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Author Topic: Christmas Carols During Liturgy  (Read 2531 times) Average Rating: 0
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HandmaidenofGod
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« on: January 08, 2012, 11:22:31 PM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Yesterday I attended Christmas Liturgy at the parish that I grew up in, and was both shocked and disappointed. Rather than consult the festal propers for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, the choir director and the priest took it upon themselves to make some adjustments to the hymns for the day.

In place of the First Antiphon was "Little Drummer Boy."

Rather than sing the Second Antiphon, "O Holy Night" was sung.

While the clergy (1 priest, 2 deacons) were partaking of communion at the altar and the parishioners were preparing to receive, rather than sing the normal pre-communion hymns, or the proper hymns that the Church has sang on this feast for ohhh only the past 1,600 years or so, they sang "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." When one of the subdeacons started to sing "Nebo i Zemlia/Heaven and Earth" from behind the iconostas, the choir was able to follow along for the first few lines, and it then became quickly apparent that they didn't know the hymn. ("Nebo i Zemlia", btw, is a hymn that we always traditionally sang in my parish. There was no reason for the choir not to know it.)

I love Western Christmas carols and enjoy listening to them through December in January on the radio. However, they belong on the radio; not in Church. It broke my heart to see our choir abandon good, traditional Orthodox Christmas hymns in favor of Western Carols. It was as if they were saying "our faith and traditions aren't good enough, so we are going to borrow these songs from the West."

What further upset me was that the priest approved of all of this.

I don't know if I should go to my Bishop with this, or what should be done. Two of the three Bishops in the UOC-USA have been very sick lately, and the third one is constantly traveling.

I am discouraged and brokenhearted, and feel like my parish is throwing away our beautiful Ukrainian Orthodox faith.

(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")

So, fellow forum members, any advice?
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2012, 11:35:57 PM »

This might sound harsh, but I would suggest the bishop is informed of this. As for substituting the Dance, O Isaiah in a wedding service, this, too, is beyond the pale. Fooling around with liturgical content, particularly the DL, is simply not on.

A case could be made for carols which are entirely Orthodox in content (such as O Come All Ye Faithful) to be sung during the period when the Royal Doors are shut before Holy Communion is administered. But substituting antiphons in the DL and the pivotal hymns in the wedding service which "seal" the mystery of matrimony is completely unacceptable.  Angry Angry
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 11:46:03 PM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2012, 11:45:11 PM »

This might sound harsh, but I would suggest the bishop is informed of this. As for substituting the Dance, O Isaiah in a wedding service, this, too, is beyond the pale. Fooling around with liturgical content, particularly the DL, is simply not on.

A case could be made for carols which are entirely Orthodox in content (such as O Come All Ye Faithful) to be sung during the period when the Royal Doors are shut before Holy Communion is administered. But substituting antiphons in the DL and the pivotal hymns in the wedding service which "seal" the mystery of matrimony is completely unacceptable.  Angry Angry
I agree with LBK on this. Your bishop needs to know about this kind of liturgical innovation. Like LBK, I don't mind singing thoroughly orthodox Western carols in church before or after the services prescribed in the rubrics, but I too shudder at the thought of replacing the hymns of the services with Western carols.
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 11:51:38 PM »

I third.
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 11:54:16 PM »

Thank you for your advice. I had a feeling I should contact the Bishop, but did not want to over react.

Next question: how does one go about reporting one' s priest, who is highly favored, to the Bishop? ”Dear Vladyka, I know you don't know me, but one of your favorite priests is messing with the Liturgy.” Please help!!
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2012, 12:05:33 AM »

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I had a feeling I should contact the Bishop, but did not want to over react.

Handmaiden, this is exactly the sort of situation where the people are not only allowed to, but are obliged to act. Our bishops do have authority over their priests and the laity, and a bishop, through his clergy, is obliged to rightly divide the word of God's truth. If one of his priests has strayed from this, and in such a blatant way, even if his motives were honest and sincere, it is necessary for the people to do something.
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2012, 12:22:00 AM »

Thank you for your advice. I had a feeling I should contact the Bishop, but did not want to over react.

Next question: how does one go about reporting one' s priest, who is highly favored, to the Bishop? ”Dear Vladyka, I know you don't know me, but one of your favorite priests is messing with the Liturgy.” Please help!!

Be respectful and stick to the facts. Make sure to report in detail what you saw and heard. Keep the letter short and to the point. Do not attack the priest or the parish but, attack the incident. If you have a video of the wedding I would include a copy.
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2012, 12:36:37 AM »

Quote
If you have a video of the wedding I would include a copy.

Definitely! And if there is an audio or video recording of the DL, at least of the part where the substituted antiphons were sung, include that too. That way, there is hard evidence which speaks for itself, and it won't come across as a personal attack against the priest.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 12:36:55 AM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2012, 12:38:41 AM »

This might sound harsh, but I would suggest the bishop is informed of this. As for substituting the Dance, O Isaiah in a wedding service, this, too, is beyond the pale. Fooling around with liturgical content, particularly the DL, is simply not on.

A case could be made for carols which are entirely Orthodox in content (such as O Come All Ye Faithful) to be sung during the period when the Royal Doors are shut before Holy Communion is administered. But substituting antiphons in the DL and the pivotal hymns in the wedding service which "seal" the mystery of matrimony is completely unacceptable.  Angry Angry

Absolutely--inform the Bishop, now, not later.  The service cannot and should not ever be "changed" to suit one's own preferences. That's the thinking of Protestants. 

I went berserk when they started doing Christmas Carols after Liturgy had ended, but at least it hadn't gone as far as you had described.
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2012, 01:02:50 AM »

(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")
Oh the delicious irony.

A slavic Orthodox Church substituting in fiddler on the roof songs.

I mean, good Lord.

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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2012, 01:05:05 AM »

I went berserk when they started doing Christmas Carols after Liturgy had ended
Really? Berserk over that?
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2012, 01:15:57 AM »

I went berserk when they started doing Christmas Carols after Liturgy had ended
Really? Berserk over that?
Lol, scamandrius would've killed the priest after our Christmas service then, when the church bells were set to play some carols after the liturgy was over. I thank God my parish is not pharisaic about things.
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2012, 02:38:00 AM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Yesterday I attended Christmas Liturgy at the parish that I grew up in, and was both shocked and disappointed. Rather than consult the festal propers for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, the choir director and the priest took it upon themselves to make some adjustments to the hymns for the day.

In place of the First Antiphon was "Little Drummer Boy."

Rather than sing the Second Antiphon, "O Holy Night" was sung.

