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Author Topic: Question to priests (mostly)  (Read 675 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 15, 2012, 10:56:32 AM »

How much of the services do you remember? Everything, almost everything, almost nothing? Is it possible to memorise whole services? Do you know such priests?

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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 05:23:04 PM »

I know of one priest who has memorized the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom; he can recite the entire Liturgy from memory. He cannot do the entire service of St. Basil's though since the prayers are a little bit different.

My memory is very, very much worse than this priest who I was discussing. Because I never trust my own memory I always have a book handy; I know that I may miss a line or two in a prayer and that would be a tragedy when compared to the awesome event that is occurring regardless of the service being offered.

So, to answer your questions:

1. Very little.
2. Almost nothing.
3. Yes.
4. Yes.

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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2012, 09:30:23 PM »

How much of the services do you remember?
Depends on which service and how much sleep I have had
Everything, almost everything, almost nothing?
I would think that most priests with some years under their belt probably have a pretty good grasp on Liturgy of St. John, memorial service (litya).  In my case vespers, and some others.  
Is it possible to memorise whole services? Do you know such priests?
Yes, but even those of us who have it memorized, though, a priest should remember his ordination where he is given the book and told to use it.  A Bishop always uses Archieratikon, why should not priests use Hieratikon/Sluzhebnik?  
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 09:30:57 PM by FatherHLL » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 12:28:34 AM »

I am not a priest, but I agree with the priests here saying that they follow in the book regardless of how much of the service they know by heart.  Hearing a priest flub his "line" feels like being in a car and rolling over a speed bump without slowing down. 

He spoke it as kindly and heartily as could be; as if a man dashed a gallon of cold water in your broth and never doubted you'd like it all the better. 

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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 12:58:23 AM »

i know a priest who has literally EVERY prayer (including the service of the 5 loaves, memorials, etc.) all memorized, but in Greek only. He is an amazing person.

I find that if I think about things that I have memorized TOO much, then I forget them!  if I just go with the flow, then they just come out. 

hope that adds an insight. 

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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 02:30:20 AM »

not a priest either, but I know my confessor at one point told me that Archbishop Dmitri, of blessed memory, *insisted* that however much of the liturgy his priests had memorized, they had to have their service book open and using it.

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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 02:51:17 AM »

Most priests become very familiar with the prayers.  One of the great joys is coming to know them by heart, especially the Secret Prayers of the Liturgy.  And you will often see priests serving the Memorial Service/Panichida/Parastos/Mnimosino without a book.

All the same a priest is instructed to always serve all services with a book in his hand.  A blank moment can strike, even in the middle of singing Our Father.
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 02:53:25 AM »

Yes, Bishop Gerasimos of Abydos of blessed memory cautioned his priests and Holy Cross students, don't ever try to do anything without a service book in your hands; you never know when your memory will lapse.

I'm a layman.  Years ago, I memorized all the auditable parts of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in English and much of it in Greek.  You will find though, as you get older, you do not learn as quickly as you did when you were young.  I've not memorized another service since; haven't even memorized the epistle readings for baptisms, weddings, and funerals, which I've been chanting for 35 years.

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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 01:58:01 PM »

I always have a service book open at the altar.  Always.

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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2012, 03:09:21 AM »

I find that if I think about things that I have memorized TOO much, then I forget them!  if I just go with the flow, then they just come out. 

Speaking as a non-priest (and not yet an Orthodox), I know that when I try to think too much about what might be coming next, I tend to become mistaken and start to say a response that doesn't fit, but if - like you - I follow the flow of the service, I tend to be able to say most of the responses without much thought.

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