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Author Topic: Readers services and chanting  (Read 1623 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tgebar
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« on: September 06, 2011, 01:24:10 AM »

Seeing as how I unable to attend services until the mission in Joplin, Missouri is established, I have been contemplating reading, and perhaps even chanting the readers services when I am able to. Perhaps I am far too eager for integrating prayer and worship into my 'everyday life' (why demarcate your religious and secular life? Shouldn't life be a sacrament, for lack of a better term?), and if I am, I invite anyone who is willing to correct me to do so. However, if this is a wholly good and acceptable practice to adopt, then I would like to request a recommendation as to what service books contain a comprehensive selection of the readers services, both for the feast days and the normal services. I would also like to know if there is a guide which I can study in order to familiarize myself with the Byzantine tones, so that I am able to chant when appropriate during the reading of the services.

Thank you all so much for your guidance and assistance!  Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2011, 01:47:35 AM »

My thoughts, for what they are worth.  I have no idea what the church's reaction would be to your thoughts; again, these are my reactions, a layman with an official lower ecclesiastical title.

There are plenty of prayers in any Orthodox Prayer Book which we should recite routinely.  I'd start with the form in the Orthodox Study Bible and expand it, depending on time and need, using a Prayer Book, and the hymns of Vespers, Hours, and Orthros.  I do not think it is for the laity, especially a non-Orthodox Christian, to take up "celebrating" reader's services, which I don't think should be conducted without a bishop's knowledge and permission, for the benefit of a mission community that does not have a priest assigned.  After all, only a set apart "reader" or one with some experience in the lower clerical orders, should conduct "Reader's" services.  The conduct of the Reader's service is extraordinary, not a routine substitute or supplement for an individual's prayer life.  It is not my intention to lecture, but simply to communicate my impressions of your intentions expressed above.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 01:52:57 AM by Basil 320 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2011, 01:54:40 AM »

There is no need to justify your response my friend. If you will recall my original post you will see that I asked anyone who was willing to correct me if my intentions were misguided. I had found an article recommending the reading of services when no other means of attending services were available, and this simply ignited my curiosity. At your advice I will continue to maintain the morning and evening prayers. Thank you!
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 07:34:41 AM »

Well, I can't speak for the Greeks and Arabs, but when I was in the ROCOR, I was encouraged to hold Reader's services with my family when I could not be in Church.  In fact, the ROCOR has a whole series of Reader's services on the web, and they keep up with the variable parts of the services so that you can always have the correct verses for the day.  While Morning and Evening Prayers are important, there is also nothing wrong with reading the Typica on Sundays when you cannot be in Church, or any other day that you feel so inclined.  As to whether or not it should be read or chanted, my Priest told me "there is no Typikon in the home".   


Seeing as how I unable to attend services until the mission in Joplin, Missouri is established, I have been contemplating reading, and perhaps even chanting the readers services when I am able to. Perhaps I am far too eager for integrating prayer and worship into my 'everyday life' (why demarcate your religious and secular life? Shouldn't life be a sacrament, for lack of a better term?), and if I am, I invite anyone who is willing to correct me to do so. However, if this is a wholly good and acceptable practice to adopt, then I would like to request a recommendation as to what service books contain a comprehensive selection of the readers services, both for the feast days and the normal services. I would also like to know if there is a guide which I can study in order to familiarize myself with the Byzantine tones, so that I am able to chant when appropriate during the reading of the services.

Thank you all so much for your guidance and assistance!  Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2011, 08:20:37 AM »

I would also like to know if there is a guide which I can study in order to familiarize myself with the Byzantine tones, so that I am able to chant when appropriate during the reading of the services.

Thank you all so much for your guidance and assistance!  Smiley
I would agree with others that right now you should focus on your personal prayers rather than those which are more suited to a church setting (including the family setting that Punch referred to).

Likewise, now is not the time to learn to chant. There are plenty of guides available, but the best one is found in a church. Even though I chant regularly at church and am the most experienced of those of us in our small parish (yet am little more than a novice), I don't usually chant in my personal prayers. I find that it's too easy to get distracted from the prayers and focus on the chanting. At church it doesn't seem to be the same problem - possibly because I have rehearsed during the week, or because of the regular repetition of so many parts of the services, or because the service itself simply carries with it the understanding. Of course, I'm grateful for the prayers for "those who serve and those who sing" because sometimes it is hard to focus on worship rather than on performance.

