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Author Topic: tv/projector screens during liturgical services??  (Read 5398 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: April 21, 2012, 12:53:11 AM »


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.



Just to give a perspective of our placement of the screens, it would be directly above the icons of the Apostles rather than to the side.  Our ceilings are high enough for that to occur.
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« Reply #91 on: April 21, 2012, 04:23:19 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.



Just to give a perspective of our placement of the screens, it would be directly above the icons of the Apostles rather than to the side.  Our ceilings are high enough for that to occur.

This size and placement of TV screens may actually be an improvement over using books, because people can be looking up at the service rather than, to repeat a phrase I used previously, "having their noses buried in some book."
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« Reply #92 on: April 21, 2012, 04:40:03 PM »

If the technology existed back in the time of the apostles, do you think they would have used TVs too? What about microphones and speakers? They seem to be beneficial. This may be the left over protestant in me, but I dont get why its such a big deal.  When the printing press was invented, that was ground breaking technology.  By using books, arent you still using a form of technology that didnt exist in the early days of the Church?

I know Im not really qualified to speak on this topic, but these are just a few thoughts I had.
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« Reply #93 on: April 21, 2012, 07:16:44 PM »

Books did exist in the early Church, as scrolls.
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« Reply #94 on: April 21, 2012, 07:26:43 PM »

Books did exist in the early Church, as scrolls.
Yes but they were rare, handwritten and most probably not available to the laity; who likely couldn't even read.
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« Reply #95 on: April 21, 2012, 10:48:16 PM »

Books did exist in the early Church, as scrolls.
Yes but they were rare, handwritten and most probably not available to the laity; who likely couldn't even read.

Exactly. You dont have "scrolls" in the back of the pews. You have books, printed on a printing press. Probably an even more modern version of it. It was the TV/projector of its day.
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« Reply #96 on: April 21, 2012, 10:50:08 PM »

Honestly, I dont care either way.  I guess my point is that I dont see why its such a big deal.  I can understand not wanting instruments or rock bands, but in a country where Orthodoxy is in the minority, not everyone is completely familiar with the liturgy like they would be in Greece, Cyprus, Russia, etc.  I can see why they would be beneficial.  
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« Reply #97 on: April 22, 2012, 12:00:41 AM »

Honestly, I dont care either way.  I guess my point is that I dont see why its such a big deal.  I can understand not wanting instruments or rock bands, but in a country where Orthodoxy is in the minority, not everyone is completely familiar with the liturgy like they would be in Greece, Cyprus, Russia, etc.  I can see why they would be beneficial.  

God bless, Timon. I think a lot of people are just worried about maintaining the integrity of liturgical worship.
Still, I've seen the screens in use and they do serve, at least in the eyes of this novice, a legitimate function. Service books are not cheap, especially for a small parish, and the TVs provide an excellent solution... that is, until illuminated manuscripts become cost-effective  Wink
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« Reply #98 on: April 22, 2012, 12:38:37 AM »

I certainly see how projectors would be useful, and I don't have anything against technology, but I can see how it would be distracting. A bright screen with shifting text would be constantly catching the eye and until you can learn to tune it out if you don't need it, it would be quite maddening.

Pointing out that this would have a negative economic impact on the often small, religious publishers of service books. I know charity can't always be a consideration for businesses, but still.
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« Reply #99 on: April 22, 2012, 03:21:10 AM »

Honestly, I dont care either way.  I guess my point is that I dont see why its such a big deal.  I can understand not wanting instruments or rock bands, but in a country where Orthodoxy is in the minority, not everyone is completely familiar with the liturgy like they would be in Greece, Cyprus, Russia, etc.  I can see why they would be beneficial.  

God bless, Timon. I think a lot of people are just worried about maintaining the integrity of liturgical worship.
Still, I've seen the screens in use and they do serve, at least in the eyes of this novice, a legitimate function. Service books are not cheap, especially for a small parish, and the TVs provide an excellent solution... that is, until illuminated manuscripts become cost-effective  Wink

I'm sure there's an app for that
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« Reply #100 on: April 22, 2012, 04:08:49 AM »

Quote
Service books are not cheap, especially for a small parish,

Service books don't need to be expensive. A small parish near where I live has bilingual service books available, not just for Liturgy, but for the major feasts as well. They have been compiled and printed by a parishioner, using a computer, domestic printer, and binding equipment available ay any office supplies store. It can be done.
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« Reply #101 on: April 22, 2012, 09:51:19 AM »

To me it's not about price.  Liturgies can be compiled if one is able to follow along.  My experience in the Malankara church really convinced me the screens are that much more useful, especially when I have that desire to participate in prayer at parts when I don't understand what is said.
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« Reply #102 on: April 22, 2012, 08:16:16 PM »

One thing I notice is people, keep referencing bright screens. A bright white screen with black print would have quite a footprint. A dark background with brighter print, however, or even a background colored to blend in with the paint on the wall it's mounted on with contrasting text even if it's the same physical size would have a much smaller visual footprint.

As a bonus we do have an Old Testament precedent with God's writting on the wall in the book of Daniel. Grin
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« Reply #103 on: April 23, 2012, 01:27:50 AM »

This is what most Coptic Churches that do have screens use:

http://stshenoudajc.org/coptic-presentations/about-coptic-presentations-mainmenu-39

It is indeed a black background and white lettering.
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« Reply #104 on: April 23, 2012, 12:46:10 PM »

Timon, churches never did have copies of the liturgy in the pews. Most Christians have never expected to follow along in the liturgy. They are called to participate in it. It is a very modern and false concern.

