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Author Topic: Christmas Carols During Liturgy  (Read 2659 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2012, 01:46:59 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.

Fair enough; but the festal hymns that should have been sung were not sung.
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« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2012, 01:49:45 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.

Fair enough; but the festal hymns that should have been sung were not sung.
There's no excuse for the choir not knowing the antiphons and other hymns prescribed for the Christmas services, since we sing them every year.
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« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2012, 01:52:32 PM »

Here is my question: does the UOC-USA overall take 'liturgical innovations' seriously?

I'm not saying this as an accusation, but merely asking as a matter of context.  For example, if there is a practice of, let's say, integrating favorite Ukrainian folk hymns in liturgical services, then this revelation might be a little less jarring than it would be in a jurisdiction where preserving the Typikon is considered an absolute imperative.  Since I know little about the UOC, all I can really say is that some jurisdictions allow much more leeway in services than others.

I probably would have walked out of that place in the first instance.  My tolerance is pretty low for weird liturgics AND Western Christmas carols (didn't ever liked 'em one bit, even before converting).
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« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2012, 01:57:09 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.

Fair enough; but the festal hymns that should have been sung were not sung.

No doubt but stating that "Heaven and Earth" is in this context OK while "Silent Night" is not is strange to me.
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« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2012, 02:03:45 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.

Fair enough; but the festal hymns that should have been sung were not sung.
There's no excuse for the choir not knowing the antiphons and other hymns prescribed for the Christmas services, since we sing them every year.

I have to take issue with the comment that "Heaven and Earth' has 'nothing' to do with the Church Tradition. Here is the common English translation to the first verse. Please, tell me what in these words is contrary to the Nativity narratives from the Gospels and Church teaching? Thank you.

   "Heaven and Earth now sing in Triumph"                     Luke 2:8-14
   "Angels and People join in celebration"                       Luke 2:8-14 and Luke 2:20
   "Christ the Lord is Born, Come and Behold Him!"          Luke 2:10-12
   " Choirs or Angels singing,                                        Luke 2:14
     Wise Men Appearing                                               Matthew 2:9-12
     Christ they are Greeting                                          ibid.
     Shepherds are retelling, joyfully the wondrous story."  Luke 2:20.

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« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2012, 02:05:26 PM »

And that can't be done with "Silent Night"?
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« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2012, 02:34:50 PM »

And that can't be done with "Silent Night"?

Michał,

Please re-read my posts. I don't have a problem with Western carols being sung, or "Heaven and Earth" being sung.

I have a problem when the hymns that are prescribed by the Church are not sung, and "The Little Drummer Boy", "Silent Night" etc., are sung in their place.

"Heaven and Earth" was and is traditionally sung in my parish while the clergy were partaking of communion, and the faithful were queing up to receive the sacrament.

Are we clear?
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« Reply #52 on: January 09, 2012, 03:11:49 PM »

One more thing: Do you cinsider "Heaven and Earth" on the same level as antiphones?
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« Reply #53 on: January 09, 2012, 03:21:10 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.

No....not even close.

Here is my question: does the UOC-USA overall take 'liturgical innovations' seriously?

I'm not saying this as an accusation, but merely asking as a matter of context.  For example, if there is a practice of, let's say, integrating favorite Ukrainian folk hymns in liturgical services, then this revelation might be a little less jarring than it would be in a jurisdiction where preserving the Typikon is considered an absolute imperative.  Since I know little about the UOC, all I can really say is that some jurisdictions allow much more leeway in services than others.

I probably would have walked out of that place in the first instance.  My tolerance is pretty low for weird liturgics AND Western Christmas carols (didn't ever liked 'em one bit, even before converting).


Yes, they do take them seriously.  Our Divine Liturgy has changed little in hundreds of years.  Change is frowned upon....and not tolerated by the hierarchs, clergy, nor parishioners (for the most part).

We hold fast to the "old" ways.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 03:21:24 PM by LizaSymonenko » Logged

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« Reply #54 on: January 09, 2012, 03:28:01 PM »

One more thing: Do you cinsider "Heaven and Earth" on the same level as antiphones?

No, and it's not about "me." There are festal propers as to how the Liturgy is to be conducted on feast days and other days of the year. I just desire for my parish to follow the festal propers. Is it wrong for me to want my parish to serve the Liturgy as it was intended to be served?

Furthermore, every other year that I have gone to Christmas Liturgy it was served correctly. This year being the exception.
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« Reply #55 on: January 09, 2012, 03:52:31 PM »

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.

If done appropriately, there should be nothing to worry about. That said, I'm good at these sort of things, so it's difficult to empathize.

Quote
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.

Despite what some others have posted, I think it would've been a bit silly to include all of that "evidence." This isn't C.S.I., and this isn't a crime being investigated.  If the bishop inquires about the replacement of traditional antiphons with Western carols and the priest lies about it, then there are far bigger problems.   

