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Author Topic: Sunday school or Orthros  (Read 1492 times) Average Rating: 0
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scamandrius
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« on: July 26, 2012, 10:08:35 PM »

Though this is a few years out, I was thinking the other day about what I am going to do with my son once he gets to be about four years old.  I really believe that the faith is learned by practicing the faith and I can think of no better place to practice the faith and learn about it than through the prayers of the church, specifically at Orthros.  My priest has said many a time that if an Orthodox Christian really wanted to know the faith well, Orthros was the place to be.

I attend Orthros pretty faithfully (I have to. I'm a chanter) and I would want my son with me, naturally.  I've read plenty of studies and a lot of anecdotal material to suggest that Sunday School really does not do too much in the production of faithful young Christians.  Even at my church, I see the kids who are in Sunday School during Orthros come to Liturgy and I see no evidence of them practicing what they should be learning about. I also grant that a lot of that has to do with how much the faith is reinforced at home.

Again, I know it's early to be thinking about this for my son, but I've already started planning a lot for him like where he's going to college and such.  But, I would like to hear from other people who have children and what they prefer Sunday school, the offices and Liturgy or none of the above.  Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2012, 10:13:20 PM »

I'd tell him to go to orthros if that's where you want him, and he can be settled and not running around. I don't think you get to decide where he goes to college though.  police
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2012, 10:16:17 PM »

If I'm paying for it, I do! Wink
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2012, 10:42:19 PM »


You have Sunday School that early in the morning?
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2012, 10:57:35 PM »


You have Sunday School that early in the morning?

It's interesting Liza that my parish has gone back and forth.  At one point, Sunday School students received the Eucharist first and then were dismissed to attend their class.  But this past year and I think one other time, Sunday School corresponded with Orthros (which begins at 8:45).  I don't think either way is preferable though when Sunday School corresponded with Orthros we got more adults at Orthros than usual.
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2012, 02:22:58 AM »

I'm a very strong supporter of Church or Sunday School, or Catechism, because of my exceptionally positive experience with it, mostly at Sts. Constantine & Helen Cathedral in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, during the priestly tenure of Fr. Peter N. Kyriakos, Archdiocesan Vicar, of Blessed Memory, during the 1960's.  There are 4 teachers who stand out in my life for what they taught me; I'm 59 years old.  My experience was a great foundation for my own study as an adult (actually, my adult "born again" experience occurred when I was a junior in high school and my priest presented me with a Sunday School graduation gift, an explanation of the Divine Liturgy, which was well translated (the best in the GOAA) and the explanation was written by Fr. George Papadeas, of Blessed Memory.  At the same time, the church was migrating to more use of the English language.  I attended a new church in our area, that was meeting in an old city hall, and when I heard the "Consecration" in English, the Holy Spirit came down upon me; this church became my parish to this day where I am an Assistant Chanter, have been accorded the Official Title of Ecclesiarch by Bishop Maximos of Pittsburgh, and serve on the Parish Council.  Sunday School gave me the basis for me to understand the books I read to study our faith as a young adult.

I recall my Father of Blessed Memory telling me often how lucky I was to be attending Sunday School because he didn't have that experience when he was growing up, only benefiting from some ecclesiastical course work as a part of Greek School, taught in Greek.  He always routinely made me tell him and my family of what I studied in Sunday School, and he typically was enlightened by what I was speaking about.

I have taught Sunday School too.  I couldn't more strongly support our Sunday School system as the basis for a student's life experience in Christ and His Holy Church.  (It disgusts me to hear that there are Orthodox Churches that do not use the Sunday School materials from the Holy Archdiocese Religious Education Dept., those of OCEC, or those of the other jurisdictions.)

Maybe if you have such an issue with him missing Orthros, you can pick a year like the 6th Grade and you keep him out of Sunday School.

Another option might be to talk your Priest and Parish Council into convening Sunday School following Holy Communion.

I doubt how much a youth will understand from Orthros, though it certainly is good practice to teach attendance at Orthros.

And, remember too, if he attends Sunday School, when you get home, you can run through with him the various hymns of the day from Orthros that describe the themes of the day.

Best wishes as you evaluate the best course of action for your son's spiritual growth.


