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Author Topic: tv/projector screens during liturgical services??  (Read 5257 times) Average Rating: 0
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stpaulphilip
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« Reply #45 on: April 09, 2012, 06:59:00 PM »

There is such a thing as what is tasteful and appropriate. I'm not sure that I want church to be the same atmosphere as a baseball game.

An air conditioner creates no such problem. A giganto screen and subtitles and whatnot? Yes it does. There is a difference.

I absolutely, positively, 100,000% agree.  This is stupid junk, borrowing from protestant mega churches.  Oh, God, help me.  I left all that stuff to become Orthodox and it's following me.  I think I'll probably wind up just worshipping in my house if this gets widespread. 

I bet Gregory of Colorado wouldn't use no stinkin' tvs! You should give him a call, you could worship at your house, and even have a shot at becoming bishop if you play your cards right.

Quick tongue, huh?  I love how people feel free to say what they want when they are in the comfort of their mom's basement. 

I have no plans on worshiping at home permanently.  I belong to a great church and have a great priest.  Not looking to start a church and become a bishop.  Remember when Jesus said "if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off"?  That's called rabbinic hyperbole; a dramatic way to make a strong point. 
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2012, 07:20:35 PM »

There is such a thing as what is tasteful and appropriate. I'm not sure that I want church to be the same atmosphere as a baseball game.

An air conditioner creates no such problem. A giganto screen and subtitles and whatnot? Yes it does. There is a difference.

I absolutely, positively, 100,000% agree.  This is stupid junk, borrowing from protestant mega churches.  Oh, God, help me.  I left all that stuff to become Orthodox and it's following me.  I think I'll probably wind up just worshipping in my house if this gets widespread. 

I bet Gregory of Colorado wouldn't use no stinkin' tvs! You should give him a call, you could worship at your house, and even have a shot at becoming bishop if you play your cards right.

Quick tongue, huh?  I love how people feel free to say what they want when they are in the comfort of their mom's basement. 

I have no plans on worshiping at home permanently.  I belong to a great church and have a great priest.  Not looking to start a church and become a bishop.  Remember when Jesus said "if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off"?  That's called rabbinic hyperbole; a dramatic way to make a strong point. 

I'm in my Dad's trailer, not my Mom's basement. Get it right.

You already worship at home, stop trying to pull our leg.

Your priest sucks.

You want to be a bishop.

Jesus wasn't real.

Thanks, I didn't know what hypobollocks was.

You may go now.
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« Reply #47 on: April 09, 2012, 08:06:55 PM »

 Roll Eyes

Of course, because big screens equates Protestantism...my God people.  I like at least how consistent some people are here, i.e. no electricity or electric appliances in Church.  But to call it Protestant, that's just ridiculous.  How about you come and take a visit to St. Mina's at Holmdel, NJ.  Then let me know about the supposed Protestantism you see above.
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« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2012, 08:22:03 PM »

I really don't like the TV's. Or the over-boosted sound systems.

It is really distracting. When the Liturgy is prayed in a church with no sound system, projectors, florescent lights, or pews, it feels like being in heaven. But at some churches, the sound system is so loud it gives you a headache, and makes everything sound unnatural. It makes it like watching an event rather than participating in prayer. There is just a big artificial disconnect there. Then the florescent lights start flickering, contributing to the headache the sound system started even more than their harsh white light. Finally, the giant TV's (or alternately projectors set up with screens covering the icons of Christ, John the Baptist, the Virgin, and a few others) are so bright they burn the retinas even when you're looking at the altar and they're hitting the 10 degree of center part where the eyes are most sensitive to light. Just when you think it can't get worse, pixelated screen captures from Protestant Bible movies start "highlighting" the readings, with different bright coloured backgrounds to demand attention.

Air conditioning takes a way a distraction of discomfort (though there is benefit to having to suffer a little to worship). Electric lights make it possible to have the church brighter, and be able to read books, and light the building quickly. They are again convenient, and not distracting (if they aren't flickering, harsh florescence). The other applications of technology can be much more disruptive, and kill the sense of sacred. I know the Holy Spirit is still there, as is the Body and Blood of Christ, and the preaching of the true Gospel. I know it is just as sacred. But in Orthodoxy we recognize that all the senses are needed to involve man, because man is physical as well as spiritual. We have incense, prostrations, kissing, partaking, singing, etc. Just as the physical can help us to be more aware of the spiritual reality that is Church, these physical distractions can be, and are, a hindrance.

I find it especially puzzling that the Coptic Church feels the need to do this, since they are so adamant about using the vernacular. It is so needless when the projectors show English, and the whole Liturgy is prayed in English! Even if it is an Arabic Liturgy, or even a French Liturgy where I can't pick up odd words like Arabic, I prefer no screen, and to be guided to where we are by the familiar tunes alone. Anything else distracts from prayer. When I sometimes had to lead I would use a book, but as I don't now, I rarely tough a book. It too can be a distraction from prayer and attention.

Orthodoxy for many centuries at least exposed people to the Liturgy by hearing, learning, and participating, without even books, let alone projectors. These Christians struggled, and worked to internalize it, and so it truly became a part of them. Now, it's up there on the projector, so we don't get to know it, with that guide taken away, we're completely lost. It doesn't help us know it better, it is a crutch that hinders us. Just like our sense of direction when driving is diminished after years of relying on a GPS. Just like no one knows the Bible well today because you can just look it up, unlike our fathers who did not have ready access to Bibles, and who had to memorize great parts of Scripture, and so truly internalize it.

