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Author Topic: St Sabbas Palestine Typikon (Slavic, monastic) & Reformed Great Church Typikon  (Read 2336 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 06, 2012, 04:05:44 AM »

On a thread recently there has been some discussion on the Typikons in use in Orthodox Churches today. If there is enough interest, it would be good to explore this a little more.
As a monastic, I am familiar with the St Sabbas of Palestine Typikon which is in general use in monasteries and by the Slavic traditions, and attend a Russian parish church in the city in which I live, but I also attend a traditional Greek church which follows the Typikon reforms of the Great Church of Constantinople of 1838.
The poster on the other thread bemoaned the cutting out of the Canon. In the Greek church which I attend, usually the first Ode of the Sunday and daily saint Canon are chanted, followed by the Kontakion, which is followed by the Katavasia, after the eighth of which there follows the Song of the Theotokos and then the ninth Katavasia, exapostilaria and praises etc. Occasionally (especially on a Great or special Feast) the Sunday, Cross, Theotokos (from Sunday Octoechos) and Menaion Canons are chanted for the first 2 odes, then read in full thereafter.
As a convert introduced to the Slavic custom, I must say I love the full canons. They tell the full story of the Resurrection on Sunday, and the saint of the day from the Menaion. As one learning about Orthodoxy and her saints, they help me to understand better the wonderful truths evident in Orthodoxy.
The cutting of (parts or the whole) of the canon is understandable in a parish setting when Matins precedes Divine Liturgy, as the morning service would be inordinately long if the whole Matins was chanted every time. However, the Slavs have wisely (in my opinion) moved Matins to the Evening service, tacking it onto the end of Vespers into an "All Night Vigil" which lasts about 2 and a half to three hours (if the canons are read in full). The morning service, consisting of Third & Sixth Hours and Divine Liturgy, is slightly shorter excluding the sermon.
What are the thoughts of OCNet posters on this?
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 10:55:18 AM »

Being the poster who bemoans the cutting out of the canons, I agree with the Slavic Tradition whole heartedly.  Dumbing down Orthodoxy for the parishes is the death toll for Orthodoxy.  ALL Orthodox Christians are called to be Saints.  How do they do this when their Churches do not teach them?  Is it too much to give God three hours a day on the weekends?  I guess (at least for the Greeks) the answer is "yes".  I believe that the Typikon change, the Calandar change, and other innovations are part of the sliding of the Orthodox Church into the final Apostacy with the Antichrist.  As we rob our people of the opportunity to hear these great teachings of the Church, we do them no service.  This is particularly damaging here in the West where we have no Orthodox society to teach our people, and the Church is all that they have. 
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 11:04:33 AM »

Being the poster who bemoans the cutting out of the canons, I agree with the Slavic Tradition whole heartedly.  Dumbing down Orthodoxy for the parishes is the death toll for Orthodoxy.  ALL Orthodox Christians are called to be Saints.  How do they do this when their Churches do not teach them?  Is it too much to give God three hours a day on the weekends?  I guess (at least for the Greeks) the answer is "yes".  I believe that the Typikon change, the Calandar change, and other innovations are part of the sliding of the Orthodox Church into the final Apostacy with the Antichrist.  As we rob our people of the opportunity to hear these great teachings of the Church, we do them no service.  This is particularly damaging here in the West where we have no Orthodox society to teach our people, and the Church is all that they have. 

