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Author Topic: Liturgical Modifications  (Read 3088 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 01, 2013, 04:51:46 AM »

What would you modify (update/reform/change) to our liturgy? I for one would make it more diverse and thematic based on different feast days (completely unique from sunday to sunday and from feast day to feast day).
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 06:32:22 AM »

Diversity is served well by the different apolytikia and kontakia for each feast day. Why sacrifice continuity? It's worship, not performance art.
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 06:34:37 AM »

Do you want to make choir directors more bald than they are now?
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 06:51:38 AM »

Diversity is served well by the different apolytikia and kontakia for each feast day. Why sacrifice continuity? It's worship, not performance art.

This. 'Nuff said.  Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 08:16:08 AM »

Modification worked out so well for our RCC friends...(I don't mean using the vernacular by that.)
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 08:28:39 AM »

Do you want to make choir directors more bald than they are now?
Please not the women choir directors.
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 09:34:39 AM »


^ Ha ha ha!

The Feast Days ARE set apart by addition of certain hymns.  Additionally, the building itself reflects the "specialty" of the day...Christmas greenery and twinkling lights for the Nativity, green branches and herbs for Pentecost, black draping for Great Lent, Lilies and white for Pascha, etc.


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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 09:53:37 AM »

Vespers and Matins are very different every day!   
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2013, 11:14:28 AM »

Nothing. Modifications annoy me and hinder me from praying.
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013, 11:24:52 AM »

We had a liturgical modification just this past Sunday. It was called the Liturgy of St. Basil.  angel
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2013, 02:33:38 PM »

I would introduce congregational singing (some parishes are already there), and introduce musical instruments.  As far as the wording or form of the Liturgy, I would change nothing in the Slavic Liturgy.
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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2013, 03:31:01 PM »

I have to hand it to the OP...this is a much more subtle April Fool's joke than the other thread about Isa becoming archbishop of Chicago or whatever.
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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2013, 04:05:29 PM »

I would introduce congregational singing (some parishes are already there), and introduce musical instruments.  As far as the wording or form of the Liturgy, I would change nothing in the Slavic Liturgy.

....you had me going with the Musical Instruments....until I remembered it's April Fool's day!   angel
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« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2013, 04:52:16 PM »

Besides being of bad taste and not even funny your jokes are inappropriate, esspecially in topics where serious religious subjects are started.
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2013, 04:59:13 PM »


You do have a point.

I'm not sure Punch meant it as a joke, though.  I only interpreted it that way.

...and still hope he was joking.  I can't even imagine musical instruments in church. 
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« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2013, 05:02:34 PM »

What would you modify (update/reform/change) to our liturgy?

I'd add clowns, elephants and liturgical puppets.
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« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2013, 05:05:29 PM »

I meant that in general terms and if my previous post would of past Moderation that would of been more clearer and more substantially expressed. That last phrase is a continuation of that post. An idea that slip from it.
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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2013, 05:06:23 PM »

I meant that in general terms and if my previous post would of past Moderation that would of been more clearer and more substantially expressed. That last phrase is a continuation of that post. An idea that slip from it.

Your posts didn't pass because of ad hominem.
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« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2013, 05:43:09 PM »

Topic locked until April Fool's Day is over so a serious discussion can commence.
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« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2013, 09:27:00 AM »


You do have a point.
I'm not sure Punch meant it as a joke, though.  I only interpreted it that way.
...and still hope he was joking.  I can't even imagine musical instruments in church. 

No, I did not take this as an April Fools topic, so I answered as I believe.  I not only can imagine instruments in Church, I have played them in such a setting.  Some of my favorite music is Venetian Church music played on 16th Century instrumentation.  I also miss the celebration of Christ's rising from the dead being ushered in by the sound of trumpets and trombones.  I wonder when, on the last day, when angels announce the second coming of our Lord with the blast of trumpets, if the Orthodox will move over to Christ's left hand in protest (I think that I am joking with that statement).  From Psalm 80:

 Exsultate Deo adjutori nostro;
jubilate Deo Jacob. 
Sumite psalmum, et date tympanum;
psalterium jucundum cum cithara.
Buccinate in neomenia tuba,
in insigni die solemnitatis vestræ: 
quia præceptum in Israël est,
et judicium Deo Jacob.

I left it in the Latin (vs 2-5) so anyone can use whatever translation they want.  But then again, as I have found many times on this Forum, we really don’t follow that book and tend to make fun of those that do.  So, I am sure that there will be the usual statements from those on the forum of “that is not what those words mean”, “they are not talking about worship here”, “these words cannot be taken literally and must be interpreted as talking about the ever virginity of the Theotokos” and the like (I may be joking here, too).

