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« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2013, 10:37:01 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.

Still working on a formula to predict the length of services due to each additional Choir member, Cantor, Deacon, Priest or Bishop:  Cantors are worth at least 20 minutes each.  Bishops can easily add a full hour, but two Bishops is not much more than one Bishop. 

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« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2013, 11:26:02 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.

Occasional malpractice does not constitute a lack of universal acceptance. Someone who is so opposed to liberalizing trends in modern-day Orthodoxy ought to know that.

I don't think that the lack of instruments in Christian worship is anymore contrary to scripture than the lack of animal sacrifice (which is also mentioned in the Psalms and given a spiritualized interpretation by Fathers).

Quote
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.

The Catholic Encyclopedia isn't really known for fringe scholarship.

Quote
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.

The difference is that the Fathers say to use the scriptures. They say to not use instruments in liturgy.
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« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2013, 01:36:09 PM »

There is nothing I would change for everything in our Liturgy is put for a reason. I agree with Punch's suggestion of having all parishioners participate in singing (if someone doesn't know how to sing they can sing quietly)...If we look more diligently into the text read during the Liturgy we shall see that we are called to participate in it by singing and praying...So that would not be a change per se, it would be simply carrying out what we are asked.  We are not there to be simple passive observant but to participate in the Holy Liturgy...I have seen parishioners sing in different parishes and priests and bishops have not stopped them nor should they have a right to do so...It is a simple manner of explaining it to people the purpose of Divine Liturgy...

ADDITION: My understanding is that the only distinction between the choir and the rest of the parishioners in the church is that the choir has in front of them the text and notes and it (under the leadership of the choir director) dictates which tone is sang when in order to be in harmony with the clergy...supposebly they are more knowledgable about it than an average parishioner...while parishioner can follow the choir...
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 01:57:39 PM by Putnik Namernik » Logged
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« Reply #48 on: April 03, 2013, 02:30:56 PM »

Concerning Organ music in the Pre-schism Western Church:

I am NOT trying to take sides here.  But as a student of Church History and Church Music (and I former Lutheran, like Punch), this is what I have been able to learn in my study of history:

1.  The historic PREFERENCE of the Vatican was to have unaccompanied Gregorian chant.

2.  The phrase "a cappella" literally means "as in the Chapel"  (that is, the Sistine Chapel).

Now, having made those two points.  I will say this:

3.  The earliest organ in the Western Church appears to have been in Charlemagne's Chapel in modern day, Aachen, Germany. That would be roughly around 800 AD or so.

4.  Charlemagne got the idea of this organ from the Byzantines, who used a primitive organ of sorts called a hydralis, at the Hippodrome.

5. After Frankish influence overtook the Papacy (between 800 AD and 1000 AD), various Frankish customs began to appear at Rome.  One of these was the filioque.  The other was the pipe organ.

Having made these points, let me say this.  Technically, there were organs in the West before the schism.  On that historical point, Punch is correct.  However (and this is VERY IMPORTANT), even though organs were physically present in some Western parishes before the Schism, they were NOT used in the same manner in which they are today. It is important that we do not read back 21st century practice into the pre-Schism Church.  The Roman Catholic practice both before the Schism and from the Schism to the Protestant Reformation was a follows:

6.  Organs were often present in large churches or cathedrals in the West, but they did not accompany the singing. Rather, the organ functioned as an independent "choir" of its own.  The organ came to be used for Processions, esp. the entrance Procession at Mass, the Gospel Procession, and the Procession out at the end of Mass. In other words, the organ provided "traveling music" while the clergy were moving from one place to another.

7.  As choir music grew more complex and polyphonic in the West, the organ was used to give pitches to the choir.  It did NOT accompany the choir.

8.  On Feast Days, before and after Mass (but not during) the organist might play a prelude or a postlude on the organ.  This was especially popular in France on Christmas Eve. In fact, many French organ pieces are called "Noels" because they were composed for exactly this purpose.

9.  Even the early Lutherans (during the 1500s) sang their hymns a capella. The melodies to the Reformation hymns were written in unison in the 1500s.  The harmonized versions developed later in the 1600s and 1700s.  One thing that characterized the singing of the early Lutheran Reformation was that the organ merely provided the pitch and intonation for the hymns.  Then the people sang it a capella.  The early Lutheran hymns were syncopated and sung fast, with vigor and in unison. Once the mid 17th century arrived, harmony began to dominate (singing in four parts instead of unison) and the organ began to accompany all the stanzas of every Lutheran hymn.  This resulted in two things:  isometric versions of the original synchopated hymns (all notes of equal value) and SLOW singing.  So by J.S. Bach's day (circa 1725) the original fast tempo of the Lutheran hymns had been slowed WAY down, and Lutherans lost the ability to sing a capella (or at least lost the desire for it).  However, they did continue with vigorous congregation singing accompanied by the organ.
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« Reply #49 on: April 03, 2013, 02:58:48 PM »

In front of me I have a Liturgikon (a book in which the Divine Service according to St. John the Chrysostom).

Regarding the saying all the prayers aloud I disagree. There are times when prayers need to be read out loud and other times when it should be done quietly. In the same book it says:

And the priest say the Prayer of the Entrance secrectly... pg. 45

"Then the deacon gives the Book of Holy Gospels to the priest to kiss. When the last troparion is concluded, the deacon comes to stand in the centre in front of the priest elevates his hands a little, and, showing the Book of the Holy Gospels, he says in a loud voice: Wisdom. Attend." pg.47

Exclamation: That with us they also glorify thine... pg. 69

Then priest says this prayer secretly: The prayer of the Cherubim Hymn pg. 77

...The deacon, if there is but one, similarly, makes reverences, standing in his place, isses his orarion where the cross is depicted, and then exclaims: The doors, the doors! In wisdom let us attend! pg. 97

The priest secretly: And likewise the cup after the saying:
Exclamation: Drink ye all of this; this is my blood of teh New Testament , which is shed for you and for many for the forgivness of sins pg. 108-109

there are other examples but I chose only few to make a point. One of the beauties of the Orthodox Church is that nothing is hidden. Each action and method has a reason behind it. All we need to do is ask our priest or read a book or an article from a legit source explaining the situation.
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« Reply #50 on: April 03, 2013, 03:07:38 PM »

There is nothing I would change for everything in our Liturgy is put for a reason. I agree with Punch's suggestion of having all parishioners participate in singing (if someone doesn't know how to sing they can sing quietly)...If we look more diligently into the text read during the Liturgy we shall see that we are called to participate in it by singing and praying...So that would not be a change per se, it would be simply carrying out what we are asked.  We are not there to be simple passive observant but to participate in the Holy Liturgy...I have seen parishioners sing in different parishes and priests and bishops have not stopped them nor should they have a right to do so...It is a simple manner of explaining it to people the purpose of Divine Liturgy...

