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Author Topic: How much of the services does your priest chant?  (Read 628 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 11, 2013, 10:39:21 PM »

At my parish, we have a situation where the priest routinely chants a number of things "normally" reserved for the chanters.  Some of the things he reserves for himself:
1) the verses of the 1st Kathisma at Great Vespers
2)  alternating verses of Psalms 140, 141, 129 and 116 of Vespers
3) if the apolytikion is chanted thrice (for a great feast)
4) the Kontakion of all Liturgies
5) Alternating verses of the Great Doxology
6) The "Blessed art Thou, O LOrd..." at the Evlogetaria at Orthros
7) Certain Kathismata hymns at Bridegroom Orthros
Cool  Alternating verses of the canon (save for the 9th ode)
9) More Honorable than the Cherubim

THere are more, I'm sure. I know the reason he does this is that because for a long time, there were no chanters available or willing to do Vespers and/or Orthros so he had to do them himself.  But he's never let go of the things listed above. I just want to know how typical or atypical this may be at other Orthodox parishes, particularly those that use Byzantine  chant (Antiochian and Greek).  Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 10:51:25 PM »

At my parish, we have a situation where the priest routinely chants a number of things "normally" reserved for the chanters.  Some of the things he reserves for himself:
1) the verses of the 1st Kathisma at Great Vespers
2)  alternating verses of Psalms 140, 141, 129 and 116 of Vespers
3) if the apolytikion is chanted thrice (for a great feast)
4) the Kontakion of all Liturgies
5) Alternating verses of the Great Doxology
6) The "Blessed art Thou, O LOrd..." at the Evlogetaria at Orthros
7) Certain Kathismata hymns at Bridegroom Orthros
8 )  Alternating verses of the canon (save for the 9th ode)
9) More Honorable than the Cherubim

THere are more, I'm sure. I know the reason he does this is that because for a long time, there were no chanters available or willing to do Vespers and/or Orthros so he had to do them himself.  But he's never let go of the things listed above. I just want to know how typical or atypical this may be at other Orthodox parishes, particularly those that use Byzantine  chant (Antiochian and Greek).  Thanks.

There is nothing reserved for just the chanters. The Proistamenos (aka the parish pastor) is the one who is in charge of how the services are to be done, so if he decides that everything should be chanted by the priest then everything is chanted by the priest. Nothing that you listed seems out of the ordinary. If your priest has a nice voice, then consider yourself blessed that he is joining in.
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 10:58:18 PM »

At my parish, we have a situation where the priest routinely chants a number of things "normally" reserved for the chanters.  Some of the things he reserves for himself:
1) the verses of the 1st Kathisma at Great Vespers
2)  alternating verses of Psalms 140, 141, 129 and 116 of Vespers
3) if the apolytikion is chanted thrice (for a great feast)
4) the Kontakion of all Liturgies
5) Alternating verses of the Great Doxology
6) The "Blessed art Thou, O LOrd..." at the Evlogetaria at Orthros
7) Certain Kathismata hymns at Bridegroom Orthros
Cool  Alternating verses of the canon (save for the 9th ode)
9) More Honorable than the Cherubim

THere are more, I'm sure. I know the reason he does this is that because for a long time, there were no chanters available or willing to do Vespers and/or Orthros so he had to do them himself.  But he's never let go of the things listed above. I just want to know how typical or atypical this may be at other Orthodox parishes, particularly those that use Byzantine  chant (Antiochian and Greek).  Thanks.

I think only 3) and 4) apply to my (Greek) parish. They also tend to sing the first verses of the Evlogitaria for the Reposed at the Mnimosyno, but never the Resurrection ones at Orthros.
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 11:25:33 PM »

At my parish, we have a situation where the priest routinely chants a number of things "normally" reserved for the chanters.  Some of the things he reserves for himself:
1) the verses of the 1st Kathisma at Great Vespers
2)  alternating verses of Psalms 140, 141, 129 and 116 of Vespers
3) if the apolytikion is chanted thrice (for a great feast)
4) the Kontakion of all Liturgies
5) Alternating verses of the Great Doxology
6) The "Blessed art Thou, O LOrd..." at the Evlogetaria at Orthros
7) Certain Kathismata hymns at Bridegroom Orthros
8 )  Alternating verses of the canon (save for the 9th ode)
9) More Honorable than the Cherubim

THere are more, I'm sure. I know the reason he does this is that because for a long time, there were no chanters available or willing to do Vespers and/or Orthros so he had to do them himself.  But he's never let go of the things listed above. I just want to know how typical or atypical this may be at other Orthodox parishes, particularly those that use Byzantine  chant (Antiochian and Greek).  Thanks.