I commend you on your enthusiasm. I'm glad I was called on by my priest to get started chanting. The experience has enriched my faith by requiring me to be fully involved in our services. I would recommend to anyone who has even the tiniest bit of musical ability to learn some of the chanting basics.
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2011, 08:41:01 AM »

Thank you for the advice friend! Of course, my enthusiasm is consumed by the beauty of the Divine services when I am able to attend them, but with this post I was merely seeking methods by which to engage myself in prayer more often while I am able to attend little to no services for great periods of time. It's something I fret about too often, I am afraid. I picked a really bad place to go to school!  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2011, 09:09:49 AM »

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/services_nopriest.aspx

This link may prove useful.
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 09:52:43 AM »

You could also use this.
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2011, 10:01:37 AM »

I would think that doing the morning and evening prayers in whatever prayer book you are using would be sufficient at first. If you think they aren't right now, perhaps you're not doing them right.

If you really want to do reader's services, I suggest doing them alone, especially as you are not really sure what you are doing. Perhaps you should only do vespers on Saturday night for now. If you want a book, an Horologion is the one you want, though that only has the fixed parts and not the variable parts. If you do only Saturday vespers and great feasts, though, there are websites that will tell you each week what the variable portions are.
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2011, 10:15:32 AM »

Do not fret, and continue to follow your concience on this matter.  I am disappointed at the number of people who seem to wish to have you "tone down", but your desire is not zealotry.  The cycle of services was given to us for a reason, and much of the Church's teaching is contained in these services.  There is no greater work that a man can do than to worship God and give Him praise.  You will find that the service books are not that hard to find and to aquire, pariticularly if you make them a priority and forsake some other more secular pleasures.  The page that MichaelArchangelos quoted should show you that it is the desire of the Church to have its laity continue the cycle of worship when the clergy is not present.  You will also find that many monks and clergy have put resources on the web to make this easier for you.  Another excellent addition to your daily worship would be the Prologue from Ochrid.  Going through the cycle of services while actually reading the lives of the Saints that are glorified in the Troparia and verses of the services really gives you a connection with the WHOLE Church, both here and in the next world.  Now is probably the BEST time for you to dig as deeply as you can into the services of the Church, while the fire burns brightly within you.  There will be enough water thrown on that fire later.


Thank you for the advice friend! Of course, my enthusiasm is consumed by the beauty of the Divine services when I am able to attend them, but with this post I was merely seeking methods by which to engage myself in prayer more often while I am able to attend little to no services for great periods of time. It's something I fret about too often, I am afraid. I picked a really bad place to go to school!  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2011, 01:38:27 PM »

Putting services together isn't easy.  While the Horologian and other books are readily available, to fully do the services at home, you need to have a Menaion (one book for each month).

However, it appears you're leaning towards the Antiochians, so you can get ONE book that will suffice for the time being. It's the "mother source" for all Antiochian liturgical texts, although the English is a bit archaic/awkward.

Divine Prayers and Services by Fr. Seraphim Nassar. You can get it from St. Tikhon's Seminary Bookstore, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Light & Life, etc. Will run about $35.

It's a thick book - affectionately known as the "five-pounder" Grin - something like 1100 pages. But it has EVERYTHING for the Antiochians - Saturday Vespers/Sunday Matins, compline, the Divine Liturgy, Paraklesis, the Sunday Octoechos, texts for pre-Lent, Lent, Holy Week & Pascha, the Great Feasts, etc.

Thing is, you need to spend some time with it to figure out everything. You have to skip around.

This section on the Antiochian website will help some:

http://www.antiochian.org/liturgicalresources

The liturgical guide online will have ALL texts for each weekend. You have to buy the paper copy to get all the stuff for the feasts, etc.

But frankly, this is a lot, so it would be best to just go off the liturgical guide online for each weekend.
To start off with, I’d suggest doing just the morning and evening prayers at home. Get yourself a prayer book that isn’t the little Red Antiochian pocket one. That will take barely five minutes morning and evening. I like the “Daily Orthodox Prayers” from St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press. It’s the OCA prayer book. There’s also a small paperback, the same size as Daily Orthodox Prayers with the Hours – called The Hours and Typika. Those two would be very good to start with.

