Author Topic: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition  (Read 3798 times)

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« on: December 29, 2015, 01:33:56 PM »
Quote
Millions of Americans go to church on Christmas Eve. They crowd shoulder-to-shoulder in pews to sing "Silent Night" and light candles and listen to soloists belt out "O Holy Night." More than a few watch nativity plays that recreate the birth of Jesus with a cast of 10-year-olds in bathrobes. When the service is over, they exchange hearty "Merry Christmas!" wishes before getting in their cars and heading home.

And they stay home the next day. Or they drive to Grandma's, or go to the movies. But however they spend Christmas Day — "the feast of Christmas" on the Christian liturgical calendar — one way most Americans don't celebrate it is by going to church. While demand for Christmas Eve celebrations is so high that some churches hold as many as five or six different services on the 24th of December, most Protestant churches are closed on the actual religious holiday. For most Christians, Christmas is a day for family, not faith.

http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1868647,00.html

Offline wgw

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2015, 01:51:20 PM »
Quote
Millions of Americans go to church on Christmas Eve. They crowd shoulder-to-shoulder in pews to sing "Silent Night" and light candles and listen to soloists belt out "O Holy Night." More than a few watch nativity plays that recreate the birth of Jesus with a cast of 10-year-olds in bathrobes. When the service is over, they exchange hearty "Merry Christmas!" wishes before getting in their cars and heading home.

And they stay home the next day. Or they drive to Grandma's, or go to the movies. But however they spend Christmas Day — "the feast of Christmas" on the Christian liturgical calendar — one way most Americans don't celebrate it is by going to church. While demand for Christmas Eve celebrations is so high that some churches hold as many as five or six different services on the 24th of December, most Protestant churches are closed on the actual religious holiday. For most Christians, Christmas is a day for family, not faith.

http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1868647,00.html

This to me seems conceptually similiar to the increasingly common Orthodox parish practice wherein Pascha is celebrated at 8 PM on Holy Saturday rather than after midnight as per Monastic praxis or on Sunday.

The lamentable distinction however is that there is no Vespers service in the early morning of Christmas Eve...

I would also say: the idea that time at church is not family time par excellence is pernicious and wrong.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 01:51:43 PM by wgw »
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Offline 88Devin12

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2015, 01:54:55 PM »
Quote
Millions of Americans go to church on Christmas Eve. They crowd shoulder-to-shoulder in pews to sing "Silent Night" and light candles and listen to soloists belt out "O Holy Night." More than a few watch nativity plays that recreate the birth of Jesus with a cast of 10-year-olds in bathrobes. When the service is over, they exchange hearty "Merry Christmas!" wishes before getting in their cars and heading home.

And they stay home the next day. Or they drive to Grandma's, or go to the movies. But however they spend Christmas Day — "the feast of Christmas" on the Christian liturgical calendar — one way most Americans don't celebrate it is by going to church. While demand for Christmas Eve celebrations is so high that some churches hold as many as five or six different services on the 24th of December, most Protestant churches are closed on the actual religious holiday. For most Christians, Christmas is a day for family, not faith.

http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1868647,00.html

This to me seems conceptually similiar to the increasingly common Orthodox parish practice wherein Pascha is celebrated at 8 PM on Holy Saturday rather than after midnight as per Monastic praxis or on Sunday.

The lamentable distinction however is that there is no Vespers service in the early morning of Christmas Eve...

I would also say: the idea that time at church is not family time par excellence is pernicious and wrong.

Well and I think the excuse also is that parents don't want to have to deal with their children not getting to open gifts that next morning.

Then also the idea tha family plans contradict services.

I would love to go to church on Christmas Day at my parish, even if it were just a few of us attending.

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2015, 02:21:20 PM »
Quote
Millions of Americans go to church on Christmas Eve. They crowd shoulder-to-shoulder in pews to sing "Silent Night" and light candles and listen to soloists belt out "O Holy Night." More than a few watch nativity plays that recreate the birth of Jesus with a cast of 10-year-olds in bathrobes. When the service is over, they exchange hearty "Merry Christmas!" wishes before getting in their cars and heading home.