You do not need to know the full text of the Liturgy to participate. It just needs to be in a language you can understand and it needs to be attended to with care and attention. I am not very keen on my congregation having their nose in a book, or eyes on a screen. The laity parts are usually very straightforward and do not require following along in a book or on a screen. 90% of the laity parts are 'Kyrie Eleison/Lord have mercy', 'And with thy spirit', 'To you O Lord', the Creed and the Lord's Prayer. The litanies are to be heard and responded to, not read by the congregation. It is as if we are attending a performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company and are insisting on having all the words appearing on projectors around the stage. This changes entirely the relationship of performers and audience in a negative manner.

If the Liturgy is not in the language of the people then that is the problem. If you are visiting then there is value perhaps in following along (but I am not at all convinced that the Liturgy is to be 'followed along'). But there is no reason at all to modify the entire liturgical relationship with the congregation in case there is a visitor.
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« Reply #105 on: April 23, 2012, 01:05:26 PM »

Timon, churches never did have copies of the liturgy in the pews. Most Christians have never expected to follow along in the liturgy. They are called to participate in it. It is a very modern and false concern.

You do not need to know the full text of the Liturgy to participate. It just needs to be in a language you can understand and it needs to be attended to with care and attention. I am not very keen on my congregation having their nose in a book, or eyes on a screen. The laity parts are usually very straightforward and do not require following along in a book or on a screen. 90% of the laity parts are 'Kyrie Eleison/Lord have mercy', 'And with thy spirit', 'To you O Lord', the Creed and the Lord's Prayer. The litanies are to be heard and responded to, not read by the congregation. It is as if we are attending a performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company and are insisting on having all the words appearing on projectors around the stage. This changes entirely the relationship of performers and audience in a negative manner.

If the Liturgy is not in the language of the people then that is the problem. If you are visiting then there is value perhaps in following along (but I am not at all convinced that the Liturgy is to be 'followed along'). But there is no reason at all to modify the entire liturgical relationship with the congregation in case there is a visitor.

Father Peter,

I see your point that liturgy doesnt really require people to "follow along."  In fact when I first began visiting Orthodox liturgies, all I really wanted to do is sit there (or stand) and watch for the most part.  Sure, I participated in the Litanies, Lords prayer, and Creed, but for the most part I just wanted to observe as I was so unfamiliar with the Tradition.  I would imagine thats how most visitors feel too.  I was distracted by the book they gave me as I felt like I had to look at them.  When I wasnt looking at the book, a member would just assumed that I was lost and try to help me find my place in the book when all I really wanted to do was watch, pray, and begin to familiarize myself with the services.

I guess I can see how TVs could be beneficial if people needed to follow along, but I also recognize that it may not be necessary.  My opinion doesnt really matter anyways.  I just wanted to share a couple ideas that i had. 
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« Reply #106 on: April 23, 2012, 01:06:03 PM »

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

Timon, churches never did have copies of the liturgy in the pews. Most Christians have never expected to follow along in the liturgy. They are called to participate in it. It is a very modern and false concern.

You do not need to know the full text of the Liturgy to participate. It just needs to be in a language you can understand and it needs to be attended to with care and attention.

If the Liturgy is not in the language of the people then that is the problem. If you are visiting then there is value perhaps in following along (but I am not at all convinced that the Liturgy is to be 'followed along'). But there is no reason at all to modify the entire liturgical relationship with the congregation in case there is a visitor.

No disrespect Father, but in the Ethiopian tradition the laity fulfilling and singing their accompanying parts of the Liturgy have always been as crucial as the celebrating priests themselves and is not then a modern invention or anachronism in at least Ethiopian Orthodoxy.  True, the printed books were rarer than our clergies would have liked, but our churches have always been filled with unordained Debtera who are chanting scribes.  During our Vigil services (Mahalet) these debtera actually play a crucial role in chanting the prayers with the celebrating clergies.  That being said, while all the laity have not been expected or had the best opportunities at being educated in the Liturgy, many unordained and therefore lay members have always played crucial roles in our liturgical services.  This is why our priests in the modern era have so emphatically embrace the technology of the printing press and then the Powerpoint.  

Further, our liturgy has always been in a language which even the priests do not strictly speak or necessarily comprehend, and so our parishes need this enhancement to assist folks in learning their parts while also having the ability to translate into understood vernaculars which greatly enhance the depth and profundity of the experience when the people not only know how to sing their parts, but also fully comprehend their inherent meanings.

We can of course respect where you are coming from, and I understand the apprehensions about folks getting too caught up in reading rather than praying, but what they are reading are prayers!  Further, couldn't we have a let by-gones be by-gones approach, where y'all kindly don't hate on us considering we are never trying to force our technology on other jurisdictions? We understand where y'all are coming from, perhaps y'all could pray to better empathize rather than vilifying us?

stay blessed,
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« Reply #107 on: April 23, 2012, 01:34:00 PM »

I have to admit that I have a much greater problem with liturgy in a language that is not understood, even by clergy, than with the use of projector screens. That seems to me to be the biggest issue. Worship should be in a language understood by the people.

