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Poll
Question: Who says the Amens for the Epiclesis at your church's divine Liturgy?
Deacon only - 11 (26.8%)
People with Deacon/Priest - 26 (63.4%)
People only - 4 (9.8%)
Total Voters: 41

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Author Topic: Amen during Epiklesis.  (Read 9476 times) Average Rating: 0
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scamandrius
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« on: May 20, 2010, 11:14:26 PM »

In the Antiochian Archdiocese (with no exception as far as I know), the "amen" responses to the priest calling down the Holy Spirit to transform the bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Christ are always said by the people.

Is this the way it is actually printed in the liturgical books of the archdiocese?

I would appreciate if other people would tell me how it is in their particular church and jurisdiction and indicate what specifically their books say. Also, if the people do not say the "amens" what are the people praying at this time? Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2010, 11:28:17 PM »

In the Antiochian Archdiocese (with no exception as far as I know), the "amen" responses to the priest calling down the Holy Spirit to transform the bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Christ are always said by the people.

Is this the way it is actually printed in the liturgical books of the archdiocese?

I would appreciate if other people would tell me how it is in their particular church and jurisdiction and indicate what specifically their books say. Also, if the people do not say the "amens" what are the people praying at this time? Thanks.
You first have to see how many jurisdictions/parishes say the epiclesis so the people can hear it.  In many Slavic Churches, for instance, such is not done.
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2010, 11:36:54 PM »

In the OCA, according to the rubrics of our published liturgical books, the "Amens" at the Epiclesis are to be said by the deacon.  How strictly this is observed seems to vary from parish to parish.

It has been my experience that the priests who are graduates of Saint Vladimir's usually prefer the Epiclesis Amens to be said by the people. Priests who are graduates of Saint Tikhon's Seminary, however, usually follow the rubrics to the letter and assign these Amens to the deacon.  I have seen priests argue with each other over which practice is better. I will not repeat those arguments here. Personally, I prefer the traditional practice of having only the deacon say the Epiclesis Amens, but I don't make a big stink about it if the parish priest encourages the people to say the Amens outloud. I am a traditionalist, but I try not to be an obnoxious traditionalist. If someone asks me my opinion, I will tell them. But I don't throw a fit if a parish is following a more modernist practice that isn't my cup of tea. I like to pick my battles carefully.

In my travels the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese always follows the traditional practice and has the deacon or the priest say these prayers quietly. ROCOR is the same way too. Seems like the Antiochians generally say them outloud most of the time too.  But when you think about it, many Antiochian clergy are trained at St. Vladimir's too, and I think that explains why they do it. They were taught to do it that way in seminary.

I don't really have a solution to this issue. Personally, I think the humble and reverent thing to do would be to simply obey the rubrics and follow the received tradition of the church in this matter. However, not everyone agrees with that, so I guess we will just have to learn to tolerate each other.

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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2010, 02:57:39 PM »

In my home Parish only Deacon responds despite the the fact that the Priests read them very loudly. In my Parish in Warsaw everyone does. Maybe because there are no Deacons.
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2010, 03:06:30 PM »

In my home Parish only Deacon responds despite the the fact that the Priests read them very loudly. In my Parish in Warsaw everyone does. Maybe because there are no Deacons.

Bingo! The amens are supposed to be the response of the congregation to the priest's invocation; the common assent that completes the prayer. When there is a deacon, he says the amens not only on his own behalf but also on behalf of the congregation. When there is no deacon, the congregation must say them out of necessity. Of course, when the prayers are not heard by the congregation, the deacon must say them anyway.

Incidentally, is this akin to the riddle of the tree that falls in a vast forest?
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2010, 03:31:38 PM »

Is this the way it is actually printed in the liturgical books of the archdiocese?

Does the Antiochian Archdiocese have an official Liturgikon? Many seem to use Hapgood, which definitely calls for the priest to say the prayers silently and for only the deacon to respond.

I would appreciate if other people would tell me how it is in their particular church and jurisdiction and indicate what specifically their books say.

In my experience, in traditional Slavic-style parishes (ROCOR, Serbian, MP, OCA), the priest never reads the prayer out loud. Same in most Romanian churches. In many GOA parishes, the priest has a lavalier mic on, so you can more or less hear him reading the prayer at the same time that the chanting is going on. Seen that in Greece too.

Also, if the people do not say the "amens" what are the people praying at this time?

Chanting an asmatic version of "We praise You, we bless You, we give thanks to You, and we pray to You, Lord our God."
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2010, 03:37:52 PM »

 I went to liturgy today at my home parish in Romania, as it was SS. Constantine and Helen, a big day over here, the priest must have said whatever "Amen" s were in the epiklesis, since the epiklesis was said in a low voice, while the chanters were singing "We praise you...". They ring the bells three distinct times at this point, as well, corresponding to the three "amen" s of the epiklesis.
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2010, 04:23:57 PM »

Also, if the people do not say the "amens" what are the people praying at this time?

Bingo! The amens are supposed to be the response of the congregation to the priest's invocation; the common assent that completes the prayer. When there is a deacon, he says the amens not only on his own behalf but also on behalf of the congregation. When there is no deacon, the congregation must say them out of necessity. Of course, when the prayers are not heard by the congregation, the deacon must say them anyway.

Incidentally, is this akin to the riddle of the tree that falls in a vast forest?
Chanting an asmatic version of "We praise You, we bless You, we give thanks to You, and we pray to You, Lord our God."

Yes, that is what they are supposed to be doing according to my research.  but in the antiochian archdiocese, that hymn is moved after epiclesis.  As far as the congregation filling in for the deacon, I would say that such practice is incorrect only because the people ARE NOT clergy.
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2010, 04:31:22 PM »

In my travels the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese always follows the traditional practice and has the deacon or the priest say these prayers quietly.

Maybe you've seen "always," but I have not. I think it's at least 1/3 saying the Epiclesis aloud in the GOA parishes that I have traveled to.
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2010, 04:34:05 PM »

Is this the way it is actually printed in the liturgical books of the archdiocese?

Does the Antiochian Archdiocese have an official Liturgikon? 

Yes, they do (and I left it at the office, so I cannot reference it for you).  It is a handy reference guide (generally speaking).

Chanting an asmatic version of "We praise You, we bless You, we give thanks to You, and we pray to You, Lord our God."

It is a beautiful hymn.
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2010, 04:34:59 PM »

In my home Parish only Deacon responds despite the the fact that the Priests read them very loudly. In my Parish in Warsaw everyone does. Maybe because there are no Deacons.