Saturday evening, pray Compline (in the Daily Orthodox Prayers book), adding troparia/kontakia for the Sunday, followed by your evening prayers (the book tells you how to do it, very easy).
Sunday morning, do your regular morning prayers, followed by 1st and 3rd hour, and then Typika.
Typika is very commonly served in place of Liturgy in places with no place, but maybe does have a Reader, such as Alaska.

Start off small and then build on it.
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2011, 02:26:15 PM »

I have been thinking, perhaps you could try the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America web site, "goarch.org", on Sunday mornings for web casts of the Divine Liturgy.  There may also be videos available at other times.  The "Come Receive the Light" website, which was at "receive.org," but has changed though this will get you there, has recorded Divine Liturgy Services.  I'm not sure if the other American Church websites have the services, like "oca.org" or the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; I think the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church website may also have recorded services too.  In bad weather, I've watched these webcasts and was surprised that I was able to worship, essentially as if I were in church.
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2011, 12:19:32 PM »

Do not fret, and continue to follow your concience on this matter.  I am disappointed at the number of people who seem to wish to have you "tone down", but your desire is not zealotry.  ... Now is probably the BEST time for you to dig as deeply as you can into the services of the Church, while the fire burns brightly within you.  There will be enough water thrown on that fire later.
You forget how clericalist Americans can be. Wouldn't want a layman reading -- or even chanting! -- texts at home if he's not a member of the minor clergy.
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2011, 12:23:50 PM »

I suppose I'm a bit confused as to what qualifies as prayers meant for personal use, and what qualifies as prayers meant for corporate use. Is Matins corporate or personal, or both? The hours? Other stuff? What if your parish doesn't say some--or any--of these? I would guess that there are probably nearly as many prayer rules as there are people...
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2011, 12:39:40 PM »

I suppose I'm a bit confused as to what qualifies as prayers meant for personal use, and what qualifies as prayers meant for corporate use. Is Matins corporate or personal, or both? The hours? Other stuff? What if your parish doesn't say some--or any--of these? I would guess that there are probably nearly as many prayer rules as there are people...

You can tell which is which simply by looking at their content. Vespers and Matins are almost entirely sung, and therefore need someone well acquainted with Church music (which, at least with respect to Byzantine music, can require several years of study); the Hours (I'm including Compline and Midnight office here) are read. Vespers and Matins consist almost entirely of variable material, for which a large number of expensive books most people can't obtain or afford are needed; the Hours have very little variable material. Vespers and Matins have quite a complicated structure, needing familiarity with the Typikon; the Hours do not.

All are read in church, all can, in theory, be read privately at home. However, Vespers and Matins were clearly intended primarily to be celebrated in church, while the Hours have their origin in the monasteries.
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2011, 01:25:36 PM »

You can tell which is which simply by looking at their content. Vespers and Matins are almost entirely sung, and therefore need someone well acquainted with Church music (which, at least with respect to Byzantine music, can require several years of study); ... Vespers and Matins consist almost entirely of variable material, for which a large number of expensive books most people can't obtain or afford are needed; Vespers and Matins have quite a complicated structure, needing familiarity with the Typikon

Sung? Almost entirely variable material? Expensive books required? Complicated? Not in the books I have Wink (though I admit that I don't recall what they were like in the Great Horologions--the ones that are as large as 2 Encyclopedia volumes--that I've had the displeasure of trying to hold up over the years).  You're post explained it though, thanks Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2011, 01:43:29 PM »

I would like to request the members here to please remind themselves that I had no intentions of demanding anything insulting or inappropriate for me to demand. I simply wanted to know if there was any manner in which I could increase the amount of time I was engaged with spiritual matters. Every morning I read the scripture prescribed on a liturgical calender gifted to me by the parish I was attending when I was home for the summer, and as for anything other than scripture, I only feel at liberty to read that which Father Daniel has asked for me to read. At the moment he wishes for me to focus on the catechetical lectures of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, particularly the first three lectures, or at least so he told me when last he and I spoke over the telephone, which was just a few days ago.