But I do believe that projector screens change the relationship of participants to the liturgy and should be rejected. This has nothing to do with any particular jurisdiction, as if my opinion mattered in any case. But I believe that it is as negative as allowing instruments in worship. And reading prayers is not why we attend the liturgy, it is to pray prayers. It is to respond, as laity, with a spiritual dynamic to the contributions of the clergy, and vice-versa. If we are struggling to find a place in a book, and not even sure that the English we are reading matches the <X-Language> that is being pronounced then we are not participating. This is the issue with not using the vernacular in worship.

I don't mean this hyper-critically as if I would walk out of any Orthodox Church. But this is my opinion.
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« Reply #108 on: April 23, 2012, 01:38:10 PM »

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

I have to admit that I have a much greater problem with liturgy in a language that is not understood, even by clergy, than with the use of projector screens. That seems to me to be the biggest issue. Worship should be in a language understood by the people.

But I do believe that projector screens change the relationship of participants to the liturgy and should be rejected. This has nothing to do with any particular jurisdiction, as if my opinion mattered in any case. But I believe that it is as negative as allowing instruments in worship. And reading prayers is not why we attend the liturgy, it is to pray prayers. It is to respond, as laity, with a spiritual dynamic to the contributions of the clergy, and vice-versa. If we are struggling to find a place in a book, and not even sure that the English we are reading matches the <X-Language> that is being pronounced then we are not participating. This is the issue with not using the vernacular in worship.

I don't mean this hyper-critically as if I would walk out of any Orthodox Church. But this is my opinion.

Again, no disrespect but we in the Ethiopian tradition have a radically different opinion about several things you've expressed here.  My point is not to criticize or attack your positions, rather just to share with you and others here our Ethiopian perspective in regards to liturgical languages, the level of laity involvement, and the use of Powerpoint since you may not be aware Smiley

stay blessed,
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« Reply #109 on: April 23, 2012, 01:48:34 PM »

I appreciate that you have a different view, but it is possible to believe, respectfully, that it is not correct to celebrate the liturgy in a language that is not understood.

This is my view. I believe that it is justified by the history of Orthodoxy. Surely the reason that Ge'ez was used was because it was the vernacular of the Axumite empire? In Orthodoxy the liturgy should be in the vernacular. It always was. If it was then certainly in the West there would be much less need for any projectors.
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« Reply #110 on: April 23, 2012, 02:17:53 PM »

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

I appreciate that you have a different view, but it is possible to believe, respectfully, that it is not correct to celebrate the liturgy in a language that is not understood.

This is my view. I believe that it is justified by the history of Orthodoxy. Surely the reason that Ge'ez was used was because it was the vernacular of the Axumite empire? In Orthodoxy the liturgy should be in the vernacular. It always was. If it was then certainly in the West there would be much less need for any projectors.

Again, Father, I am not challenging your opinions, nor trying to persuade you, more so inform Smiley

Our Liturgy is in Ge'ez, a language that hasn't been spoken as a vernacular in at least 500 years, but our fathers have consistently copied, updated translations, and preferred a Ge'ez Liturgy, even with vernacular translations to accompany and enhance.  My Ethiopian fathers have explained to me that this reason is because the musical notation for our three Liturgical modes of chanting do not readily adapt for translations into other languages.  True, the Ethiopian Syllabic Alphabet is the same for Ge'ez and vernaculars such as Amharic, however the syllables do not match in translations, and so I understand the musical notation does not match.  While I assume the fathers could  devise an adapted system to work the musical notation into translations, for whatever reasons they have insistently refused and instead expanded and enhanced the Ge'ez versions across the past 1500 years continuously.  Again, I am not trying to persuade you to suddenly follow our traditions, however, I could hope that as a priest from a sister jurisdiction you could be a bit more reverent in your criticisms, we are not intentionally being rebellious, rather our differences are from our genuine uniqueness even within the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church.  In fact, I thought that kind of flexibility between jurisdictions is entirely what has traditionally separated the contrastingly rigid Latin and Orthodox experience as to how exactly to define and maintain "universal"

All the same, I am sorry we seem to have a misunderstanding, but my honest intentions are to share my faith and the experience of my jurisdiction, not to be antagonistic to you or y'all Smiley

I respect and revere other jurisdictions decisions to use vernaculars and to reject projectors, however, I must also politely respect the tradition of my own jurisdiction first and foremost.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #111 on: April 23, 2012, 08:57:38 PM »

I have to admit that I have a much greater problem with liturgy in a language that is not understood, even by clergy, than with the use of projector screens. That seems to me to be the biggest issue. Worship should be in a language understood by the people.

But I do believe that projector screens change the relationship of participants to the liturgy and should be rejected. This has nothing to do with any particular jurisdiction, as if my opinion mattered in any case. But I believe that it is as negative as allowing instruments in worship. And reading prayers is not why we attend the liturgy, it is to pray prayers. It is to respond, as laity, with a spiritual dynamic to the contributions of the clergy, and vice-versa. If we are struggling to find a place in a book, and not even sure that the English we are reading matches the <X-Language> that is being pronounced then we are not participating. This is the issue with not using the vernacular in worship.

I don't mean this hyper-critically as if I would walk out of any Orthodox Church. But this is my opinion.
Father, I personally agree with you that the vernacular is extremely important, and if the Orthodox churches actually knew the value of the vernacular, we probably wouldn't need any books or screens in the Church.

