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Author Topic: Evening Presanctified newly introduced in Russia  (Read 3176 times) Average Rating: 0
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Irish Hermit
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« Reply #45 on: March 26, 2010, 06:11:25 PM »

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Quote from: Fr. George on Today at 10:56:21
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Quote from: Irish Hermit on Today at 10:23:41
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.

Much of the Typicon of the Greast Fast is gloriously inconsistent as to time.  I think that Met Kallistos (Ware) addresses this in The Lenten Triodion and he rejoices in it as a sign of the unique character of the fasting period.  He points out that although it can be chronologically upside down it statisfies the Church's needs and sustains popular piety.


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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?  


Well, it would be useful to have substantiation that back in the early 1900s Greek village priests were doing Presanctifieds in the evenings.  I have seen, somewhere, a Greek Typicon which lays down that a Presanctified may commence no later than 12 noon.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 06:33:41 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: March 26, 2010, 06:14:03 PM »

I think it's a great idea to have the service in the evening, when it  is more convenient for more people. These are the kind of thoughtful, positive changes the Church should make.
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« Reply #47 on: March 26, 2010, 06:35:18 PM »

I have seen, somewhere, a Greek Typicon which lays down that a Presanctified may commence no later than 12 noon.

Have not found the Greek reference.  Greek is hard for me to read but here is a Russian one...

S. V. Bulgakov, Handbook for Church Servers, 2nd ed. (Kharkov, 1900), p. 0705.

"The time of serving the liturgy by an ancient canon, is the third hour of the day (9:00 AM by our notation). However, the liturgy may be served earlier and later than this time, according to the circumstances, only not before the dawn or in the afternoon (Refer to pp. 676-678). Some days, on which a liturgy is excluded it is served either very early in the morning or is joined to Vespers with the service (in the latter case it begins at midday). Such is the case on the day of Holy Pascha, the days of the Holy Forty Day Fast for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, the days of the eve of the Nativity of Christ (the ringing of the bell for Vespers is ordered by the Ustav [Typikon] "at the 7th hour of the day", i.e. 1:00 p.m.) and Theophany ("at the hour of Vespers"), the day of Great Saturday and Pentecost."
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 06:35:47 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #48 on: March 26, 2010, 07:10:24 PM »

Are there any rubrics relating to Presanctified Liturgy in the Old Rite books, or in the writings of St. Peter Mohyla of Kiev?
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« Reply #49 on: March 26, 2010, 08:27:26 PM »

The ROCOR Old-Rite Church of the Nativity in Erie, PA appears to have Pre-sanctified in the evening (5pm).
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« Reply #50 on: March 26, 2010, 09:32:09 PM »

The ROCOR Old-Rite Church of the Nativity in Erie, PA appears to have Pre-sanctified in the evening (5pm).

I am not disputing at all that over the last 2 to 3 decades the Churches in the States have moved towards both evening Presanctifieds and evening Liturgy.  As also in Australia where, for example, the Antiochian cathedral has a vesperal Liturgy on Friday nights, Saturday nights and Sunday nights.  (I just checked this with the Antiochian priest.)

On the other hand, we see that in Russia the recent celebration of a Presanctified in the evening is a novelty worthy of note.
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« Reply #51 on: March 26, 2010, 10:06:03 PM »

The ROCOR Old-Rite Church of the Nativity in Erie, PA appears to have Pre-sanctified in the evening (5pm).

I am not disputing at all that over the last 2 to 3 decades the Churches in the States have moved towards both evening Presanctifieds and evening Liturgy.  As also in Australia where, for example, the Antiochian cathedral has a vesperal Liturgy on Friday nights, Saturday nights and Sunday nights.  (I just checked this with the Antiochian priest.)

On the other hand, we see that in Russia the recent celebration of a Presanctified in the evening is a novelty worthy of note.

Oh, I totally understand your point.  I was just answering (or trying to) a question regarding Old Ritualist practices.  I wonder what the the practice is in Russia, both among the full blown Old Believers (the priested ones, at least) and those who are in communion with the Patriarchate.
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« Reply #52 on: March 27, 2010, 12:30:00 AM »

Without getting to the historical aspects of the Presanctified (of which I have not studied), I can see another line of thinking regarding the service.  I was taught that the "Divine Liturgy" must be served before noon.  This has to do with the sacrificial nature of the service (which is discussed in numerous books and writings familiar to most of the participants of this discussion).  Given that the Pre-sanctified Service is just that - using a host that has reserved from a Divine Liturgy - make it somewhat independent of the time frame assigned to the Liturgy?  There is no sacrifice or descending of the Holy Spirit in the Pre-sanctified, since that has already taken place in the Liturgy and the Offering is already the Body and Blood of Christ.  Would this not move it out of the time-frame of the Liturgy and into a time after the noon hour?

Just asking.   
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« Reply #53 on: March 27, 2010, 09:27:36 AM »

I found a couple of interesting things in my readings this morning.  One, in the footnotes to the Rudder, the author STRONGLY asserts that the Pre-Sanctified should be celebrated in the evening and even condemns the Russians for not doing so.  Second, I found a paper written in 1975 by Bishop Basil Krivoshein,Archbishop of Brussels and Belgium where he discusses the differences between Russian and Greek liturgical practice.  In this paper he says:

"It would seem that the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts would have one and the same meaning both for the Greeks and Russians. The people like that service and many do attend it, especially if it is celebrated in the evening, as it should be, although this "daring novelty" still meets up with strong objections and is not widely practiced, except among the Orthodox in the West. But even if there are no observable differences in the celebration of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, which could impact upon the spiritual experience of the people, still there are some serious theological differences, although not officially formulated, which underline the actions and words of the celebrants behind the iconostas."