Worship without sacrifice and strife is not worship.

Don't even get me started on the live webcast from virtually every Church. So much for dismissing the catechumens after the Gospel, let's broadcast the Mysteries for anyone with a computer to see. Do we want people to stay home and not bother coming? Do we even suspect there might be something sacred here we should respect?

yes, I have been told I'm a fanatic.
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stpaulphilip
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« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2012, 09:05:48 PM »

There is such a thing as what is tasteful and appropriate. I'm not sure that I want church to be the same atmosphere as a baseball game.

An air conditioner creates no such problem. A giganto screen and subtitles and whatnot? Yes it does. There is a difference.

I absolutely, positively, 100,000% agree.  This is stupid junk, borrowing from protestant mega churches.  Oh, God, help me.  I left all that stuff to become Orthodox and it's following me.  I think I'll probably wind up just worshipping in my house if this gets widespread. 

I bet Gregory of Colorado wouldn't use no stinkin' tvs! You should give him a call, you could worship at your house, and even have a shot at becoming bishop if you play your cards right.

Quick tongue, huh?  I love how people feel free to say what they want when they are in the comfort of their mom's basement. 

I have no plans on worshiping at home permanently.  I belong to a great church and have a great priest.  Not looking to start a church and become a bishop.  Remember when Jesus said "if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off"?  That's called rabbinic hyperbole; a dramatic way to make a strong point. 

I'm in my Dad's trailer, not my Mom's basement. Get it right.

You already worship at home, stop trying to pull our leg.

Your priest sucks.

You want to be a bishop.

Jesus wasn't real.

Thanks, I didn't know what hypobollocks was.

You may go now.

OK trailer park boy.  Go listen to some Em n Em and write songs about 8 mile.  If you deny Jesus was real you shouldn't be chiming in on discussions about the worship of Jesus. 
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2012, 09:07:45 PM »

There is such a thing as what is tasteful and appropriate. I'm not sure that I want church to be the same atmosphere as a baseball game.

An air conditioner creates no such problem. A giganto screen and subtitles and whatnot? Yes it does. There is a difference.

I absolutely, positively, 100,000% agree.  This is stupid junk, borrowing from protestant mega churches.  Oh, God, help me.  I left all that stuff to become Orthodox and it's following me.  I think I'll probably wind up just worshipping in my house if this gets widespread.  

I bet Gregory of Colorado wouldn't use no stinkin' tvs! You should give him a call, you could worship at your house, and even have a shot at becoming bishop if you play your cards right.

Quick tongue, huh?  I love how people feel free to say what they want when they are in the comfort of their mom's basement.  

I have no plans on worshiping at home permanently.  I belong to a great church and have a great priest.  Not looking to start a church and become a bishop.  Remember when Jesus said "if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off"?  That's called rabbinic hyperbole; a dramatic way to make a strong point.  

I'm in my Dad's trailer, not my Mom's basement. Get it right.

You already worship at home, stop trying to pull our leg.

Your priest sucks.

You want to be a bishop.

Jesus wasn't real.

Thanks, I didn't know what hypobollocks was.

You may go now.

OK trailer park boy.  Go listen to some Em n Em and write songs about 8 mile.  If you deny Jesus was real you shouldn't be chiming in on discussions about the worship of Jesus.  

Can't nobody beat Vanilla Ice, you know it!  Cool

Oh, but that rap scene in the 8 mile movie where he called the black guy out for coming from an upper class family? That was phat pwnage right there!

PS. I'm sure your priest is great. I just figured if I was gonna be an *ss I might as well go full throttle

EDIT--After the polite pm you sent me I take it back, your priest is again on my not-liked list.  Cool
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« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2012, 09:32:25 PM »

Yikes...this is a really bad thread for Holy Week...Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2012, 09:42:33 PM »

I promise to be good now. Btw, the above might be seen as a horror flick--sort of obscene, but completely fictional and meant for entertainment.
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« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2012, 10:52:31 PM »

While my own church uses these projector screens (as Mina says, they're quite popular in Coptic churches), part of me wishes they didn't. I try to follow along in the service books as best as I can, but I find it's often a losing battle, as it's so much easier to just look at the screen (especially since I'm relatively new to the Coptic liturgy, and often get lost even when I have the service book handy). Then of course there are some times when no one advances the slide or the slide gets stuck and you can really tell who is paying attention...it's shameful.

I assume yours is not an English language parish, Jeremy?

I'm not sure how to answer that question. The liturgy is about 75% in English, but I am the only native English-speaking person who regularly attends, and there is wide variation in the level of English-proficiency among the laity.

Highlighting the necessity of things like service books, I suppose.

I don't like having my head buried in a service book, but sometimes they are a necessary evil.

they are necessary at first, but once we learn the services we want to stop them eventually. That is, they encourage us to learn the text so that later we don't have to rely on it. With a scrolling banner, most likely people wouldn't have any incentive to learn it, they would just keep reading it as it scrolls (it's too easy, so no reason to bother learning it).

I agree. The books are for familiarizing yourself with the Liturgy. I feel (and it seems that some others on this thread do too) that when we are in church, what we are supposed to be doing is paying attention to the other living human beings present and participating in the worship of the living Spirit of God present. We should not have our noses buried in some book, or be watching a TV. Obviously it helps when services are in a language people understand, but even this is certainly not a necessity--most Orthodox people in places like Russia and Greece don't understand the words, and yet they do fine without pew books or projectors.