P.S. I'm single and do not have children.
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2012, 08:48:27 AM »

Has your parish ever considered not having Sunday School/Catechism on Sunday morning?  Personally I like the model many Catholic parishes use for their Christian education: Wednesday nights from 6:00pm to 7:00pm with CCD classes for the kids and a variety of classes for the adults to take too. This is usually done September through May and the classes are recessed during the summer months.  I like this model because it keeps you from overloading Sundays with too much activity. And I have never liked the competition between worship and Sunday School for the kids.

In my OCA parish we have tried several different approaches. Right now we have Sunday school for the kids, AFTER Divine Liturgy while the adults are having Coffee Hour.  The kids (and their teachers) grab something to eat first as Coffee Hour starts.  After they finish eating, they go to their classes for Sunday School. The adults hang around in the parish hall and talk and have coffee.  About the time people want to start going home, the Sunday School classes are over.  This model works out well for us.  Then on Wednesday night we have an adult Catechumen's class followed by Vespers, followed by an Adult Bible Class taught by the priest.
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2012, 04:14:22 PM »

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

These should not be in any kind of conflict or competition with each other, and if scheduling does, then schedules should be adjusted.  Prayers in the Church are important, but is equally important the our children and young adults are educated in the depth and meaning of their Faith.  There is so much symbolism, so many prayers, so many rules, so  many Fathers, so many Scriptures, that our kids need to be grounded in both religious instruction and also religious worship.  These are mutually reinforcing, they are not in conflict.  If parents or parishes are not seeing fruit yielded in their youth from the Sunday School program either (a) the school needs to be updated/reinvigorated or (b) they are just not looking hard enough Wink

We experience our Faith in worship, be we as adults are equally educated by our experience with the Fathers, with the Scriptures, with the histories, with the sermons and lessons and teachings.  Sometimes are kids need an age-appropriate version catering to their intellectual and spiritual development.  Further, kids can feel neglected when they are just simply expected to do what the adults do.  Kids are not adults. We shouldn't expect them to stand for 3 hours in prayer, or to sing every word, or bow at every moment, or follow ever writ or right.  Rather, we need to teach our kids.  Much like in our society as a whole with the public education debate, it does take parental involvement on a day to day basis.  However, in our busy worlds, a lot of people neglect this, so the Church facilitates just like the public schools, in providing an outlet and opportunity for kids to get their religious instruction they may or may not be getting at home.  If they get it at home, we are only expanding this, if they don't, we are desperately filling in a much needed gap.

The divide between Sunday School and worship is purely ideological, not necessarily pragmatic, and these can realistically be scheduled not to be in conflict.  If Sunday School takes place at the same time as worship or Liturgy, I agree completely, this is a problem.  However we shouldn't necessarily throw out the baby with the bathwater in this regard, so churches should be able to prioritize and schedule both classes and worship services so as not to compete, but to mutually support.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2012, 04:58:33 PM »

Well, one could always have a Vigil the evening before, and then have Sunday School during the Hours before the start of Liturgy.  As to the value of Matins (Othros), I have to agree that it is the best service to learn the teachings of the Church.  However, I have not seen a real Matins outside of the ROCOR.  If I had to choose between sending my children to Sunday School, or the hour long gutted service that passes for Matins in many Churches today, I would choose Sunday School. 

 
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2012, 11:19:07 PM »

I have to agree that it is the best service to learn the teachings of the Church.  However, I have not seen a real Matins outside of the ROCOR.  If I had to choose between sending my children to Sunday School, or the hour long gutted service that passes for Matins in many Churches today, I would choose Sunday School. 

Probably a discussion for another thread, but what to you constitutes a "real Matins?"  Granted, in the Greek typicon for parish practice, we do not do the readings from the Psalter save for the Amomos or the Polyeleos when prescribed nor do we do the full canon of the Resurrection (though some churches do) but it is still Orthros. 

Based on what people are saying here, I think I'm even more inclined to have my child with me at Orthros than Sunday School.  In a perfect world, he could do both if we did the Vigil the night before and then have Sunday School after Liturgy. 
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 10:51:22 AM »

Right now we have Sunday school for the kids, AFTER Divine Liturgy while the adults are having Coffee Hour.  The kids (and their teachers) grab something to eat first as Coffee Hour starts.  After they finish eating, they go to their classes for Sunday School. The adults hang around in the parish hall and talk and have coffee.  About the time people want to start going home, the Sunday School classes are over.  This model works out well for us. 