It seems that in this writing, His Grace Basil at once recognizes the Russian practice of celebrating the Pre-sanctified during the day, as well as the Russian view that to do otherwise is a "daring novelty", while at the same time inserting his belief that the evening practice of the Greeks is more correct.

In the same work, he goes on to explain that the Pre-sanctified service is the last service of the current day, unlike the Vespers which is the first service of the next day (perhaps explaining the Old Rite Church's celebration at 5:00PM, when it is still quite light outside during this time of the year).  He further explains that this is sensible since one can participate in the Friday Pre-sanctified, and yet still participate in a Saturday Liturgy since one has communed on Friday and Saturday rather than having two communions on Saturday, which would be the case if the Pre-sanctified was a true vespers.

The complete paper is published on the Web, as is (I believe) a version of the Rudder, so this should satisfy the normal requests for sources.
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« Reply #54 on: March 27, 2010, 10:41:28 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.

In a similar vein, Father Alexander of blessed memory wrote in a very early piece (Fast and Liturgy, St. Vladimir's Seminary Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 1, Winter 1959, pp. 2-9), which is reiterated in his Great Lent, the following:

"It is obvious however, that in uniting the Liturgy with Vespers, the authors of the Typikon intended more than a purely formal connection between the two services. They meant a deliberate transfer of the Liturgy to the evening, a conscious change in the usual order of services. Again it is obvious that in not fulfilling the rule, or in fulfilling it only as a formality (i.e., in transferring Vespers to the morning) we commit a twofold infraction of the liturgical "typos"; we serve an evening service in the morning which besides being a "nominalization" of prayer, is a contradiction to the common sense, and moreover, we completely ignore the reasons which promoted the Church to order the celebration of the Liturgy on certain days in the evening and not in the morning. But perhaps if we investigate these reasons, we will see in them something more meaningful than a mere detail of rubrics, something forgotten yet essential for the comprehension of our liturgical tradition."

He finds the answer in the Typicon, from which he derives the following principle: "Expectation must precede fulfillment. From this point of view, the eucharistic fast is not a simple abstinence before communion, it is made primarily of expectation and spiritual preparation. It is fasting in the scriptural sense indicated above, the waiting for the sacramental Parousia.

In the early Church, the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist was preceded by a night vigil which was precisely (and theoretically still is in the Eastern Church) the service of preparation and getting ready, a vigil in the full Christian meaning of the word. And this is why the Eucharist on Sunday and on great holidays is prescribed for the early hours of the day: it is the fulfillment, the end of the vigil, of the service of fasting and preparation. But on a lesser feast, which has no vigil, the celebration of the Eucharist takes place at the end of morning, for in this case, the morning hours of fasting constitute the necessary period of preparation. Thus the whole liturgical life of the Church which, in turn determine the life of each member of the Church, is built on this rhythm of expectation and fulfillment, preparation and "presence." And the rules that govern this rhythm cease to be archaic and incomprehensible but become signs of a path leading us to the very heart of life in the Church."

So, how does all of this relate to the Presanctified Liturgy? Father Schmemann concludes:

"We must understand that the liturgy of the Church is profoundly realistic, that Vespers is in a real rapport with this particular evening: it is this evening that we as Christians must spend "perfectly, in holiness, in peace and without sin," it is this evening that must offer and dedicate to God, and this evening is already illumined for us with the light of another Evening, of another End, the one which we expect and at the same time fear, and which is approaching in our human time. In the liturgy, we discover how seriously indeed the Church considers time, food, rest and all the actions, all the details of our life. In the world in which God became man, nothing can even be withdrawn from Him.
Expectation, encounter, possession: in this rhythm, the Church dives and by it, she measures time. But there are days when this expectation reaches its extreme "concentration"; the days of the vesperal Eucharist. The Church has conscientiously and totally dedicated them to expectation and preparation, to fasting in its full sense. They are spent in the same everyday activities, which fill any other day. And yet how infinitely meaningful, how deeply "important" and responsible, are each word that we pronounce in the light of this expectation, each action that we perform! Yes, it is on such days that we are given to realize what is, what ought to be Christian life, we live then as if they were illumined by what is to come! The Eve of Nativity, the supernatural quiet of Holy Saturday, the days of Lent when we prepare ourselves for the presanctified service, how all this should "build up" a Christian soul, lead it to the comprehension of the Mystery of Salvation, to the transformation of life . . . And when finally comes the evening, when all this fasting preparation and expectation are fulfilled in the Eucharist, our life is really taken into this Eucharist, is "related" to the joy and the fullness of the Kingdom."

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« Reply #55 on: March 27, 2010, 10:49:00 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.

In my tunnel vision (exposure to books and articles only in English), I had not realized the great work done by the Greek theologians whom you mention. Thank you for the info. And, I must say that regardless of the source, it is a good thing that Greek, Russian, Antiochian (and American, if I may timidly interject) approaches are converging.
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