Author Topic: Adding troparia to the DL  (Read 908 times)

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Offline genesisone

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Adding troparia to the DL
« on: February 17, 2014, 03:35:54 PM »
My priest has asked us chanters to add to the usual troparia for the upcoming Sunday (Meatfare) a troparion that he has pulled from Vespers "O only Creator, who directeth all in the depth..." (Nassar, p 620). It does not appear in the notes for the Divine Liturgy published by the Archdiocese. We will, of course, follow our priest's instructions  I know that some things can be added/subtracted/modified for valid pastoral reasons. So my question is, how much leeway does a priest have in doing this sort of thing?

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 08:32:11 PM »
My priest has asked us chanters to add to the usual troparia for the upcoming Sunday (Meatfare) a troparion that he has pulled from Vespers "O only Creator, who directeth all in the depth..." (Nassar, p 620). It does not appear in the notes for the Divine Liturgy published by the Archdiocese. We will, of course, follow our priest's instructions  I know that some things can be added/subtracted/modified for valid pastoral reasons. So my question is, how much leeway does a priest have in doing this sort of thing?
Did he give a reason? I'm interested in the topic more broadly as I am generally uncomfortable with deviations without a good reason, regardless of the jurisdiction. It is getting a little old, IMO, to hear priests tell me "Well, there are different traditions" to justify what they do liturgically, sacramentally, et al. that differs from established norms.

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2014, 01:55:21 AM »
Then don't sing it. Move into the kontakion as usual. You can ask him why he wants this sung. That's your best bet, ask him. I've seen too much improvisation in my day.....
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 01:57:35 AM by username! »

Offline genesisone

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 10:28:38 AM »
The two who have replied seem to be thinking along the same lines as I. If he says, "Sing it", I will do so - the responsibility lies squarely with him. I will be seeing him tomorrow - and not alone, another chanter will be with me - and I will find a way to ask him politely. And yes, I'll let you know.

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 11:54:46 AM »
The two who have replied seem to be thinking along the same lines as I. If he says, "Sing it", I will do so - the responsibility lies squarely with him. I will be seeing him tomorrow - and not alone, another chanter will be with me - and I will find a way to ask him politely. And yes, I'll let you know.

Free advice from an experienced PK and cantor: Smile politely and simply ask him, "Thanks Father for the heads up on the extra Troparion, while we were practicing it, we were wondering why we're including a special Troparion this week. Is there a special commemoration of some sort? I know people (or someone  in particular) are going to ask me so I figured I'd ask you so I know the answer." Simple, to the point and respectful.

Offline genesisone

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2014, 01:11:18 PM »
The two who have replied seem to be thinking along the same lines as I. If he says, "Sing it", I will do so - the responsibility lies squarely with him. I will be seeing him tomorrow - and not alone, another chanter will be with me - and I will find a way to ask him politely. And yes, I'll let you know.

Free advice from an experienced PK and cantor: Smile politely and simply ask him, "Thanks Father for the heads up on the extra Troparion, while we were practicing it, we were wondering why we're including a special Troparion this week. Is there a special commemoration of some sort? I know people (or someone  in particular) are going to ask me so I figured I'd ask you so I know the answer." Simple, to the point and respectful.
Thanks for the helpful wording. I do know someone who often questions why we do things such and such a way (besides me  ;)).

About an hour ago, my priest called to postpone our meeting for tomorrow as he will be in hospital for day surgery (no further details given). I assured him of my prayers and pass that request on to you. I really don't know the problem, but he has been dropping little hints in the last three or four months that something is up.

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2014, 02:14:10 PM »
The two who have replied seem to be thinking along the same lines as I. If he says, "Sing it", I will do so - the responsibility lies squarely with him. I will be seeing him tomorrow - and not alone, another chanter will be with me - and I will find a way to ask him politely. And yes, I'll let you know.

Free advice from an experienced PK and cantor: Smile politely and simply ask him, "Thanks Father for the heads up on the extra Troparion, while we were practicing it, we were wondering why we're including a special Troparion this week. Is there a special commemoration of some sort? I know people (or someone  in particular) are going to ask me so I figured I'd ask you so I know the answer." Simple, to the point and respectful.
Thanks for the helpful wording. I do know someone who often questions why we do things such and such a way (besides me  ;)).

About an hour ago, my priest called to postpone our meeting for tomorrow as he will be in hospital for day surgery (no further details given). I assured him of my prayers and pass that request on to you. I really don't know the problem, but he has been dropping little hints in the last three or four months that something is up.