This is what our OCA parish does also, additionally they have choir practice during Sunday School. Our parish draws members from a large Metropolitan area so it works well for us to have these on Sunday when everyone is here.
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2012, 10:56:04 AM »

^We've tried that but it doesn't seem to work well either for the teachers or the kids and their parents.  Besides, we are a smaller parish in a much small metropolitan area.
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2012, 12:28:30 PM »

or u could try a small sunday school during the sermon, and a bigger one at another time.
i don't like the idea of sending the kids out at any time during matins / liturgy, unless there is a time where people just have to sit and listen, like a sermon.

if u don't have a sermon, u could explain to yr priest why it is so useful to have one!
 Wink
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2012, 12:41:02 PM »

Sunday School during the sermon-how long are your sermons?
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2012, 12:46:12 PM »

15 - 20 mins. the main sunday school is after liturgy (and after food break).
the adults easily stay around chatting for long enough to complete sunday school (advantage of north african culture!)
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2012, 02:48:34 PM »

15 - 20 mins. the main sunday school is after liturgy (and after food break).
the adults easily stay around chatting for long enough to complete sunday school (advantage of north african culture!)

Apparently, Southern culture as well, since at our parish, even when Sunday School is over there are always plenty of people still hanging around talking!
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« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2012, 02:58:23 PM »

it's to do with the hot weather i think. i heard south usa weather can be a little warm!
(my only usa experience was a few days in the chicago area in mid winter, trying to explain to my asian american hosts that it would not kill them to walk 20 mins to church at zero degrees centigrade, and being outvoted by the majority - they didn't hang around after church either! immediately back into the warm car. i soon got a bit claustrophobic and longed to be outside.)

compare british orthodox (coffee and biscuit, home after about 30 minutes) with coptic orthodox in britain (home? is that a different place to the church? surely not?!) so u can see i am culturally happier in the coptic church.
i heard that in egypt, people only stay around for an hour or two as most live close to the church so eat at home.
in uk, our congregations come from a large area, so love to stay around chatting for several hours.
 Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2012, 03:10:47 PM »

We also have a meal after Liturgy, so that may account for a lot of the folks who stay.
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« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2012, 03:24:03 PM »

Sunday School during the sermon-how long are your sermons?

Here's the problem with that--sermons are never a predetermined length. Also, by the time we got the kids and teachers out to begin their lesson, more time is wasted.  It wouldn't be a problem if my priest were good at sermonizing. Unfortunately, that is not one of his gifts. The longer he goes with his sermon, the more disorganized it gets and nothing seems to gel together.  I think people would be getting up to go to Sunday School class.
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« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2012, 03:36:19 PM »

Though this is a few years out, I was thinking the other day about what I am going to do with my son once he gets to be about four years old.  I really believe that the faith is learned by practicing the faith and I can think of no better place to practice the faith and learn about it than through the prayers of the church, specifically at Orthros.  My priest has said many a time that if an Orthodox Christian really wanted to know the faith well, Orthros was the place to be.

I attend Orthros pretty faithfully (I have to. I'm a chanter) and I would want my son with me, naturally.  I've read plenty of studies and a lot of anecdotal material to suggest that Sunday School really does not do too much in the production of faithful young Christians.  Even at my church, I see the kids who are in Sunday School during Orthros come to Liturgy and I see no evidence of them practicing what they should be learning about. I also grant that a lot of that has to do with how much the faith is reinforced at home.

Again, I know it's early to be thinking about this for my son, but I've already started planning a lot for him like where he's going to college and such.  But, I would like to hear from other people who have children and what they prefer Sunday school, the offices and Liturgy or none of the above.  Thanks.

It depends on your child's attention span, maturity, and also his own desires. You won't know until the time comes, in other words.

One thing to consider: Per the research you mentioned, attendance at extra worship services is unlikely to impact faith formation one way or the other. Only two things are consistent predictors of faith formation in American youngsters: (1) having a practicing parent and (2) being close/looking up to a practicing adult outside of the immediate family. See the work of Christian Smith at Notre Dame in particular.

I think of Sunday School as a great social time with other Orthodox kids. It's important for kids to develop those friendships. But it is absolutely meaningless in the larger scheme of things without the two realities mentioned above, particularly once the kid hits middle and high school.
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« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2012, 05:45:31 PM »

Though this is a few years out, I was thinking the other day about what I am going to do with my son once he gets to be about four years old.  I really believe that the faith is learned by practicing the faith and I can think of no better place to practice the faith and learn about it than through the prayers of the church, specifically at Orthros.  My priest has said many a time that if an Orthodox Christian really wanted to know the faith well, Orthros was the place to be.