No, Liza, I was not joking.  But please have some patience with me.  I was a “sola scriptura” heretic twice as long as I was Orthodox, and not all of my former beliefs and understanding were washed away in the trough of baptism.  I also came from a Church that was well known for its music and congregational singing.  I answered the question as it was put to us because this is what I believe.  We don’t have to worry about me ever being in the position to implement my answer.


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« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2013, 10:28:39 AM »

I didn't take it as a joke and while I disagree, I understand Punch's comment. It bugs me when Orthodox deride, even if it is unintentionally, honorable western Christian traditions such as the glorious and awe-inspiring music Punch oftentimes reminds us about. We don't like misinformed western critiques about our traditions. We all tend to forget that despite periods of separation over time for well over (and beyond) the first millennium, East and West were one and accepted their various approaches within the context of the one Holy, Apostolic and Catholic faith - the one we hold to today.  If we didn't believe that why then have a Western Rite at all?
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« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2013, 11:09:15 AM »

We had a liturgical modification just this past Sunday. It was called the Liturgy of St. Basil.  angel

And one every Sunday called St John Chrysostom's Liturgy.

If Inwould change anything it'd be:
Ridding all churches of pews except along walls
Ridding all churches (except W Rite) of organs
Making the Priests say every prayer they're supposed to, and aloud
Making the choirs quit drawing out hymns unnecessarily to cover up a Priests long prayers.
Adding some beautiful elements from various traditions into parish liturgy/services like swinging or chandeliers during the Polyeleos and at Pascha, the ringing of bells at the Anaphora and It is Truly Meet (even if its just a small bell), the singing of "Most Holy Theotokos Save Us" at the "Commemorating our Most Holy..." At the end of a litany, the spreading of basil leaves at certain days, the throwing of Rose petals on Pascha, the placing of palm leaves on the iconostasis on Palm Sunday, roses on the iconostasis at Pascha and evergreens on the iconostasis at Nativity, and the blessing of local bodies of water at Theophany.0
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« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2013, 11:44:25 AM »


That's all?   Shocked
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« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2013, 03:45:19 PM »

I heard latins (or protestants?) are allowed to drink beer one hour before they take communion, and their masses last for only 25-30 minutes. That's what happens when you start changing your canons.  
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« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2013, 04:01:58 PM »

I'd ban opera-like singing from churches. My last St. Basil's lasted 2 hours.
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« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2013, 04:52:44 PM »

I heard latins (or protestants?) are allowed to drink beer one hour before they take communion, and their masses last for only 25-30 minutes. That's what happens when you start changing your canons.  
Given that most Protestants do not have canons, they can probably drink beer in the Church parking lot on the way in.  BTW - I always get a kick out of statements like "That's what happens when you start changing your canons" because we ignore a good number of them anyway.
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« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2013, 04:53:41 PM »

I'd ban opera-like singing from churches. My last St. Basil's lasted 2 hours.

That is about how long ours lasts without opera like singing.
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« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2013, 05:10:04 PM »

BTW - I always get a kick out of statements like "That's what happens when you start changing your canons" because we ignore a good number of them anyway.

Well, I read that sometimes Orthodox Church omit some canons due to impracticability of their fulfilment in modern (given) conditions, but otherwise we don't change anything intentionally.
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« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2013, 05:25:43 PM »

I didn't take it as a joke and while I disagree, I understand Punch's comment. It bugs me when Orthodox deride, even if it is unintentionally, honorable western Christian traditions such as the glorious and awe-inspiring music Punch oftentimes reminds us about. We don't like misinformed western critiques about our traditions. We all tend to forget that despite periods of separation over time for well over (and beyond) the first millennium, East and West were one and accepted their various approaches within the context of the one Holy, Apostolic and Catholic faith - the one we hold to today.  If we didn't believe that why then have a Western Rite at all?

Western liturgy is traditionally a capella. Post-Reformation instrumentals from Lutheran composers were never part of the "one Holy, Apostolic and Catholic faith."
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« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2013, 05:36:06 PM »

I'd ban opera-like singing from churches. My last St. Basil's lasted 2 hours.

Agreed on unnecessarily "prolonged" singing.  The Basil Liturgy here has simple singing. 
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« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2013, 05:53:37 PM »

I'd ban opera-like singing from churches. My last St. Basil's lasted 2 hours.