There is nothing reserved for just the chanters. The Proistamenos (aka the parish pastor) is the one who is in charge of how the services are to be done, so if he decides that everything should be chanted by the priest then everything is chanted by the priest. Nothing that you listed seems out of the ordinary. If your priest has a nice voice, then consider yourself blessed that he is joining in.
Perhaps a bit of an aside, but my priest routinely gives chanting duties to non-readers (we have two tonsured in our church) and catechumens as well. By chanting duties, I mean reading the Epistle, and certain prayers and psalms at Vespers/Matins, etc. I am not wild about it in the least and somewhat scandalized by letting catechumens read prayers/kathismata, etc (they don't read the Epistle at Liturgy). My priest, while a good prayerful man, was not seminary educated and tends to wing it more often than not and likes to "include people."

You seem to have more experience in these matters. I've only been Orthodox for 4 years and I have been to different parishes, monasteries, etc and have not come across anything like what I highlighted above, but I'd appreciate your and others take on this.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 05:57:51 AM »

By chanting duties, I mean reading the Epistle, and certain prayers and psalms at Vespers/Matins, etc. I am not wild about it in the least and somewhat scandalized by letting catechumens read prayers/kathismata, etc (they don't read the Epistle at Liturgy). My priest, while a good prayerful man, was not seminary educated and tends to wing it more often than not and likes to "include people."

And what's wrong with that?
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2013, 07:45:51 AM »

Our priest has begun to chant more material himself. This may be because our chanters may show up at different times.
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2013, 07:52:46 AM »

I agree with the comments that there is no issue, and a bonus if the priest can sing. In the Rusyn chant, and I suspect in the Galician and Lemko traditions as well, this is commonplace, much as you described in the Byzantine. My dad loved to do that, many a generation of "kantoryj" were trained by him in that manner.   
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2013, 10:10:34 AM »

By chanting duties, I mean reading the Epistle, and certain prayers and psalms at Vespers/Matins, etc. I am not wild about it in the least and somewhat scandalized by letting catechumens read prayers/kathismata, etc (they don't read the Epistle at Liturgy). My priest, while a good prayerful man, was not seminary educated and tends to wing it more often than not and likes to "include people."

And what's wrong with that?
Catechumens are allowed to read the prayers at Vespers like "Vouchesafe O Lord", trisagion prayers, "Now lettest thou thy servant", kathisma, etc in your church?

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2013, 10:18:37 AM »

By chanting duties, I mean reading the Epistle, and certain prayers and psalms at Vespers/Matins, etc. I am not wild about it in the least and somewhat scandalized by letting catechumens read prayers/kathismata, etc (they don't read the Epistle at Liturgy). My priest, while a good prayerful man, was not seminary educated and tends to wing it more often than not and likes to "include people."

And what's wrong with that?
Catechumens are allowed to read the prayers at Vespers like "Vouchesafe O Lord", trisagion prayers, "Now lettest thou thy servant", kathisma, etc in your church?

At my old parish, even inquirers were allowed to read at Vespers and Matins.
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2013, 10:18:51 AM »

At my parish, we have a situation where the priest routinely chants a number of things "normally" reserved for the chanters.  Some of the things he reserves for himself:
1) the verses of the 1st Kathisma at Great Vespers
2)  alternating verses of Psalms 140, 141, 129 and 116 of Vespers
3) if the apolytikion is chanted thrice (for a great feast)
4) the Kontakion of all Liturgies
5) Alternating verses of the Great Doxology
6) The "Blessed art Thou, O LOrd..." at the Evlogetaria at Orthros
7) Certain Kathismata hymns at Bridegroom Orthros
8 )  Alternating verses of the canon (save for the 9th ode)
9) More Honorable than the Cherubim

THere are more, I'm sure. I know the reason he does this is that because for a long time, there were no chanters available or willing to do Vespers and/or Orthros so he had to do them himself.  But he's never let go of the things listed above. I just want to know how typical or atypical this may be at other Orthodox parishes, particularly those that use Byzantine  chant (Antiochian and Greek).  Thanks.
#3, 4 only very occasionally; #5 yes - unless he knows his voice is not likely to remain in full form through the DL. He will also pitch in occasionally especially when there is only one chanter present. The reason is usually as that in your situation, but I know that to some extent he copies the priest most influential in training him.
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2013, 10:50:47 AM »

By chanting duties, I mean reading the Epistle, and certain prayers and psalms at Vespers/Matins, etc. I am not wild about it in the least and somewhat scandalized by letting catechumens read prayers/kathismata, etc (they don't read the Epistle at Liturgy). My priest, while a good prayerful man, was not seminary educated and tends to wing it more often than not and likes to "include people."