I attend Orthros pretty faithfully (I have to. I'm a chanter) and I would want my son with me, naturally.  I've read plenty of studies and a lot of anecdotal material to suggest that Sunday School really does not do too much in the production of faithful young Christians.  Even at my church, I see the kids who are in Sunday School during Orthros come to Liturgy and I see no evidence of them practicing what they should be learning about. I also grant that a lot of that has to do with how much the faith is reinforced at home.

Again, I know it's early to be thinking about this for my son, but I've already started planning a lot for him like where he's going to college and such.  But, I would like to hear from other people who have children and what they prefer Sunday school, the offices and Liturgy or none of the above.  Thanks.

It depends on your child's attention span, maturity, and also his own desires. You won't know until the time comes, in other words.

One thing to consider: Per the research you mentioned, attendance at extra worship services is unlikely to impact faith formation one way or the other. Only two things are consistent predictors of faith formation in American youngsters: (1) having a practicing parent and (2) being close/looking up to a practicing adult outside of the immediate family. See the work of Christian Smith at Notre Dame in particular.

I think of Sunday School as a great social time with other Orthodox kids. It's important for kids to develop those friendships. But it is absolutely meaningless in the larger scheme of things without the two realities mentioned above, particularly once the kid hits middle and high school.

Bingo.
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« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2012, 10:35:34 AM »

oh, and i forgot to ask, where is you son learning about the church from now? i hope u r not waiting till he's 4 to explain everything!
the youngest kid i saw benefit from liturgy was a week old, and the youngest kid i saw kissing icons was just 1 year.
i remember a 4 year old boy putting money in the church box 'for Jesus' and i have discussed sin and repentance (not using these terms) with 3 year olds.
it's never too early to start!
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« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2012, 10:06:17 PM »

Though this is a few years out, I was thinking the other day about what I am going to do with my son once he gets to be about four years old.  I really believe that the faith is learned by practicing the faith and I can think of no better place to practice the faith and learn about it than through the prayers of the church, specifically at Orthros.  My priest has said many a time that if an Orthodox Christian really wanted to know the faith well, Orthros was the place to be.

I attend Orthros pretty faithfully (I have to. I'm a chanter) and I would want my son with me, naturally.  I've read plenty of studies and a lot of anecdotal material to suggest that Sunday School really does not do too much in the production of faithful young Christians.  Even at my church, I see the kids who are in Sunday School during Orthros come to Liturgy and I see no evidence of them practicing what they should be learning about. I also grant that a lot of that has to do with how much the faith is reinforced at home.

Again, I know it's early to be thinking about this for my son, but I've already started planning a lot for him like where he's going to college and such.  But, I would like to hear from other people who have children and what they prefer Sunday school, the offices and Liturgy or none of the above.  Thanks.

It depends on your child's attention span, maturity, and also his own desires. You won't know until the time comes, in other words.

One thing to consider: Per the research you mentioned, attendance at extra worship services is unlikely to impact faith formation one way or the other. Only two things are consistent predictors of faith formation in American youngsters: (1) having a practicing parent and (2) being close/looking up to a practicing adult outside of the immediate family. See the work of Christian Smith at Notre Dame in particular.

I think of Sunday School as a great social time with other Orthodox kids. It's important for kids to develop those friendships. But it is absolutely meaningless in the larger scheme of things without the two realities mentioned above, particularly once the kid hits middle and high school.

If social time were an important consideration (it's not in my view), then children can socialize outside of the church. 
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« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2012, 10:06:50 PM »

oh, and i forgot to ask, where is you son learning about the church from now? i hope u r not waiting till he's 4 to explain everything!
the youngest kid i saw benefit from liturgy was a week old, and the youngest kid i saw kissing icons was just 1 year.
i remember a 4 year old boy putting money in the church box 'for Jesus' and i have discussed sin and repentance (not using these terms) with 3 year olds.
it's never too early to start!

My son is almost a month old. I'm just thinking long term. 
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« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2012, 11:40:17 PM »

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



If social time were an important consideration (it's not in my view), then children can socialize outside of the church. 

