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mike
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« on: January 15, 2012, 10:54:54 AM »

What do you think when laymen try to do the thing reserved for the clergy (like saying prayers, do the blessings etc.)?
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 01:52:28 PM »

What do you think when laymen try to do the thing reserved for the clergy (like saying prayers, do the blessings etc.)?

I'm not sure what you mean. For example, right before the curtain is drawn and the clergy open the Royal Doors to serve communion, an acolyte will lead the parish in the pre-communion prayers. (This is with the blessing of the priest.)

As this is pre-written prayer that any lay person can say, I don't have a problem with it. I've also seen lay people lead a prayer when the priest was not present before a meal or a meeting of some sort. (Youth group, something like that.)

I've never seen a lay person give a blessing.

What are you specifically referring to?
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2012, 01:55:41 PM »

In my parish some troparions are sung by the clergy only (or if the troparion is sung thrice they sing it the first time). Some people follow along. Or some people follow along the epiclesis, or dismissals, or blessings...
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2012, 04:21:04 PM »

I think it depends on exactly what is going on. Sometimes our priest will ask a chanter to do something that he (the priest) doesn't feel capable of doing adequately. If it's just "following along" and echoing what the priest is saying, that could be a good thing - especially if it's coming from the heart and not from a book. One elderly lady in my parish will often say things along with the priest - but that's because she is fully involved in the Liturgy. She's not trying to replace him! And, quite frankly, there are times that I wish I felt that comfortable during a service as she does.

This morning at Orthros, we were running late getting started. Our priest had a few extra things to set up - blessing of some icons, a memorial to prepare for, and he got there a bit late. So he told us chanters to start Orthros as though it were a Reader's service and he would join in as soon as he was prepared. (He joined in just in time for the Gospel.)

As long as not a situation of having someone trying to take over the priest's role, I don't see a problem.
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2012, 04:31:20 PM »

people often 'follow along' in my church! usually under their breath.
i think if they did it out loud, it would be a problem but you can only just hear it.
which sort of answers your question in the other thread, in coptic churches, often not only the priest, but also a large part of the congregation have memorised large parts of the liturgy.
possibly this is because we have only 2 liturgies in regular use (there is another for special occasions and others used by the british and french churches in our juristiction), so eventually you start to remember them without really trying.
also we have very few parts of the liturgy the priest says quietly, so we get to hear all of it.
(but that would be to digress from the topic and i don't want to get told off!)
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2012, 05:13:41 PM »

What do you think when laymen try to do the thing reserved for the clergy (like saying prayers, do the blessings etc.)?
The blessings? You mean, someone blessing someone else during the liturgy with "may the grace of our Lord" or something?
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2012, 05:57:27 PM »

No, not in the Church. For example at home, blessing the food.
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2012, 06:00:58 PM »

There's a toddler at my church who, during the great entrance, picks up a liturgy book and holds it above his head, then "blesses" the choir
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2012, 06:23:17 PM »

My Late Father Use, to Bless the Table ,with the sign of the cross ,On Major Feast Days
Also My Late Mother ....
Mom used to Chant the Whole Liturgy in Church ,Hymns Included ,silently ,Or Almost Silently....Once a Father did Bring it up to her, but he also realized that the Spirit was moving her ,so he just let it be.... police
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2012, 06:25:31 PM »

That's exactly what I'm asking about ^
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2012, 06:59:25 PM »

Bless the Table ,with the sign of the cross

I don't see a major problem with this. I pray over my food every time I eat a meal, and usually try to the sign of the cross over it, if in public in a manner that will not attract attention. I think there is a difference between asking God to bless your food and trying to celebrate Communion without a priest.
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2012, 07:23:16 PM »

What do you think when laymen try to do the thing reserved for the clergy (like saying prayers, do the blessings etc.)?
besides emergency baptism, laymen shouldn't be doing anything reserved to the clergy.  That said, very little is reserved to the clergy.
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2012, 07:56:46 PM »

Bless the Table ,with the sign of the cross

I don't see a major problem with this. I pray over my food every time I eat a meal, and usually try to the sign of the cross over it, if in public in a manner that will not attract attention. I think there is a difference between asking God to bless your food and trying to celebrate Communion without a priest.