Bingo! The amens are supposed to be the response of the congregation to the priest's invocation; the common assent that completes the prayer. When there is a deacon, he says the amens not only on his own behalf but also on behalf of the congregation. When there is no deacon, the congregation must say them out of necessity. Of course, when the prayers are not heard by the congregation, the deacon must say them anyway.

Incidentally, is this akin to the riddle of the tree that falls in a vast forest?


In the traditional OCA parishes I have been to, if there is no deacon, the priest says the Amens, not the people. And the priest says it all in a low voice anyway in the traditional practice while the choir sings the "We praise Thee." 

Of course, I've been to other places where the priest said the Epiclesis very loudly and the people said the Amens. However, I have met some priests that dislike this practice and even refer to it with a bit of scorn as "magically elevating the entire congregation to the diaconate." 

I have also met priests that will so defend the practice of saying everything outloud that they will pull out the old canard of "You can't ask people to say an Amen to a prayer they can't hear."  I really find that type of reasoning very inadequate since the texts of the silent prayers are printed in the service books for anyone to read if they want to. It isn't like the priest's silent prayers are some state secret than no one can have knowledge of. If anyone wants to know what he's saying, all they have to do is pick up a service book and follow along.

If not trying to start a fight here. But I think that this issue eventually may become a divisive one in our American Orthodox Church because I don't see priests on either side of the issue willing to give in or reach some middle ground. Each side seems to militantly think it alone is correct (from what I've seen) and that the "other" people are doing it wrong.

Time will tell.
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2010, 04:39:15 PM »

In my travels the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese always follows the traditional practice and has the deacon or the priest say these prayers quietly.

Maybe you've seen "always," but I have not. I think it's at least 1/3 saying the Epiclesis aloud in the GOA parishes that I have traveled to.


Come to think of it now, a couple days ago I listened to a recording of a Divine Liturgy from St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles and the priest there did say the Epiclesis outloud.  I've just never seen or heard it done here in the Atlanta Metropolis.
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2010, 04:56:46 PM »

Also, if the people do not say the "amens" what are the people praying at this time?

Bingo! The amens are supposed to be the response of the congregation to the priest's invocation; the common assent that completes the prayer. When there is a deacon, he says the amens not only on his own behalf but also on behalf of the congregation. When there is no deacon, the congregation must say them out of necessity. Of course, when the prayers are not heard by the congregation, the deacon must say them anyway.

Incidentally, is this akin to the riddle of the tree that falls in a vast forest?
Chanting an asmatic version of "We praise You, we bless You, we give thanks to You, and we pray to You, Lord our God."

Yes, that is what they are supposed to be doing according to my research.  but in the antiochian archdiocese, that hymn is moved after epiclesis.  As far as the congregation filling in for the deacon, I would say that such practice is incorrect only because the people ARE NOT clergy.

Does anyone think that it makes sense for the Liturgy, the Church's common work, to be restricted to the clergy (only part of the Body) especially in its most crucial parts? Please do not cite rubrics here or give me the tired "that's the way we have always done it" excuse. I am talking about theology and ecclesiology.

As far as I know, the Church of Greece, among others, has explained that it is correct to say the so-called secret prayers in a normal voice (that is not to exclaim them). In a small church, the congregation will indeed hear the anaphor/epiklesis. In a situation where the clergy are miked, the same will happen. It indeed takes either a willful act to say them silently or the lack of technological support for the congregation not to hear the entire anaphora.

I will reiterate the theological and ecclesiastical points that have been made on this subject.

- The Divine Liturgy is not a magical act performed by the clergy, but that it is the common worship/work of the entire Body of Christ--clergy and laity alike.

- The Anaphora and the Epiklesis are the critical parts of the Divine Liturgy.

- The clergy (Bishop, Priest and Deacon) offer most prayers on behalf of all, not of themselves.
- The Deacon commonly leads the litanies on behalf of the people and responds to the Bishop/Priest prayers and invocations on behalf of the people, whenever the choir is not called to do so.
- The people commonly chant or sing along with the choir.
- Whenever there is no deacon, the priest substitutes for him in leading the litanies and the choir/people complete the prayer with the proper response.
- Thus, there is a part for each actor in the Divine Liturgy but there are sound reasons why the "symphony" is constructed as such. I don't want to get into the development of the Liturgy lest I inflame passions even further. Suffice it to say that we need to look behind the rubrics.

- The primary principle here appears to be that in matter of clergy prayers and invocations on behalf of all, the assent of all is required to complete the action. Thus, in the absence of a deacon, it makes no sense for the priest to say the amens of the epiklesis or for them to be omitted. Unfinished prayer and, dare I say it, perhaps an ineffectual act.

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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2010, 05:41:12 PM »

Scamandrius, one important thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of jurisdictions in the US where deacons are very, very rare. The Antiochian Archdiocese is almost unique in that it has been very assertive as of late in ordaining deacons. However, deacons are much more rare in the OCA, and practically nonexistent in the GOAA outside of Holy Cross. So if there's no deacon, (as is so often the case, particularly in small- to medium-sized churches) who is supposed to say these "amens"?
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2010, 07:46:05 PM »

Also, if the people do not say the "amens" what are the people praying at this time?

Bingo! The amens are supposed to be the response of the congregation to the priest's invocation; the common assent that completes the prayer. When there is a deacon, he says the amens not only on his own behalf but also on behalf of the congregation. When there is no deacon, the congregation must say them out of necessity. Of course, when the prayers are not heard by the congregation, the deacon must say them anyway.

Incidentally, is this akin to the riddle of the tree that falls in a vast forest?
Chanting an asmatic version of "We praise You, we bless You, we give thanks to You, and we pray to You, Lord our God."

Yes, that is what they are supposed to be doing according to my research.  but in the antiochian archdiocese, that hymn is moved after epiclesis.  As far as the congregation filling in for the deacon, I would say that such practice is incorrect only because the people ARE NOT clergy.

Does anyone think that it makes sense for the Liturgy, the Church's common work, to be restricted to the clergy (only part of the Body) especially in its most crucial parts? Please do not cite rubrics here or give me the tired "that's the way we have always done it" excuse. I am talking about theology and ecclesiology.

As far as I know, the Church of Greece, among others, has explained that it is correct to say the so-called secret prayers in a normal voice (that is not to exclaim them). In a small church, the congregation will indeed hear the anaphor/epiklesis. In a situation where the clergy are miked, the same will happen. It indeed takes either a willful act to say them silently or the lack of technological support for the congregation not to hear the entire anaphora.