While the clergy (1 priest, 2 deacons) were partaking of communion at the altar and the parishioners were preparing to receive, rather than sing the normal pre-communion hymns, or the proper hymns that the Church has sang on this feast for ohhh only the past 1,600 years or so, they sang "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." When one of the subdeacons started to sing "Nebo i Zemlia/Heaven and Earth" from behind the iconostas, the choir was able to follow along for the first few lines, and it then became quickly apparent that they didn't know the hymn. ("Nebo i Zemlia", btw, is a hymn that we always traditionally sang in my parish. There was no reason for the choir not to know it.)

I love Western Christmas carols and enjoy listening to them through December in January on the radio. However, they belong on the radio; not in Church. It broke my heart to see our choir abandon good, traditional Orthodox Christmas hymns in favor of Western Carols. It was as if they were saying "our faith and traditions aren't good enough, so we are going to borrow these songs from the West."

What further upset me was that the priest approved of all of this.

I don't know if I should go to my Bishop with this, or what should be done. Two of the three Bishops in the UOC-USA have been very sick lately, and the third one is constantly traveling.

I am discouraged and brokenhearted, and feel like my parish is throwing away our beautiful Ukrainian Orthodox faith.

(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")

So, fellow forum members, any advice?

The irony is the priest and choir wanting to adopt carols and such from non-orthodox who reject the Church, the Saints, the Mother of God and other doctrines and practices that Holy Orthodoxy believes and confesses. I notice this in some Orthodox blogs too, where non-orthodox ideas are promoted when Orthodoxy has its own ancient tradition. A layperson can be excused for ignorance or weakness, but the priest has no excuse. It is his sacred duty to uphold the true faith. Your post is a good start for a letter to the bishop.
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2012, 02:53:16 AM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Yesterday I attended Christmas Liturgy at the parish that I grew up in, and was both shocked and disappointed. Rather than consult the festal propers for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, the choir director and the priest took it upon themselves to make some adjustments to the hymns for the day.

In place of the First Antiphon was "Little Drummer Boy."

Rather than sing the Second Antiphon, "O Holy Night" was sung.

While the clergy (1 priest, 2 deacons) were partaking of communion at the altar and the parishioners were preparing to receive, rather than sing the normal pre-communion hymns, or the proper hymns that the Church has sang on this feast for ohhh only the past 1,600 years or so, they sang "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." When one of the subdeacons started to sing "Nebo i Zemlia/Heaven and Earth" from behind the iconostas, the choir was able to follow along for the first few lines, and it then became quickly apparent that they didn't know the hymn. ("Nebo i Zemlia", btw, is a hymn that we always traditionally sang in my parish. There was no reason for the choir not to know it.)

I love Western Christmas carols and enjoy listening to them through December in January on the radio. However, they belong on the radio; not in Church. It broke my heart to see our choir abandon good, traditional Orthodox Christmas hymns in favor of Western Carols. It was as if they were saying "our faith and traditions aren't good enough, so we are going to borrow these songs from the West."

What further upset me was that the priest approved of all of this.

I don't know if I should go to my Bishop with this, or what should be done. Two of the three Bishops in the UOC-USA have been very sick lately, and the third one is constantly traveling.

I am discouraged and brokenhearted, and feel like my parish is throwing away our beautiful Ukrainian Orthodox faith.

(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")

So, fellow forum members, any advice?

The irony is the priest and choir wanting to adopt carols and such from non-orthodox who reject the Church, the Saints, the Mother of God and other doctrines and practices that Holy Orthodoxy believes and confesses. I notice this in some Orthodox blogs too, where non-orthodox ideas are promoted when Orthodoxy has its own ancient tradition. A layperson can be excused for ignorance or weakness, but the priest has no excuse. It is his sacred duty to uphold the true faith. Your post is a good start for a letter to the bishop.
Don't poo poo ALL non-Orthodox carols and hymns just because they come from heterodox sources. Some of the stuff heterodox love to sing is very orthodox in its content. (That still doesn't justify using it to replace the hymns of the Church, though.)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 02:54:20 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2012, 03:22:31 AM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Yesterday I attended Christmas Liturgy at the parish that I grew up in, and was both shocked and disappointed. Rather than consult the festal propers for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, the choir director and the priest took it upon themselves to make some adjustments to the hymns for the day.

In place of the First Antiphon was "Little Drummer Boy."

Rather than sing the Second Antiphon, "O Holy Night" was sung.

While the clergy (1 priest, 2 deacons) were partaking of communion at the altar and the parishioners were preparing to receive, rather than sing the normal pre-communion hymns, or the proper hymns that the Church has sang on this feast for ohhh only the past 1,600 years or so, they sang "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." When one of the subdeacons started to sing "Nebo i Zemlia/Heaven and Earth" from behind the iconostas, the choir was able to follow along for the first few lines, and it then became quickly apparent that they didn't know the hymn. ("Nebo i Zemlia", btw, is a hymn that we always traditionally sang in my parish. There was no reason for the choir not to know it.)

I love Western Christmas carols and enjoy listening to them through December in January on the radio. However, they belong on the radio; not in Church. It broke my heart to see our choir abandon good, traditional Orthodox Christmas hymns in favor of Western Carols. It was as if they were saying "our faith and traditions aren't good enough, so we are going to borrow these songs from the West."

What further upset me was that the priest approved of all of this.

I don't know if I should go to my Bishop with this, or what should be done. Two of the three Bishops in the UOC-USA have been very sick lately, and the third one is constantly traveling.

I am discouraged and brokenhearted, and feel like my parish is throwing away our beautiful Ukrainian Orthodox faith.

(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")

So, fellow forum members, any advice?

The irony is the priest and choir wanting to adopt carols and such from non-orthodox who reject the Church, the Saints, the Mother of God and other doctrines and practices that Holy Orthodoxy believes and confesses. I notice this in some Orthodox blogs too, where non-orthodox ideas are promoted when Orthodoxy has its own ancient tradition. A layperson can be excused for ignorance or weakness, but the priest has no excuse. It is his sacred duty to uphold the true faith. Your post is a good start for a letter to the bishop.
Don't poo poo ALL non-Orthodox carols and hymns just because they come from heterodox sources. Some of the stuff heterodox love to sing is very orthodox in its content. (That still doesn't justify using it to replace the hymns of the Church, though.)

It matters not at all to Orthodox liturgical doctrine/practice what the heterodox sing. Orthodoxy is not concerned with correcting/judging their hymns. But we can trust Orthodox liturgical texts which have undergone centuries of scrutiny.
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2012, 03:32:02 AM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Yesterday I attended Christmas Liturgy at the parish that I grew up in, and was both shocked and disappointed. Rather than consult the festal propers for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, the choir director and the priest took it upon themselves to make some adjustments to the hymns for the day.

In place of the First Antiphon was "Little Drummer Boy."

Rather than sing the Second Antiphon, "O Holy Night" was sung.

