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Author Topic: Evening Presanctified newly introduced in Russia  (Read 3141 times) Average Rating: 0
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Irish Hermit
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« on: March 25, 2010, 09:40:37 PM »

Evening Presanctified newly introduced in Russia

 U-tube video in Russian
 http://otez-dimitriy.livejournal.com/417490.html

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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2010, 09:58:38 PM »

The chants of our various traditions that are unique to the Presanctified Liturgy are among the most moving and beautiful. Here is a link to a video from the Carpatho-Rusyn heritage on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/dmd53?feature=mhw4#p/u/65/BoZK3D-3FAY Perhaps others can share some video from their tradition as we enter the Holy Week.
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Irish Hermit
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2010, 10:05:03 PM »

I have  never served a Presanctified in the evening.  It just was never done when I was young and it still feels 'wrong' somehow.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2010, 11:05:45 PM »

I have  never served a Presanctified in the evening.  It just was never done when I was young and it still feels 'wrong' somehow.
And yet it's a Vespers service.  To my mind, there's just something wrong with reading Vespers at 9:00 in the morning.
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2010, 11:15:41 PM »

I have  never served a Presanctified in the evening.  It just was never done when I was young and it still feels 'wrong' somehow.
And yet it's a Vespers service.  To my mind, there's just something wrong with reading Vespers at 9:00 in the morning.

What about a (Bridegroom) Matins at 7:00 in the evening?
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2010, 11:23:29 PM »

I have  never served a Presanctified in the evening.  It just was never done when I was young and it still feels 'wrong' somehow.
And yet it's a Vespers service.  To my mind, there's just something wrong with reading Vespers at 9:00 in the morning.

What about a (Bridegroom) Matins at 7:00 in the evening?
That's actually somewhat more consistent with the Slavic practice that I know:  read Matins at night and call it a vigil.

The other problem I have with a morning Presanctified Liturgy is that it doesn't do much to reinforce the Church's call that we fast during Lent.  Sure, Lent still encourages one to fast even after having received Communion, but with an evening Presanctified Liturgy, preparation to receive the Holy Presanctified Mysteries gives us an added reason to fast throughout the day.
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2010, 11:52:51 PM »

I have  never served a Presanctified in the evening.  It just was never done when I was young and it still feels 'wrong' somehow.
And yet it's a Vespers service.  To my mind, there's just something wrong with reading Vespers at 9:00 in the morning.

Right throughout the Great Fast Vespers is served in the mornings on all weekdays. 

Those who have begun recently (in America) to serve Lenten Vespers in the evenings are overturning hundreds of years of liturgical tradition.   Don't ask me how many hundreds since this is one of those Orthodox "mysteries."   Scholars have still not determined in what century the order of services was stood upside down during the Great Fast.

It is Great Compline which becomes the evening Service for Great Lent.
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 11:58:49 PM »

I just go when the doors are open and I'm not working.  Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2010, 12:14:19 AM »

I have  never served a Presanctified in the evening.  It just was never done when I was young and it still feels 'wrong' somehow.
And yet it's a Vespers service.  To my mind, there's just something wrong with reading Vespers at 9:00 in the morning.

Right throughout the Great Fast Vespers is served in the mornings on all weekdays.  

Those who have begun recently (in America) to serve Lenten Vespers in the evenings are overturning hundreds of years of liturgical tradition.
But how does "hundreds of years" of liturgical tradition justify reading an evening service to the morning and then calling the desire to move it back to the evening an "innovation"?  Like a few other things I've seen you defend here, hundreds of years of practice does not justify an abuse.  (Not that I think a morning Presanctified Liturgy a liturgical abuse, even if I do think it a bit odd...  Just criticizing your logic that hundreds of years of traditional practice justifies anything, even if it is an abuse...)

Don't ask me how many hundreds since this is one of those Orthodox "mysteries."   Scholars have still not determined in what century the order of services was stood upside down during the Great Fast.
So you admit that the original practice was to serve the Presanctified Liturgy in the evening.  Why justify the innovation of moving it to the morning?
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2010, 12:53:25 AM »

I have  never served a Presanctified in the evening.  It just was never done when I was young and it still feels 'wrong' somehow.
And yet it's a Vespers service.  To my mind, there's just something wrong with reading Vespers at 9:00 in the morning.

Right throughout the Great Fast Vespers is served in the mornings on all weekdays.  