My only issue with all of this is that, being unable to attend services, the majority of my time is either devoted to or spent in the company of people who are utterly devoted to secular matters. When I was attending services regularly this did not bother me, but now that I am at school I feel almost attacked by the secular world. The life of the average college student is spent in less than desirable activities, believe me, so I do not have the best of company. I have yet to find any Orthodox Christians on campus or living in Pittsburg, and things are understandably progressing slowly in Joplin. But believe me when I say now that I understand that it is inappropriate for me as a non-Orthodox person to do anything other than to maintain the daily prayers that I will restrict myself to doing just that. I apologize for futher damaging the reputation of American Orthodox Christians and Americans interested in Orthodoxy.  Undecided
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« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2011, 01:51:29 PM »

Sung? Almost entirely variable material? Expensive books required? Complicated? Not in the books I have Wink

That's presumably because your prayer books provides none of the hymns and variable material that make the whole thing complicated. Hence why you couldn't do a proper Vespers or Matins at home with nothing but your prayer book  Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2011, 02:58:16 PM »

Sung? Almost entirely variable material? Expensive books required? Complicated? Not in the books I have Wink

That's presumably because your prayer books provides none of the hymns and variable material that make the whole thing complicated. Hence why you couldn't do a proper Vespers or Matins at home with nothing but your prayer book  Smiley

Apparently so. Now that I think about it, I do remember reading a "How to build a liturgical library" article one time, and I just kept think "What? Um... I really need that?  And that? And this and that? Wait, there's more?"  Cheesy  I just do what's in my Jordanville Prayer book and The Hours of Prayer (sold by ACROD), and that works for me. Though I did print out a couple things from Fr. John Whiteford's old site, such as the Akathist For the Repose of Those Who Have Fallen Asleep.
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« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2011, 03:13:02 PM »

I can't speak for anybody else, but I do not mean to say that it is inappropriate for you to read these services, but rather you have to gradually ramp up if you're just starting out with Orthodoxy, especially if you haven't even been to that many services. It's best to start at first with the daily prayers and, if you're going to do services, the Sundays and great feasts (esp as you can get the variable portions). I'd rather have you doing no services now and doing some services next year than doing some services now and no services next year. I also think that it would be good to find other Christians in general, not just Orthodox, to be around, and that it would probably be a good idea to go to, at least occasionally, a Catholic Church on Sundays as Orthodox parishes aren't available and you shouldn't be "too pious to go to church". Just don't go to a Protestant church or hang out with too many Protestants at Protestant events.
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« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2011, 04:33:38 PM »

But believe me when I say now that I understand that it is inappropriate for me as a non-Orthodox person to do anything other than to maintain the daily prayers that I will restrict myself to doing just that. I apologize for futher damaging the reputation of American Orthodox Christians and Americans interested in Orthodoxy.  Undecided
It's OK, seriously. Read the services if you want. Some people think too highly of themselves because they're on the other side of the chrism.

If you don't mind reading from the computer, the Dynamic Horologion will provide you with the current service in reader's form (at least for non-feast days), and it inserts all the variable texts for you. Don't worry about singing, as that is a very konvertsky thing to do. Singing will come eventually. Walk before you run, brother.
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« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2011, 04:54:03 PM »

But believe me when I say now that I understand that it is inappropriate for me as a non-Orthodox person to do anything other than to maintain the daily prayers that I will restrict myself to doing just that. I apologize for futher damaging the reputation of American Orthodox Christians and Americans interested in Orthodoxy.  Undecided

Those "daily prayers" that you find in most English prayer books weren't in use until the 18th century or so. It's a relatively modern Slavic custom. Prior to this, people would pray from the Book of Hours: Midnight Office when waking up, Small Compline before sleep (as is still the Greek practice). I don't see what the problem would be in praying other services from the same book. The only thing you should watch out for us burn-out, start slow and work your way up.
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« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2011, 05:49:57 PM »

If you don't mind reading from the computer, the Dynamic Horologion will provide you with the current service in reader's form (at least for non-feast days), and it inserts all the variable texts for you. Don't worry about singing, as that is a very konvertsky thing to do. Singing will come eventually. Walk before you run, brother.

Great link.  Thanks for posting it!
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« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2011, 10:23:28 PM »

The only thing slightly *inappropriate* is that as someone very new to Orthodoxy, you might take on too much at first, give up after a bit, throw up your hands, and abandon the entire project. It's best to start slowly and add more gradually.

I was a Matins chanter in an Antiochian parish for five years. I *did* put some of the services together. It ain't easy! You're pulling from this book and that book, with the "static" stuff in the regular music book. In my OCA parish, I don't put the services together, but I still pay attention to the texts, and it's not a cakewalk.