ADDITION: My understanding is that the only distinction between the choir and the rest of the parishioners in the church is that the choir has in front of them the text and notes and it (under the leadership of the choir director) dictates which tone is sang when in order to be in harmony with the clergy...supposebly they are more knowledgable about it than an average parishioner...while parishioner can follow the choir...

That often happens, probably in smaller parishes.

i.e the majority of people sing.

I for one am one of those who sing, but the songs of the church just don't look as my songs anymore. They probably never did. Well at times I really felt good singing them, but they just got repititevily boring and dull. By this I mean the Sunday Divine liturgy, generally of the third hour and mostly the Divine liturgy in general. Generally the litany are all the same with the same prayers, hymns and answers with certain exceptions where it can be longer or shorter. The difference between the liturgies of St John Hrysostomus and St Basil the Great is the length. And in the feasts the differences are made by certain Akhatists and Kontarions who are usually sunged at Vespers. There is generally one Psalter that is spread in the cycle of the day. What I am saying we only have a few singular liturgies and usually they are not much different and a limited numbers of litanies and psalter. It's like the liturgy is stucked to one standard form. It gets boring and dull.. Did they exhaust all the ways of expressing certain theological hymns? Afaik quite a few saints were hymnologs.
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« Reply #51 on: April 03, 2013, 03:08:10 PM »

Concerning Organ music in the Pre-schism Western Church:

I am NOT trying to take sides here.  But as a student of Church History and Church Music (and I former Lutheran, like Punch), this is what I have been able to learn in my study of history:

1.  The historic PREFERENCE of the Vatican was to have unaccompanied Gregorian chant.

2.  The phrase "a cappella" literally means "as in the Chapel"  (that is, the Sistine Chapel).

Now, having made those two points.  I will say this:

3.  The earliest organ in the Western Church appears to have been in Charlemagne's Chapel in modern day, Aachen, Germany. That would be roughly around 800 AD or so.

4.  Charlemagne got the idea of this organ from the Byzantines, who used a primitive organ of sorts called a hydralis, at the Hippodrome.

5. After Frankish influence overtook the Papacy (between 800 AD and 1000 AD), various Frankish customs began to appear at Rome.  One of these was the filioque.  The other was the pipe organ.

Having made these points, let me say this.  Technically, there were organs in the West before the schism.  On that historical point, Punch is correct.  However (and this is VERY IMPORTANT), even though organs were physically present in some Western parishes before the Schism, they were NOT used in the same manner in which they are today. It is important that we do not read back 21st century practice into the pre-Schism Church.  The Roman Catholic practice both before the Schism and from the Schism to the Protestant Reformation was a follows:

6.  Organs were often present in large churches or cathedrals in the West, but they did not accompany the singing. Rather, the organ functioned as an independent "choir" of its own.  The organ came to be used for Processions, esp. the entrance Procession at Mass, the Gospel Procession, and the Procession out at the end of Mass. In other words, the organ provided "traveling music" while the clergy were moving from one place to another.

7.  As choir music grew more complex and polyphonic in the West, the organ was used to give pitches to the choir.  It did NOT accompany the choir.

8.  On Feast Days, before and after Mass (but not during) the organist might play a prelude or a postlude on the organ.  This was especially popular in France on Christmas Eve. In fact, many French organ pieces are called "Noels" because they were composed for exactly this purpose.

9.  Even the early Lutherans (during the 1500s) sang their hymns a capella. The melodies to the Reformation hymns were written in unison in the 1500s.  The harmonized versions developed later in the 1600s and 1700s.  One thing that characterized the singing of the early Lutheran Reformation was that the organ merely provided the pitch and intonation for the hymns.  Then the people sang it a capella.  The early Lutheran hymns were syncopated and sung fast, with vigor and in unison. Once the mid 17th century arrived, harmony began to dominate (singing in four parts instead of unison) and the organ began to accompany all the stanzas of every Lutheran hymn.  This resulted in two things:  isometric versions of the original synchopated hymns (all notes of equal value) and SLOW singing.  So by J.S. Bach's day (circa 1725) the original fast tempo of the Lutheran hymns had been slowed WAY down, and Lutherans lost the ability to sing a capella (or at least lost the desire for it).  However, they did continue with vigorous congregation singing accompanied by the organ.

Great post. Thanks!
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« Reply #52 on: April 03, 2013, 03:10:01 PM »

In front of me I have a Liturgikon (a book in which the Divine Service according to St. John the Chrysostom).

Regarding the saying all the prayers aloud I disagree. There are times when prayers need to be read out loud and other times when it should be done quietly. In the same book it says:

And the priest say the Prayer of the Entrance secrectly... pg. 45

"Then the deacon gives the Book of Holy Gospels to the priest to kiss. When the last troparion is concluded, the deacon comes to stand in the centre in front of the priest elevates his hands a little, and, showing the Book of the Holy Gospels, he says in a loud voice: Wisdom. Attend." pg.47

Exclamation: That with us they also glorify thine... pg. 69

Then priest says this prayer secretly: The prayer of the Cherubim Hymn pg. 77

...The deacon, if there is but one, similarly, makes reverences, standing in his place, isses his orarion where the cross is depicted, and then exclaims: The doors, the doors! In wisdom let us attend! pg. 97

The priest secretly: And likewise the cup after the saying:
Exclamation: Drink ye all of this; this is my blood of teh New Testament , which is shed for you and for many for the forgivness of sins pg. 108-109

there are other examples but I chose only few to make a point. One of the beauties of the Orthodox Church is that nothing is hidden. Each action and method has a reason behind it. All we need to do is ask our priest or read a book or an article from a legit source explaining the situation.

