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Author Topic: Is it Permissible to Listen to Hymns During Holy Week?  (Read 1083 times) Average Rating: 0
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Severian
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« on: April 28, 2013, 10:00:19 PM »

Like on the Internet?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 10:03:36 PM by Severian » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 10:06:17 PM »

Is there something about listening to hymns on the Internet that makes you feel guilty?

Sincere question.
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Severian
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 10:09:30 PM »

Is there something about listening to hymns on the Internet that makes you feel guilty?

Sincere question.
No. I was just wondering whether or not doing so would be irreverent and distract the believer from the very somber and spiritual nature of the occasion.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 10:09:48 PM by Severian » Logged


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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2013, 10:16:45 PM »

Is there something about listening to hymns on the Internet that makes you feel guilty?

Sincere question.
No. I was just wondering whether or not doing so would be irreverent and distract the believer from the very somber and spiritual nature of the occasion.

Well, I meant, do you feel there is something wrong with it.

For example, you would certainly listen to hymns in church.

By looking at the context in which you listen to these hymns, I thought maybe you could answer your own question. What about it do you specifically feel makes it it incongruous with the solemnity of this week?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 10:17:06 PM by Rufus » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2013, 10:17:31 PM »

Do you stay home from work and lock yourself in your room except for services during Holy Week???

I don't really get the rationale for asking such a question.

It's not a criticism, just find the question quite odd. There's 10 Commandments, not 10 million.
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Severian
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2013, 10:19:42 PM »

^Very good points, both of you.

BTW, nice to see you posting again, Gisasargavak
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2013, 10:32:18 PM »

Maybe the pharisees would have such a rule, or could create one if need be.
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2013, 10:36:21 PM »

Like on the Internet?

Why would it not be?
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2013, 01:50:47 AM »

Like on the Internet?
Psalm 136 seems unimpeachable.
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2013, 04:28:11 PM »

A lot of people seem to think Severian's question is silly...why wouldn't you be able to listen to hymns during Holy Week?

But it's a good question. Hymns are prayers, and prayers shouldn't be treated so lightly.

In the end, perhaps only he can know the answer.
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 05:30:21 PM »

A lot of people seem to think Severian's question is silly...why wouldn't you be able to listen to hymns during Holy Week?

But it's a good question. Hymns are prayers, and prayers shouldn't be treated so lightly.

In the end, perhaps only he can know the answer.

In the Coptic tradition, during Holy Week, we do not pray the hours (they are replaced with the pascal hours), we do not read the Bible (except the readings assigned for the hours of Holy Week), we do not pray the midnight praise (a collection of hymns said in evening, midnight, and morning at every other time of the year). If possible, we should not work. We are to be wholly occupied with the Passion of Christ. So we would not listen to any hymns except those for this week. Also no secular music, no tv, no radio, no news, nothing sweet... (Of course, I'm failing at this right now by posing here.) Are other traditions more lenient than this?
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2013, 08:53:32 PM »

A lot of people seem to think Severian's question is silly...why wouldn't you be able to listen to hymns during Holy Week?

But it's a good question. Hymns are prayers, and prayers shouldn't be treated so lightly.

In the end, perhaps only he can know the answer.

How is listening to hymns treating the prayers lightly?
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2013, 09:45:05 PM »

A lot of people seem to think Severian's question is silly...why wouldn't you be able to listen to hymns during Holy Week?

But it's a good question. Hymns are prayers, and prayers shouldn't be treated so lightly.

In the end, perhaps only he can know the answer.

In the Coptic tradition, during Holy Week, we do not pray the hours (they are replaced with the pascal hours), we do not read the Bible (except the readings assigned for the hours of Holy Week), we do not pray the midnight praise (a collection of hymns said in evening, midnight, and morning at every other time of the year). If possible, we should not work. We are to be wholly occupied with the Passion of Christ. So we would not listen to any hymns except those for this week. Also no secular music, no tv, no radio, no news, nothing sweet... (Of course, I'm failing at this right now by posing here.) Are other traditions more lenient than this?
Btw, what is know as Pascha (i.e. Great and Holy Week) in the Coptic Church is not the same as what it means in other Orthodox Church (i.e. Pascha and Bright Week).