I would like to request the members here to please remind themselves that I had no intentions of demanding anything insulting or inappropriate for me to demand. I simply wanted to know if there was any manner in which I could increase the amount of time I was engaged with spiritual matters. Every morning I read the scripture prescribed on a liturgical calender gifted to me by the parish I was attending when I was home for the summer, and as for anything other than scripture, I only feel at liberty to read that which Father Daniel has asked for me to read. At the moment he wishes for me to focus on the catechetical lectures of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, particularly the first three lectures, or at least so he told me when last he and I spoke over the telephone, which was just a few days ago.

My only issue with all of this is that, being unable to attend services, the majority of my time is either devoted to or spent in the company of people who are utterly devoted to secular matters. When I was attending services regularly this did not bother me, but now that I am at school I feel almost attacked by the secular world. The life of the average college student is spent in less than desirable activities, believe me, so I do not have the best of company. I have yet to find any Orthodox Christians on campus or living in Pittsburg, and things are understandably progressing slowly in Joplin. But believe me when I say now that I understand that it is inappropriate for me as a non-Orthodox person to do anything other than to maintain the daily prayers that I will restrict myself to doing just that. I apologize for futher damaging the reputation of American Orthodox Christians and Americans interested in Orthodoxy.  Undecided
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« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2011, 12:29:33 AM »

I also think that it would be good to find other Christians in general, not just Orthodox, to be around, and that it would probably be a good idea to go to, at least occasionally, a Catholic Church on Sundays as Orthodox parishes aren't available and you shouldn't be "too pious to go to church".

Unfortunately when I tried that last year I was given a generally hostile reaction when said Christians discovered that I had no intentions of converting to their various denominations.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2011, 12:49:39 AM »

The gradually ramping up thing I understand. I just didn't want to put across the impression that I was yet another American using Orthodoxy as a fad.
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« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2011, 07:19:43 AM »

I help with the Reader's services of Matins (with 1st Hour) and Vespers (preceded by 9th Hour) that my Mission church offers on 3 days of the week. On the other days I use this:

A Manual of the Hours of the Orthodox Church
From the Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery. Pocket-sized (5 1/2" X 4 1/4") with laminated covers and wire spiral, lay-flat binding.  83 pages; contains the essentials of the Orthodox Hours of prayer in modern English. http://www.holymyrrhbearers.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=43

Although very much abridged the basics of these services are the same as our full Reader's services, so they mesh well together and take only quite a short slice of time on my 'days off'.

Just be aware that the psalm numbers are not the Orthodox Septuagint ones, but the Masoretic/Protestant ones; the Monastery thinks they are more familiar to converts, but you could always pencil in the correct numbers so that you become familiar with them. Their Kathisma Psalter has the Septuagint numbering in brackets. It also has the schedule of Kathismata for Matins and Vespers each day of the week, but I would strongly advise against attempting more than one Kathisma at a time; on your own just one stasis would be preferable, at least initially. Simply work your way through the Psalter one stasis at a time sequentially. Then, if you are short of time and have to omit it, you just pick up where you left off, and don't attempt to backtrack.
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« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2011, 08:51:05 AM »

it would probably be a good idea to go to, at least occasionally, a Catholic Church on Sundays as Orthodox parishes aren't available and you shouldn't be "too pious to go to church". Just don't go to a Protestant church or hang out with too many Protestants at Protestant events.

Not going to the gathering of heretics is not being "too pious to go to church." Better to stay at home and pray Orthodox prayers (or, if you're worried about doing too much, simply read an edifying book or something similar) than to participate in heterodox worship. Plenty of churches broadcast the Divine Liturgy online. It's in no way a substitute for actual participation, but listening to a service while following along in your liturgy book (if you don't have one, these are easy to obtain online) can be very beneficial.
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« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2011, 09:20:45 AM »

it would probably be a good idea to go to, at least occasionally, a Catholic Church on Sundays as Orthodox parishes aren't available and you shouldn't be "too pious to go to church". Just don't go to a Protestant church or hang out with too many Protestants at Protestant events.