I will reiterate the theological and ecclesiastical points that have been made on this subject.

- The Divine Liturgy is not a magical act performed by the clergy, but that it is the common worship/work of the entire Body of Christ--clergy and laity alike.

- The Anaphora and the Epiklesis are the critical parts of the Divine Liturgy.

- The clergy (Bishop, Priest and Deacon) offer most prayers on behalf of all, not of themselves.
- The Deacon commonly leads the litanies on behalf of the people and responds to the Bishop/Priest prayers and invocations on behalf of the people, whenever the choir is not called to do so.
- The people commonly chant or sing along with the choir.
- Whenever there is no deacon, the priest substitutes for him in leading the litanies and the choir/people complete the prayer with the proper response.
- Thus, there is a part for each actor in the Divine Liturgy but there are sound reasons why the "symphony" is constructed as such. I don't want to get into the development of the Liturgy lest I inflame passions even further. Suffice it to say that we need to look behind the rubrics.

- The primary principle here appears to be that in matter of clergy prayers and invocations on behalf of all, the assent of all is required to complete the action. Thus, in the absence of a deacon, it makes no sense for the priest to say the amens of the epiklesis or for them to be omitted. Unfinished prayer and, dare I say it, perhaps an ineffectual act.

-



Let me be sure I understand you here. Are you saying that if the Amens of the Epiclesis are not said outloud by the people that the Eucharist isn't validly consecrated? Is that what you are saying?  Because if that is what you are saying, it is utter nonsense. The sacramental change of the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is not dependent on whether the Amens are said by the people, the deacon, or the priest himself. Lay people are not clergy and do not have the power to consecrate the Eucharist. Period. We lay people can give our witness to the consecration of the Eucharist, but we dare not think that our Amen bring it about. 

Have you ever considered that in the Old Country nearly all of the Orthodox serve the liturgy by having the priest recite the prayers in a low voice. Go visit Greece, Romania and Russia and see for yourself.  Saying the prayers outloud is the innovation. The established tradition of the church was always to say some prayers in a low voice. Research all the old Christian liturgies and you'll find that ALL of them have what they call "secret prayers" of the priest, whether its the Latin Mass, Chrysostom's Liturgy, the Coptic Liturgy, the Jacobite Liturgy of the Syrians, the Armenian Liturgy, the Ethiopian Liturgy or the Assyrian Liturgy.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying there is anything wrong with reciting the prayers aloud. But 2,000 years of Christian tradition and practice is on the side of saying them in a low voice. Reciting them aloud is a very, very recent practice in the history of the Church and comes from the influence of Vatican II ideas on the Orthodox Church. That's why this is mostly a Western phenomenon, because the Orthodox in Greece, Russia and Romania were not really effected by Vatican II like our religious culture in the United States was. If this isn't the case, can anyone show me any instances of Orthodox reciting these prayers aloud BEFORE 1962 (the year the Second Vatican Council started)? 
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2010, 09:57:02 PM »

Also, if the people do not say the "amens" what are the people praying at this time?

Bingo! The amens are supposed to be the response of the congregation to the priest's invocation; the common assent that completes the prayer. When there is a deacon, he says the amens not only on his own behalf but also on behalf of the congregation. When there is no deacon, the congregation must say them out of necessity. Of course, when the prayers are not heard by the congregation, the deacon must say them anyway.

Incidentally, is this akin to the riddle of the tree that falls in a vast forest?
Chanting an asmatic version of "We praise You, we bless You, we give thanks to You, and we pray to You, Lord our God."

Yes, that is what they are supposed to be doing according to my research.  but in the antiochian archdiocese, that hymn is moved after epiclesis.  As far as the congregation filling in for the deacon, I would say that such practice is incorrect only because the people ARE NOT clergy.

Does anyone think that it makes sense for the Liturgy, the Church's common work, to be restricted to the clergy (only part of the Body) especially in its most crucial parts? Please do not cite rubrics here or give me the tired "that's the way we have always done it" excuse. I am talking about theology and ecclesiology.

As far as I know, the Church of Greece, among others, has explained that it is correct to say the so-called secret prayers in a normal voice (that is not to exclaim them). In a small church, the congregation will indeed hear the anaphor/epiklesis. In a situation where the clergy are miked, the same will happen. It indeed takes either a willful act to say them silently or the lack of technological support for the congregation not to hear the entire anaphora.

I will reiterate the theological and ecclesiastical points that have been made on this subject.

- The Divine Liturgy is not a magical act performed by the clergy, but that it is the common worship/work of the entire Body of Christ--clergy and laity alike.

- The Anaphora and the Epiklesis are the critical parts of the Divine Liturgy.

- The clergy (Bishop, Priest and Deacon) offer most prayers on behalf of all, not of themselves.
- The Deacon commonly leads the litanies on behalf of the people and responds to the Bishop/Priest prayers and invocations on behalf of the people, whenever the choir is not called to do so.
- The people commonly chant or sing along with the choir.
- Whenever there is no deacon, the priest substitutes for him in leading the litanies and the choir/people complete the prayer with the proper response.
- Thus, there is a part for each actor in the Divine Liturgy but there are sound reasons why the "symphony" is constructed as such. I don't want to get into the development of the Liturgy lest I inflame passions even further. Suffice it to say that we need to look behind the rubrics.

- The primary principle here appears to be that in matter of clergy prayers and invocations on behalf of all, the assent of all is required to complete the action. Thus, in the absence of a deacon, it makes no sense for the priest to say the amens of the epiklesis or for them to be omitted. Unfinished prayer and, dare I say it, perhaps an ineffectual act.

-



Let me be sure I understand you here. Are you saying that if the Amens of the Epiclesis are not said outloud by the people that the Eucharist isn't validly consecrated? Is that what you are saying?  Because if that is what you are saying, it is utter nonsense. The sacramental change of the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is not dependent on whether the Amens are said by the people, the deacon, or the priest himself. Lay people are not clergy and do not have the power to consecrate the Eucharist. Period. We lay people can give our witness to the consecration of the Eucharist, but we dare not think that our Amen bring it about. 

