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PoorFoolNicholas
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« on: April 25, 2011, 03:38:11 PM »

I know that for Bright Week the Paschal Hours replace the usual hours, but what about the mid-hours? Do they stay the same? Are they omitted entirely?
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2011, 03:47:17 PM »

I know that for Bright Week the Paschal Hours replace the usual hours, but what about the mid-hours? Do they stay the same? Are they omitted entirely?

The mid-hours are only said during the fasting periods (not including Great Lent), so they would be omitted in any case.
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2011, 04:03:15 PM »

Shows what I know!  Grin thanks for the help!
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011, 06:44:20 PM »

One more thing I forgot to ask:
Are the mid hours prayed on Wednesday/Friday, since those are fasting days?
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2011, 08:42:31 PM »

The mid hours are purely monastic, so you would say them only if you are in a monastery, in that case consult the typikon or the abbot.
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2011, 09:06:01 PM »

One more thing I forgot to ask:
Are the mid hours prayed on Wednesday/Friday, since those are fasting days?

They are no said during the 50 days of Pentecost nor the week following Pentecost. 
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2011, 10:27:16 PM »

Ok I'm confused... A layman can't pray the mid hours?  Huh And when exactly CAN'T they be prayed?
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2011, 11:54:34 PM »

Ok I'm confused... A layman can't pray the mid hours?  Huh And when exactly CAN'T they be prayed?
The point is if you feel the desire to pray all these services then you should be in a monastery or under spiritual direction. If you are under such spiritual direction you should be discussing this with that person and not on the internet.

I know very few monasteries that serve these mid hours.
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011, 12:42:45 AM »

You are right, why would I ask a question about Liturgics, on the INTERNET board dedicated to Liturgical questions? I must be insane!!! Thanks for setting me straight! Useless... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2011, 01:46:30 AM »

You are right, why would I ask a question about Liturgics, on the INTERNET board dedicated to Liturgical questions? I must be insane!!! Thanks for setting me straight! Useless... Roll Eyes
You seem to have crossed a line with the idea of praying the mid-hours.  One might ask thoughts about a particular sin, for instance, on the internet, but the real answer would come from your spiritual advisor: no one confesses over the internet.
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2011, 01:57:59 AM »

Quote
You seem to have crossed a line with the idea of praying the mid-hours.
How? They are incredibly short as a reader's service anyway. I know that any question regarding a prayer rule, should ultimately involve my Priest. I'm always very open and honest about these things with him. I have recently started staying at home with my children while the wife works, allowing myself more time for prayer, and the hours are awesome, to say the least. I know precious little about the mid hours, as shown above, and find it ridiculous to be shut down while asking a legitimate question about them.
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2011, 02:03:13 AM »

Quote
You seem to have crossed a line with the idea of praying the mid-hours.
How? They are incredibly short as a reader's service anyway. I know that any question regarding a prayer rule, should ultimately involve my Priest. I'm always very open and honest about these things with him. I have recently started staying at home with my children while the wife works, allowing myself more time for prayer, and the hours are awesome, to say the least. I know precious little about the mid hours, as shown above, and find it ridiculous to be shut down while asking a legitimate question about them.
Do you think, though, that arimethea may have a valid point you might do well to consider?
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2011, 02:04:47 AM »

Quote
You seem to have crossed a line with the idea of praying the mid-hours.
How? They are incredibly short as a reader's service anyway. I know that any question regarding a prayer rule, should ultimately involve my Priest. I'm always very open and honest about these things with him. I have recently started staying at home with my children while the wife works, allowing myself more time for prayer, and the hours are awesome, to say the least. I know precious little about the mid hours, as shown above, and find it ridiculous to be shut down while asking a legitimate question about them.
The problem is that you weren't asking for opinions or about them in the abstract, and idle knowledge, but, as you reiterate here, for actual practice according to some canonical mandate.  None of us are going to know here that taking up a heavier prayer load is going to adversely affect your children and marriage.  Your priest would have a better idea.
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2011, 03:45:23 AM »

One more thing I forgot to ask:
Are the mid hours prayed on Wednesday/Friday, since those are fasting days?