Those who have begun recently (in America) to serve Lenten Vespers in the evenings are overturning hundreds of years of liturgical tradition.
But how does "hundreds of years" of liturgical tradition justify reading an evening service to the morning and then calling the desire to move it back to the evening an "innovation"?  Like a few other things I've seen you defend here, hundreds of years of practice does not justify an abuse.  (Not that I think a morning Presanctified Liturgy a liturgical abuse, even if I do think it a bit odd...  Just criticizing your logic that hundreds of years of traditional practice justifies anything, even if it is an abuse...)

Don't ask me how many hundreds since this is one of those Orthodox "mysteries."   Scholars have still not determined in what century the order of services was stood upside down during the Great Fast.
So you admit that the original practice was to serve the Presanctified Liturgy in the evening.  Why justify the innovation of moving it to the morning?

Was not the Presanctified Liturgy in the evening something fostered by Fr Alexander Schmemann?   They were unheard of in the Orthodox Church. Gradually other American Churches began to adopt this new way of doing things.   As we see from this thread, a Presanctificed Liturgy has now been served in the evening in Russia.  It may be an experiment to see how it is received by the faithful?

I was educated in Orthodoxy in the wilds of Serbia (holy Zica to be more precise) and no Liturgy could possibly commence after noon.   Therefore all monasteries and parishes serving the Presanctified had to serve it in the morning, as was right since during the Fast on weekdays Vespers takes place in the mornings anyway.
 
I think we were vaguely aware that people such as the Antiochians in America were serving evening Presanctifieds but we saw that as a bit of a liturgical aberration.

There is the fact that in order to start up with evening Presanctifieds the clergy writing on the ROCA clergy list feel the necessity to get a blessing from their bishop. They know it is a break with liturgical tradition.  They also had to seek guidance about how to manage the pre-communuion fast - another indication that it was an innovation which lacked earlier guidelines. 
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2010, 12:58:00 AM »

[Don't ask me how many hundreds since this is one of those Orthodox "mysteries."   Scholars have still not determined in what century the order of services was stood upside down during the Great Fast.
So you admit that the original practice was to serve the Presanctified Liturgy in the evening.  Why justify the innovation of moving it to the morning?

I have just said, "Don't ask me..." and you go ahead and say, "But you admit..."   laugh

Morning Liturgies could themselves be counted as innovations, since the original Liturgy and the examplar for all others took place at an evening meal, by the choice of the Lord. 
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2010, 01:06:23 AM »

I have  never served a Presanctified in the evening.  It just was never done when I was young and it still feels 'wrong' somehow.
That's true, father. We had the Presanctified at 8 or 8:30 in the morning, back home. I imagine this must be Schmemann's doing.
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2010, 01:09:57 AM »

I can recall elderly Greeks telling me many years ago that, in their home villages, the Presanctified Liturgy was an evening service, yet in the larger cities and towns, to their discomfort, it had been shifted to the morning. I doubt it that these village priests or parishioners had heard of Fr Alexander Schmemann.
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2010, 01:15:50 AM »

I can recall elderly Greeks telling me many years ago that, in their home villages, the Presanctified Liturgy was an evening service, yet in the larger cities and towns, to their discomfort, it had been shifted to the morning. I doubt it that these village priests or parishioners had heard of Fr Alexander Schmemann.

How did these elderly Greeks cope with the discomfort of morning Liturgies for the 316 other days of the year, outside the period of the Great Fast?   Huh
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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2010, 01:16:48 AM »

I can recall elderly Greeks telling me many years ago that, in their home villages, the Presanctified Liturgy was an evening service, yet in the larger cities and towns, to their discomfort, it had been shifted to the morning. I doubt it that these village priests or parishioners had heard of Fr Alexander Schmemann.
Neither have our priests, thank God.
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2010, 01:25:16 AM »

.....Like a few other things I've seen you defend here, hundreds of years of practice does not justify an abuse.

......Just criticizing your logic that hundreds of years of traditional practice justifies anything, even if it is an abuse

Let me be absolutely clear in saying that I have never said that an abuse may be justified because it can point to hundreds of years of practice.  An abuse is just that... an abuse, and it ought to be righted and not defended.

What specific abuses do you have in mind?  



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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2010, 01:35:03 AM »

.....Like a few other things I've seen you defend here, hundreds of years of practice does not justify an abuse.

......Just criticizing your logic that hundreds of years of traditional practice justifies anything, even if it is an abuse

Let me be absolutely clear in saying that I have never said that an abuse may be justified because it can point to hundreds of years of practice.  An abuse is just that... an abuse, and it ought to be righted and not defended.