Have you ever considered that in the Old Country nearly all of the Orthodox serve the liturgy by having the priest recite the prayers in a low voice. Go visit Greece, Romania and Russia and see for yourself.  Saying the prayers outloud is the innovation. The established tradition of the church was always to say some prayers in a low voice. Research all the old Christian liturgies and you'll find that ALL of them have what they call "secret prayers" of the priest, whether its the Latin Mass, Chrysostom's Liturgy, the Coptic Liturgy, the Jacobite Liturgy of the Syrians, the Armenian Liturgy, the Ethiopian Liturgy or the Assyrian Liturgy.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying there is anything wrong with reciting the prayers aloud. But 2,000 years of Christian tradition and practice is on the side of saying them in a low voice. Reciting them aloud is a very, very recent practice in the history of the Church and comes from the influence of Vatican II ideas on the Orthodox Church. That's why this is mostly a Western phenomenon, because the Orthodox in Greece, Russia and Romania were not really effected by Vatican II like our religious culture in the United States was. If this isn't the case, can anyone show me any instances of Orthodox reciting these prayers aloud BEFORE 1962 (the year the Second Vatican Council started)? 

I am merely asking. If the Divine Liturgy (the Anaphora and Epiklesis in particular) is not a magical act by the clergy and presupposes the active participation of the laity, the amens must be said either by the people or by the deacon who speaks on behalf of the people. So the answer to your specific question is: No, the laity does not consecrate anything; the laity assents by saying amen. This is done either directly by the laity or by the deacon on behalf of the laity. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church requires that the laity must participate in the Liturgy for a Liturgy to even take place. There is no such thing as a clergy-only Liturgy in the Orthodox Church, is there?
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2010, 11:21:31 PM »

Also, if the people do not say the "amens" what are the people praying at this time?

Bingo! The amens are supposed to be the response of the congregation to the priest's invocation; the common assent that completes the prayer. When there is a deacon, he says the amens not only on his own behalf but also on behalf of the congregation. When there is no deacon, the congregation must say them out of necessity. Of course, when the prayers are not heard by the congregation, the deacon must say them anyway.

Incidentally, is this akin to the riddle of the tree that falls in a vast forest?
Chanting an asmatic version of "We praise You, we bless You, we give thanks to You, and we pray to You, Lord our God."

Yes, that is what they are supposed to be doing according to my research.  but in the antiochian archdiocese, that hymn is moved after epiclesis.  As far as the congregation filling in for the deacon, I would say that such practice is incorrect only because the people ARE NOT clergy.

Does anyone think that it makes sense for the Liturgy, the Church's common work, to be restricted to the clergy (only part of the Body) especially in its most crucial parts? Please do not cite rubrics here or give me the tired "that's the way we have always done it" excuse. I am talking about theology and ecclesiology.

As far as I know, the Church of Greece, among others, has explained that it is correct to say the so-called secret prayers in a normal voice (that is not to exclaim them). In a small church, the congregation will indeed hear the anaphor/epiklesis. In a situation where the clergy are miked, the same will happen. It indeed takes either a willful act to say them silently or the lack of technological support for the congregation not to hear the entire anaphora.

I will reiterate the theological and ecclesiastical points that have been made on this subject.

- The Divine Liturgy is not a magical act performed by the clergy, but that it is the common worship/work of the entire Body of Christ--clergy and laity alike.

- The Anaphora and the Epiklesis are the critical parts of the Divine Liturgy.

- The clergy (Bishop, Priest and Deacon) offer most prayers on behalf of all, not of themselves.
- The Deacon commonly leads the litanies on behalf of the people and responds to the Bishop/Priest prayers and invocations on behalf of the people, whenever the choir is not called to do so.
- The people commonly chant or sing along with the choir.
- Whenever there is no deacon, the priest substitutes for him in leading the litanies and the choir/people complete the prayer with the proper response.
- Thus, there is a part for each actor in the Divine Liturgy but there are sound reasons why the "symphony" is constructed as such. I don't want to get into the development of the Liturgy lest I inflame passions even further. Suffice it to say that we need to look behind the rubrics.

- The primary principle here appears to be that in matter of clergy prayers and invocations on behalf of all, the assent of all is required to complete the action. Thus, in the absence of a deacon, it makes no sense for the priest to say the amens of the epiklesis or for them to be omitted. Unfinished prayer and, dare I say it, perhaps an ineffectual act.

-



Let me be sure I understand you here. Are you saying that if the Amens of the Epiclesis are not said outloud by the people that the Eucharist isn't validly consecrated? Is that what you are saying?  Because if that is what you are saying, it is utter nonsense. The sacramental change of the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is not dependent on whether the Amens are said by the people, the deacon, or the priest himself. Lay people are not clergy and do not have the power to consecrate the Eucharist. Period. We lay people can give our witness to the consecration of the Eucharist, but we dare not think that our Amen bring it about. 

Have you ever considered that in the Old Country nearly all of the Orthodox serve the liturgy by having the priest recite the prayers in a low voice. Go visit Greece, Romania and Russia and see for yourself.  Saying the prayers outloud is the innovation. The established tradition of the church was always to say some prayers in a low voice. Research all the old Christian liturgies and you'll find that ALL of them have what they call "secret prayers" of the priest, whether its the Latin Mass, Chrysostom's Liturgy, the Coptic Liturgy, the Jacobite Liturgy of the Syrians, the Armenian Liturgy, the Ethiopian Liturgy or the Assyrian Liturgy.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying there is anything wrong with reciting the prayers aloud. But 2,000 years of Christian tradition and practice is on the side of saying them in a low voice. Reciting them aloud is a very, very recent practice in the history of the Church and comes from the influence of Vatican II ideas on the Orthodox Church. That's why this is mostly a Western phenomenon, because the Orthodox in Greece, Russia and Romania were not really effected by Vatican II like our religious culture in the United States was. If this isn't the case, can anyone show me any instances of Orthodox reciting these prayers aloud BEFORE 1962 (the year the Second Vatican Council started)? 

I am merely asking. If the Divine Liturgy (the Anaphora and Epiklesis in particular) is not a magical act by the clergy and presupposes the active participation of the laity, the amens must be said either by the people or by the deacon who speaks on behalf of the people. So the answer to your specific question is: No, the laity does not consecrate anything; the laity assents by saying amen. This is done either directly by the laity or by the deacon on behalf of the laity. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church requires that the laity must participate in the Liturgy for a Liturgy to even take place. There is no such thing as a clergy-only Liturgy in the Orthodox Church, is there?
-



To be specific, the Orthodox Church forbids its priests offering a PRIVATE Mass. That is, the priest is forbidden to celebrate the liturgy alone, all by himself. There have to be at least two people present for the Divine Liturgy to be celebrated.  But those two people can be any combination of people, as long as one is a priest. It could be a single priest and an altar boy. It could be two priests together. It could be a priest and one parishioner, or a priest and one monk. You get the idea. The other person present besides the priest does not have to be a lay person.

Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church requires that the laity must participate in the Liturgy for a Liturgy to even take place.
I would be a little more cautious here. Orthodox can "participate" in the Divine Liturgy by simply being present in the Church when it is offered. Their prayerful attendance is considered participatory, even if they stand their silently while the choir sings all the responses and the priest prays the prayers in a low voice.  Being devoutly attentive and following the liturgy and bowing and crossing one's self at the appropriate times are considered full participation in the Liturgy. Historically, this is how most Orthodox throughout the world worship at the Divine Liturgy. Granted, a more active participation (congregational singing) would be a good thing, but it isn't our reality in all parts of the world.

Lastly, concerning the priest's prayers in a low voice, I asked about that once when I, as a new convert, visited a very traditional monastery and noticed that the priestmonk said the prayers in a low voice. I asked him about it, and this was his response:
He said:
1.  How loud does a prayer have to be for God to hear it? 
2.  Then he reminded me that if I wanted to know what he was saying, all I had to do was open up the liturgy book and follow along.

That kind of solved it for me.
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2010, 11:23:32 PM »

Scamandrius, one important thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of jurisdictions in the US where deacons are very, very rare. The Antiochian Archdiocese is almost unique in that it has been very assertive as of late in ordaining deacons. However, deacons are much more rare in the OCA, and practically nonexistent in the GOAA outside of Holy Cross. So if there's no deacon, (as is so often the case, particularly in small- to medium-sized churches) who is supposed to say these "amens"?

Eugenio,

Yes, I'm aware that the lack of deacons has, in part, contributed to this liturgical innovation.  I know that there are more deacons in the Antiochian archdiocese than the other jurisdictions here in America.  But that does not mean that the laity become clergy de facto. The laity is still the laity. If there is no deacon, then the priest retains the prerogatives.  If the epiclesis hymn "We hymn thee, We bless thee..." were moved back to its appropriate place, then I suspect there would be little to no issue.

One interesting side topic: it seems that there are far more deacons in the western rite churches than in the eastern rite.  I'm only going on personal experience so I very well could be wrong.  I know that the deacon at my church is from the western rite and only serves once a month, if that which only further complicates things.
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2010, 02:07:00 AM »

In my parish the practise seem to vary. Sometimes "amens" are said by the laity and sometimes not. It might depend on the priest who is officiating and whether there is deacon or not. I don't know how the issue is prescribed in our liturgical books.
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2010, 04:10:32 AM »

At my parish here in Japan, there is no deacon and the congregation says the amens. 

Edit: Oops! Just saw that there was the option of the people saying it with the priest.  That's the way it happens in my parish.  The priest says it as well.
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2010, 05:24:45 AM »

I didn't answer the poll because the applicable option for my response wasn't available.

In my GOAA parish, the co-celebrant priest responds "Amen" in the Epiclesis.  (He happends to be a Carpatho-Russian diocesan priest, on loan to the GOAA Pittsburgh Metropolis.)
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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2010, 08:25:29 PM »

Also, if the people do not say the "amens" what are the people praying at this time?

Bingo! The amens are supposed to be the response of the congregation to the priest's invocation; the common assent that completes the prayer. When there is a deacon, he says the amens not only on his own behalf but also on behalf of the congregation. When there is no deacon, the congregation must say them out of necessity. Of course, when the prayers are not heard by the congregation, the deacon must say them anyway.

Incidentally, is this akin to the riddle of the tree that falls in a vast forest?
Chanting an asmatic version of "We praise You, we bless You, we give thanks to You, and we pray to You, Lord our God."

Yes, that is what they are supposed to be doing according to my research.  but in the antiochian archdiocese, that hymn is moved after epiclesis.  As far as the congregation filling in for the deacon, I would say that such practice is incorrect only because the people ARE NOT clergy.

Does anyone think that it makes sense for the Liturgy, the Church's common work, to be restricted to the clergy (only part of the Body) especially in its most crucial parts? Please do not cite rubrics here or give me the tired "that's the way we have always done it" excuse. I am talking about theology and ecclesiology.

As far as I know, the Church of Greece, among others, has explained that it is correct to say the so-called secret prayers in a normal voice (that is not to exclaim them). In a small church, the congregation will indeed hear the anaphor/epiklesis. In a situation where the clergy are miked, the same will happen. It indeed takes either a willful act to say them silently or the lack of technological support for the congregation not to hear the entire anaphora.

I will reiterate the theological and ecclesiastical points that have been made on this subject.

- The Divine Liturgy is not a magical act performed by the clergy, but that it is the common worship/work of the entire Body of Christ--clergy and laity alike.

- The Anaphora and the Epiklesis are the critical parts of the Divine Liturgy.

- The clergy (Bishop, Priest and Deacon) offer most prayers on behalf of all, not of themselves.
- The Deacon commonly leads the litanies on behalf of the people and responds to the Bishop/Priest prayers and invocations on behalf of the people, whenever the choir is not called to do so.
- The people commonly chant or sing along with the choir.
- Whenever there is no deacon, the priest substitutes for him in leading the litanies and the choir/people complete the prayer with the proper response.
- Thus, there is a part for each actor in the Divine Liturgy but there are sound reasons why the "symphony" is constructed as such. I don't want to get into the development of the Liturgy lest I inflame passions even further. Suffice it to say that we need to look behind the rubrics.

- The primary principle here appears to be that in matter of clergy prayers and invocations on behalf of all, the assent of all is required to complete the action. Thus, in the absence of a deacon, it makes no sense for the priest to say the amens of the epiklesis or for them to be omitted. Unfinished prayer and, dare I say it, perhaps an ineffectual act.

-



Let me be sure I understand you here. Are you saying that if the Amens of the Epiclesis are not said outloud by the people that the Eucharist isn't validly consecrated? Is that what you are saying?  Because if that is what you are saying, it is utter nonsense. The sacramental change of the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is not dependent on whether the Amens are said by the people, the deacon, or the priest himself. Lay people are not clergy and do not have the power to consecrate the Eucharist. Period. We lay people can give our witness to the consecration of the Eucharist, but we dare not think that our Amen bring it about.  