And
Most of the time Our Departed Parents would invite a Fr. Monk, Since we lived, not to far from our Monesteries ,To Give the Blessing, and to partake Of Mom's Great Cooking...God Rest Their Souls Amongst his Just......May Their Memory's Ever Be  Eternal...Amen Amen.... police
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2012, 08:34:58 PM »

What do you think when laymen try to do the thing reserved for the clergy (like saying prayers, do the blessings etc.)?
besides emergency baptism, laymen shouldn't be doing anything reserved to the clergy.  That said, very little is reserved to the clergy.

Right.   It is common for me to see faithful Ukrainians (i.e. from Ukraine) saying along with me "for Thine is the Kingdom..." at the Lord's prayer in more silent voice.   This is a question that often comes up.  Should laity say the "exclamation" when a priest is not there, or should they just "drop it"? 
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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2012, 09:47:43 PM »

What do you think when laymen try to do the thing reserved for the clergy (like saying prayers, do the blessings etc.)?
besides emergency baptism, laymen shouldn't be doing anything reserved to the clergy.  That said, very little is reserved to the clergy.

In the 1979 BCP there are directions on almost everything as to how any given rite may be "done" without a priest. As a rule, for instance, except for blessings at meals a deacon or layman must use the form "May the Lord bless us" where the priest would say "the Lord bless you". There's no difference between what a deacon and a layman may do, but if there is a deacon he is reserved certain acts (e.g. reading the gospel and singing the exultet).

I was once at vespers at a Greek church where this odd fellow was repeating some of the clergy parts. The priest finally paused and asked us (meaning him, but he had me thrown off a bit too) to stop.
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« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2012, 10:16:11 PM »

There is a Layman's blessing. It is something like:
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us (me). This can be said in place of the priest's exclamation, for instance, after the Lord's Prayer.
In the Greek Church I attend a pious lady often "follows on" aloud; this does distract me somewhat from trying to "follow on" silently in English but I say nothing. She is a dear friend and one of the yia yias mentioned below.
Regarding Troparia and Kontakia during Liturgy, in Russian practice this is almost always exclusively chanted by our choir, except when the Bishop serves when he leads the altar clergy and servers in the festal kontakion. In the Greek church I attend, the priest repeats the main Troparion after he has entered the Royal Doors, after which the choir repeats it again a third time, followed by other Troparia and Kontakia. The priest always intones the Theotokion.
The Unabbreviated Horologion of Jordanville in English tells us in the Prayers in the Refectory chapter my edition p. 209) the following:

_Priest (Abbot, Abbess)_: O Christ God, bless the food and drink of Thy servants, for holy art Thou, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Since an abbot is not always and an abbess never a priest, this indicates that this and similar blessings may be prayed by the lay faithful.
The Greek yia yias here in Melbourne always say this blessing before a meal.
Also, if I as a nun am asked to bless or pray anything other than before a meal, I often read from Numbers 6:24ff.
What is the opinion of our priests on this board?
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« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2012, 12:41:18 AM »

What do you think when laymen try to do the thing reserved for the clergy (like saying prayers, do the blessings etc.)?

If there are no clergy or priests in your locale, you learn how to do that by yourself.
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2012, 01:00:05 AM »

There are prayers of the laity for daily things, like the blessing before meals. It's perfectly fine for laity to even make the sign of the cross over their food, as long as they are doing it with the three fingers held up together and two into the palm (as held when you cross yourself), as the IC XC hand shape is deserved to priests and bishops. Likewise, a parent may bless their child in this fashion. When a priest visits a female monastery, he must ask the abbess' blessing before serving! She gives him a lay-blessing and the priest kisses her hand.

