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rodrigo_mendoza
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« on: June 30, 2012, 04:34:09 PM »

I am cradle Latin Catholic and now an EO Catechumen.  As such, I have established my daily prayer rule that also includes scriptural and patristic readings.   God willing, I will be received into Orthodoxy through Chrismation on Holy Saturday 2013.

One of my private devotions as a faithful RC was the daily recitation of several of the canonical hours.  As a text, I used the single-volume Monastic Diurnal according to the Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia for the daytime offices.  As an Orthodox Catecheumen, I would like to substitute-in an Orthodox version of the canonical hours in place of the western Benedictine offices.  

In my EO parish, I have attended Orthros, Vespers and Compline when offered.  It appears that the EO hours are designed to be done with a full team of priest, deacon, chanters and readers.  Although the fixed parts of the hours are from the Horologion, many other texts are used.  Even with the Horologion in-hand, I have difficulty following these services, let alone attempting to pray them privately.

I am aware that the Agpeya – the Coptic equivalent of the EO Horoligion – appears to contain the complete daily cycle as used by the Coptic Orthodox church.  There are common introductory prayers for all the hours plus hour-specific Psalm, Epistle, and Gospel readings.  

So two questions:

Is there a single volume that includes all the (fixed and changeable) parts necessary for an individual (or small group) - to pray the full daily cycle of canonical hours of the Eastern Orthodox Church – while away from the parish setting?

For those familiar with the Agpeya text and Coptic practice of the hours, is there anything (prayers, readings, whatever) that would or should be problematic for recitation by an Eastern Orthodox Christian?  Specifics?

And before someone refers me to my parish priest or spiritual director – rest assured – I will approach him on this matter before adding anything to the prayer rule that he has previously approved.  At this time, I merely wish to prepare myself for the discussion.

Thanks.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 04:37:27 PM by rodrigo_mendoza » Logged

Rod
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2012, 04:51:39 PM »

Is there a single volume that includes all the (fixed and changeable) parts necessary for an individual (or small group) - to pray the full daily cycle of canonical hours of the Eastern Orthodox Church – while away from the parish setting?

You could do Midnight Office, 1st Hour, 3rd Hour, 6th Hour, Typikon, Great and Small Compline with just an horologion, since the only variable parts (Dismissal hymn and kontakion of the day) are provided in the back. The priest's parts in those services (which are minimal) are just replaced with "Through the prayers of our holy fathers....etc." when done at home.

For Vespers and Matins you'd also need a Psalter, the Paraklitiki (variable parts for the day of the week), and the Minaion (variable parts for the day of the year). At certain times you'd also need the Triodion (Lenten services) and Pentecostarion (Paschal period).

Vespers is fairly straight forward and pretty easy to get the hang of (but difficult to explain in a post like this). Matins is more tricky, mainly because it's a very long service when done in full, and parishes almost always cut things. The Coptic version of Matins (called Tasbeha) is always printed in a separate book and also contains a great number of variables which is just as confusing to a newbie, so Vespers (11th Hour) is the only service which is more straight forward in the Coptic tradition.

Quote
For those familiar with the Agpeya text and Coptic practice of the hours, is there anything (prayers, readings, whatever) that would or should be problematic for recitation by an Eastern Orthodox Christian?  Specifics?

The only thing that would be problematic from an EO perspective would be the additions to the Trisagion (Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, who was crucified for us, have mercy on us). Because EO address the Trisagion to the Holy Trinity, the addition is heretical because it would imply God the Father and the Holy Spirit were both crucified. OO address the hymn to Christ, so it's not a problem in the context of that liturgical tradition.

I used the Agpia (minus the Trisagion additions) for a long time, and my Spiritual Father had no problem with it. However, I do think it would be better for you to get acquainted with the Byzantine rather than the Coptic version of the services if that is the tradition you will be entering. It will help you a lot when you encounter those services in a corporate setting
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rodrigo_mendoza
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2012, 05:58:16 PM »

Is there a single volume that includes all the (fixed and changeable) parts necessary for an individual (or small group) - to pray the full daily cycle of canonical hours of the Eastern Orthodox Church – while away from the parish setting?