No, nor should they be.  They are, however an ideal: whether any one keeps them perfectly does not matter.  We should have something to shoot for.
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2013, 09:49:25 PM »

A lot of people seem to think Severian's question is silly...why wouldn't you be able to listen to hymns during Holy Week?

But it's a good question. Hymns are prayers, and prayers shouldn't be treated so lightly.

In the end, perhaps only he can know the answer.

How is listening to hymns treating the prayers lightly?

Depends on how he's listening to them.
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2013, 11:07:38 PM »

A lot of people seem to think Severian's question is silly...why wouldn't you be able to listen to hymns during Holy Week?

But it's a good question. Hymns are prayers, and prayers shouldn't be treated so lightly.

In the end, perhaps only he can know the answer.

How is listening to hymns treating the prayers lightly?

Depends on how he's listening to them.

This is rediculous.  How is it wrong to listen to hymns?  It is not like he is going to listen to them drunk while masturbating.  It is discussions like this that make me ashamed to belong to the Orthodox Church.  Christ died to free us and all you do is try to become jews again.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 11:08:07 PM by Punch » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2013, 12:05:51 AM »

A lot of people seem to think Severian's question is silly...why wouldn't you be able to listen to hymns during Holy Week?

But it's a good question. Hymns are prayers, and prayers shouldn't be treated so lightly.

In the end, perhaps only he can know the answer.

In the Coptic tradition, during Holy Week, we do not pray the hours (they are replaced with the pascal hours), we do not read the Bible (except the readings assigned for the hours of Holy Week), we do not pray the midnight praise (a collection of hymns said in evening, midnight, and morning at every other time of the year). If possible, we should not work. We are to be wholly occupied with the Passion of Christ. So we would not listen to any hymns except those for this week. Also no secular music, no tv, no radio, no news, nothing sweet... (Of course, I'm failing at this right now by posing here.) Are other traditions more lenient than this?

I suspected this to be the case, and the reason behind Severian's question.

The Coptic Church is probably the most austere in the Orthodox tradition, and I greatly admire the piety of my Coptic brothers and sisters.  The Copts, more than anyone else, have lived in imitation of the Desert Fathers, and have kept so many of their practices alive.  This undoubtedly is one of those practices.


Everyone:
While I have never had a problem with people outside the OO tradition commenting in the OO forum, I do expect people to be polite and respectful.  Even if the Coptic treatment of hymns during Holy Week is perplexing, and people from outside the Coptic tradition disagree with it, I expect everyone to express their disagreement in a way that is charitable.  Thanks.   Smiley
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 12:07:54 AM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2013, 03:04:58 PM »

A lot of people seem to think Severian's question is silly...why wouldn't you be able to listen to hymns during Holy Week?

But it's a good question. Hymns are prayers, and prayers shouldn't be treated so lightly.

In the end, perhaps only he can know the answer.

How is listening to hymns treating the prayers lightly?

Depends on how he's listening to them.

This is rediculous.  How is it wrong to listen to hymns?  It is not like he is going to listen to them drunk while masturbating.  It is discussions like this that make me ashamed to belong to the Orthodox Church.  Christ died to free us and all you do is try to become jews again.

Yes, that's the first thing I thought too.

Then I realized I'm a student of a hymnodic tradition that has been largely butchered to shreds by people misusing it.

There is more than one way that Severian's feeling could be valid.

Or maybe he is being stupidly scrupulous. I'm not even a member of his communion. That's why I'm not telling him the answer.
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2013, 08:42:16 PM »



In the Coptic tradition, during Holy Week, we do not pray the hours (they are replaced with the pascal hours), we do not read the Bible (except the readings assigned for the hours of Holy Week), we do not pray the midnight praise (a collection of hymns said in evening, midnight, and morning at every other time of the year). If possible, we should not work. We are to be wholly occupied with the Passion of Christ. So we would not listen to any hymns except those for this week. Also no secular music, no tv, no radio, no news, nothing sweet... (Of course, I'm failing at this right now by posing here.) Are other traditions more lenient than this?