Nevertheless, I don't see how you can think the use of instruments is bad, so long as we don't cross the line.  Just as not any music is chosen, not any instruments are chosen either.  I will admit, we as Copts can do away with our cymbals and triangles, as our congregational voices are beautiful enough.  But I can't imagine the Ethiopians do away with their array of drums and dances as they seem to be an intrinsic part of their liturgical tradition.

In the end, we make due with whatever we can.  If the vernacular isn't chanted, especially since people in Church are so prideful to keep their original languages as if they were "holy" in their nature, then I see a necessity in screens, even more so than books.  Perhaps you can call them a necessary evil to reflect the sad state of our "unuse" of vernacular.
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« Reply #112 on: April 23, 2012, 09:22:57 PM »

Hmmm. I suppose our situation in Albquerque is a bit outside of this discussion, then? If they got rid of the screen, there would be some people who would not be able to understand what was going on in the liturgy, since there are some non-Anglophones among us and the liturgy is majority English (75-80%). It would be a little unfair to them, I think, to expect them to learn it in situ in the context of the liturgy. I mean, I've been attending for the better part of a year, and my Arabic certainly has not gotten measurably better (and that is pretty much all that is used in the post-liturgy Agpeya meal conversations, since I am the only native English-speaker).
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« Reply #113 on: April 23, 2012, 11:48:58 PM »

Hi, I recently went to a few Orthodox churches and I noticed that they had projector or tv screens positioned immediately above the iconostasis or to the side of the iconostasis during the divine liturgy.
So is it true then that Orthodox do not allow musical instrumentation during the service, but they do allow projector screens?
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« Reply #114 on: April 24, 2012, 12:18:05 AM »

Hi, I recently went to a few Orthodox churches and I noticed that they had projector or tv screens positioned immediately above the iconostasis or to the side of the iconostasis during the divine liturgy.
So is it true then that Orthodox do not allow musical instrumentation during the service, but they do allow projector screens?

Most churches don't generally use instruments, though there is some use of bells, cymbals and triangles as Mina mentioned can be found in Coptic Churches, drums in Ethiopian churches and some Churches in the US have allowed the use of organs. But generally music is acappella.

TVs and screen projectors are very rare except perhaps in the African churches and as this thread suggests are somewhat controversial.

On another note it occurs to me that an additional factor for consideration in the value of TVs/projectors is the nature of congregational participation. If the primary participation, as was the case in one church visited is observation, while a choir or chanter does all the singing I see little need for them. For that matter if most congregational responses are "Lord have mercy" or the equivalent again I don't see so much need. If however, most of the service is sung by the congregation then I can see more need.
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« Reply #115 on: April 26, 2012, 04:43:56 AM »

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Selam to all  Smiley

Dear Father, the DL on Sundays is done mixed with geez and amharic. the reading part  in Amharic as far as I  know and the sung parts are mostly repetitions of few lines over and over throughout the liturgy in geez which makes it relatively easier to follow, on other days, it could be as 75% of the DL is in Ge’ez.  You can listen to the English liturgy on this link and the usage of Amharic is exactly the same in the Liturgy, so you can gauge the percentage of language usage. all that is sung is sung in geez however all that can be read is read in Amharic. http://ethiopianorthodox.org/churchmusic/liturgyinenglish/geeze.html . This improvement on the Sundays is a huge leap by itself and is the result of knowing that it is the responsibility of the Church that the vernacular is what should be used for the DL. However there is still no work done to turn the vernacular to be sung like the Ge’ez for various organizational and leadership problems. The demand of some to restrict the liturgical usage of the vernacular is quite contrary to the orthodox theology. Its as if the Pentecost has thought some nothing as to the deep value of language in spreading the Gospel and in worshiping mindfully. They are very few however, and now there is great effort to correct this. I hope and pray along many Ethiopians that soon we will get our act together and properly carry out the Church’s apostolic mission and her worship in the working language of the people : from all ethnic languages of Ethiopia to English and other languages of the countries of her mission.

I want to address the musical instruments during DL in Ethiopian Orthodox Churches, I think there might be a misunderstanding of their role during the DL because  the only instrument that makes sound by itself and that is used during the Divine Liturgy is the bell. The drums and the cymbals etc. are never used with the DL it Is all  acappella . The Choir ( the Cantors)  is the one that uses those instruments during the Church’s other Liturgical services. For instance those musical instruments are used before and after the DL  to sing the Liturgical hymns of the day.

The projectors and screens , I am afraid are a necessary evil so to speak. Wish they weren’t .

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« Reply #116 on: April 26, 2012, 08:50:30 AM »

Christ is Risen!

Recently I attended an Ethiopian church Divine Liturgy in London and was surprised at the amount of English used. I could understand enough and if needed there was a nice new English liturgy book to refer to. The priest (first language English) called out page numbers to refer to in the book.

Very hopeful!
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« Reply #117 on: April 26, 2012, 02:02:32 PM »

Hi, I recently went to a few Orthodox churches and I noticed that they had projector or tv screens positioned immediately above the iconostasis or to the side of the iconostasis during the divine liturgy.
So is it true then that Orthodox do not allow musical instrumentation during the service, but they do allow projector screens?

Most churches don't generally use instruments, though there is some use of bells, cymbals and triangles as Mina mentioned can be found in Coptic Churches, drums in Ethiopian churches and some Churches in the US have allowed the use of organs. But generally music is acappella.

TVs and screen projectors are very rare except perhaps in the African churches and as this thread suggests are somewhat controversial.