What specific abuses do you have in mind?
I would rather not derail this thread.
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2010, 01:36:36 AM »

I can recall elderly Greeks telling me many years ago that, in their home villages, the Presanctified Liturgy was an evening service, yet in the larger cities and towns, to their discomfort, it had been shifted to the morning. I doubt it that these village priests or parishioners had heard of Fr Alexander Schmemann.

How did these elderly Greeks cope with the discomfort of morning Liturgies for the 316 other days of the year, outside the period of the Great Fast?   Huh
Is a Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts somehow the same thing as the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom?
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2010, 01:49:15 AM »

I can recall elderly Greeks telling me many years ago that, in their home villages, the Presanctified Liturgy was an evening service, yet in the larger cities and towns, to their discomfort, it had been shifted to the morning. I doubt it that these village priests or parishioners had heard of Fr Alexander Schmemann.
Neither have our priests, thank God.

I am not familiar with him or his writings. May I ask why some people have such a negative view of him? Was he some sort of liturgical revisionist?
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« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2010, 02:02:55 AM »

I am not familiar with him or his writings. May I ask why some people have such a negative view of him? Was he some sort of liturgical revisionist?

A critique of Fr Schmemann's liturgical theology from a Russian theologian Fr Michael Pomazamsky

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/pom_lit.aspx
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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2010, 02:06:16 AM »

I am not familiar with him or his writings. May I ask why some people have such a negative view of him? Was he some sort of liturgical revisionist?

A critique of Fr Schmemann's liturgical theology from a Russian theologian Fr Michael Pomazamsky

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/pom_lit.aspx
But I would also recommend that one not just take one side of this debate as gospel truth without first reading a defense from the other side. Wink
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« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2010, 02:18:01 AM »

I am not familiar with him or his writings. May I ask why some people have such a negative view of him? Was he some sort of liturgical revisionist?

A critique of Fr Schmemann's liturgical theology from a Russian theologian Fr Michael Pomazamsky

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/pom_lit.aspx
But I would also recommend that one not just take one side of this debate as gospel truth without first reading a defense from the other side. Wink

I believe that someone did make a response to Pomazansky's critique.  I imagine that members of the OCA could point us in its direction.
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« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2010, 03:04:50 AM »

I am not familiar with him or his writings. May I ask why some people have such a negative view of him? Was he some sort of liturgical revisionist?

A critique of Fr Schmemann's liturgical theology from a Russian theologian Fr Michael Pomazamsky

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/pom_lit.aspx
But I would also recommend that one not just take one side of this debate as gospel truth without first reading a defense from the other side. Wink

I believe that someone did make a response to Pomazansky's critique.  I imagine that members of the OCA could point us in its direction.
I'd rather not, since it seems to me you're merely attaching the move toward evening Presanctified Liturgies to Fr. Schmemann in an attempt to discredit the idea.  I'd rather discuss the move on its own liturgical merits, just as LBK tried to do, without making reference to Fr. Schmemann.
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« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2010, 03:13:22 AM »

I am not familiar with him or his writings. May I ask why some people have such a negative view of him? Was he some sort of liturgical revisionist?

A critique of Fr Schmemann's liturgical theology from a Russian theologian Fr Michael Pomazamsky

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/pom_lit.aspx
But I would also recommend that one not just take one side of this debate as gospel truth without first reading a defense from the other side. Wink

I believe that someone did make a response to Pomazansky's critique.  I imagine that members of the OCA could point us in its direction.
I'd rather not, since it seems to me you're merely attaching the move toward evening Presanctified Liturgies to Fr. Schmemann in an attempt to discredit the idea.

I assure you that you have entirely misunderstood my intention.  You recommended that people should read more positive critiques of Schmemann than Pomazansky (which I supplied specifically in answer Alveus' question) and I simply, in fairness and balance, brought it to the attention of those reading this thread that I believe such a response to Pomazansky exists.
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« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2010, 03:19:18 AM »


I'd rather not, since it seems to me you're merely attaching the move toward evening Presanctified Liturgies to Fr. Schmemann in an attempt to discredit the idea. 

By the way, I ought to mention that the thought that it was Fr Schmemann's influence which brought evening Presanctifieds about is not mine.  It is attested by priests on two clergy lists - one with a membership of all canonical clergy in the States and the other one devoted primarily to Russian Church Abroad clergy.  I myself do not have enough knowledge of Fr Schmemann's influence in the States to make such a definitive assesment.
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« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2010, 03:33:05 AM »

I am not familiar with him or his writings. May I ask why some people have such a negative view of him? Was he some sort of liturgical revisionist?