Yes, the Liturgikon reflects current practice, however, I think Devin's point was that saying all prayers aloud is in fact the more ancient custom.
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« Reply #53 on: April 03, 2013, 03:32:37 PM »

Tikhon-

Thanks for that history.  What do you know about the Venitian practice, where organs were in use for certain in the mid 1500's, as well as other instruments (viols, sackbuts, therbos, faggatos, etc).  By this time, the instruments were most certainly accompanying the choir(s), and the music of the period is so noted.

Also, one of my books states that stringed instrumentation was present in the Western Church prior to the organ, possibly as early as 500 AD in Spain.  Comments?

ps - the two works that I draw my information from are:

The Organ, its history and construction by Edward J Hopkins

The Story of the Organ by Charles F. A. Williams

Both of these books point to an early use of the organ and other instruments in Church, the latter even claiming that one of the pre-schism Popes was himself an organist and organ builder.
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« Reply #54 on: April 03, 2013, 06:47:22 PM »

Dear Punch and everyone else:

Thanks for your replies!  I enjoyed reading them.

Since music is a very difficult thing to talk about and it really helps to hear it, I have submitted the following examples for your listening pleasure.

1.  This is an a capella version of "A Mighty Fortress/Ein' feste Burg" sung in German.  Although this is a choir version, it should sound very similar to the way the people of Luther's day first heard it.  The first verse is sung in unison and some Renaissance harmony is added in the additional stanzas, esp. the open fifth.  http://youtu.be/YB4olGEbmcc

2.  This is what is called the Rhythmic Version.  It keeps the original syncopated and quick moving melody and adds four part harmony to it, to keep it interesting.  The organist adds variety by varying her registration with each stanza.  With an organ leading a song like this, the original beat and quick tempo can effectively be maintained for congregational singing.  This is what one would most probably hear in a traditional Missouri Synod or Wisconsin Synod Lutheran Church.  This is how I played it when I was a Lutheran organist.  http://youtu.be/M27DFH3uIh8

3.  This is the isometric version, meaning 'equal meter' version.  This is the domesticated version of "A Mighty Fortress."  All the punch, the sense of beat, movement and the syncopated rhythm have been REMOVED from this version.  The hymn is reduced to all quarter notes, esp. for the last note of each line.  This smooths out everything, but to me it also takes the life out of the hymn and kind of "kills" it.  It also slows it down. Listen how SLOW this is:
http://youtu.be/G42xwWoUS-0
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« Reply #55 on: April 03, 2013, 07:17:12 PM »

Dear Punch and everyone else:

Thanks for your replies!  I enjoyed reading them.

Since music is a very difficult thing to talk about and it really helps to hear it, I have submitted the following examples for your listening pleasure.

1.  This is an a capella version of "A Mighty Fortress/Ein' feste Burg" sung in German.  Although this is a choir version, it should sound very similar to the way the people of Luther's day first heard it.  The first verse is sung in unison and some Renaissance harmony is added in the additional stanzas, esp. the open fifth.  http://youtu.be/YB4olGEbmcc

2.  This is what is called the Rhythmic Version.  It keeps the original syncopated and quick moving melody and adds four part harmony to it, to keep it interesting.  The organist adds variety by varying her registration with each stanza.  With an organ leading a song like this, the original beat and quick tempo can effectively be maintained for congregational singing.  This is what one would most probably hear in a traditional Missouri Synod or Wisconsin Synod Lutheran Church.  This is how I played it when I was a Lutheran organist.  http://youtu.be/M27DFH3uIh8

3.  This is the isometric version, meaning 'equal meter' version.  This is the domesticated version of "A Mighty Fortress."  All the punch, the sense of beat, movement and the syncopated rhythm have been REMOVED from this version.  The hymn is reduced to all quarter notes, esp. for the last note of each line.  This smooths out everything, but to me it also takes the life out of the hymn and kind of "kills" it.  It also slows it down. Listen how SLOW this is:
http://youtu.be/G42xwWoUS-0

Really it is posts like these which should be PotM.

Post more. Imagine someone using "multimedia" on the internet.

Thank you.
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« Reply #56 on: April 03, 2013, 08:31:55 PM »

To show traditional Roman Catholic post-schism usage of the organ, here is a short clip of the Traditional Latin Mass (Tridentine, not Novus Ordo) from the St. Philip Neri Institute in Berlin, Germany. What you will see is called the Post-Communion.  It consists of the priest greeting the people with the Salutation, followed by the Post-Communion Prayer, the Priestly Blessing, and the Last Gospel (read silently as is the custom), followed by a Closing Hymn and the Procession out after Mass.  Notice that while the organ is used, prominence is still given to unaccompanied Gregorian chant.
http://youtu.be/7sSO_2_1rHI
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« Reply #57 on: April 03, 2013, 09:43:34 PM »

To show traditional Roman Catholic post-schism usage of the organ, here is a short clip of the Traditional Latin Mass (Tridentine, not Novus Ordo) from the St. Philip Neri Institute in Berlin, Germany. What you will see is called the Post-Communion.  It consists of the priest greeting the people with the Salutation, followed by the Post-Communion Prayer, the Priestly Blessing, and the Last Gospel (read silently as is the custom), followed by a Closing Hymn and the Procession out after Mass.  Notice that while the organ is used, prominence is still given to unaccompanied Gregorian chant.
http://youtu.be/7sSO_2_1rHI

Here is some music from the late 1500's.  It is pretty well developed for being "new" at the time.  BTW - it is my understanding that Venice did not particularly get along with Rome during this period, and their Liturgy was rather unique for the West.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqEsByquTWU
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« Reply #58 on: April 03, 2013, 10:07:52 PM »

Early 1500's Spanish.  Simple instrumental accompanyment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLPgDL0KZeM

Music from an early 1600 German (Lutheran) Christmas Mass.  Yes this could be sung congregationally.  In fact we would alternate between the congregation and choir, sometimes even between the men and women, like this during great feasts in the LCMS Church that I attended in the early 1970's.  Our organist (H. Alan Herbst) was an expert that actually built the organ that we used in the Church.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbmvW9Rx_Lc

German Lutheran music from early 1600's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH4tOtpLF48

The directors of the above music (Paul McCreesh and Rolan Wilson) are well known for their scholarship in historically informed music and use the original instrumentation, and often the original scores used by the original composers.  This is probably as close as you are going to get without being there.
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« Reply #59 on: April 03, 2013, 10:12:24 PM »

There is nothing I would change for everything in our Liturgy is put for a reason. I agree with Punch's suggestion of having all parishioners participate in singing (if someone doesn't know how to sing they can sing quietly)...If we look more diligently into the text read during the Liturgy we shall see that we are called to participate in it by singing and praying...So that would not be a change per se, it would be simply carrying out what we are asked.  We are not there to be simple passive observant but to participate in the Holy Liturgy...I have seen parishioners sing in different parishes and priests and bishops have not stopped them nor should they have a right to do so...It is a simple manner of explaining it to people the purpose of Divine Liturgy...