And they stay home the next day. Or they drive to Grandma's, or go to the movies. But however they spend Christmas Day — "the feast of Christmas" on the Christian liturgical calendar — one way most Americans don't celebrate it is by going to church. While demand for Christmas Eve celebrations is so high that some churches hold as many as five or six different services on the 24th of December, most Protestant churches are closed on the actual religious holiday. For most Christians, Christmas is a day for family, not faith.

http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1868647,00.html

This to me seems conceptually similiar to the increasingly common Orthodox parish practice wherein Pascha is celebrated at 8 PM on Holy Saturday rather than after midnight as per Monastic praxis or on Sunday.

The lamentable distinction however is that there is no Vespers service in the early morning of Christmas Eve...

I would also say: the idea that time at church is not family time par excellence is pernicious and wrong.

Lots of churches (not necessarily Orthodox ones) end up shunting kids off into a separate service or into Sunday School. It's often said that in the United States, Sunday morning is the most segregated time of the week. While the phrase originally referred to race, it could easily apply to age, too. Many Protestant churches have both contemporary and "traditional" (meaning 40s-50s style) services, each of which attracts a different age group. So you have the elderly in one service, the baby boomers and generation X in another, and the kids off in a Sunday School class.

Protestantism emphasizes the sermon as the primary focus of worship, and Protestant sermons are often either highly intellectualized and expository, or else they are "fire-and-brimstone", which in either case makes them unsuitable for children. Hence, time at church often isn't family time, if you're a Protestant (and Protestants are the primary focus of the article Mor posted).
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 02:23:39 PM by Minnesotan »
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2015, 02:41:39 PM »
Is this a trend in the US Orthodox, my cousin's Antiochian parish in the south does this vesperal liturgy and nothing on Christmas day. I find it hard to fathom. What readings, tropars etc... Is the service the anticipatory vesperal Liturgy of the Eve or a combination made of parts of complines and the feastday liturgy. I heard the local Greek church did this last week...Is this spreading?

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2015, 03:41:11 PM »
This to me seems conceptually similiar to the increasingly common Orthodox parish practice wherein Pascha is celebrated at 8 PM on Holy Saturday rather than after midnight as per Monastic praxis or on Sunday.

What's your basis for claiming this is "increasingly common"?
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2015, 03:43:58 PM »
Is this a trend in the US Orthodox, my cousin's Antiochian parish in the south does this vesperal liturgy and nothing on Christmas day. I find it hard to fathom. What readings, tropars etc... Is the service the anticipatory vesperal Liturgy of the Eve or a combination made of parts of complines and the feastday liturgy. I heard the local Greek church did this last week...Is this spreading?

Our parish (Greek) holds the Nativity Divine Liturgy at midnight. I don't know what you mean by "anticipatory," since, as far as I know, it's the full feastday liturgy.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2015, 04:07:29 PM »
This to me seems conceptually similiar to the increasingly common Orthodox parish practice wherein Pascha is celebrated at 8 PM on Holy Saturday rather than after midnight as per Monastic praxis or on Sunday.

What's your basis for claiming this is "increasingly common"?

Yes, please, do enlighten us. My experience, over two countries and four jurisdictions, has never involved a Saturday evening Resurrection service. I do know of occasions where the service was early, but only in cases of rural churches without a resident priest, where someone from the next village had to come serve and return in time for their own midnight service, not as a deliberate arrangement.
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Offline wgw

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2015, 08:54:37 PM »
This to me seems conceptually similiar to the increasingly common Orthodox parish practice wherein Pascha is celebrated at 8 PM on Holy Saturday rather than after midnight as per Monastic praxis or on Sunday.

What's your basis for claiming this is "increasingly common"?

I know of several urban parishes where it is done early for safety reasons, interestingly enough including my own.  Iit should be noted I do not object; strictly speaking Pascha Sunday begins on ecclesiastical time at the close of the Vesperal Divine Liturgy or at the end of Vespers in other rites.