While the clergy (1 priest, 2 deacons) were partaking of communion at the altar and the parishioners were preparing to receive, rather than sing the normal pre-communion hymns, or the proper hymns that the Church has sang on this feast for ohhh only the past 1,600 years or so, they sang "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." When one of the subdeacons started to sing "Nebo i Zemlia/Heaven and Earth" from behind the iconostas, the choir was able to follow along for the first few lines, and it then became quickly apparent that they didn't know the hymn. ("Nebo i Zemlia", btw, is a hymn that we always traditionally sang in my parish. There was no reason for the choir not to know it.)

I love Western Christmas carols and enjoy listening to them through December in January on the radio. However, they belong on the radio; not in Church. It broke my heart to see our choir abandon good, traditional Orthodox Christmas hymns in favor of Western Carols. It was as if they were saying "our faith and traditions aren't good enough, so we are going to borrow these songs from the West."

What further upset me was that the priest approved of all of this.

I don't know if I should go to my Bishop with this, or what should be done. Two of the three Bishops in the UOC-USA have been very sick lately, and the third one is constantly traveling.

I am discouraged and brokenhearted, and feel like my parish is throwing away our beautiful Ukrainian Orthodox faith.

(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")

So, fellow forum members, any advice?

The irony is the priest and choir wanting to adopt carols and such from non-orthodox who reject the Church, the Saints, the Mother of God and other doctrines and practices that Holy Orthodoxy believes and confesses. I notice this in some Orthodox blogs too, where non-orthodox ideas are promoted when Orthodoxy has its own ancient tradition. A layperson can be excused for ignorance or weakness, but the priest has no excuse. It is his sacred duty to uphold the true faith. Your post is a good start for a letter to the bishop.
Don't poo poo ALL non-Orthodox carols and hymns just because they come from heterodox sources. Some of the stuff heterodox love to sing is very orthodox in its content. (That still doesn't justify using it to replace the hymns of the Church, though.)

It matters not at all to Orthodox liturgical doctrine/practice what the heterodox sing. Orthodoxy is not concerned with correcting/judging their hymns.
You may not give a rat's bahooky about heterodox hymns and carols, but those of us who come into the Church from heterodox backgrounds are still quite attached to the music we grew up with. Are we to suffer having that taken away from us entirely? If not, then please don't disparage those who try to discern what from our pasts is worthy of holding onto in some way and what must be discarded.

But we can trust Orthodox liturgical texts which have undergone centuries of scrutiny.
And no one is suggesting that we get rid of them or replace them with something else.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Philippians 4:8 (RSV)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 03:34:24 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2012, 03:59:03 AM »

Bahooky here and on another thread, jackassery - two new words for the day!  Mind you, what with my cognitive decline, I might have heard of them before and forgotten them. laugh
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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2012, 04:04:29 AM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Yesterday I attended Christmas Liturgy at the parish that I grew up in, and was both shocked and disappointed. Rather than consult the festal propers for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, the choir director and the priest took it upon themselves to make some adjustments to the hymns for the day.

In place of the First Antiphon was "Little Drummer Boy."

Rather than sing the Second Antiphon, "O Holy Night" was sung.

While the clergy (1 priest, 2 deacons) were partaking of communion at the altar and the parishioners were preparing to receive, rather than sing the normal pre-communion hymns, or the proper hymns that the Church has sang on this feast for ohhh only the past 1,600 years or so, they sang "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." When one of the subdeacons started to sing "Nebo i Zemlia/Heaven and Earth" from behind the iconostas, the choir was able to follow along for the first few lines, and it then became quickly apparent that they didn't know the hymn. ("Nebo i Zemlia", btw, is a hymn that we always traditionally sang in my parish. There was no reason for the choir not to know it.)

I love Western Christmas carols and enjoy listening to them through December in January on the radio. However, they belong on the radio; not in Church. It broke my heart to see our choir abandon good, traditional Orthodox Christmas hymns in favor of Western Carols. It was as if they were saying "our faith and traditions aren't good enough, so we are going to borrow these songs from the West."

What further upset me was that the priest approved of all of this.

I don't know if I should go to my Bishop with this, or what should be done. Two of the three Bishops in the UOC-USA have been very sick lately, and the third one is constantly traveling.

I am discouraged and brokenhearted, and feel like my parish is throwing away our beautiful Ukrainian Orthodox faith.

(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")

So, fellow forum members, any advice?

The irony is the priest and choir wanting to adopt carols and such from non-orthodox who reject the Church, the Saints, the Mother of God and other doctrines and practices that Holy Orthodoxy believes and confesses. I notice this in some Orthodox blogs too, where non-orthodox ideas are promoted when Orthodoxy has its own ancient tradition. A layperson can be excused for ignorance or weakness, but the priest has no excuse. It is his sacred duty to uphold the true faith. Your post is a good start for a letter to the bishop.
Don't poo poo ALL non-Orthodox carols and hymns just because they come from heterodox sources. Some of the stuff heterodox love to sing is very orthodox in its content. (That still doesn't justify using it to replace the hymns of the Church, though.)

It matters not at all to Orthodox liturgical doctrine/practice what the heterodox sing. Orthodoxy is not concerned with correcting/judging their hymns.
You may not give a rat's bahooky about heterodox hymns and carols, but those of us who come into the Church from heterodox backgrounds are still quite attached to the music we grew up with. Are we to suffer having that taken away from us entirely? If not, then please don't disparage those who try to discern what from our pasts is worthy of holding onto in some way and what must be discarded.

But we can trust Orthodox liturgical texts which have undergone centuries of scrutiny.
And no one is suggesting that we get rid of them or replace them with something else.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Philippians 4:8 (RSV)

Please notice what I actually said that it doesn't matter to Orthodox liturgical practice, and that I did not disparage anyone's past or present struggle or attachment.  The attitude was uncalled for and unbecoming.
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2012, 04:14:06 AM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Yesterday I attended Christmas Liturgy at the parish that I grew up in, and was both shocked and disappointed. Rather than consult the festal propers for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, the choir director and the priest took it upon themselves to make some adjustments to the hymns for the day.

In place of the First Antiphon was "Little Drummer Boy."

Rather than sing the Second Antiphon, "O Holy Night" was sung.

While the clergy (1 priest, 2 deacons) were partaking of communion at the altar and the parishioners were preparing to receive, rather than sing the normal pre-communion hymns, or the proper hymns that the Church has sang on this feast for ohhh only the past 1,600 years or so, they sang "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." When one of the subdeacons started to sing "Nebo i Zemlia/Heaven and Earth" from behind the iconostas, the choir was able to follow along for the first few lines, and it then became quickly apparent that they didn't know the hymn. ("Nebo i Zemlia", btw, is a hymn that we always traditionally sang in my parish. There was no reason for the choir not to know it.)