ADDITION: My understanding is that the only distinction between the choir and the rest of the parishioners in the church is that the choir has in front of them the text and notes and it (under the leadership of the choir director) dictates which tone is sang when in order to be in harmony with the clergy...supposebly they are more knowledgable about it than an average parishioner...while parishioner can follow the choir...

That often happens, probably in smaller parishes.

i.e the majority of people sing.

I for one am one of those who sing, but the songs of the church just don't look as my songs anymore. They probably never did. Well at times I really felt good singing them, but they just got repititevily boring and dull. By this I mean the Sunday Divine liturgy, generally of the third hour and mostly the Divine liturgy in general. Generally the litany are all the same with the same prayers, hymns and answers with certain exceptions where it can be longer or shorter. The difference between the liturgies of St John Hrysostomus and St Basil the Great is the length. And in the feasts the differences are made by certain Akhatists and Kontarions who are usually sunged at Vespers. There is generally one Psalter that is spread in the cycle of the day. What I am saying we only have a few singular liturgies and usually they are not much different and a limited numbers of litanies and psalter. It's like the liturgy is stucked to one standard form. It gets boring and dull.. Did they exhaust all the ways of expressing certain theological hymns? Afaik quite a few saints were hymnologs.

I think you answered you own question with your analysis. If you want variation then you have the Vespers and Orthros services. The reason for the lack of variation in the Liturgy is because of the nature of the service over the daily offices. The Divine Liturgy in our liturgical theology is a service that exists outside of time, and thus by its very nature is does not vary much.

Being bored in church is giving into sin. If you find yourself bored have the icons to meditate on, you have the Jesus prayer to pray, you can pray to find stillness in your heart. Boredom is the devils playground. Get over it!
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« Reply #60 on: April 03, 2013, 11:34:37 PM »

Early 1500's Spanish.  Simple instrumental accompanyment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLPgDL0KZeM

Music from an early 1600 German (Lutheran) Christmas Mass.  Yes this could be sung congregationally.  In fact we would alternate between the congregation and choir, sometimes even between the men and women, like this during great feasts in the LCMS Church that I attended in the early 1970's.  Our organist (H. Alan Herbst) was an expert that actually built the organ that we used in the Church.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbmvW9Rx_Lc

German Lutheran music from early 1600's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH4tOtpLF48

The directors of the above music (Paul McCreesh and Rolan Wilson) are well known for their scholarship in historically informed music and use the original instrumentation, and often the original scores used by the original composers.  This is probably as close as you are going to get without being there.


Thanks, Punch!  All excellent examples.  I was familiar with the two Lutheran pieces by Praetorius.  They are splendid indeed. I love how the Christmas Matins services has the entire service chanted, even the collects and benediction.

The Spanish piece is refined and polished.  As I am sure you know, the different regions of Western Europe each had their own unique chants until Rome suppressed them after the Council of Trent in favor of an austere, severe Gregorian chant as the standard.  In Spain they had Mozarabic chant, in France Gallican chant, in Italy they had Ambrosian Chant in Milan, Old Roman (which sounds remarkably Byzantine), Venetian Chant (very refined and melismatic and related to Byzantine chant but incorporating Western four part harmony), and the standard Gregorian Chant as decreed by the Council of Trent. 

Apparently the Vatican wanted a terse, short, severe and austere chant for the Mass and the Daily Offices and they achieved that through several reforms of Gregorian chant.  The earlier Gregorian chants were more complex than the later ones.  All the Catholics of Europe did not necessarily agree with Rome regarding music.  The Gallican or French usage was very elaborate and florid, almost Byzantine in its complexity. The Spanish had engaged in battle with the Muslims and learned to love the sound of trumpets, first in battle and late in church and even later as organ stops (trompette en chamade, or Spanish trumpets as they are sometimes called, organ pipes that are horizontal and blast at you like nothing you've ever experienced.).  The French came to developed a love of reeds, particularly sassy, assertive reed organ stops.  The Germans excelled at developing the pedal division of the organ.  Each nation contributed something.  However, the Vatican never really warmed up to instruments in church.  While it did not absolutely forbid them in Catholic Churches, the preferred style came to be what Rome called a capella (as in the chapel), unaccompanied chant.  It didn't have to be always Gregorian chant.  Polyphonic chant was eventually encouraged by Rome and Giovanni Palestrina is probably the best known composer for writing music that Rome really liked and encouraged after the Council of Trent.
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« Reply #61 on: April 04, 2013, 12:18:52 AM »

Early 1500's Spanish.  Simple instrumental accompanyment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLPgDL0KZeM

Music from an early 1600 German (Lutheran) Christmas Mass.  Yes this could be sung congregationally.  In fact we would alternate between the congregation and choir, sometimes even between the men and women, like this during great feasts in the LCMS Church that I attended in the early 1970's.  Our organist (H. Alan Herbst) was an expert that actually built the organ that we used in the Church.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbmvW9Rx_Lc

German Lutheran music from early 1600's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH4tOtpLF48

The directors of the above music (Paul McCreesh and Rolan Wilson) are well known for their scholarship in historically informed music and use the original instrumentation, and often the original scores used by the original composers.  This is probably as close as you are going to get without being there.


Thanks, Punch!  All excellent examples.  I was familiar with the two Lutheran pieces by Praetorius.  They are splendid indeed. I love how the Christmas Matins services has the entire service chanted, even the collects and benediction.