Do you mean that two hours is too long for your Basilian liturgy? I ask because the Liturgy of St. Basil is the most commonly celebrated liturgy in the Coptic Orthodox Church, but it's generally 3-3.5 hours (here in Albuquerque we start at 8:30 and conclude somewhere just before noon, usually). There was one time we did it quicker than that because the priest had to leave early (though we also started earlier than usual), but I think two hours would be very unusual indeed. I would wonder where a bunch of the liturgy went.
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« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2013, 06:40:41 PM »

Coptic Orthodoxy really is the most hardcore variant of Christianity out there.
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« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2013, 07:13:09 PM »

I'd ban opera-like singing from churches. My last St. Basil's lasted 2 hours.

Do you mean that two hours is too long for your Basilian liturgy? I ask because the Liturgy of St. Basil is the most commonly celebrated liturgy in the Coptic Orthodox Church, but it's generally 3-3.5 hours (here in Albuquerque we start at 8:30 and conclude somewhere just before noon, usually). There was one time we did it quicker than that because the priest had to leave early (though we also started earlier than usual), but I think two hours would be very unusual indeed. I would wonder where a bunch of the liturgy went.

Maybe you're tacking on the full Matins? Whenever Matins is attached to a liturgy that's the general length, and that was the common practice at my old parish in Kansas City.
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« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2013, 07:43:42 PM »

Coptic Orthodoxy really is the most hardcore variant of Christianity out there.

Have you seen their icons? And I ain't just talk about those which blink.

Calm down with the that schism can beat up that schism contest.
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« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2013, 08:01:36 PM »

My last St. Basil's lasted 2 hours.

Our St. John Chrysostom's lasts that long on a regular Sunday. The singing during St. Basil's is drawn out, but only to cover the silent prayers which are often still being read when the choir is done.
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« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2013, 08:40:02 PM »

I don't know.

Maybe you're tacking on the full Matins? Whenever Matins is attached to a liturgy that's the general length, and that was the common practice at my old parish in Kansas City.

I don't know. If I am, in that case the liturgy proper would still be three hours, though in my experience there is no such separation, since the Raising of the Incense is not offered separately from the liturgy as it might have been in the old days (see this explanation, for instance; I know that our priests certainly treat them as one whole unit...I arrived at 9 am once instead of 8:30 because of car trouble and everyone was concerned that I was "late", even going so far as to call me twice while I was on the way there; maybe my church is full of weirdos, I dunno Undecided).

So the question still stands, I guess. I'm just curious because I don't know Byzantine practice. I assume that our texts for this liturgy probably differ at least a bit (e.g., I doubt you guys are commemorating "Pensakh Dioscoros"...at least not since Timothy III Salophakiolos got himself in trouble all those centuries ago), but a whole hour shorter... Huh I mean, I know we like to elongate our "Ameens", but there must be more to it than that.
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« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2013, 09:50:19 PM »

I'd ban opera-like singing from churches. My last St. Basil's lasted 2 hours.

Do you mean that two hours is too long for your Basilian liturgy? I ask because the Liturgy of St. Basil is the most commonly celebrated liturgy in the Coptic Orthodox Church, but it's generally 3-3.5 hours (here in Albuquerque we start at 8:30 and conclude somewhere just before noon, usually). There was one time we did it quicker than that because the priest had to leave early (though we also started earlier than usual), but I think two hours would be very unusual indeed. I would wonder where a bunch of the liturgy went.

Maybe you're tacking on the full Matins? Whenever Matins is attached to a liturgy that's the general length, and that was the common practice at my old parish in Kansas City.

The Coptic services are that long. There more readings. Instead of the opening litanies and antiphons there is a long series of intercessions. The proskomedia is part of the liturgy.
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« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2013, 10:02:40 PM »

I didn't take it as a joke and while I disagree, I understand Punch's comment. It bugs me when Orthodox deride, even if it is unintentionally, honorable western Christian traditions such as the glorious and awe-inspiring music Punch oftentimes reminds us about. We don't like misinformed western critiques about our traditions. We all tend to forget that despite periods of separation over time for well over (and beyond) the first millennium, East and West were one and accepted their various approaches within the context of the one Holy, Apostolic and Catholic faith - the one we hold to today.  If we didn't believe that why then have a Western Rite at all?

Western liturgy is traditionally a capella. Post-Reformation instrumentals from Lutheran composers were never part of the "one Holy, Apostolic and Catholic faith."