Not going to the gathering of heretics is not being "too pious to go to church." Better to stay at home and pray Orthodox prayers (or, if you're worried about doing too much, simply read an edifying book or something similar) than to participate in heterodox worship. Plenty of churches broadcast the Divine Liturgy online. It's in no way a substitute for actual participation, but listening to a service while following along in your liturgy book (if you don't have one, these are easy to obtain online) can be very beneficial.
This advice seems reasonable. However, for some social interaction, you may want to volunteer some time at a food bank or some similar cause. There are other events you can attend that are not worship services - though don't be a regular at any particular one, or you'll be on their phone/email/contact/prospect list forever.

Community involvement is good - but avoid non-Orthodox worship services as much as possible. (At home, you may have some family obligations from time to time - that's pretty much a given if your family is committed to a church - just don't be a regular if you can help it.)
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« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2011, 12:30:24 AM »

Well, I can't speak for the Greeks and Arabs, but when I was in the ROCOR, I was encouraged to hold Reader's services with my family when I could not be in Church.  In fact, the ROCOR has a whole series of Reader's services on the web, and they keep up with the variable parts of the services so that you can always have the correct verses for the day.  While Morning and Evening Prayers are important, there is also nothing wrong with reading the Typica on Sundays when you cannot be in Church, or any other day that you feel so inclined.  As to whether or not it should be read or chanted, my Priest told me "there is no Typikon in the home".    

Every home is a domestic church, where prayers are said as needed in the absence of being able to go to church to say your prayers congregationally. Only the Temple with a priest may do the Divine Liturgy , but all prayer services may be done as reader's services in the home as well as the Church. When I was in the military I was advised by my Greek Otrhodox PARISH PREIST if no Orthodox Services were available I was to read the Sunday services to my self or with my family. When I was attached to a ROCOR parish I was encouraged to read services with my family and particularly taught to do a Typica  Service (Service of the Typical Psalms) when unable to attend a Divine Liturgy. In the Antiochian Church I attend (50 miles away) currently  encourages the use of the Hours of Prayer  by the Orthodox Brotherhood of the Virgin Mary
in Elkhorn West Virginia that has everything written in Readers Service (without a Priest) for you to use when unable to get to Church for services.

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« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 12:31:03 AM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2011, 09:39:35 AM »

it would probably be a good idea to go to, at least occasionally, a Catholic Church on Sundays as Orthodox parishes aren't available and you shouldn't be "too pious to go to church". Just don't go to a Protestant church or hang out with too many Protestants at Protestant events.

Not going to the gathering of heretics is not being "too pious to go to church." Better to stay at home and pray Orthodox prayers (or, if you're worried about doing too much, simply read an edifying book or something similar) than to participate in heterodox worship. Plenty of churches broadcast the Divine Liturgy online. It's in no way a substitute for actual participation, but listening to a service while following along in your liturgy book (if you don't have one, these are easy to obtain online) can be very beneficial.

If he were Orthodox already I might agree, but he isn't and has had little exposure to Orthodoxy. Further, he expresses concerns about being surrounded completely by secular people engaged in, uh, secular concerns.
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« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2011, 11:47:39 AM »

Here are the complete Antiochian weekend texts: http://www.antiochianladiocese.org/service_texts_weekends.html
Here are the complete Antiochian Great Feasts texts: http://www.antiochianladiocese.org/service_texts_great_feast.html

They have all the hymns (for Vespsers and Matins) all in the correct order according to the Antiochian Archdiocese use. Smiley

[EDIT] Here are the bare bones reader services: http://www.saintjonah.org/services/horologion.htm

Don't say the Priest or Deacon parts. A great litany is replaced with saying "Lord, have mercy" 12 times. A little litany is replaced with saying "Lord, have mercy" 3 times.

I would only say these in private until becoming Orthodox. Smiley
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 11:52:29 AM by zekarja » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2011, 01:11:46 PM »

If he were Orthodox already I might agree, but he isn't and has had little exposure to Orthodoxy. Further, he expresses concerns about being surrounded completely by secular people engaged in, uh, secular concerns.

Praying with heretics won't help his lack of exposure to Orthodoxy, just increase his exposure to heresy. As for being surrounded by secular people and concerns, if you devote time to reading spiritual books, listening to spiritual music, sermons, etc. I think that will greatly help. And, like someone already mentioned, you can meet religiously minded people (be they Catholic, Muslim, Jewish or Protestant) without having to frequent a non-Orthodox place of worship. 
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