You could do Midnight Office, 1st Hour, 3rd Hour, 6th Hour, Typikon, Great and Small Compline with just an horologion, since the only variable parts (Dismissal hymn and kontakion of the day) are provided in the back. The priest's parts in those services (which are minimal) are just replaced with "Through the prayers of our holy fathers....etc." when done at home.

For Vespers and Matins you'd also need a Psalter, the Paraklitiki (variable parts for the day of the week), and the Minaion (variable parts for the day of the year). At certain times you'd also need the Triodion (Lenten services) and Pentecostarion (Paschal period).

Vespers is fairly straight forward and pretty easy to get the hang of (but difficult to explain in a post like this). Matins is more tricky, mainly because it's a very long service when done in full, and parishes almost always cut things. The Coptic version of Matins (called Tasbeha) is always printed in a separate book and also contains a great number of variables which is just as confusing to a newbie, so Vespers (11th Hour) is the only service which is more straight forward in the Coptic tradition.

Quote
For those familiar with the Agpeya text and Coptic practice of the hours, is there anything (prayers, readings, whatever) that would or should be problematic for recitation by an Eastern Orthodox Christian?  Specifics?

The only thing that would be problematic from an EO perspective would be the additions to the Trisagion (Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, who was crucified for us, have mercy on us). Because EO address the Trisagion to the Holy Trinity, the addition is heretical because it would imply God the Father and the Holy Spirit were both crucified. OO address the hymn to Christ, so it's not a problem in the context of that liturgical tradition.

I used the Agpia (minus the Trisagion additions) for a long time, and my Spiritual Father had no problem with it. However, I do think it would be better for you to get acquainted with the Byzantine rather than the Coptic version of the services if that is the tradition you will be entering. It will help you a lot when you encounter those services in a corporate setting

Thanks for the response.  Your remarks on the Coptic Trisagion are much appreciated.   

As I mentioned before, it seems as though the EO hours were specifically designed for corporate offering, led by priest.  Is it possible that the Agpeya/Agpia was actually designed with the option of private recitation in mind? 

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Rod
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2012, 06:20:27 PM »

As I mentioned before, it seems as though the EO hours were specifically designed for corporate offering, led by priest.  Is it possible that the Agpeya/Agpia was actually designed with the option of private recitation in mind? 

With the exception of Vespers and Matins, the canonical hours were originally designed with the monastic cell in mind. If you look at the EO services, the priest only says a concluding litany and/or dismissal (the exclamation after the Our Father is standard in all situations, so this isn't indicative of anything). The main body of the services does not anticipate or require the participation of a priest.
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2012, 07:50:28 PM »

I am cradle Latin Catholic and now an EO Catechumen.  As such, I have established my daily prayer rule that also includes scriptural and patristic readings.   God willing, I will be received into Orthodoxy through Chrismation on Holy Saturday 2013.

One of my private devotions as a faithful RC was the daily recitation of several of the canonical hours.  As a text, I used the single-volume Monastic Diurnal according to the Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia for the daytime offices.  As an Orthodox Catecheumen, I would like to substitute-in an Orthodox version of the canonical hours in place of the western Benedictine offices.  

In my EO parish, I have attended Orthros, Vespers and Compline when offered.  It appears that the EO hours are designed to be done with a full team of priest, deacon, chanters and readers.  Although the fixed parts of the hours are from the Horologion, many other texts are used.  Even with the Horologion in-hand, I have difficulty following these services, let alone attempting to pray them privately.

I am aware that the Agpeya – the Coptic equivalent of the EO Horoligion – appears to contain the complete daily cycle as used by the Coptic Orthodox church.  There are common introductory prayers for all the hours plus hour-specific Psalm, Epistle, and Gospel readings.  