BS.  You need to read up a bit on your history of music in the Church.  The Germans recieved much of their musical training from the Italians.  In fact, much of the best of the German music, Lutheran and Roman Catholic, was composed by men that were 1) trained in Italy, or 2) trained by men that were trained in Italy.  Musical instrumentation (organ) was introduced into the PRE-SCHISM Roman Church by Pope Vitalian in around 670 AD.  Unless I failed all of my history classes, this is WELL before the time of Martin Luther.
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« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2013, 10:11:59 PM »

My last St. Basil's lasted 2 hours.

Our St. John Chrysostom's lasts that long on a regular Sunday. The singing during St. Basil's is drawn out, but only to cover the silent prayers which are often still being read when the choir is done.

That is the way that it is done in my parish, too.  Heck, even the local Antiochian parish runs about 2 hrs for a Chrysostom Liturgy.  They cut some prayers out that are used in the Slavic Liturgy (common Greek practiced), but have nearly EVERYONE commune, which takes some time.
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« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2013, 10:35:46 PM »

I'd ban opera-like singing from churches. My last St. Basil's lasted 2 hours.

Do you mean that two hours is too long for your Basilian liturgy? I ask because the Liturgy of St. Basil is the most commonly celebrated liturgy in the Coptic Orthodox Church, but it's generally 3-3.5 hours (here in Albuquerque we start at 8:30 and conclude somewhere just before noon, usually). There was one time we did it quicker than that because the priest had to leave early (though we also started earlier than usual), but I think two hours would be very unusual indeed. I would wonder where a bunch of the liturgy went.

Maybe you're tacking on the full Matins? Whenever Matins is attached to a liturgy that's the general length, and that was the common practice at my old parish in Kansas City.

The Coptic services are that long. There more readings. Instead of the opening litanies and antiphons there is a long series of intercessions. The proskomedia is part of the liturgy.

Right.  If we were to tack on the service of Entrance, vesting, Proskomedia as part of the "public" Liturgy, then we would be tacking on at least another hour.  Instead, the Greeks 'cover' this with Matins and the Slavs "cover" it, or at least its later part, with Hours.   
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« Reply #40 on: April 02, 2013, 11:05:31 PM »

I didn't take it as a joke and while I disagree, I understand Punch's comment. It bugs me when Orthodox deride, even if it is unintentionally, honorable western Christian traditions such as the glorious and awe-inspiring music Punch oftentimes reminds us about. We don't like misinformed western critiques about our traditions. We all tend to forget that despite periods of separation over time for well over (and beyond) the first millennium, East and West were one and accepted their various approaches within the context of the one Holy, Apostolic and Catholic faith - the one we hold to today.  If we didn't believe that why then have a Western Rite at all?

Western liturgy is traditionally a capella. Post-Reformation instrumentals from Lutheran composers were never part of the "one Holy, Apostolic and Catholic faith."

BS.  You need to read up a bit on your history of music in the Church.  The Germans recieved much of their musical training from the Italians.  In fact, much of the best of the German music, Lutheran and Roman Catholic, was composed by men that were 1) trained in Italy, or 2) trained by men that were trained in Italy.  Musical instrumentation (organ) was introduced into the PRE-SCHISM Roman Church by Pope Vitalian in around 670 AD.  Unless I failed all of my history classes, this is WELL before the time of Martin Luther.

"A cappella" means "in the manner of the chapel" because that is how church music traditionally was done.

There was an organ in the Hagia Sophia too at one point. It doesn't particularly mean anything, especially not that such a thing is acceptable, nor that it was the norm. And there is controversy as to whether Pope Vitalian even used an organ:

Quote
In the early centuries the objection of the Church to instrumental music applied also to the organ, which is not surprising, if we remember the association of the hydraulus with theatre and circus. According to Platina ("De vitis Pontificum", Cologne, 1593), Pope Vitalian (657-72) introduced the organ into the church service. This, however, is very doubtful. At all events, a strong objection to the organ in church service remained pretty general down to the twelfth century, which may be accounted for partly by the imperfection of tone in organs of that time. But from the twelfth century on, the organ became the privileged church instrument, the majesty and unimpassioned character of its tone making it a particularly suitable means for adding solemnity to Divine worship.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11297a.htm

Getting back to pod's point, I have nothing against instruments in worship because they're "western." Eastern churches occasionally have used organs as well. The Fathers who gave theological reasons for the use of singing rather than instruments (Augustine, Athanasius, John Chrysostom) did not say anything about cultural expressions or nebulous East/West distinctions.
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« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2013, 11:26:15 PM »

I didn't take it as a joke and while I disagree, I understand Punch's comment. It bugs me when Orthodox deride, even if it is unintentionally, honorable western Christian traditions such as the glorious and awe-inspiring music Punch oftentimes reminds us about. We don't like misinformed western critiques about our traditions. We all tend to forget that despite periods of separation over time for well over (and beyond) the first millennium, East and West were one and accepted their various approaches within the context of the one Holy, Apostolic and Catholic faith - the one we hold to today.  If we didn't believe that why then have a Western Rite at all?