Have you ever considered that in the Old Country nearly all of the Orthodox serve the liturgy by having the priest recite the prayers in a low voice. Go visit Greece, Romania and Russia and see for yourself.  Saying the prayers outloud is the innovation. The established tradition of the church was always to say some prayers in a low voice. Research all the old Christian liturgies and you'll find that ALL of them have what they call "secret prayers" of the priest, whether its the Latin Mass, Chrysostom's Liturgy, the Coptic Liturgy, the Jacobite Liturgy of the Syrians, the Armenian Liturgy, the Ethiopian Liturgy or the Assyrian Liturgy.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying there is anything wrong with reciting the prayers aloud. But 2,000 years of Christian tradition and practice is on the side of saying them in a low voice. Reciting them aloud is a very, very recent practice in the history of the Church and comes from the influence of Vatican II ideas on the Orthodox Church. That's why this is mostly a Western phenomenon, because the Orthodox in Greece, Russia and Romania were not really effected by Vatican II like our religious culture in the United States was. If this isn't the case, can anyone show me any instances of Orthodox reciting these prayers aloud BEFORE 1962 (the year the Second Vatican Council started)?  

I am merely asking. If the Divine Liturgy (the Anaphora and Epiklesis in particular) is not a magical act by the clergy and presupposes the active participation of the laity, the amens must be said either by the people or by the deacon who speaks on behalf of the people. So the answer to your specific question is: No, the laity does not consecrate anything; the laity assents by saying amen. This is done either directly by the laity or by the deacon on behalf of the laity. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church requires that the laity must participate in the Liturgy for a Liturgy to even take place. There is no such thing as a clergy-only Liturgy in the Orthodox Church, is there?
-



To be specific, the Orthodox Church forbids its priests offering a PRIVATE Mass. That is, the priest is forbidden to celebrate the liturgy alone, all by himself. There have to be at least two people present for the Divine Liturgy to be celebrated.  But those two people can be any combination of people, as long as one is a priest. It could be a single priest and an altar boy. It could be two priests together. It could be a priest and one parishioner, or a priest and one monk. You get the idea. The other person present besides the priest does not have to be a lay person.

Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church requires that the laity must participate in the Liturgy for a Liturgy to even take place.
I would be a little more cautious here. Orthodox can "participate" in the Divine Liturgy by simply being present in the Church when it is offered. Their prayerful attendance is considered participatory, even if they stand their silently while the choir sings all the responses and the priest prays the prayers in a low voice.  Being devoutly attentive and following the liturgy and bowing and crossing one's self at the appropriate times are considered full participation in the Liturgy. Historically, this is how most Orthodox throughout the world worship at the Divine Liturgy. Granted, a more active participation (congregational singing) would be a good thing, but it isn't our reality in all parts of the world.

Lastly, concerning the priest's prayers in a low voice, I asked about that once when I, as a new convert, visited a very traditional monastery and noticed that the priestmonk said the prayers in a low voice. I asked him about it, and this was his response:
He said:
1.  How loud does a prayer have to be for God to hear it?  
2.  Then he reminded me that if I wanted to know what he was saying, all I had to do was open up the liturgy book and follow along.

That kind of solved it for me.


Yes, I did overstate my case. I do get carried away sometimes and have to eat crow. Munch, munch...

In any case, I agree that the requirement for at least two people does not insist for one of the two to be laity. This rule, however, does not represent the normative position of the Church but is the absolute minimum--the lesser of two evils, so to speak, between having no Liturgy and a Primate Mass. We do have other such absolute minimums that folks have over the centuries accepted as the norm; for example, for folks to have at least one communion per year to remain in good standing.

I hark back to the Ignatian model, the bedrock of Orthodox ecclesiology: one bishop, surrounded by his bishops, deacons and the people. Granted that we no longer have a bishop at each congregation; that is OK because the priests do function as the bishop's deputies and the structure is preserved. Granted we no longer have deacons at each local congregation; that is OK because some of the (non-liturgical) functions of the deacon are carried out by lay ministers. Besides, the Priest hardly ever prays strictly for himself during the Liturgies of the Catechumen and of the Faithful--just as the Deacon almost always prays on behalf of the entire congregation. People nowadays forget that the author of the most common liturgy in Eastern Orthodoxy, St John Chrysostom preached that before the chalice there is no difference between men and women, adults and children, Greeks and others, and most importantly, between the clergy and laity.

So, the laity and the priest are the two types of members of the Body of Christ who are most often present at Divine Liturgy--visiting priests, the occasional episcopal visit, and the rare deacon notwithstanding. It seems counter-intuitive and theologically unsound for the priest to respond or assent to his own communal prayers or invocations.

To me the basic issue of the participation of the laity in the Divine Liturgy is how to prevent the common work from degenerating into cacophony. There are sound practical reasons why we have specific roles for readers, chanters, the deacon, the choir and the people. These reasons are not readily apparent in a typical Divine Liturgy but if one attends a Vespers or Matins Service, even once, it readily becomes apparent that it takes many service books, much training and practice to decently conduct these services. Hence, the specialization. Even so, at least in the OCA Church that I attend--where nothing is cut or omitted, many of of special hymns are repeated numerous times so that the laity can learn them and eventually sing along the choir.

These practical reasons do not apply to the hymns of the Divine Liturgy. In my church, many people sing the antiphons, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and all of the Anaphora along with the choir (to say nothing of the common responses). Rarely do we have a disconnect and, at least to me, the Lord approves for the Holy Spirit is palpable. In any case, even if in a given church the people do not sing along at any time, it seems to me that it would be enormously difficult for the people not to be able say the Epiklesis amens. First, they are not sung. Second, "amen" has only two syllables. And, third, it is highly unlikely that the entire congregation would be suffering from laryngitis at the same time.
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« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2010, 08:44:14 PM »

Silent anafora is Orthodox anything less is American innovation.
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2010, 08:46:48 PM »

Silent anafora is Orthodox anything less is American innovation.

Because?Huh
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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2010, 08:47:27 PM »

Scamandrius, one important thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of jurisdictions in the US where deacons are very, very rare.o The Antiochian Archdiocese is almost unique in that it has been very assertive as of late in ordaining deacons. However, deacons are much more rare in the OCA, and practically nonexistent in the GOAA outside of Holy Cross. So if there's no deacon, (as is so often the case, particularly in small- to medium-sized churches) who is supposed to say these "amens"?
Laity aren't deacons nit having one isn't a reason to hand Jen a censer and let Frank take litanies
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« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2010, 10:48:37 PM »

My parish does not have a deacon, though occasionally another parish in our city shares one of their with us (they have 3 deacons). Regardless of whether we have a deacon or not on a given day, everyone says the "Amens". My priest says the prayer quietly (not inaudibly, but it's hard to hear).