Quote
He has his doctorate in theology, teaches at the diocesan seminary, and has been in ministry for 32 years.
People must speak up against any clergy who are changing the service or teaching heterodox doctrine.  Deferring to someone who is an "expert" is not always the best option.

Quote
Who am I? A nobody.
Angry  Wrong.  Bring this to the bishop, and let's hope he is a defender of the faith.

Also, thanks HandmaidenofGod, for trudging through the silliness that occurs in many OC.net threads, e.g. "I don't like Western carols" "I like some of them," etc. and trying to stay on point.

Again, no need to be accusatory or earth shattering, but many of us believe that what you witnessed should be pointed out.

Best wishes with your communication.


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« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2012, 08:45:40 PM »


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.







I agree, Liza.  I won't even say what I think of including songs from a Broadway musical during a wedding.
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« Reply #57 on: January 09, 2012, 08:48:54 PM »

One more thing: Do you cinsider "Heaven and Earth" on the same level as antiphones?

No, and it's not about "me." There are festal propers as to how the Liturgy is to be conducted on feast days and other days of the year. I just desire for my parish to follow the festal propers. Is it wrong for me to want my parish to serve the Liturgy as it was intended to be served?

Furthermore, every other year that I have gone to Christmas Liturgy it was served correctly. This year being the exception.

I would be upset too, Handmaiden.  For one thing, I love the hymns of the Nativity and would be upset that they are being replaced with carols that I can hear any day at home or on the radio that time of year (even though I love "O Holy Night" and many of the other traditional Christmas hymns.  I even like "The Little Drummer Boy", but church isn't the place for it (unless it is after the service). 
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« Reply #58 on: January 09, 2012, 09:52:27 PM »

Regarding Orthodox liturgical texts I read that Fr Florovsky was mostly self-taught through study of the service books.

Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) writes:


Liturgical texts as a school of theology

May I now turn to the theological and dogmatic significance of liturgical texts. In my view, liturgical texts are for Orthodox Christians an incontestable doctrinal authority, whose theological irreproachability is second only to Scripture. Liturgical texts are not simply the works of outstanding theologians and poets, but also the fruits of the prayerful experience of those who have attained sanctity and theosis. The theological authority of liturgical texts is, in my opinion, even higher than that of the works of the Fathers of the Church, for not everything in the works of the latter is of equal theological value and not everything has been accepted by the fullness of the Church. Liturgical texts, on the other hand, have been accepted by the whole Church as a “rule of faith” (kanon pisteos), for they have been read and sung everywhere in Orthodox churches over many centuries. Throughout this time, any erroneous ideas foreign to Orthodoxy that might have crept in either through misunderstanding or oversight were eliminated by Church Tradition itself, leaving only pure and authoritative doctrine clothed by the poetic forms of the Church’s hymns.

This holds true above all for the daily cycle of services prescribed by the Orthodox Typicon, as well as for the weekly and yearly cycle found in the Octoechos, Lenten Triodion, Pentecostarion and Menaia, whose liturgical texts contain interpretations of and reflections on many episodes from the life of Christ and aspects of His teaching. In this sense one can say that liturgical texts are a “Gospel according to the Church”. During the ecclesiastical year, from the Nativity to the Ascension, the earthly life of Christ passes by the spiritual gaze of the faithful. Liturgical texts bring us close to Christ at His birth in Bethlehem, on Mount Tabor when He was transfigured, in the upper room on Zion during the Last Supper and on Calvary with the Crucifixion.

Liturgical texts are not simply a commentary on the Gospels since, in many cases, they speak of that which the Gospels pass over in silence. I would like to give an example from the Nativity service. The Gospel reading speaks very briefly of Christ’s birth: “The birth of Christ was thus: after His Mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting everybody to know of this, wanted to let her go secretly” (Mt. 1:18-19). Much that happened at this event has remained hidden from us. For example, the narrative is silent about Joseph’s personal drama: we can only guess about his feelings and doubts, as well as about the words he uttered to his betrothed when he learned of her pregnancy. Orthodox liturgical texts attempt to recreate in poetic form a dialogue between Joseph and Mary:

Joseph says to the Virgin: Mary, what is this that I see in Thee? I am at a loss, astonished and horrified. Mary, what is this that I see in Thee? Thou hast brought me shame instead of honour, sorrow instead of rejoicing, reproach instead of boasting. No longer shall I endure the reproach of men, for I received thee blameless from the priest of the Lord’s temple, and what is this that I see?

When Joseph, O Virgin, was wounded by sorrow while going to Bethlehem, Thou didst cry unto him: why art Thou languishing in sorrow and confused, not knowing that all that has happened to me is part of the fearful mystery? But now lay aside all fear, knowing of the most glorious events, for in His mercy God hast descended to earth and is now in my womb, taking on flesh. When thou shalt see Him born, as He has willed, thou shalt be filled with joy and worship Him as thy Creator.