On another note it occurs to me that an additional factor for consideration in the value of TVs/projectors is the nature of congregational participation. If the primary participation, as was the case in one church visited is observation, while a choir or chanter does all the singing I see little need for them. For that matter if most congregational responses are "Lord have mercy" or the equivalent again I don't see so much need. If however, most of the service is sung by the congregation then I can see more need.
So there is no rule against the use of organs during the DL? Somehow I thought there was.
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« Reply #118 on: April 26, 2012, 07:58:13 PM »

Hi, I recently went to a few Orthodox churches and I noticed that they had projector or tv screens positioned immediately above the iconostasis or to the side of the iconostasis during the divine liturgy.
So is it true then that Orthodox do not allow musical instrumentation during the service, but they do allow projector screens?

Most churches don't generally use instruments, though there is some use of bells, cymbals and triangles as Mina mentioned can be found in Coptic Churches, drums in Ethiopian churches and some Churches in the US have allowed the use of organs. But generally music is acappella.

TVs and screen projectors are very rare except perhaps in the African churches and as this thread suggests are somewhat controversial.

On another note it occurs to me that an additional factor for consideration in the value of TVs/projectors is the nature of congregational participation. If the primary participation, as was the case in one church visited is observation, while a choir or chanter does all the singing I see little need for them. For that matter if most congregational responses are "Lord have mercy" or the equivalent again I don't see so much need. If however, most of the service is sung by the congregation then I can see more need.
So there is no rule against the use of organs during the DL? Somehow I thought there was.
Rule? I don't know, but in so much as there are some, I would guess not or at least not universally.
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« Reply #119 on: April 26, 2012, 09:58:08 PM »

Hi, I recently went to a few Orthodox churches and I noticed that they had projector or tv screens positioned immediately above the iconostasis or to the side of the iconostasis during the divine liturgy.
So is it true then that Orthodox do not allow musical instrumentation during the service, but they do allow projector screens?

Most churches don't generally use instruments, though there is some use of bells, cymbals and triangles as Mina mentioned can be found in Coptic Churches, drums in Ethiopian churches and some Churches in the US have allowed the use of organs. But generally music is acappella.

TVs and screen projectors are very rare except perhaps in the African churches and as this thread suggests are somewhat controversial.

On another note it occurs to me that an additional factor for consideration in the value of TVs/projectors is the nature of congregational participation. If the primary participation, as was the case in one church visited is observation, while a choir or chanter does all the singing I see little need for them. For that matter if most congregational responses are "Lord have mercy" or the equivalent again I don't see so much need. If however, most of the service is sung by the congregation then I can see more need.
So there is no rule against the use of organs during the DL? Somehow I thought there was.

There is no rule. The tradition is very much one of a cappella music, and many of us feel fairly strongly that maintaining that tradition is most consistent with the overall dignity and spirit of our worship, but it's not a violation of any actual rule to use instruments.
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« Reply #120 on: May 02, 2013, 08:51:06 PM »

Sorry for bumping this thread, but I promised before to share with you pictures of my parish's use of the projector screens, so here's two photos from facebook I found (notice also the computer screens on the iconostasis):



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« Reply #121 on: May 03, 2013, 12:03:51 AM »

On reflection, it makes sense,particularly in a church with a lot of converts. Liturgy is complex and service books can be hard to follow. I guess it's just the modern equivalent of the ancient cantor.
There is some truth to this. I've asked for help finding my place in an Armenian liturgy book before, but the Coptic ones have the place on the screen. You just can't take it home with you afterwards to read and learn prayers from.
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« Reply #122 on: May 03, 2013, 01:47:42 AM »

To me it's not about price.  Liturgies can be compiled if one is able to follow along.  My experience in the Malankara church really convinced me the screens are that much more useful, especially when I have that desire to participate in prayer at parts when I don't understand what is said.

Mina obviously wants to start a fight with the repeated attacks on the Malankara church... Tongue

Personally, I find myself on the side of not having projectors, but only books (if needed).  But I think the variability of the liturgy, the organization of the book, and the role of the congregation all play a factor in whether projectors are useful. 

Armenians pray in classical Armenian, and use no vernacular except maybe for the two or three readings (in my experience).  The priest's prayers are, by and large, taken silently, and the variable portions of the liturgy are sung by the choir and/or deacons; I've seen very little congregational singing.  But they have a nice book, at least in the US (contains the entire liturgy).  It's not too thick, but the pages are pretty big, so it's annoying to hold after a while.  But it's easy enough to use, esp. when the parish has some LED sign with the page number displayed in red.  Once you are familiar enough with the order of the liturgy, you don't even need the sign, but unless you know classical Armenian or don't care about having even a rudimentary understanding of what's being prayed at any moment, the book is useful.  I don't see how a projector would beneficial in this context. 

Indians in the US pray in a mix of Malayalam and English; usually the majority of the service is in one language, but readings and some litanies may be done in the other.  There is congregational singing, whether or not there's a choir, but for the most part, the responses (much more than just Kyrie eleison and Amen, btw) and hymns are the same every Sunday, so they can be committed to memory eventually, at least in one language.  The variable portions are included in the book, which is fairly small and light (it only contains the deacons' and people's parts, as the priest's parts are part aloud and part silent, and there are so many anaphoras that could be chosen on any given day that it makes no sense to bother printing those).  Thus, the book is not a terrible inconvenience to use in worship; when propers are sung, the page number will be announced by whomever is leading the singing.  If there happen to be no proper texts for the day, generic texts will be sung, and those are usually committed to memory, so no announcement needs to be made, they'll just start singing.  Personally, I don't think a projector would be beneficial here; newcomers and visitors can be helped along in following the liturgy by a) someone who helps them with the book, or b) just taking it in. 

