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Author Topic: Question about the Liturgy  (Read 2875 times) Average Rating: 0
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orth_christian2000
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« on: August 15, 2005, 11:46:31 AM »

Hi everybody. 

Was just chatting with a RC friend, and the topic of multiple services came up.  I know that Orthodox Churches do not do an earlier and a later Divine Liturgy at the same consecrated altar.  I just don't know what the reason for merely one a day is?  I think it has something to do with not re-invoking the Holy Spirit more than once at the same church, but then again, this very well could have absolutely nothing to do with it.  Any insight would be greatly appreciated. 

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Donna Rose
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 01:34:54 PM »

Quote
I think it has something to do with not re-invoking the Holy Spirit more than once at the same church, but then again, this very well could have absolutely nothing to do with it.

I don't know the full answer to your question, but I do know it isn't the church itself that can't have more than one Divine Liturgy served in it, but that a single altar can't be used more than once in one day (as you said earlier in the post) - in many church buildings there are 2 altars - the main one and then on in a side chapel - this is especially useful in parishes where at one time or even now there is a sizable amount of people who seek services in more than one language - at my church back in the day, the main altar had liturgy served in Slavonic at the normal time on Sundays and very early the side chapel had liturgy served in English for the smaller but still sizable English-speaking community. Now it's mostly in English all the time with various parts in other languages that reflect our community, and most of the time we use the main altar, but we use the side chapel when it is a weekday liturgy and not a lot of people show up - it's a nice, intimate little space, I like it a lot when there aren't a lot of people present (otherwise it would be too crowded).

Anyway, sorry for the rambling response when I can't even fully answer your question Smiley
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orth_christian2000
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2005, 01:47:50 PM »

Thank-you Donna Rose.
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Michael
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2005, 07:51:17 AM »

Yes, thank you for that.

I'm glad that your parish has decided to have one Liturgy for everyone.  There is a similar phenomenon in the Church of England, where there is often a quiet "8 o' clock" Mass according to the 1662 rite, and then another later in the morning, which is the main one, for the Common Worship rite.  I think that this arrangement serves to divide the community, and it is much better if everybody goes to the same one.

The differences of language are neither here nor there, as God is being worshipped anyway.  This reminds me of the anecdote of a very Anglo-Catholic priest filling in for a colleague of his, who was on holiday.  This church was rather more protestant than the visiting priest had been accustomed to, and so the congregation didn't respond well to his Latin Mass.  He was approached by one of the congregation after the Mass, who said, reprimandingly, "Father, I didn't understand a word of that service!", to which the priest replied "Well, I wasn't talking to you".

Is it not the case that not only may the Liturgy not be served more than once per day on any altar, but also that no priest may serve the Liturgy more than once per day?  Is this rule dispensable at the discretion of the bishop?

Many thanks.
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2005, 10:04:26 AM »

That's the rule--one sacrifice on an altar, one sacrifice served by an single priest a day. I havent heard of this rule being excused, but I know there are ways to 'get around' it sometimes. A priest from a parish an hour away comes here to lead Liturgy in a mission on Sunday evenings. Because it's evening,according to the Church method of calculating time he's serving Monday's Liturgy, and so is still observing the rule, though it is within the same 24 hours.
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2005, 11:02:25 AM »

Not to mention the possibility that these so-called second liturgies may actually be pro-liturgies w/o consecration and where the Eucharist from the previous DL is distributed. This is possible in some traditions.. not all.
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2005, 11:46:58 AM »

I'm probably wrong about this, but I think it's the priest who can't say more than one liturgy a day. I recall that some years back St. Nick's in DC (OCA) had three liturgies each Sunday (in English, Slavonic, and Georgian) and they have one altar.

You are right in observing that there is no such rule in the west, though I don't know why there is a difference or how far back it goes.
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2005, 11:51:28 AM »

Good point, Keble. I think it's both the priest AND the altar restriction, come to think of it.
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2005, 12:28:43 PM »

Yes, my understanding was always that the restriction involved both the priest and the altar.

The person who explained this to me made mention that this was a link to the Old Testament. While multiple sacrifices were made to take away guilt, sins, etc. in the Temple, because Christ is the fulfillment of the Law, only one Liturgy should be performed per day per altar per priest to represent the completion of this OT practice.

For about the 20th time this summer, I am regretting I placed all my references in boxes in a storage unit back in Boston, because I think the information may be in there.