Not unless they fall within the fasting periods mentioned above, much in the same way as a normal Wednesday and Friday do not follow Lenten rubrics even though the same fasting rules are prescribed.
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2011, 06:08:53 AM »

Ok I'm confused... A layman can't pray the mid hours?  Huh And when exactly CAN'T they be prayed?
Given that we are exhorted to pray continually, I can see no reason why under some circumstances, a layman might elect to pray the hours as reader services.  Further the idea that the hours are only for monastics is erroneous.  Of course we need to follow the direction of our spiritual father - just as common sense and a carefully planned rule is better than trying to mimic a renounced monk.  However in my humble opinion any Orthodox Christian is entitled to pray the hours, if they have the time, disposition and a heart so inclined to God.
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2011, 06:13:26 AM »

Ok I'm confused... A layman can't pray the mid hours?  Huh And when exactly CAN'T they be prayed?
The point is if you feel the desire to pray all these services then you should be in a monastery or under spiritual direction. If you are under such spiritual direction you should be discussing this with that person and not on the internet.

I know very few monasteries that serve these mid hours.
Given that Nicholas is a married layman, aspiring to be a monastic and renounce family life is probably not the way to go.  I can see no problem with discussing these matters on a forum which makes provision for questions such as these that are legitimate, respectfully conveyed and done by someone who is seeking to serve Jesus Christ nicely. Better for a layman to pray the hours, to observe the fasts, to read Scripture and the saints daily than to be a token Christian for 2 hours on a Sunday or at Pascha like so many who fail to understand that the Christian life is a 24/7 consideration for every soul.
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2011, 09:16:02 AM »

Given that we are exhorted to pray continually, I can see no reason why under some circumstances, a layman might elect to pray the hours as reader services.  Further the idea that the hours are only for monastics is erroneous.  Of course we need to follow the direction of our spiritual father - just as common sense and a carefully planned rule is better than trying to mimic a renounced monk.  However in my humble opinion any Orthodox Christian is entitled to pray the hours, if they have the time, disposition and a heart so inclined to God.

Didn't you know that laymen shouldn't pray anything but the 19th century Russian compilation of morning and evening prayers, and occasionally recite the Jesus Prayer, but only on a chotki of 33 knots or less? Anything other than that is for those pretentious people who dare to read the Ladder of Divine Ascent.
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2011, 09:51:22 AM »

Ok I'm confused... A layman can't pray the mid hours?  Huh And when exactly CAN'T they be prayed?

I am confused as well.  I didn't say they "can't" be prayed.  I thought you were asking about the received practice.  We do follow a liturgical order, and that is what I thought you were referring to.  There is nothing "wrong" with praying them.  They are not "forbidden." 
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2011, 11:18:54 AM »

Quote
Given that we are exhorted to pray continually, I can see no reason why under some circumstances, a layman might elect to pray the hours as reader services.  Further the idea that the hours are only for monastics is erroneous.  Of course we need to follow the direction of our spiritual father - just as common sense and a carefully planned rule is better than trying to mimic a renounced monk.  However in my humble opinion any Orthodox Christian is entitled to pray the hours, if they have the time, disposition and a heart so inclined to God.
Thank you. I agree 100% I would only add that this should all be done UNDER the direct authority and knowledge of my spiritual father.

PtA:
Yes arimethea has a point, one should always consult the clergy. But OC.net by it's very nature is designed for questions like the one I have raised. So you can understand my frustration.
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2011, 11:27:01 AM »

Ok I'm confused... A layman can't pray the mid hours?  Huh And when exactly CAN'T they be prayed?

I didn't say a layman couldn't pray them, in fact the opposite. I said they are said in context with the typikon of the monastery. Most monks are laymen so therefore the mid hours are almost exclusively said by laymen.

It is nice that you want to do these prayers but, to decide you are going to do these without the guidance of a spiritual father who can monitor your spiritual life is arrogant and dangerous. It doesn't matter what anyone on this forum says because we can not see how your prayer practice is impacting your family life.

Your answer was provided, the hours are not said during Bright Week and then are said normally during the rest of the season. The services of the Orthodox Church are not just something we do out of a book but are learned by experiencing them. You need real life guidance and not just an internet forum to guide you.
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« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2011, 11:31:03 AM »

Your answer was provided, the hours are not said during Bright Week and then are said normally during the rest of the season. ....You need real life guidance and not just an internet forum to guide you.

I used to be scared of the priest at my parish and used OC.net as a crutch to answer spiritual questions.  It proved disastrous.  We then got a new priest, who still scared me, but my godparents and friends at church encouraged me to talk to him, and now I'm not scared and he's actually very approachable.  Not only that, but my spiritual life is much more peaceful these days.  That's why I agree with Arimethea - it's good to ask the "should" questions to your spiritual father or father confessor.
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« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2011, 12:03:37 PM »

Quote
It is nice that you want to do these prayers but, to decide you are going to do these without the guidance of a spiritual father who can monitor your spiritual life is arrogant and dangerous.
I never said that I was going to pray anything without the guidance of my Priest. You assumed that. That is what is arrogant and dangerous...
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« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2011, 12:50:06 PM »

Christ is Risen, brothers and sisters!