I suspect, though I have no experience to back it up, that the Syrians in the US have the same basic experience as the Indians, but with different languages being employed. 

My experience with the Copts, however, is quite different.  I don't know how Copts who grew up in the Church and know their rites well enough feel about projectors, but I certainly find it helpful.  All the parishes I've visited use three languages almost interchangeably; it's not uncommon to have priests switch among the three languages in the middle of one long-ish prayer during the anaphora, for example.  There are variable texts that seem longer than anything I'm used to just in terms of how long they are (without taking the chanting style into consideration).  These, too, get divvy'd up into different languages.  There are a number of readings, not all of which are in English.  There's so much linguistic transition going on.  And the rite itself is not visibly similar enough to other rites that you could just "tell" where you were in the service beyond "First we read and then we eat".  Byzantine, Syriac, and Armenian liturgy (collectively, the bulk of Eastern Christianity) follow a very similar plan in the rite of the Eucharist; Coptic liturgy flows differently.  I've used liturgy books in Coptic parishes in the past; they are bulky (they contain everyone's parts for everything for Vespers, Matins, and the Liturgy, including three anaphoras), and if you don't know how the liturgy works, you'll get lost fast.  No one I've worshipped with ever seemed comfortable enough with the liturgy and  the book to get me back on the right page.  With a projector, everyone's "on the same page" with all the variation in text and language.  It doesn't offend the eyes, and the computer programs created for this purpose are really good.  The only time it really is a distraction is when someone doesn't know how to operate the projector or the computer program, or is not quick enough to flip to the next page.  That's annoying and distracting.  But assuming the person in charge of the computer knows what they're doing, I find it helpful to my participation.  And it seems that there is congregational singing in Coptic parishes, so having texts displayed in all three languages helps you to keep up.  If you don't need or want the projector, it's usually easy enough to tune it out.   

I prefer books to projectors, and vernacular to classical languages, but we are in this world, not in our ideal world.  And while we ought to work toward improving things, we may need to use crutches to walk from time to time.  In most cases, my experience is that a book works just fine for this purpose.  But strange as it may sound to some, I think projectors work better for the Copts.
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« Reply #123 on: May 05, 2013, 07:51:48 AM »

To me it's not about price.  Liturgies can be compiled if one is able to follow along.  My experience in the Malankara church really convinced me the screens are that much more useful, especially when I have that desire to participate in prayer at parts when I don't understand what is said.

Mina obviously wants to start a fight with the repeated attacks on the Malankara church... Tongue

Personally, I find myself on the side of not having projectors, but only books (if needed).  But I think the variability of the liturgy, the organization of the book, and the role of the congregation all play a factor in whether projectors are useful. 

Armenians pray in classical Armenian, and use no vernacular except maybe for the two or three readings (in my experience).  The priest's prayers are, by and large, taken silently, and the variable portions of the liturgy are sung by the choir and/or deacons; I've seen very little congregational singing.  But they have a nice book, at least in the US (contains the entire liturgy).  It's not too thick, but the pages are pretty big, so it's annoying to hold after a while.  But it's easy enough to use, esp. when the parish has some LED sign with the page number displayed in red.  Once you are familiar enough with the order of the liturgy, you don't even need the sign, but unless you know classical Armenian or don't care about having even a rudimentary understanding of what's being prayed at any moment, the book is useful.  I don't see how a projector would beneficial in this context. 

Indians in the US pray in a mix of Malayalam and English; usually the majority of the service is in one language, but readings and some litanies may be done in the other.  There is congregational singing, whether or not there's a choir, but for the most part, the responses (much more than just Kyrie eleison and Amen, btw) and hymns are the same every Sunday, so they can be committed to memory eventually, at least in one language.  The variable portions are included in the book, which is fairly small and light (it only contains the deacons' and people's parts, as the priest's parts are part aloud and part silent, and there are so many anaphoras that could be chosen on any given day that it makes no sense to bother printing those).  Thus, the book is not a terrible inconvenience to use in worship; when propers are sung, the page number will be announced by whomever is leading the singing.  If there happen to be no proper texts for the day, generic texts will be sung, and those are usually committed to memory, so no announcement needs to be made, they'll just start singing.  Personally, I don't think a projector would be beneficial here; newcomers and visitors can be helped along in following the liturgy by a) someone who helps them with the book, or b) just taking it in. 

I suspect, though I have no experience to back it up, that the Syrians in the US have the same basic experience as the Indians, but with different languages being employed. 

