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Author Topic: Christmas on Sunday?  (Read 525 times) Average Rating: 0
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William
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« on: December 01, 2011, 08:08:47 PM »

Hello,

I was wondering how the liturgics work when Christmas falls on Sunday (as it does this year). I've seen differing practices in different parishes schedules:

1. My parish (Antiochian) is having Royal Hours on Friday, a Liturgy in the morning on Saturday and then the Vigil at midnight. There are no services on Sunday proper, Christmas Day.

2. A nearby parish (Greek) is having the Royal Hours on Saturday and then the Vigil in the evening. They are also having a Liturgy on Christmas morning.

Is there a correct way to do this, or is it left to the discretion of the pastor? Is it a jurisdictional difference?

Also, how does the absolute fast for Paramony (no food or drink whatsoever) work? Would it be on Friday or Saturday?

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2011, 08:38:12 PM »

^
1. Whenever Nativity falls on a Sunday or on a Monday, the Royal Hours are done on the Friday before.  Thus, the GOA parish is doing it incorrectly.  The Liturgy on Saturday morning is that for the prefeast (paramon). 
2.  The vigil at your Antiochian church begins at midnight which is the prescribed time for the vigil and the Liturgy.  Unlike the Western Rite, where there are Masses for Christmas Eve, Christmas Midnight, Christmas Morning and Christmas Day.
3.  As far as fasting goes, there is no one strict rule, though a strict would be unwise since you would do so from Friday midnight through Sunday midnight.  I would recommend a light meal after the Liturgy on Saturday morning and, according to your strength, fast until the Eucharist from the Liturgy for Nativity.  Of course, all that should be cleared with your spiritual father.
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2011, 09:07:25 PM »


2.  The vigil at your Antiochian church begins at midnight which is the prescribed time for the vigil and the Liturgy. 
I would be interested in knowing your source for this.

In Nassar's Divine Prayers and Services on p. 400 I read: "...if the Feast falls on a Sunday or a Monday, the Hours are chanted on Friday morning, and Great Vespers on Sunday evening. The Mass of Basil the Great being said on the day of the Feast".

In The Festal Menaion by Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware (sic), there is this note on page 252: "If Christmas falls on Sunday, the Royal Hours with the Typika are said on Friday, 23 December. On Friday evening and Saturday morning, the office of the Forefeast, 24 December, with the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. On Saturday evening the Vigil begins with Great Vespers, followed by Mattins: Great Compline is not used. On Sunday, 25 December, the Liturgy of St. Basil." (that rule is in the group of rules in the Greek practice)
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2011, 10:13:16 PM »

^Vigils are usually appointed to begin at the midnight hour (or sometimes 11 pm) and thus stretch into the new day.  Thus, the Vigil for Nativity would begin at or around 11 pm on Saturday evening and conclude with the Divine Liturgy which will be celebrated at the early hours of the dawn on Sunday. I don't have A source. Nothing what I wrote contradicts what you wrote.
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Anastasios
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2011, 10:33:52 PM »

I love doing the Midnight Vigil for Nativity and am glad that we maintain it strictly in our Metropolis (i.e. no pushing it back to 6:30 pm or something the day before).  And we have lots of children there at the Cathedral and established parishes, from what I have seen.
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2011, 11:20:58 PM »

I love doing the Midnight Vigil for Nativity and am glad that we maintain it strictly in our Metropolis (i.e. no pushing it back to 6:30 pm or something the day before).  And we have lots of children there at the Cathedral and established parishes, from what I have seen.

One thing I love about the Orthodox Church is seeing all the little ones at the midnight services.
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