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Radost
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« on: May 17, 2010, 10:07:36 PM »

Can anyone tell me about the All night vigil of a Russian Orthodox Church?  I am thinking to try attending one of these.  I already attend Sunday Liturgy..but I get the feeling it would be a special experience to go sometime to a nighttime service. 
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 10:20:42 PM »

It's beautiful.  Go.
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 10:24:25 PM »

All-Night Vigil is a combination of Vespers, Matins, and First Hour all rolled into one service. There is also usually a blessing of the bread for holy communion as well. With a name like "All-Night Vigil", you can expect the service is long. I think 2.5 to 3 hours is usual, although with extra canons and such, it can be much longer. I have been to a 4.5 hour long vigil before (at a cathedral).

And I agree, it is beautiful! Don't let the length put you off, it's well worth it.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/All-Night_Vigil

(PS: Welcome! Smiley Just for future reference, the main Liturgy forum would be the best place for your question; this forum is targeted for Western Orthodoxy specifically.)
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« Last Edit: May 17, 2010, 10:47:22 PM by arimethea » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010, 10:47:13 PM »

An All-night Vigil in the Russian tradition is a service of Vespers and Matins, held on the night before a major church feast. The next such feast would be that for the feast of Pentecost. The Pentecost liturgy will be held this Sunday, so the Vigil for Pentecost will be held on Saturday evening.

From my experience, a parish Vigil lasts about two and a half hours. I've found that if you really want to learn and absorb Orthodox faith and teaching, the Vigils are the way to go. There's just SO MUCH there to absorb!

Some friendly advice: if the church you'll be going to doesn't use English, then I would strongly recommend you get yourself the text of the service in English. PM me if you need this text.
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 03:56:22 PM »

At my Parish it lasts about 1:50.
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 04:05:08 PM »

At my Parish it lasts about 1:50.

That's pretty fast!
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2010, 04:46:19 PM »

When we would do all night vigils at Holy Cross we would do HUGE ones for big feast days like Panagias (August 15th), which would last literally 12 hours!  Finishing Liturgy at about 9 am and beginning at 9 pm! 

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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2010, 04:50:49 PM »

At my Parish it lasts about 1:50.

That's pretty fast!

Yes, the Priests are fast. The Liturgy lasts 1:00. I am not a liturgist, but they seem to include all the important parts. The choir sings fast, sermons are short, there is no commemorating the people by names after the Gospel and the services are entirely in Polish - that can also be an issue.

I'm about Sunday vigils. The festal ones are longer a bit.
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2010, 10:20:10 PM »

Thank you so much each one of you for sharing your information.  LBK, you mentioned that to really absorb Orthodoxy, Vigils are the way to go.  Can you tell me what it is particularly about the Vigils that you find is different than the regular Sunday Liturgy.  I definitely want to try going this Saturday.   Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2010, 10:28:29 PM »

The Liturgy, while of immense importance in its own right, is a standardised service, with few variable portions in it. Vespers and Matins, however, while adhering to a basic structure, are stuffed full of the doctrine and theology of the feast they precede. The bulk of a Vigil consists of these "variable" portions. There are readings from the Old Testament, which prefigure the events of the New, there are various psalm readings, and the hymns, particularly the Canons at Matins, really get to the heart of what the Church teaches.

PM me if you want the full Vigil text in English for this Saturday night, which is the eve of Pentecost.
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2010, 01:21:21 AM »

Thank you so much LBK.  You are so right.  This is absolutely beautiful.  Shocked I have a small booklet on the Sunday Divine Liturgy...but you are right.  This particular Liturgy you sent has so much more depth to it.  The Divine Liturgy booklet has a lot of petitions praying for the well being of humanity emphasizing community prayer in first person plural form...The All night liturgy has all of this in  there too in a lot more depth with prayers for Holy Russia...and it has more too that goes further into glorification of God's Presence and His beautiful saints describing His qualities and going into the scriptural verses that are more individual in prayer the use the first person prayer.  Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2010, 01:24:27 AM »

I am so new to Orthodoxy.  Tell me, is this Liturgy for the Pentecost something that happens once a year as a majour holiday or is it one of the more frequent Liturgies? 
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2010, 01:37:05 AM »

Wow!  This Liturgy IS really special.  I definitely must go.  Smiley  Thank you again, LBK.  Some of the people at the Russian Orthodox Church had told me it's rare to find prayer books with the Russian and English side by side like that.   
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2010, 02:06:56 AM »

I am so new to Orthodoxy.  Tell me, is this Liturgy for the Pentecost something that happens once a year as a majour holiday or is it one of the more frequent Liturgies? 

As I said before, a Vigil is a combination of the services of Vespers and Matins, not a Divine Liturgy. The Orthodox Church has several services which are conducted at different times of the day, including Vespers, Matins, Compline, First, Third, Sixth and Ninth Hours, Midnight Office, and Divine Liturgy. Many, if not all, of these services would be sung daily at larger monasteries; parishes conduct the Divine Liturgy on Sundays, and on the mornings of major holy days, with Vigils on the evening before these feasts.

Quote
I am so new to Orthodoxy.  Tell me, is this Liturgy for the Pentecost something that happens once a year as a major holiday or is it one of the more frequent Liturgies? 