A blessed Pascha to everyone. Smiley
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« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2012, 11:05:20 PM »

Oh, please let this be an April Fools post...

my thoughts exactly. people 1500 years ago didn't need these things to follow along and worship, why should we? It's just laziness...

I know right!  Forget microphones, air conditioning/heating, and electric lighting!!!  Such novelties the Church fathers would have been condemning!

Personally, I think the buzz of flourescent lights starting up one by one when the doxology is sung is rather distracting.

I also find it rather irksome when liturgical action is interrupted by the constant fussing over the positioning of microphones, or when clergy are so attached to them they cannot project their voices further than a few centimetres in their absence.

I suppose projector technology has at least the same capacity to distract from and hinder worship, if not utilised properly.

Yes, some people just need microphones, but when they're over-amplified, it's a huge distraction. For some reason, overdependence on microphones has always irritated me. People rarely learn how to project properly anymore.

My fellow chanter and I have loud, carrying voices, and our church building is small, so we've never needed amplification. One day, some people decided we were crazy not to use a microphone, so they gave one to us. We put it in front of the analogion, but didn't turn it on. But people assumed we were using it, so they were happy.
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« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2012, 11:34:38 PM »

Maybe one day the iconostasis itself will be 6 blank screens and the icons will be projected onto them! It would make it easier to change out the festal icons... (isnt there one that is changed out from time to time? i could be wrong....)
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« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2012, 11:43:41 PM »

I actually suggested tablets in another thread, not too long ago because I keep getting lost in the service book, but I like the TV/projector idea better because it's easier to do the sign of the cross if your hands are free. Still, I think I like the idea of memorizing the liturgy better and it is my goal. I agree, though, that having the TV/projector would likely harbor dependence on the TV/ projector. So maybe it is best to just stay with the books and loose them as soon as possible.

I don't agree though that this is necessarily "Protestantizing" though. As has been alluded to with light and AC just because a Protestant church may have something first doesn't make that something a Protestant thing.
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« Reply #57 on: April 10, 2012, 12:13:40 AM »

Since this practice is limited to Oriental Orthodox this thread is being moved to the Oriental Orthodox section to encourage a better discussion.

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« Reply #58 on: April 10, 2012, 12:30:48 AM »

I promise to be good now. Btw, the above might be seen as a horror flick--sort of obscene, but completely fictional and meant for entertainment.

Thank you for the promise.   Smiley

I am going to expect everyone now to keep the discussion polite and on topic.

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« Reply #59 on: April 10, 2012, 06:08:10 AM »

Oh, please let this be an April Fools post...

my thoughts exactly. people 1500 years ago didn't need these things to follow along and worship, why should we? It's just laziness...

I know right!  Forget microphones, air conditioning/heating, and electric lighting!!!  Such novelties the Church fathers would have been condemning!

Personally, I think the buzz of flourescent lights starting up one by one when the doxology is sung is rather distracting.

I also find it rather irksome when liturgical action is interrupted by the constant fussing over the positioning of microphones, or when clergy are so attached to them they cannot project their voices further than a few centimetres in their absence.

I suppose projector technology has at least the same capacity to distract from and hinder worship, if not utilised properly.

Yes, some people just need microphones, but when they're over-amplified, it's a huge distraction. For some reason, overdependence on microphones has always irritated me. People rarely learn how to project properly anymore.

My fellow chanter and I have loud, carrying voices, and our church building is small, so we've never needed amplification. One day, some people decided we were crazy not to use a microphone, so they gave one to us. We put it in front of the analogion, but didn't turn it on. But people assumed we were using it, so they were happy.

I originally posted this here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12140.msg318218.html#msg318218

Some food for thought on the horrors of sound systems in churches:

Acute Microphonitis in the Psaltic Arts

A plea to every authority for the preservation of the art of chanting on our island: With this missive of mine, I would like to publicize a great problem: great, as I’m told, because it acutely affects many others. For years, I have been searching for a church to attend, not to go through the motions, but to feel compunction, to participate in the services, rejoicing in mind and heart. In other words, a spiritual haven. So what’s required? A simple, pious, humble priest, and a chanter who can distinguish between “I chant” and “I sing”. And fortunately, there do exist priests who have the requisite spirituality and authority, respected and loved by the people. There are good chanters as well, few that they are.

So what is happening today at the chanter’s box? Not only do most chanters have bad voices – though, on the other hand, they can’t all have melodious voices – but they also have no idea how to chant properly. In addition, many are illiterate, though we can turn a blind eye to these, as they are headed for extinction. Of off-key notes and garbled words, “plenteous are Thy mercies”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. In the last twenty years, the microphone has become the center of sacred worship.

This incursion is widespread, in large and small churches, tiny chapels, and even in monasteries. An incredible, unbearable nuisance, a real torture, as all the chanters, with the exception of a scant few shining examples, shout – no, bellow would be more accurate, while seemingly swallowing the microphones which have been installed by God-knows what sort of “technicians”. This situation extends to priests as well. The microphone reigns in all church services. During festal services, the whole retinue of clergy revolves around it, some even move it around. The ill-designed installation of sound systems with their high output volume, combined with the terrible voices of the majority of chanters have transformed Byzantine music from an art “drawing us to God” to an art “driving us out of church”.

This acute microphonitis is unfortunately also offensive to those mellifluous and well-trained masters of the psaltic arts, where you would have wished you had a thousand ears with which to enjoy listening to them. Today, all is sacrificed to the barbarian Moloch of the decibel.