Western liturgy is traditionally a capella. Post-Reformation instrumentals from Lutheran composers were never part of the "one Holy, Apostolic and Catholic faith."

BS.  You need to read up a bit on your history of music in the Church.  The Germans received much of their musical training from the Italians.  In fact, much of the best of the German music, Lutheran and Roman Catholic, was composed by men that were 1) trained in Italy, or 2) trained by men that were trained in Italy.  Musical instrumentation (organ) was introduced into the PRE-SCHISM Roman Church by Pope Vitalian in around 670 AD.  Unless I failed all of my history classes, this is WELL before the time of Martin Luther.

"A cappella" means "in the manner of the chapel" because that is how church music traditionally was done.

There was an organ in the Hagia Sophia too at one point. It doesn't particularly mean anything, especially not that such a thing is acceptable, nor that it was the norm. And there is controversy as to whether Pope Vitalian even used an organ:

Quote
In the early centuries the objection of the Church to instrumental music applied also to the organ, which is not surprising, if we remember the association of the hydraulus with theatre and circus. According to Platina ("De vitis Pontificum", Cologne, 1593), Pope Vitalian (657-72) introduced the organ into the church service. This, however, is very doubtful. At all events, a strong objection to the organ in church service remained pretty general down to the twelfth century, which may be accounted for partly by the imperfection of tone in organs of that time. But from the twelfth century on, the organ became the privileged church instrument, the majesty and unimpassioned character of its tone making it a particularly suitable means for adding solemnity to Divine worship.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11297a.htm

Getting back to pod's point, I have nothing against instruments in worship because they're "western." Eastern churches occasionally have used organs as well. The Fathers who gave theological reasons for the use of singing rather than instruments (Augustine, Athanasius, John Chrysostom) did not say anything about cultural expressions or nebulous East/West distinctions.

Yes, they expressed their OPINIONS.  Since these opinions were not universally accepted, particularly in the pre-schism West, and since they are contrary to scripture, they are not dogma.  There are a lot of things that monks and some Church Fathers objected to.  That did not make them wrong.  As to the so-called controversy over the introduction of the organ by Pope Vitalian, I do not put much stock in it.  For everything written that has happened, someone tries to make a name for themselves by saying it did not happen.  Heck, you could say that there is "some controversy" as to whether or not Jesus is even a historical character.  It does not stop me from believing that he is.

Also, keep in mind that there was not a complete set of Scriptures in every Church and chapel prior to the advent of 1) sufficient numbers of literate monks that could produce them, and 2) the invention of the printing press.  Should we then conclude that we should not use the Bible?  On the other hand, that is not a good argument since I often get the impression that it is used far less by those who do not use instruments than it is by those that do.
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« Reply #42 on: April 03, 2013, 05:22:17 AM »

The singing during St. Basil's is drawn out, but only to cover the silent prayers which are often still being read when the choir is done.

I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about my parish new choir and new conductor wanting to show off.
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« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2013, 05:47:21 AM »

I don't know.

Maybe you're tacking on the full Matins? Whenever Matins is attached to a liturgy that's the general length, and that was the common practice at my old parish in Kansas City.

I don't know. If I am, in that case the liturgy proper would still be three hours, though in my experience there is no such separation, since the Raising of the Incense is not offered separately from the liturgy as it might have been in the old days (see this explanation, for instance; I know that our priests certainly treat them as one whole unit...I arrived at 9 am once instead of 8:30 because of car trouble and everyone was concerned that I was "late", even going so far as to call me twice while I was on the way there; maybe my church is full of weirdos, I dunno Undecided).