The main problem with the Christmas Eve timeshift occurring is that Christmas Day seevices are being deleted outright,
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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2015, 08:56:28 PM »
This to me seems conceptually similiar to the increasingly common Orthodox parish practice wherein Pascha is celebrated at 8 PM on Holy Saturday rather than after midnight as per Monastic praxis or on Sunday.

What's your basis for claiming this is "increasingly common"?

Yes, please, do enlighten us. My experience, over two countries and four jurisdictions, has never involved a Saturday evening Resurrection service. I do know of occasions where the service was early, but only in cases of rural churches without a resident priest, where someone from the next village had to come serve and return in time for their own midnight service, not as a deliberate arrangement.

These were deliberate arrangements that owed and owe to the safety in certain areas after dark.  They are not, I should stress, made for the sake of convenience, which is another criticism one could justifiably apply to the decline of Christmas Day services.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2015, 09:47:27 PM »
The main problem with the Christmas Eve timeshift occurring is that Christmas Day services are being deleted outright,

I thought you are American now?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2015, 10:21:53 PM »

We have Vespers on the January 6th, followed by a huge lenten dinner.  The hall is filled to bursting.  People eat, laugh and sing carols.

On the 7th we have Divine Liturgy.  It is well attended.  Perhaps fewer people than on Christmas Eve, but, still rather full.

The issue I see is that on Christmas Eve, everyone rushes to church after work/school.  To attend on Christmas day they need to miss work/school.

Some people simply cannot miss work.  For most kids, it is the first week back after Christmas/Winter break and toughest of all are the college kids.  It is the very first week of a brand new semester and new classes. Missing class on Christmas day (Jan. 7), means missing the first session of a new class.  It's tough.  I cannot judge these people too harshly.

My mother always had us come to church on Christmas day, no matter what.  One year it was the first class of Organic Chemistry.  When I showed up the next week, I didn't have my "drawer" assignment - which was your semester supply of all kinds of glass pipettes, tubes, etc...for all the experiments.  It did set me back, because as others were working, I was trying to track down the administrators to sign papers to let me get my stuff.

Nonetheless, I would have it no other way.  In the end it all worked out just fine.

The only time I missed it was 2 years ago when my mother was in ICU with pneumonia complications, and I refused to leave her side.  My sweet nephew/godson who is an altar server, turned on facetime on his iPhone and set it on a side table inside the altar.   I plugged in my earbuds, got comfy in my chair and celebrated Liturgy from a side table with a great view!  :)  When my priest walked back in after Holy Communion to place the chalice back at the Table of Oblation, he spotted me.  :)  He stopped, tried to comprehend what he was seeing,....then understood, walked over to the iPhone and tapped it with the Chalice (we get tapped on our heads with the Chalice after Communion).  It made me cry.  Then I listened as after his sermon he asked everyone to pray for my mother's recovery.  I cried, again.

To this day, you will find me and mine in church on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, if at all possible.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2015, 10:39:49 PM »
The only time I missed it was 2 years ago when my mother was in ICU with pneumonia complications, and I refused to leave her side.  My sweet nephew/godson who is an altar server, turned on facetime on his iPhone and set it on a side table inside the altar.   I plugged in my earbuds, got comfy in my chair and celebrated Liturgy from a side table with a great view!  :)  When my priest walked back in after Holy Communion to place the chalice back at the Table of Oblation, he spotted me.  :)  He stopped, tried to comprehend what he was seeing,....then understood, walked over to the iPhone and tapped it with the Chalice (we get tapped on our heads with the Chalice after Communion).  It made me cry.  Then I listened as after his sermon he asked everyone to pray for my mother's recovery.  I cried, again.

Lovely story! 

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2015, 10:40:04 PM »
What a blessing your priest is. Many years to him.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2015, 10:53:55 PM »
Is this a trend in the US Orthodox, my cousin's Antiochian parish in the south does this vesperal liturgy and nothing on Christmas day. I find it hard to fathom. What readings, tropars etc... Is the service the anticipatory vesperal Liturgy of the Eve or a combination made of parts of complines and the feastday liturgy. I heard the local Greek church did this last week...Is this spreading?