So two questions:

Is there a single volume that includes all the (fixed and changeable) parts necessary for an individual (or small group) - to pray the full daily cycle of canonical hours of the Eastern Orthodox Church – while away from the parish setting?

For those familiar with the Agpeya text and Coptic practice of the hours, is there anything (prayers, readings, whatever) that would or should be problematic for recitation by an Eastern Orthodox Christian?  Specifics?

And before someone refers me to my parish priest or spiritual director – rest assured – I will approach him on this matter before adding anything to the prayer rule that he has previously approved.  At this time, I merely wish to prepare myself for the discussion.

Thanks.



I have a word version of the hours. Send me your email and I will send it to you
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2012, 12:22:29 AM »

You don't necessarily need a Menaion, but it helps.  Following the psalter and the Glory..., the hours call for the Apolytikion of the Feast or Saint commemorated to be read (if there is one). And after the repeat of the Trisagion prayers, the hours call for the Kontakion of the Feast or Saint commemorated (if there is one) to be read.  There are substitutes which are found in the Horlogion which you can use if you please.

Also, chanters are not required for hours.  The hours are read (with the exception of portions of the Royal Hours which occur on the Eve of Nativity, the Eve of Theophany and Great Friday), not chanted (even though tones are listed).  A lot of people fail to understand that.
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2012, 01:21:48 AM »

It's hard to boil down Daily Vespers, because you need to have the Menaion and Octoechos texts for the stichera at "Lord, I Call" and the Aposticha, and then also the Festal Menaion (separate text from the daily one, at least in English) and the Triodia (Lenten and Flowery) for Lent and Paschatide. It's actually not THAT difficult to get down, but it's hard to explain. Easier to show. Of course, this also requires knowing the tones, which in itself is quite a task.

Matins is even harder because it is longer and contains more variable parts (and itself has more variety in the way it can be served. Sunday Matins and Festal Matins change the service significantly from it's daily counterpart, much more than Great Vespers does its daily counterpart).

However, the services of Nocturns (or Midnight Office), Prime, Terse, Sext, Typika, None and Compline are all pretty straight forward. The Midnight Office mixes it up a little bit on the weekends (both Saturday and Sunday Nocturns are different from the rest and the week, and each other), but that's really about it.

The hours (1st, 3rd, 6th and 9th) only require the main hymns (troparia and kontakia) for that day. Many sites (like the sites for the OCA or the GOAA) will give the hymn of the saints for the day along with their hagiography. If you can't access these, there are also troparia and kontakia for each day of the week which can be found in many private prayer books.

Typika may be served in place of the Liturgy, and is pretty straight-forward, as well. The Midnight Office and Compline are actually the inspiration for the Morning Prayers and Evening Prayers in the Russian tradition. I understand it's still pretty standard for Orthodox faithful to serve Midnight Office and Compline as their daily prayers.

Even if Vespers and Matins are too much to do, these other six services are rich in theology, prayer and psalmody, and I think make a very comprehensive rule of prayer for any devout Christian!
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 08:17:57 AM »

All of the Orthodox Services, except for Divine Liturgy, may be chanted by a single person or group of people without a priest. There are rubrics for "Services without a priest" which may be of help. HOWEVER! A single person chanting just vespers and matins in full would be quite exhausted and the time consumed would be considerable.
As others have suggested, Midnight Office and Small Compline are most often prescribed by Spiritual Fathers for their lay charges.
Anyone wanting to chant all of the Services in full would require the books mentioned in others' posts; the minimum for Vespers and Matins would be: Horologion, Octeochos (if not a Feast) and Menaion; Great Lent: Lenten Triodion (including English Supplement); Paschaltide: Flowery Triodion (Pentecostarion).
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2012, 11:50:18 PM »

You could keep praying the Monastic Diurnal, though contacting the fathers at Christ the Savior Monastery (ROCOR) in Ontario to see what they do differently from standard Benedictine Catholic practice might not be a bad idea. (They're Benedictine monks of the Roman Rite who belong to the Russian Orthodox Church.)