I don't have it in front of me, but I believe the Divine Liturgy book of the Antiochian Archdiocese (the white softcover spiral-bound one) specifically instructs the people to say the "Amens". Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

I personally think it's going overboard to say, as some do, "What, now everyone in the church is a deacon?!" It's a pious custom; not "proper" if you're going by the book, perhaps not ideal, but there is a difference between serious problems in church order and things such as this. Getting bent out of shape about such things is probably an example of the Western "super-correctness" desire. Orthodoxy is more organic than that. A friend of mine who visited Mount Athos, of all places, thought a lot of American converts would be shocked at how "improper" the monks did things. I think the "food for the body, not the body for food" argument comes into play at some point.

And FWIW, my parish has a beautiful choir (well, most of the time Wink ), but my priest would rather that everyone sing, and the choir simply lead the people. That's a tall order in itself though, because usually he chants the troparia himself since our choir has a policy against practice. lol.
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« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2010, 12:39:21 AM »

Perhaps we should all start reciting he prayer of the antiphons win the priest and all holding hands around The altar during the anafora. 
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« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2010, 07:56:31 AM »

I think we've all heard chronologically gifted parishioners reciting the entire Liturgy (or at least major parts of it) from memory, including the priest's parts. There is no attempt on their part to replace the priest. When it comes out of the fullness of the heart, it is true worship. When it is forced and deliberate, well, that's different. I rather think there's a distinction but with a fine line between genuine piety in these matters and basic understanding of the role each of plays in our liturgical services.

I gather that there are some reading this who believe that the Antiochians are wrong to instruct the people to say "Amen" at the Epiclesis. That's fine. Please tell Metropolitan Philip he's wrong and needs to edit his instructions.

Is it really wrong for the ordinary layman to say "Amen" to any prayer?
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« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2010, 12:13:26 PM »

Genesisone writes:

Is it really wrong for the ordinary layman to say "Amen" to any prayer?

No. It isn't wrong, in my humble opinion.

But the more I think about this subject, and the more priests I meet and discuss it with, I'm convinced that at least here in America, the Orthodox Church is not of one mind on this issue. Some priests will argue passionately that these prayers  should be said in a low voice, and, if you ever heard them do that, they can make a convincing argument. Then on the other hand, I've heard priests argue passionately for the prayers to be said aloud too. And they can make an equally impressive and convincing case for that as well.  The only solution I can find is for us to love and tolerate each other, even if we disagree.  That's what I do. Wherever I go, I just accept the local practice of the parish, and I don't argue about it or try to change it. If they say the prayers aloud, I accept it. If they say them silently, I accept that too.

I don't think this issue is worth causing schism or division in a parish. It's not dealing with doctrine or dogma, but with local custom.

Plus, it does seem like many bishops out there leave the option to say the prayers aloud or silently to the individual priest's discretion.

So, if the bishop doesn't have a problem with it, I shouldn't either.

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« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2010, 04:21:07 PM »

Perhaps we should all start reciting he prayer of the antiphons win the priest and all holding hands around The altar during the anafora. 

but if the Liturgy is the work of the people, then the people should give an Amen to their own offering!
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« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2010, 07:11:55 PM »

Thoughts:

- I support whatever the Diocesan bishop says/allows.  If he says deacons only, then so be it.  If he says priests only, then so be it.  If he says everyone together, then so be it.

- Strictly/historically speaking, neither the Deacon nor the people were saying the Amens 1200 years ago, at least according to the source closest at hand.  According to Barberini, the Priest said it all.  Under section 35 (Liturgy of Chrysostom) it directs the priest to say the prayers, and the Amen is directly appended (rather than separated as are the other deacon's parts & people's parts).  In fact, there are only two parts to the blessing (rather than the current three):

"And make this bread the precious body of Your Christ, changing it by Your Holy Spirit.  Amen."

"And make that in this cup the precious blood of Your Christ, changing it by Your Holy Spirit.  Amen."

Keeping this in mind, I do not find statements like "raising the people to the deaconate" helpful, since (a) Amens at the Epiclesis are not exclusive property of the Deaconate, and (b) it is a bad attempt at reductio ad absurdum - having the people say three Amens is not akin to having them say petitions, censing the Church, carrying and distributing the gifts, touching the Holy Table, going through the Beautiful Doors, etc.
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« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2010, 01:55:20 PM »

Silent anafora is Orthodox anything less is American innovation.

The Synod of Greece officially approves of it as of 2004, so is not "American innovation." 
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« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2010, 03:55:43 PM »

Silent anafora is Orthodox anything less is American innovation.

I had not caught it before, but my response should have been "Anything LESS than silent would be NOTHING."  Cool Now, I am sure that username! did not mean that but his choice of words is indeed humorous.  Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2010, 10:47:47 AM »

Silent anafora is Orthodox anything less is American innovation.

The Synod of Greece officially approves of it as of 2004, so is not "American innovation." 

Of course not! How could anybody even think of calling this practice any sort of innovation when it has had a long and time-honoured pedigree of approval from the Synod of Greece for a whole six years?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2010, 10:58:49 AM »

Silent anafora is Orthodox anything less is American innovation.

The Synod of Greece officially approves of it as of 2004, so is not "American innovation." 

Of course not! How could anybody even think of calling this practice any sort of innovation when it has had a long and time-honoured pedigree of approval from the Synod of Greece for a whole six years?  Roll Eyes

the point was the its not American. ppl like to take anything they dont like and say its an American convert innovation, when usually there is support for these things from other countries.
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« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2010, 11:03:57 AM »

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Strictly/historically speaking, neither the Deacon nor the people were saying the Amens 1200 years ago, at least according to the source closest at hand.  According to Barberini, the Priest said it all.  Under section 35 (Liturgy of Chrysostom) it directs the priest to say the prayers, and the Amen is directly appended (rather than separated as are the other deacon's parts & people's parts). 
That's how they do it where I come from, since both parish deacons and Schmemann innovations are utterly unknown over here.
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« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2010, 11:15:17 AM »

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Strictly/historically speaking, neither the Deacon nor the people were saying the Amens 1200 years ago, at least according to the source closest at hand.  According to Barberini, the Priest said it all.  Under section 35 (Liturgy of Chrysostom) it directs the priest to say the prayers, and the Amen is directly appended (rather than separated as are the other deacon's parts & people's parts). 
That's how they do it where I come from, since both parish deacons and Schmemann innovations are utterly unknown over here.