I love Western Christmas carols and enjoy listening to them through December in January on the radio. However, they belong on the radio; not in Church. It broke my heart to see our choir abandon good, traditional Orthodox Christmas hymns in favor of Western Carols. It was as if they were saying "our faith and traditions aren't good enough, so we are going to borrow these songs from the West."

What further upset me was that the priest approved of all of this.

I don't know if I should go to my Bishop with this, or what should be done. Two of the three Bishops in the UOC-USA have been very sick lately, and the third one is constantly traveling.

I am discouraged and brokenhearted, and feel like my parish is throwing away our beautiful Ukrainian Orthodox faith.

(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")

So, fellow forum members, any advice?

The irony is the priest and choir wanting to adopt carols and such from non-orthodox who reject the Church, the Saints, the Mother of God and other doctrines and practices that Holy Orthodoxy believes and confesses. I notice this in some Orthodox blogs too, where non-orthodox ideas are promoted when Orthodoxy has its own ancient tradition. A layperson can be excused for ignorance or weakness, but the priest has no excuse. It is his sacred duty to uphold the true faith. Your post is a good start for a letter to the bishop.
Don't poo poo ALL non-Orthodox carols and hymns just because they come from heterodox sources. Some of the stuff heterodox love to sing is very orthodox in its content. (That still doesn't justify using it to replace the hymns of the Church, though.)

It matters not at all to Orthodox liturgical doctrine/practice what the heterodox sing. Orthodoxy is not concerned with correcting/judging their hymns.
You may not give a rat's bahooky about heterodox hymns and carols, but those of us who come into the Church from heterodox backgrounds are still quite attached to the music we grew up with. Are we to suffer having that taken away from us entirely? If not, then please don't disparage those who try to discern what from our pasts is worthy of holding onto in some way and what must be discarded.

But we can trust Orthodox liturgical texts which have undergone centuries of scrutiny.
And no one is suggesting that we get rid of them or replace them with something else.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Philippians 4:8 (RSV)

Please notice what I actually said that it doesn't matter to Orthodox liturgical practice, and that I did not disparage anyone's past or present struggle or attachment.  The attitude was uncalled for and unbecoming.
The only thing I'm taking issue with is the idea you stated that Western Christmas carols are to be rejected for no other reason than that they come from heterodox sources; I've merely stated that we should judge things by their content and not by where they come from. Please note also that I was one of the first to object to the replacement of Orthodox hymns with Western Christmas carols and to advise the OP to contact her bishop regarding the undue liturgical innovation, and that I have since reiterated my belief that the orthodoxy of any Western carols is no justification for their insertion into the services of the Church at the expense of our Orthodox hymnography.

Finally, I can assure you that the only attitude you saw in my words is that which you chose to read into them. Smiley
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 04:34:59 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2012, 04:22:48 AM »

Bahooky here and on another thread, jackassery - two new words for the day!  Mind you, what with my cognitive decline, I might have heard of them before and forgotten them. laugh
You ever seen McSquizzy in the Open Season movies? He's the one who from whom I picked up the term bahooky. In fact, I think it's more correctly spelled bahookie.


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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2012, 04:54:10 AM »

^^  laugh I've never seen it!!
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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2012, 04:55:12 AM »

Thank you all for your input.

My concern with reporting my priest is how the politics of such a move will play out, and what the reaction of my priest will be. I wish there was a way to anonymously report this, but I suppose there isn't.

The UOC-USA is a small diocese, and my priest is a big fish in a small pond. I am afraid of how all if this will play out. I don't have audio or video to back up my claims.  It's just my word against his.

He has his doctorate in theology, teaches at the diocesan seminary, and has been in ministry for 32 years. Who am I? A nobody.
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2012, 04:57:28 AM »

Please notice what I actually said that it doesn't matter to Orthodox liturgical practice, and that I did not disparage anyone's past or present struggle or attachment.  The attitude was uncalled for and unbecoming.
You need to calm down and stop taking people's remarks so personally and so seriously.
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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2012, 05:27:37 AM »

Quote
The UOC-USA is a small diocese, and my priest is a big fish in a small pond.

So? Size of diocese is nothing. Conducting services properly is far, far more important.

Quote
I am afraid of how all if this will play out. I don't have audio or video to back up my claims.  It's just my word against his.

I can understand your reluctance to stick your neck out. But you weren't the only one at these services. It is by no means your word against his. Often, if two or three people buck up, then many more will follow. Safety in numbers.

Quote
He has his doctorate in theology, teaches at the diocesan seminary, and has been in ministry for 32 years. Who am I? A nobody.


His doctorate is worthless if he willfully and repeatedly engages in such blatant liturgical revisionism. You and your people have every right, indeed, obligation, to take measures to put a stop to this nonsense.
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2012, 06:22:58 AM »

LBK is correct.  Priests are supposed to get their bishop's blessing before they make liturgical changes.  Last year, our priest decided that he would like to have a vesperal liturgy for St. Nikolai Velimirovic (who is our patron saint), and got our bishop's permission to do so.  He didn't just make the decision to do it on his own.  Don't forget that some of the biggest heretics in the history of the Church were bishops!  If bishops can be wrong, then priests most certainly can.  Sometimes those who are specialists in that area (theology) can think that they know better than the bishop what is okay. 
After all, they studied it for years and have a doctorate in the subject!
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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2012, 07:13:51 AM »

Handmaiden, are there people in the parish (maybe even family members) that you could ask about how long changes have been being made in the liturgies.  Maybe the choir was acting as though they didn't know the hymn because they don't know the hymn.  Maybe they have been using something else for awhile.    I'm suspecting that this type of thing has been going on for awhile.  To be honest with you, I can't imagine a bishop okaying the use of a song from a Broadway musical ("Sunrise/Sunset") during an Orthodox church service.  You said that this happened two years ago. 
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« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2012, 10:30:14 AM »

From my point of view, coming from a family of priests and being on a personal level with our Bishops where I felt comfortable speaking with them regarding such matters, I wanted to note that I agree with Peter's advice and I offer a few thoughts from my own experiences.

First, as many know, I was brought up to be, and I am, tolerant of other people's religious beliefs and I tend to take much with the proverbial 'grain of salt.' However, what Handmaiden describes is, simply stated, bizarre and totally uncalled for within any range of 'Orthodoxy' from the least conservative modality through the most extreme. I am sure that your Bishop has no idea that such practices are taking place and I am certain that none of your Bishops will tolerate such nonsense.

However - getting him to take your complaints seriously is the tough part. Bishops tend to believe what their priests tell them and, for the most part, they try to 'minimize' complaints that they receive from the laity. This is understandable as many complaints stem from either a lay person's personal 'vendetta' against a priest (and in many cases ALL clergy) or from a lay person's misunderstanding of what actually occurred. (I have no doubt that your reports are correct - however, convincing the 'higher ups' of this is tricky.)

