Author Topic: Frequency of services in the old country  (Read 962 times)

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Offline William

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Frequency of services in the old country
« on: December 20, 2011, 09:26:57 PM »
After going through several service calendars of Orthodox parishes in the US, I've found that daily services are extremely rare. Even most cathedrals on American soil seem to just have a Vigil on Saturday and a Liturgy on Sunday morning.

I was wondering if maybe this is due to a lack of infrastructure and support for the Church in the US. In traditionally Orthodox countries, where the Church is more established, do parishes tend to have more services?
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Offline Oblio

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2011, 09:48:46 PM »
I know for our Parish, where most are employed and work/live far from church, it would be very hard to attend daily services, especially balanced with family obligations.

Offline William

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2011, 09:54:39 PM »
In an attempt to answer my own question, I looked up the Cathedral of Christ the Savior's schedule. http://www.xxc.ru/english/timetabl/index1.htm

There are daily services. It doesn't specify what the daily services are, though.
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2011, 10:00:01 PM »
The two local parishes here... the one has a priest who travels pretty far to do services, and he has a regular job I think, so they can't really have as many. At the Antiochian parish I believe the priest has increased activities and services at the parish over the years, and tried to get people to break the habit of only attending on Sunday morning.

Offline augustin717

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2011, 10:10:24 PM »
well, only cathedrals, seminary chapels and monasteries hold daily services. parishes only in the extremely rare cases they are staffed by a whacky priest .

Offline William

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2011, 10:24:55 PM »
well, only cathedrals, seminary chapels and monasteries hold daily services.
That's interesting. Where I live, you'd be hard pressed to find a Roman Catholic parish which does not have daily services.

Quote
parishes only in the extremely rare cases they are staffed by a whacky priest .
I don't really see wanting to go a bit above the bare minimum as being whacky, but w/e.
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2011, 10:27:46 PM »
well, only cathedrals, seminary chapels and monasteries hold daily services. parishes only in the extremely rare cases they are staffed by a whacky priest .

Whacky is probably code for "convert." 
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2011, 10:38:08 PM »
well, only cathedrals, seminary chapels and monasteries hold daily services. parishes only in the extremely rare cases they are staffed by a whacky priest .

Whacky is probably code for "convert." 
no, is not code for anything, although, of course, there is a greater danger in becoming one with a convert, because of all the excitement etc. the whackiest i've seen though were of ancient orthodox lineage.

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2011, 11:35:32 PM »
That's interesting. Where I live, you'd be hard pressed to find a Roman Catholic parish which does not have daily services.

Theology aside, one of the major differences between Roman Catholic and Orthodox priests is that the majority of Orthodox priests are married, and Roman Catholic priests are not.

Usually, the only time you will find the Divine Liturgy served on a daily basis is when the priest is a hiermonk with no family to tend to. This is one of the arguments that Rome uses to defend its position on clergy celibacy. Cathedrals who often have multiple clergy assigned to them will sometimes have daily services (not always Liturgy, could be vespers, etc.,) because they can rotate the duties within the clergy.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2011, 01:23:47 AM »
I don't think the parish church tradition of the Orthodox Church calls for services to be held daily.  I think it is for the monasteries to follow the daily cycle of all services.  Most Orthodox calendars that I've seen, usually have an emblem of a dome (or a church) to indicate that the Divine Liturgy is called for on the particular day, for that particular feast.

However, the Western life style, and its Protestant dominated basis, doesn't lend itself to the congregation's participation in daily services.  I am also thinking, that the history of the development of Orthodox parishes in North America, started, in many, if not most instances, with congregations using rented facilities, churches of other denominations--or store fronts often, that weren't available for use other than on Sunday's, which could be the basis of practices that didn't change as we constructed our churches.   I've often thought that the practice of conducting Memorial Services (Mnymosina & Trisagion Services) following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday's, is due to the situation I've described in the second sentence of this paragraph.  Aren't Memorial Services for specific individuals traditionally conducted on Saturday's, the day of the departed?
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2011, 02:37:14 AM »
well, only cathedrals, seminary chapels and monasteries hold daily services. parishes only in the extremely rare cases they are staffed by a whacky priest .

Same goes for Finland except for cathedrals. I don't think there is daily services even in cathedrals.

As for the comparison with Latin Catholicism, our Byzantine services tend to be a lot longer and more elaborated. We don't have silent low masses. I don't think even Latin celibate priests would be devout enough to serve them daily. :P I don't know about WRO however.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 02:42:04 AM by Alpo »
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Offline mike

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2011, 06:30:37 AM »
Some parishes have DLs on Saturdays, some also have an akathyst or two that is celebrated weekly.
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2011, 06:48:48 AM »
Depends which old country you're referring too. In Greece and Georgia, daily Vespers and Matins take place in almost every church. In Cyprus that seems to be less common, and services are generally only held when there is a feast.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2011, 09:21:31 AM »
well, only cathedrals, seminary chapels and monasteries hold daily services. parishes only in the extremely rare cases they are staffed by a whacky priest .

Whacky is probably code for "convert." 
no, is not code for anything, although, of course, there is a greater danger in becoming one with a convert, because of all the excitement etc. the whackiest i've seen though were of ancient orthodox lineage.

Not to get off track here, but if what you say is correct, augustin (and I'm not doubting you), and if the "whackiest" were cradle Orthodox, why is the animus towards traditional practices and such always thought to be a strictly in the "convert" camp?
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Offline Orest

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2011, 10:10:31 AM »
After going through several service calendars of Orthodox parishes in the US, I've found that daily services are extremely rare. Even most cathedrals on American soil seem to just have a Vigil on Saturday and a Liturgy on Sunday morning.

I was wondering if maybe this is due to a lack of infrastructure and support for the Church in the US. In traditionally Orthodox countries, where the Church is more established, do parishes tend to have more services?

Eastern Europe is still recovering from communism and the closure of so many churches.  In the cities where there are /were multiple priests assigned to large churches there was or can be verspers every evening and sometimes matins too.  And of course all the services during Lenten periods and feast days.

In the villages, sometimes a priest was assigned to a "parish" that included maybe 4 village churches so each village would have Divine Liturgy, etc once a month and the priest travelled.  In villages that had their won priest full-time then there were vespers in the evening, matins, lenten services and Divine Liturgy on Sundays.   There was also usually a full-time cantor who went to seminary and was also the village teacher.

Offline augustin717

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Re: Frequency of services in the old country
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2011, 03:37:35 PM »
Ok. I was talking about my country. I don't know what's going on elsewhere.
The difference from the US would be that lesser Saints' days are kept more consistently back home (plus big feasts usually lasting three or two days) which would still make for more church services in a year, than in the US, probably.
But daily services are definitely unheard of. They ring the bells daily, though (8 am, 12 noon, 4 pm) and the sacristan is paid to do that.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 03:39:53 PM by augustin717 »