When I pray the hours I tend to pray the Little Office of the Virgin - the Roman Rite services are shorter, more meditative, and easier to put together than most of the Byzantine Rite services, and tend to be easier to work into my day than the longer Byzantine or Coptic Orthodox services. (I know how to put Vespers and Matins together and it can be difficult for someone just getting to know Byzantine liturgics. The day Hours not so much though!)

I am cradle Latin Catholic and now an EO Catechumen.  As such, I have established my daily prayer rule that also includes scriptural and patristic readings.   God willing, I will be received into Orthodoxy through Chrismation on Holy Saturday 2013.

One of my private devotions as a faithful RC was the daily recitation of several of the canonical hours.  As a text, I used the single-volume Monastic Diurnal according to the Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia for the daytime offices.  As an Orthodox Catecheumen, I would like to substitute-in an Orthodox version of the canonical hours in place of the western Benedictine offices.  

In my EO parish, I have attended Orthros, Vespers and Compline when offered.  It appears that the EO hours are designed to be done with a full team of priest, deacon, chanters and readers.  Although the fixed parts of the hours are from the Horologion, many other texts are used.  Even with the Horologion in-hand, I have difficulty following these services, let alone attempting to pray them privately.

I am aware that the Agpeya – the Coptic equivalent of the EO Horoligion – appears to contain the complete daily cycle as used by the Coptic Orthodox church.  There are common introductory prayers for all the hours plus hour-specific Psalm, Epistle, and Gospel readings.  

So two questions:

Is there a single volume that includes all the (fixed and changeable) parts necessary for an individual (or small group) - to pray the full daily cycle of canonical hours of the Eastern Orthodox Church – while away from the parish setting?

For those familiar with the Agpeya text and Coptic practice of the hours, is there anything (prayers, readings, whatever) that would or should be problematic for recitation by an Eastern Orthodox Christian?  Specifics?

And before someone refers me to my parish priest or spiritual director – rest assured – I will approach him on this matter before adding anything to the prayer rule that he has previously approved.  At this time, I merely wish to prepare myself for the discussion.

Thanks.


« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 11:54:44 PM by kijabeboy03 » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2012, 11:53:49 PM »

I'm not sure I see the issue. In the Byzantine liturgical tradition the Trisagion is addressed to the Trinity, but in the Alexandrian liturgical tradition it's addressed to the Son. That being the case, if you're praying Alexandrian Rite (Coptic Orthodox) services, then what's the problem with praying the Trisagion as it is in those services? Interpolating the "crucified for us," "born for us," et cetera, into the Trisagion of the Byzantine Rite services wouldn't be appropriate of course, but that's not the non-issue you seemed to be addressing...

Is there a single volume that includes all the (fixed and changeable) parts necessary for an individual (or small group) - to pray the full daily cycle of canonical hours of the Eastern Orthodox Church – while away from the parish setting?

Quote
For those familiar with the Agpeya text and Coptic practice of the hours, is there anything (prayers, readings, whatever) that would or should be problematic for recitation by an Eastern Orthodox Christian?  Specifics?

The only thing that would be problematic from an EO perspective would be the additions to the Trisagion (Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, who was crucified for us, have mercy on us). Because EO address the Trisagion to the Holy Trinity, the addition is heretical because it would imply God the Father and the Holy Spirit were both crucified. OO address the hymn to Christ, so it's not a problem in the context of that liturgical tradition.

I used the Agpia (minus the Trisagion additions) for a long time, and my Spiritual Father had no problem with it. However, I do think it would be better for you to get acquainted with the Byzantine rather than the Coptic version of the services if that is the tradition you will be entering. It will help you a lot when you encounter those services in a corporate setting
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"This is the Apostolic Faith, the Orthodox Faith, and the Faith of the Fathers. Having this wonderful treasure, let us preserve it, let us keep it, and let us also use it in such a way that this treasure becomes the victory of Christ in us and in His Church." ~ St. Severus of Antioch ~
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