I am sending Handmaiden a PM on this regarding my own experience with a similar problem as it may take more than a simple letter or two to convince the Bishop that something fishy is going on there.

Good luck!

BTW, the singing of TRADITIONAL carols from other Christian backgrounds before or after Liturgy ought not be a cause of anyone getting so upset as to froth from the mouth etc....Those that retell the story of the Nativity from a scriptural or even familial point of view are neither 'heretical' or dangerous just because they are not derived from traditional Orthodox sources. Handmaiden would no doubt agree with me that over the years, those of us who are Ukrainian or Rusyn or Romanian have heard from many 'purists' that we ought not to sing our beloved kolady because they are not from the Typikon or a Liturgicon. Nonsense!


« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 10:36:29 AM by podkarpatska » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2012, 10:48:16 AM »

Please notice what I actually said that it doesn't matter to Orthodox liturgical practice, and that I did not disparage anyone's past or present struggle or attachment.  The attitude was uncalled for and unbecoming.
You need to calm down and stop taking people's remarks so personally and so seriously.

I take Orthodoxy seriously, and very personally and it's no joke, but thanks. I'm calm.  Angry Wink Grin
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« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2012, 11:06:18 AM »


How can "Bless the Lord..." be replaced with Little Drummer Boy?  Seroiusly? 

Handmaiden, I would contact the bishop.
I know our bishops, and they would not hold it "against" you, nor side with the priest and ignore you because you are a mere layperson.

You have a valid concern, and you should let His Grace know.  He can't fix it, if he doesn't know it is broken.





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« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2012, 11:13:54 AM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Yesterday I attended Christmas Liturgy at the parish that I grew up in, and was both shocked and disappointed. Rather than consult the festal propers for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, the choir director and the priest took it upon themselves to make some adjustments to the hymns for the day.

In place of the First Antiphon was "Little Drummer Boy."

Rather than sing the Second Antiphon, "O Holy Night" was sung.

While the clergy (1 priest, 2 deacons) were partaking of communion at the altar and the parishioners were preparing to receive, rather than sing the normal pre-communion hymns, or the proper hymns that the Church has sang on this feast for ohhh only the past 1,600 years or so, they sang "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." When one of the subdeacons started to sing "Nebo i Zemlia/Heaven and Earth" from behind the iconostas, the choir was able to follow along for the first few lines, and it then became quickly apparent that they didn't know the hymn. ("Nebo i Zemlia", btw, is a hymn that we always traditionally sang in my parish. There was no reason for the choir not to know it.)

I love Western Christmas carols and enjoy listening to them through December in January on the radio. However, they belong on the radio; not in Church. It broke my heart to see our choir abandon good, traditional Orthodox Christmas hymns in favor of Western Carols. It was as if they were saying "our faith and traditions aren't good enough, so we are going to borrow these songs from the West."

What further upset me was that the priest approved of all of this.

I don't know if I should go to my Bishop with this, or what should be done. Two of the three Bishops in the UOC-USA have been very sick lately, and the third one is constantly traveling.

I am discouraged and brokenhearted, and feel like my parish is throwing away our beautiful Ukrainian Orthodox faith.

(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")

So, fellow forum members, any advice?

The irony is the priest and choir wanting to adopt carols and such from non-orthodox who reject the Church, the Saints, the Mother of God and other doctrines and practices that Holy Orthodoxy believes and confesses. I notice this in some Orthodox blogs too, where non-orthodox ideas are promoted when Orthodoxy has its own ancient tradition. A layperson can be excused for ignorance or weakness, but the priest has no excuse. It is his sacred duty to uphold the true faith. Your post is a good start for a letter to the bishop.
Don't poo poo ALL non-Orthodox carols and hymns just because they come from heterodox sources. Some of the stuff heterodox love to sing is very orthodox in its content. (That still doesn't justify using it to replace the hymns of the Church, though.)

It matters not at all to Orthodox liturgical doctrine/practice what the heterodox sing. Orthodoxy is not concerned with correcting/judging their hymns.
You may not give a rat's bahooky about heterodox hymns and carols, but those of us who come into the Church from heterodox backgrounds are still quite attached to the music we grew up with. Are we to suffer having that taken away from us entirely? If not, then please don't disparage those who try to discern what from our pasts is worthy of holding onto in some way and what must be discarded.

But we can trust Orthodox liturgical texts which have undergone centuries of scrutiny.
And no one is suggesting that we get rid of them or replace them with something else.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Philippians 4:8 (RSV)

Please notice what I actually said that it doesn't matter to Orthodox liturgical practice, and that I did not disparage anyone's past or present struggle or attachment.  The attitude was uncalled for and unbecoming.
The only thing I'm taking issue with is the idea you stated that Western Christmas carols are to be rejected for no other reason than that they come from heterodox sources; I've merely stated that we should judge things by their content and not by where they come from. Please note also that I was one of the first to object to the replacement of Orthodox hymns with Western Christmas carols and to advise the OP to contact her bishop regarding the undue liturgical innovation, and that I have since reiterated my belief that the orthodoxy of any Western carols is no justification for their insertion into the services of the Church at the expense of our Orthodox hymnography.

Finally, I can assure you that the only attitude you saw in my words is that which you chose to read into them. Smiley

Again, as I stated first and in reply, my opinion is only in regard to Orthodox liturgical practice. The content can be quickly judged by whether it's the authentic Orthodox text or not and not any other basis. That's why the op noticed and anyone familiar with the services would notice because it's not Orthodox.

Sorry if I read attitude in your post. I ventured out of my usual lurking and still adjusting.  Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2012, 11:20:56 AM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Yesterday I attended Christmas Liturgy at the parish that I grew up in, and was both shocked and disappointed. Rather than consult the festal propers for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, the choir director and the priest took it upon themselves to make some adjustments to the hymns for the day.

In place of the First Antiphon was "Little Drummer Boy."

Rather than sing the Second Antiphon, "O Holy Night" was sung.

While the clergy (1 priest, 2 deacons) were partaking of communion at the altar and the parishioners were preparing to receive, rather than sing the normal pre-communion hymns, or the proper hymns that the Church has sang on this feast for ohhh only the past 1,600 years or so, they sang "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." When one of the subdeacons started to sing "Nebo i Zemlia/Heaven and Earth" from behind the iconostas, the choir was able to follow along for the first few lines, and it then became quickly apparent that they didn't know the hymn. ("Nebo i Zemlia", btw, is a hymn that we always traditionally sang in my parish. There was no reason for the choir not to know it.)

I love Western Christmas carols and enjoy listening to them through December in January on the radio. However, they belong on the radio; not in Church. It broke my heart to see our choir abandon good, traditional Orthodox Christmas hymns in favor of Western Carols. It was as if they were saying "our faith and traditions aren't good enough, so we are going to borrow these songs from the West."