Dare I mention the conceit of singing hymns of contrition such as the Cherubic Hymn, or the mournful troparia of Holy Week with insensitivity or affectation? You’d think there was a party on! If we add to all this the “musical creations” of these self-styled “masters” (who are in their element particularly on Holy Tuesday, rendering the Troparion of Kassiane unrecognizable), we complete the unspeakable mess which passes for chanting in many churches.

Yet it seems there’s no-one around to do something about it. What does our clergy say? What are those in authority doing? We, the congregation? I won’t say “we, the faithful”, because the very stones will rise up and strike us. Indignant, we grumble about it amongst ourselves, we sometimes have a word to the priest if we feel he could understand, and things go on as before.

And yet. I have found myself in little village churches, with unschooled clergy, and choirs which do not use microphones, unless perhaps occasionally to give a little boost when the church is full. I have also been to Kapnikarea in Athens. Unforgettable atmosphere, a sense of the sacred, compunction. What gratitude I have felt for such priests and chanters in both instances! I felt like shaking their hands and thanking them in gratitude for chanting so simply, without recklessness or histrionic display, and, by respecting the ears of the congregation, created an atmosphere of prayer and participation. Unfortunately, I refrained from doing so, lest I would be seen to be overreacting!

It is inexcusable for Chios, which also maintains a School of Byzantine Music, for there not to exist a choir worthy of the name which sings daily at any church, as is the case in neighbouring Mytilene, at most churches.

Forgive me, dear readers, for the sharpness of my criticism. I am trying not to be judgemental, but I simply grieve and suffer with you. Zero visibility. Our tolerance, or, more correctly, our indifference to the situation, amounts to contempt for Byzantine music.

I am at the service of any person in authority who believes in the worth of Byzantine music, who respects and loves it, to work together to confront and solve this problem.

Eleftheria Lykopantis
Choirmistress, Chios Choir.

29/10/2003 “I ALITHEIA” daily newspaper of Chios
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« Reply #60 on: April 10, 2012, 07:31:48 AM »

I actually suggested tablets in another thread, not too long ago because I keep getting lost in the service book, but I like the TV/projector idea better because it's easier to do the sign of the cross if your hands are free. Still, I think I like the idea of memorizing the liturgy better and it is my goal. I agree, though, that having the TV/projector would likely harbor dependence on the TV/ projector. So maybe it is best to just stay with the books and loose them as soon as possible.

I don't agree though that this is necessarily "Protestantizing" though. As has been alluded to with light and AC just because a Protestant church may have something first doesn't make that something a Protestant thing.

I know a couple of chanters who use iPads to store great volumes of Byzantine-notated music. This is great because many such books are impossible to find in America and it is easier to not fumble around with dozens of giant books.

The problem with screens in my opinion is not that they are new, but that they are conspicuous and detract from the worship and likely obstruct the iconostasis.

They also serve less of a purpose, considering the same liturgy is sung every week. While a tablet is useful to a chanter when there are literally hundreds of melodies, I don't see the same necessity to see the often repeated service texts projected, especially when service books work just as well.

At least with service books, you can choose whether or not to use them. When there's a screen, it's right there for all to see. And I have a hard time not staring at screens when they are in view, so I would have difficulty worshipping in a church that has them.

As for microphones, I have never been to an Orthodox church that uses them effectively. There is invariably a problem with them or they sound distorted or just bad. If anything we need church architects to pay more attention to acoustics. A well designed building does not need microphones.
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« Reply #61 on: April 10, 2012, 04:03:03 PM »

Oh, please let this be an April Fools post...

my thoughts exactly. people 1500 years ago didn't need these things to follow along and worship, why should we? It's just laziness...

I know right!  Forget microphones, air conditioning/heating, and electric lighting!!!  Such novelties the Church fathers would have been condemning!

Personally, I think the buzz of flourescent lights starting up one by one when the doxology is sung is rather distracting.

I also find it rather irksome when liturgical action is interrupted by the constant fussing over the positioning of microphones, or when clergy are so attached to them they cannot project their voices further than a few centimetres in their absence.

I suppose projector technology has at least the same capacity to distract from and hinder worship, if not utilised properly.

Yes, some people just need microphones, but when they're over-amplified, it's a huge distraction. For some reason, overdependence on microphones has always irritated me. People rarely learn how to project properly anymore.

My fellow chanter and I have loud, carrying voices, and our church building is small, so we've never needed amplification. One day, some people decided we were crazy not to use a microphone, so they gave one to us. We put it in front of the analogion, but didn't turn it on. But people assumed we were using it, so they were happy.

I originally posted this here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12140.msg318218.html#msg318218

Some food for thought on the horrors of sound systems in churches:

Acute Microphonitis in the Psaltic Arts

A plea to every authority...

I'm so glad I'm not the last person on earth who feels this way about Psaltic music.
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« Reply #62 on: April 10, 2012, 06:24:27 PM »

Wow, I guess I am blessed that no church I have been a member of has ever had a microphone. There is no need for one if you are not in a mega-church!
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« Reply #63 on: April 11, 2012, 01:32:43 AM »

Just returned from evening vespers...a visiting priest from Egypt (!) and no tv screen and no microphone? Holy week truly is heaven on earth! Smiley
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« Reply #64 on: April 18, 2012, 12:39:53 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and most Precious Name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ!

