

 i have vested bishops archbishops and metropolitans.  i can not remember one who did not remove his prayer rope prior to the vesting before liturgy.  it is a sign that he is there to pray communally.  prayer ropes are for private prayer...liturgy..vespers..matins..are public and communal prayer services..a time when we collectively pray together.  that is why you dont wear a prayer ropr during liturgy...the same reason the bishop takes his prayer rope off before liturgy.
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« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2010, 02:49:45 AM »

i have vested bishops archbishops and metropolitans.  i can not remember one who did not remove his prayer rope prior to the vesting before liturgy.  it is a sign that he is there to pray communally.  prayer ropes are for private prayer...liturgy..vespers..matins..are public and communal prayer services..a time when we collectively pray together.  that is why you dont wear a prayer ropr during liturgy...the same reason the bishop takes his prayer rope off before liturgy.

This is very true but don't forget the practical reason, it is very hard to served liturgy with a prayer wrapped around your hand. Why does the bishop not remove it while he is attending the service?
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« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2010, 09:00:20 AM »

Two different priests at my parish, have closed the Beautiful Gates during the preparation of Holy Communion only, then open them when the Communion is distributed.  When the bishop celebrates, the Beautiful Gates were opened when he entered the Sanctuary, after taking Kairos, when he entered to cense during the Doxology, but I do not recall when they had earlier been closed.

I recall that the choir or chanters remaining silent while the priest recited the prayers of the Consecretion, is somewhat of a controversy in Greece, a development of the past 50 years or so?  I chant the "We Praise Thee..." hymn, and the lead chanter (an older man-Greek immigrant) is always pressing me to start while I am waiting for the 3 Amens.

Finally, just my thought, I'm not a linguist, and don't even read Greek.  However, while I know that "mysticos" is translated as "silently," could it also be that those prayers that are not chanted, were to be read "mystically?"  Mystically is not "silently."  In the Cherubic Hymn, "mysticos" is translated as "mystically."

One more thing, weren't the Royal Doors actually the doors to the Nave from the Narthex?
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« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2010, 09:24:38 AM »

I'm sure you will do what you want.  

No Father. It is an obedience.  It is not good to assume that I am acting on my own as some sort of rebellion--you do not know me.

The Jesus Prayer can become a part of a person's prayer rule (to pray ceaselessly) even while they sleep.

If my conscience is pricked because rubrics are not being followed, instead of focusing on the neglect of the rubric, or what other people may be doing at a specific point of the Liturgy, I am going to say the Jesus Prayer and focus on my sinfulness and unworthiness (for that brief moment).  If one day, Met. Philip happens to be at my parish and admonishes me--so be it.

Nevertheless, I appreciate your input.  Forgive this sinner.

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« Reply #40 on: February 04, 2010, 09:38:05 AM »

The Liturgy is a work of the people. We aren't to be going off on our tangentel prayers, but to be active participants in the service going on around us.

Amen.

Is this saying that the Jesus Prayer is "a tangential prayer"?  Does Jordanville say anything else?  I was there in October and I believe I recall seeing the prayer rope on the monks. Also, do the Jordanville monks keep the Royal Doors open all the time?  Do they say the quiet prayers aloud? Do the people say the Amens during the anaphora?  Since you are sourcing Jordanville-----what does Jordanville have to say about these things?
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« Reply #41 on: February 04, 2010, 09:59:51 AM »

Also, do the Jordanville monks keep the Royal Doors open all the time?

No.

 Do they say the quiet prayers aloud?

No.

Do the people say the Amens during the anaphora?

No.
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« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2010, 10:03:03 AM »


No.


No.


No.



I did not think so.  Wink
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« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2010, 10:21:57 AM »

A question about saying the “the Priest's Silent Prayers in the Divine Liturgy”.

  • Do most parishes that say them out loud also skip the “Litany of the Catechumens”?

I ask this because the parishes around me that say them out loud skip this litany.

  • Is this done to save time?
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« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2010, 10:22:23 AM »

Finally, just my thought, I'm not a linguist, and don't even read Greek.  However, while I know that "mysticos" is translated as "silently," could it also be that those prayers that are not chanted, were to be read "mystically?"

The most accurate literal translation for mystikos in this context is probably "private" or "secret." That's how the word is used in the LXX. However, in the rubrics, something read mystikos is the opposite of an ekphonesis (something exclaimed aloud). That's why mystikos is often translated as "silently" (although secretly is also a reasonable opposite of something exclaimed aloud). All translation is contextual. What mystikos means in rubrics is different from what it means in hymns, or some other genre.

One more thing, weren't the Royal Doors actually the doors to the Nave from the Narthex?

Yeah. They were the doors for the Emperor. In Greek, the gates into the altar are always called the "Beautiful Gates." However, in Slavonic, they've been calling them "Royal Doors" for at least a couple of centuries.
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