It combines vespers of the feast with the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and not that of St. Basil. All the readings are save for the epistle and gospel of the feast are omitted.  Unfortunately, this us spreading with the blessing if many Greek hierarchs. My local Greek parish does this too.
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2015, 11:11:52 PM »
Is this a trend in the US Orthodox, my cousin's Antiochian parish in the south does this vesperal liturgy and nothing on Christmas day. I find it hard to fathom. What readings, tropars etc... Is the service the anticipatory vesperal Liturgy of the Eve or a combination made of parts of complines and the feastday liturgy. I heard the local Greek church did this last week...Is this spreading?

It combines vespers of the feast with the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and not that of St. Basil. All the readings are save for the epistle and gospel of the feast are omitted.  Unfortunately, this us spreading with the blessing if many Greek hierarchs. My local Greek parish does this too.

For what its worth both my brother and son said to me that they would not change the traditional order of things. One of the most treasured traditions of the holyday for those from a Slavic tradition  is the 'velije' or Syjatyj Vecer/Holy Supper which is the fasting dinner of seven to twelve items at the sign of the first star followed by attending the Christmas complines service. Liturgy of course in the morning.

As kids and in raising my kids we got to open our 'Santa' present before liturgy on Christmas morning and the family exchanged the rest of the gifts in the afternoon after a post liturgy dinner. We all survived intact.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2015, 11:21:26 PM »
What a blessing your priest is. Many years to him.

He is the best!!!  :)
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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Offline Bob2

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2015, 11:29:59 PM »
Is this a trend in the US Orthodox, my cousin's Antiochian parish in the south does this vesperal liturgy and nothing on Christmas day. I find it hard to fathom. What readings, tropars etc... Is the service the anticipatory vesperal Liturgy of the Eve or a combination made of parts of complines and the feastday liturgy. I heard the local Greek church did this last week...Is this spreading?

Our parish (Greek) holds the Nativity Divine Liturgy at midnight. I don't know what you mean by "anticipatory," since, as far as I know, it's the full feastday liturgy.

The eve of the Nativity and Theophany call for a Vesperal Liturgy, which would be anticipatory of the feast coming on the following day, as previously stated some churches don't have services on the day of the feast itself and only hold the Vesperal Liturgy, I agree this makes little sense. If your parish has a midnight Liturgy then it is definitely holding services for the day of the feast itself.

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2015, 11:36:57 PM »
I missed both Christmas Eve and Christmas this year.  I missed the midnight Pascha service this year.  It's entirely possible I'll miss these services every year; I'm still sorting out what that means.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Bob2

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2015, 11:37:05 PM »

We have Vespers on the January 6th, followed by a huge lenten dinner.  The hall is filled to bursting.  People eat, laugh and sing carols.

On the 7th we have Divine Liturgy.  It is well attended.  Perhaps fewer people than on Christmas Eve, but, still rather full.


I know it is impossible to do everything, but I find the unique Vigil consisting of Great Compline, and Matins on the eve of Nativity to be one of the most beautiful services of the year, I find it sad that it is being omitted.


Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2015, 11:37:19 PM »
Is this a trend in the US Orthodox, my cousin's Antiochian parish in the south does this vesperal liturgy and nothing on Christmas day. I find it hard to fathom. What readings, tropars etc... Is the service the anticipatory vesperal Liturgy of the Eve or a combination made of parts of complines and the feastday liturgy. I heard the local Greek church did this last week...Is this spreading?

It combines vespers of the feast with the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and not that of St. Basil. All the readings are save for the epistle and gospel of the feast are omitted.  Unfortunately, this us spreading with the blessing if many Greek hierarchs. My local Greek parish does this too.

For what its worth both my brother and son said to me that they would not change the traditional order of things. One of the most treasured traditions of the holyday for those from a Slavic tradition  is the 'velije' or Syjatyj Vecer/Holy Supper which is the fasting dinner of seven to twelve items at the sign of the first star followed by attending the Christmas complines service. Liturgy of course in the morning.

As kids and in raising my kids we got to open our 'Santa' present before liturgy on Christmas morning and the family exchanged the rest of the gifts in the afternoon after a post liturgy dinner. We all survived intact.