And what's wrong with that?
Catechumens are allowed to read the prayers at Vespers like "Vouchesafe O Lord", trisagion prayers, "Now lettest thou thy servant", kathisma, etc in your church?

At my old parish, even inquirers were allowed to read at Vespers and Matins.
And do you think there is anything wrong with that? BTW, that's happened at mine before, too.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2013, 11:06:16 AM »

By chanting duties, I mean reading the Epistle, and certain prayers and psalms at Vespers/Matins, etc. I am not wild about it in the least and somewhat scandalized by letting catechumens read prayers/kathismata, etc (they don't read the Epistle at Liturgy). My priest, while a good prayerful man, was not seminary educated and tends to wing it more often than not and likes to "include people."

And what's wrong with that?
Catechumens are allowed to read the prayers at Vespers like "Vouchesafe O Lord", trisagion prayers, "Now lettest thou thy servant", kathisma, etc in your church?

At my old parish, even inquirers were allowed to read at Vespers and Matins.
And do you think there is anything wrong with that? BTW, that's happened at mine before, too.

In Christ,
Andrew
If they are prayers that are said by the congregation - including even visitors - then it may not be out of place. However, responsibility for leading should be given only to those inquirers/catechumens who are clearly headed towards being received into the Church. It can be a valuable tool for instruction - which includes learning to be fully involved in worship. It may also happen that in situations of very low attendance that there simply is no one else willing/available to read the prayers, unless you want the priest to do absolutely everything  Smiley.
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2013, 03:12:25 PM »

Catechumens are allowed to read the prayers at Vespers like "Vouchesafe O Lord", trisagion prayers, "Now lettest thou thy servant", kathisma, etc in your church?

They are not read, but sung. And yes. They can sing too.
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2013, 03:16:12 PM »

By chanting duties, I mean reading the Epistle, and certain prayers and psalms at Vespers/Matins, etc. I am not wild about it in the least and somewhat scandalized by letting catechumens read prayers/kathismata, etc (they don't read the Epistle at Liturgy). My priest, while a good prayerful man, was not seminary educated and tends to wing it more often than not and likes to "include people."

And what's wrong with that?
Catechumens are allowed to read the prayers at Vespers like "Vouchesafe O Lord", trisagion prayers, "Now lettest thou thy servant", kathisma, etc in your church?

At my old parish, even inquirers were allowed to read at Vespers and Matins.
And do you think there is anything wrong with that? BTW, that's happened at mine before, too.

In Christ,
Andrew
If they are prayers that are said by the congregation - including even visitors - then it may not be out of place. However, responsibility for leading should be given only to those inquirers/catechumens who are clearly headed towards being received into the Church. It can be a valuable tool for instruction - which includes learning to be fully involved in worship. It may also happen that in situations of very low attendance that there simply is no one else willing/available to read the prayers, unless you want the priest to do absolutely everything  Smiley.
Ours are done in the ROCOR style with specific prayers being designated to be read by a Reader. Trisagion and other prayers aren't said congregationally in our parish, and I believe our diocese as well. I have no qualms with participation in singing with everyone else but I just thought it was inappropriate for inquirers and catechumens to be reading and participating to that extent. There was a reason catechumens were dismissed. Or so I thought.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2013, 03:37:35 PM »

I just thought it was inappropriate for inquirers and catechumens to be reading and participating to that extent. There was a reason catechumens were dismissed. Or so I thought.

When do you dismiss catechumens during the vigil  Shocked
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2013, 03:56:07 PM »

Catechumens are allowed to read the prayers at Vespers like "Vouchesafe O Lord", trisagion prayers, "Now lettest thou thy servant", kathisma, etc in your church?

They are not read, but sung. And yes. They can sing too.

Nobody cares what you Russians do.  Grin
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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2013, 12:24:54 AM »

And do you think there is anything wrong with that? BTW, that's happened at mine before, too.

It didn't feel too naughty.
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