Author Topic: Hymns  (Read 1025 times)

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Offline Poppy

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Hymns
« on: June 04, 2011, 06:42:54 PM »
Its common in allot of churches to sing hymns. How come the Orthodox church has singers singing the words but no hymns??

I'm not complaining because i wouldn't like to (and can't) sing lolOl Just am curious.

Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 06:47:04 PM »
Its common in allot of churches to sing hymns. How come the Orthodox church has singers singing the words but no hymns??

I'm not complaining because i wouldn't like to (and can't) sing lolOl Just am curious.
im not sure if this is what you are asking, but this is from my (future) parish's site

Quote
We do not use musical instruments, because the words take precedence over the music.

All of our singing is a cappella, as it was in the early Church on up until the Middle Ages.

Offline Poppy

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011, 06:52:07 PM »
Ok thanks
It was kind of what i was asking... but how come the whole church doesn't join in with the a capella singing??
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 06:52:30 PM by Poppy »

Offline mike

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 06:56:43 PM »
I don't sing because I'm a very bad singer.
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2011, 07:07:17 PM »
This is one of those things that varies from parish to parish, at my parish there seem to be a good number of people outside the choir who sing along with the choir (following its lead), but I know that there are those parishes where there is no one other than the choir singing.  It just varies
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Offline David Garner

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2011, 10:29:36 PM »
This is one of those things that varies from parish to parish, at my parish there seem to be a good number of people outside the choir who sing along with the choir (following its lead), but I know that there are those parishes where there is no one other than the choir singing.  It just varies

Agreed.  I like to see parish participation, but even in Protestant Churches that are well known for their hymnody, you have some congregations that just don't sing.

That may or may not be more prevalent in Orthodoxy, but in our parish, the congregation sings right out loud.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 10:45:07 PM »
It seems to also vary by jurisdiction. The Carpatho-Russians consider congregational singing to be one of their hallmarks.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2011, 12:57:43 AM »
Ok thanks
It was kind of what i was asking... but how come the whole church doesn't join in with the a capella singing??

For a lot of parishioners of churches that use Byzantine music, even for short hymns such as the REsurrectional Apolytikia, the modal system is hard to grasp and thus many do not sing. 

I'd rather see more people NOT sing simply because they lack the basic abilities.  Nothing wrong with that since singing is a gifting not all of us have. If you can't sing aloud, pray then in your heart.  Too many people, even priests, however believe that only by singing do you participate in the offices or the Liturgy with which I cannot vehemently disagree more, but that's another topic.
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2011, 10:36:11 AM »
It seems to also vary by jurisdiction. The Carpatho-Russians consider congregational singing to be one of their hallmarks.

As do many of our Slavic brothers and sisters in their own traditions. Choral singing is a relatively recent innovation in Orthodoxy, at least in the commonly understood sense of the great Russian traditions of the 18th and 19th centuries. Not that this is a bad thing, but it is not the only way to express Orthodox worship. Hymns per se are also common among many of the Slavs, particularly among Rusyns, Romanians and Ukrainians.

Offline bogdan

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2011, 11:07:30 AM »
I'd rather see more people NOT sing simply because they lack the basic abilities.  Nothing wrong with that since singing is a gifting not all of us have. If you can't sing aloud, pray then in your heart.  Too many people, even priests, however believe that only by singing do you participate in the offices or the Liturgy with which I cannot vehemently disagree more, but that's another topic.

I kind of agree with this. It is a wrong expectation to think that to participate, one must sing. We should participate in the Church's life according to our abilities. And not everyone can, or should, sing.

I read an article awhile ago, written by a professional Orthodox choir director, who pointed out that, for some reason, we tolerate poor quality music while we wouldn't tolerate poor quality in other areas. We don't encourage non-architects to design the temple building, or non-artists to paint icons, or non-bakers to make prosphora, so why would we encourage untrained or untalented people to sing?

Many parishes spend buku bucks on their buildings, and their icons, and parishioners spend whole weekends making their cultural food of choice for the parish festival. But when it's suggested to train or hire a choir director or chanter, or have the choir come in to practice...crickets.