Pentecost is known as one of the Twelve Great Feasts, some of the others are Easter (Pascha), Christmas (the Nativity of the Lord), Theophany (Baptism of Christ), Ascension of the Lord, and the Annunciation. Every holy day of the Church occurs once a year. Pentecost always falls fifty days after Easter.
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2010, 02:42:34 PM »

Pentecost is known as one of the Twelve Great Feasts, some of the others are Easter (Pascha),

F!

Pascha is not listed in the 12 Great Feasts!  Wink
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« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2010, 05:58:03 PM »

When we would do all night vigils at Holy Cross we would do HUGE ones for big feast days like Panagias (August 15th), which would last literally 12 hours!  Finishing Liturgy at about 9 am and beginning at 9 pm!   

I'm with you; in my experience, common parish "Vigil" isn't called "all-night" because it doesn't go all night.  In theological school, and at a monastery, if they say "all-night," they mean it.

All-night Vigils, when called for, feature Great Vespers with the procession of the icon (Liti) and the blessing of the loaves (Artoclasia - your last meal before Communion), Compline (small or great) frequently including an Akathist Canon, sometimes the Midnight Office, Orthros (which will frequently include long excerpts from the Synaxarion), maybe one or more of the Hours if done in a Monastery, and the Liturgy.  All major hymns (especially the "regular" ones) are chanted in the Kalophonic style (Kalo-phonic, "Good sound," elaborate melody), which means the Vespers itself can take between 2 and 3 hours depending on the hymns of the feast and whatnot, and the Matins can easily fall in the 3+ hour range. 
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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2010, 11:56:24 PM »

I'm with you; in my experience, common parish "Vigil" isn't called "all-night" because it doesn't go all night.  In theological school, and at a monastery, if they say "all-night," they mean it.

That's a fact!  Shocked

Monastic Services are famous for their length of duration. When you hear "Again and again, let us pray to the Lord", you can most certainly count on that. It's no joke! Tongue

And when you hear "Let us complete our prayer unto the Lord", don't expect the end anytime soon.  Wink

Cosmos  Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2011, 06:23:54 PM »

Hello everyone,

Although this is an old topic, I want to bring it back for my own educational purposes.

Coming from the Coptic Orthodox Church, our major feast liturgies always end with the holy communion at 12 AM, the morning of the feast. Prayers usually begin from 6 PM the evening before and last for the 6 hours until midnight. How different is this from the Eastern Orthodox Church?

Thanks,

Copticyouth93
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2011, 06:39:41 PM »

Welcome to the forum.   Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2011, 06:52:56 PM »

Hello everyone,

Although this is an old topic, I want to bring it back for my own educational purposes.

Coming from the Coptic Orthodox Church, our major feast liturgies always end with the holy communion at 12 AM, the morning of the feast. Prayers usually begin from 6 PM the evening before and last for the 6 hours until midnight. How different is this from the Eastern Orthodox Church?

Thanks,

Copticyouth93

In my experience, most feasts (including every Sunday) begin with the Vigil service (combined Vespers/Matins) on the evening prior to the feast, and are concluded with the Divine Liturgy the next morning (the actual calendar day of the feast).

Nativity and Theophany are different, however. Both of these feasts call for a Vesperal Liturgy on the evening before. In this case, since Vespers is already served as part of the Liturgy, the Vigil is actually Compline/Matins. Then, Liturgy is served the next morning.

Pascha is again different. A Vesperal Liturgy for Great and Holy Saturday is served, followed that night by Paschal Nocturnes, Matins and Liturgy (all served together, taking about 3 1/2 to 4 hours).
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2011, 07:00:37 PM »

Thank you Salpy for your welcome. Nice to meet you Smiley

Benjamin the Red, when you say "concluded the next morning", do you literally mean that you leave the church and have a normal liturgy the next morning?

And this combined vespers/matins is also in the Coptic Church on the great feasts.

Copticyouth93
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« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2011, 07:38:11 PM »

The Liturgy, while of immense importance in its own right, is a standardised service, with few variable portions in it. Vespers and Matins, however, while adhering to a basic structure, are stuffed full of the doctrine and theology of the feast they precede. The bulk of a Vigil consists of these "variable" portions. There are readings from the Old Testament, which prefigure the events of the New, there are various psalm readings, and the hymns, particularly the Canons at Matins, really get to the heart of what the Church teaches.

PM me if you want the full Vigil text in English for this Saturday night, which is the eve of Pentecost.

This is so true even from my little experience with the liturgical cycle outside the Divine Liturgy. I really wish our parish had more services. But most outside the Divine Liturgy are pretty sparsely attended.



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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2011, 07:55:27 PM »

Thank you Salpy for your welcome. Nice to meet you Smiley

Benjamin the Red, when you say "concluded the next morning", do you literally mean that you leave the church and have a normal liturgy the next morning?

And this combined vespers/matins is also in the Coptic Church on the great feasts.

Copticyouth93

Yes, I do. Literal all-night services are quite rare in normal parish life. The closest thing that I know of is on Great and Holy Friday, when there is an All-Night Psalter reading after the Matins service (which is in the evening during Holy Week) and then there is a constant reading from the Book of Acts between the Vesperal Liturgy of the Sabbath on Great and Holy Saturday until Nocturnes begin that evening (around 11-11:30pm).

The only time I know of a festal celebration beginning in one day and going into the next day is Pascha. Other feasts come close (like Nativity and Theophany, above) but not quite. They are the Greatest of the Great Feasts, but are still ranked below the Feast of Feasts.
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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2011, 08:35:15 PM »

If folks can do it for Joyce, certainly it can be done for Christ.
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