Anyway, the multiple Liturgies are also done in the larger (i.e., over 1000 families) GOA parishes---two that I know of are the parish in Peabody, MA as well as the cathedral in Merrillville, IN. It is done as Donna Rose described with a second altar, usually with one Liturgy being mainly Greek and the other one mainly English.
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2005, 12:19:39 PM »

In my understanding, the original intent was to preserve the unity of the community. We are one church, one body.  Thus only one liturgy is served for the entire community.  (This precludes youth or children's liturgies, a practice I find appalling anyway in RC and Anglican churches.)  In the US we find ways around this prohibition, ususally in large parishes with services in more than 1 language.  And the prohibition is for both priest and altar - usually not a problem in these large parishes with a number of clergy.  However, I think this, while an understandable practice, simply furthers the convert/cradle divide.  We end up practicing philetism in the same church - also appalling.  This is quite a bit less common on the West coast - or at least it is in my experience.

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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2005, 09:49:53 PM »

I was under the impression that it stems from the fact that the priest can't receive communion more than once in a day. However, if you have a different priest, that rule doesn't apply. For example, the Cathedral for ACROD has 2 services when the Metropolitan is in. The Chancelor serves an 8 AM divine Liturgy and the Metropolitan serves a 10 AM divine Liturgy. Now this may not hold true in other jurisdictions, but thats what I've seen in ACROD.

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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2005, 12:30:52 AM »

Thank you all for your replies.
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2005, 10:09:53 PM »

Actually there is an interesting GO parish that has three liturgies... Greek, Russian, and Uk on the same altar. This was done as the Russian and Uk groups were small and needed a parish...They each have their own priest, one altar...

I had heard that priest can only do one Liturgy because once he has taken communion, he can't do it again...there are other rules concerning liturgies within a 24 hour period... but this one I have seen relaxed... Note the original DL was done in the evening since it was to be a 'Last Supper' ... so the timing of the service was very important at first...

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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2005, 08:15:14 PM »

A lot of these rules are local tradition, the one thing that is constant is that a priest can only serve one liturgy for the day. There are of course times when two liturgies are called on to be served in one day, these are of course Christmas, Theophany, and Pascha.
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« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2005, 08:19:41 PM »

If a priest celebrates the perscribed vesperial liturgy on a feast... say he does it at the normal time for vespers on Dec. 24th, can that same priest celebrate the Christmas morning liturgy on the morning of the 25th?  Or is this the reason that in modern parish practice the "vesperal" liturgies of those days are often celebrated in the morning?
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« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2005, 09:12:28 PM »

If a priest celebrates the perscribed vesperial liturgy on a feast... say he does it at the normal time for vespers on Dec. 24th, can that same priest celebrate the Christmas morning liturgy on the morning of the 25th?ÂÂ  Or is this the reason that in modern parish practice the "vesperal" liturgies of those days are often celebrated in the morning?


Actually we ran into that issue. For several years our start up just had a Christmas eve liturgy & pageant and not one on Christmas Day.  This worked out better for the parishioners, most of whom had very young children and also family in other places they often visited on Christmas Day. However our Metropolitan believed that we should have one on Christmas Day- which would not be possible if we also  had one Christmas Eve... so we moved the pageant to the week before, did not have evening liturgy for Christmas and had services on Christmas Day,( not very well attended)...

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« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2005, 01:06:08 PM »

If a priest celebrates the perscribed vesperial liturgy on a feast... say he does it at the normal time for vespers on Dec. 24th, can that same priest celebrate the Christmas morning liturgy on the morning of the 25th?ÂÂ  Or is this the reason that in modern parish practice the "vesperal" liturgies of those days are often celebrated in the morning?


Since they are Great feast of the Church the day starts (at vespers) and ends with the celebration of liturgy. Go read what is prescribed in the Lenten Triodion for the celebration of Pascha, you will see that there is really no break prescribed between the vesperal liturgy and the Paschal liturgy.
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2005, 10:09:54 PM »

I know this thread had a long time off, but so did I (from posting on the board)...

The two answers that should satisfy everything came from anncatherine:

In my understanding, the original intent was to preserve the unity of the community. We are one church, one body. Thus only one liturgy is served for the entire community.

As I posted in the thread about the subdeaconesses, the earthly Liturgy represents the heavenly one: one for the community.  That is why the formation of the "parish" was such a big change in the life of the Church (4th century and onwards), because now you had 3 liturgies in 3 different churches in the same city with one bishop, which was hard for them to handle back then!