The Spanish piece is refined and polished.  As I am sure you know, the different regions of Western Europe each had their own unique chants until Rome suppressed them after the Council of Trent in favor of an austere, severe Gregorian chant as the standard.  In Spain they had Mozarabic chant, in France Gallican chant, in Italy they had Ambrosian Chant in Milan, Old Roman (which sounds remarkably Byzantine), Venetian Chant (very refined and melismatic and related to Byzantine chant but incorporating Western four part harmony), and the standard Gregorian Chant as decreed by the Council of Trent. 

Apparently the Vatican wanted a terse, short, severe and austere chant for the Mass and the Daily Offices and they achieved that through several reforms of Gregorian chant.  The earlier Gregorian chants were more complex than the later ones.  All the Catholics of Europe did not necessarily agree with Rome regarding music.  The Gallican or French usage was very elaborate and florid, almost Byzantine in its complexity. The Spanish had engaged in battle with the Muslims and learned to love the sound of trumpets, first in battle and late in church and even later as organ stops (trompette en chamade, or Spanish trumpets as they are sometimes called, organ pipes that are horizontal and blast at you like nothing you've ever experienced.).  The French came to developed a love of reeds, particularly sassy, assertive reed organ stops.  The Germans excelled at developing the pedal division of the organ.  Each nation contributed something.  However, the Vatican never really warmed up to instruments in church.  While it did not absolutely forbid them in Catholic Churches, the preferred style came to be what Rome called a capella (as in the chapel), unaccompanied chant.  It didn't have to be always Gregorian chant.  Polyphonic chant was eventually encouraged by Rome and Giovanni Palestrina is probably the best known composer for writing music that Rome really liked and encouraged after the Council of Trent.

Palestrina is well known, but I always prefered the a capella music of di Lasso to his.  You may be able to correct me on this, but I think that di Lasso was actually a Roman Catholic German who took a Latin name (not uncommon even for Lutheran Germans like Preatorius).
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« Reply #62 on: April 10, 2013, 03:59:35 PM »

Quote
Musical instrumentation (organ) was introduced into the PRE-SCHISM Roman Church by Pope Vitalian in around 670 AD.  

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.

You will find that most traditional roman catholic masses continue to avoid the overuse of the organ. You will rarely hear the organ used when gregorian chant or harmonized chants are sung. It's use is almost exclusively for the simpler hymnody that lay people sing which is not officially part of the liturgy. When used it is often used sparingly, abundant use of the organ nonstop every Sunday is a post-reformation development, before reformation it was used more often on feast days. The last few latin masses I attended were entirely acapella and yet the lay people seemed VERY happy and PARTICIPATED in singing the ordinary unchanging parts with enthusiasm.

I am not anti-organ, but do think that in the western churches it has become an over-used instrument which often dominants and replaces the human voice rather than accompany it, it too often competes with it. I personally find the organ much more interesting for "interludes" "preludes" "post-ludes" solo playing without vocals than I do combined with the human voice.

Much like the separation of male and female voices, I support the separation of "vox organa" and "vox humana" for too many people are unskilled at blending the two together. It is questionable whether the greek churches which use organs have really added anything to their liturgy. It is one thing for the west, which has a more intimate history and under the right circumstances knows how to use them liturgically - but to introduce them overnight into a church that never knew them is very awkward and brings about growing pains to discover how to use them properly, which many think are unnecessary.  
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« Reply #63 on: April 10, 2013, 05:58:28 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. 

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.

...

This stuff rocks.  I sang in a concert two years ago of Gabrieli's, Monteverdi, Croce, Willaert and others accompanied by consorts of viols and early horns (cornetts, sackbutts and a dulcian).  I love it!  But it just doesn't seem right to have polyphony + instruments in proper worship despite what it says about the instruments in the Praises (Psalms).  I want comment on what the Copts/Ethiopians may do.
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« Reply #64 on: April 10, 2013, 06:05:40 PM »

Nice to see you again.
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« Reply #65 on: April 10, 2013, 08:05:12 PM »

In answer to the OP, and coming from a Roman Catholic background, I can offer this....

PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DON'T START MESSING WITH THE LITURGY!

That is all.....carry on.
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« Reply #66 on: April 10, 2013, 08:38:23 PM »

PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DON'T START MESSING WITH THE LITURGY!

It's interesting how often antiquated idioms are inadvertently(?) used in their original context on this board.
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« Reply #67 on: April 11, 2013, 03:46:12 AM »

In answer to the OP, and coming from a Roman Catholic background, I can offer this....

PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DON'T START MESSING WITH THE LITURGY!

That is all.....carry on.

Just wait and see when I become patriarch.  angel
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« Reply #68 on: April 11, 2013, 11:15:35 AM »

In answer to the OP, and coming from a Roman Catholic background, I can offer this....

PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DON'T START MESSING WITH THE LITURGY!

That is all.....carry on.

Just wait and see when I become patriarch.  angel
Yeah...how about not?

Wink

Slightly off-topic, but you know things are bad in in the West when they have to "rehearse" for their worship service (I'm referring to dancing/rock bands/etc) as if it's some performance with an audience. You could argue that choir practice is a rehearsal as well, but that's to better understand the music. Orthodox choirs understand their role, as opposed to Protestant dancers and band musicians.
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« Reply #69 on: April 11, 2013, 11:53:06 AM »

I like a capella singing very much. I like congregational a capella singing even more. The problem is that once you start off key (and please do not tell me that it does not happen), it goes downhill very fast. I would support the use of a piano to get the singing going by the player just playing the singing notes.

BTW, the Italians' influence goes beyond the Western churches. Y'all know what I am talking about! Here are some of my favorite Orthodox composers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CSbIBkjq4g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJlpazplonw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loaqcfoJAwo
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« Reply #70 on: April 11, 2013, 04:14:01 PM »

^ Mine too...
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« Reply #71 on: April 15, 2013, 01:26:32 AM »

I would ban all those newfangled types of singing in the Russian church, bring it back to the traditional ways. No more opera singing

Rip out all the pews

Melt down the organs

Make sure all churches at least in USA do the liturgy of the catechumen, because of so many converts

Reinstate the office of the door keeper

Ban using a million light bulbs in churches, churches are too bright inside. of course just my opinion

Make sure priests do their prayers correctly, that is, not yelling all of them out and whispering the ones that they should be whispering (not putting it in a microphone so everyone can hear) i mean

i cannot think of much more

maybe fix that period in the liturgy where you have two different chantings at once. sure, it sounds cool but it makes no sense.

and finally, a controversial change...