Somebody has placed information on Wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inter-Hours
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« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2011, 02:28:45 PM »


It is nice that you want to do these prayers but, to decide you are going to do these without the guidance of a spiritual father who can monitor your spiritual life is arrogant and dangerous. It doesn't matter what anyone on this forum says because we can not see how your prayer practice is impacting your family life.


Emphasis mine.

Not picking on arimethea, however, this "talk to your priest" advice on so many threads got me thinking.

Do you seriously consult your priests about all these things? 

If you decided you wished to add a prayer to your daily prayer rule...you would hesitate to do so, without first consulting your priest?

Aren't we taught to pray behind closed doors...secretly?

...wouldn't you worry the priest might think you are being overly pretentious, and showing off how "pious" you are if you ran to him with all these little details? 

It seems we use "talk to your priest" as an answer to all things, so that we are not held responsible for the advice we've given the inquirer.   

Do you expect your own priests to know all that is happening in your lives?  As a pastor to some 200+ individuals, aren't you putting an excessive burden on the priest by these expectations? 

Maybe the clergy could answer...do You expect your flock to come to you with "little" things....is this something that is desirable?  I'm genuinely curious, as I do not go to my priest, unless I've got something that I am at a loss as how to handle.  Should I be consulting him more?



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« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2011, 02:46:54 PM »

I think, in this case, it may have been overly cautious. I would like to believe that most people are able, with the reason God has given them, to work things out as best fits them. We try to avoid extremes. It is extreme to never consult your priest about anything you have a question about, or to think that you are always right, particularly about things involving spiritual life. It is another extreme, however, to have someone decide everything for you (that is extreme even in monasticism). We have, on one hand, personal delusion, and on the other, guruism. Both are highly dangerous spiritually. But I think that there is a third extreme, that of strangers being overly cautious with warnings to other strangers of dire spiritual harm if they follow after the two previous extremes. I hope this makes sense. Forgive me if I have offended, I certainly do not mean to accuse anyone of anything. I have just found that, more often than not, reason and moderation, combined with a normal relationship with a spiritual father is the path of most peace. There is no need to warn a man of drowning in the sea when you meet him on an inland highway.
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« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2011, 03:34:52 PM »


It is nice that you want to do these prayers but, to decide you are going to do these without the guidance of a spiritual father who can monitor your spiritual life is arrogant and dangerous. It doesn't matter what anyone on this forum says because we can not see how your prayer practice is impacting your family life.


Emphasis mine.

Not picking on arimethea, however, this "talk to your priest" advice on so many threads got me thinking.

Do you seriously consult your priests about all these things? 

If you decided you wished to add a prayer to your daily prayer rule...you would hesitate to do so, without first consulting your priest?

Aren't we taught to pray behind closed doors...secretly?

...wouldn't you worry the priest might think you are being overly pretentious, and showing off how "pious" you are if you ran to him with all these little details? 

It seems we use "talk to your priest" as an answer to all things, so that we are not held responsible for the advice we've given the inquirer.   

Do you expect your own priests to know all that is happening in your lives?  As a pastor to some 200+ individuals, aren't you putting an excessive burden on the priest by these expectations? 

Maybe the clergy could answer...do You expect your flock to come to you with "little" things....is this something that is desirable?  I'm genuinely curious, as I do not go to my priest, unless I've got something that I am at a loss as how to handle.  Should I be consulting him more?





Great post Liza. I've become relatively "close" and familiar with the Priest at our parish enough to get a snapshot of what his schedule is like. It is not a large parish by any means. I always wonder when people tell others frequently to discuss with their Priest questions they have, how their Priest could have any possible to time to field such questions.

Infos are good on here. Find folks in your parish you can consult. Get involved with the parish, so that "smaller" questions can be discussed when having dinner with your Priest and his family, going to the hospital to visit a member of the parish, while cleaning the parish, etc. These less formal times for "smaller" questions is when I get some good feedback from my Priest or from other folks in the parish on what to do.

On my prayer rule for example, was helping put away chairs with my Priest and his wife. And I asked about a increasing my prayer rule and which book to use, before I finished the word "Jordanville" he gave me his suggestion. I took it. The conversation lasted about two minutes. It was not because it was cookie cutter answer, but because he knows what I do from more informal and casual moments within and without the parish.