What further upset me was that the priest approved of all of this.

I don't know if I should go to my Bishop with this, or what should be done. Two of the three Bishops in the UOC-USA have been very sick lately, and the third one is constantly traveling.

I am discouraged and brokenhearted, and feel like my parish is throwing away our beautiful Ukrainian Orthodox faith.

(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")

So, fellow forum members, any advice?

The irony is the priest and choir wanting to adopt carols and such from non-orthodox who reject the Church, the Saints, the Mother of God and other doctrines and practices that Holy Orthodoxy believes and confesses. I notice this in some Orthodox blogs too, where non-orthodox ideas are promoted when Orthodoxy has its own ancient tradition. A layperson can be excused for ignorance or weakness, but the priest has no excuse. It is his sacred duty to uphold the true faith. Your post is a good start for a letter to the bishop.
Don't poo poo ALL non-Orthodox carols and hymns just because they come from heterodox sources. Some of the stuff heterodox love to sing is very orthodox in its content. (That still doesn't justify using it to replace the hymns of the Church, though.)

It matters not at all to Orthodox liturgical doctrine/practice what the heterodox sing. Orthodoxy is not concerned with correcting/judging their hymns.
You may not give a rat's bahooky about heterodox hymns and carols, but those of us who come into the Church from heterodox backgrounds are still quite attached to the music we grew up with. Are we to suffer having that taken away from us entirely? If not, then please don't disparage those who try to discern what from our pasts is worthy of holding onto in some way and what must be discarded.

But we can trust Orthodox liturgical texts which have undergone centuries of scrutiny.
And no one is suggesting that we get rid of them or replace them with something else.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Philippians 4:8 (RSV)

Please notice what I actually said that it doesn't matter to Orthodox liturgical practice, and that I did not disparage anyone's past or present struggle or attachment.  The attitude was uncalled for and unbecoming.
The only thing I'm taking issue with is the idea you stated that Western Christmas carols are to be rejected for no other reason than that they come from heterodox sources; I've merely stated that we should judge things by their content and not by where they come from. Please note also that I was one of the first to object to the replacement of Orthodox hymns with Western Christmas carols and to advise the OP to contact her bishop regarding the undue liturgical innovation, and that I have since reiterated my belief that the orthodoxy of any Western carols is no justification for their insertion into the services of the Church at the expense of our Orthodox hymnography.

Finally, I can assure you that the only attitude you saw in my words is that which you chose to read into them. Smiley

Again, as I stated first and in reply, my opinion is only in regard to Orthodox liturgical practice. The content can be quickly judged by whether it's the authentic Orthodox text or not and not any other basis.
But even if you are talking only in regard to Orthodox liturgical practice, your disparaging of Western carols merely because they come from heterodox sources is, IMO, a fallacious judgment of the carols based on their source and not on their content. It's really not even necessary to judge either the source or the content of the Western carols, however, to know that they should not be sung in the Liturgy in place of the received Orthodox hymnography.

That's why the op noticed and anyone familiar with the services would notice because it's not Orthodox.
They're not the hymns prescribed to be sung in the Liturgy, and that's all we need to know.
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« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2012, 11:26:32 AM »

@Fotina02:

http://www.pietia.piwko.pl/

Here you can find a text of some Eastern Slavic carols. Can you do a quick research and decide which originated in Eastern Catholic Churches, which in Roman Catholic Churches and which in Eastern Orthodox Churches (it is too difficult for me because they all are sung by all 3 groups). I'd like to know which are allowed to be sung by us.
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« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2012, 11:31:21 AM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Yesterday I attended Christmas Liturgy at the parish that I grew up in, and was both shocked and disappointed. Rather than consult the festal propers for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, the choir director and the priest took it upon themselves to make some adjustments to the hymns for the day.

In place of the First Antiphon was "Little Drummer Boy."

Rather than sing the Second Antiphon, "O Holy Night" was sung.

While the clergy (1 priest, 2 deacons) were partaking of communion at the altar and the parishioners were preparing to receive, rather than sing the normal pre-communion hymns, or the proper hymns that the Church has sang on this feast for ohhh only the past 1,600 years or so, they sang "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." When one of the subdeacons started to sing "Nebo i Zemlia/Heaven and Earth" from behind the iconostas, the choir was able to follow along for the first few lines, and it then became quickly apparent that they didn't know the hymn. ("Nebo i Zemlia", btw, is a hymn that we always traditionally sang in my parish. There was no reason for the choir not to know it.)

I love Western Christmas carols and enjoy listening to them through December in January on the radio. However, they belong on the radio; not in Church. It broke my heart to see our choir abandon good, traditional Orthodox Christmas hymns in favor of Western Carols. It was as if they were saying "our faith and traditions aren't good enough, so we are going to borrow these songs from the West."

What further upset me was that the priest approved of all of this.

I don't know if I should go to my Bishop with this, or what should be done. Two of the three Bishops in the UOC-USA have been very sick lately, and the third one is constantly traveling.

I am discouraged and brokenhearted, and feel like my parish is throwing away our beautiful Ukrainian Orthodox faith.

(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")

So, fellow forum members, any advice?

Yup... That's not good. I agree, send a note to the Bishop.

AFTER liturgy if the choir wants to strut it's stuff and sing a few carols that's cool.  
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 11:31:43 AM by Marc1152 » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2012, 11:35:24 AM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Yesterday I attended Christmas Liturgy at the parish that I grew up in, and was both shocked and disappointed. Rather than consult the festal propers for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, the choir director and the priest took it upon themselves to make some adjustments to the hymns for the day.

In place of the First Antiphon was "Little Drummer Boy."

Rather than sing the Second Antiphon, "O Holy Night" was sung.

While the clergy (1 priest, 2 deacons) were partaking of communion at the altar and the parishioners were preparing to receive, rather than sing the normal pre-communion hymns, or the proper hymns that the Church has sang on this feast for ohhh only the past 1,600 years or so, they sang "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." When one of the subdeacons started to sing "Nebo i Zemlia/Heaven and Earth" from behind the iconostas, the choir was able to follow along for the first few lines, and it then became quickly apparent that they didn't know the hymn. ("Nebo i Zemlia", btw, is a hymn that we always traditionally sang in my parish. There was no reason for the choir not to know it.)

I love Western Christmas carols and enjoy listening to them through December in January on the radio. However, they belong on the radio; not in Church. It broke my heart to see our choir abandon good, traditional Orthodox Christmas hymns in favor of Western Carols. It was as if they were saying "our faith and traditions aren't good enough, so we are going to borrow these songs from the West."

What further upset me was that the priest approved of all of this.

I don't know if I should go to my Bishop with this, or what should be done. Two of the three Bishops in the UOC-USA have been very sick lately, and the third one is constantly traveling.