A critique of Fr Schmemann's liturgical theology from a Russian theologian Fr Michael Pomazamsky

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/pom_lit.aspx
But I would also recommend that one not just take one side of this debate as gospel truth without first reading a defense from the other side. Wink

I believe that someone did make a response to Pomazansky's critique.  I imagine that members of the OCA could point us in its direction.
I'd rather not, since it seems to me you're merely attaching the move toward evening Presanctified Liturgies to Fr. Schmemann in an attempt to discredit the idea.

I assure you that you have entirely misunderstood my intention.  You recommended that people should read more positive critiques of Schmemann than Pomazansky (which I supplied specifically in answer Alveus' question) and I simply, in fairness and balance, brought it to the attention of those reading this thread that I believe such a response to Pomazansky exists.
Actually, this paragraph focuses on something I really don't care about.  I'm hearkening back to the post where you first mention Fr. Schmemann:  Reply #9.
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« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2010, 03:35:55 AM »


I'd rather not, since it seems to me you're merely attaching the move toward evening Presanctified Liturgies to Fr. Schmemann in an attempt to discredit the idea.  

By the way, I ought to mention that the thought that it was Fr Schmemann's influence which brought evening Presanctifieds about is not mine.  It is attested by priests on two clergy lists - one with a membership of all canonical clergy in the States and the other one devoted primarily to Russian Church Abroad clergy.  I myself do not have enough knowledge of Fr Schmemann's influence in the States to make such a definitive assesment.
I really don't care about what those other clergy said.  YOU are the one who introduced their thoughts to this thread.  Therefore, I'm talking to YOU, not them.
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« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2010, 03:42:28 AM »

I am not familiar with him or his writings. May I ask why some people have such a negative view of him? Was he some sort of liturgical revisionist?

A critique of Fr Schmemann's liturgical theology from a Russian theologian Fr Michael Pomazamsky

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/pom_lit.aspx
But I would also recommend that one not just take one side of this debate as gospel truth without first reading a defense from the other side. Wink

I believe that someone did make a response to Pomazansky's critique.  I imagine that members of the OCA could point us in its direction.
I'd rather not, since it seems to me you're merely attaching the move toward evening Presanctified Liturgies to Fr. Schmemann in an attempt to discredit the idea.

I assure you that you have entirely misunderstood my intention.  You recommended that people should read more positive critiques of Schmemann than Pomazansky (which I supplied specifically in answer Alveus' question) and I simply, in fairness and balance, brought it to the attention of those reading this thread that I believe such a response to Pomazansky exists.
Actually, this paragraph focuses on something I really don't care about.  I'm hearkening back to the post where you first mention Fr. Schmemann:  Reply #9.

Could you be more specific, please.

However it may be better if you and I avoid discussion about Fr Schmemann.  I see that you wrote to me, "I'd rather discuss the move on its own liturgical merits, just as LBK tried to do, without making reference to Fr. Schmemann."  I am happy to oblige you and observe this reticence in discussion with you if you prefer.
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« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2010, 03:50:18 AM »


I'd rather not, since it seems to me you're merely attaching the move toward evening Presanctified Liturgies to Fr. Schmemann in an attempt to discredit the idea.  

By the way, I ought to mention that the thought that it was Fr Schmemann's influence which brought evening Presanctifieds about is not mine.  It is attested by priests on two clergy lists - one with a membership of all canonical clergy in the States and the other one devoted primarily to Russian Church Abroad clergy.  I myself do not have enough knowledge of Fr Schmemann's influence in the States to make such a definitive assesment.
I really don't care about what those other clergy said.  YOU are the one who introduced their thoughts to this thread.  Therefore, I'm talking to YOU, not them.

The rules on both lists prevent relaying specific messages and clergy names.... so all I can do is make general observations.

May I enquire in what years the OCA introduced evening Presanctifieds?  By a synodal decision?  or by individual bishops?   Is it now a uniform  practice in all OCA dioceses?  What information is available on that?
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« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2010, 08:08:27 AM »

What amazes me is that Fr. Alexander had such an influence on the Greek church around the world.  Grin

Also if evening Pre-sanctified is what Fr. Alexander prescribes then why does his seminary celebrate it in the early afternoon? It would seem that neither the morning nor the evening is really the correct time but rather in the afternoon, at the prescribed time for vespers.