Ban the crowns. Yes, I said it. Those crowns are not based on tradition at all, and in fact are almost exact copies of the emperor of constantinople's crown (the latter ones). The use of those crowns with bishops only came about after the fall of constantinople. Probably first started getting used by those with much pride

EDIT:

thought of another controversial change.

Perhaps it is time to no longer keep putting the body of Christ in the chalice. I don't think people nowadays will try to take any home. Or at least allow it in places where there are no people one would suspect to do such a thing.

EDIT2:

thought of some more.

Seperate the sexes again to right and left again as in tradition.

Prostrations

--

All in all, not really much innovation. Just putting things back in check
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« Reply #72 on: April 15, 2013, 10:28:28 AM »

I would ban all those newfangled types of singing in the Russian church, bring it back to the traditional ways. No more opera singing

Rip out all the pews

Melt down the organs

Make sure all churches at least in USA do the liturgy of the catechumen, because of so many converts

Reinstate the office of the door keeper

Ban using a million light bulbs in churches, churches are too bright inside. of course just my opinion

Make sure priests do their prayers correctly, that is, not yelling all of them out and whispering the ones that they should be whispering (not putting it in a microphone so everyone can hear) i mean

i cannot think of much more

maybe fix that period in the liturgy where you have two different chantings at once. sure, it sounds cool but it makes no sense.

and finally, a controversial change...

Ban the crowns. Yes, I said it. Those crowns are not based on tradition at all, and in fact are almost exact copies of the emperor of constantinople's crown (the latter ones). The use of those crowns with bishops only came about after the fall of constantinople. Probably first started getting used by those with much pride

EDIT:

thought of another controversial change.

Perhaps it is time to no longer keep putting the body of Christ in the chalice. I don't think people nowadays will try to take any home. Or at least allow it in places where there are no people one would suspect to do such a thing.

EDIT2:

thought of some more.

Seperate the sexes again to right and left again as in tradition.

Prostrations

--

All in all, not really much innovation. Just putting things back in check


You are playing liturgical "Whack a Mole" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whac-A-Mole )  or at least nibbling at the mixed salad bar of "(t) and/or (T)raditions".

How about a game of "Rubricon - Guess the Century" ?

You make your proposals in the name of restorative traditionalism. Well, how about this:

"The changes willed by the approximately 2700 to 4 vote of the world's Catholic bishops in the document (Sacrosanctum Concilium from Vatican 2) cited above can be summarized as 1) restore the active participation of the , 2) remove accretions and duplications which crept into the Roman Mass in millennium before Pope Pius V imposed it on the Latin Church, and 3) manifest the proper sacramentality of the Mass as an act of Christ, Head and Body." http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/liturgical_renewal.htm

That worked out well for the Roman Church.  Not...

We live in the now and the now is the accumulation of the past.

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« Reply #73 on: April 15, 2013, 09:40:25 PM »

Most of gunarrs ideas sound perfectly reasonable to myself. Intinction is the only one I dont agree with changing, of what he mentioned. I think Intinction is a good development, I can take it or leave it, but thats not worth changing  - too dangerous.

I can't see the harm in most of them. Those are very popular ideas, eventually they will become so popular that they make their way into common practice again. Taking each of them one by one, there's individual church temples doing at least one of them somewhere on the planet earth, but possibly not a single parish practicing all of them.

The separation of the sexes and banning of microphones would be at the top of my list of what he named, those two could be accomplished easily with enough catechism.


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« Reply #74 on: April 15, 2013, 10:01:09 PM »

Popular ideas? I suspect that most of them never come up in conversation in most American churches. But then again yesterday was April 1(OS).
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« Reply #75 on: April 15, 2013, 10:17:32 PM »

I would ban all those newfangled types of singing in the Russian church, bring it back to the traditional ways. No more opera singing

Rip out all the pews

Melt down the organs

Make sure all churches at least in USA do the liturgy of the catechumen, because of so many converts

Reinstate the office of the door keeper

Ban using a million light bulbs in churches, churches are too bright inside. of course just my opinion

Make sure priests do their prayers correctly, that is, not yelling all of them out and whispering the ones that they should be whispering (not putting it in a microphone so everyone can hear) i mean

i cannot think of much more

maybe fix that period in the liturgy where you have two different chantings at once. sure, it sounds cool but it makes no sense.

and finally, a controversial change...

Ban the crowns. Yes, I said it. Those crowns are not based on tradition at all, and in fact are almost exact copies of the emperor of constantinople's crown (the latter ones). The use of those crowns with bishops only came about after the fall of constantinople. Probably first started getting used by those with much pride

EDIT:

thought of another controversial change.

Perhaps it is time to no longer keep putting the body of Christ in the chalice. I don't think people nowadays will try to take any home. Or at least allow it in places where there are no people one would suspect to do such a thing.

EDIT2:

thought of some more.

Seperate the sexes again to right and left again as in tradition.

Prostrations

--

All in all, not really much innovation. Just putting things back in check


I don't know. It seems to me that the secret prayers of priests are relatively recent innovations.

OTOH, while I agree that we should minimize "operatic" singing, that has nothing to do with the type of singing: both Byzantine chanting and "Russian" style choral music can be "operatic," overly ornate show-off concert pieces. Indeed, I think that such abuse is easier to be committed by chanters than by choirs.
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« Reply #76 on: April 15, 2013, 10:44:36 PM »

I also don't think most people wouldn't support the separation of the sexes at liturgy, unless there were maybe 6 young boys in the family, and mom would get a break because they would be with their father!
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« Reply #77 on: April 15, 2013, 11:20:20 PM »

I also don't think most people wouldn't support the separation of the sexes at liturgy, unless there were maybe 6 young boys in the family, and mom would get a break because they would be with their father!

Uh, everybody know that the traditional place for a woman and her children is in the narthex.
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« Reply #78 on: April 16, 2013, 03:02:21 AM »

I would ban all those newfangled types of singing in the Russian church, bring it back to the traditional ways. No more opera singing
Some of the compositions should be done away with, but a lot of the Russian Chanting and singing is just as heavenly as Byzantine and Gregorian. When it gets overly complicated and over-the-top is when it kind of loses the mystery.