One may refer to such texts as “poetic invention” or “church rhetoric”, or one may see in them something more – a perceptive understanding of the feelings and experiences of those whose lives form Sacred History. Byzantine hymnographers made use of an extremely rich array of literary techniques since they spoke about that which ‘the eye has not beheld, the ear has not heard and has not entered the heart of man’ (1 Cor. 2:9), about mysteries beyond the limits of human reason, but grasped only by faith. There are many mystical truths in Christianity which, being difficult to explain in prose, are better served by poetry to help the faithful to understand.

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« Reply #59 on: January 09, 2012, 11:12:17 PM »

Thank you all for your support. I can assure you that appropriate action is being taken.
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« Reply #60 on: January 10, 2012, 02:10:57 AM »

Thank you all for your support. I can assure you that appropriate action is being taken.

Good luck and Godspeed to you and those helping you, Handmaiden! Let us know how things go.
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« Reply #61 on: January 11, 2012, 10:49:25 AM »

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.

Fair enough; but the festal hymns that should have been sung were not sung.
There's no excuse for the choir not knowing the antiphons and other hymns prescribed for the Christmas services, since we sing them every year.

I have to take issue with the comment that "Heaven and Earth' has 'nothing' to do with the Church Tradition. Here is the common English translation to the first verse. Please, tell me what in these words is contrary to the Nativity narratives from the Gospels and Church teaching? Thank you.

   "Heaven and Earth now sing in Triumph"                     Luke 2:8-14
   "Angels and People join in celebration"                       Luke 2:8-14 and Luke 2:20
   "Christ the Lord is Born, Come and Behold Him!"          Luke 2:10-12
   " Choirs or Angels singing,                                        Luke 2:14
     Wise Men Appearing                                               Matthew 2:9-12
     Christ they are Greeting                                          ibid.
     Shepherds are retelling, joyfully the wondrous story."  Luke 2:20.



I thought it appropriate to cross reference a bumped the other day on another thread in Free-for-All: Religious Topics - "Beautiful Serbian Christmas Song/Video." It is a 20th century Serbian carol written by St. Nikolaj Velimirovich. It supports my comments regarding folk carols as the words are similar to those found in most of the traditional 'cross-Slavic' hymns referenced by Michal.
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« Reply #62 on: February 16, 2012, 09:04:25 PM »

Here is my question: does the UOC-USA overall take 'liturgical innovations' seriously?

I'm not saying this as an accusation, but merely asking as a matter of context.  For example, if there is a practice of, let's say, integrating favorite Ukrainian folk hymns in liturgical services, then this revelation might be a little less jarring than it would be in a jurisdiction where preserving the Typikon is considered an absolute imperative.  Since I know little about the UOC, all I can really say is that some jurisdictions allow much more leeway in services than others.

I probably would have walked out of that place in the first instance.  My tolerance is pretty low for weird liturgics AND Western Christmas carols (didn't ever liked 'em one bit, even before converting).


Does the UOC USA take liturgical innovations seriously?  I know the bishops do and the clergy do but I know the people do.  The UOC folks don't like innovation at all, when they say "why would you want to do that it's been done this way forever" you have to take that seriously.  Every parish can have its little traditions and in the UOC churches these are most likely straight from the parishoner's home villages in UA even if they came here 100 years ago. 
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« Reply #63 on: February 16, 2012, 09:11:19 PM »

Carols after liturgy are ok, or before compline before liturgy.
not hearing the traditional Ukrainian Christmas hymns would make me feel like I was in a stripped down American church...... I went once, no offense but other than the antiphons it didn't feel festive. Remember we usually associate each holy day with some sort of neat thing...... blessing grapes and fruit, willow branches, palm fronds, etc....

Carols are a part of it, go to the Greek Catholic Otpusty in PA (where is the town Dnc Lance, I can't think I have a headache).  Last time I went there years ago (7 now geez) we sat up every night until like 2am singing folk songs and such from our tradition (Ukraine/Eastern Slovakia).

So singing folk songs and such is a huge part of our culture that most my age have lost and if it's relegated to singing Heaven and Earth after liturgy on Christmas, so be it.
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« Reply #64 on: February 16, 2012, 09:50:56 PM »

Carols after liturgy are ok, or before compline before liturgy.
not hearing the traditional Ukrainian Christmas hymns would make me feel like I was in a stripped down American church...... I went once, no offense but other than the antiphons it didn't feel festive. Remember we usually associate each holy day with some sort of neat thing...... blessing grapes and fruit, willow branches, palm fronds, etc....

Carols are a part of it, go to the Greek Catholic Otpusty in PA (where is the town Dnc Lance, I can't think I have a headache).  Last time I went there years ago (7 now geez) we sat up every night until like 2am singing folk songs and such from our tradition (Ukraine/Eastern Slovakia).

So singing folk songs and such is a huge part of our culture that most my age have lost and if it's relegated to singing Heaven and Earth after liturgy on Christmas, so be it.

Uniontown, PA 
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