Serving the Pre-sanctified in the evening is a pastoral concern to allow the most people possible to participate because of the average work schedule.
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« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2010, 10:30:59 AM »

What amazes me is that Fr. Alexander had such an influence on the Greek church around the world.  Grin

In the last 20 years, a lot of Greeks have read translated editions of his stuff, especially For the Life of the World. But I think ascribing (newer) liturgical practices in Greece to Schmemann is probably just post hoc ergo propter hoc.

The Kollyvades were advocating many such things for generations, as was ZOE. And well before Schmemann there was similar stuff being written in French and German by the Roman Catholic scholars, all of it being read independently by the Greek theologians of the early to mid 20th century (incidentally, that's where Schmemann got a lot of his ideas, anyway). And, then, there were the much more popular figures of Fondoulis and Zizioulas, both of whom literally taught generations of Greek priests.
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« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2010, 10:48:20 AM »

I am not familiar with him or his writings. May I ask why some people have such a negative view of him? Was he some sort of liturgical revisionist?

A critique of Fr Schmemann's liturgical theology from a Russian theologian Fr Michael Pomazamsky

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/pom_lit.aspx

Dear Father Ambrose--it may be misleading to ordinary folks to refer to a technical work on theology by Father Alexander of blessed memory. I would have cited For the Life of the World instead as his much more influential and widely known work. BTW, they were both Russian theologians, no?

Alveus--Father Alexander is indeed controversial. His influence is considerable on the many priests trained at Saint Vladimir's (OCA and Antiochian). He is credited by many for the liturgical renaissance in North America, particularly in the areas of frequent communion, understanding of confession as the Mystery of Reconciliation, insistence on participation of laity in the worship of the Church, etc.  On the other hand, he has rubbed traditionalists the wrong way--as shown in the critique by Father Pomazamsky--by insisting that theologians cannot simply accept what is without any other yardstick other than a "this is what was passed on to us, therefore it is Holy Tradition, therefore it was guided and shaped by the Holy Spirit" type of circular argument.

In any case, to me Father Alexander's life and works are exemplary.ne can check him out further at the following sources.

- Orthodox Wiki entry as an introduction: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Alexander_Schmemann

- A site dedicated to Father Alexander at http://www.schmemann.org/

- Books by Father Alexander are widely available from amny sources. They include:
    * Great Lent: Journey to Pascha (1969)
    * For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy (1970)
    * Liturgy and Life: Christian Development Through Liturgical Experience (1974)
    * Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism (1974)
    * Introduction to Liturgical Theology (1975)
    * The Historical Road of Eastern Othodoxy (1977)
    * Ultimate Questions: An Anthology of Modern Russian Religious Thought (1977)
    * Church, World, Mission: Reflections on Orthodoxy in the West (1979)
    * The Eucharist: Sacrament of the Kingdom (1988)
    * Celebration of Faith: I Believe... (1991)
    * Celebration of Faith: The Church Year (1994)
    * Celebration of Faith: The Virgin Mary (1995)
    * The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann 1973-1983 (2000)

NOTE: Of those books that I have read, I highly recommend those that I highlighted in bold.
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« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2010, 11:16:49 AM »

Went looking for some of Schmemann's stuff on the Presanctified, and found something he published in St Vladimir's Seminary Quarterly in 1957. It's actually a review of THE LITURGY OF THE PRESANCTIFIED, by D. N. Moraitis, Thessalonica, 1955, 126 pp. (in Greek) (another example of how scholarship had already been uncovering the ancient sources well before Schmemann). Anyway, this paragraph by Schmemann stood out:

The second problem related to the Liturgy of the Presanctified is usually considered as a secondary matter of "rubrics" and therefore completely neglected. It is the vesperal character of this service, made even more evident in the book of Professor Moraitis. The rubrics prescribe to celebrate the Liturgy of the Presanctified after Vespers. The peculiar way of combining this rubric with the largely spread conviction that any communion service is by necessity a morning service consists in serving vespers—when it is followed by the Presanctified—in the morning! Yet a "theological" study of rubrics shows very clearly that the question of the time of any given service —of its "kairos"—is not something unimportant. I have dealt with this question in my article "Fast and Liturgy" (cf. above) and cannot repeat all its argumentation here. Let me just simply state that the vesperal character of the Presanctified Liturgy has precisely a spiritual meaning. The Church expects us on these days of strict fasting to live our daily life in expectation of and in waiting for the communion, to make life itself with all its problems, worries and occupations a fast—i.e., a preparation for the Bridegroom, filling it with the light of—His Coming. Thus the fast is given its true meaning and the "daily life" its Christian depth, sanction and responsibility. One can but hope that these "rubrics" will be restored someday, restoring to us their full spiritual value.
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« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2010, 11:18:10 AM »