Can we please tone down the cultural chauvinism and borderline fundamentalist posturing?  I can only add one thing, lets all agree to get over it!  We also use the powerpoint at my parish, and for my part it has a big positive impact. Its not for converts, the cradles use it the most, just listen when a slide is off or such and the chorus of the People's Responses is greatly diminished.  Folks are using these powerpoints to gain a deeper, elevated, spiritual understanding of the Liturgy by understanding the words, the sequence, the meanings.  For centuries many people just knew the melodies, could hum the words, but now people have access to all the words, including the priests prayers which they normally do not even get to read!  This has been excellent, as the Divine Liturgy is like a guided meditation or therapy session, the words are important.  What is really the fuss? technology? really?

The printed word in bound Liturgy books is the 14th century version of the modern screen and projector, it is the modern technology of the past, it is not necessarily what the Fathers used.  Surely fundamentalists then would have criticised saying that the Holy Spirit is most active through the hand written process of copying, and that machines are not people so machine printed texts are not divinely inspired.  Do we all agree to this today? Its already been mentioned about air conditioning, and public audio systems, and electric lighting, all of which are technology no one honestly seems to object too.  Folks drive up in modern cars, wearing synthetic fabrics and taking modern medicines.  What is the difference?

See, folks miss the point entirely when they get caught up in legalistic fundamentalism.  Through the Grace of Divine Synergy, GOD WORKS THROUGH THE TECHNOLOGY.  The Holy Spirit is not limited by modernization and is not favored in primitive settings.  God acts through the powerpoint just as He acts through the written word of the books themselves just as He acts through the hearts and voices of the celebrating priests and laity.  Powerpoints are good, and if they are just a matter of poor taste, then isn't it most Orthodox to be humble about our personal preferences and accept the Church as it is? We are not allowed to criticise the cadence and tone of the celebrating priest's voice, or to notice the level of attentiveness of our neighbors standing around us, neither should we get caught up with our own interpretations of good taste in the Church be it art, architecture, or technology.  If our ordained, Apostolic , spiritual fathers approve enough to implement such, we as laity need to remain humble enough to accept the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #65 on: April 19, 2012, 03:26:44 PM »

I don't agree that it is fundamentalism to object to screens and projectors in Church. I work with IT every day, but not in Church.

There will never be screens and projectors in my Church. I have many people who do not follow the words in a book for various reasons but it is not difficult to hear the words and make the usual responses.

I find the idea of any sort of screen on the iconostasis to be completely offensive.

I don't mean to sound harsh but I absolutely object to modifying worship in this way. It is not at all a matter of resisting necessary change, nor is it at all like air conditioning. It is changing the relationship of the worshipper to the Liturgy.

If the Liturgy is in the language of the people then there is little need for a regular worship to follow in a book. It is easy to hear and respond to the litanies. The Creed and Lord's Prayer should be well known by heart etc etc. For most of Church history the laity have not followed the words in a book, the Liturgy has been written on their hearts.
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« Reply #66 on: April 20, 2012, 11:57:34 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I don't mean to sound harsh but I absolutely object to modifying worship in this way. It is not at all a matter of resisting necessary change, nor is it at all like air conditioning. It is changing the relationship of the worshipper to the Liturgy.


So do you equally and vehemently disagree with the laity reading along with printed Liturgy books?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #67 on: April 20, 2012, 12:03:59 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I don't mean to sound harsh but I absolutely object to modifying worship in this way. It is not at all a matter of resisting necessary change, nor is it at all like air conditioning. It is changing the relationship of the worshipper to the Liturgy.


So do you equally and vehemently disagree with the laity reading along with printed Liturgy books?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

There's a wee bit of difference in the degree of intrusiveness of a small handbook, compared to a large illuminated screen which blocks off part of the iconostasis, no?
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« Reply #68 on: April 20, 2012, 12:42:35 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I don't mean to sound harsh but I absolutely object to modifying worship in this way. It is not at all a matter of resisting necessary change, nor is it at all like air conditioning. It is changing the relationship of the worshipper to the Liturgy.


So do you equally and vehemently disagree with the laity reading along with printed Liturgy books?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

There's a wee bit of difference in the degree of intrusiveness of a small handbook, compared to a large illuminated screen which blocks off part of the iconostasis, no?
So if it didn't block off the iconostasis you wouldn't have any problems with it at all?
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« Reply #69 on: April 20, 2012, 12:58:25 PM »



Oh, but that rap scene in the 8 mile movie where he called the black guy out for coming from an upper class family? That was phat pwnage right there!


Watch what you say about 8 Mile!  My church is less than 1/4 mile north of it, and I travel it all the time!  Wink  Don't mess with Detroit!


So do you equally and vehemently disagree with the laity reading along with printed Liturgy books?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I could never "get" the use of the little books.  The only people who actually should need them are those who don't know the Liturgy or don't speak the language...and that's not always so.  I have attended Liturgy at churches where the only word I understood was "Christos"...but, I still knew what was going on and could follow along in the Liturgy...no need of any book.

Too often people who speak the language, and have attended that parish for 20+ years get lost in these books!  They don't actually "participate" in the Liturgy, instead they are too busy finding their spot, flipping pages, and simply reading...not praying.  Does that make sense?

Use the book to learn, but, once you've learned, put it away.  The Liturgy is the same almost every single Sunday.  No reason not to know the "order" of it.


Now as to no-technology....I'm not sure "no" technology should be a rule.  I prefer no microphones, and definitely no large projectors and screens, however, I have seen the readers referring to their iPhones for the day's readings...it's small and unobtrusive....or to get the list of saints for the day, etc.  I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

We also have electric lights, in addition to the candles, in my church!   Shocked    ....but, then again, we are a few steps from 8 Mile!