Quote
Rip out all the pews
I'd be okay with this, but pews/chairs should remain on the exterior walls for those who can't stand. Even Orthodox monasteries on Mt. Athos have stasidia for the elderly Monks.

Quote
Melt down the organs
There is absolutely no  problem with organs in western rite parishes. However, organs don't really have a place in Byzantine Rite churches. Organs pre-date the schism by several hundred years, and are perfectly Orthodox and perfectly Christian. However, they just don't fit with the Byzantine Rite, which is based entirely on a cappella. The one exception to instruments would be drums in Byzantine-rite parishes in Africa.

Quote
Make sure all churches at least in USA do the liturgy of the catechumen, because of so many converts
The Liturgy of the Catechumens? Do you mean the Litany? I do feel that the litany should always be included, because of not only the catechumens in other parishes (if yours has none) but also because we are all constantly in catechisis.

Quote
Reinstate the office of the door keeper
No, this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever unless you want to start kicking out the catechumens and those who don't take the Eucharist. That isn't going to happen, and there is no reason for the "door keeper" unless we enter a situation where we are under severe persecution (and not just ideological persecution).

Quote
Ban using a million light bulbs in churches, churches are too bright inside. of course just my opinion
I don't agree with this. I've been inside dark, ancient Byzantine Churches, and you can't really see any of the icons on the walls if they don't have the lights on. In fact, most Byzantine Churches in Greece have had modern lighting installed (beautiful chandeliers that are electric rather than oil/wax candles).
A church should be dim during non-Liturgical Lenten services, as well as at Vespers until the singing of "Gladsome Light". Also, they should be dim until the Great Doxology if Matins is done before Liturgy.

Quote
Make sure priests do their prayers correctly, that is, not yelling all of them out and whispering the ones that they should be whispering (not putting it in a microphone so everyone can hear) i mean
No, no, no... The silent prayers are a recent innovation that was done to speed up the services. It was a stupid innovation that needs to be done away with. Also, microphones are completely kosher, especially if you have elderly chanters or an elderly Priest who have beautiful voices, but have lost the ability to project.

Quote
maybe fix that period in the liturgy where you have two different chantings at once. sure, it sounds cool but it makes no sense.
It does make sense, and in fact, practically we are told that there can be 3 different things going on at once during Liturgy.

Quote
Ban the crowns. Yes, I said it. Those crowns are not based on tradition at all, and in fact are almost exact copies of the emperor of constantinople's crown (the latter ones). The use of those crowns with bishops only came about after the fall of constantinople. Probably first started getting used by those with much pride
I don't necessarily agree with this. Also, it wasn't due to pride, it was due to the Turks. The Turks made the Bishops the secular leaders of the Greek minorities (and in some places also the leaders of other Orthodox ethnicities).

Quote
Perhaps it is time to no longer keep putting the body of Christ in the chalice. I don't think people nowadays will try to take any home. Or at least allow it in places where there are no people one would suspect to do such a thing.
That also makes absolutely no sense. We receive the body & blood of Christ together, as a whole. Also, you don't have any clue why we use warm water, and the benefit that placing the body in the chalice does practically. The body of Christ CAN actually solidify like stale bread, and so putting it in the chalice with water & wine (which becomes the blood) helps make it so the Priest can separate it and give it to the people.

Also, the body & blood of Christ is far to holy, far too divine, far too awesome to even risk someone taking it home.

Quote
Seperate the sexes again to right and left again as in tradition.
This doesn't make any sense. I've been in churches in Greece where this is done, but it falls through simply because one side fills up, and some couples sit together anyway. There is nothing wrong with having the sexes integrated, especially when children tend to get antsy and the other spouse may need to deal with them while the other watches the others.

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Prostrations
As in do away with them? They haven't stopped, pews and chairs just make it hard to prostrate. They haven't gone away by any stretch of the imagination, and aren't going away anytime soon.

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All in all, not really much innovation. Just putting things back in check
Are you joking? Almost your entire post was innovation. You weren't putting anything back "into check".
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genesisone
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« Reply #79 on: April 16, 2013, 09:28:39 AM »

Popular ideas? I suspect that most of them never come up in conversation in most American churches. But then again yesterday was April 1(OS).
You may be right with "most American churches". Even though we're a Canadian church  Smiley since we're working on getting our new building ready for use (I wrote about this a few weeks ago), we are talking about some of these issues - especially pews. Interestingly, it's only our priest who is insisting on pews. The rest of us either clearly want to limit seating to the perimeter, or don't really care one way or the other. Since I'm often the "bad guy" when it comes to dealing with our priest, I've left another as "point man" for that task. However, I think I may soon have to press the issue before we reach the point of no return. At the moment, pews are out for necessary painting in nave and altar and for reconstruction of the altar area.

We have a severely challenged young man in our congregation (mostly intellectual challenges, but some physical as well) who has been attending the Presanctified Liturgies with enthusiasm, much to his mother's pleasure and surprise. He does his best to prostrate. Where we are now, we set out only a few chairs for that service, based on expected attendance. This young man has been doing his best to prostrate with us. It has been one of the most encouraging events of the Lenten season for me. I'm sure he has tried because of the open space - not only can he easily see the rest of us, but he has lots of space for his very awkward movements. Pews would end that.

There is an organ in the building. It's well hidden away. We didn't even notice it on our first visit. We're not even sure if it will operate, and fortunately no one is inclined to find out.

As for doorkeeper, I've actually thought of that. Not for the ancient use, of course, but to control the comings and goings during the service. Our people have no qualms about walking in and out during the Gospel and other inappropriate times. Our priest is so focused on his duties at the altar that he admits to not noticing what is going on in the nave.