Certainly the liturgical resurgence and the area of frequent communion, understanding of the confession as the Mystery of Reconciliation and increased participation by the laity in the worship were not limited to those priests trained at St. Vladimir's. During the same period the OCA witnessed these changes they also had a great positive influence on the spiritual life of ACROD and others as the clergy were influenced by the teachings of Fr. Alexander.
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« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2010, 12:06:31 PM »

I can recall elderly Greeks telling me many years ago that, in their home villages, the Presanctified Liturgy was an evening service, yet in the larger cities and towns, to their discomfort, it had been shifted to the morning. I doubt it that these village priests or parishioners had heard of Fr Alexander Schmemann.

How did these elderly Greeks cope with the discomfort of morning Liturgies for the 316 other days of the year, outside the period of the Great Fast?   Huh

Non-sequitur. Their comment was that doing the Presanctified Liturgy in the morning made them uncomfortable, and it seems a bit disingenuous to me, Father, to make a flippant comment about other Liturgies being in the morning in the context of an expressed concern about moving one particular (and it is quite particular) Liturgy (that is specifically attached to an evening service) to the morning.
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« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2010, 12:08:53 PM »

I have  never served a Presanctified in the evening.  It just was never done when I was young and it still feels 'wrong' somehow.
And yet it's a Vespers service.  To my mind, there's just something wrong with reading Vespers at 9:00 in the morning.

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« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2010, 03:02:16 PM »

Went looking for some of Schmemann's stuff on the Presanctified, and found something he published in St Vladimir's Seminary Quarterly in 1957. It's actually a review of THE LITURGY OF THE PRESANCTIFIED, by D. N. Moraitis, Thessalonica, 1955, 126 pp. (in Greek) (another example of how scholarship had already been uncovering the ancient sources well before Schmemann). Anyway, this paragraph by Schmemann stood out:

The second problem related to the Liturgy of the Presanctified is usually considered as a secondary matter of "rubrics" and therefore completely neglected. It is the vesperal character of this service, made even more evident in the book of Professor Moraitis. The rubrics prescribe to celebrate the Liturgy of the Presanctified after Vespers. The peculiar way of combining this rubric with the largely spread conviction that any communion service is by necessity a morning service consists in serving vespers—when it is followed by the Presanctified—in the morning! Yet a "theological" study of rubrics shows very clearly that the question of the time of any given service —of its "kairos"—is not something unimportant. I have dealt with this question in my article "Fast and Liturgy" (cf. above) and cannot repeat all its argumentation here. Let me just simply state that the vesperal character of the Presanctified Liturgy has precisely a spiritual meaning. The Church expects us on these days of strict fasting to live our daily life in expectation of and in waiting for the communion, to make life itself with all its problems, worries and occupations a fast—i.e., a preparation for the Bridegroom, filling it with the light of—His Coming. Thus the fast is given its true meaning and the "daily life" its Christian depth, sanction and responsibility. One can but hope that these "rubrics" will be restored someday, restoring to us their full spiritual value.
This is actually quite close to what I was thinking (in my much less academic way) since I last posted on this thread.  Are we to merely accept an arbitrary decision to read an evening service in the morning because that's the tradition we've inherited from our forebears, even if such an arbitrary decision is inconsistent with the spirit and ethos of the service itself?  (I guess that would also express well a concern I have with something arimethea posted earlier on this thread about the practice of serving Vespers in the early afternoon rather than in the evening.)  Or should we rather look to the spirit and ethos of the Vespers service as this is expressed in its hymnography and let this define how and when we read the service?

For instance, the Lamplighting Hymn, the hymn par excellence of Vespers and one of the oldest hymns still sung in the Church today, with some historians dating it back to as early as the 2nd century:

O Gladsome Light of the holy glory of the immortal Father, heavenly, holy, blessed:  Jesus Christ!
Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening,
We praise God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
For right it is at all times to worship You with voices of praise,
O Son of God and Giver of Life:
Therefore all the world glorifies You.