The other answer, which is quite right, is one that arimethea brought up, being that there are certain days of the year when the Church prescribes two Liturgies for the same day (being Christmas, Epiphany, and Pascha).  These are the three biggest commemorations of the year, and were days when typically there would be a vigil.  This in and of itself is not strange.  What was unusual was to have Vespers with Liturgy, followed by the vigil and then Matins and Liturgy; bookending the great feasts.  These exceptions prove the rule, on the one hand, by showing the extreme nature of the exceptions, while on the other hand prove the commonly believed rules false, that one cannot receive communion twice in a day, or that a priest or altar cannot handle multiple liturgies.  The truth is that the altar and priest are fine to do multiple liturgies, but the Church is against it, since multiple synaxes of the people divide the community.
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2005, 09:24:29 AM »

In the Syriac orthodox Church of Malabar(kerala India).celebration of Eucharist more than once by priest or on the Altar is not allowed.I am not sure about the exact reason behind this but  canon law of the church(hudaya Canon)prohibit  this.I am not sure SOC out side India have any difference in their practice.
One answer i got from our parish priest(he is very old  and  very strict in keeping the traditions) the answer was:  Syrian Orthodox wear  a black rob and on top of that a white rob then celebrants  colourful rob.
The black rob represent the repentance  and white represent the grace of heaven.A priest who celebrate  Eucharist will transfer from his repentance to  heavenly glory and from darkness to heavenly light so its it not right that he is going back to the  repentance and darkness of earthly life on the same day.
He and any person who receive communion not allowed to wash their hair or kneel before evening prayer (according to canon this is to respect the communion)Kneeling is considered as act of repentace  one who repented and received fruit of life kneeling again in a very short time is a  disrespect to Holy Communion.

             The Altar and Thabaliyitha(a wooden or marble piece use to place the mystries) is considered as  Gogult ha where Jesus crucified.Celebrating his scarifies on the Altar or Thabaliyitha more   than once  a day is equal to crucifying the Lord again.If needed the side altar or the prayer table can be used with another Thabliyitha.All most all Churches of Kerala do have 3 Altar and more than 3 Thabaliyitha.But more than one Eucharist is only performed special occasions when great number of people arrive for service(its common thousands of people coming for feast days of saints).Its because parish suppose to celebrate Eucharist together as one body.
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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2005, 10:46:58 AM »

I don't know the full answer to your question, but I do know it isn't the church itself that can't have more than one Divine Liturgy served in it, but that a single altar can't be used more than once in one day (as you said earlier in the post) - in many church buildings there are 2 altars - the main one and then on in a side chapel - this is especially useful in parishes where at one time or even now there is a sizable amount of people who seek services in more than one language - at my church back in the day, the main altar had liturgy served in Slavonic at the normal time on Sundays and very early the side chapel had liturgy served in English for the smaller but still sizable English-speaking community. Now it's mostly in English all the time with various parts in other languages that reflect our community, and most of the time we use the main altar, but we use the side chapel when it is a weekday liturgy and not a lot of people show up - it's a nice, intimate little space, I like it a lot when there aren't a lot of people present (otherwise it would be too crowded).

Anyway, sorry for the rambling response when I can't even fully answer your question Smiley

The Uspensky Cathedral in Helsinki, Finland, has a similar arrangement, there's the main church (Dormition of the Mother of God) and then the chapel of St. Alexander Hotovitsky (former priest of the parish) in the basement. The Hotovitsky chapel is occasionally used for services in minority languages, such as Swedish or English, usually simultaneously as there is a service in Finnish in the main church upstairs. It's like two churches in one building.
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« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2005, 12:21:25 PM »

It's worth noting that prior to Vatican II, in the Latin rite the same rule applied about one liturgy per day, which is also why so many older Catholic churches have multiple altars.
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« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2012, 12:26:37 PM »

I'm probably wrong about this, but I think it's the priest who can't say more than one liturgy a day. I recall that some years back St. Nick's in DC (OCA) had three liturgies each Sunday (in English, Slavonic, and Georgian) and they have one altar.

You are right in observing that there is no such rule in the west, though I don't know why there is a difference or how far back it goes.

NO, they have a second table that they move in front of the main table, even though they have only one apse. Good idea for them to get a second apse.
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