As for people "following along" in the priest's parts in the Liturgy, I've received that this is bad form. I've been told for men to do it, especially if they are serving, it is presumptuous (as if they are putting themselves in the position of the priest). That said, I sometimes mouth priest's or deacon's parts as I follow along. A few times I've been singing along and go right into the priest/deacon line because I'm just focused on what's going on! Of course, I stop the second I catch myself doing it. I would usually advise against people repeating or chanting along with the priest/deacon, especially in a case like I've described. But if a yia yia or baboushka is doing it? I don't know...that just seems to be a completely different spirit than what I mentioned.
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« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2012, 01:20:22 AM »

You think mumbling the priest's parts under one's breath and in time with the priest is bad? There's a woman in our parish who says them quite audibly before the priest even gets to them.
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« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2012, 02:08:51 AM »

I bless my children with the sign of the Cross after saying the nightly prayers with them. Sometimes I make the sign of the Cross over them before they enter the Church. I don't think of myself as replacing the Priest, but I try to remember that I am the Priest of my household and I should remember that always. And of course, I will light incense in my home and anoint my children and wife with Holy Water when necessary. I have always understood such things to be quite appropriate.



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« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2012, 04:38:03 AM »

You think mumbling the priest's parts under one's breath and in time with the priest is bad? There's a woman in our parish who says them quite audibly before the priest even gets to them.

 laugh laugh laugh

EVERY parish has one of these! And almost invariably off-key, too, so you can't miss her.
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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2012, 05:24:41 AM »

Those Are the Ones ,That Really Love the Lord ,And this is the Way They express that Love, the Spirit Moves them  .....Making a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord ....I use to watch Mom do it all the time ,Be it Funerals, [Memorials, Parastos] , Holy Liturgy .......

Once I asked Her How she Learned all That, and What Book was it all written in...She Mentioned not in one Book ,But Several Books and More...... Grin
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« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2012, 06:56:26 AM »

For example at home, blessing the food.
That's not something reserved for priests.
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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2012, 11:38:24 AM »

Dear stashko,

I liked reading about your memories of your beloved parents.  May their memory be eternal.

Dear everyone,

I thought we are supposed to ask God to bless things in our homes.  (After all, only one family in our parish has a priest there to do it for them.)  I ask God to bless everything I eat or drink, I ask His blessing on my house when I enter it, I sprinkle the house with Holy Water every month.  And so on.

As far as people who repeat what the priest says...its better than hearing them talk about their new pocketbook, or the Giants. When I'm paying attention to them instead of the service, I'm the one who needs to change. 

love, elephant
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2012, 04:46:31 PM »

I bless my children with the sign of the Cross after saying the nightly prayers with them. Sometimes I make the sign of the Cross over them before they enter the Church. I don't think of myself as replacing the Priest, but I try to remember that I am the Priest of my household and I should remember that always. And of course, I will light incense in my home and anoint my children and wife with Holy Water when necessary. I have always understood such things to be quite appropriate.

Selam

Yes.  I even have a "blessing cross" in my home on my Icon shelf.  I purchased it many years back so that when a priest visited, he would have it to bless things with.  My ROCOR priest told me that I could use it to bless the rooms before bedtime and the like when no priest was present since, as the head of the household, I was the priest of the household.  My Serbian priest as said likewise.  I only do this when I am alone or my family is present.  I do not use this cross when others are present since I think that may be crossing a line.
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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2012, 04:52:28 PM »

For example at home, blessing the food.
That's not something reserved for priests.

Correct.  There are many contexts in which you can ask Christ to bless (food, car, etc.) w/o the Priest.  The difference is in how you make said sign of the Cross (the layman holding his fingers in the way that he blesses himself, and the priest in the way depicted in the icons).
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« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2012, 04:53:01 PM »

It should be noted that every time you "do the sign of the Cross" you are blessing yourself.
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