(emphasis mine)

If this, the hymn that defines Vespers, assumes that those who sing it, sing it in the evening around sunset, don't we do the hymn a great injustice by moving it and the service around it to the morning, after sunrise, when its reference to evening and the setting of the sun makes no sense?  I think also that the ancient dating of this hymn is ample evidence to show that the earliest liturgical practice was to read Vespers in the evening.
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« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2010, 04:38:36 PM »

(I guess that would also express well a concern I have with something arimethea posted earlier on this thread about the practice of serving Vespers in the early afternoon rather than in the evening.)  Or should we rather look to the spirit and ethos of the Vespers service as this is expressed in its hymnography and let this define how and when we read the service?

For instance, the Lamplighting Hymn, the hymn par excellence of Vespers and one of the oldest hymns still sung in the Church today, with some historians dating it back to as early as the 2nd century:

O Gladsome Light of the holy glory of the immortal Father, heavenly, holy, blessed:  Jesus Christ!
Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening,
We praise God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
For right it is at all times to worship You with voices of praise,
O Son of God and Giver of Life:
Therefore all the world glorifies You.

(emphasis mine)

If this, the hymn that defines Vespers, assumes that those who sing it, sing it in the evening around sunset, don't we do the hymn a great injustice by moving it and the service around it to the morning, after sunrise, when its reference to evening and the setting of the sun makes no sense?  I think also that the ancient dating of this hymn is ample evidence to show that the earliest liturgical practice was to read Vespers in the evening.

Early afternoon, for most of lent, is when the setting of the sun does occur. To serve the liturgy at 7pm means the sun might have set 3 or 4 hours earlier then when the hymn Gladsome Light is actually sung. Here we are a week before Pascha and the sun is setting and has been setting for a good 2 hours now and it is only 4:30pm. I will go into Vespers at 5pm and when I come out it will be dusk.
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« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2010, 04:43:34 PM »

(I guess that would also express well a concern I have with something arimethea posted earlier on this thread about the practice of serving Vespers in the early afternoon rather than in the evening.)  Or should we rather look to the spirit and ethos of the Vespers service as this is expressed in its hymnography and let this define how and when we read the service?

For instance, the Lamplighting Hymn, the hymn par excellence of Vespers and one of the oldest hymns still sung in the Church today, with some historians dating it back to as early as the 2nd century:

O Gladsome Light of the holy glory of the immortal Father, heavenly, holy, blessed:  Jesus Christ!
Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening,
We praise God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
For right it is at all times to worship You with voices of praise,
O Son of God and Giver of Life:
Therefore all the world glorifies You.

(emphasis mine)

If this, the hymn that defines Vespers, assumes that those who sing it, sing it in the evening around sunset, don't we do the hymn a great injustice by moving it and the service around it to the morning, after sunrise, when its reference to evening and the setting of the sun makes no sense?  I think also that the ancient dating of this hymn is ample evidence to show that the earliest liturgical practice was to read Vespers in the evening.

Early afternoon, for most of lent, is when the setting of the sun does occur. To serve the liturgy at 7pm means the sun might have set 3 or 4 hours earlier then when the hymn Gladsome Light is actually sung. Here we are a week before Pascha and the sun is setting and has been setting for a good 2 hours now and it is only 4:30pm. I will go into Vespers at 5pm and when I come out it will be dusk.
Okay.  That certainly makes a lot of sense, then. Wink
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« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2010, 05:22:05 PM »

Early afternoon, for most of lent, is when the setting of the sun does occur. To serve the liturgy at 7pm means the sun might have set 3 or 4 hours earlier then when the hymn Gladsome Light is actually sung. Here we are a week before Pascha and the sun is setting and has been setting for a good 2 hours now and it is only 4:30pm. I will go into Vespers at 5pm and when I come out it will be dusk. 

The sun is still out for us at this moment, but your concern is one reason why we serve Presanctified Liturgy at 5:45 instead of 7 or 7:30.
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« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2010, 05:23:41 PM »

I can recall elderly Greeks telling me many years ago that, in their home villages, the Presanctified Liturgy was an evening service, yet in the larger cities and towns, to their discomfort, it had been shifted to the morning. I doubt it that these village priests or parishioners had heard of Fr Alexander Schmemann.

How did these elderly Greeks cope with the discomfort of morning Liturgies for the 316 other days of the year, outside the period of the Great Fast?   Huh

Non-sequitur. Their comment was that doing the Presanctified Liturgy in the morning made them uncomfortable, and it seems a bit disingenuous to me, Father, to make a flippant comment about other Liturgies being in the morning in the context of an expressed concern about moving one particular (and it is quite particular) Liturgy (that is specifically attached to an evening service) to the morning.