So the question still stands, I guess. I'm just curious because I don't know Byzantine practice. I assume that our texts for this liturgy probably differ at least a bit (e.g., I doubt you guys are commemorating "Pensakh Dioscoros"...at least not since Timothy III Salophakiolos got himself in trouble all those centuries ago), but a whole hour shorter... Huh I mean, I know we like to elongate our "Ameens", but there must be more to it than that.
Coptic chant is the only one that makes the Russians look like they are in a hurry. (I recall reading somewhere that it was a feature of Pharonic chant, the elongation on the vowels, as well).

It's not the exact same DL, but even if it were, the Copts would be longer, as they do not overlap prayers much, if at all (in the Constantinopolitan rite there are "secret prayers" said by the priest as the congregation prays another part of the service.  The Coptic list of names is far longer than Dioscoros (such names are said only in the Prokomedia-the selection of the Lamb in the Alexandrian rite-and not said as part of the DL proper-Our priest seems to do it the night before)
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« Reply #44 on: April 03, 2013, 09:13:56 AM »

I didn't take it as a joke and while I disagree, I understand Punch's comment. It bugs me when Orthodox deride, even if it is unintentionally, honorable western Christian traditions such as the glorious and awe-inspiring music Punch oftentimes reminds us about. We don't like misinformed western critiques about our traditions. We all tend to forget that despite periods of separation over time for well over (and beyond) the first millennium, East and West were one and accepted their various approaches within the context of the one Holy, Apostolic and Catholic faith - the one we hold to today.  If we didn't believe that why then have a Western Rite at all?

Western liturgy is traditionally a capella. Post-Reformation instrumentals from Lutheran composers were never part of the "one Holy, Apostolic and Catholic faith."

BS.  You need to read up a bit on your history of music in the Church.  The Germans received much of their musical training from the Italians.  In fact, much of the best of the German music, Lutheran and Roman Catholic, was composed by men that were 1) trained in Italy, or 2) trained by men that were trained in Italy.  Musical instrumentation (organ) was introduced into the PRE-SCHISM Roman Church by Pope Vitalian in around 670 AD.  Unless I failed all of my history classes, this is WELL before the time of Martin Luther.

"A cappella" means "in the manner of the chapel" because that is how church music traditionally was done.

There was an organ in the Hagia Sophia too at one point. It doesn't particularly mean anything, especially not that such a thing is acceptable, nor that it was the norm. And there is controversy as to whether Pope Vitalian even used an organ:

Quote
In the early centuries the objection of the Church to instrumental music applied also to the organ, which is not surprising, if we remember the association of the hydraulus with theatre and circus. According to Platina ("De vitis Pontificum", Cologne, 1593), Pope Vitalian (657-72) introduced the organ into the church service. This, however, is very doubtful. At all events, a strong objection to the organ in church service remained pretty general down to the twelfth century, which may be accounted for partly by the imperfection of tone in organs of that time. But from the twelfth century on, the organ became the privileged church instrument, the majesty and unimpassioned character of its tone making it a particularly suitable means for adding solemnity to Divine worship.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11297a.htm

Getting back to pod's point, I have nothing against instruments in worship because they're "western." Eastern churches occasionally have used organs as well. The Fathers who gave theological reasons for the use of singing rather than instruments (Augustine, Athanasius, John Chrysostom) did not say anything about cultural expressions or nebulous East/West distinctions.

Yes, they expressed their OPINIONS.  Since these opinions were not universally accepted, particularly in the pre-schism West, and since they are contrary to scripture, they are not dogma.  There are a lot of things that monks and some Church Fathers objected to.  That did not make them wrong.  As to the so-called controversy over the introduction of the organ by Pope Vitalian, I do not put much stock in it.  For everything written that has happened, someone tries to make a name for themselves by saying it did not happen.  Heck, you could say that there is "some controversy" as to whether or not Jesus is even a historical character.  It does not stop me from believing that he is.

Also, keep in mind that there was not a complete set of Scriptures in every Church and chapel prior to the advent of 1) sufficient numbers of literate monks that could produce them, and 2) the invention of the printing press.  Should we then conclude that we should not use the Bible?  On the other hand, that is not a good argument since I often get the impression that it is used far less by those who do not use instruments than it is by those that do.

Well said..I am certainly not arguing for instruments in my own tradition but that's one difference between EO and RCC  which is most certainly NOT a matter of dogmatic or doctrinal disagreement between us.

FWIW: Pope Vitalian is Pope St. Vitalian, our father among the saints, and a staunch defender of Orthodoxy when the east was in the heresy of monothelitism. He is commemorated on July 23rd.

See:  http://orthodoxwiki.org/Vitalian_of_Rome. and http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/ortpopes.htm
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