This isn't the case everywhere, and some parishes truly don't have the luxury (or the need, if the congregation is generally able to sing). But it is certainly the case in a number of parishes I'm familiar with, and they could afford it.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 11:10:25 AM by bogdan »

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2011, 11:51:38 AM »
I have to disagree.  I have listened to just a choir singing (the parts of the service that change from week to week, it seems no one sings but the choir), and I have listened to much of the congregation sing (at times it seems all of it, for certain things, especially "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death..."), and I have to say that I much prefer the entire congregation singing.  Not only does it show that the congregation is not simply a passive observor of the liturgy (which if I am not mistaken means "work of the people" and so I really don't know why someone would prefer that the mass of the people be silent and not work) but is an active and important member of the Body of Christ; but it also creates a resounding and triumphant sounding chorus of the Lord.  When everyone joins in together to sing praises to God, it creates an atmosphere of unity, but also of triumph and of joy, something that the Church should have because while the Church on Earth is still the Church Militant, we not only have the Church Triumphant present at every liturgy, but the forces of the evil one are waging a war we already know the outcome of.  We already know that the Church Militant will one day be the Church Triumphant, we already know that the powers of death and sin and Satan have lost their sting, and have lost their authority, and so how can we not all shout for joy at the name of the Lord?  How can we not all sing his praises?
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2011, 08:48:53 PM »
Possibly the laity shouldn't try their hand at, say, the Cherubic Hymn, but it is majorly depressing when they can't even manage to give "Christos anesti" / "Christ is risen" a go.
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2011, 08:57:45 PM »
Possibly the laity shouldn't try their hand at, say, the Cherubic Hymn, but it is majorly depressing when they can't even manage to give "Christos anesti" / "Christ is risen" a go.

Why not? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFswLtgG2zQ

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2011, 09:06:51 PM »
I have to disagree.  I have listened to just a choir singing (the parts of the service that change from week to week, it seems no one sings but the choir), and I have listened to much of the congregation sing (at times it seems all of it, for certain things, especially "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death..."), and I have to say that I much prefer the entire congregation singing.  Not only does it show that the congregation is not simply a passive observor of the liturgy (which if I am not mistaken means "work of the people" and so I really don't know why someone would prefer that the mass of the people be silent and not work) but is an active and important member of the Body of Christ; but it also creates a resounding and triumphant sounding chorus of the Lord. 

Though I'm not specifically named as the "someone [who] would prefer that the mass of the people be silent and not work" I will respond as if I were.  I am repeating myself but I will make it very clear, yet again.   Just because someone does not sing does not equate not participating or praying the Liturgy.  I can't hear the angels, but I know they are singing with us so why must you insist that only audible singing of words, no matter how tone deaf and musically illiterate as  one may be, is the bona fide manifestation of participation?  Also, how does more people=more triumph?  I"ve heard monastics (a group of three) sing and chant with more fervor and more triumph (and also with good musical ability) than choirs with ten times the people.  It's not a numbers game.  Stop trying to make it into one.
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Hymns
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2011, 09:16:56 PM »
I have to disagree.  I have listened to just a choir singing (the parts of the service that change from week to week, it seems no one sings but the choir), and I have listened to much of the congregation sing (at times it seems all of it, for certain things, especially "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death..."), and I have to say that I much prefer the entire congregation singing.  Not only does it show that the congregation is not simply a passive observor of the liturgy (which if I am not mistaken means "work of the people" and so I really don't know why someone would prefer that the mass of the people be silent and not work) but is an active and important member of the Body of Christ; but it also creates a resounding and triumphant sounding chorus of the Lord. 

Though I'm not specifically named as the "someone [who] would prefer that the mass of the people be silent and not work" I will respond as if I were.  I am repeating myself but I will make it very clear, yet again.   Just because someone does not sing does not equate not participating or praying the Liturgy.  I can't hear the angels, but I know they are singing with us so why must you insist that only audible singing of words, no matter how tone deaf and musically illiterate as  one may be, is the bona fide manifestation of participation?  Also, how does more people=more triumph?  I"ve heard monastics (a group of three) sing and chant with more fervor and more triumph (and also with good musical ability) than choirs with ten times the people.  It's not a numbers game.  Stop trying to make it into one.

There is a time a place for both choral, cantoral and congregational singing in the Church. You are right, it is not a numbers game. I have been a part of all three of these disciplines and I have benefitted from each. Not all of us are blessed with a singing voice. Those who are so blessed though might consider taking advantage of the gift that God has given them and take part according to the traditions of your parish. But, if you want to pray in silence, that's ok too, because your prayers will be heard just as assuredly as if you sang at the top of your lungs!