I do not usually rush to the defense of Greeks. However, I object to your over-generalizations. Furthermore, you and I do not belong to the Greek Church and have no right to lob such critical grenades onto Her from the outside. I wander if you suffer from such spiritual pride that you feel empowered to issue Jeremiads such as "...sliding of the Orthodox Church into the final Apostacy with the Antichrist." In this season of the Dormition Fast, I urge you brother to reflect on your words. Perhaps, it would be better for you and those you are concerned with to use encouraging words rather than such condemnations.
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2012, 11:48:57 AM »

On a thread recently there has been some discussion on the Typikons in use in Orthodox Churches today. If there is enough interest, it would be good to explore this a little more.
As a monastic, I am familiar with the St Sabbas of Palestine Typikon which is in general use in monasteries and by the Slavic traditions, and attend a Russian parish church in the city in which I live, but I also attend a traditional Greek church which follows the Typikon reforms of the Great Church of Constantinople of 1838.
The poster on the other thread bemoaned the cutting out of the Canon. In the Greek church which I attend, usually the first Ode of the Sunday and daily saint Canon are chanted, followed by the Kontakion, which is followed by the Katavasia, after the eighth of which there follows the Song of the Theotokos and then the ninth Katavasia, exapostilaria and praises etc. Occasionally (especially on a Great or special Feast) the Sunday, Cross, Theotokos (from Sunday Octoechos) and Menaion Canons are chanted for the first 2 odes, then read in full thereafter.
As a convert introduced to the Slavic custom, I must say I love the full canons. They tell the full story of the Resurrection on Sunday, and the saint of the day from the Menaion. As one learning about Orthodoxy and her saints, they help me to understand better the wonderful truths evident in Orthodoxy.
The cutting of (parts or the whole) of the canon is understandable in a parish setting when Matins precedes Divine Liturgy, as the morning service would be inordinately long if the whole Matins was chanted every time. However, the Slavs have wisely (in my opinion) moved Matins to the Evening service, tacking it onto the end of Vespers into an "All Night Vigil" which lasts about 2 and a half to three hours (if the canons are read in full). The morning service, consisting of Third & Sixth Hours and Divine Liturgy, is slightly shorter excluding the sermon.
What are the thoughts of OCNet posters on this?
In Christ,
Adelphi
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2012, 08:40:47 PM »

Those people (e.g. Punch) who bemoan the cutting of the Canons obviously have no sense of history as to why the canons were shortened among other Liturgical changes.

Keep in mind that the Greek churches (by which all churches that follow the Greek typicon) were under the thumb of the Ottoman Sultans who, though they used the Patriarch to keep the Christian population  (the millet) in line, were still very skeptical and distrustful of the Orthodox population at large especially when they gathered to celebrate the prayer offices and the Liturgy.  The Sultans couldn't outlaw services (they knew that would be a time bomb) but instead cut the time that the Orthodox (not including monasteries) could be in church services.  As a result, there were many abbreviations and changes in the service.  Abbreviations included the use of antiphons in place of psalms 103 and 145 during the Liturgy, the kanon being reduced to the seasonal katavasiae and changes in the Orthros Gospel being read after the 8th Ode Katavasia (when most people were there)

The Vioklis Typicon of 1888 did not create the changes but codified existing practice.  For those of you who lament Greek practices and say that the slavic practice is the only true practice of the church, these changes were organic.  They weren't just put in overnight.  

I really am irritated with many Orthodox (converts and cradle) who believe (erroneously) that the Slavic practice must be used by all Orthodox churches for purity.  I oppose the slavic hegemony and I do not want Slavic practices to dominate in Greek churches.  Even the moniker Pan-Orthodox is usually code for Slavic by another name.  I do not want Slavic (typewriter) chants, Slavic styles of music (has nothing on Byzantine chant) and most especially Slavic style iconography or Jesuit influenced theology.  

I'm surprised that no one hasn't played the Orthodox card yet.