Very special stuff. Good to learn about it.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2015, 12:14:16 AM »
Is this a trend in the US Orthodox, my cousin's Antiochian parish in the south does this vesperal liturgy and nothing on Christmas day. I find it hard to fathom. What readings, tropars etc... Is the service the anticipatory vesperal Liturgy of the Eve or a combination made of parts of complines and the feastday liturgy. I heard the local Greek church did this last week...Is this spreading?

Our parish (Greek) holds the Nativity Divine Liturgy at midnight. I don't know what you mean by "anticipatory," since, as far as I know, it's the full feastday liturgy.

The eve of the Nativity and Theophany call for a Vesperal Liturgy, which would be anticipatory of the feast coming on the following day, as previously stated some churches don't have services on the day of the feast itself and only hold the Vesperal Liturgy, I agree this makes little sense. If your parish has a midnight Liturgy then it is definitely holding services for the day of the feast itself.
The Vesperal Liturgy is not anticipatory, it the first of two festal liturgies called for on Christmas, Theophany and Pascha.
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Offline Bob2

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2015, 12:26:42 AM »
The Vesperal Liturgy is not anticipatory, it the first of two festal liturgies called for on Christmas, Theophany and Pascha.


You don't find the Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy anticipatory? If it was a full Liturgy of the feast why isn't "Christ is Risen" sung? I would agree that it kind of straddles the fence, as symbolized by the change in vestment color at the Epistle, but it seems anticipatory to me.

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2015, 01:58:22 AM »
The Vesperal Liturgy is not anticipatory, it the first of two festal liturgies called for on Christmas, Theophany and Pascha.


You don't find the Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy anticipatory? If it was a full Liturgy of the feast why isn't "Christ is Risen" sung? I would agree that it kind of straddles the fence, as symbolized by the change in vestment color at the Epistle, but it seems anticipatory to me.
Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy was the Paschal Liturgy of Hagia Sophia, and Hagia Sophia didn't sing "Christ is Risen" or any other troparia we are used to.
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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2015, 02:14:13 AM »
I got to go to Royal Hours and the Vesperal Liturgy on Christmas Eve.  Missed Vigil and Christmas Day Liturgy because I was sick. 

In my protestant days, the excuse for not doing anything on Christmas day, according to different pastors of the different churches I attended, was so we could spend time with our families. 

I would rather be at Liturgy.  Besides, my wife and I exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve and it was nice.

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2015, 09:44:55 AM »

We have Vespers on the January 6th, followed by a huge lenten dinner.  The hall is filled to bursting.  People eat, laugh and sing carols.

On the 7th we have Divine Liturgy.  It is well attended.  Perhaps fewer people than on Christmas Eve, but, still rather full.


I know it is impossible to do everything, but I find the unique Vigil consisting of Great Compline, and Matins on the eve of Nativity to be one of the most beautiful services of the year, I find it sad that it is being omitted.



There is a posibility Liza mistakenly called "vigil" as "vespers" as it seems to be a common practice.
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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2015, 02:49:57 PM »

We have Vespers on the January 6th, followed by a huge lenten dinner.  The hall is filled to bursting.  People eat, laugh and sing carols.

On the 7th we have Divine Liturgy.  It is well attended.  Perhaps fewer people than on Christmas Eve, but, still rather full.

I know it is impossible to do everything, but I find the unique Vigil consisting of Great Compline, and Matins on the eve of Nativity to be one of the most beautiful services of the year, I find it sad that it is being omitted.



There is a posibility Liza mistakenly called "vigil" as "vespers" as it seems to be a common practice.

As Vespers is usually part of Vigil that would make sense, but this Vigil doesn't even contain Vespers.

Offline BrotherBoris

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2015, 03:17:34 PM »
My parish has services both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

On Christmas Eve, we have the Royal Hours, then the Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil, followed by a Slavic style "Holy Supper" in the parish hall with the traditional foods and Christmas carols.  This is followed by Great Compline in the Church.

On Christmas Day we have the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom at our normal liturgy time: 9:30AM.  It is always one of our BEST attended services of the entire year.