Lord, have mercy. I pray nothing too serious is up with his health.

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2014, 02:38:02 PM »
My priest has asked us chanters to add to the usual troparia for the upcoming Sunday (Meatfare) a troparion that he has pulled from Vespers "O only Creator, who directeth all in the depth..." (Nassar, p 620). It does not appear in the notes for the Divine Liturgy published by the Archdiocese. We will, of course, follow our priest's instructions  I know that some things can be added/subtracted/modified for valid pastoral reasons. So my question is, how much leeway does a priest have in doing this sort of thing?

To add one troparion from an approved book to the others for the day?  I can't see why he wouldn't have a lot of leeway.  Generally, in cases like this, the problem is subtraction, not addition.     
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2014, 01:52:47 PM »
I have encountered this a lot as a chanter.  I have found that priests do this because so few people attend Vespers or Orthros and so they add a hymn or two from those services for the education of the laity.  It's well-intentioned pastorally, I'm sure, but I have to agree with others that this upsets the good order of the church.  If you do ask him, which is fine, make sure you do it in private. I've gotten in trouble because I have a problem holding my tongue and will ask in front of the other chanters which looks like I'm questioning my priest's authority.

On a personal note, I have only seen this happening in the Antiochian jurisdiction, where too many priests (often converts) add things for the enlightening of the faithful because too many don't attend Vespers and/or Orthros.
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Offline frjohnmorris

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2014, 12:51:07 AM »
I have encountered this a lot as a chanter.  I have found that priests do this because so few people attend Vespers or Orthros and so they add a hymn or two from those services for the education of the laity.  It's well-intentioned pastorally, I'm sure, but I have to agree with others that this upsets the good order of the church.  If you do ask him, which is fine, make sure you do it in private. I've gotten in trouble because I have a problem holding my tongue and will ask in front of the other chanters which looks like I'm questioning my priest's authority.

On a personal note, I have only seen this happening in the Antiochian jurisdiction, where too many priests (often converts) add things for the enlightening of the faithful because too many don't attend Vespers and/or Orthros.

It is not supposed to be happening in the Antiochian Archdiocese. Metropolitian Philip and our Bishops are very insistent that the services be conducted correctly according to the Typikon. The Typikon gives very detailed instructions giving the proper Troparia, Stichera, etc, for every service under every possible circumstances. For example there are very complex rules for how the Feast of the Annunciation is served depending on what day and week of Lent it is, or if the Feast falls on Palm Sunday or Pascha. Fr. Elia Shalhoub of The Antiochian Archdiocese prepares a Liturgical Guide based on the instructions given in the Typikon  every year.    Every week the Antiochian Archdiocese also publishes the text of the services for Saturday Evening Great Vespers, Sunday morning Matins and the changeable parts of the Divine Liturgy with all the parts from the Horologion, Book of the Eight Tones, Menaion and when needed Lenten Triodion and Pentecostaion on the Archdiocesan web site to insure uniform adherence to the Typikon in our parishes. It also means that our chanters do not have to juggle all the books needed for a proper celebration of Vespers and Matins. We follow the Greek Typikon without the changes made in 1888. For example we chant the Matins Gospel in its traditional place before the canon, not after the 8th ode of the canon as indicated in the 1888 Geek Typikon. You can download a pdf file containing an English translation of the entire Typikon at http://almoutran.com/pdf/typikon.pdf It contains notes indicating pre 1888 practice as well as notes on differences between the 1888 Greek Typikon and the Typikon of St. Sabbas.

Fr. John W. Morris
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 12:55:32 AM by frjohnmorris »

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2014, 12:58:00 AM »
I have encountered this a lot as a chanter.  I have found that priests do this because so few people attend Vespers or Orthros and so they add a hymn or two from those services for the education of the laity.  It's well-intentioned pastorally, I'm sure, but I have to agree with others that this upsets the good order of the church.  If you do ask him, which is fine, make sure you do it in private. I've gotten in trouble because I have a problem holding my tongue and will ask in front of the other chanters which looks like I'm questioning my priest's authority.

On a personal note, I have only seen this happening in the Antiochian jurisdiction, where too many priests (often converts) add things for the enlightening of the faithful because too many don't attend Vespers and/or Orthros.