BTW, as a chanter, I'm insulted by those who regard my work that I do week in and week out as some how deficient.  You owe me an apology.  I follow what my Bishop tells me to do. If you're so right about this, Bishop BASIL will be at my parish in two weeks.  Maybe you should come by and correct him yourself.
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2012, 09:05:16 PM »

This is very interesting, above, Reply No. 4; thank you, I didn't know most of it.  (I don't agree with being so critical of Slavic practice, though, as we are one faith; however, to be honest, I'm not a fan of the music as I hear it executed in OCA parishes.  Genuine Russian choirs that I've seen on videos, I find inspiring.)
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 09:44:56 PM »

I don't mind old Russian Znameny chant, but the newer stuff by composers like Bortniansky, Archangelksy, Tchaikovsky, etc. beautiful as they are, is more distracting from the worship experience.  I speak only for myself.
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 10:01:57 PM »

Hmm, the local Greek Church vs. OCA church where I live

Vespers:
Greek: 1 hour-1 hour, 15 minutes
OCA: 30-45 minutes

Orthros/Matins:
Greek: 1 hour
OCA: Non-Existent

Hours outside Vespers, Matins, Liturgy
Greek: Non-Existent
OCA: 30 minutes

Divine Liturgy:
Greek: 1 hour, 30 minutes
OCA: 1 hour, 45 minutes

So total time at the Greek vs. the Russian-descended churches locally:
Greek: 3 hours, 30 minutes to 3 hours, 45 minutes
OCA: 2 hours, 45 minutes to 3 hours

At least locally, you get much more service time if you go to the Greek Church.
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2012, 04:48:11 AM »

My Greek EP parish vs. a Moscow Patriarchate parish I often attend:

Vespers:
EP - 1h15
MP - 35min

Midnight office:
EP - 30min
MP - N/A

Orthros:
EP - 1h30 (with most of the abbreviations)
MP - 1h

Hours:
EP - N/A
MP - 20min

Divine Liturgy:
EP - 2h15 (without Psalms 102&145, Beatitudes, or the Litany of the catechumens read aloud)
MP - 1h30
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 04:50:29 AM by Orthodox11 » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2012, 05:18:47 AM »

At the local Antiochian parish there is Vespers on Saturday, Matins and divine liturgy on Sunday, and then weekday services varies from month to month. There are usually a Paraklesis to the Theotokos service a couple times a month, there are usually several weekday matins services a couple times a month, and there might be 1-2 Divine Liturgies a week on weekdays. There's also Bible services, a women's group meeting, and other stuff going on. All in all the parish probably averages about 5-6 hours of services, in addition to other activities.
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« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2012, 09:22:27 AM »

This is a very interesting thread. I hope it attracts other posters. I'm a little concerned by the "which is better" aspect, though. As Orthodox Christians it is never either/or. I can attend my OCA home parish, but we regularly celebrate together with the local Greek, ROCOR, and Antiochian parishes for things like the 9-11 memorial, the Sunday of Orthodxy, and Presanctified Liturgies during Lent. I find the timelessness of Byzantine chant and the deep emotional piety of Znameny chant equally moving. The music of the Georgian church blows my mind, both as a Christian and as a musician. I feel sad that the various Western churches haven't managed even to share the diverse experiences of their respective traditions, which include everything from the Gregorian chant of the still unified church, to Josquin, Vittoria, Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, etc.

If you don't care for Bortniansky, go to a church where they sing something else. The music is prayer, not a performance.

What I am saying--badly--is how blessed we are to be able to attend any Orthodox church and worship together. It brings home all the more starkly the deep tragedy of 1054.
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« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2012, 10:15:39 AM »

one thing I have to ask in this Greek vs. Russian thing going on here:

How much added time in the Greek churches because of the proliferation of long melismas in Byzantine chant vs. practically melisma-less Obikhoid tones/plainchant often found in Russian descended churches? 
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2012, 10:27:53 AM »

How much added time in the Greek churches because of the proliferation of long melismas in Byzantine chant vs. practically melisma-less Obikhoid tones/plainchant often found in Russian descended churches?  