I am discouraged and brokenhearted, and feel like my parish is throwing away our beautiful Ukrainian Orthodox faith.

(At my cousin's wedding 2 years ago, "Sunrise/Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" was sung in place of the hymns normally used for "The Dance of Isaiah.")

So, fellow forum members, any advice?

The irony is the priest and choir wanting to adopt carols and such from non-orthodox who reject the Church, the Saints, the Mother of God and other doctrines and practices that Holy Orthodoxy believes and confesses. I notice this in some Orthodox blogs too, where non-orthodox ideas are promoted when Orthodoxy has its own ancient tradition. A layperson can be excused for ignorance or weakness, but the priest has no excuse. It is his sacred duty to uphold the true faith. Your post is a good start for a letter to the bishop.
Don't poo poo ALL non-Orthodox carols and hymns just because they come from heterodox sources. Some of the stuff heterodox love to sing is very orthodox in its content. (That still doesn't justify using it to replace the hymns of the Church, though.)

It matters not at all to Orthodox liturgical doctrine/practice what the heterodox sing. Orthodoxy is not concerned with correcting/judging their hymns.
You may not give a rat's bahooky about heterodox hymns and carols, but those of us who come into the Church from heterodox backgrounds are still quite attached to the music we grew up with. Are we to suffer having that taken away from us entirely? If not, then please don't disparage those who try to discern what from our pasts is worthy of holding onto in some way and what must be discarded.

But we can trust Orthodox liturgical texts which have undergone centuries of scrutiny.
And no one is suggesting that we get rid of them or replace them with something else.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Philippians 4:8 (RSV)

Please notice what I actually said that it doesn't matter to Orthodox liturgical practice, and that I did not disparage anyone's past or present struggle or attachment.  The attitude was uncalled for and unbecoming.
The only thing I'm taking issue with is the idea you stated that Western Christmas carols are to be rejected for no other reason than that they come from heterodox sources; I've merely stated that we should judge things by their content and not by where they come from. Please note also that I was one of the first to object to the replacement of Orthodox hymns with Western Christmas carols and to advise the OP to contact her bishop regarding the undue liturgical innovation, and that I have since reiterated my belief that the orthodoxy of any Western carols is no justification for their insertion into the services of the Church at the expense of our Orthodox hymnography.

Finally, I can assure you that the only attitude you saw in my words is that which you chose to read into them. Smiley

Again, as I stated first and in reply, my opinion is only in regard to Orthodox liturgical practice. The content can be quickly judged by whether it's the authentic Orthodox text or not and not any other basis.

They're not the hymns prescribed to be sung in the Liturgy, and that's all we need to know.

Yes, we agree!
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« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2012, 11:39:46 AM »

@Fotina02:

http://www.pietia.piwko.pl/

Here you can find a text of some Eastern Slavic carols. Can you do a quick research and decide which originated in Eastern Catholic Churches, which in Roman Catholic Churches and which in Eastern Orthodox Churches (it is too difficult for me because they all are sung by all 3 groups). I'd like to know which are allowed to be sung by us.

I'm not an expert but I know enough to tell the difference between "Drummer Boy", "O Holy Night", and "Sunrise/Sunset" that the op noticed.
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« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2012, 11:43:46 AM »

I went berserk when they started doing Christmas Carols after Liturgy had ended
Really? Berserk over that?
Lol, scamandrius would've killed the priest after our Christmas service then, when the church bells were set to play some carols after the liturgy was over. I thank God my parish is not pharisaic about things.

Killed?  Really?  That's uncalled for.  This isn't about some Pharisaic law-abiding rule.  I just don't like Western Christmas Carols. I don't want them sung at the church. If I want to hear them, I'll turn on the radio or go to my wife's church.
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« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2012, 11:58:55 AM »

@Fotina02:

http://www.pietia.piwko.pl/

Here you can find a text of some Eastern Slavic carols. Can you do a quick research and decide which originated in Eastern Catholic Churches, which in Roman Catholic Churches and which in Eastern Orthodox Churches (it is too difficult for me because they all are sung by all 3 groups). I'd like to know which are allowed to be sung by us.

I'm not an expert but I know enough to tell the difference between "Drummer Boy", "O Holy Night", and "Sunrise/Sunset" that the op noticed.

You wrote that non-Orthodox carols cannot be sung. So all of them should be abandoned because they might be heretical?
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« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2012, 12:04:25 PM »

I went berserk when they started doing Christmas Carols after Liturgy had ended
Really? Berserk over that?
Lol, scamandrius would've killed the priest after our Christmas service then, when the church bells were set to play some carols after the liturgy was over. I thank God my parish is not pharisaic about things.

Killed?  Really?  That's uncalled for.  This isn't about some Pharisaic law-abiding rule.  I just don't like Western Christmas Carols. I don't want them sung at the church. If I want to hear them, I'll turn on the radio or go to my wife's church.
Errm, perhaps you and I have different definitions of berserk then. When I hear went berserk, I think of a man wearing a bear skin running around with a spear, killing people.
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« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2012, 12:08:38 PM »

@Fotina02:

http://www.pietia.piwko.pl/

Here you can find a text of some Eastern Slavic carols. Can you do a quick research and decide which originated in Eastern Catholic Churches, which in Roman Catholic Churches and which in Eastern Orthodox Churches (it is too difficult for me because they all are sung by all 3 groups). I'd like to know which are allowed to be sung by us.

"Allowed?" Really ....most of these are common, with variations in words and some music,  among Poles, Slovaks, Rusyns and Ukrainians and are sung across religious denominations and national boundaries. Like Christmas Carols of most cultures, most tell the story of the Nativity in words and phrasings that allow the beautiful scriptural narrative to be passed down from generation to generation of what were previously illiterate peoples across east Europe and for the religious edification of children. Someone, a priest, a merchant or a traveller may have gone to a cosmopolitan center with many languages spoken there like L'viv or Uzhorod or wherever, and heard a Hugarian, Polish, Slovak, Ukrainian and so on  carol and liked it and brought it back to their home village. I'm not talking about secular songs like White Christmas or Jingle Bells here!

I don't see any problem with this as lonWhile waiting for services to begin or it there is a long communion line or Antidora line, what is wrong with singing these traditional hymns?
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« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2012, 12:16:52 PM »

@Fotina02:

http://www.pietia.piwko.pl/

Here you can find a text of some Eastern Slavic carols. Can you do a quick research and decide which originated in Eastern Catholic Churches, which in Roman Catholic Churches and which in Eastern Orthodox Churches (it is too difficult for me because they all are sung by all 3 groups). I'd like to know which are allowed to be sung by us.

I'm not an expert but I know enough to tell the difference between "Drummer Boy", "O Holy Night", and "Sunrise/Sunset" that the op noticed.