It is not supposed to be happening in the Antiochian Archdiocese. Metropolitian Philip and our Bishops are very insistent that the services be conducted correctly according to the Typikon. The Typikon gives very detailed instructions giving the proper Troparia, Stichera, etc, for every service under every possible circumstances. For example there are very complex rules for how the Feast of the Annunciation is served depending on what day and week of Lent it is, or if the Feast falls on Palm Sunday or Pascha. Fr. Elia Shalhoub of The Antiochian Archdiocese prepares a Liturgical Guide based on the instructions given in the Typikon  every year.    Every week the Antiochian Archdiocese also publishes the text of the services for Saturday Evening Great Vespers, Sunday morning Matins and the changeable parts of the Divine Liturgy with all the parts from the Horologion, Book of the Eight Tones, Menaion and when needed Lenten Triodion and Pentecostaion on the Archdiocesan web site to insure uniform adherence to the Typikon in our parishes. It also means that our chanters do not have to juggle all the books needed for a proper celebration of Vespers and Matins. We follow the Greek Typikon without the changes made in 1888. For example we chant the Matins Gospel in its traditional place before the canon, not after the 8th ode of the canon as indicated in the 1888 Geek Typikon. You can download a pdf file containing an English translation of the entire Typikon at http://almoutran.com/pdf/typikon.pdf It contains notes indicating pre 1888 practice as well as notes on differences between the 1888 Greek Typikon and the Typikon of St. Sabbas.

Fr. John W. Morris

I can also say from my decades of experience in both Greek and Russian jurisdictions that I have never encountered additions outside those appointed from the typikon. Subtractions, perhaps, but never additions.
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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2014, 01:15:59 AM »
the 1888 Geek Typikon

What a great typo! 
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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 01:32:09 AM »
My priest has asked us chanters to add to the usual troparia for the upcoming Sunday (Meatfare) a troparion that he has pulled from Vespers "O only Creator, who directeth all in the depth..." (Nassar, p 620). It does not appear in the notes for the Divine Liturgy published by the Archdiocese. We will, of course, follow our priest's instructions  I know that some things can be added/subtracted/modified for valid pastoral reasons. So my question is, how much leeway does a priest have in doing this sort of thing?

To add one troparion from an approved book to the others for the day?  I can't see why he wouldn't have a lot of leeway.  Generally, in cases like this, the problem is subtraction, not addition.      
Someone call up the SSPX and let them know that we are the ones with real liturgical problems.  :D
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 01:36:48 AM by Antonis »
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2014, 02:45:16 PM »
Thanks everyone for the replies. As it turned out that I would not see my priest face to face until Sunday, I did email him with the question (with help from podkarpatska - thanks). He answered that he wanted to include the troparion for the Saturday of the Dead because we are simply unable to offer a service on that day. To me, that seems quite reasonable, though Fr John Morris does make a good point about the clarity of Antiochian Archdiocese instructions. I am hoping that my priest makes some reference to that troparion in his homily and connects it with the Sunday of the Last Judgement.

I do agree with those who said that in general it's the subtractions that are troublesome.

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2014, 05:43:10 PM »
Father, I have tht typicon bookmarked.  Very useful, though I still prefer the Greek language typicon.  You're right that these variations are not supposed to be happening, but the fact Is that they do. I don't think that the AANA standardizing the typicon notes or all of her dioceses was going to alleviate that problem.  I've also noticed a consitent number of errors in the Sunday liturgical guides that are on the website.  I don't see how a standardization can or even Gould be enforced, but, like I said, the inclusion of more, usually from the Vespers and/or Orthros, stems from a desire to really bring the heart of each feast/commemoration to people who would otherwise miss out on it.  Rather than do that, the priests should encourage more attendance t those services rather than make the DL a mini-Vespers and/or Orthros.
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Offline frjohnmorris

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Re: Adding troparia to the DL
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2014, 12:01:26 AM »
Father, I have tht typicon bookmarked.  Very useful, though I still prefer the Greek language typicon.  You're right that these variations are not supposed to be happening, but the fact Is that they do. I don't think that the AANA standardizing the typicon notes or all of her dioceses was going to alleviate that problem.  I've also noticed a consitent number of errors in the Sunday liturgical guides that are on the website.  I don't see how a standardization can or even Gould be enforced, but, like I said, the inclusion of more, usually from the Vespers and/or Orthros, stems from a desire to really bring the heart of each feast/commemoration to people who would otherwise miss out on it.  Rather than do that, the priests should encourage more attendance t those services rather than make the DL a mini-Vespers and/or Orthros.

We were told at the Archdiocesan Convention in Houston last summer than an effort is being made to correct any mistakes and insure that every liturgical guidance published by the Archdiocese will be correct and consistent. The Typikon is quite specific and covers all possibilities. When I edited the English translation, I used outline form to make it easier to follow.

Fr. John W. Morris