Forgive me but that sounds a bit mean spirited.  The Church is a family and the Church is our home, and we should feel as comfortable to fellowship there as any other place, and further, many people in their busy schedules only have Sundays to go to Liturgy and also hear sermons and also hear hymns and also have fellowship with their fellow brothers and sisters over lunch and coffee.  How is this any different for children then?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2012, 12:09:13 AM »

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



If social time were an important consideration (it's not in my view), then children can socialize outside of the church. 

Forgive me but that sounds a bit mean spirited.  The Church is a family and the Church is our home, and we should feel as comfortable to fellowship there as any other place, and further, many people in their busy schedules only have Sundays to go to Liturgy and also hear sermons and also hear hymns and also have fellowship with their fellow brothers and sisters over lunch and coffee.  How is this any different for children then?

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habte selassie

I think he's talking about during his parish's coffee hour, not completely outside of the parish setting.
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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2012, 11:31:49 AM »

^Thanks, that is what I meant.

At the same time, I don't have the time to go to coffee hour.  Plus, I hang out socially with many people from my parish outside of the church building.  And I know that several children are good friends with other children there and go to each others' homes regularly to socialize, so Habte, there's nothing controversial about what I said. I think you just like trying to find controversy where there is none.
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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2012, 12:32:24 PM »

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

^Thanks, that is what I meant.

At the same time, I don't have the time to go to coffee hour.  Plus, I hang out socially with many people from my parish outside of the church building.  And I know that several children are good friends with other children there and go to each others' homes regularly to socialize, so Habte, there's nothing controversial about what I said. I think you just like trying to find controversy where there is none.

You're reading too much into it, its not that serious at all Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2012, 02:01:00 PM »

^Well, when you begin a post that accuses what I wrote of being mean spirited, I take that very seriously.
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« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2012, 03:58:26 PM »

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

^Well, when you begin a post that accuses what I wrote of being mean spirited, I take that very seriously.

(a) The first words of that post were "forgive me" and

(b) I also take it very seriously when folks gripe about socializing that the Church, as it came across as a bit mean-spirited against those folks who very much enjoy both bringing their children to Church and also fellowship over at coffee hour by the way you phrased it as being not important, when for many folks it is very important  Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2012, 10:38:37 AM »

fellowship over at coffee hour by the way you phrased it as being not important, when for many folks it is very important  Wink


Hooray for coffee hour, I say! Although we have brunch or lunch. Because our parish draws people from a large metropolitan area (many drive an hour or more to come) it is a time to visit with each other. I have also heard from people who were recently bereaved that it was such a blessing to break bread with their parish family. One person who was in financial straits told me that it was the best meal of the week for him.
Don't knock coffee hour - embrace it! Have a feast and visit with your friends and church family.
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« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2012, 06:29:53 PM »

I have to agree that it is the best service to learn the teachings of the Church.  However, I have not seen a real Matins outside of the ROCOR.  If I had to choose between sending my children to Sunday School, or the hour long gutted service that passes for Matins in many Churches today, I would choose Sunday School. 

Probably a discussion for another thread, but what to you constitutes a "real Matins?"  Granted, in the Greek typicon for parish practice, we do not do the readings from the Psalter save for the Amomos or the Polyeleos when prescribed nor do we do the full canon of the Resurrection (though some churches do) but it is still Orthros. 


How can you not do what the Typikon states of a given service, yet still call it that service?  And how can one remove the teaching part of the Matins (the Canon) and still call it a Matins?  But, you are correct.  That is a subject for a different thread.
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« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2012, 12:12:34 PM »

^We do follow the Typicon, the Typicon of the Great Church of Christ. 

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« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2012, 12:26:18 PM »

How can you not do what the Typikon states of a given service, yet still call it that service?  And how can one remove the teaching part of the Matins (the Canon) and still call it a Matins?  But, you are correct.  That is a subject for a different thread.

The canon being the latest addition to that service, replacing the chanting of the Old Testament odes. So when abbreviations are necessary (a full Matins takes at least 2 hours), 'last in, first out' might not be a bad way to do it. Of course, you can reduce the time by reading everything, but Matins is a sung service, canons were written to be sung, and to read the whole thing seems more contrary to the nature and character of the service than to cut something out in order to allow for the rest to be done properly.
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« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2012, 03:19:28 PM »

^We do follow the Typicon, the Typicon of the Great Church of Christ. 