Then  let us be seriously liturgical.  On every morning of weekdays during the Great Fast, Vespers is served in the morning.  It is served in the morning whether or not the Presanctified is served with it.
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« Reply #41 on: March 26, 2010, 05:27:38 PM »

I have  never served a Presanctified in the evening.  It just was never done when I was young and it still feels 'wrong' somehow.
And yet it's a Vespers service.  To my mind, there's just something wrong with reading Vespers at 9:00 in the morning.

Well, it is called a Mystical Supper, not Breakfast.
John

When then should the Mystical Supper be served?  Evenings?  But we serve it in the morning.  AFAIK, no Orthodox bishop has authorised Saturday evening Liturgy.
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« Reply #42 on: March 26, 2010, 05:32:34 PM »

(I guess that would also express well a concern I have with something arimethea posted earlier on this thread about the practice of serving Vespers in the early afternoon rather than in the evening.)  Or should we rather look to the spirit and ethos of the Vespers service as this is expressed in its hymnography and let this define how and when we read the service?

For instance, the Lamplighting Hymn, the hymn par excellence of Vespers and one of the oldest hymns still sung in the Church today, with some historians dating it back to as early as the 2nd century:

O Gladsome Light of the holy glory of the immortal Father, heavenly, holy, blessed:  Jesus Christ!
Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening,
We praise God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
For right it is at all times to worship You with voices of praise,
O Son of God and Giver of Life:
Therefore all the world glorifies You.

(emphasis mine)

If this, the hymn that defines Vespers, assumes that those who sing it, sing it in the evening around sunset, don't we do the hymn a great injustice by moving it and the service around it to the morning, after sunrise, when its reference to evening and the setting of the sun makes no sense?  I think also that the ancient dating of this hymn is ample evidence to show that the earliest liturgical practice was to read Vespers in the evening.

Early afternoon, for most of lent, is when the setting of the sun does occur. To serve the liturgy at 7pm means the sun might have set 3 or 4 hours earlier then when the hymn Gladsome Light is actually sung. Here we are a week before Pascha and the sun is setting and has been setting for a good 2 hours now and it is only 4:30pm. I will go into Vespers at 5pm and when I come out it will be dusk.
Okay.  That certainly makes a lot of sense, then. Wink

Today sunset occurs for us at 7:30 PM   Grin
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« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2010, 05:49:18 PM »

Early afternoon, for most of lent, is when the setting of the sun does occur. To serve the liturgy at 7pm means the sun might have set 3 or 4 hours earlier then when the hymn Gladsome Light is actually sung. Here we are a week before Pascha and the sun is setting and has been setting for a good 2 hours now and it is only 4:30pm. I will go into Vespers at 5pm and when I come out it will be dusk.
I think I need to ask, what is your definition of "the setting of the sun"? I've always understood it to mean the time that the sun begins to dip out of sight below the horizon. I live just west of Niagara Falls - on February 1, sunset, according to an online almanac was exactly 5:30 p.m. (EST). I know that geographic location within our time zones, and of course daylight saving time can do odd things to the hour of sunrise and sunset, but I really don't understand what you mean when you say that the sun began setting at 2:30 p.m. Sunset here will occur at 7:36 p.m. (EDT) today. It will soon be 6 o'clock and not a hint of darkness, although the sun is lower in the sky than it was a few hours ago, of course!
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« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2010, 05:56:21 PM »

Then  let us be seriously liturgical.  On every morning of weekdays during the Great Fast, Vespers is served in the morning.  It is served in the morning whether or not the Presanctified is served with it.

Indeed - the Typikon of the Great Church actually prescribes that Vespers (or Vespers and Presanctified) be served immediately after the Hours/Beatitudes, which follow immediately after the Matins service, with no breaks in between (that's a lot of Church for one block of time, no?).  The only service prescribed for the evening is the Great Compline (or Small Compline with Salutations on Fridays).

But then again, the Typikon is not consistent, because the Matins are then further moved to the evenings during Holy Week, and follows the Compline, and only the Hours are said before Vespers & Liturgy.

So how exactly is this related to the point you seemingly discarded: that the practice in areas of Greece was to do evening Presanctified Liturgies, in areas where Fr. Schmemman's literature likely did not get disseminated? 
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