In my area, nearly all of the churches have Christmas Eve services.  However, the Christmas Day services seem restricted to mainly Orthodox and Roman Catholics, with an occassional Lutheran or Episcopal church having one as well. 
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 03:18:34 PM by BrotherBoris »

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2015, 05:30:09 AM »

We have Vespers on the January 6th, followed by a huge lenten dinner.  The hall is filled to bursting.  People eat, laugh and sing carols.

On the 7th we have Divine Liturgy.  It is well attended.  Perhaps fewer people than on Christmas Eve, but, still rather full.

I know it is impossible to do everything, but I find the unique Vigil consisting of Great Compline, and Matins on the eve of Nativity to be one of the most beautiful services of the year, I find it sad that it is being omitted.



There is a posibility Liza mistakenly called "vigil" as "vespers" as it seems to be a common practice.

As Vespers is usually part of Vigil that would make sense, but this Vigil doesn't even contain Vespers.


Pretty much are people around me call vigil "vespers" and all night services, usually "vigil+DL" "vigil" unless they have some knowledge about liturgics. I think this might be a Liza's case.
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2015, 09:11:41 AM »
On Christmas eve we did the Royal Hours + Vesperal liturgy of St. Basil, It was beautiful, On Christmas day it was Orthos + Liturgy of St. John + Christmas Carols, Father seems so happy at Christmas. I personally love the liturgy of St. Basil but we only get to do it 10 times a year on certain important days.

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2015, 03:08:00 PM »

We have Vespers on the January 6th, followed by a huge lenten dinner.  The hall is filled to bursting.  People eat, laugh and sing carols.

On the 7th we have Divine Liturgy.  It is well attended.  Perhaps fewer people than on Christmas Eve, but, still rather full.

I know it is impossible to do everything, but I find the unique Vigil consisting of Great Compline, and Matins on the eve of Nativity to be one of the most beautiful services of the year, I find it sad that it is being omitted.



There is a posibility Liza mistakenly called "vigil" as "vespers" as it seems to be a common practice.

As Vespers is usually part of Vigil that would make sense, but this Vigil doesn't even contain Vespers.


Pretty much are people around me call vigil "vespers" and all night services, usually "vigil+DL" "vigil" unless they have some knowledge about liturgics. I think this might be a Liza's case.


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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2015, 06:20:36 PM »
My parish has services both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

On Christmas Eve, we have the Royal Hours, then the Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil, followed by a Slavic style "Holy Supper" in the parish hall with the traditional foods and Christmas carols.  This is followed by Great Compline in the Church.

On Christmas Day we have the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom at our normal liturgy time: 9:30AM.  It is always one of our BEST attended services of the entire year.

In my area, nearly all of the churches have Christmas Eve services.  However, the Christmas Day services seem restricted to mainly Orthodox and Roman Catholics, with an occassional Lutheran or Episcopal church having one as well.

That is the ACROD practice as well, I suspect it reflects the traditional practice in Transcarpathia and eastern Slovakia since both OCA and ACROD trace their roots to the same region.

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2016, 11:20:17 PM »
My parish has services both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

On Christmas Eve, we have the Royal Hours, then the Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil, followed by a Slavic style "Holy Supper" in the parish hall with the traditional foods and Christmas carols.  This is followed by Great Compline in the Church.

On Christmas Day we have the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom at our normal liturgy time: 9:30AM.  It is always one of our BEST attended services of the entire year.

In my area, nearly all of the churches have Christmas Eve services.  However, the Christmas Day services seem restricted to mainly Orthodox and Roman Catholics, with an occassional Lutheran or Episcopal church having one as well.

That is the ACROD practice as well, I suspect it reflects the traditional practice in Transcarpathia and eastern Slovakia since both OCA and ACROD trace their roots to the same region.

Indeed!  Several of the founding families of my parish had Carpatho-Russian roots. And lots of us in the OCA have friends and relatives in ACROD.  And I, for one, really enjoy the Carpatho-Russian plainchant that they sing in four part harmony. 

Offline katherine 2001

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2016, 11:07:09 PM »
In my OCA pariah, we have services Christmas Eve night and Christmas morning at 10am (the one time we did have a service at midnight, we didn't have a priest so the bishop came and served).