And I've come to know enough folks in the parish, who I can ask what I think are silly questions to more serious questions like how to integrate Orthodoxy more into my life. Again, no big appointments. Just showing up as much as possible.


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« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2011, 03:49:36 PM »

Liza,
That's a great question: How frequently should we bring issues and items such as these to our clergy?

Regarding a prayer rule, I think my priests were a bit taken aback by the level of detail I inquired about.  The answer to the above question may depend greatly on the situation each person is in, and their relationship with their spiritual father/mother.

I recently made the decision to include a short dismissal hymn (pertaining to my patron saint) into my nightly prayers.  Partially a result of the frequent advice on this forum, I was initially inclined to ask my priest about this.  My parish is very large, my spiritual father has many spiritual children, Holy Week has just ended, and I'm confident he would not have an issue with me including this.  I will note it and bring it to his attention the next time we meet.

I'm not writing towards this particular example (Paschal Hours), and I realize that "ask your priest" is frequently a euphemism for "this is not a question to which you should seek answers from an internet forum."  That said, it seems that there is a line between accepting direction, and being overly needy and self-absorbed regarding our own spiritual growth.  Yes, clergy are responsible for guiding their flock, but they also have busy lives themselves and would probably benefit from not having to answer every single question we have.

I am frequently guilty of this mindset, but I should also respect the freedom my spiritual father believes I can handle or that I need.  
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« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2011, 04:20:34 PM »

VERY good post, Liza.  I have often wondered how I am supposed to be part of the "royal priesthood" that is part of being in the Body of Christ if I have to run to the priest for every little decision that I need to make.  That is not Christianity, it is cultism.   


It is nice that you want to do these prayers but, to decide you are going to do these without the guidance of a spiritual father who can monitor your spiritual life is arrogant and dangerous. It doesn't matter what anyone on this forum says because we can not see how your prayer practice is impacting your family life.


Emphasis mine.

Not picking on arimethea, however, this "talk to your priest" advice on so many threads got me thinking.

Do you seriously consult your priests about all these things? 

If you decided you wished to add a prayer to your daily prayer rule...you would hesitate to do so, without first consulting your priest?

Aren't we taught to pray behind closed doors...secretly?

...wouldn't you worry the priest might think you are being overly pretentious, and showing off how "pious" you are if you ran to him with all these little details? 

It seems we use "talk to your priest" as an answer to all things, so that we are not held responsible for the advice we've given the inquirer.   

Do you expect your own priests to know all that is happening in your lives?  As a pastor to some 200+ individuals, aren't you putting an excessive burden on the priest by these expectations? 

Maybe the clergy could answer...do You expect your flock to come to you with "little" things....is this something that is desirable?  I'm genuinely curious, as I do not go to my priest, unless I've got something that I am at a loss as how to handle.  Should I be consulting him more?




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« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2011, 04:25:02 PM »

I am frequently guilty of this mindset, but I should also respect the freedom my spiritual father believes I can handle or that I need.   

Yes. Lay people are not monks. We certainly should consult our priests about things of spiritual significance, but there is a difference between that and treating him like an abbot. (My own priest says to be extremely wary of priests who demand strict obedience, or allegiance, and so forth.)

We are sheep, yes, but we are rational sheep. We must ultimately take responsibility for ourselves. I think experimenting with a prayer rule is not something that needs minute oversight; just keep him informed about what you're doing from time to time.

The key is to keep flexing our spiritual muscles and not quit. What exactly that means at a given time can vary. Our prayer lives will sometimes wax and wane; sometimes we will be spiritually strong and able to pray a lot. That means we should do so. In dry times—given to humble us—we may only be able to manage a single "Lord, have mercy." But even the widow's mites are enough, if that's truly all we have to give. Just keep at it, that is the point.

And we can use our own judgment to decide what's enough. And if we mess up, we confess it, learn from it, and continue onward.
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« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2011, 09:38:42 PM »

I am frequently guilty of this mindset, but I should also respect the freedom my spiritual father believes I can handle or that I need.   

Yes. Lay people are not monks. We certainly should consult our priests about things of spiritual significance, but there is a difference between that and treating him like an abbot. (My own priest says to be extremely wary of priests who demand strict obedience, or allegiance, and so forth.)

We are sheep, yes, but we are rational sheep. We must ultimately take responsibility for ourselves. I think experimenting with a prayer rule is not something that needs minute oversight; just keep him informed about what you're doing from time to time.