A lot. The point is that Punch's suggestion that the abbreviations of Greek services are down to laziness doesn't hold much water when the abbreviated Greek services often last much longer than the "fuller" Russian ones. The comparison above isn't a suggestion that "longer is better."
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2012, 10:35:59 AM »

This is a very interesting thread. I hope it attracts other posters. I'm a little concerned by the "which is better" aspect, though. As Orthodox Christians it is never either/or. I can attend my OCA home parish, but we regularly celebrate together with the local Greek, ROCOR, and Antiochian parishes for things like the 9-11 memorial, the Sunday of Orthodxy, and Presanctified Liturgies during Lent. I find the timelessness of Byzantine chant and the deep emotional piety of Znameny chant equally moving. The music of the Georgian church blows my mind, both as a Christian and as a musician. I feel sad that the various Western churches haven't managed even to share the diverse experiences of their respective traditions, which include everything from the Gregorian chant of the still unified church, to Josquin, Vittoria, Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, etc.

If you don't care for Bortniansky, go to a church where they sing something else. The music is prayer, not a performance.

What I am saying--badly--is how blessed we are to be able to attend any Orthodox church and worship together. It brings home all the more starkly the deep tragedy of 1054.

Amen. Amen. Amen. Well said. I doubt that there is a scorecard with a timekeeper keeping track of the length of your services at the entrance to the Eternal Kingdom. I do suspect that having been overly concerned about the same may present one with a problem at that point!
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« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2012, 11:01:26 AM »

This is a very interesting thread. I hope it attracts other posters. I'm a little concerned by the "which is better" aspect, though. As Orthodox Christians it is never either/or. I can attend my OCA home parish, but we regularly celebrate together with the local Greek, ROCOR, and Antiochian parishes for things like the 9-11 memorial, the Sunday of Orthodxy, and Presanctified Liturgies during Lent. I find the timelessness of Byzantine chant and the deep emotional piety of Znameny chant equally moving. The music of the Georgian church blows my mind, both as a Christian and as a musician. I feel sad that the various Western churches haven't managed even to share the diverse experiences of their respective traditions, which include everything from the Gregorian chant of the still unified church, to Josquin, Vittoria, Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, etc.

If you don't care for Bortniansky, go to a church where they sing something else. The music is prayer, not a performance.

What I am saying--badly--is how blessed we are to be able to attend any Orthodox church and worship together. It brings home all the more starkly the deep tragedy of 1054.

Amen. Amen. Amen. Well said. I doubt that there is a scorecard with a timekeeper keeping track of the length of your services at the entrance to the Eternal Kingdom. I do suspect that having been overly concerned about the same may present one with a problem at that point!

Plus, no one is stopping us from praying on our own or in small groups--naturally, with the guidance and support of our spiritual directors. Several editions of the Horologion are available, including in the Athonite tradition. Both Greek and Slavic Menaia are available as well, and there's a huge amount of liturgical resources in all traditions of Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy on the Web. The Oriental threads on this site have introduced me to many of the glories of the Armenian church, and for those who want length, check out the Coptic Agpeya. It, too, is available online or in Kindle Edition.
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« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2012, 11:06:49 AM »

How much added time in the Greek churches because of the proliferation of long melismas in Byzantine chant vs. practically melisma-less Obikhoid tones/plainchant often found in Russian descended churches?  

A lot. The point is that Punch's suggestion that the abbreviations of Greek services are down to laziness doesn't hold much water when the abbreviated Greek services often last much longer than the "fuller" Russian ones. The comparison above isn't a suggestion that "longer is better."

I wasn't going off PUnch's point, rather the comparison of times listed by Nigula and Orthodox11, particularly the former who outright said that one gets more service time at the Greek church vis-a-vis the Russian one as if that's a good thing in and of itself.  

At least that's how I read it.
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« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2012, 11:09:48 AM »

The hard copy version of the Agpeya is also available either as a pocket version (less than five bucks), from

Keemy Brothers
PO Box 397
Hayward, CA 94543

Or book format (I don't know the price--I got mine second-hand) from

Coptologia Publications
PO Box 325
Don Mills Postal Station
Don Mills, Ontario Canada
M3C 2S2

The General Menaion is available electronically from www.st-sergius.org, and the complete Octoechos is available on the OCA Canadian Archdiocese Web site.