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« Reply #70 on: April 20, 2012, 01:10:17 PM »

I was greatly helped by the Greek and English liturgy books. But then, I needed them. To each his own, I guess.
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« Reply #71 on: April 20, 2012, 01:27:18 PM »


Yes, but, you were "new", right?

I'm thinking that after attending the same parish, which speaks your native language, you won't need to keep your eyes on a book, but, will be free to look around at the icons, the priest, etc. 


No?
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« Reply #72 on: April 20, 2012, 01:42:05 PM »

If I saw that in a church I'd walk out. I'm a snob like that.

 Let's first get you to want to go to church, then we'll talk about it.
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« Reply #73 on: April 20, 2012, 01:48:51 PM »


Yes, but, you were "new", right?

I'm thinking that after attending the same parish, which speaks your native language, you won't need to keep your eyes on a book, but, will be free to look around at the icons, the priest, etc. 


No?


True, I can handle most of it with no book now.
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« Reply #74 on: April 20, 2012, 02:05:38 PM »

I'm seeing a lot of rhetorical excess on both sides of this question.

Perhaps we can all agree on two principles:
1) The addition of technological innovations to the worship environment are not inherently bad (mina's AC, all those huge domes)
2) The addition of technological innovations to the worship environment are not inherently good (podkarpasta's recent mention on another thread of neon signs above the Royal Doors dramatic shudder)

Any innovation (technological or otherwise) to the time-honored and time-tested Traditional worship of our Churches is going to be controversial. Some people will think its a good idea (or they wouldn't have suggested it); some people will think its a bad idea. And its only over time and *rational* discussion that we eventually determine if it was good idea that actually enhances the worship and should be retained or a mistake to be put aside.

Personally, I don't like the idea of a projector screen in the Church--unlike a liturgy book, the projector is making a decision for the whole parish rather than leaving it up to the individual to determine if its useful or not. But I don't think those who are trying it out are therefore heretical or idiots.
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« Reply #75 on: April 20, 2012, 02:08:20 PM »

I find the idea of any sort of screen on the iconostasis in church to be completely offensive.

Amen!  I can't believe folks are actually advocating for this!  Screens in the narthex or nave are offensive, gaudy, garish, cheap, tacky and for the lazy MTV generation who refuses to slow down and pay attention for two hours.  This sort of foolishness is for the Protestant Megacircus and I will not stand for it.  Sorry to be so adamant, but down where I come from, we have a saying: "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything!"  And seeing how some Orthodox churches have pews and organs (organs!!), I'd say the expression holds.
 
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« Reply #76 on: April 20, 2012, 02:12:10 PM »

I find the idea of any sort of screen on the iconostasis in church to be completely offensive.

Amen!  I can't believe folks are actually advocating for this!  Screens in the narthex or nave are offensive, gaudy, garish, cheap, tacky and for the lazy MTV generation who refuses to slow down and pay attention for two hours.  This sort of foolishness is for the Protestant Megacircus and I will not stand for it.  Sorry to be so adamant, but down where I come from, we have a saying: "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything!"  And seeing how some Orthodox churches have pews and organs (organs!!), I'd say the expression holds.

This is gonna get some responses.
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« Reply #77 on: April 20, 2012, 02:43:49 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I think a few things have been lost in all this discussing..

 Vernacular or not (in Ethiopian tradition, we use Ge'ez, a language which NOBODY speaks, cradle, convert or even realistically clergy and so we all need to follow along a bit more carefully) when folks are using accompanying Liturgy books or heaven help us, a powerpoint slide show, these folks are not reading a magazine, playing on facebook, or otherwise distracting activities, they are reading the Divine Liturgy! How is this a distraction from the liturgy then, when it is precisely the Liturgy which folks are praying and following along? I think it is a bit condescending for folks to be so accusing as if reading the Liturgy book somehow detracted from the Liturgy itself.  If some folks like to pray a bit more fully to the words, what is the harm to them?  The priests have their copy of the Liturgy right on the Altar, and they recite these same words sometimes every single day of the week, and yet no one is scathing against them for not having the entirety committed to memory, why should the laity be held to even stricter standards than the celebrating priests themselves?

stay blessed,
habte selassie


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« Reply #78 on: April 20, 2012, 03:00:19 PM »


Well, since that comment is aimed at me, let me answer.

I once visited a sister church.  This church was Ukrainian, but, the services were all strictly in English because that's the language the parishioners were comfortable with.

First, I arrived early and took a spot in the 3rd row.  A woman, council president no less, comes and tells me I am in her spot.  OK...so, I move down a bit...then she whips out the book and starts flipping pages.  Not only is she lost, she's confusing me with all the noise...then elbowing me to ask "where we are"...when the service is in English and after being at that church for 40+ years she SHOULD KNOW WHERE WE ARE.  She doesn't need a book.  She needs to look up and see what the priest is doing...not fluttering pages.

If I were to tell her that during the Creed the priest flutters the aer over the Chalice and discus, she would be floored...because even though the church is small, and the 3rd row is only a matter of yards from the Altar, I will bet she's never seen this happen.....because she's reading out of her book.

WHY does she need a book?  Please, tell me, why. 

She's so busy reading the map, that she's not looking out the window and noticing God's beauty around her.


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« Reply #79 on: April 20, 2012, 03:06:13 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Well, since that comment is aimed at me, let me answer.