Obviously not the ones that I have read.  But then again, you Antiochians pretty much do whatever you want anyway.
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« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2012, 04:53:00 PM »

That's not fair, "you Antiochian's do whatever you want anyway;" there is no reason, no justification to say that parishes and monasteries under the Church of Antioch are anymore or less compliant with the Typicon than any other jurisdiction may or may not be.
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« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2012, 11:02:23 PM »

Those who bash Antioch shall be bashed by her saints.

Anway, socialization amongst fellow Orthodox peers is very important as it assists in how one relates to people in  the wider world. It is a support and an aid, a time to build up one another. In this sense, it is quite educational.

As with raising children, church education is done not by lots of talking, but by example, by listening, by being there, by loving and being loved.
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« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2012, 11:56:53 PM »

^We do follow the Typicon, the Typicon of the Great Church of Christ.  



Obviously not the ones that I have read.  But then again, you Antiochians pretty much do whatever you want anyway.

The Greek churches use the same one the Antiochians do, the Typicon of the Great Church of Christ.  As far as the canon goes (at least on Sunday morning), in parish practice, it is the custom to sing only the Katavasiae of the Odes and not the entire canon.  The only times I have ever seen the full canons chanted were in monasteries.  BTW, those monasteries were Greek.  I have yet to be in a ROCOR  parish church which does the complete vigil.

Be that as it may, we've gotten off topic here. 
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« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2012, 11:17:19 PM »

How can you not do what the Typikon states of a given service, yet still call it that service?  And how can one remove the teaching part of the Matins (the Canon) and still call it a Matins?  But, you are correct.  That is a subject for a different thread.

The canon being the latest addition to that service, replacing the chanting of the Old Testament odes. So when abbreviations are necessary (a full Matins takes at least 2 hours), 'last in, first out' might not be a bad way to do it. Of course, you can reduce the time by reading everything, but Matins is a sung service, canons were written to be sung, and to read the whole thing seems more contrary to the nature and character of the service than to cut something out in order to allow for the rest to be done properly.

Why don't they sing the OT odes anymore?
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« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2012, 06:18:40 PM »

How can you not do what the Typikon states of a given service, yet still call it that service?  And how can one remove the teaching part of the Matins (the Canon) and still call it a Matins?  But, you are correct.  That is a subject for a different thread.

The canon being the latest addition to that service, replacing the chanting of the Old Testament odes. So when abbreviations are necessary (a full Matins takes at least 2 hours), 'last in, first out' might not be a bad way to do it. Of course, you can reduce the time by reading everything, but Matins is a sung service, canons were written to be sung, and to read the whole thing seems more contrary to the nature and character of the service than to cut something out in order to allow for the rest to be done properly.

Why don't they sing the OT odes anymore?

Only during the Great Fast.
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« Reply #40 on: September 21, 2012, 06:08:10 PM »

Like you said in the OP, it all depends on the home faith of the child how well he/she attends to the church services. It's also been my experience that some children are naturally drawn to the church, usually in these cases he/she is also drawn to Sunday School.
My argument for Sunday School is this--if you merely have your child beside you in Orthros, does the child receive an understanding of the events that take place? Sunday School, at least in my church, is for talking about the Divine Liturgy and other services, as well as the Bible, and church traditions.
An analogy I'll use from a writing of my priest is this: Imagine you were to be forced to know only these things about the church--it is Jesus's house, there is singing there, and Jesus loves you, so you should love Him and others (and this is an approximation Tongue). Sure, the church would intrigue you for a while, but after a few years, would you stay there, knowing only those things? The world around you would become more interesting, more developed than that. You'd grow intellectually and mentally, but your spiritual knowledge and growth would remain at the level of a 4-year-old. Sunday School encourages children to be lifelong learners of the faith the same way normal school should encourage them to be lifelong learners in general. Of course, there are some hits and misses, but that's all just part of life, and unavoidable.
By no means am I trying to say that you're unable to teach your child many of these things in your home environment. I'm sure you have a Liturgy book among others. But learning the faith in fellowship with other adults and peers of the same age group encourages a deeper participation in a community of greater things.
I mean, I'm 15 years old, and still in Sunday School myself. I love it immensely. Through Sunday School, I participate in the Oratorical Festival, among other things. I help co-teach now Smiley.
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« Reply #41 on: September 21, 2012, 08:40:19 PM »

I believe Sunday school is better at first....  It's good to know about WHAT they are chanting about Smiley
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