Last, but far from least, the incredible library of Web resources at www.orthodox.net. It is Slavic in focus, but it's a real trove. I round thé English texts for Optina cell rule that I practice on that site

This is just a mere hint at what's out there.
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« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2012, 03:35:14 PM »

one thing I have to ask in this Greek vs. Russian thing going on here:

How much added time in the Greek churches because of the proliferation of long melismas in Byzantine chant vs. practically melisma-less Obikhoid tones/plainchant often found in Russian descended churches? 

The "length" of the service has less to do with the matter than the content.  If the canon has been removed from the Matins so that the cantor can spend fifteen minutes wailing out one word in Byzantine Chant, that is not good.  So it is content that concerns me, not just the length.  I agree with your assessment.  Length can be deceiving.  The number of people communing alone can add considerable time to the Liturgy, far more time than actually singing the verses between the Beatitudes.
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2012, 08:16:49 AM »

What interesting responses!
As a convert chanter in a Russian Church, I was weaned on well-done Bortniansky-type hymnody, and had exposure to Arabic chant which I really love and of which I have some excellent recordings; the Greek chant I first heard was not well done, and I only had one or two good recordings. Now, however, I attend a Greek church for weekday services where the chant is very well done (not always so on the Sundays I'm afraid). The Greek has grown on me and I just think all Orthodox chant, including Znameny, if well done, is beautiful.
Isa, in our Russian Church, the Priest turns on all the lights and opens the doors before exclaiming {"Glory to You [or, usually "Thee," if even in English] who has shown us the light!"}, so our church is ablaze, albeit dark outside. I agree that it's not as good as peeking at the dawn and growing light out the window though.
There is a huge temptation for some chanters to make of the hymnody a 'performance', forcing the voice and singing far too loud without any dynamics. This applies to all churches I have attended. It definitely distracts from the beauty of the service.
It seems that, whilst I also bemoan the cutting of the canon and scramble around my English Menaion trying to find where the chanters are in the Greek, I understand the necessity of abbreviations, although I might choose to omit different parts of the service, preferring others.
In short, I am very comfortable in any Orthodox Church with any time-schedule as long as I can follow the service.
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2012, 08:41:27 AM »

What interesting responses!
As a convert chanter in a Russian Church, I was weaned on well-done Bortniansky-type hymnody, and had exposure to Arabic chant which I really love and of which I have some excellent recordings; the Greek chant I first heard was not well done, and I only had one or two good recordings. Now, however, I attend a Greek church for weekday services where the chant is very well done (not always so on the Sundays I'm afraid). The Greek has grown on me and I just think all Orthodox chant, including Znameny, if well done, is beautiful.
Isa, in our Russian Church, the Priest turns on all the lights and opens the doors before exclaiming {"Glory to You [or, usually "Thee," if even in English] who has shown us the light!"}, so our church is ablaze, albeit dark outside. I agree that it's not as good as peeking at the dawn and growing light out the window though.
There is a huge temptation for some chanters to make of the hymnody a 'performance', forcing the voice and singing far too loud without any dynamics. This applies to all churches I have attended. It definitely distracts from the beauty of the service.
It seems that, whilst I also bemoan the cutting of the canon and scramble around my English Menaion trying to find where the chanters are in the Greek, I understand the necessity of abbreviations, although I might choose to omit different parts of the service, preferring others.
In short, I am very comfortable in any Orthodox Church with any time-schedule as long as I can follow the service.

What a wonderful statement, we should all strive for the same approach! Thank you!
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« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2012, 06:37:42 PM »

How much added time in the Greek churches because of the proliferation of long melismas in Byzantine chant vs. practically melisma-less Obikhoid tones/plainchant often found in Russian descended churches?  

A lot. The point is that Punch's suggestion that the abbreviations of Greek services are down to laziness doesn't hold much water when the abbreviated Greek services often last much longer than the "fuller" Russian ones. The comparison above isn't a suggestion that "longer is better."

That was my point as well, just not as eloquently said. :-)
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