The key is to keep flexing our spiritual muscles and not quit. What exactly that means at a given time can vary. Our prayer lives will sometimes wax and wane; sometimes we will be spiritually strong and able to pray a lot. That means we should do so. In dry times—given to humble us—we may only be able to manage a single "Lord, have mercy." But even the widow's mites are enough, if that's truly all we have to give. Just keep at it, that is the point.

And we can use our own judgment to decide what's enough. And if we mess up, we confess it, learn from it, and continue onward.
Well said.  Common sense, having a relationship with our priest that we use when appropriate and keeping on trying, when our heart is dry as well as when it is full - these are what we all need to do.
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« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2011, 09:42:19 PM »

Liza,
That's a great question: How frequently should we bring issues and items such as these to our clergy?

Regarding a prayer rule, I think my priests were a bit taken aback by the level of detail I inquired about.  The answer to the above question may depend greatly on the situation each person is in, and their relationship with their spiritual father/mother.

I recently made the decision to include a short dismissal hymn (pertaining to my patron saint) into my nightly prayers.  Partially a result of the frequent advice on this forum, I was initially inclined to ask my priest about this.  My parish is very large, my spiritual father has many spiritual children, Holy Week has just ended, and I'm confident he would not have an issue with me including this.  I will note it and bring it to his attention the next time we meet.

I'm not writing towards this particular example (Paschal Hours), and I realize that "ask your priest" is frequently a euphemism for "this is not a question to which you should seek answers from an internet forum."  That said, it seems that there is a line between accepting direction, and being overly needy and self-absorbed regarding our own spiritual growth.  Yes, clergy are responsible for guiding their flock, but they also have busy lives themselves and would probably benefit from not having to answer every single question we have.

I am frequently guilty of this mindset, but I should also respect the freedom my spiritual father believes I can handle or that I need.  
In my case our parish is visited by priests about 7 or 8 times a year and by our Dean who is our rector two or three out of those 8 times.  He is extremely busy, with national, international and local responsibility.  I would feel like I was making something of nothing if I phoned him - as he lives about 600 kilometres away and asked him every nuance re my prayer rule. In fact I would be being a nuisance. I would prefer a closer spiritual relationship with a confessor but it is as it is right now.  I sometimes unload my cares on the local Greek priest but the Greek norms are different to the Russian norms in many things.
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« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2011, 12:04:13 AM »

Bogdan, I find your posts to be generally informative.  This I find to be even moreso particularly informative for several readers.  God keep you on your journey, and increase others by the wealth of your posts. 

I am frequently guilty of this mindset, but I should also respect the freedom my spiritual father believes I can handle or that I need.   

Yes. Lay people are not monks. We certainly should consult our priests about things of spiritual significance, but there is a difference between that and treating him like an abbot. (My own priest says to be extremely wary of priests who demand strict obedience, or allegiance, and so forth.)

We are sheep, yes, but we are rational sheep. We must ultimately take responsibility for ourselves. I think experimenting with a prayer rule is not something that needs minute oversight; just keep him informed about what you're doing from time to time.

The key is to keep flexing our spiritual muscles and not quit. What exactly that means at a given time can vary. Our prayer lives will sometimes wax and wane; sometimes we will be spiritually strong and able to pray a lot. That means we should do so. In dry times—given to humble us—we may only be able to manage a single "Lord, have mercy." But even the widow's mites are enough, if that's truly all we have to give. Just keep at it, that is the point.

And we can use our own judgment to decide what's enough. And if we mess up, we confess it, learn from it, and continue onward.
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« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2011, 03:12:55 PM »

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You seem to have crossed a line with the idea of praying the mid-hours.
How? They are incredibly short as a reader's service anyway. I know that any question regarding a prayer rule, should ultimately involve my Priest. I'm always very open and honest about these things with him. I have recently started staying at home with my children while the wife works, allowing myself more time for prayer, and the hours are awesome, to say the least. I know precious little about the mid hours, as shown above, and find it ridiculous to be shut down while asking a legitimate question about them.

They would be short on their own, but they're always done right after the relevant hour. And since the hours are also sometimes done in groups the whole thing ends up being longer than one might suppose. Each hour and mesorion would take about 20 minutes or so.

You could always just add more Psalms to the hours, like we do in Great Lent. But the best advice is: Ask your spiritual director.
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« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2011, 03:39:28 PM »

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But the best advice is: Ask your spiritual director.

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