I once visited a sister church.  This church was Ukrainian, but, the services were all strictly in English because that's the language the parishioners were comfortable with.

First, I arrived early and took a spot in the 3rd row.  A woman, council president no less, comes and tells me I am in her spot.  OK...so, I move down a bit...then she whips out the book and starts flipping pages.  Not only is she lost, she's confusing me with all the noise...then elbowing me to ask "where we are"...when the service is in English and after being at that church for 40+ years she SHOULD KNOW WHERE WE ARE.  She doesn't need a book.  She needs to look up and see what the priest is doing...not fluttering pages.

If I were to tell her that during the Creed the priest flutters the aer over the Chalice and discus, she would be floored...because even though the church is small, and the 3rd row is only a matter of yards from the Altar, I will bet she's never seen this happen.....because she's reading out of her book.

WHY does she need a book?  Please, tell me, why.  

She's so busy reading the map, that she's not looking out the window and noticing God's beauty around her.




yes but why generalize or conflate a single or handful of negative experiences with what clearly works for many thousands of parishioners who seem to regularly enjoy and benefit from the use of Liturgy books and powerpoints?  My point is just that we shouldn't assume that the books/powerpoints are automatically distracting, sometimes quite the opposite Smiley

as for that woman, I can't speak for her, but perhaps she would have been just as absent minded with the book or not, and that is just her disposition? Again, what about my comments about the priests themselves using the books? Clergy who have celebrated the Liturgy day after day for decades are not expected to memorize the entire text?

The main thing my priests taught me is not to be too concerned with what other people are doing or not doing during Liturgy, as noticing them is perhaps more so a distraction than anything Wink
stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #80 on: April 20, 2012, 03:06:58 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I think a few things have been lost in all this discussing..

 Vernacular or not (in Ethiopian tradition, we use Ge'ez, a language which NOBODY speaks, cradle, convert or even realistically clergy and so we all need to follow along a bit more carefully) when folks are using accompanying Liturgy books or heaven help us, a powerpoint slide show, these folks are not reading a magazine, playing on facebook, or otherwise distracting activities, they are reading the Divine Liturgy! How is this a distraction from the liturgy then, when it is precisely the Liturgy which folks are praying and following along? I think it is a bit condescending for folks to be so accusing as if reading the Liturgy book somehow detracted from the Liturgy itself.  If some folks like to pray a bit more fully to the words, what is the harm to them?  The priests have their copy of the Liturgy right on the Altar, and they recite these same words sometimes every single day of the week, and yet no one is scathing against them for not having the entirety committed to memory, why should the laity be held to even stricter standards than the celebrating priests themselves?

stay blessed,
habte selassie




But you are trying to shift the argument to something no one has required, paint that as ridiculous, and then hope we don't notice that it isn't our opinion you've ridiculed, but a shift from it.

No one said it's bad for people to have access to books. The discussion was about projectors. An advantage of books over projectors is that people can choose to pick up a book, or not. Those who benefit from the book can use it, and those who do not can ignore it. With a large bright screen, this is not possible, it is there for those for whom it is a benefit, and those for whom it is a distraction.

The books are a crutch. If someone's leg is too weak to walk, and you don't give them a crutch, it will be very hard for them to gain the strength to walk. But if they keep walking with a crutch permanently instead of letting it go, then then will never relearn to walk properly, they will always be dependent. With the TV, the crutch is forced, and it cannot be put down, so everyone will be made weak.

Now, if the Liturgy is in a dead language, this is an added disability, which will of course necessitate a crutch. It's simply the best that can be done with the disability. But it is wrong to pray the Liturgy in a dead language. The answer is not to build better and better crutches to make due, but never get past the weakness, the right answer is to take away the disability, to pray in vernacular. Wasn't Ge'ez vernacular when it was first used? The spirit of the Gospel and of Orthodoxy requires prayer with understanding, not maintaining dead languages because they used to be used when they were living. But that's another debate.

The priest has to give up freedom of prayer, they are responsible for making sure the Liturgy is conducted in an orderly fashion for the sake of the prayer fo the people. Just like parents sacrifice their prayer to teach their children to pray. So the priest will usually keep a book near them since they are leading, and have to be on the ball with transitions and variable parts. But the people should be able to follow, not having to lead, without such a crutch. If you watch older preist, many of them never look at the book beside them, they are lost in prayer, but it is there with an acolyte keeping it on the right page in case, for the sake of the people.

Again, the book is there if needed, but the priest, and the people should be lost in prayer, referring if and while needed.

The TV on the other hand is always there, you can't start putting it down more and more, it's hard to tune it out. So it's very hard to learn it by heart and let go of the crutch.
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« Reply #81 on: April 20, 2012, 03:10:15 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



The books are a crutch. If someone's leg is too weak to walk, and you don't give them a crutch, it will be very hard for them to gain the strength to walk. But if they keep walking with a crutch permanently instead of letting it go, then then will never relearn to walk properly, they will always be dependent. With the TV, the crutch is forced, and it cannot be put down, so everyone will be made weak.



So the priests are using spiritual crutches when the lead the celebration reading in Liturgy books as well?

Again, we all should be more careful in how we speak on this issue to mutually respect each other, folks have been borderline condescending..

I am not trying to argue that all parishes should start using Powerpoints, rather just offering the apologetics for parishes like my own which do chose to use this technology Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #82 on: April 20, 2012, 03:15:43 PM »


Would you be able to post a photo of what it looks like?