You wrote that non-Orthodox carols cannot be sung. So all of them should be abandoned because they might be heretical?

I apologize for the prior posts that apparently came across as disparaging non-Orthodox carols which personally I enjoy the traditional ones. But to be clear, my opinion is regards to Orthodox liturgical practice and I agree with PofA that all we need to know is whether the hymns used in the liturgical services are the prescribed hymns or not which imo we should not deviate from the prescribed hymns.
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« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2012, 12:31:23 PM »

@Fotina02:

http://www.pietia.piwko.pl/

Here you can find a text of some Eastern Slavic carols. Can you do a quick research and decide which originated in Eastern Catholic Churches, which in Roman Catholic Churches and which in Eastern Orthodox Churches (it is too difficult for me because they all are sung by all 3 groups). I'd like to know which are allowed to be sung by us.

"Allowed?" Really ....most of these are common, with variations in words and some music,  among Poles, Slovaks, Rusyns and Ukrainians and are sung across religious denominations and national boundaries. Like Christmas Carols of most cultures, most tell the story of the Nativity in words and phrasings that allow the beautiful scriptural narrative to be passed down from generation to generation of what were previously illiterate peoples across east Europe and for the religious edification of children. Someone, a priest, a merchant or a traveller may have gone to a cosmopolitan center with many languages spoken there like L'viv or Uzhorod or wherever, and heard a Hugarian, Polish, Slovak, Ukrainian and so on  carol and liked it and brought it back to their home village. I'm not talking about secular songs like White Christmas or Jingle Bells here!

I don't see any problem with this as lonWhile waiting for services to begin or it there is a long communion line or Antidora line, what is wrong with singing these traditional hymns?

We sang these very hymns while standing in line waiting for Holy Communion.

Always begin with Boh Predvichnij (God Eternal), then Nova Radist Stala (New Happiness has occurred...).

While folks were walking up to kiss the Cross....we sang Nebo i zemlya! (Heaven and Earth) and Vo Vifliyemi (in Bethlehem)...

All Ukrainian Christmas Carols (that I know) revolve around a spiritual message.   (Carol of the bells - Shedrik - is NOT a Christmas Carol, but, a New Year's Day song).

Nonetheless, I love all the Western Christmas Carols and had them playing on the radio for weeks....plus, we played Bing Crosby while we ate our Christmas dinner at home.

Each is lovely and each has a place in our holiday celebrations.


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« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2012, 12:54:52 PM »

In my parish, we had a mixture of traditional liturgical hymns and two or three modern carols thrown in. At the end of the liturgy, they sang a couple more traditional songs.
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« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2012, 01:16:06 PM »

I want to first thank everyone for taking the time to respond. I have read your messages (both on the thread and privately), and will act accordingly.

I would like to clarify one thing regarding Christmas carols: the reason that I raised this issue and the reason for concern was that the Orthodox hymns that are prescribed by the Church Fathers and have been in place for hundreds of years were replaced with Western carols. As stated in my OP, both the first and second antiphon were exchanged for "The Little Drummer Boy" and "O Holy Night" respectively.

This is wrong and a Liturgical abuse.

If the choir had decided to sing these songs before or after Liturgy, or while the parishioners were exiting the Church, I wouldn't have a problem with that. As we were leaving the Church, the Church bells played "Silent Night." It was beautiful, and did not change our style of worship in any way.

However, when Orthodox hymns are put to the side in favor of Western carols, that is when I get upset. This isn't about holding on to some sentimental song from my childhood; this is about following the appropriate festal hymns as prescribed by the Church. After all, when we take matters into our own hands and no longer follow what the Church has set for us, then we are basically no better than the Protestants.

Furthermore, when we abandon our own hymns in favor of those from other religious traditions, we are basically saying to the faithful "our hymns aren't good enough because they aren't part of popular culture in America, so we are going to sing these instead." While Orthodox Nativity hymns may not make the "Top 40" on the radio, and were never recorded by the likes of Bing Crosby, they speak the truth. They are part of the ethos and essence of Orthodox worship, and should not be abandoned. We should be proud of our Orthodox heritage, and be thrilled to pass it down to the children.

Anyway, I hope that clarifies any confusion there may have been in this thread.

Also, for the record, there was no excuse for the choir not to know the Orthodox hymns. My parish has sung these hymns for years. My parish, for better or worse, does not have many converts. Most of our parishioners are second, third, and fourth generation Americans that are descendents of Ukrainian immigrants. The reason that the choir did not know "Heaven and Earth" and the other hymns is because the choir director did not rehearse the songs and provide the music needed in anticipation of the upcoming feast.

Considering that he is a third generation Ukrainian Orthodox Choir Director who goes back to Ukraine at least twice a year, there really was no excuse for it.

Thank you again for your time and responses.
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« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2012, 01:24:09 PM »

@Fotina02:

http://www.pietia.piwko.pl/

Here you can find a text of some Eastern Slavic carols. Can you do a quick research and decide which originated in Eastern Catholic Churches, which in Roman Catholic Churches and which in Eastern Orthodox Churches (it is too difficult for me because they all are sung by all 3 groups). I'd like to know which are allowed to be sung by us.

I'm not an expert but I know enough to tell the difference between "Drummer Boy", "O Holy Night", and "Sunrise/Sunset" that the op noticed.

You wrote that non-Orthodox carols cannot be sung. So all of them should be abandoned because they might be heretical?

I apologize for the prior posts that apparently came across as disparaging non-Orthodox carols which personally I enjoy the traditional ones. But to be clear, my opinion is regards to Orthodox liturgical practice and I agree with PofA that all we need to know is whether the hymns used in the liturgical services are the prescribed hymns or not which imo we should not deviate from the prescribed hymns.

Indeed, in any jurisidiction, in any country - the faithful typically have at least a simple prayer book which should include the specifics for Divine Liturgy of each of the movable feasts. These would include all prescribed antiphons, troparions, prokeimenons, allelujas and the 'Velicaj/We Magnify' for the feast. While not all parishes may respond with all of the particular verses, there should be no basic substitutions.Any deviation which is not set out at your diocesan website or newspaper should be presumed to be incorrect. If you are confused or upset, you should be able to approach your priest and politely make an inquiry.
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« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2012, 01:37:08 PM »

Also, for the record, there was no excuse for the choir not to know the Orthodox hymns. My parish has sung these hymns for years. My parish, for better or worse, does not have many converts. Most of our parishioners are second, third, and fourth generation Americans that are descendents of Ukrainian immigrants. The reason that the choir did not know "Heaven and Earth" and the other hymns is because the choir director did not rehearse the songs and provide the music needed in anticipation of the upcoming feast.

"Heaven and Earth" is not an Orthodx Hymn. It's a folk carol that has nothing to do with the Church Tradition.
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