My experience with the Copts, however, is quite different.  I don't know how Copts who grew up in the Church and know their rites well enough feel about projectors, but I certainly find it helpful.  All the parishes I've visited use three languages almost interchangeably; it's not uncommon to have priests switch among the three languages in the middle of one long-ish prayer during the anaphora, for example.  There are variable texts that seem longer than anything I'm used to just in terms of how long they are (without taking the chanting style into consideration).  These, too, get divvy'd up into different languages.  There are a number of readings, not all of which are in English.  There's so much linguistic transition going on.  And the rite itself is not visibly similar enough to other rites that you could just "tell" where you were in the service beyond "First we read and then we eat".  Byzantine, Syriac, and Armenian liturgy (collectively, the bulk of Eastern Christianity) follow a very similar plan in the rite of the Eucharist; Coptic liturgy flows differently.  I've used liturgy books in Coptic parishes in the past; they are bulky (they contain everyone's parts for everything for Vespers, Matins, and the Liturgy, including three anaphoras), and if you don't know how the liturgy works, you'll get lost fast.  No one I've worshipped with ever seemed comfortable enough with the liturgy and  the book to get me back on the right page.  With a projector, everyone's "on the same page" with all the variation in text and language.  It doesn't offend the eyes, and the computer programs created for this purpose are really good.  The only time it really is a distraction is when someone doesn't know how to operate the projector or the computer program, or is not quick enough to flip to the next page.  That's annoying and distracting.  But assuming the person in charge of the computer knows what they're doing, I find it helpful to my participation.  And it seems that there is congregational singing in Coptic parishes, so having texts displayed in all three languages helps you to keep up.  If you don't need or want the projector, it's usually easy enough to tune it out.   

I prefer books to projectors, and vernacular to classical languages, but we are in this world, not in our ideal world.  And while we ought to work toward improving things, we may need to use crutches to walk from time to time.  In most cases, my experience is that a book works just fine for this purpose.  But strange as it may sound to some, I think projectors work better for the Copts.

I agree with you. Here in the USA I find people participating more with the projectors. 10 years ago, I found people zoned out and not participating. Now I can actually hear the whole sound of the congregation saying "LORD have Mercy" and  also reciting the Creed. It sounds amazing. I also like to follow the Gospel reading, this was not available before in the Liturgy books.

And like you said it does suck when someone does not know how to use it. It happened one time and It is really annoying! but 99% of the time it is very helpful addition.
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« Reply #124 on: May 08, 2013, 11:23:07 AM »

To me it's not about price.  Liturgies can be compiled if one is able to follow along.  My experience in the Malankara church really convinced me the screens are that much more useful, especially when I have that desire to participate in prayer at parts when I don't understand what is said.

Mina obviously wants to start a fight with the repeated attacks on the Malankara church... Tongue

Personally, I find myself on the side of not having projectors, but only books (if needed).  But I think the variability of the liturgy, the organization of the book, and the role of the congregation all play a factor in whether projectors are useful. 

Armenians pray in classical Armenian, and use no vernacular except maybe for the two or three readings (in my experience).  The priest's prayers are, by and large, taken silently, and the variable portions of the liturgy are sung by the choir and/or deacons; I've seen very little congregational singing.  But they have a nice book, at least in the US (contains the entire liturgy).  It's not too thick, but the pages are pretty big, so it's annoying to hold after a while.  But it's easy enough to use, esp. when the parish has some LED sign with the page number displayed in red.  Once you are familiar enough with the order of the liturgy, you don't even need the sign, but unless you know classical Armenian or don't care about having even a rudimentary understanding of what's being prayed at any moment, the book is useful.  I don't see how a projector would beneficial in this context. 

Indians in the US pray in a mix of Malayalam and English; usually the majority of the service is in one language, but readings and some litanies may be done in the other.  There is congregational singing, whether or not there's a choir, but for the most part, the responses (much more than just Kyrie eleison and Amen, btw) and hymns are the same every Sunday, so they can be committed to memory eventually, at least in one language.  The variable portions are included in the book, which is fairly small and light (it only contains the deacons' and people's parts, as the priest's parts are part aloud and part silent, and there are so many anaphoras that could be chosen on any given day that it makes no sense to bother printing those).  Thus, the book is not a terrible inconvenience to use in worship; when propers are sung, the page number will be announced by whomever is leading the singing.  If there happen to be no proper texts for the day, generic texts will be sung, and those are usually committed to memory, so no announcement needs to be made, they'll just start singing.  Personally, I don't think a projector would be beneficial here; newcomers and visitors can be helped along in following the liturgy by a) someone who helps them with the book, or b) just taking it in. 

I suspect, though I have no experience to back it up, that the Syrians in the US have the same basic experience as the Indians, but with different languages being employed. 

My experience with the Copts, however, is quite different.  I don't know how Copts who grew up in the Church and know their rites well enough feel about projectors, but I certainly find it helpful.  All the parishes I've visited use three languages almost interchangeably; it's not uncommon to have priests switch among the three languages in the middle of one long-ish prayer during the anaphora, for example.  There are variable texts that seem longer than anything I'm used to just in terms of how long they are (without taking the chanting style into consideration).  These, too, get divvy'd up into different languages.  There are a number of readings, not all of which are in English.  There's so much linguistic transition going on.  And the rite itself is not visibly similar enough to other rites that you could just "tell" where you were in the service beyond "First we read and then we eat".  Byzantine, Syriac, and Armenian liturgy (collectively, the bulk of Eastern Christianity) follow a very similar plan in the rite of the Eucharist; Coptic liturgy flows differently.  I've used liturgy books in Coptic parishes in the past; they are bulky (they contain everyone's parts for everything for Vespers, Matins, and the Liturgy, including three anaphoras), and if you don't know how the liturgy works, you'll get lost fast.  No one I've worshipped with ever seemed comfortable enough with the liturgy and  the book to get me back on the right page.  With a projector, everyone's "on the same page" with all the variation in text and language.  It doesn't offend the eyes, and the computer programs created for this purpose are really good.  The only time it really is a distraction is when someone doesn't know how to operate the projector or the computer program, or is not quick enough to flip to the next page.  That's annoying and distracting.  But assuming the person in charge of the computer knows what they're doing, I find it helpful to my participation.  And it seems that there is congregational singing in Coptic parishes, so having texts displayed in all three languages helps you to keep up.  If you don't need or want the projector, it's usually easy enough to tune it out.   