I'm interested to see how distracting it really is....or not.
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« Reply #83 on: April 20, 2012, 03:47:28 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



The books are a crutch. If someone's leg is too weak to walk, and you don't give them a crutch, it will be very hard for them to gain the strength to walk. But if they keep walking with a crutch permanently instead of letting it go, then then will never relearn to walk properly, they will always be dependent. With the TV, the crutch is forced, and it cannot be put down, so everyone will be made weak.



So the priests are using spiritual crutches when the lead the celebration reading in Liturgy books as well?

Again, we all should be more careful in how we speak on this issue to mutually respect each other, folks have been borderline condescending..

I am not trying to argue that all parishes should start using Powerpoints, rather just offering the apologetics for parishes like my own which do chose to use this technology Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I addressed very clearly in my post why it is more needful for priests to make use of the books, and that the advantage of books is that those who benefit from them can use them without disrupting those who are distracted by them. If anyone has been condescending, it is you for beginning this thread by demanding that everyone immediately relinquish their opinion and accept yours:

"I can only add one thing, lets all agree to get over it!".

If your opinion is that projectors are beneficial, that the pros outweigh the cons, then argue that. You haven't been defending that position, you have been attacking people who have a different opinion than yourself. If you want me to change my opinion, stop calling me condescending for disagreeing with you, and convince me of your position.

Whether you like it or not, it is perfectly legitimate for us to discuss the appropriateness of a practise that is being introduced into our Liturgical worship.
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« Reply #84 on: April 20, 2012, 04:16:03 PM »

There's a small Coptic parish a few hours away. They place the screens so that, they're completely visible to the congregation, but, they don't obscure, distract from, or block the iconostasis. I'm sure liturgical books can be rather expensive and difficult to follow for the inquirer and Church veteran alike. So long as the screens help the people to participate more fully in the Liturgy and don't detract from worship, I think they're a viable option.

Liza, I'll try to find a few pictures of the screens in this particular church. There are only two in the parish: one on the left and one on the right side. It's nothing like what "mega churches" have, really.
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« Reply #85 on: April 20, 2012, 04:30:03 PM »


Would you be able to post a photo of what it looks like?

I'm interested to see how distracting it really is....or not.

This is a picture of the Coptic Church near me. They have two TV's off to the sides and one screen way up at the top in the middle; unfortunately, the screen is rolled up in this pic. I've never found it too distracting since if you look directly at the altar you can usually ignore the screens until you need them.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 04:30:41 PM by sheenj » Logged
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« Reply #86 on: April 20, 2012, 04:51:35 PM »

There's a small Coptic parish a few hours away. They place the screens so that, they're completely visible to the congregation, but, they don't obscure, distract from, or block the iconostasis. I'm sure liturgical books can be rather expensive and difficult to follow for the inquirer and Church veteran alike. So long as the screens help the people to participate more fully in the Liturgy and don't detract from worship, I think they're a viable option.

Liza, I'll try to find a few pictures of the screens in this particular church. There are only two in the parish: one on the left and one on the right side. It's nothing like what "mega churches" have, really.
Yes. Precisely!  I think it's very disrespectful for anyone to criticize something they haven't seen and call it a mega church Protestant style.  When I get the time, I'll take a picture of my church as well.  I agree that if it doesn't block the iconostasis, then it should be fine. 

And the argument about distraction:  frankly the Coptic Church while does use icons does not go overboard as some Greek churches do (which I don't criticize; I think it's beautiful and I stand in awe when being in a church like that).  I get very distracted when being in a church like that, and it would probably take me about a week or two to adjust.  This whole "distraction" argument in my opinion doesnt really hold strongly.  Its not like theyre playing movies on them.  If you like, close your eyes in prayer, which is what you're supposed to do anyway.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 04:58:02 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #87 on: April 20, 2012, 05:06:08 PM »

If the Liturgy is in the language of the people then there is little need for a regular worship to follow in a book.

Father you said it, and there's no arguing with you here.  But that isn't the case always with Copts.
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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #88 on: April 20, 2012, 05:51:27 PM »


Would you be able to post a photo of what it looks like?

I'm interested to see how distracting it really is....or not.

This is a picture of the Coptic Church near me. They have two TV's off to the sides and one screen way up at the top in the middle; unfortunately, the screen is rolled up in this pic. I've never found it too distracting since if you look directly at the altar you can usually ignore the screens until you need them.



It's a pretty church.  I would love to see the dome better.

However, what exactly is the purpose of the screens?  I see there are books, already. 

In other words, do the screens show what's happening in the altar?  Or do they project words?
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St. Gregorios of Parumala, pray for us...


« Reply #89 on: April 20, 2012, 06:01:02 PM »


Would you be able to post a photo of what it looks like?

I'm interested to see how distracting it really is....or not.

This is a picture of the Coptic Church near me. They have two TV's off to the sides and one screen way up at the top in the middle; unfortunately, the screen is rolled up in this pic. I've never found it too distracting since if you look directly at the altar you can usually ignore the screens until you need them.



It's a pretty church.  I would love to see the dome better.

However, what exactly is the purpose of the screens?  I see there are books, already. 

In other words, do the screens show what's happening in the altar?  Or do they project words?

The screens project the words of the liturgy in three languages, English, Coptic, and Arabic. They're also used to project PowerPoint slides during the homily.
For the books I don't remember seeing any actual service books, mostly just Bibles. The books that weren't Bibles were mostly in Arabic I think for the more traditional people.
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