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2016, 04:14:19 AM »
FWIW,

In the Orthodox Church I grew up in, Church was always pretty barren on Christmas.  Only the hardcore converts who had grown up in a culture of Church on Christmas day would show up, for the most part.  Everyone else would stay home Christmas morning, but attendance at Vespers was always more popular.

Even at my most religious, I never went to Church on Christmas because my family didn't.  It would have offended them greater if I would have missed the family festivities to go to Church, and they wouldn't have gone with me (somehow my chain smoking mother can't take the sweet incense in the Church - go figure). 

This is a very interesting thread to read.

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2016, 09:45:50 AM »
I think that in case of Orthodoxy it very depends on the fact if Nativity services (mainly Divine Liturgy, but it may be also followed directly by Matins and even Great Compline) are served at midnight or close to it; I mean if the Great Compline is served in the evening of Christmas Even separately from the Liturgy (that's served then in the morning) there is a great chance that people would not attend both services, but only one of them.

Fortunately, most parishes in Poland and Serbia have Nativity Liturgy ~at midnight (and it also applies to Roman Catholics), so I think most practicing people began their Christmas celebration with Church.
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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2016, 12:28:11 AM »
My church has two priests.

Vesperal Divine Liturgy was served on Christmas Eve (12/24) morning.

Priest 1 celebrated Matins and Divine Liturgy on Christmas Eve (12/24) starting at 7:30 pm.

Priest 2 celebrated Matins and Divine Liturgy on Christmas Day (12/25) starting at 9:00 am.

Priest 1 acknowledged that there usually isn't any service held on Christmas Eve; however, the service is celebrated due to economy.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2016, 12:29:06 AM by SolEX01 »

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2016, 04:56:48 AM »
Priest 1 acknowledged that there usually isn't any service held on Christmas Eve; however, the service is celebrated due to economy.

???
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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2016, 11:10:03 PM »
Priest 1 acknowledged that there usually isn't any service held on Christmas Eve evening; however, the service is celebrated due to economy.

???

I meant to say Christmas Eve evening; There were services on Christmas Eve morning and on Christmas Day.

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #39 on: January 06, 2016, 06:54:22 PM »
Priest 1 acknowledged that there usually isn't any service held on Christmas Eve evening; however, the service is celebrated due to economy.

???

I meant to say Christmas Eve evening; There were services on Christmas Eve morning and on Christmas Day.
Well, not exactly; the Royal Horus should be served in the morning; the vesperal Liturgy of st. Basil in early afternoon; the great compline later afternoon.
And the Nativity matins late night/very early morning and immediately after it Liturgy.

That's what I've read in Serbian typikon and Polish menaion.

But actually I think in most Churches there is practice of night Nativity services, so in fact it's really not evening of the Christmas Eve (well, in Serbia the Great Compline is usually served separately from the rest of Nativity services and it's connected with badnjak ceremony and it's served in the late afternoon of Christmas Eve)
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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #40 on: January 06, 2016, 09:43:56 PM »
This year my parish switched the vigil from 2.00 to 22.00 (maybe there was a transition year it started at 00.00) with Liturgy right after it. I like that decision.
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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2016, 11:56:55 PM »

Don't tell the folks at my parish....because our church was packed on Christmas day.

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2016, 12:35:25 AM »

Don't tell the folks at my parish....because our church was packed on Christmas day.



How would you say attendance compared to a typical Sunday? I would say ours was probably more, pretty close to filled to capacity.

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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2016, 02:56:09 AM »
ROCOR parish was jammed yesterday.  Above average for other weekday feasts.
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Re: Time - Going to Church on Christmas: A Vanishing Tradition
« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2016, 10:32:23 AM »

Don't tell the folks at my parish....because our church was packed on Christmas day.



How would you say attendance compared to a typical Sunday? I would say ours was probably more, pretty close to filled to capacity.

We were almost filled to capacity.  We had more on Christmas Day, than on Christmas Eve....even though both were packed.

The crowd that was missing the most were the school aged kids.  There were dozens of 5 and under, but, only a small handful of the 10 and up, especially college aged kids.
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