I prefer books to projectors, and vernacular to classical languages, but we are in this world, not in our ideal world.  And while we ought to work toward improving things, we may need to use crutches to walk from time to time.  In most cases, my experience is that a book works just fine for this purpose.  But strange as it may sound to some, I think projectors work better for the Copts.

Lol! I love Malankara services, but I'm convinced if you can't use vernacular, use a crutch. Before projector screens came out, some Coptic churches had an LED number display corresponding with the page number on the liturgy book to help follow along.  I think the next step is an "app" that syncs the church presentation to your iPad where the church will turn to the page for you Tongue

In all seriousness, I would just love to close my eyes and listen to the priest pray in English where I can be in contemplation with him.  But that doesn't happen.  We have a "holy" language, and we have no end in sight on immigrants. Sooooo...even if you don't like projectors, the word "crutch" or "necessary evil" applies Tongue
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« Reply #125 on: May 08, 2013, 12:01:15 PM »

In all seriousness, I would just love to close my eyes and listen to the priest pray in English where I can be in contemplation with him.  But that doesn't happen.  We have a "holy" language, and we have no end in sight on immigrants. Sooooo...even if you don't like projectors, the word "crutch" or "necessary evil" applies Tongue

The Copts should really try to reach out and make converts among the native population of the countries they immigrated to. Copts have an amazing treasure to offer but jealously guard it.
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« Reply #126 on: May 08, 2013, 01:14:48 PM »

In all seriousness, I would just love to close my eyes and listen to the priest pray in English where I can be in contemplation with him.  But that doesn't happen.  We have a "holy" language, and we have no end in sight on immigrants. Sooooo...even if you don't like projectors, the word "crutch" or "necessary evil" applies Tongue

The Copts should really try to reach out and make converts among the native population of the countries they immigrated to. Copts have an amazing treasure to offer but jealously guard it.

I'm not sure this is a fair assessment of Coptic Evangelization. Especially considering most Coptic churches and parishes outside Egypt are less than 50 years old.
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« Reply #127 on: May 08, 2013, 01:34:14 PM »

The Copts should really try to reach out and make converts among the native population of the countries they immigrated to. Copts have an amazing treasure to offer but jealously guard it.

I'm not sure this is a fair assessment of Coptic Evangelization. Especially considering most Coptic churches and parishes outside Egypt are less than 50 years old.

I agree. Certainly in London, the EO could learn a lot from the openness of the Copts and their active attitude to mission. That being said, some of the Coptic churches I attended in the States seemed far more closed and ethnocentric...so I suppose it depends on the size, age, social standing and location of a community, which tends also to be the case with EO parishes.
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dzheremi
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« Reply #128 on: May 08, 2013, 03:17:43 PM »

In all seriousness, I would just love to close my eyes and listen to the priest pray in English where I can be in contemplation with him.  But that doesn't happen.  We have a "holy" language, and we have no end in sight on immigrants. Sooooo...even if you don't like projectors, the word "crutch" or "necessary evil" applies Tongue

The Copts should really try to reach out and make converts among the native population of the countries they immigrated to. Copts have an amazing treasure to offer but jealously guard it.

You mean like in Bolivia? Or in Kenya? Or in Italy? Or...where, exactly? Things are definitely not uniform, and I have heard from some Coptic friends in places like Belgium that their priest can't handle the local language well enough, but I think overall things are improving rather than getting worse or even staying stagnant. It is a matter of persistence and giving the time to acculturate...the Coptic immigrant population is still growing, after all.

I was looking around for an example of the liturgy in German, because I know I've seen it before somewhere (Tasbeha, too), but I couldn't find it. I found this instead. Shocked I guess there's more than one way to reach out to the natives, but anyway...point is, it seems like the Coptic Church is committed to evangelism and just needs time to adapt itself to all the new places it suddenly finds itself in (learn the languages, meet the people, etc). In some places, Copts are doing things I've never seen any other Orthodox church doing, and I think it's great to see them taking advantage of the freedom they now have that isn't available in Egypt. I know that a class on evangelism is offer through the Southern United States diocese, too...

(Couldn't find anything in Dutch, but there is this, which is hopefully a sign of things to come... Wink)
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« Reply #129 on: May 08, 2013, 03:46:44 PM »

On reflection, it makes sense,particularly in a church with a lot of converts. Liturgy is complex and service books can be hard to follow. I guess it's just the modern equivalent of the ancient cantor.
There is some truth to this. I've asked for help finding my place in an Armenian liturgy book before, but the Coptic ones have the place on the screen. You just can't take it home with you afterwards to read and learn prayers from.
You can buy a book at the church bookstore or order one online. I'm sure your priest would even let you borrow one to take home if you asked.

Many Armenian parishes have indicator light systems that will tell you what page to turn to. But, really, modern Armenian Divine Liturgy books are really not all that hard to follow if you are at least basically familiar with the service. I've even seen them used with little difficulty by visitors who have never been to an Armenian liturgy nor have any knowledge of Armenian. It shouldn't take that long to get the hang of it.
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