I suspect that the basic outline of this traditional discipline for Holy Week is shared by all the OO Churches, even if the people at any given time are more or less strict about it.  Certainly it's the ideal, it's what's preached and encouraged.  The liturgical details will be different, as well as certain cultural or regional customs, but I think all of us have this practice. 

The original question is probably best answered by the individual's confessor.  In my opinion, listening to hymns for edification would be appropriate (and I'm presuming they're Orthodox hymns); after all, our goal through these disciplines is to draw closer to Christ, and if these hymns help, I can't see anything wrong in that.  But if the tradition of the Church regarding how to live this week developed in such a strict and ascetic way, it might be worth trying it on its own terms to see what it can do for us.       

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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2013, 11:34:37 PM »

after all, our goal through these disciplines is to draw closer to Christ, and if these hymns help, I can't see anything wrong in that.

*Ding ding ding!*  "And that concludes the first round of,..."

If the OP is treating the rule as the end, and not a means to an end, then if he fulfills the rule and listens to no hymns during this week outside of the prescribed hymns, he's earned his reward, and that's it.  But the rule is to be a means to an end, not the end in itself.  Union with Christ is the reason we do this and that, not for the sake of fulfilling some external code of behavior.
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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2013, 07:11:43 PM »

Obviously the Church gave us the tradition of being whole preoccupied with the Passion this week in order to draw near to Him through the practices and meditations of the week, not just to see if we can do it...

The church gives us different seasons because we built to need variety and by focusing on one aspect of Christ's work at one season, then another later, this is the most effective way for us not to grow lukewarm or cold, but to always have Christ's acts for our salvation presented to us anew so that they remain fresh to us and we do not start taking them for granted.

An EO writer said that if we find we've passed through lent without taking the time to repent, fast, pray, and partake in the spirit of the season, and find ourselves in Pentecost, the correct response is not to wish to have lent back so that we can do it right, but to focus on the season of Pentecost and it's joy, and participate in that as much as we can now.

The church gives us different meditations and practices in different seasons so that we grow, learn discipline, meditate on various aspects... If we just do whatever we feel like we will end up in a very narrow spirituality, contemplating the mysteries that appeal to us and neglecting others, following our own will and not learning to subject it, not for bragging rights of saying I subjected it, but as practice to subject it to His will.

Orthodoxy is cyclical by nature. And we benefit from it by focusing on now, and being present in the current season. It is medicine given to us by the Church. We cannot say, medicine is not an end in itself, it is a means, so I will neglect the medicine and focus in the end, doing whatever I feel will make we well and not taking the medecine the physician gave me.

The rites of Holy Week are sufficient to fill the whole week. There is plenty of time every other week of the year for all sorts of hymns with every mood. But this week we narrow ourselves only to the contemplation of this week: the suffering and death that pave the way to resurrection. There is no need to look for readings, or prayers, or hymns besides the several hundred page book appointed to be gotten through in full this week. And there is nothing more fitting or beneficial to us than respecting this holiest week of the year. Not to say look, I did everything in this big book, but because it is the perfect medicine given to us right now. Chemo patients receive doses of medicine that are painful, then have to recover before receiving the next. This week is our most powerful medecine, and then we'll have Pentecost to rest and recover, when no sermons are even to be said, before heavy medecine is used again.

If you believe that the practices you chose are more fitting medicine than this prescription passed down from the fathers, that is your business, no one is telling you what to do. But to call this venerable and beneficial tradition crazy because you don't do it... your loss.
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Severian
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« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2014, 09:20:46 PM »

Like on the Internet?
Why on Earth did I ask this question?

"Like on the Internet?" I sound like the dumb blonde in my sophomore English class.
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