We have also talked a bit about lighting. It has been noted that dimmer switches would be useful.
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podkarpatska
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« Reply #80 on: April 16, 2013, 10:06:28 AM »

In fairness, I will concede that in Slavic tradition and America organs are a non issue as we never adopted them. When I was a kid, men and woman were on separate sides. Anyone remember hat hooks for fedoras ? That's not gonna happen anytime soon in most places. Lights? Use dimmers and a modern circuit board to adjust them. Microphones? Ask when you are 50 not 20. Pews - whatever, but in older parishes the demographics tilt to supporting them.
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katherine 2001
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« Reply #81 on: April 16, 2013, 10:28:38 AM »

A doorkeeper seriously?  If people are leaving during the wrong times or too often, that is between the person, God, and the priest.  Maybe God is allowing this to happen to help us to keep our attention to the service whatever the distractions are. 
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« Reply #82 on: April 16, 2013, 10:43:27 AM »

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Microphones? Ask when you are 50 not 20.

There is no need at all for microphones, whatever your age, if the church is built with proper acoustics, which is a feature of most traditional architectural styles. The local Russian church where I live is a veritable joy, a jewel of Novgorodian authenticity, and with perfect acoustics. No mikes required.

OTOH, the Greeks, who are greatest in numbers, and have the largest number of churches here, and the largest church buildings, have largely turned going to church into an auditory frustration, not least because of the combination of bad acoustics in their increasing deviation from traditional architecture, and woefully set-up sound systems, accompanied by the inevitable Byzantine chanter who either sings through his nose, or is off-key.  Angry Angry Angry Shocked
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podkarpatska
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« Reply #83 on: April 16, 2013, 10:51:40 AM »

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Microphones? Ask when you are 50 not 20.

There is no need at all for microphones, whatever your age, if the church is built with proper acoustics, which is a feature of most traditional architectural styles. The local Russian church where I live is a veritable joy, a jewel of Novgorodian authenticity, and with perfect acoustics. No mikes required.

OTOH, the Greeks, who are greatest in numbers, and have the largest number of churches here, and the largest church buildings, have largely turned going to church into an auditory frustration, not least because of the combination of bad acoustics in their increasing deviation from traditional architecture, and woefully set-up sound systems, accompanied by the inevitable Byzantine chanter who either sings through his nose, or is off-key.  Angry Angry Angry Shocked

I should further qualify...you are correct for the chanting and singing, but those same great acoustics often kill the homily and the scripture readings especially when the priest and readers don't project their voices well or don't properly enunciate. In my church the acoustic echo can garble the spoken word. Also if you are recording, broadcasting or web casting you must be miked.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 10:52:15 AM by podkarpatska » Logged
88Devin12
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« Reply #84 on: April 16, 2013, 11:33:26 AM »

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Microphones? Ask when you are 50 not 20.

There is no need at all for microphones, whatever your age, if the church is built with proper acoustics, which is a feature of most traditional architectural styles. The local Russian church where I live is a veritable joy, a jewel of Novgorodian authenticity, and with perfect acoustics. No mikes required.

OTOH, the Greeks, who are greatest in numbers, and have the largest number of churches here, and the largest church buildings, have largely turned going to church into an auditory frustration, not least because of the combination of bad acoustics in their increasing deviation from traditional architecture, and woefully set-up sound systems, accompanied by the inevitable Byzantine chanter who either sings through his nose, or is off-key.  Angry Angry Angry Shocked

I originally believed this about microphones and traditional Orthodox Architecture. however, after attending (for 3 months) at a completely traditional Orthodox Church in Greece, I've learned that if the Priest/Deacon is unable to project well, then while the architecture helps, it doesn't necessarily solve the problem. This is especially true if we get elderly clergy who cannot project well, or even elderly chanters who still have beautiful voices, but have lost their ability to project.

Also, I've also kept in mind that microphones do help the elderly. For the church I was in, if there weren't microphones, I would be able to hear the choir, but I doubt the elderly would have been able to. The other benefit that microphones have is that you can also project the sound outside of the church, in the US this isn't really necessary, but is certainly nice in places like Greece.

IF there are microphones, they should be only for the Priest, Deacon and the Choir. If they have one for the choir, there should only be 1 microphone per choir (if there are two) and it should be placed at such a distance that the choir can still quietly communicate and you don't have to hear pages turning. Whatever the setup was in the church in Greece, it was great, as you can hear in this video: http://youtu.be/qsRVGiALYT8

Also, a microphone is useful in hearing the Priest when he doesn't chant/sing, and especially useful during the gospel/epistle readings and the homily.

Wireless microphones are also useful when you are outside the church during processions:
http://youtu.be/T9QGwPhw7Bw

Or useful when at Pascha & outside:
http://youtu.be/sQW-Q9mrss0
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genesisone
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« Reply #85 on: April 16, 2013, 04:13:49 PM »

A doorkeeper seriously?  If people are leaving during the wrong times or too often, that is between the person, God, and the priest.  Maybe God is allowing this to happen to help us to keep our attention to the service whatever the distractions are. 
You may be referring to my earlier comments. I'm really thinking more in terms of an usher, such as at live theatre, or the symphony, where people are politely asked to wait until an appropriate moment to return to their seats. We all need gentle reminders from time to time. And yes, the "doorkeeper" would need to follow the priest's instructions, and then later, if necessary, alert him to difficult situations.
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« Reply #86 on: April 16, 2013, 05:02:10 PM »

A doorkeeper seriously?  If people are leaving during the wrong times or too often, that is between the person, God, and the priest.  Maybe God is allowing this to happen to help us to keep our attention to the service whatever the distractions are. 
You may be referring to my earlier comments. I'm really thinking more in terms of an usher, such as at live theatre, or the symphony, where people are politely asked to wait until an appropriate moment to return to their seats. We all need gentle reminders from time to time. And yes, the "doorkeeper" would need to follow the priest's instructions, and then later, if necessary, alert him to difficult situations.

The wonderful part about our services and our church is that constant movement can be going on. We don't need this western idea of stringent restriction of movement. The ONLY points in our services that we aren't supposed to move are during the reading of the Psalms at Matins, and at the Anaphora.
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« Reply #87 on: April 16, 2013, 05:03:02 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.

Wait, Isa's not the archbishop of Chicago? That's very disappointing.
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« Reply #88 on: April 16, 2013, 05:05:36 PM »

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

Reminds me of the Onion Dome article from years back the headline of which was, "New, even longer version of Liturgy of St. Basil found."
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Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
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« Reply #89 on: April 16, 2013, 05:08:02 PM »

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

More than Armenian? I looked at the Armenian vesting prayers--psalms, hymns, prayer of St. Gregory of Narek.
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Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
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