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Author Topic: Questions after my first Western Rite  (Read 768 times) Average Rating: 0
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Joseph Hazen
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« on: January 24, 2012, 06:34:09 PM »

I attended my first Western Rite a few weeks ago and I had some questions.

1) Is it normal not to chant everything? That threw me off and seemed to produce a sort of...choppy effect. Is it an option and this parish just so happened not to do so?

2) When it was silent was the priest praying something that we just couldn't hear? I've heard of that (at my regular parish nothing is done silently) but it seemed we were just waiting for a hymn to be finished Just curious about that 'down time'.

Overall, as I said to my fiancee as we left, it felt Orthodox, but I myself didn't care much for having some parts just spoken (as if my opinion matters). I was just curious if this was standard.
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 06:41:10 PM »

1) Is it normal not to chant everything? That threw me off and seemed to produce a sort of...choppy effect. Is it an option and this parish just so happened not to do so?

Maybe they don't have skilled chanters?

Quote
2) When it was silent was the priest praying something that we just couldn't hear? I've heard of that (at my regular parish nothing is done silently) but it seemed we were just waiting for a hymn to be finished Just curious about that 'down time'.

It happens.

I'm mentioning my experience with the Eastern Rite.
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Joseph Hazen
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012, 06:48:36 PM »

Maybe they don't have skilled chanters?

I meant things like the Readings and things, which were read by the Deacon. He'd chant other things but not them, so obviously he could chant?
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2012, 06:50:27 PM »

It is easier to chant things you know than the variable portions of the services you can see once a year. Chanting requires great knowlegde about the chanted texts.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 06:50:39 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 06:58:40 PM »

It is easier to chant things you know than the variable portions of the services you can see once a year. Chanting requires great knowlegde about the chanted texts.

Readings from the OT and NT are the simplest parts to chant, as no real melody is used, unlike troparia and other hymns sung or chanted by the choir. And a deacon should know how to do these simple chants before he is ordained. The "knowledge" required is one of phrasing and pacing, nothing that a bit of practice the night before couldn't fix.
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 07:00:25 PM »

Readings from the OT and NT are the simplest parts to chant, as no real melody is used, unlike troparia and other hymns sung or chanted by the choir.

Unless you chant them in a language you don't know.

Quote
And a deacon should know how to do these simple chants before he is ordained. The "knowledge" required is one of phrasing and pacing, nothing that a bit of practice the night before couldn't fix.

Agreed.
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 07:01:35 PM »

Readings from the OT and NT are the simplest parts to chant, as no real melody is used, unlike troparia and other hymns sung or chanted by the choir.

Unless you chant them in a language you don't know.


But aren't all WR liturgies in English?
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2012, 07:21:44 PM »

Readings from the OT and NT are the simplest parts to chant, as no real melody is used, unlike troparia and other hymns sung or chanted by the choir.

Unless you chant them in a language you don't know.


But aren't all WR liturgies in English?

Not here in Miami they aren't! Despite my curiosity regarding WR I have yet to attend the one here- I understand more of the little Greek they use at my local parish than the entirety of the local WR parish's website, which is in Spanish.
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 12:43:43 PM »

Ok, I'll try to help as Im WR.

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1) Is it normal not to chant everything? That threw me off and seemed to produce a sort of...choppy effect. Is it an option and this parish just so happened not to do so?
I know at Vespers we dont chant everything (thanksgiving prayer is spoken). Also in the liturgy there is parts that are spoken. Totally normal. I would also add, there probably is some variance depending on the liturgy used.

Quote
2) When it was silent was the priest praying something that we just couldn't hear? I've heard of that (at my regular parish nothing is done silently) but it seemed we were just waiting for a hymn to be finished Just curious about that 'down time'.
During liturgy, there are prayers that my priest says silently. My priest whispers them, now whether this is because he chooses to, or to make sure we know that something is happening is well, I dunno.

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Overall, as I said to my fiancee as we left, it felt Orthodox
I would hope so, because it is Wink. Also, coming from a Lutheran (and a considerably high-church Lutheranism at that) the WR was very comfortable for me, and it also helped me focus on God during service, instead of what was being done. It was pretty familiar for me, which really helped in my conversion.

I love the WR, and although I have never been to an ER service, and look forward to doing so, I feel at home in the WR.
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2012, 12:47:16 PM »

**bah, could not edit***

Also, the scripture reading not read by my priest is read, not chanted.

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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2012, 01:37:24 PM »

At my parish, virtually everything is chanted. There are a handful of moments that are spoken, but nothing major like gospel/epistle readings. More like little segues from one thing to the next.

It will vary from place to place though.
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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2012, 01:51:30 PM »

Then again, we use the Rite of St. Tikhon. It might be different with the others.
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« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2012, 02:49:45 PM »

I"m western rite. The Epistle is read and the Gospel chanted. The Anaphora is spoken Except for the words of Christ at the consecration. Our entrance closing hymns are western and sung. I think there is some variation in this from parish to parish. We are the only WR parish in the midst ofother orthodox, so we may have  less western elements than others. As I have mentioned before, I took instruction at the Greek Orthodox catherdral here and would have been perfectly ok with  the eastern rite. Being from a Pre VII Rc background I was very familiar with the Liturgy of ST. Gregory(with the Orthodox modifications). I think one of the things that makes me more comfortable is the fact that a large portion of the parish are converts and have been through the same thought process in leaving their old church. I  was not a fallen away RC and the leaving required much thought and prayer. BTW, I first heard of the Western rite on this website. It really is more of a secret than even the rest of the Orthodox.
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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2012, 04:49:50 PM »

Quote
RiteLiturgy of St. Tikhon
There....better
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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2012, 05:57:54 PM »

Quote
1) Is it normal not to chant everything? That threw me off and seemed to produce a sort of...choppy effect. Is it an option and this parish just so happened not to do so?

I don't know how well most WR parishes adhere to this distinction, but traditionally a mass was either a low mass, where everything audible is spoken; a sung mass, where the portions that the rubrics say to sing are sung, and additionally anything else at the discretion of the priest; and a high or solemn mass, where almost everything is sung, a deacon and subdeacon serve with the priest, and incense is used. The solemn mass is the "full" version of the mass, and the low and sung mass are abbreviated versions used for daily mass, or when a deacon and subdeacon aren't available.

I don't know that there is an established "normal" for Orthodox WR parishes. Of the two that I've attended, one did a sung mass with a deacon, so the epistle and gospel were read; and one never followed any sort of consistent rubrics that I could fathom.

Quote
2) When it was silent was the priest praying something that we just couldn't hear? I've heard of that (at my regular parish nothing is done silently) but it seemed we were just waiting for a hymn to be finished Just curious about that 'down time'.

I'd be curious which parts of the mass had this. Traditionally, the any private prayers of the priest are silent (such as the prayers at the foot of the altar, the preparation for communion, etc.), but so are the offertory (preparation of the gifts) and canon (anaphora). Both of the WR parishes I've attended have had an audible canon, though, but I've heard there are some WR parishes that do not.
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