Really?  The dinky village that my ex in-laws came from (Deagu) from had their own deacon.  There was an issue when he retired because the priest couldn't be bothered to sign the paperwork so the deacon got all the pension he was entitled to for his service to the Church. As for innovations you have enough (e.g. the insertion of pomenirii into the DL as a large section, kneeling a plenty on Sunday) that you don't need Schmemann.
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« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2010, 11:43:20 AM »

I looked at my collection of Old Calendar service books and found the following:

ROCOR

1) The "Law of God" has the Priest recite the Epiclesis silently and the Deacon say the Amen.

2) The Sluzhebnik follows the above.

3) "The Divine Liturgy for Choir and Laity" does not have in it the Epiclesis, indicating that the neither the Choir or the Laity participate in the Amens at this point.

Jerusalem

In the "Orthodox Way to Salvation" by Proto-Psaltes Mansur Elias Dudum, the Epiclesis is not included for the Laity.  The Faithful are instructed to repeat the prayer of St. Iphram the Syrian during this time.

Serbia

In the "Divine Liturgy, Prayers, and Catechism" printed with the blessing of His Grace Longin, the Priest says the Epiclesis and the Amens.

I hope this is useful for the OP's question.
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« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2010, 11:53:50 AM »

Before people go off on claiming certain things are innovations, the Liturgy served nowadays can itself be considered an innovation. It's not a heretical innovation, but it's way different that the one St. John Chrysostom served, or the one served by the Holy Apostles themselves. We tend to have this wacky idea that, because our liturgical texts are inspired by the Holy Spirit, they descended from heaven in neatly printed, unaltered books. This is not even the case with the Holy Scripture. We have to allow for differences of time, place, language and culture, and even practice. All we have had is the same faith, though the expression of that faith has also changed. The terms "hypostasis," "homousios," and "physis" and the understandings we have of them are all innovations, but necessary ones.

Anyway, to move on to Antiochian practice, there is indeed an Antiochian liturgikon, written by Bishop Basil. Hapgood, as far as I know, is not used as an authoritative text by any Antiochians anymore. The letter of Metropolitan Phillip in the front does not make mention of a blessing for liturgical use. I think people just assume that, since Antiochians publish Hapgood, they use it. But I have not found this to be the case.
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« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2010, 12:37:13 PM »


Per the prayer book published by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of USA, the prayer is quietly read by the priest with the deacon giving the responses.

The "Amen, Amen, Amen....remember me a sinner" is stated by the deacon (if one is present).

We don't have a deacon so this is all done by our priest.

While the prayer is read quietly, the choir builds to a crescendo, and the "Amens" are declared loudly for all to hear.  It's the most moving moment of the Liturgy.


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« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2010, 12:50:14 PM »

Perhaps we should all start reciting he prayer of the antiphons win the priest and all holding hands around The altar during the anafora. 

but if the Liturgy is the work of the people, then the people should give an Amen to their own offering!

Well, hence the people singing tebe pojem while the priest and the deacon pray their part.  Church isn't about particular individual wants it's about what the church instructs.  Totally different mindset from the American thought on protestantism, "I think therefore it should be." 
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« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2010, 01:01:40 PM »

Sure, things are innovations.  Some natural some imposed by Tsars and Patriarchs.  Some imposed by scholars who sought to attempt to return to some form of liturgy in some distant time and place while not knowing the context of that era.  Orthodoxy is complete in the now.  There wasn't a time or place where it was better.  To say anything is to denigrate the church.  Hence changing things because it feels good takes away from a communal experience and replaces bits and pieces because it feels right and they did it in 305 ad in some turkish town.  That is reducing the church to saying, well, it's not perfect now but it was better then because they did it like that then.  Don't fix what's broken.

Funny how one thing that was a recent innovation isn't even fixed... years ago people didn't sing the alleulia versus before the Gospel.  Well, they still don't in some places.  So the priest had to start incensing for the Gospel reading during the Epistle reading.  So what you have is the guy chanting the epistle after the priest says "Wisdom let us attend."  Then the next thing he does is grab the censer and start jingling bells while we're to be listening to the epistle.  How about correcting such recent misgivings instead of pointing to a time in history and saying we must do it that way because they did it in damascus in 402 a.d. 
Ever go to a liturgy where the people sing to the o Lord slowly and the priest prays silently then its is timed so when the people stop singing he proclaims the excalmation?  It's wonderful, it flows. 
It's the way its been done and I don't think changing things to suit a particular person's interest is correct.  Church is community not individuality.  It's a group of individuals that are to work as a community together.  Not "me me me." 
Its like when the priest changes words in the Gospel reading because he feels it needs to be changed. 
Yes it happens.
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« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2010, 01:02:11 PM »

Quote
As for innovations you have enough (e.g. the insertion of pomenirii into the DL as a large section, kneeling a plenty on Sunday) that you don't need Schmemann.
That's called local, organic tradition, not ideologically driven renovationism.
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« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2010, 01:14:42 PM »

Quote
As for innovations you have enough (e.g. the insertion of pomenirii into the DL as a large section, kneeling a plenty on Sunday) that you don't need Schmemann.
That's called local, organic tradition, not ideologically driven renovationism.
So sure about that?
Why's that?

"It takes three years to build a ship but 300 years to build a tradition." - Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope

Turns out, such is not the case:
The invention of tradition By Eric J. Hobsbawm, Terence O. Ranger
http://books.google.com/books?id=sfvnNdVY3KIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=invention+of+tradition+hobsbawm&hl=en&ei=q5X8S-OwMZ2QMqa8vd4H&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Constantinople created its tradition as we know it basically in the span of at most two centuries.
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« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2010, 01:44:52 PM »


 Cheesy Soon, we'll have to institute something analogous to Godwin's law for your use of Hobsbawm, Isa.

I mean, it was a fetching (Marxist) theory 20 years ago, but, honestly, it's already being debunked even by people who specialize in the construction of nationalism, who used to think of Hobsbawn as the Pope.

As for historians who know something about pre-modern history, they've long shown how Hobsbawn's premise doesn't hold water across the true span of human societies. In fact, I think Slavic and Romanian scholars were among the first to point that out.

Knowing something about places other than the UK, France, Germany, et al. -- you know, little places like Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Caucasia, etc. -- is helpful if one is going to produce a general theory about the construction of tradition. I mean, it would be great if one knew about, say, the last 2,500 years in each place, but anything would do. Reminds me of a graduate seminar on the construction of nationalism before and during WWI, wherein my wife was trying to point out how the prof (a Hobsbawm type) might not be right about a certain point. He said: "Now, wait minute. Which side was Bulgaria on?"
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